Stage 2 BM54 Amp Upgrade Review - very pleased

Discussion in 'Carphonics' started by dino, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. 12 Feb 2014 at 10:42 AM #1
    dino

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    This upgrade is so good that I felt inclined to share my views on it despite my initial scepticism!

    My car has the Harmon Kardon factory fit speakers/mini sub and had been previously upgraded by Baris with his stage 1 amp upgrade, which whilst very good the improvements are quite subtle over the standard HK set up. (I believe non HK equipped cars benefit more from the stage 1 due to how poor they are to begin with!!!)

    I've covered several 100s of miles in the car since fitting the stage 2 upgrade so I have spent hours in the car with a multitude of music styles to go through on the iPod/Intravee.

    First impressions are quite surprising. What's immediately apparent is how much louder the system sounds from the off. Less clicks of the volume knob are required to reach a much higher volume.

    Bass is much more evident at lower volumes and feels not only punchier but deeper too. This was proved when I listened to some late 90's ambient Drum & Bass from LTJ Bukem mixes and Big Bud and the like. These are tracks that I simply couldn't or wouldn't listen to in the M3 as the bass simply wasn't there to make such music enjoyable so it was nice to actually enjoy this trip down memory lane whilst driving the M3! Don't expect earth shattering window rattling bass, but none the less the lower frequencies can be heard and are satisfying enough!

    As for the higher frequencies, it's not massively different however I no longer need to have the treble turned up to maximum to hear the crisp trebles of the music allowing that extra bit of adjustment on lower quality tracks that need the additional range.

    I found myself trying all sorts of different music from rock, to R&B, hip hop and dance music and I was not disappointed with any of the genres I tested it on. The Weeknd's Trilogy sounds absolutely fantastic for example!

    This is an extremely worthy upgrade and has made the system sound more akin to that of a more modern car than one 10 years old - I would almost go so far as saying it is better than the system in my e90 330i (which had the logic 7 underseat subs). So whilst this will never be a substitute for a bespoke system with aftermarket amps/subs filling the boot or mega expensive speakers to replace the factory items it is a fantastically cheap way of getting some much improved quality sounds in your M3 that will even fool your friends at modest volumes!

    In a nutshell this will breathe some modern life into your BM54 set up and is well worth the small outlay. This is the kind of sound quality a top of the range BMW M such as the e46 M3 car SHOULD have had from the factory.

    Highly recommended. You won't be disappointed.

    :thumbsup:
     
  2. 12 Feb 2014 at 11:25 AM #2
    Mcfly

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    Great right up. It is on my list of things to do from Baris, which is alot at the moment lol.
     
  3. 12 Feb 2014 at 11:31 AM #3
    pritpal

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    Im desperate to get mine done

    i have a big list of things i need to complete (i just don't trust anyone with my car)

    just have to wait for my ban to end :(
     
  4. 12 Feb 2014 at 9:06 PM #4
    XKaLiBaR

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    Great review Dino, and I know how fussy you are :)

    I am so pleased, even with the Harman Kardon system, it has truely made noticeable difference.
     
  5. 12 Feb 2014 at 9:12 PM #5
    Gav78

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    Would this make a big difference to my set up then? I have the HK set up with bm54 stage 1 upgrade but have replaced the speakers with the BSW Rainbow speaker upgrade.
     
  6. 12 Feb 2014 at 9:14 PM #6
    XKaLiBaR

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    Would make even more of a difference with the BSW Rainbows, as they are better quality, and have higher power output. :thumbsup:
     
  7. 12 Feb 2014 at 9:19 PM #7
    dino

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    Damn you, I want these now!
     
  8. 12 Feb 2014 at 10:42 PM #8
    michealewk

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    where is the unit located in the car outta curiosity
     
  9. 12 Feb 2014 at 10:46 PM #9
    Billygilly

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  10. 12 Feb 2014 at 10:54 PM #10
    M3UMK

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    I've recently only had the stage one upgrade on my Harmon setup and I noticed a big improvement, maybe go to stage two later in the year.
     
  11. 12 Dec 2014 at 8:01 PM #11
    SINGH72

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    had this dun as well and must say thanks BARIS,
    the Bluetooth streaming is a definite must in my opinion.:thumbsup:
     
  12. 30 Dec 2014 at 7:15 PM #12
    Baz999fire

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    Hi 'RAWAN',
    Hope you don't mind me asking but what was the cost of having the stage 2 upgrade straight from the standard system ie. stage 1 & stage 2 done in one go?
    Thanks
    Baz
     
  13. 30 Dec 2014 at 7:27 PM #13
    SINGH72

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    Pm sent
     
  14. 17 Jan 2015 at 7:26 PM #14
    JamesE36

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    I have the standard system (no HK) and was gobsmacked by how poor it is. It's much worse than the standard setup in my girlfriends 05 Fiesta ST, a car of similar age and about 1/3 of the price new!

    So I sent my BM54 off to Baris on Mon and incredibly it turned back up on my doorstep on Wed! Outstanding service. I'm extremely happy with the improvment it's made even on the stock speakers, much more bass and mid range.
     

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