Improving tunes on my LT? Hmmm..... - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 35 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 9:12 am Thread Starter
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Improving tunes on my LT? Hmmm.....

So far I have really enjoyed having tunes available on a motorcycle for a change and have been impressed with the general quality of the system on my '01 LT.

But....

It needs more power! (add grunting noise here)

Running at 70 or so, the unit just runs out of gas and adding volume will only yield added distorion so I am looking for tips from those who may have dealt with this on their own bikes.

I am thinking about adding a smaller 50 wattt x 4 amplifier to the system. Where should it go? The case with the CD player is an obvious choice, but there is little/no air circulation in there and installing the amp in that case would pretty much eliminate that case as a place to carry anything else. I was considering putting it under the fairing, but it WILL get wet sometime down the road, hence I was thinking about using a marine amp. There are many good ones for under $200. Does this make sense? Are there better choices?

I may as well replace the speakers with something better while I am at it, anyone changed their speakers out? Did you use marine speakers? How do you like what you bought?

Please let me know your thoughts. I am excited at the prospect of jamming my Buck Owens CDs while cruising down the highway...hey, stop laughing!


Brian
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post #2 of 35 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 9:47 am
 
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"Please let me know your thoughts. I am excited at the prospect of jamming my Buck Owens CDs while cruising down the highway...hey, stop laughing!"

I'm with you on that, brother! Let's see what ideas are generated.
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post #3 of 35 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 9:48 am
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I have an "05 and dont find the speakers too terribly bad considering that you have an open cockpit at 80 mph. I just crank it up a bit and it sounds fine. If you really want to hear decent sound then you should consider ear plug speakers or in helmet speakers. The LT sounds muvch, much better than the GL1800 and my old Jeep.
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post #4 of 35 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 10:02 am
 
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IMO, helmet headsets are the only real solution. You don't want to hear that punky kid's music next to you at the red-light anymore than he wants to hear Buck Owens. It's amazing how little volume is required in the helmet to overcome the wind and motor noise at 80mph+. I love the "sound system" I have on my GT, and I don't even have speakers on the bike.

Think about it . . . before you go spending a bunch of money for nominal results.
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post #5 of 35 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 10:44 am
 
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The 07 Goldwings have a much improved system, very good sound. I haven't ridden one to see how it is at speed & I do know from experience that the wings have allot more wind noise than the LT.
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post #6 of 35 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 11:20 am
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Several on this forum are offended by this question, as I found out when I asked. But I'm not and here are two threads with two options:

http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14759

Which links to what one guy did based on this link:

http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/showthre...hlight=speaker

Apparently an amp is not needed, just better speakers. Of course my wife says motorcycles, shotguns, and 24 volt electric drils are not needed either. On that note, are wives needed? Yea, someone has to wash the dishes. Anyway, back to the subject, my Baehr intercom with headset does sound best -- when I have my helmet on . Uh-oh...helmets... back to the subject:

cccpastorjack -- Senior Member experimented and chose Alpine Co-axials - (rear only) "and the difference was amazing"
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post #7 of 35 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 11:46 am
 
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Originally Posted by dhendy
Several on this forum are offended by this question...
We're not "offended". At least, I'm not. I just gave my opinion. And I'm fine with you or anyone else dismissing it. Really. It's OK.
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post #8 of 35 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 11:59 am
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Try out someone's helmet with headset installed and you'll go that direction. Makes everything hearable, doesn't require your traffic neighbors to hear your musical selections, and it sounds much better.

Howard Schisler
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post #9 of 35 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 12:00 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
We're not "offended". At least, I'm not. I just gave my opinion. And I'm fine with you or anyone else dismissing it. Really. It's OK.
I was offended by the Buck Owens crack though...
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post #10 of 35 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 12:04 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
IMO, helmet headsets are the only real solution. You don't want to hear that punky kid's music next to you at the red-light anymore than he wants to hear Buck Owens. It's amazing how little volume is required in the helmet to overcome the wind and motor noise at 80mph+. I love the "sound system" I have on my GT, and I don't even have speakers on the bike.

Think about it . . . before you go spending a bunch of money for nominal results.
Agreed on the headset option. Much better enjoyment factor that way. Since I installed my intercom system, I'd rather have no music than listen with the external speakers. Now, the only time I ever use the bike speakers is when I'm working on it or parked on a riding break and want to continue hearing a radio broadcast.

