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      05-08-2012, 05:25 AM   #1
JonF1982
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Alpine Audio Upgrade

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I'm entertaining the idea of getting the Alpine audio upgrade. Does anyone have any experience with this on the F20, or the E8x models?

What could I expect to gain from upgrading? Is it worth it, etc. Any other related advise also welcome.

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      05-08-2012, 05:42 AM   #2
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I haven't done the upgrade myself- but after looking at what's included, and reading other reviews (the alpine kit is the same on all bmws) I'd say it's a kick as upgrade.

Things to note. It'll take 2 1/2 hours for a dealer to fit + coding. High will cost £200-400 extra. Fit it yourself then get them to code it.

Keep us posted- I want to do this upgrade as well
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      05-08-2012, 05:59 AM   #3
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I'll ask the dealler for a quote including fitting and see what they say. If its that much though i might have to put it off until after the Holiday is paid for! lol
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      05-08-2012, 06:30 AM   #4
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Well, a dealer charges £100 per hour, 2 1/2 hours fitting, and I saw someone on here say it took several hours to code the car.... plus the unit is 390 + 60 for the two door sills for tweeters.

Let me know what your dealer says
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      05-08-2012, 11:21 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonF1982 View Post
I'm entertaining the idea of getting the Alpine audio upgrade. Does anyone have any experience with this on the F20, or the E8x models?

What could I expect to gain from upgrading? Is it worth it, etc. Any other related advise also welcome.

Hi... Having fitted the Alpine upgrade to a late, (2010) E87 I can report that it was a complete "plug & play" installation procedure and took me appx 2.5hrs. I wouldnt imagine that it would be too much different on the F20

All that was needed were a few basic tools to unclip/unscrew a few bits of trim. The cables plugged into existing sockets in the loom.

As the signal is taken from the existing loudspeaker cables, (as opposed to the head unit at line level), the system sees no change, no new hardware is detected, so no coding is required at that level. The only instance where coding could be required is where, (because the basic system has no tweeters), the high feq output of the head unit has been boosted and needs to be set at a reduced level to reflect the new improved caperbilities of the retrofit.... Alternativly, just reduce the treble manually via the tone control...

The change to the system in quality terms is well worth the 350 that the kit cost.
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      05-08-2012, 11:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airblade550 View Post
Hi... Having fitted the Alpine upgrade to a late, (2010) E87 I can report that it was a complete "plug & play" installation procedure and took me appx 2.5hrs. I wouldnt imagine that it would be too much different on the F20

All that was needed were a few basic tools to unclip/unscrew a few bits of trim. The cables plugged into existing sockets in the loom.

As the signal is taken from the existing loudspeaker cables, (as opposed to the head unit at line level), the system sees no change, no new hardware is detected, so no coding is required at that level. The only instance where coding could be required is where, (because the basic system has no tweeters), the high feq output of the head unit has been boosted and needs to be set at a reduced level to reflect the new improved caperbilities of the retrofit.... Alternativly, just reduce the treble manually via the tone control...

The change to the system in quality terms is well worth the 350 that the kit cost.
In order to see (hear) the full benefit of the alpine upgrade, you must recode your car to disable the head units built in equaliser-if you dont it will go through a 2 phase equalisation; which equals reduced quality of sound.

Re-coding turns the head unit into 'HiFi' mode (a specific Alpine HiFi mode), which lets the amp do the equalisation, instead of the head unit.
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      05-09-2012, 06:33 AM   #7
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The quote i've been given is 859.20!

I think that's pretty ridiculous so won't be going ahead.
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      05-09-2012, 07:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonF1982 View Post
The quote i've been given is 859.20!

I think that's pretty ridiculous so won't be going ahead.
Whats the breakdown?

i'd guess:

445.2 for the parts (assuming no discount)
414 for labour

Did they break down the labour charges? I guess they've said 2.15 hours for fitting and 2 hours for coding. Please let us know. If you fitted it yourself, you could save 214
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      05-09-2012, 08:14 AM   #9
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I didnt get a breakdown, just a headline figure. I told them i wasnt interested at that price.

