Sorry for the basic question, but I have seen different answers to this. I have a 2005 MCS, with the standard stereo system. The previous owner has fitted a Sony aftermarket stereo, but apart from hat the system appears unchanged. I have the opportunity to replace the basic speakers with the Harman Kardon versions that fit in the mini. I am not proposing to fit the amp (yet) because I know that the wiring is different and its a complex retro fit.
So my question is - is there any benefit in replacing the basic Mini speakers with the Harman Kardon version, or am I wasting my time?
I wouldn't bother fitting the Harman Kardon speakers.
Go for aftermarket speakers from a real 'hi-fi' brand.
The front speakers are 5 1/4 inch, however, you can easily fit 6 1/2
inch in the front doors, i did.
Take a look at: MB Quart, Focal, JBL, JL Audio etc.
It's worth replacing the rear 6x9's too, the standard one's are terrible.
I fitted 165mm MB Quart components in my front doors.
Infinity Kappa 6x9 in the rear quarter panels.
Three MTX amps, 12inch MB Quart Sub, Pioneer 6 disc CD changer and a Pioneer DEH-P88RSII head unit in my Mini, it sounds awesome!
Mine has the Harmon Kardon upgrade from factory, my wife has the standard stereo. Her stereo is great and up the the standard job, but if you are a music enthusiast I would definately upgrade. the H/K upgrade in mine is excellent quality and I love it :-) If your retrofitting I would suggest looking around the market for options but the H/K is definately one to put on the list. You may / may not need the amp. The amp for the H/K upgrade is to power and supply the 10 speakers around the car, with aftermarket you may not be able to connect the whole H/K kit up ( 2 tweeters are in the windscreen arms built in on mine, R56 Copper S ).
If it was me I would personally build a custom kit using the H/K speakers designed to fit straight in, AMP and re-wire the puppy to do a proper job :-)
Ok, let me clarify what i am saying.
There is no doubt that the Harman Kardon system is better than the standard fitted system, however, it cannot perform to the same level
as carefully chosen component speakers/system.
Now, for example, the JBL MS62C component speakers have been very
well reviewed, they do cost £199.95.
I dont think, for a moment, the H/K speakers would perform as well as a the JBL's.
They may well be a Harman company, but the performance of the speakers throughout the Harman range will have different performance levels.
You wouldn't really expect a pair of speakers costing £49.99 to sound as good as a pair costing, say, £249.99.
But I think that I am being told "Harman Kardon is excellent, but only if fitted from new. If you want to retro fit, forget it unless you go the whole hog and fit the amp, wiring and speakers. If I only fit the speakers then they wont work." I already have the HK speakers for the rear, so I might just try to make sure and then put them on fleabay if they don't work. If they do work (and they are better) then I will buy and fit the rest. Am I right?
Another stupid question - has anyone managed to fit the HK speakers to the standard stereo?
I'm about to re-install the HK system back into the wifes car as the previous owner removed the whole system, probably due to a faulty amp.
That means I will have a some spare speakers if you are interested.
The fronts are focal access components mounted on mdf spacer rings and the rears are jbl 3 ways I think (may be 2 but can't remember).
As said don't use the HK ones as they are the wrong impedance as they are designed to work with the HK amp.
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