Sound System - North American Motoring


Navigation & Audio Bring your GPS and favorite CD or MP3. This is where navigation and audio options for the Cooper (R50), Cabrio (R52), and Cooper S (R53) MINIs are discussed.

Sound System

Reply
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 06-18-2017, 11:19 AM
MiniTigger's Avatar
MiniTigger MiniTigger is offline
5th Gear
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 881
Thanked 17 Times in 14 Posts
Sound System

Opinions Requested:

I'm starting to work on the sound system in the car (2006 R53). Has anyone had their sound system upgraded and if so, what did you change and are you happy with it?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-18-2017, 12:32 PM
rkw rkw is online now
6th Gear
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 7,914
Thanks: 0
Thanked 18 Times in 14 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiniTigger View Post
Has anyone had their sound system upgraded
There's an entire subforum: https://www.northamericanmotoring.co...-and-audio-14/
Perhaps start here: https://www.northamericanmotoring.co...nd-system.html
A lot will depend on what you want to achieve and whether you have an HK system.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to rkw For This Useful Post:
MiniTigger (06-19-2017)
  #3  
Old 06-18-2017, 06:57 PM
MiniTigger's Avatar
MiniTigger MiniTigger is offline
5th Gear
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 881
Thanked 17 Times in 14 Posts
Thanks for the links - no nav, no HK.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-18-2017, 06:59 PM
Filmy's Avatar
Filmy Filmy is offline
5th Gear
iTrader: (4)
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Valley Village, CA, 91607
Posts: 644
Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Here's mine. I had the factory HK system, which made the upgrade SO much more difficult. If you don't have HK yours will be much simpler. In general, my advice is to get an affordable HU with as many inputs as you can get - especially in the rear of the unit. Most of them under $150 are very good and will do you proud. Do you need a CD slot? Probably not, unless your cellphone holder goes there. Not having CD capabilities also shortens the depth of the HU, so you have more room behind it for wiring (RCA plugs & cables, for instance).

I didn't consider a sub; the Mini is too damn small to need one, and it would take up valuable space in the boot. If you're thinking about a sub, I'd suggest getting a pair of high-end woofers for the rear panels instead. Sound deadener was inexpensive and very worth it.

Lastly, I suggest a mini amp like I used (Clarion or similar) unless you choose a HU with amazing power.

https://www.northamericanmotoring.co...omponents.html
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Filmy For This Useful Post:
MiniTigger (06-19-2017)
  #5  
Old 06-18-2017, 07:48 PM
MiniTigger's Avatar
MiniTigger MiniTigger is offline
5th Gear
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 881
Thanked 17 Times in 14 Posts
rkw - thanks for the links.

Great install information - but in all that, I saw nothing about what the end result modifications were and if the user was happy with the results.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-18-2017, 07:51 PM
MiniTigger's Avatar
MiniTigger MiniTigger is offline
5th Gear
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 881
Thanked 17 Times in 14 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Filmy View Post
Here's mine. I had the factory HK system, which made the upgrade SO much more difficult. If you don't have HK yours will be much simpler. In general, my advice is to get an affordable HU with as many inputs as you can get - especially in the rear of the unit. Most of them under $150 are very good and will do you proud. Do you need a CD slot? Probably not, unless your cellphone holder goes there. Not having CD capabilities also shortens the depth of the HU, so you have more room behind it for wiring (RCA plugs & cables, for instance).

I didn't consider a sub; the Mini is too damn small to need one, and it would take up valuable space in the boot. If you're thinking about a sub, I'd suggest getting a pair of high-end woofers for the rear panels instead. Sound deadener was inexpensive and very worth it.

Lastly, I suggest a mini amp like I used (Clarion or similar) unless you choose a HU with amazing power.

https://www.northamericanmotoring.co...omponents.html
The head unit I'm looking at is the Pioneer DEH-X8800BHS. I did see some HU's mentioned in the other links but no final results. I'm wondering what speakers people have changed out to and what amps or subs. I would like the ability to play CD's - just in case.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-18-2017, 08:32 PM
Filmy's Avatar
Filmy Filmy is offline
5th Gear
iTrader: (4)
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Valley Village, CA, 91607
Posts: 644
Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
No nav or HK makes your install much easier. I did a lot of research on door speakers and the Polk Audio DB6501 were well regarded. They give you crossovers plus tweeters in the set. I'm also a fan of the Pioneer DEH- series HUs. Great Bluetooth, as well as variable color choices for the face. Plus, I always opt for a wired mic, and these have it. And you'll want steering wheel controls if you have that already.