I wouldnt feel happy about fitting it myself.
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      05-09-2012, 08:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonF1982
I didnt get a breakdown, just a headline figure. I told them i wasnt interested at that price.

I wouldnt feel happy about fitting it myself.
Fair enough fella!
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      05-09-2012, 09:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonF1982
The quote i've been given is £859.20!

I think that's pretty ridiculous so won't be going ahead.
Wow, that's expensive. I wouldn't go for that.
A bit regret not getting the HK as factory fit.
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      05-09-2012, 10:38 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Sonnig View Post
Wow, that's expensive. I wouldn't go for that.
A bit regret not getting the HK as factory fit.
Me too.
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      05-09-2012, 10:45 AM   #13
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Is the Alpine route the only way to go?
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      05-09-2012, 11:04 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonF1982 View Post
Is the Alpine route the only way to go?
without cutting wires, yes- for now.

blanpunkt do a plug & play amp- but not heard of anyone using it in an F20 yet.

You need the amplifier and the harness...

Amplifier:
http://www.blaupunktdirect.co.uk/inc...amplifier.html

Harness:
http://www.blaupunktdirect.co.uk/inc...or-cables.html

Although this will only upgrade the amp (Which should make a difference) you'll also want to upgrade your mids and possibly add tweeters to the front and / or back.

Something like this
http://caraudiosecurity.com/shop/pro...ts_id/508.html
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      05-09-2012, 11:33 AM   #15
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Its fitting really that's the issue. If i could get the Apline unit through BMW then find someone to fit it for a more reasonable price, that would be ideal.
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      05-09-2012, 11:41 AM   #16
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If it was me, I'd buy the kit and fit it a bit at a time. probably start with the window trims / mids and tweeters. Once that's done, running the wiring through the car is the next step.

The main thing to keep in mind with this system is that it's all plug and play- no wire cutting! BMW will even provide you the instructions. Hell, ask for a copy of them before you buy, to make sure your completely happy first.
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      05-09-2012, 12:13 PM   #17
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The thought of having to remove bits of trim scares me! lol.

My bro gets his new 3 series next week which has the Harmon Kardon system in. I'm going to see what that sounds like, i know its a different system but will give me an idea of what an upgrade might do for me.

I might also ring round the dealers and see if i can get a better price for fitting. I don't see why i should have to pay any more than 600.
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      05-09-2012, 01:16 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonF1982 View Post
The thought of having to remove bits of trim scares me! lol.

My bro gets his new 3 series next week which has the Harmon Kardon system in. I'm going to see what that sounds like, i know its a different system but will give me an idea of what an upgrade might do for me.

I might also ring round the dealers and see if i can get a better price for fitting. I don't see why i should have to pay any more than 600.
it will blow you away at the very least i want to add tweeters to my rig
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      05-09-2012, 02:12 PM   #19
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Well ill have a good chance to listen to it when we cruise down the motorway to take in the DTM at brands hatch next weekend
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      05-10-2012, 10:39 AM   #20
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Just confirmed through a reseller that the following will work in an F20:

Blue Magic TL 130
THA 475 PnP - Plug & Play amplifier
THA Plug & Play amplifier adaptor cables
THA Plug & Play amplifier extension cables

In total, coming out at a respectable 319.96 + shipping, which i suspect would be free on an order that size
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      05-10-2012, 11:03 AM   #21
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This looks cool, nice work!

Now if only i knew what i was doing maybe i could fit it! lol

Do you think a 3rd party garage might do fitting? There's an independant garage on my way to work that specialist in 2nd hand BMWs only. I wouldn't be suprised if some of the guys there are ex main dealer.
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      05-10-2012, 11:11 AM   #22
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np

i think a 3rd party would probably install it for you....
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