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      10-03-2016, 08:01 PM   #1
Seamaster2221
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M2 HK Sound System Review vs DynAudio 600W

Since picking up my LLB M2 two weeks ago after the Diff debacle I settled into listen to the sound system. My initial reaction was one of disappointment. The thing I noticed were the factory settings were set to max treble and neutral bass I started to experiment. I took the opportunity to rate this against my friend Steve's Dynaudio system in his VW Passat, which I had been impressed with immensely. Bavsound was in the back of my mind or a custom fitted sub initially as options.

• HK 12-channel digital amplifier with 360 Watts total output power


• Dynaudio 16-channel digital amplifier with 680 Watts total output power

Here are our thoughts.


Gary's thoughts


I'm not the only one - Track 5 - Sam Smith

• Dynaudio 10-channel digital amplifier with 600 Watts total output power


• Appeared boomy and started to distort and higher volume on the low frequencies
• Greater soundstage, vast and expansive
• Can achieve a higher volume
• Lower absolute base



• HK 12-channel digital amplifier with 360 Watts total output power


• What it gave away in higher volume and absolute low range bass in frequency it gained on over precision and tightness in sound.
• The sound came across as more nimble.
• Sam Smith's voice is less pitchy
• Not as fatiguing to the listener




Strange love - Track 3 - Depeche Mode

• Dynaudio 16-channel digital amplifier with 680 Watts total output power


• Fan and percussion spinning at beginning of track was precise
• Good spread on the low end boomy and started to distort and higher volume on the low frequencies
• Greater soundstage, vast and expansive
• Nice vocals
• Lower absolute base

• HK 12-channel digital amplifier with 360 Watts total output power


• Fan and percussion spinning at beginning of track was precise
• Layers of sound head clearly between drums , percussions and vocals.
• Bass was there but not as well spread in depth. Like comparing a 10 – 12 inch sub.


Tighten Up track 1- Black Keys

• Dynaudio 16-channel digital amplifier with 680 Watts total output power


• This track starts off with whistling and then snare drums kick in with vocals.
• It’s a busy track but the sounds came out slightly muddled
• Lower absolute base again. You could feel the air pump out with each drum beat.


• HK 12-channel digital amplifier with 360 Watts total output power


• What it gave away in higher volume and absolute low range bass in frequency it gained on over precision and tightness in sound.
• Surprisingly more precise then the Dyna with more clarity in highs and mid
• Punchy sound
• Not as fatiguing to the listener



Overall the HK can achieve similar levels of volume, that is loud before it became an uncomfortable ear bleed situation.

Both system did not have an Equaliser setting function and have auto equalisation sensors

Both systems were set on neutral for treble and bass
HK will gain some needed low end spread in dialling up the bass setting by three notches where the Dyna will compound its bass end distortion if the same is applied.

Lastly, I wanted to compare the system whilst initially thinking the HK was lacking across the board to the Dynaudio system based on memory, actual testing provided a few surprises. Firstly, the HK system was not all that behind in precision and clarity and in some tracks it wins. The sound staging is enhanced with the Dynaudio with a greater sound stage and deeper low end bass. This is achieved with more power, more speakers and bigger cabin of the Passat over the M2. Lastly, I was surprised with the levels of distortion of the Dyna whilst the bass of the Black Key Drums were all enveloping, the depth in bass distorted in the Sam Smith track to a point where it was tiring to listen to. It leaves me more accepting to live with and even appreciate the HK system whilst it is small in soundstage and can never dream for it to reach the low end of the Dyna it is more precise more often.

Setting the HK system’s Bass by +3 and listening the entire Black Keys CD I have noticed that the bass of the HK sits so forward in front of the drive almost at feet level that one wouldn’t know that subs sit under the seats. They only trigger for noticeable subwoofer involvement is to artificially force them to get involved by dialling up bass setting to 6+. With the Dyna it is obvious that a couple of rockets are below the cushions of the seats.

Steve's comments:
Treble - staging arguably better on the Dynaudio. But I could not really perceive too much difference in treble otherwise.

Midrange - I think were similar on both systems

Bass - biggest difference between the systems. The Dynaudio clearly has more volume/power but I think the M2's system was tighter with less distortion on all 3 tracks particularly noticeable in the Sam Smith track.

