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Upgrade: Start Loving your Bose

 
Old 01-05-2015, 06:21 PM
  #1  
lunarx
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Default Part-1a: Tweeter Upgrade

Following the logic, that you get what you pay for; it makes sense to look at Burmester prices, to see where the corners got cut by Bose.
Items that cost triple are probably worth looking at.
In the case of the Bose, that is the Tweeters and Sub Driver.
Surprisingly all other drivers and amps don't have very large price differences.

You can compare component prices, on this link from Sunset Motors:
http://www.porschepartshub.com/auto-...nd-system-scat

My biggest complaint was the dull highs from the cl0ck radi0 grade Bose Tweeter in the dash.
I decided to try replacing it with the Burmester Tweeter, to see what happened.
Guess what, it worked great and sounds far better.
There is clarity and dynamics in the sound, that was missing before.

To assure it was not a placebo effect, I took measurements.
I confirmed Phase and Frequency Response.
Where Bose was rolling off at 5.5KHz, the Burmester Tweeters were flat to 8KHz and levels blended in nicely.

The main improvement is that the highs are not shrill. They just provide the desired dynamics, very transparently. The effect is like having a new set of mid range drivers.
Makes sense, since an AMT Driver has more effective surface area and frequency range, than many other tweeter types.

Before this, I could not stand to listen to Bose on Surround Mode. Now Surround Mode is kind of a toss-up, depending on taste and content.
These are my latest settings (as of 1/26/15):
Bass +2, Treble -1, Surround Off & Linear On.
(Pre-upgrade settings were; Bass -2, Treble -2, Surround Off & Linear Off.)
Although Surround Mode is better, post-upgrade, I found it's best to leave it off for best overall sound quality.
When parked, Linear On sounds better, but you may need Linear Off, when driving, to get the bass boost, to overcome road noise (just drop Bass to -1, if you do put Linear Off).

So do the tweeters just plug in?
Yes, although the connectors are different, they do work.
Line up as shown in picture and press the connector in.

I mounted w/ Factory Speed Nuts and Bolts.
Perhaps the Speed Nut is not the right part number but it works, if you grind it down.
Otherwise, it is too wide to let the tweeter body fit.
Note: the speed nuts install sideways.
Use a Grinding Wheel and take their width down (on both sides) from 15mm to 13mm.
Basically, get them as thin as you can, without over weakening the u-clip on each end.

Hardest part is removing the Tweeter Grills.
The forward and inside Grille Clips just pop loose.
However, the rear clip (nearest you) has prongs that don't let it release.
To get it loose, you need to pull the air vent, drop the air duct and squeeze that clip with needle nose pliers or similar.
Grill removal may best be left to a dealer, if you are not the patient methodical type.

If some of you give this a try, post back here and give your impression.

So here is the list of parts needed:
(2) Tweeter, 7PP 035 411 E
(6) Screw, M5 x 20: 999 073 498 01
(6) Sqeed Nut, M5: 999 507 556 01
(1) Left Gr1lle: 991 552 575 01 xxx
(1) Right Gr1lle: 991 552 576 01 xxx
xxx = Color
5Q0 = Black
4U0 = Platinum Gray
6W0 = Luxor Beige
8Y0 = Yachting Blue
OA6 = Agate Gray
3T0 = Espresso
OE1 = Carrera Red
DE1 = Umber
Of course, order from Sunset Motors. Luke knows what's up with this.















Last edited by lunarx; 06-07-2015 at 04:18 PM. Reason: Settings Updated
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Old 01-05-2015, 06:27 PM
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77tony
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Excellent ! Can see doing this mod in the near future. T
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Old 01-05-2015, 06:55 PM
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Great idea. The same budgetary idea works in high end home audio so you are definitely on the right track.

Thanks for the photo's as a couple things pop out. One you can tell (if you know these things) just by looking that Bose uses a very cheap tweeter. Manufacturing cost is probably around a dollar! Then they further guarantee muddy results by mounting the tweeter with a cheap clip to the plastic clip-on trim! Vibration control is KEY in high-end audio, this is just abysmally poor design!

In contrast the Burmester ribbon tweeter is not only visually obviously a more serious component, they also wisely mounted it to the frame not the trim.

A couple things about that trim piece. Because its made for the Bose it has a small circular radiating area. Looks like maybe 20% of the rectangular area of the Burmester is radiating right into solid plastic. You might want to try the Burmester trim. Check first to see if its got a different shape (perforations). It should.

