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5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum)

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Old 04-17-2004, 02:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Just picked up a 528i... no owners manual came with it and I'm trying to figure out what features this baby has. I think it has the Premium Sound System but would like to verify if I do and maybe find out exactly what does "Premium Sound" really mean??
What other options should I also be trying to determine. Not know what was availale makes it harder to figure out what I have and what I don't have.

I appologize in advance for the many questions I'm certain to have on my new ride.

Ken
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Old 04-17-2004, 04:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If you can find DSP (digital signal processing) soundfield options such as Concert Hall, Jazz, Rock, Memory-1 and Memory-2 (for custom DSP settings), and effects such as echo and reverb then you have Premium Sound. Hunt through the audio system menus for these options.

Premium sound also gives you 12 speakers if I remember correcctly as opposed to 8 (?) for standard sound.
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Old 04-17-2004, 05:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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in my 7 series with premium sound i have 10 speakers if you count the tweeters as separate speakers. 4 mids in the doors, 4 tweeters, and 2 woofers int he rear deck.
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Old 04-17-2004, 07:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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also, not meaning to hijack the thread but does the premium system have an external amp? thanks.
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Old 04-17-2004, 08:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Not sure what you mean by "external amp", but if you're asking whether the amp is located in an accessible spot such as in the trunk or under the front seats, then yes the amp is external, but I'm not sure of the location.
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Old 04-17-2004, 08:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Well @!%!@#, I just ran out to the car and had a closer examination of my system... It's not the premium sound system (no DSP). I guess I sort of expected that based on the overal sound quality it had but I was holding out hope that the DSP was just adjusted to some funky settings. No such luck for me.

I know that adding speakers and such would be potentially price prohibitive but how how about swaping out the head unit itself in oder to get the DSP stuff... can that be done easily? cheaply?? Would it be as simple as swaping out the head unit?
Thanks
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Old 04-17-2004, 09:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Frankly the premium sound system on that model is not worth it. I drove a '97 528i for 4 years and more than 90% of the time I kept DSP switched off. BMW significantly improved the audio (standard and premium) in the 2001 model year. Don't know whether the speakers or the electronics are to blame for the lackluster audio, but if you're keeping this car and yearning for better sound, I encourage you to investigate third-party options. I wouldn't change the faceplate, but I would consider changing the amp and/or speakers.
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Old 04-18-2004, 12:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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cpuken - i have been a car audio buff for a while and can explain some things for you if you want to PM me for a fast reply.
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Old 04-18-2004, 07:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by ksz@Apr 17 2004, 10:29 PM
Frankly the premium sound system on that model is not worth it. I drove a '97 528i for 4 years and more than 90% of the time I kept DSP switched off. BMW significantly improved the audio (standard and premium) in the 2001 model year. Don't know whether the speakers or the electronics are to blame for the lackluster audio, but if you're keeping this car and yearning for better sound, I encourage you to investigate third-party options. I wouldn't change the faceplate, but I would consider changing the amp and/or speakers.
Others have said the same thing about the quality... I tell you what though, the two 528s I've driven the last week... the audio quality was night and day difference. The car I now have doesn't have the premium sound I was honestly beginning to think that there was something wrong with the system... it sounds that poor. Compared to the stereo I heard in the car last week... that one sounded pretty good, crisp and clear. Maybe I can play with the bass/treble and adjust it so that it can be tolerated.

You bring up a good point about identifying the weak components. I'm curious what the weak link is. I don't need to have some huge woofers and thousands of watts... I mainly listen to some light jazz or R&B. A little base is nice but clarity and crisp sound is more important to me.

If the amp is the week link then I would think that would be an easy/sort-of-cheap upgrade. As you suggest, I have no intention in changing the face-plate, appearance from whats stock.
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