If all goes well next month I will own my first Mini. It will be a 2012 Cooper S Countryman All4. It does not have the HK premium audio so I will be doing an upgrade as soon as I purchase it. I am thinking just a simple speaker swap and some sound deadening such as Dynamat or Brown Bread. What speaker sizes are in the Mini? Any recommendations for upgrading the audio? I do not want to sacrifice any space as the car is small enough as it is. I am not looking for that bass heavy thump. I want a nice full, clear and loud system. Thanks
The key to a good well rounded audio system is having quality drivers designed for a specific frequency range.
The easiest way to do this would be a single sub, component speakers up front, and a 4 channel amp for powering it all. Leaving the rears alone is a good money saver as more speakers does not equal more volume and having a good set up front gives a clean and uncluttered sound stage without fear of cancellation.
Upgrading the head unit is also a great starting point but do understand some people won't want to, and there are devices that allow the use of an amp with factory head unit.
The main reason I push for the sub/comps/amp is because your stock speakers are designed to be just ok and try to hit all the frequencies the best they can off low head unit power. Hence them breaking up at higher volume and you wanting to upgrade.
A sub is not just a boom tool. It is vital in a full-range system as no normal speaker is designed to effectively play down to those sub-bass frequencies. The sub is there to take care of roughly 20-100hz.
In the component set, you have the mid driver to pick at about 80-100hz on up to where the crossover cuts it off and the tweeter takes over up to the very high frequencies. Each driver is specifically designed for a specific frequency range thus allowing them to "specialize" in those ranges and perform far better than speakers getting fatigued to try and play everything.
With all that explained, what is the budget and listening habits?
Thank you for the reply.
I will begin with my listening habits. My taste in music varies from Sinatra to Slayer to Beatles and Stones. I am a huge music guy with a collection in the thousands. I do not like the compressed sound of an mp3 but I am not an audiophile. I do listen to a fair amount of Metal but Rock is my main listening preference with a little Country.
My current vehicle has Polk components up front powered by a 2ch Rockford Fosgate amp and wired with Monster Cable. I hope to use the amp and cable in the Mini. I have always used Alpine Head Units as they have never let me down. I was thinking of keeping the Mini's CD Player as I think an aftermarket would spoil the look of the Mini dash.
I do agree that component is the way to go. I was wondering what the current speaker sizes are so I could weigh out my options and see what would be the easiest to install?
It will all depend on your budget, but my personal preference would be going with Helix. It's a high end German audio company and their prices are on-par with most off the shelf brands surprisingly.
Info on all their products can be found at helixhifi . com
6.5" Helix Esprit components would come in at about $350 plus shipping(Sorry if you weren't in CA I could skirt the shipping ).
An 8 or 10 inch Esprit sub would be perfect in a MINI as they're a shallow mount sub. I swear by them in tight spaces because it's the only shallow mount that has ever actually impressed me with sound. They're amazing for what they are. Would be about $150 plus shipping
Then the Helix B4 amp for $350 plus shipping would power all of those items beautifully.
At that point it would be either to find a nice Alpine head unit you like(if there's a dash kit available for the Countryman), or find the right 4-channel line output converter.
That is my personal opinion on how to do it simple, semi-budget-friendly while still getting top quality products with great sound quality.
Thanks on the recommendation of Helix gear I was actually wondering about them as I never heard of them before. Funny thing is that I am good friends with past and present members of the band HELIX. A Helix system in my car would be totally suitable.
As for budget, I am trying to keep in under a grand total. Do you sell Car Audio?
I do. I actually work as a sales rep of sorts for rainbow audio for forum members and other people who.do not have a local dealer. Obviously working with the north American rainbow distributor, I also have access to getting people into other high end brands they import like helix, micro precision, genesis etc. Unfortunately I don't make money on anything but rainbow . The reason I went with helix rather than rainbow for this recommendation is that they have great prices on those items and rainbows current line still isn't in north America yet, so I can only sell what's still in stock from the previous line and were quickly running out of the "affordable" stuff.
HELIX sounds exactly like what I am looking for according to the descriptions I have read online. I just have to get the car and obtain the speakers at the same time.
What size speakers are in the rear of the car? The 6.6 Components in front will be ideal. What else is in the car? I would like to replace all the stock speakers.
One good way to have more money to put where it counts is to pass up on rears. With a good front stage and sub, rear speakers will simply drag your soundstGe behind you and possibly hurt the sound. I would leave the stock rear speakers as they are and use that money towards the rest of the audio system.
I also have decided that since high end audio upgrades and audiophile sound aren't really most MINI owners priorities(from my short time scanning through the forums), no one has gone too in depth and there are a lot of unanswered questions when someone does ask about these kinds of upgrades. Because of this, I'm going to be doing a somewhat extensive write-up of all the basics soon. Can't tonight, but maybe tomorrow or later this weekend I will do it. Just to clear up a lot of questions.
I am a huge music fan and like good sound. I am not into compressed mp3's. I want to hear the music as it was intended. Looking forward to your write-up. Once I get my Mini I will document the Audio Upgrade with photo's.
You are probably a couple of weeks or so ahead of me. I am looking into a full speaker upgrade on my R56 Cooper S. new speakers, a custom subwoofer enclosure, a 3 channel amp and line output convertor (As I don't believe preouts are available from the factory Boost CD player).
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