I have to say I was surprised at the distortion coming out of the Dynaudio this morning, have not noticed as much distortion on other days. But the M2 definitely has tighter, more controlled bass even if not as punchy or with as much volume.

I wouldn't bother upgrading the M2 sound system, I still think you also have to worry about possible warranty issues.
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      10-03-2016, 09:33 PM   #2
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Thanks for the write up. Is this a MY '17 or '16 M2?
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      10-03-2016, 09:53 PM   #3
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Yes, since the MY17 HK audio has the big improvement over MY16, would be important to know which one you are reviewing.
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      10-07-2016, 12:56 PM   #4
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Hate to say it, but there are several glaring A/B deficiencies in this test that completely void many of your conclusions. Among them:
- Playback source. To properly judge sound quality, the source should be the same. Exactly the same. By nature, the systems in the VW and the BMW will be different. For all you know, the perceived inaccuracy of the Dynaudio may be attributable to the DAC in the VW system.
- Wattage figures. Channels and wattage in car audio are not directly comparable in several regards because one system may feed one channel that drives, say, the front-door midrange driver one wattage figure, while another system will feed that same channel and location another wattage figure. Plus: are those wattages RMS or peak?
- Volume. Amp power is only one factor that contributes to this. Speaker sensitivity, ohm rating, proximity to the ear are all also factors. None are considered here.

The "preciseness" you may be hearing in the HK may simply be its DSP bias toward lower mids and lower highs -- particularly through the HK tweeters, which are known to approach Focal levels of treble harshness. Some ears read that as 'crispness' and 'preciseness' when the opposite is actually true, particularly when one thing that you note happens: the Dynaudio system can handle lower lows. That tells me that the Dynaudio amp could very well be feeding more power to the lower end at the expense of mids and highs, which require far, far less power to be clear.

Another telltale that the HK is not accurate: vocals. You note that vocals are more clear through the Dynaudio system. A poorly balanced system will reproduce vocals unevenly, to the point where lower frequencies drown vocals out. The HK system reportedly does this badly. Apparently, the effect on the Dynaudio system isn't as pronounced.

It's a nice writeup, but seriously flawed. Use at your discretion.
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      01-04-2019, 06:10 PM   #5
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HK garbage compared to my dynaudio.