The other thing is the Bose tweeter fits inside a collar that goes around the tweeter which is good it does give a little extra support and allows the tweeter to fire almost flush with the surface. But this means the Burmester is firing through what amounts to a short section of pipe which nobody does. Drivers must always be mounted flush to avoid refraction and frequency effects. (If you can measure them I tip my hat to you, sir!)

It sounds like you know enough about audio to know what I'm talking about. Compared to what you've done it would be easy to dremel off that little bit of plastic. Which would just be for kicks as the real answer is the Burmester trim piece.

As for the amps and such both versions are probably depressingly miniaturized and micro processed to death versions of quality home components. But if you really want to get into something with a huge cost to benefit ratio, go through your system looking for capacitors. Space is precious in a car and the better quality caps are huge (anywhere from the size of an AAA to D size battery) but if you can replace one of those in say a crossover network, or anywhere else in the signal path, huge improvement.

Cool to finally see someone tweaking one of these systems!
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Old 01-05-2015, 08:22 PM
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Default Part-1b: Tweeter Upgrade

Hi Chuck,

I appreciate the detailed analysis and you are right, the Burmester Grille is required.
It would be silly to fire that nice AMT Tweeter through that Bose Tweeter opening.
In fact I doubt the grille would even fit over the Burmester Tweeter, due to the Bose collar.
I will add a pic of the Burmester Grill later, you will see it is very open.

I put the part numbers up, so people know what to order now.
Its about $400 in parts to do this upgrade.
You are going from a $39 Bose Tweeter to a $135 Burmester Tweeter.

If I can ever figure out where the Sub Driver is located, I may try switching it to the Burmester Driver.
Its a cool $525 vs the Bose $164.
If needed, a booster amp with a remote Volume Control **** will be added.
http://soundstream.com/store/car-aud...st4-1000d.html
http://precisionpower.com/store/prod...l#!prettyPhoto
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_091FD13....html?tp=35834

Last edited by lunarx; 06-07-2015 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 01-05-2015, 08:44 PM
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PsychicDreamer
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Lunarx,

You are amazing for trying this.

Please, please post the Burmeister grill installed.

I'm curious to see if everything is installing properly.

If it does, I'm definitely going to perform this upgrade. The accuracy of the higher frequency is my only complaint on the Bose. This might solve that.

$400 is not bad for this test.

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Old 01-05-2015, 08:47 PM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by lunarx View Post
If I can ever figure out where the Sub Driver is located, I may try switching it to the Burmester Driver.
Might be a bit tricky to access but I'm sure it is possible.

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Old 01-05-2015, 10:31 PM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by lunarx View Post
Hi Chuck,

I appreciate the detailed analysis and you are right, the Burmester Grille is required.
It would be silly to fire that nice AMT Tweeter through that Bose Tweeter opening.
In fact I doubt the grille would even fit over the Burmester Tweeter, due to the Bose collar.
I will add a pic of the Burmester Grill later, you will see it is very open.

I put the part numbers up, so people know what to order now.
Its about $400 in parts to do this upgrade.
You are going from a $39 Bose Tweeter to a $135 Burmester Tweeter.

If I can ever figure out where the Sub Driver is located, I may try switching it to the Burmester Driver.
Its a cool $525 vs the Bose $164.
If needed, a booster amp with a remote Volume Control **** will be added.
http://soundstream.com/store/car-aud...st4-1000d.html
http://precisionpower.com/store/prod...l#!prettyPhoto
Yeah, the Bose approach to audio is kind of like the Bell Labs approach to the telephone. Instead of trying to make voices sound as lifelike as possible they realized this will cost big bucks (and bandwidth), so instead lets figure out what's the very least we can do and still be intelligible. So Bose is kinda good midrange but worse and worse at the extremes. Its hard (read: expensive) doing very high and very low frequencies right, so lets just roll 'em off, with a little extra mid bass warmth they'll never even notice the real bottom end is just plain gone. What we lack in actual performance we'll more than make up for in marketing. And that's Bose.

So you're probably on the right track again with the subs. Ordinarily there'd be no way you'd be able to swap out sub drivers like you did with the tweeters. In this case though it seems the car has dictated that both systems be nearly identical in terms of shape/size and installation. It sure looks that way on the parts page you found. Good luck pulling the dash to swap them out!