As I said above, I recommend the Clarion XC1410 mini amp ($120-ish). They're small and they fit just about anywhere (but not behind the HU, unfortunately). I "hung" mine up behind the glove box, where it's close enough to the HU and to where the door speaker wires feed into the bulkhead > doors. I kept my amp when I sold my Mini, and I'm now using it in my Montero Sport audio system.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Filmy For This Useful Post:
MiniTigger (06-19-2017)
  #8  
Old 06-19-2017, 07:00 AM
MiniTigger's Avatar
MiniTigger MiniTigger is offline
5th Gear
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 881
Thanked 17 Times in 14 Posts
Are/were you happy with the Polk Audio's. Do they natively fit in the speaker pockets? Are these Polk's for both speakers in the door - the upper and lower? What did you do for the rear? Are/were you running a separate amp for the rears?

It seems there is a DB6502 now - any ideas if it's the same or better?

Last edited by MiniTigger; 06-19-2017 at 07:20 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-19-2017, 10:36 AM
Zsm Zsm is offline
2nd Gear
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: SF Bay Area - Nor Cal
Posts: 117
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
R53 Non-HK with Polk db6501 components and amp

Dunno about the DB6502 set, but the DB6501 components fit the doors quite well.

You will need to use some creativity to mount the tweeter into the pod, but it was nothing hard. The woofer uses the Polk spacer that comes in the box to mount to the door. That spacer lines up perfectly with the holes already in the door so no drilling or mods required. Direct fit.

The crossover was a little fiddly. My son and I had to find the right spot to mount the unit to the door and allow it to clear the inside door panel. Takes a little trial and error. Once you find the spot, you'll want to drill to holes to mount it securely.

The sound is pretty good. The Polk woofers have good punchy tight bass. Crossover is set at 0 for tweeter and they sound fairly natural. It took a while for the speakers to break in. We have a small amp (Alpine KTP-445u) driving the speakers with the stock head unit. Rears are still the originals.

The R53 is a noisy car, so fidelity gets lost quickly. Probably not a car to invest huge $$ into a sound system.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-19-2017, 10:51 AM
Filmy's Avatar
Filmy Filmy is offline
5th Gear
iTrader: (4)
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Valley Village, CA, 91607
Posts: 644
Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
There's a pretty good explanation of the Polk install in that previous link. You'll want/need adapters, but they're common BMW speaker adapters. You'll have to do some fabrication to get the tweeter cups into the existing holes. Does your non-HK system come with factory tweeters in the doors? I don't remember...

The most confusing part of the install was which speaker wires go where. With the HK, all of the 4 channels' signals were split way back at the amp, so by the time the door speaker wiring got to the door speakers there were 4 wires per door. Once I figured out which speaker wires went to the door woofers, I just used those two wires in the door harness and attached them to the crossover. (And I had to do the same thing at the amp output.) If you have native tweeters, I don't know where the factory split those signals coming from the OEM HU. Getting new speaker wires through the door harness plug is a huge PITA, so if you can tap those existing wires from under the dash you're better off.

The Polks sounded great. The crossovers take the signal from the amp and further split it inside the door, and you can adjust the tone a bit with the pass switches. I don't know anything about the different (higher) number, but I suppose there's some kind of claimed improvement.

The Clarion amp takes the line-level output from the HU (much cleaner signal than speaker-level output), amps it, and splits it into all 4 channels right there. So for my setup, four rear speaker wires (L&R, +&-) were run down the passenger side threshold to the RR speaker (there's a hole and grommet for the harness to pass through the inner steel panel), and two continued from there to the LR. IIRC, the rears take a 6X9 and you can pretty much put anything you want in there. The OEMs are single woofers but you can add 3- or 4-way speakers. The 6X9s I installed were 4-way, but those extra tweeters & mids use up some of the signal.

The Clarion is rated @ 50W per channel, so no need for an additional amp for just the rears. If you're running a sub, then you'd need a separate amp for that. Remember that no matter what amp you get (if you use an external amp) you'll have to power it, so you'll be running a 12V wire from the battery in the boot to wherever you put the amp.

Ultimately, since you have the non-HK system, you can simply start with the HU upgrade, plug-n-play it with its harness adapter and try it with your factory speakers. Your speakers are already ten years old, so you could blow them with a more powerful HU - or some of them may be blown already. I'm just saying the speaker/amp install is a big job when you take into consideration removing all 3 rear panels, the two door panels and the seats. Also, be very careful with the hatch lock mechanism while that rear lower panel is removed.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 06-19-2017, 09:06 PM
MiniTigger's Avatar
MiniTigger MiniTigger is offline
5th Gear
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 881
Thanked 17 Times in 14 Posts
Great info and I thank those that have posted info and experience. I plan on doing the upgrade in stages - HU first, see what changes. Then move from there. Thanks for the info you guys have provided.

