R56 (pre 2010) vs R56 LCI (2010 onwards) Audio differences? - MINI Cooper Forum

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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old Sep 15th, 2015, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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R56 (pre 2010) vs R56 LCI (2010 onwards) Audio differences?

There are many, many threads on the internet about upgrading the audio in the R56, but none of them differentiate between the pre 2010 R56 and the post March 2010 LCI version in which there seem to have been some changes.

From what I gleen:
  • The mess with the cut off frequency in the earlier version (that is fixed by the famous "channel swap") seems to have been fixed . I read somewhere that the channel swap makes very little difference on the LCI version.
  • The HiFi version has been discontinued - the only options are the Boost system and the HK system.
  • The sound overall is much better on the LCI version. I'm not sure whether this is just because they have sorted out the frequency cut off or any other changes they have made.

Does anyone know of any other differences?

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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old Sep 16th, 2015, 07:52 AM
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Yup, I totally agree with that observation, having owned and channel-swapped both models.

In fact, I've carried my channel swap + pillar tweeter kit from newMINIstuff through three R56s before fitting it my latest LCI. Out of interest I 'channel-swapped' this one before adding the tweeters - and there was no real difference; certainly no 100Hz cut-off noticeable as before.

(I vaguely remember the story seemed to be that in the non-LCI R56 treble was originally fed to the larger rear speakers and the bass was fed to the smaller front speakers. These were limited by a 100kHz filter and if you swapped them back-to-front then full bass was resumed from the rear and more 'middle' frequencies from the front. I found I needed extra treble (hence front pillar tweeters) to 'complete' the balance and lift the soundstage...)

I ran it for a while 'swapped' before connecting the pillar tweeters back in as well. The bass is 'back' anyway and the extra treble from the tweeters is just about cost-effective (imo it was a no-brainer before)

The whole sound has definitely improved on the LCI, but it's not such a great degree of improvement as before. I rather think the filter's been removed...

Am I being cynical by thinking it was a 'trick' that was all about lacing BMW profits by fuelling the need to upgrade to 'hi-fi' in the earlier R56s and HK in the later versions? Hmm...

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