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M2 Technical Topics > Navigation, iDrive, Audio, Video, Bluetooth, Phone, Cameras, Electronics > Swapped out HK tweeters

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      10-12-2021, 11:32 AM   #1
thejoninator12
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Swapped out HK tweeters

Just thought I'd share an "experiment" that I wanted to try. The HK metal tweeters always seemed a bit harsh to me, especially at high volume. I also didn't like how you could see the silver tweeter through the mesh of the tweeter pod or "corner Molding" (as BMW calls it) too. So I wanted to try and eventually swap them out for a silk dome or something else. I know most stock speakers are very efficient so I thought a new silk dome speaker that isn't as efficient should tone down the harshness and the volume a bit. I had some Morel Tempo Ultra tweeters from my last car that I thankfully got out before selling it, but figured they'd be way too big and wouldn't fit. I looked up the Match component speakers that are a direct fit for the f87 on their website to see if they had a size diagram and they did. The installation diameter said 41mm. So I checked the size of the Morels that I have and they were about 42mm. I figured it was close enough to try so I did. To my surprise they actually fit. They're definitely snug but they fit. I checked polarity of the stock tweeters with a test "pop" track from the Audio Control Mobile Tools app and my polarity tester I got off amazon and both had positive polarity or they were "in phase". I cut the stock tweeter from the capacitor and just twisted the wires together to the new tweeter and tested polarity again to find out which wires were positive and negative. On my car the yellow was positive and the yellow with red stripe was negative. I soldered them in and I'm going to test them out hopefully this week.
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      10-12-2021, 02:01 PM   #2
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So, basically attempting to make up for the crummy filter settings in the Amp? But, more importantly: do you normally drive while staring at the base of the a-pillar?
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      10-20-2021, 09:32 PM   #3
thejoninator12
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I don't know if I'd call them crummy filter settings. I think that the EQ that Harman set is really quite nice. I guess let me start by saying I'm no "car audio" pro but I would say that I have a good idea of what music is supposed to sound like. Growing up, my dad was in a band playing guitar and singing. I started playing instruments is middle school band, played drums in my high school marching band, and then helped teach the year after I graduated and have been playing drums in a local blues band ever since high school (15 years). So music has always been a big part of my life. Unfortunately whenever I hear music, I immediately hear stuff that's incorrect.

So for this car I found that the sub bass wasn't high enough, mid bass was good, mid range was good, and the highs at a regular volume (about half to three quarters up) we're ok. But when the volume was turned up almost all the way, which is where I like to listen to it, on the interstate with the windows rolled down, the highs were very harsh and starting to distort. Someone I've learned a lot from, and who I consider a car audio guru, Dean Beyett of 5star car stereo said, most premium factory audio systems (HK, Bose, Etc) are still lacking in the high highs and the low lows. So that's where I started.

I installed a sub first. I used the technic PNP harness and am using a Rockford p300-10 all in one sub and amp. It filled in the low end perfectly. I turned it up slightly under where I wanted it, and then turned the bass up on the stereo. That way it got the sub bass up where I wanted it and mid bass from the under seat speakers up to match and help it blend. It's not delayed with the factory time alignment which bothers me but there's no way around that.

Then I tried the tweeters. Which if you've never heard Morel higher end speakers with some real power you're missing out. They're quite exceptional and very natural sounding. The factory amp is sending a signal with a high pass filter of probably around 200ish hertz and up to the midrange, (I didn't break out the RTA) and then the tweeter taps off the midrange with a capacitor wired in to filter out the rest of the mid range in the signal. So I imagined the tweeter speaker itself had more to do with the quality of sound at those frequencies than the amp.

After replacing them I found what I thought was pretty spot on. The volume of the tweeter is lower for sure. The morel tweeters are much less efficient, meaning it takes more power to get the same level of volume out of them as the HK. But once I turned the treble up on the stereo they really came alive. The volume is there just like the HK's but it's not harsh and distorted at high volume, I'm talking 3 clicks from max. They're very smooth and natural sounding. The other 3 tweeters (1 dash and 2 rear deck) are the same metal ones but they're not on axis with your ears like the door pod ones. I don't imagine they have the same harsh effect since their bouncing around and dying down before they hit your ear.

I think this is the reason you have company's like Bavsound and Audiotec Fischer or Match making speaker replacements claiming it will make a huge difference. Basically every premium system still has pretty shit speakers. Their goal is to make a product of speakers and an amp that work together to make better sound than the base sound system that the majority of people will find pleasing, and make it as cheap as they possibly can.

So in my opinion, a few tweaks can make a dramatic difference and I feel what I did drastically changed the sound for the better.

Last edited by thejoninator12; 10-21-2021 at 11:32 AM..
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      10-21-2021, 10:00 PM   #4
chris719
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thejoninator12 View Post
I don't know if I'd call them crummy filter settings. I think that the EQ that Harman set is really quite nice.
I don't doubt the Morel tweeters are better, but the filters of the stock system are not tuned correctly at all. The measurements that Savagegeese did on an F22 show really bad frequency response and there is a vendor here that also showed massive deviations (+/-10db) from flat in the wrong places.

Replacing the amp helps not because the amp is grossly distorting, but because the DSP is in the amp and the filters look to be designed by Harman interns.

The stock tweeter sounds harsh not because it's cheap, or because it's a metal dome, but because it's only got got a first order passive crossover (cap) and it's being abused by the signal delivered to it. I've built better sounding systems with ultra cheap paper cone drivers. The key is treating them correctly.

I also thought that upgrading the speakers would be the first thing to do, but that was before I discovered how poorly designed this system is.
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