Another almost always neglected area for improvement is wire. All high end systems use very specialized wire for interconnects, speaker cables, even power cords. If you've ever compared them you will know how much improvement the right ones can make. (Not all- some are awful, while the right ones, magic.) But again because the car dictates so much I bet they use the same wiring harness for everything, from Base to Burmester. If so, HUGE opportunity!

Easiest thing to check is the power cable to the amps. Because cars run on 12v they require huge gauge to conduct current. A system as powerful as Bose should have 4 gauge, which is 1/4" diameter- which I have a hard time believing they put in a Porsche. So have a look. If you upgrade this from skinny car wire to 4 ga I think you will be surprised at improvements in dynamics, detail and effortlessness you will hear.
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Old 01-05-2015, 10:35 PM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by chuck911 View Post
Yeah, the Bose approach to audio is kind of like the Bell Labs approach to the telephone. Instead of trying to make voices sound as lifelike as possible they realized this will cost big bucks (and bandwidth), so instead lets figure out what's the very least we can do and still be intelligible. So Bose is kinda good midrange but worse and worse at the extremes. Its hard (read: expensive) doing very high and very low frequencies right, so lets just roll 'em off, with a little extra mid bass warmth they'll never even notice the real bottom end is just plain gone. What we lack in actual performance we'll more than make up for in marketing. And that's Bose. So you're probably on the right track again with the subs. Ordinarily there'd be no way you'd be able to swap out sub drivers like you did with the tweeters. In this case though it seems the car has dictated that both systems be nearly identical in terms of shape/size and installation. It sure looks that way on the parts page you found. Good luck pulling the dash to swap them out! Another almost always neglected area for improvement is wire. All high end systems use very specialized wire for interconnects, speaker cables, even power cords. If you've ever compared them you will know how much improvement the right ones can make. (Not all- some are awful, while the right ones, magic.) But again because the car dictates so much I bet they use the same wiring harness for everything, from Base to Burmester. If so, HUGE opportunity! Easiest thing to check is the power cable to the amps. Because cars run on 12v they require huge gauge to conduct current. A system as powerful as Bose should have 4 gauge, which is 1/4" diameter- which I have a hard time believing they put in a Porsche. So have a look. If you upgrade this from skinny car wire to 4 ga I think you will be surprised at improvements in dynamics, detail and effortlessness you will hear.
Chuck, have you ever thought about going on the game show Jeopardy?

How do you come up with some of this material?

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Old 01-05-2015, 11:46 PM
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Appreciate what lunarx has done above and just might go this route. Upon further review, components in both systems appear pretty small/cheesy for what Porsche is whacking us $$$ for. On a newly ordered car, I'd go with the standard $ 0 cost system, delete and look at the new Apple or Android's Car Play with built in EQ, in & outs for amp connectivity, etc. Purchase a quality 3 channel (or 2 dedicated amps), focal or equivalent component front speakers and a pair of 8" or one 10" quality sub. If capable, install yourself for huge savings or hire a custom installer familiar with 991's that will not bend you over.02 T
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Old 01-06-2015, 02:35 AM
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Originally Posted by STG991 View Post
Chuck, have you ever thought about going on the game show Jeopardy?

How do you come up with some of this material?
Seriously? Its all in the ol' noggin. Once I learned to read, off and running. Waiting for mom at the grocery store checkout I would read Reader's Digest cover to cover. The first real book I remember reading was called Red Giant's and White Dwarfs by NASA scientist Robert Jastrow.
Red Giants and White Dwarfs (Third): Robert Jastrow: 9780393850048: Amazon.com: Books Red Giants and White Dwarfs (Third): Robert Jastrow: 9780393850048: Amazon.com: Books
That was in 3rd grade. And yes I did understand it. By then I'd already learned about atoms and astronomy, physics and fusion, so it all made sense.

On the other hand I was very slow and backwards at some things that it seemed all the other guys got easily. Like, believe it or not, cars. When I took auto shop in high school it was not like the other guys to avoid 'real' classes but to actually learn how cars work- a subject I was miserable at and nearly failed. In fact I learned almost nothing. Until I had my own motorcycle and car to maintain. Then I learned- and realized my failure to learn had nothing to do with me. It was all down to people who never really understood what they were doing, and so not understanding were incapable of teaching. So I learned not to put my faith in authority or titles, you really need to always be questioning and thinking for yourself. Since then this has come up a million times over, from Mountaineers summit attempts blown because the 'leader' got disoriented (i.e., lost) (I knew where we were but I wasn't The Leader) to the ludicrous break-in 'debate' of science and reason vs authority.

