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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Didn't think there would be active forums already!

Just got into my VBM Giulia QV Last week! >:)

Looking forward to being a part of the community.

Always been a Happy BMW M owner.

Made a change this time. No love lost for BMW just new love for Alfa Romeo.

Thanks!
 

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Congrats!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Congratulations. I hope to join you soon. How would you compare to the BMW's? I'll be trading in my M4.
Thanks! Ha can't wait for others to experiences this beast! Are you on a waiting list yet? or do you have one coming soon?

I can kind of compare to the E90 M3 ZCP 6M/T obviously the M isnt putting down nearly as much power or torque from the V8 but it still has the instantaneous response from throttle that the giulia and F80/2 M3/4 quite don't have even with minimal lag. The steering wheel is thicker in the M3, but the Giulia signficantly nicer with the Push Start on it. Love that. Also the under side of the hood is unpainted CF so when open hood and after you look at the engine you see nothing but CF. When youre driving you can also see the CF peaking through a little. The Response in the Giulia is better for steering but the E90 is stiffer for sure, but i think that is b/c Giulia is electric and e90 M is hydraulic, i also noticed it when i drove the f80/2 m3/4 electric felt strange but response was great. M3 is heavy, giulia is light and nimble but doesn't feel cheap at the same time. As far as amenities, e90 has better sound even tho theyre both HK sound. but i see one less sub in the giulia and id assume it was to make it lighter. The giulia has a system very similar to BMW's idrive, it looks more sleek though. Seats are nicer in giulia by far. I love the 8spd ZF w/paddles. I mean on every other count the giulia is ahead of the e90, now i haven't owned the m3/4 so i can't compare, but i was up between f80 m3 zcp, c63s amg, and GTR (diff type of car but it was on the list).I would have been thoroughly disappointed if i pulled the trigger on any other. This is brief. Still, i can go on, but i gotta get back to work ;)


I really can't compare the E46, i have that gutted with a cage and 5 pt harnesses. Its light, loud and raw. >:)


I have love for all the cars, but if i had to pick one, it'll be the Alfa. haha.

Congrats!!
Thanks!

Congratulations! I will be interested to learn from you and others more experienced than I how they enjoy their new cars. I am enjoying every moment.
Thanks man! I will try and give as much info as i can with time lol. This whole Alfa come back is great.
 

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As far as amenities, e90 has better sound even tho theyre both HK sound. but i see one less sub in the giulia and id assume it was to make it lighter.
Welcome, congrats! And thanks for the comparison, very useful stuff!

It's interesting because someone else here also mentioned about the HK speakers being not as good as expected. When you compare it to E90, do you recall the E90 speakers require any sort of initial break in before sounding good?
 

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I've got the HK system in my 2008 335i and I've always been pleasantly surprised about how good it sounded. I am an audio/video nut (I'm also an equipment reviewer for one of the larger U.S. based websites) and have some very good equipment at home. I've got a full set of Sonus faber Olympica speakers (IIIs for the fronts, Is for the surrounds, plus Olympica Center) in my media/theater room currently so you can judge my taste in sound off of those. I like accurate, but musical sound, speakers that can handle all genres of music equally well.

I have never felt the need to go aftermarket in my E90. Yes, I could drop a full set of Dynaudio speakers and some better amps into the car or add an additional larger subwoofer, but it really isn't necessary. With proper tweaking, you can get the Logic 7 system to sound very balanced and clear (without crossing over into the harsh or brittle sounding arena). It's funny because in 2008, the HK system was standard in a 335i. Now the HK is always optional in a 3 series (except for the M3/M4 perhaps) and just doesn't seem to sound as good. My 2013 X3 3.5 and 2016 X5 3.5 both had the HK upgrade and neither sound anywhere near as good as my E90's system. I firmly believe BMW has cheapened the drivers or amplification (or both) in recent years to pave the way for their more expensive B+O system which is frankly ridiculously priced - the system just isn't that good compared with what you could do aftermarket for the same money. Upgraded audio systems are a huge profit center for a car manufacturer in today's market so everyone is jumping on board.

My admittedly short listening to the QFs HK system (like 3 minutes and I only set everything to flat to hear what it sounded like naturally) left me with a "meh" feeling. It definitely needed to be tweaked but midrange and treble sounded ok, with the bass sounding a tad weak. Mid-bass punch was lacking too, but again, I did not fiddle with any of the EQ settings. A little bump in the 100-125Hz EQ settings could fix that or possibly a rise in the overall bass tone control could work too. I wasn't turned off to the overall sound, which was promising. I'm sure that with some time and EQ tweaking I could get it to sound at least decent. Deep Bass will most likely remain problematic, but midrange and treble should be fine. Mid-bass response could possibly be brought up to par with EQ, but without further testing I'm not positive on that.

If I buy A QF, I'll do some full range frequency sweeps on the system with some of my test gear to see what it is doing out of the box and how to best optimize the stock system.

Personal experience is that all speakers do improve with break-in time (some dramatically, some more subtle). My HK system in my E90 didn't change very much in the first few months of ownership. Neither did my HK systems in my X3 or X5. I'd imagine the HK in the QF will not change much either with time.
 

