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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let em preface this by saying that I am not an audiophile. I'm in the process of deciding to buy a MCSC and am trying to decide whether to upgrade to the HK stereo. I'm not getting the Premium package (don't like the auto a/c). Anyways, for someone like me that simply wants to be able to hear the stereo while driving 80/90 with the top down is the standard stereo fine. Or should I seriously consider the HK stereo at $550. Remember I'm not an audiophile. Sorry if this has been asked before but I couldn't find it when I scrolled through the various posts. Thanks.
 

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I found this review helpful - it may not answer your question with regards to the convertable aspect - but it's a start.

http://www.motoringfile.com/2003/05/12/the_harman_kardon_stereo_system_reviewed

This paragraph being particularly relevant:

"If, on the other hand, you are looking for a reasonably powerful, musical, wide-range stereo, one which can be configured to optimize the front seat listening experience or provide music for all, this might just be the system for you. If you enjoy "audiophile" stereo systems at home, this may just be the system for you. If you don't want to loose foot room or trunk space and want to keep the nondescript (though excellent) Boost front-end unit to deter theft, this might just be the system for you. Also remember, when installed at the time of purchase, this stereo is also covered for the duration of the MINI's warranty."

Personally I found that in my 02 Cooper the standard stereo was very impressive on it's own, and most of the 40k miles I did were on the motorways at lets just say "high speed". Personally I do like the audio and will be getting HK in my 05 MCS.

Depends how far you've got to go - and how much the comments relating to your post sway you - but I'd pay a visit to a dealer (having checked they have a HK and STD unit in) armed with your favourite CD's...
 

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I have the HK in my MCSC and had the standard stereo in my previous MC. The difference in sound quality is very noticeable. The HK sounds much richer than the standard stereo. Combine that with the added features like the driver-focused sound (particularly useful when driving w/ the top down), and I think the HK is a great addition to the convertible. A must-have? Probably not. But IMHO it is worth the money if you're not worried about cost.
 

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My opinion - not worth it.

My opinion is that while the HK does sound better when the car is off, it doesn't sound appreciably better when you're actually driving.

Also, this to me is a bigger deal - it's easier to replace a non HK stereo later. All the wiring is up front behind the dash, which means if in a few years you want to replace the head unit with the latest gizmos, it will be less messy install.

But if you have the opportunity to listen to both at your dealer, you really should. I could definitely hear the difference in the showroom, but out on the highway, my friend's Cooper doesn't sound appreciably better than mine. (He has an HK system in an '03 MCS).
 

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I have Harmon Kardon-By the souinds of it the Boost system will do just fine for you, and what was previously said-You can quite easily upgrade the Head Unit at a later date. :)
I personally like the harmon Kardon as it saves space as if I wanted standard I would want a Sub of some sort-With H/K u don't need a Sub so does me well! :)
 

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I have the standard Boost CD system and find it quite impressive for a no charge factory system.
Have not heard the H/K system so can't offer an opinion of it.
I am an audiophile when it comes to home stereo, but in the car with the road noise I'm not that fussy, and find the standard unit surprisingly good.
You may have to listen to both systems to decide for yourself.
 

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MotorCityMadman
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If you are just looking for a decent system with clear sound that you can enjoy with the top down, the standard Boost system will be adequate enough. It is very good for a stock system.
 

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HK System

I have the standard stereo system in my 02 Mini and it does an adequate job. Last summer I had a loner car for two days with the HK system. I think the difference is significant. My cds sounded much richer and clearer. It made me order the HK on my new MINI (sailing as we speak!).
 

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I was contemplating this thread while I was driving around this small island today. One factor not discussed is what sort of driving are you doing. If you're like me doing practically all short drives the HK system would be overkill. (My drive to work usually takes about 1 1/2 to 2 songs.) If you do a lot of long distance drives the HK might be worthwhile. However I would rate an IPOD as a more important audio option.
 

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oldpaint1 said:
I was contemplating this thread while I was driving around this small island today. One factor not discussed is what sort of driving are you doing. If you're like me doing practically all short drives the HK system would be overkill. (My drive to work usually takes about 1 1/2 to 2 songs.) If you do a lot of long distance drives the HK might be worthwhile. However I would rate an IPOD as a more important audio option.
Yes, but h/k with XM or Sirius is too good to pass up!!! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all of the input. I think I've decided to just go with the standard system. I've got a relatively short drive to work everyday (about 15 minutes). Only about 5 minutes of which is at speed on the highway (3 exits). The rest is city street driving. Again, thanks.
 

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HK ...just ok.

I opted out of the HK. It was ok, but to my ears not $550 worth. For that kind of money, I can do better in the aftermkt on my own! Had to wonder: "If it's that good, why are people upgrading the HK anyway?" Expecting week of April 18. With half a g-note to spend, the shops around here will welcome me with open arms! And I'll get it EXACTLY the way I want it to sound.
Hugh
 

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HK bad idea...

I did not go for HK on my new car as i wanted the freedom to change the HU, i know people make a module to allow you to fudge a aftermarket HU to the HK system, but i think the standard speakers sound so much better when you add your own HU. also you can upgrade the speakers if you go for the standard option. you will only upset the HK tunned setup if you change the speakers in a HK system.

HK take pride in matching the speakers to the output of the AMP therefore if you mess about with it you might end up making it sound worse.

Do what i did order the basic of basic RC and change it for something with a bit more power. the standard HU will give out about 11Watts per channel as where my new Pioneer MP3 gives out 45Watts per channel, and i have the option to add a small 4X100W amp and upgrade the speakers or add a bass tube/box. there are loads of kits and idea's on the net.

The way i see it.. if you want a out of the box good all round sound system with out messing around with the car, then order the HK system with the CD player (plays MP3's as well. see forums) but if you want the freedom to upgrade bit by bit and have the flexibility to change you HU when something new and better comes out the order the basis HU and upgrade. far more iPod options and DVD or satnav systems.

hope this helps.

Simon
 

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MotorCityMadman
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The h/k is a tremendous option for those people who enjoy listening to music in their cars without wanting to fuss with aftermarket hassles, enter into competitions, or masquerade their manhood through 12" cones. The h/k system in the MINI is the best out-of-box factory system in the auto world today. Definitely not to be made light of. A solid value for those who apprecaite it for what it was meant.
 

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Cooper76 said:
The h/k system in the MINI is the best out-of-box factory system in the auto world today. Definitely not to be made light of. A solid value for those who apprecaite it for what it was meant.

NOT

It's decent, but no WAY the best out there OEM. Ford has better systems (MACH), VW has better systems (Monsoon) just to name a couple.
 

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I agree ... I have lusted after a Lexus SC; one reason (apart from its looks) is the absolutely stunning sound system installed in it - it was on display at a Boston car show one year and sounded like a concert! :D
Of course, the car is $70K+ ...
 
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