If my radio is still staticy after the HU install, I will be ripping out the interior panel to get at the antenna amp (behind one of the back seat panels).

In the door, I have 2 speakers - a lower speaker (woofer) and a higher speaker (tweeter). No idea how or where they're wired to .. yet. I don't plan on ripping into there as of yet.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 06-19-2017, 09:45 PM
Filmy's Avatar
Filmy Filmy is offline
5th Gear
iTrader: (4)
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Valley Village, CA, 91607
Posts: 644
Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
What to fix or replace depends on what kind of "static" you have. If it sounds like individual speakers are static-y then that speaker is likely blown; if the static gets louder and softer, or changes with the revs of the engine, then you're not grounded properly and/or you need to install a GLI (ground loop isolator). I haven't heard of a stock Mini HU generating any kind of static on its own, but you're right - see what happens when you change it out.

Your factory speakers are crap - and by now they're ten-year-old crap - so it's likely you will have to do some speaker installation and wiring. Without the HK amp, hooking up new speakers will be much easier, but it would be wise to find a wire-color schematic for your non-HK version. Aftermarket speakers won't accept Mini OEM speaker plugs, so you'll be cutting and splicing inside the doors and behind the plastic interior panels. The problem really is the tweeters, and where their wires originate from. If you go with the Polk Audio set, you can just leave the OEM tweeter wires disconnected inside the door and use the Polk crossovers to split the signal up to the Polk tweeters - that is, if a full channel signal originates from the OEM harness behind the HU.

Keep us posted on your progress!
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 06-20-2017, 09:42 AM
MiniTigger's Avatar
MiniTigger MiniTigger is offline
5th Gear
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 881
Thanked 17 Times in 14 Posts
For me, the static is the stupid radio stations. I can never get a clear signal.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 06-22-2017, 05:03 PM
Filmy's Avatar
Filmy Filmy is offline
5th Gear
iTrader: (4)
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Valley Village, CA, 91607
Posts: 644
Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiniTigger View Post
For me, the static is the stupid radio stations. I can never get a clear signal.
I find that odd with HUs these days. Maybe your antenna cable has come out of the rear of the OEM HU...? Is there static no matter what function the HU is working from? I suppose it's possible for the HU to go bad with its tuner, just doesn't sound very likely.

And again, if the static changes with the engine revs, it's more than likely a grounding problem.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 06-23-2017, 09:36 PM
MiniTigger's Avatar
MiniTigger MiniTigger is offline
5th Gear
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 881
Thanked 17 Times in 14 Posts
With no antenna, it's pure static. With the antenna plugged in, its like unless I'm right near the broadcast antenna - lots of static - it's more annoying than anything.

