Written by MF reader Randy Fedor (aka njpaguy)
DPSM: The JCW kit for your MINI’s sound system
It’s possibly the best kept secret among all MINI options for the now retired MINI Cooper and Cooper S models. The impact of this relatively simple add-on will make your driving experience no less than breathtaking. And it has absolutely nothing to do with your car’s power train.
Developed in co-operation with the HiFi specialist AUDIO MOBIL, the Digital Power SoundModul (DPSM) provides yet another reason to never leave the seat of your car.
Literature included with the DPSM mentions all components of the audio system were developed during a series of test and measurements covering more than 10,000 kilometres, thus ensuring the DPSM is perfectly matched to the interior acoustics of your MINI. All this is confirmed once you hit the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œonÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â button.
The DPSM works with the MINI’s stock head unit. (Sorry, but it can’t be added to cars with the HK sound system option.) Everything you need to convert your MINI to the DPSM is included in the kit. All speakers are replaced throughout the car, sound absorption panels are applied at specific locations, plus the DPSM amp must be installed under the right rear panel in the hatch.
This, of course, requires a great portion of the interior of the car to be removed. And that brings us to the second decision regarding the DPSM: install it yourself -or- let your motoring specialists at a MINI dealer do it for you?
Keep in mind, many dealers have NEVER sold this system let alone installed it. So quotes for installation may vary widely. With installation time taking roughly around 5 hours, expect to pay around $500.
On the other hand, instructions included with the DPSM are very easy to follow. If you’re not all thumbs, have some experience working on your MINI (and have 5+ hours to spare!), you can probably do it yourself.
For those of you who have either the 6-disc CD changer or Sirius radio tuner installed in your car, an additional cable needs to be purchased to relocate the unit to the left rear. For convertibles, DPSM speaker grilles are an extra for the rear mounts.
How does it sound, you ask? In a word: astonishing! In three words: kicks major ass!
The clarity of the DPSM is almost beyond words. From the lowest listening levels to volumes that will convince you your MINI is actually going faster on the highway, the DPSM delivers aural utopia.
For those of you fortunate enough to possess any Mobile Fidelity UltraDisc CDs, you’ll find you CAN’T stop listening once you start the music. The detail, the depth, the range, the imaging – phenomenal! While the DPSM packs more than 540 watts (sine) and can serve up a total acoustic pressure level of 128 db, this isn’t about loud. It’s about quality.
In the late 70’s, The Who tour stop in Philadelphia’s Spectrum boasted sound in the 125 db range. But the sound was perfectly balanced for the arena. No headache and no ringing ears for days on end. A few weeks later, Black Sabbath came to town. That’s right, they were loud. Painfully so.
That’s the difference between the DPSM and some aftermarket systems boasting mind-boggling wattage and subwoofers the size of most SUV wheels. Tight bass, smooth mid range, bright but not shrill highs. The DPSM sounds phenomenal with any type of music: classical, jazz, The Who, Black Sabbath-even Raffi!
Some have scoffed at the $1650 MSRP for the DPSM, instead opting for less expensive aftermarket gear. Consider this: the DPSM is designed and engineered specifically for your MINI. All components fit in the car without modification and without occupying any additional space. Aftermarket installers that don’t know modern automotive electronics can creative nightmares for car owners just by tapping a hot line at the wrong place in the wiring harness. But (for some) the best feature about the DPSM: it’s covered by your MINI’s factory warranty.
With the Holidays upon us and the end of production for the cars we currently own and love, I’m sure dealers may be interested in moving the DPSM units they have in stock (HINT: discount!!!), especially since it will not work in the redesigned 2007 models.
I’m feeling like a little Stevie Ray for the ride this morning.