Otherwise, you could go all out and mount a 300 watt amp out in the wind, like an oil cooler and pack the topbox with two 10" sub-woofers. Then you can rock the interstate with everything from Buck Owens to Wagner and Nine Inch Nails.

BTW, Buck Owens is good riding music. There's a nice propulsive rhythm to his style. Even more so than Johnny Cash, who also gets played on my rides.

-----------------------------------------

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post #11 of 35 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 12:09 pm
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You could always just slow down a bit.

Seriously, the rear speakers get lost at speed no matter what you do. I'm also for getting a quality helmet headset as the best option. That means I can listen to my tunes at my volume, regardless of speed or what anyone else is playing around me.

I did add a small auto amp under the trunk to feed my speakers (since I removed the factory radio). It does stay dry back there, through all sorts of weather. But I only really use that when working in the garage as I find the helmet speakers are great at any speed.

Ken
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post #12 of 35 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 12:26 pm
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Without hi-jacking this thread completely, what the hell does a *Boosteroo* unit do. I see 'em advertised all the time, butt don't understand their purpose. Some of 'em are really, really small. Is the name self-descriptive? Course, maybe 'ya gitz what ya pay for' comes into play here - they're not expensive!!
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post #13 of 35 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 12:27 pm
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Originally Posted by dhendy
On that note, are wives needed? Yea, someone has to wash the dishes.
My wife has corrected me. We need them to tell us that we should have turned right where we were supposed to turn left.
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post #14 of 35 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 12:49 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick
Without hi-jacking this thread completely, what the hell does a *Boosteroo* unit do. I see 'em advertised all the time, butt don't understand their purpose. Some of 'em are really, really small. Is the name self-descriptive? Course, maybe 'ya gitz what ya pay for' comes into play here - they're not expensive!!
A Boosteroo is just a little inline power amp for handheld devices. For instance, if your .mp3 player or GPS doesn't put out enough signal when you plug it into your intercom system, a Boosteroo will increase the signal. It's really not applicable here.

HTH
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post #15 of 35 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 12:52 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
A Boosteroo is just a little inline power amp for handheld devices. For instance, if your .mp3 player or GPS doesn't put out enough signal when you plug it into your intercom system, a Boosteroo will increase the signal. It's really not applicable here.

HTH
Gotcha - thanks, Joe. Guess I'll scratch it off my Xmas list to myself!!
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post #16 of 35 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 1:25 pm
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Just my thoughts on the headsets. I have an Autocomm something-or-other and a Fullmer Flip face helmet, XL. I can't get the headphone speakers positioned properly in the helmet for good sound response. Not enough low end. I think the problem is I can't get the speakers low enough in there with the existing padding to be right. The sound is way too tinny. They aren't bad when out of helmet. But put em in the helmet and the sound is crap. And hard to adjust them while wearing. So I am torn as to whether to attempt new speakers myself, or to try to get the Autocomms adjusted better.

Like many of you, I don;t care for others' music, and figure they don;t care for my trailer park music (Southern Culture on the Skids [www.scots.com])

I'll be interested in what everyone keeps finding.

Rando
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post #17 of 35 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 1:40 pm
 
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Speaker placement makes a world of difference. Ask Brett Salmon (pkpr1998). I adjusted Glenda's speakers at CCR and they couldn't believe the difference. They were fixin' to trash the whole system. Once properly located in her helmet, all of their issues went away. Well...except for the fact that she married Brett. But there's not much that I can do about that!
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post #18 of 35 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 1:41 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hschisler
Try out someone's helmet with headset installed and you'll go that direction. Makes everything hearable, doesn't require your traffic neighbors to hear your musical selections, and it sounds much better.
Thats good if your wearing a skid lid, but ifin you ain't, still need some sound.
As my ears get worse, tunes maybe the way to get me wearing a helmet just so I can hear the music.
Rock
When I don't listen to music I listen to the voices
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post #19 of 35 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 1:45 pm
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I would tend to agree that placement is crucial. But my misshapen head and the limitations of my current helmet are making it tough to get proper placement without "surgerizing" the interior of he helmet.

