F20 LCI Base audio to Gladen 201 with amp?

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jacobtc
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F20 LCI Base audio to Gladen 201 with amp?

Post by jacobtc »

So, I'm completely new to sound systems in cars, and have been trying to find a guide or something for the upgrade I'm wanting to do. So, I have a 2015 base audio F20 LCI, and have been eyeing the Gladen kit, but the consensus is that an amp is a necessary upgrade to get the most out of the speakers. However, as I have a base setup, I suppose I don't have an amp in the back, correct? I see the amps installed in the back, but I don't have the harness there to plug in to, right? How would I go about the amp install then?
Anyone that has gone the same path, that can chime in?

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Re: F20 LCI Base audio to Gladen 201 with amp?

Post by waldorf »

In my case, E88, I upgraded the speakers with gladen, and used it for a while with the standard HU. The difference was off course clearly noticeable, but you need more power to get the best out of it. Better to think it over and do it all at once in the right way, other than patching and making workarounds. Otherwise you buy the wrong stuff and pay twice at the end.

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Re: F20 LCI Base audio to Gladen 201 with amp?

Post by jacobtc »

waldorf wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 6:01 pm
In my case, E88, I upgraded the speakers with gladen, and used it for a while with the standard HU. The difference was off course clearly noticeable, but you need more power to get the best out of it. Better to think it over and do it all at once in the right way, other than patching and making workarounds. Otherwise you buy the wrong stuff and pay twice at the end.
Sure, I absolutely want to install the amp. But without the BMW amp in the back, I have found no guides or anything on how to get an amp installed. It seems like everyone either have HiFi or B&W specced F20's.

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Re: F20 LCI Base audio to Gladen 201 with amp?

Post by marco_polo »

You're going to need a 4 channel amp which accepts high level (speaker) inputs. Run the 4 pairs of speaker wires to the new amp in the boot.
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Re: F20 LCI Base audio to Gladen 201 with amp?

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marco_polo wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 7:56 pm
You're going to need a 4 channel amp which accepts high level (speaker) inputs. Run the 4 pairs of speaker wires to the new amp in the boot.
And how would my Headunit communicate with the amp?

Furthermore, I have an Android box connected with a quadlock to the headunit, so I have no idea if connecting something else to my headunit would work :cry:

I might have to go with a speaker upgrade only (Harman Kardon tweeters and mids in the front?)

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Re: F20 LCI Base audio to Gladen 201 with amp?

Post by marco_polo »

If you have any working speakers at all currently, those wires/signals can be amplified.

You don't need to communicate with the amp, it's a dumb device. It takes the weak source signal, and just makes it more powerful.

It would require a switchable electrical supply so it wakes up when the ignition is turned on, most people tap into a cigarette lighter socket.
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Re: F20 LCI Base audio to Gladen 201 with amp?

Post by jacobtc »

marco_polo wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 7:12 am
If you have any working speakers at all currently, those wires/signals can be amplified.

You don't need to communicate with the amp, it's a dumb device. It takes the weak source signal, and just makes it more powerful.

It would require a switchable electrical supply so it wakes up when the ignition is turned on, most people tap into a cigarette lighter socket.
How would the amp know when to increase the volume when I turn the dial as I'm used to, if it isn't connected to the headunit?

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Re: F20 LCI Base audio to Gladen 201 with amp?

Post by marco_polo »

No amp is connected/controlled by the HU.

An amp just makes the input signal a percentage more powerful (you can set the amount of gain). That means the volume knob on the stereo still works as usual.

Off is still off. Low will still be quiet-ish. Full volume will be much more powerful.
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Re: F20 LCI Base audio to Gladen 201 with amp?

Post by jacobtc »

marco_polo wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 7:44 am
No amp is connected/controlled by the HU.

An amp just makes the input signal a percentage more powerful (you can set the amount of gain). That means the volume knob on the stereo still works as usual.

Off is still off. Low will still be quiet-ish. Full volume will be much more powerful.
I have a real hard time figuring this out :?

Right now the speakers are connected to the headunit, correct?
When i turn the volume dial right now, the headunit receives this signal and adjusts the gain accordingly.

If I install an amp, and connect all the speakers to it, how would the amp receive the signal from the volume dial?

Sorry if I'm completely dumbfounded :o

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Re: F20 LCI Base audio to Gladen 201 with amp?

Post by marco_polo »

Right, currently it goes:

HU volume knob control > internal HU amp > speaker wires - speakers

With an amp, it goes:

HU volume knob control > internal HU amp > speaker wires (extended) > amp > new speaker wires - speakers

The new amp takes the old internally amplified signal, and for argument's sake make sit twice as powerful. So, old volume knob setting vs New equivielnt amplified volume:

0 = 0
1 = 2
2 = 4
4 = 8
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Re: F20 LCI Base audio to Gladen 201 with amp?

Post by jacobtc »

marco_polo wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 10:44 am
Right, currently it goes:

HU volume knob control > internal HU amp > speaker wires - speakers

With an amp, it goes:

HU volume knob control > internal HU amp > speaker wires (extended) > amp > new speaker wires - speakers

The new amp takes the old internally amplified signal, and for argument's sake make sit twice as powerful. So, old volume knob setting vs New equivielnt amplified volume:

0 = 0
1 = 2
2 = 4
4 = 8
I see! Thanks for the explanation. How good is the already amplified signal coming from the HU? Amplifying an already bad signal wouldn't be the optimal solution, but is what you described a common way of doing it?

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Re: F20 LCI Base audio to Gladen 201 with amp?

Post by marco_polo »

Amplifying an amplified signal isn't ideal as you say, aftermarket HU's usually have a low level (pre-amped) output to avoid that. But the double amp set-up is exactly how BMW's Alpine Upgrade works, so I guess they don't consider it to be a terrible idea. You'd certainly want an amp with decent fidelity, so not to introduce too much noise.
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Re: F20 LCI Base audio to Gladen 201 with amp?

Post by jacobtc »

marco_polo wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 11:57 am
Amplifying an amplified signal isn't ideal as you say, aftermarket HU's usually have a low level (pre-amped) output to avoid that. But the double amp set-up is exactly how BMW's Alpine Upgrade works, so I guess they don't consider it to be a terrible idea. You'd certainly want an amp with decent fidelity, so not to introduce too much noise.
Thanks, do you have a suggestion for an amp?

Also, the connector for the speakers seems proprietary, so are there adapter cables which would make this easier?

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Re: F20 LCI Base audio to Gladen 201 with amp?

Post by marco_polo »

I don't have a specific recommendation, why not have a chat with some local car stereo installers. I'd get at least 3 quotes for supplying and fitting if you're not sure how to wire it all up.
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Re: F20 LCI Base audio to Gladen 201 with amp?

Post by jacobtc »

marco_polo wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 1:06 pm
I don't have a specific recommendation, why not have a chat with some local car stereo installers. I'd get at least 3 quotes for supplying and fitting if you're not sure how to wire it all up.
Okay, well I won't have a problem with a challenge fitting it myself :P

Furthermore, I just contacted Bimmertech which sells a similar Android box as mine, and they told me that it should be possible to link together a cable like this for an amp: https://www.audison.eu/products/ap-t-h-bmw01/ and the Android box... Thats a lot of quad link connectors behind the HU!

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