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Old 4th November 2007, 04:26 AM   #1
phrarod is offline phrarod  United States
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Default Need speaker and amp advice for a new Mini Cooper

We just got a 2007 R56 Mini Cooper. The stereo sounds worse than a $10 boom box.

Naturally space is tight amp wise but I would like something decent to drive a 3-way in the front and a pair of 6X9s in the back.

Also I would love to see what you guys recommend speaker wise. The fronts are 5.25s and 3.5s I would add a tweeter. The rears are 6x9s. I would like to turn the rears into as close to subs as possible as there's just not room to put a sub in this car. Its my wife's and she wants every bit of space. But I have to listen to the ratty stereo if we go in the car which is a blast to drive just hell to listen to....

Thanks in advance for all the advice.
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Old 5th November 2007, 12:34 AM   #2
ppia600 is offline ppia600  United States
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Location: Louis y ana
Must be some kind of base model system. I've only seen four or five and they all had very nice multi component speaker setups. They sounded very nice as well, for such a small car. If it is a base system, try to find some eclipse components for the front and eclipse for the back as well. They are pretty efficient as well, so a small four channel would be fine. I remember seeing a few customers come in with these weird off brand super tiny/thin amps that I thought were IC based cheapos. They were actually bridgeable with nice crossovers and built in fans! I can't remember the brand, but they were a bronz-ish color and only about 1 by 5 by 8 inches! The name reminded me of performance teknique, but that wasn't it. I'd really buy one of them just to take them apart and look.

Oh sorry, back to the subject. Yeah, I was surprised at the output of the above mentioned amps, in one application, we bridged it into two channels and ran two 10" subs in a customer's underseat box. I was very impressed. You could probably fit one under a seat in your cooper. I'm going to go look around and see if I can figure out the brand...
Don't worry... you can always turn the gain down!
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Old 5th November 2007, 02:22 AM   #3
phrarod is offline phrarod  United States
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We didn't go for the upgraded system because for the extra money I would rather spend it on something far better. People with the upgraded system option complain bitterly about the sound. Maybe the amp is a bit better and they get a tweeter but the components seem to be about the same quality.

I would love to hear whatever you come up with. I'm hoping to do this intelligently and select some drivers from quality but maybe not well know companies. Most owners I read about go for Focal but I think they're really over priced. I could be wrong. I know I found a pair of Assassin subs for my car that blew away name brands costing 10x the price. That's what I'm hoping for .
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Old 5th November 2007, 02:36 PM   #4
Clipped is offline Clipped  Thailand
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budget? price ranges are wide.

Focals are way over priced for what you get, in France they are nothing special.

if you got the bucks look into SEAS...Dynaudio...Image Dynamics isnt too expensive and good quality and can get relatively low...Morel for a more budget setup with good performance on the lower lines.

Try powering them with the power from the deck first, then upgrade to an amp if its not loud enough.

Youd be surprised how loud the power from the cd player can get...
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Old 5th November 2007, 02:51 PM   #5
phrarod is offline phrarod  United States
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The system has a small amp in the rear already so its more than just the deck powering the system. I agree about the Focals. I'll look into your other suggestions. A local shop quoted Dynaudio and they were quite expensive....
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Old 5th November 2007, 02:56 PM   #6
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Gen1 New Mini's 2 levels of audio system took very few (in % terms) Gen2 the customer knew better and re-developed the system themselves now it is inline with the full complement of vehicles in the group

Remember (and this forum back my point perfectly) it is very difficult to satisfy everyones tastes with acoustic reproduction and making it relative to all possible media tastes.

Check the sizes of the speakers again and the packagable size of component that 'could' be used in their place.

Note that the door cavity is larger than the rear 1/4 cavity.

...and if you wanted a light (in weight) amplifier setup then buy a few Si T-amps, a few DC/DC SMPS and a gain bias Elec.x-over...

I cannot comment personally on the Gen2 system, i do know it bares no relation to Gen1.


I'd be interested to know what route you decide to take.
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Old 5th November 2007, 03:06 PM   #7
phrarod is offline phrarod  United States
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As you know its not possible to change the head unit anymore. The gen 2 are integrated. I sure about the sizes as there's been a great many post about them but people here are right some have gotten a 6.5 in the 5.25 hole. Since it new I'd rather not do any cutting.

You just have to go onto NAM of Mini2 to hear what people think of the Gen 2 systems. Its pretty bad. Here's a link showing all the speakers and placements.

I really like T-amps as I've played with some DIY ones (Charlize) at home and got excellent results. It would be great to track some down. Do you know anyone who makes them for the car? I had asked the makers of the Charlize but I would need a pair that are mono and they only make the 15W stereo.
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Old 5th November 2007, 03:52 PM   #8
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...if you select your components cleverly (i.e. sensitivity not 'aftermarket' power-handling figures) low wattage T-Class will be fine if you are audiophilic rather than a bass-head...

Hmmm its very sad about the new version of Mini not following on from its industry successes of the first Gen.

The Charlize is a little too sensative/precious IMO for a vehicle application, why not just use Si amps (modify the ones you'll use for the bass/lo-bass speakers of course) - its DIY but very easy and overall its very light-weight....

efficiency is way forward
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Old 5th November 2007, 03:58 PM   #9
phrarod is offline phrarod  United States
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Definitely more audiophile than bass head. What would the effieciency of the speakers have to be? Aren't these T-amps discontinued?

No problem with DIY. That's why I'm in the forum.

I'm not sure how to tri-amp as you're suggesting. How can I bridge three T-amps to do that.
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Old 6th November 2007, 08:09 AM   #10
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Sorry for the delay;
...lets say you have a 3-way setup in the front, and the 6x9's in the back (rear 1/4).
...this would require a total of 3 t-amps;
1x tw + mid (tw will have to have cap as pass filter/protection)
1x front bass
1x rear bass

3x DC/DC 12v SMPS, one for each.

1x eletronic x-over, pref. one which accepts speaker level.

locate the Front channel signal in the wiring, route this to the elec x-over (remember to always have the headunit fader on full front). Elec x-over splits the signal and provides line level to each amp. Each amp has its own gain relative to a consistent input (normally you'll find a gain for each ch on the elec x-over too).

Gen2 t-amps are selling now, slightly better packaged than before.

As for speakers, higher the efficiency the better, 90+, and better if they're all the same load (easier to balance with the variable input and the convoluted path the signal makes).

fun project, clear reproduction, very light-weight and very low power draw
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