On the HU harness, what would the orange 'illumination' cable go to? I also have a blue/white - I'm guessing that would go to blue (external amps / powered antenna)?
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to MiniTigger For This Useful Post:
gumbedamit (07-02-2017)
  #16  
Old 06-23-2017, 10:26 PM
Filmy's Avatar
Filmy Filmy is offline
5th Gear
iTrader: (4)
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Valley Village, CA, 91607
Posts: 644
Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiniTigger View Post
On the HU harness, what would the orange 'illumination' cable go to? I also have a blue/white - I'm guessing that would go to blue (external amps / powered antenna)?
Are we talking about the harness that came with a new HU? The blue (if you have one) & blu/wht wires were confusing and I don't want to tell you the wrong thing, but they essentially do the same thing. Pretty sure the solid blue wire goes to an external amp > key-on 12V power. The blu/wht wire would go to a power antenna - again, not positive but I don't think it's used in this case (Mini). I want to say the orange wire isn't used. This wire dims the HU when the dash lights are dimmed, and because of how the Mini dims (that damn button) it won't work.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 06-24-2017, 09:21 AM
MiniTigger's Avatar
MiniTigger MiniTigger is offline
5th Gear
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 881
Thanked 17 Times in 14 Posts
There's a harness for the radio and then a harness adapter for the car. The harness has blue / white. The adapter has blue. I'm certain you are correct that it's for an external amp / power antenna. Isn't ours 'powered'?
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 06-24-2017, 03:46 PM
Filmy's Avatar
Filmy Filmy is offline
5th Gear
iTrader: (4)
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Valley Village, CA, 91607
Posts: 644
Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiniTigger View Post
There's a harness for the radio and then a harness adapter for the car. The harness has blue / white. The adapter has blue. I'm certain you are correct that it's for an external amp / power antenna. Isn't ours 'powered'?
No, the Mini antenna is not "powered" in that sense. The bl/wt wire is for motorized power antennas that go up and down, which are almost unheard of these days in newer cars.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 07-01-2017, 06:30 PM
Filmy's Avatar
Filmy Filmy is offline
5th Gear
iTrader: (4)
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Valley Village, CA, 91607
Posts: 644
Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Update, ETA: I must retract my above claim that the Mini antenna is not "powered." I didn't know this before now, but apparently there is 12V power going to the antenna from the radio/HU. Perhaps the H/K system does away with this, and that's why I wasn't aware of it...? Either way, I stand corrected. Your blue wire should connect to the antenna (via which OEM wire, I have no idea.) Further, in speaking with a tech from Crutchfield, I was told that one single blue wire could be connected to both an amp and a power antenna, which I did in my Montero Sport install.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Filmy For This Useful Post:
MiniTigger (07-01-2017)
  #20  
Old 07-01-2017, 08:22 PM
MiniTigger's Avatar
MiniTigger MiniTigger is offline
5th Gear
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 881
Thanked 17 Times in 14 Posts
So Blue White (Radio harness) to Blue (harness adapter)?
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 07-01-2017, 08:39 PM
Filmy's Avatar
Filmy Filmy is offline
5th Gear
iTrader: (4)
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Valley Village, CA, 91607
Posts: 644
Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiniTigger View Post
So Blue White (Radio harness) to Blue (harness adapter)?
And then the aftermarket(?) harness adapter plugs into the Mini OEM harness? That would mean the OEM wiring that goes to the antenna would be intact. I'd say yes, blue-to-blue.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Filmy For This Useful Post:
MiniTigger (07-01-2017)
  #22  
Old 07-01-2017, 08:44 PM
MiniTigger's Avatar
MiniTigger MiniTigger is offline
5th Gear
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 881
Thanked 17 Times in 14 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Filmy View Post
And then the aftermarket(?) harness adapter plugs into the Mini OEM harness? That would mean the OEM wiring that goes to the antenna would be intact. I'd say yes, blue-to-blue.
Correct, there are no issues going from Mini harness to adapter harness. The issue is from adapter harness to radio. The only 2 wires left at the radio are Blue White and Orange. The only wire left on the adapter harness is Blue.

Orange is illumination - and earlier you said there is nowhere for this to go, which I am ok with. Blue White is 'external'.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 07-02-2017, 03:50 AM
spikeyadrian spikeyadrian is offline
2nd Gear
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 53
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
I upgraded the system in my old R50.
Here are some pics, took me a while to fit everything but I really enjoyed the challenge. It sounded wonderful.
System: Pioneer DEH-P88RSll Headunit, 3 Pioneer PRS-D800 amps, Focal KR2 16cm front speakers, JL Audio stealth sub, Hertz HCX690 rear speakers, Pioneer CDX-P670 CD changer.
Attached Thumbnails
Sound System-dsc00345.jpg   Sound System-dsc00340.jpg   Sound System-dsc00333.jpg   Sound System-dsc00334.jpg   Sound System-dsc00331.jpg  

Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 07-02-2017, 09:07 AM
MiniTigger's Avatar
MiniTigger MiniTigger is offline
5th Gear
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 881
Thanked 17 Times in 14 Posts
Wow - very nice job! My only issue with that would be that the battery tray is in the rear .. and would be located under all that.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to MiniTigger For This Useful Post:
spikeyadrian (07-02-2017)
  #25  
Old 07-02-2017, 09:35 AM
spikeyadrian spikeyadrian is offline
2nd Gear
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 53
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiniTigger View Post
Wow - very nice job! My only issue with that would be that the battery tray is in the rear .. and would be located under all that.

I'm sure there must be a way around that problem.
Being a Cooper, it wasn't an issue I had to address, but I'm pretty sure with some planning you could get around that.
Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Happy Fathers Day MiniTigger Off-Topic 4 06-19-2017 12:10 AM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:21 AM.


North American Motoring is an independently operated web site supporting MINI owners and enthusiastsworldwide. As such it has no official relationship with MINI USA, BMW AG, or BMW of North America.All original artwork and design is Copyright © 2002-2004 North American Motoring. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.