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Personal experience is that all speakers do improve with break-in time (some dramatically, some more subtle). My HK system in my E90 didn't change very much in the first few months of ownership. Neither did my HK systems in my X3 or X5. I'd imagine the HK in the QF will not change much either with time.
Thanks for sharing. Learned a lot!
 

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Personal experience is that all speakers do improve with break-in time (some dramatically, some more subtle). My HK system in my E90 didn't change very much in the first few months of ownership. Neither did my HK systems in my X3 or X5. I'd imagine the HK in the QF will not change much either with time.

I have the HK in my QV and clocking close to 1k miles. I think there is noticeable break in but it still definitely needs to hit harder for my tastes lol.

Also Congrats and welcome :)

Are you located in West VA ?
 

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I have the HK in my QV and clocking close to 1k miles. I think there is noticeable break in but it still definitely needs to hit harder for my tastes lol.

Also Congrats and welcome :)

Are you located in West VA ?
No, I'm up in New Jersey.

If you want hard hitting, you're probably thinking of the 40-80/100Hz range, which probably means augmenting the fairly weak woofer (it really shouldn't be called a sub-woofer) that is in the car.

Anyone know what type/size driver is in the car? If it is smaller than 8", you'll need to add something bigger to get any kind of real kick beneath 80Hz. Even if they put an 8" driver under the seat, you'll probably want to ditch that for a better driver. The depth is going to be the problem though. There aren't a lot of really good shallow 8" designs on the market.

Then for below 40Hz you'll probably want to add a real sub too, but there goes your trunk space :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the comparison and review.
No problem more to come!

I've got the HK system in my 2008 335i and I've always been pleasantly surprised about how good it sounded. I am an audio/video nut (I'm also an equipment reviewer for one of the larger U.S. based websites) and have some very good equipment at home. I've got a full set of Sonus faber Olympica speakers (IIIs for the fronts, Is for the surrounds, plus Olympica Center) in my media/theater room currently so you can judge my taste in sound off of those. I like accurate, b.......
I mean, ive bought every prior car used, so maybe mine were broken in. But i wouldn't suspect much of a change but i'll be sure to reflect on it if it does. Deep bass is the issue. E90 has it. lol. No worries! I mean i listen to the motors more vs the sound system haha.
 

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Thanks for info on the HK. No question that I have been under-impressed for a 990W system. I only have about 100 mi. on mine - so hope you are right about breakin.
Same here. I definitely would hate how the base model system sounds. Must sound like a couple cans tied to some wire. Ha.

The upgraded Harmon Kardon system is "ok" but yet is far from audiophile grade.

The HK system is lacking in upper end response and low-end bass by a fair margin. Sure, there is a 6x9 subwoofer in the rear deck but it is barely doing anything at all. First upgrade for me is figuring out how to drop in some better tweeters in the dash corners. Dialing out all or most of the "mid" in the 3-band eq setting settles the muddy mid-base a bit. Though, the upper end frequency response is muted by a lack of tweeter response. I keep going back to the EQ to make sure that it is set to "9" on all sources. Bleh.

The system is not what I thought would have been an upgraded system. Though, comparatively speaking of cars in this class, the sound system is on par. So, for that I am happy. The HK system is money well spent comparatively speaking to other OEM systems in smaller high-performance sedans. I'd venture that it is definitely better in terms of overall clarity (and especially low-end response) compared to the bass-prone Bose systems in other cars.

There is a reason Audi charges over $6k for their B&O systems in their A8/S8's. You get what you pay for in any market. Thankfully the HK system in the new Alfa is less than $1k. More than $1k buys a lot more clarity and better overall sound.
 

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Got it. I still haven't done all the equalization. My habit is rather than to go 9's all of the way right away - and then being dissatisfied, I start with 5 - 6 and then slowly go up a day or so at time so when I get to 9, I've fooled myself into thinking it sounds so much better (comparatively)!

Anyhow, I did step the fader back a couple of notches and I felt it gave me a little bit better sound perspective. I turned off the "surround" because it didn't seem to do anything that I could hear.

Anyhow, I'm still working on it
 

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Also, for true accuracy, turn off any and all simulated surround modes, even Logic 7 processing if the system has that. The DSP used by HK only adds a layer of "haze" to the sound, - particularly in the midrange and treble. While some may think they prefer the sound with the surround modes engaged, it is only audio trickery. Properly setup clear "stereo" sound is the most accurate on all of the HK car systems that I've played with over the years (not just BMWs).

Also, while they may advertise "990 watts" of power, see if you can find the spec on that. Most likely that is like a 1 millisecond peak burst for the amp, probably measured at 1kHz, not a full-band 20Hz-20kHz signal (which is proper way to measure an amp's real power). Also see what level of distortion that spec states. Probably 1% distortion, which is quite a bit. You want to see the amp's output at 0.1 or 0.2% distortion. I'll bet that this 990w amp can barely output 400w of clean, continuous power to all channels full bandwidth. Divide that by the total number of speakers and you'll see how little actual amp power is available for each speaker.
 
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