Rando
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post #20 of 35 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 2:46 pm
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Ear buds

I just don't understand bike speakers. If you ride slow, no helmet, and want others in the vicinity to appreciate your wonderful taste in music, and appreciate what a quality stereo you have, well then, bike speakers are just the thing. You'll be a BMW'ed, yuppie version of a getto blaster.

Having used the bike's speakers, then Autocom helmet speakers, then off the shelf earbuds with limited decible reduction of ambient noise, and custom made in the ear speakers, I can tell you there is no comparison between bike speakers and custom in the ear speakers.

Comfort, sound quality, hearing protection from wind and road noise are all superior with in the ear speakers. And you can still hear ambient noises fine.

I would argue that rather than decreasing safety by preventing you from hearing ambient noises, the noise reduction from in the ear speakers protects you from riding fatigue, prevents hearing damage from wind noise, and improves the quality of audio sound.

So whenever I hear of someone upgrading their speakers or adding a power amp, I have to say check your premises. In the ear speakers or helmet speakers are way better than upgrading the bike's audio.
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post #21 of 35 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 4:52 pm
 
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We have Nolan Flip ups with BMW (J&M) headsets. It sounds like the music is "inside" your head. In my opinion helmet headsets are the only way to go. As one other poster said.. I only use the bike speakers when I'm parked.
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post #22 of 35 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 5:28 pm
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For me, the best audio sound you can have is when you have the majority of the sound coming from the fairing speakers and a small amount going to the helmet speakers. The small amount of volume going to the helmet speakers helps clarify and sharpen the overall sound quality.
I have the VOICE II on my '05 so it is very easy to dial in just how much volume I want to the helmet speakers. The LT's radio with the VOICE II is the best sound system I've ever had -- and I've had plenty.
On my '00 LT I had an Autocom and I would use the fader control on the radio to limit the volume to the helmet speakers. Worked well, but it didn't come close to the sound quality I have now.
Helmet speakers alone are ok but are tinny and lack the fullness of fairing speakers.

Bruce Hodges
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post #23 of 35 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 5:56 pm
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I had "ArizonaAl" make me some moulded in ear speakers and I have never been happier. Great sound at a low volume. No wind noise and vibration, I can ride so much longer and not be tired. I got talked into these by a friend and they were not cheep but it was the best $180 I have ever spent. One thing I learned is you do have to get used to the lack of external noise which adds to the sensation of the bike. The first time I rode with them I thought I was going about 60 and was going 80, another time I didn't realize that I was in 4th gear on the freeway for an hour. Now that I am used to them it's fine. I have both the helmet speakers and the ear moulds, I don't put in the moulds for a quick ride I will just turn on the radio and listen through the speakers or listen with the helmet speakers but if I am going to gone for a while it's the ear moulds!

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post #24 of 35 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 6:12 pm
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Call me crazy, but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
Speaker placement makes a world of difference. Ask Brett Salmon (pkpr1998). I adjusted Glenda's speakers at CCR and they couldn't believe the difference. They were fixin' to trash the whole system. Once properly located in her helmet, all of their issues went away. Well...except for the fact that she married Brett. But there's not much that I can do about that!
maybe you could relocate Brett for her? To someplace... far away?

Howard Schisler
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2012 BMW F650GS (sold)
2005 BMW K1200LT - "Gray Ghost", traded at 120k miles
2005 Honda Shadow 650 (sold)
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post #25 of 35 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 6:48 pm
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Tunes

Three things to consider:

If you cannot hear the tnes at higher speed what have you got the automatic SOLV set to? If it is set high I believe you will hear 'more' sound from the speakers.

If you need to move speakers within the helmet use something like the end of a rolling pin/screwdriver handle to compress thefoam that is in the way.

If you have an Autocom or similar the output from the bike speakers goes to a 3.5 mil stereo jack. Buy a male/male adaptor and plug in a set of earphones/monitors. use noise reducing or noise canceling ones for better results.

Graham Wintersgill
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post #26 of 35 Old Dec 21st, 2006, 6:01 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieVT
I just don't understand bike speakers. If you ride slow, no helmet, and want others in the vicinity to appreciate your wonderful taste in music, and appreciate what a quality stereo you have, well then, bike speakers are just the thing. You'll be a BMW'ed, yuppie version of a getto blaster.