In this case I've loved music from birth. Built my first amp at 13. Built my own turntable about a decade ago. http://www.teresaudio.com/fame/40.html Before that, designing my home theater, I tried something I hate doing, hiring a professional- actually a well-respected high-end audio place called Definitive Audio. Until I walked in on the designer penciling out room nodes and realized I'm paying this boob to do what I already know how to doů. arrgh! Its all in
The Complete Guide to High-End Audio: Robert Harley: 9780978649319: Amazon.com: Books The Complete Guide to High-End Audio: Robert Harley: 9780978649319: Amazon.com: Books

These things all build on each other. Acoustics and electronics are the same in a cathedral or a car. But you can't rely too much on books (another form of 'expert' 'professional' 'authority') either. To the best of my knowledge no one has satisfactorily explained why a CD player sounds better with a phone book on it, why the soundstage is so much more palpably real when speaker cables are elevated off the floor, or for that matter why a simple power cord can transform a system. The phone book is admittedly subtle, but the others I guarantee you anyone coming over for a demo will hear -and probably be astonished at- the difference.

Its pretty cool. Nowhere near as cool as Alan Watts, but its up there.
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Old 01-06-2015, 03:55 AM
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Old 01-06-2015, 04:40 AM
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Do you know if the speaker impedance on the Bose matches that of the Burmeister? I've noticed that the BOSE speakers/amps often work on a different impedance.
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Old 01-06-2015, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by 77tony View Post
On a newly ordered car, I'd go with the standard $ 0 cost system, delete and look at the new Apple or Android's Car Play with built in EQ, in & outs for amp connectivity, etc.
Tony,

I don't understand what this "Car Play" is. So I did some research, and apparently it's "CarPlay" and IOS only as far as I could find. Secondly, it doesn't appear to be supported by Porsche. Unless you're referring to something else? Maybe a linkie would be helpful...

Still, I agree with your basic premise: 1) order the base system and 2) replace everything with quality aftermarket components. I've done step 1 of that process.

Actually, I don't know how any of you guys can hear any music at all when traveling at speeds greater than 45 MPH unless it's just cranked up to near painful levels. There's so much tire noise coming off of this car, I can't hear myself complain about the traffic.

Still, kudos to the OP for his efforts: good write-up and excellent pics.
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Old 01-06-2015, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by jury_ca View Post
Do you know if the speaker impedance on the Bose matches that of the Burmeister? I've noticed that the BOSE speakers/amps often work on a different impedance.
Isn't that really the problem, the Bose uses such a small amp. you can not just plug in JL's for instance.
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Old 01-06-2015, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by jury_ca View Post
Do you know if the speaker impedance on the Bose matches that of the Burmeister? I've noticed that the BOSE speakers/amps often work on a different impedance.
I don't know enough about car electronics but IIRC, doesn't Bose use a 2ohm system ?
Originally Posted by MJBird993 View Post
Tony,

I don't understand what this "Car Play" is. So I did some research, and apparently it's "CarPlay" and IOS only as far as I could find. Secondly, it doesn't appear to be supported by Porsche. Unless you're referring to something else? Maybe a linkie would be helpful...

http://www.jalopnik.com/apple-carpla...s-t-1677675567 will be available in VW this fall, and we all know who owns Porsche. Maybe not supported by Porsche at this time, but soon ? Parrot, Alpine, etc are also coming out with a there own Apple/Android versions. T

Still, I agree with your basic premise: 1) order the base system and 2) replace everything with quality aftermarket components. I've done step 1 of that process.

Actually, I don't know how any of you guys can hear any music at all when traveling at speeds greater than 45 MPH unless it's just cranked up to near painful levels. There's so much tire noise coming off of this car, I can't hear myself complain about the traffic.

Still, kudos to the OP for his efforts: good write-up and excellent pics.
Tire/road noise-those big, gummy 305's are about 2.5' away from your ears. Has anyone taken off the rear fender liners for a peek ? Might be able to quiet things down a bit with some lightweight 1/2" closed cell foam adhered to inner fender liners and/or body components (did this on the 928's and quieted things down a bit) T
Originally Posted by wanderfalke View Post
Isn't that really the problem, the Bose uses such a small amp. you can not just plug in JL's for instance.
Took out the entire Bose system from a new 2008 Corvette and replaced with aftermarket. Sound was a lot better for not much $$. T

Last edited by 77tony; 01-06-2015 at 01:58 PM.
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