I say this with a centre speaker in my 5.2.4 home setup that costs as much as a high end soundbar.
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      01-09-2019, 08:25 AM   #6
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I'm quite happy with the HK system in the M2, when I'm actually listening to it instead of listening to the N55 sing. And I consider myself someone who has put a fair amount of time and energy into learning about audio systems, both 2-channel and home theater; my current dedicated 2-channel listening room is based around Audio Research amplification running Wilson Benesch composite and carbon fiber-cabinet stand mount speakers. I'm sure the B&W Diamond system in the M5 sounds better, but my car didn't cost $125K.
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      03-30-2019, 11:03 AM   #7
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Aside from the lack of EQ, I'm guessing the HK in my M2C will be essentially the same as my the HK in my '16 M4. I found that system was transformed into a really high quality system with the addition of MusicarNW's level 2 sub kit. The set up filters out the low bass frequencies for the underseat woofers so that they are effectively mid-bass drivers and it sends them more power. Between that and the trunk sub the system was nothing-short of awesome, IMO. I'm currently working with MusicarNW to build me a new harness so that I can move that system over to my M2C when it arrives. Looking forward to hearing it. Hopefully, I get similar results.
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      03-30-2019, 08:39 PM   #8
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Pure delusion if you think the dynaudio is anywhere near HK. HK has no modern pedigree in hi-fi, at least on speakers. The dynaudio systems are also DSP time aligned, there's an over half hour YouTube video of all the considerations that go into fitment in the cabin.
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      03-30-2019, 08:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biggripper View Post
Aside from the lack of EQ, I'm guessing the HK in my M2C will be essentially the same as my the HK in my '16 M4. I found that system was transformed into a really high quality system with the addition of MusicarNW's level 2 sub kit. The set up filters out the low bass frequencies for the underseat woofers so that they are effectively mid-bass drivers and it sends them more power. Between that and the trunk sub the system was nothing-short of awesome, IMO. I'm currently working with MusicarNW to build me a new harness so that I can move that system over to my M2C when it arrives. Looking forward to hearing it. Hopefully, I get similar results.
It isn't as close to "essentially the same" as you'd think. It's analog from the deck to the amp in back, and it's closer to an F30 Hifi system than an F30 HK System. A sub addition is easy enough, for the most part. You'll also need a new enclosure for your sub. I should really sell my F30 enclosure sometime...it's sitting all bored and lonely without a sub in it in the garage.
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      04-05-2019, 12:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bri1042 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by biggripper View Post
Aside from the lack of EQ, I'm guessing the HK in my M2C will be essentially the same as my the HK in my '16 M4. I found that system was transformed into a really high quality system with the addition of MusicarNW's level 2 sub kit. The set up filters out the low bass frequencies for the underseat woofers so that they are effectively mid-bass drivers and it sends them more power. Between that and the trunk sub the system was nothing-short of awesome, IMO. I'm currently working with MusicarNW to build me a new harness so that I can move that system over to my M2C when it arrives. Looking forward to hearing it. Hopefully, I get similar results.
It isn't as close to "essentially the same" as you'd think. It's analog from the deck to the amp in back, and it's closer to an F30 Hifi system than an F30 HK System. A sub addition is easy enough, for the most part. You'll also need a new enclosure for your sub. I should really sell my F30 enclosure sometime...it's sitting all bored and lonely without a sub in it in the garage.
I ended up salvaging as much of my Musicar Northwest system as I could. They're are sending me a new enclosure and harnesses. It'll be similar to the system from my M4 in that the amp will run the trunk sub and then send strictly mid bass signal to the underwear subs. I'm looking forward to getting it.
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      04-06-2019, 06:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biggripper View Post
I ended up salvaging as much of my Musicar Northwest system as I could. They're are sending me a new enclosure and harnesses. It'll be similar to the system from my M4 in that the amp will run the trunk sub and then send strictly mid bass signal to the underwear subs. I'm looking forward to getting it.
I plan on doing a similar thing in the long run, but I've had issues with Musicar not getting the point that I want them to work with me as if we were in different metro areas. I moved to the far west side and getting to their location is actually about a 2-hour round trip with how terrible the traffic is in the central part of the city. I only have one car, so I can't leave mine with them for multiple days unless I want to go get a rental. I was going to stop by multiple times to have them give me about an hour of assistance, but they're so short-staffed that they can't schedule it.

I love their work, but their entire business plan is centered around folk a lot richer than I am that can leave vehicles for days, and customers with schedules flexible enough to drive into the worst part of town when it's convenient for Musicar instead of workable for the customer. I work in IT, and our environment is chaos right now. I can't guarantee that I can take random days off 4 months in advance, so I may have to give up working with them if I can't get them to be willing to ship stuff across town.
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      04-06-2019, 08:08 AM   #12
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That sounds frustrating. I have noticed it can challenging to get them on the phone. I've had much better luck emailing them.

Do you already have a system that you need help installing? If so perhaps you could get an assist from another local installer.

It seems odd that they're unwilling to ship to you.
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      04-06-2019, 08:23 AM   #13
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Wait....Sam Smith? I don’t think any sound system makes him sound great.
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      04-06-2019, 09:09 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biggripper View Post
That sounds frustrating. I have noticed it can challenging to get them on the phone. I've had much better luck emailing them.

Do you already have a system that you need help installing? If so perhaps you could get an assist from another local installer.

It seems odd that they're unwilling to ship to you.
It's not that they're unwilling, it's like they just skip that line in my emails every time I bring it up. I don't have everything I need at this point. I have an amp that won't fit anywhere in the 2-series trunk, some wiring and speaker adapters disappeared when they removed the system from my 340, and I need a new sub enclosure. Their solution to the space problem is really clever rack built into the top of the trunk area, which is neat but would take them a day+ to build on top of the normal install tasks and cost $800+ just for the rack. It's just not time I can give them with the car, and I can replace the over-sized amp for the same money.

More than likely, I will come up with another solution and seek help elsewhere.
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