Having used the bike's speakers, then Autocom helmet speakers, then off the shelf earbuds with limited decible reduction of ambient noise, and custom made in the ear speakers, I can tell you there is no comparison between bike speakers and custom in the ear speakers.

Comfort, sound quality, hearing protection from wind and road noise are all superior with in the ear speakers. And you can still hear ambient noises fine.

I would argue that rather than decreasing safety by preventing you from hearing ambient noises, the noise reduction from in the ear speakers protects you from riding fatigue, prevents hearing damage from wind noise, and improves the quality of audio sound.

So whenever I hear of someone upgrading their speakers or adding a power amp, I have to say check your premises. In the ear speakers or helmet speakers are way better than upgrading the bike's audio.
You are dead right Charlie!
Since I had my custom molded earplug speakers I have not needed the bike speakers for anything else than playing the music in the garage while fiddling with the bike. I have become so "addict" to my earplug speakers that I dont even ride around the block without them.
And if somebody is brave enough to ride without a helmet, the earplug speakers still work!

Regards

Ari "the Farkle-Freak-Finn" Ignatius

Hyvinkää, Finland
2004 ('05) LT, Dark Graphite, "Sunset Cruiser II"

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post #27 of 35 Old Dec 21st, 2006, 6:07 am
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I agree with that !.
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post #28 of 35 Old Dec 21st, 2006, 8:20 am
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One other thing and it has been talked about in the past is to upgrade the Autocom speakers to these with titanium diaphrams. It will make a world of difference in the sound you hear.

I had to remove a little of the foam lining in the helmet to get the speakers where they were centered over my ears, but I now have tunes that sound like they are in my head, even with the 35dB attenuating molded ear plugs. Next upgrade will be to molded earplugs with the speakers in them.

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post #29 of 35 Old Dec 21st, 2006, 1:13 pm
 
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I used to use a chatterbox with a external CD player on mu Connie, sound was OK. I would imagine headsets with a REAL sound system would be awsome. I plan on getting headsets for my BCIII as soon as I save up enough money. Or can take a loan out. I am thinking about Trying the IMC headets and cords. According ti Sierra they have a set the should work. The money I was saving is going strait into a Clutch and Slave Cylinder. So one said riding was cheap ... Just fun.
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post #30 of 35 Old Dec 21st, 2006, 1:15 pm
 
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"For me, the best audio sound you can have is when you have the majority of the sound coming from the fairing speakers and a small amount going to the helmet speakers. The small amount of volume going to the helmet speakers helps clarify and sharpen the overall sound quality."
What Bruce said, me too.
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post #31 of 35 Old Dec 21st, 2006, 1:18 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve_R
I had to remove a little of the foam lining in the helmet to get the speakers where they were centered over my ears, but I now have tunes that sound like they are in my head, even with the 35dB attenuating molded ear plugs. Next upgrade will be to molded earplugs with the speakers in them.
Where would someone buy molded earplugs with speakers in them? Sounds neat...
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post #32 of 35 Old Dec 21st, 2006, 1:28 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Briantime
Where would someone buy molded earplugs with speakers in them? Sounds neat...
I got mine here:
http://earplugstore.stores.yahoo.net/chmisearph.html


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post #33 of 35 Old Dec 21st, 2006, 6:15 pm
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Those are good, but if you want them personally fit to your ear, you need to find is an E.A.R. Inc dealer. Most of the major shows have a dealer that shows up. Now Hear This! has shown up at the last 2 CCRs that I know of and I suspect that they will be there this year too.

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post #34 of 35 Old Dec 22nd, 2006, 9:32 am
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Talking

I use the helmet speakers because the LT speakers just didn't make it. .....
But I did install a switch so I can turn the outside speakers on at a light and make play my polka music to make the kids roll up their windows.....

Allan..Illinois, Oregon, Arkansas, and tomorrow the Universe
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post #35 of 35 Old Dec 22nd, 2006, 12:27 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big_E
The 07 Goldwings have a much improved system, very good sound. I haven't ridden one to see how it is at speed & I do know from experience that the wings have allot more wind noise than the LT.
Funny, I experience the GL1800 having much less wind noise than the LT. It was so quite it was haunting. My buddy has an 01 GL1800 (Goldwing) and we switch off sometimes.
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