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Baehr vs Autocom?


ElJefe

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I searched the archives & didn't see this issue addressed.

 

Baehr makes some pretty steep claims about their audio processing capabilities. But Autocom's site has a ton more relevant & helpful information. Oh yeah, and they're like HALF the price! And when the Baehr is a grand, half is a lot off.

 

So - has anyone actually owned or used both that can comment?

 

Thanks

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Firefight911

I run Baehr. I have an Ultima on the R12ST and an Ultima XL for the GSA.

 

I have been very happy with the performance of the Baehr units. I have been using the included helmet speakers and haven't had any issues with the units, per se.

 

Jamie (2bmwfan) and I are using earplugs and, as a result, the volume gets a bit weak above 75 - 80 mph. Everything else was fine.

 

Volume mute has periodically gotten in the way but really isn't an issue. Just something to be aware of as I ran out of adjustment to try and cut it out. It appears to be an issue when the chin vents are open on our helmets (Arai for 2 and Shoei for me).

 

Now, here is where the issue comes in, and it is a BIG one that I only discovered 1-1/2 months ago.

 

There is NO servicing of Baehr units or cables. They are warranty replaced without any hassle during the warranty period but the units, all of them, are throw away after the warranty period is up.

 

My Ultima XL got damaged and I attempted 10 ways from Sunday to get it fixed with no results. I ran it to the top of the food chain and got no where! The unit still worked fine but the end cap had separated and I wanted to get it repaired and resealed.

 

Due to my time constraints and huge dollar investment, I coughed up $250 for a refurb Ultima XL, else I start all over with multiple units and cables. No warranty and no support.

 

I will not use Baehr as a future unit due to this. I do not understand how you can provide a product and not have any service set up to support it. This microwave society mentality drives me friggin' nuts!!!

 

Only other issue that I have had to deal with is the package size of the Baehr. It does make it a little difficult to find a suitable location on the bike to mount the unit when it is as long as it is.

 

The solution here is to tank bag mount it. I am just disliking the tank bag thing anymore and am attempting to do what I can to eliminate the use of them.

 

Go with Autocom! There is a large dealer support network and you can actually get technical support with a simple phone call. If you call Baehr USA, ALL you get is a sles guy. Nothing else!

 

Regardless of the system you get, get a hold of a set of Arizona Al's ear plugs! Heaven on 2 wheels. thumbsup.gif

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Phil, you make the point that I've been saying for the past few years. Baehr's intercom unit is a decent unit. Way overpriced, but decent. Still, when it comes down to performance, reliability, warranty and support, you can't beat Autocom. You do hear about Autocom problems more than the others because there are so darn many units out there that the sheer numbers will naturally generate a higher number of issues. But we can sell anything we want to at our dealership, and the quality and performance of Autocom makes them our choice, and the choice of more BMW dealers than any other brand, by far.

 

If anyone wants to talk Autocom, or discuss a configuration, how to hook it up, what cables will be necessary to connect your accessories, I am always available. Just PM me.

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Firefight911
If anyone wants to talk Autocom, or discuss a configuration, how to hook it up, what cables will be necessary to connect your accessories, I am always available. Just PM me.

 

And allow me to say that Fernando means it. I didn't go with Autocom because I didn't know any better at the time (pre BMWST.com).

 

I spoke with Fernando via PM on several occasions as I was looking into changing over to Autocom and he was amazing! VERY patient and unbelieveably helpful. Only reason I did not change was because of the already spent investment in the gear I have.

 

I can assure you, though, he has already earned my business when I do make the change!!

 

That alone makes Autocom worth 2x what Baehr costs - at half the price of what it does!! That is a deal! thumbsup.gifthumbsup.gif

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I have news for you, Autocom did/will not fix my Pro-7, they said throw it away.

 

I understand that. I've been following your issues with B2B communication in another discussion. I've even offered some suggestions, although I wish you lived closer so we could go through your system in person and troubleshoot it with some degree of certainty. I'd even spend part of my Sunday to help you out. Dozens of my customers, and BMWST board members, know this personally.

 

As for fixing your old Pro-7, I don't know the particulars, but sometimes fixing a product becomes more expensive than purchasing a new one. And since the older (and discontinued) Pro-7 uses the same headsets and cords as the new Active Rider, perhaps it's simply better to purchase the Active Rider box only. Things, even electronic circuitry, do eventually wear out. But at least you had an Autocom Support Team to go to, to ask questions, who would evaluate your equipment and give you a fair assessment. Perhaps it wasn't the assessment you were hoping for, but at least you know.

 

Whenever I read of someone having difficulty with their intercom system, be it Baehr, Starcom, or Autocom, I try and help. By now, most people on this board know that I favor Autocom by a wide margin. And I've stated the list of reasons many times. But the other two systems aren't junk. They just need someone to help those who are inexperienced, understand how to set them up properly. My knowledge of them is somewhat limited compared to Autocom, but I do the best I can regardless of what you've purchased, or where you purchased it.

 

Again, I wish I could personally troubleshoot the B2B issue you're having. I'm sure we could find the source of your problem, be it a bad cable, or plug, or circuit.

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This reminds me of a lesson I learned on welders - bought a Home Depot welder but good name brand - and it took me 13 weeks to get replacement tips for it (standard consummables) - ever since then I try to look for what's supported locally.

 

My local BMW dealer is an autocom dealer. Plus the information available on the web (here and their site) seems to say that would be the better choice for me.

 

I generally like my own work better than that of paid techs that work on someone else's bike - me being the owner & not getting paid by the hour or by the bike generally means my work is much neater & higher quality than others....SO that means I wouldn't mind installing mine myself.

 

But that also means I need to configure mine myself, doesn't it??? There are so many options to choose from - how to decide which of the dozens of cables & parts I need?

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This reminds me of a lesson I learned on welders - bought a Home Depot welder but good name brand - and it took me 13 weeks to get replacement tips for it (standard consummables) - ever since then I try to look for what's supported locally.

 

My local BMW dealer is an autocom dealer. Plus the information available on the web (here and their site) seems to say that would be the better choice for me.

 

I generally like my own work better than that of paid techs that work on someone else's bike - me being the owner & not getting paid by the hour or by the bike generally means my work is much neater & higher quality than others....SO that means I wouldn't mind installing mine myself.

 

But that also means I need to configure mine myself, doesn't it??? There are so many options to choose from - how to decide which of the dozens of cables & parts I need?

 

Jeff, just PM me and let's start a dialogue. You tell me what you want your Autocom to do, what accessories you want to connect to it, and I'll tell you which model will best fit your needs and which cables will be necessary in order to connect to your accessories. Then you take that information to your local Autocom dealer, buy/order what you need, and then install it per the instructions I'll provide. BTW, I'm flattered when people want to buy their Autocom stuff from my dealership because of the help I provide, but you need to support your local dealer. We're the #2 Autocom dealer in the nation, but we should always be Plan B.

 

Also, please bear with me. In addition to my full-time duties at the dealership, as well as running MotoEquip in the evenings, I am currently am working on configurations for 3 board members, 4 OTC customers, and 3 or 4 out-of state phone customers who've heard that we're the ones to call. It might take me up to a day or so to get back to you. (Ya know, if I got just a 5% commission from their local dealers, I could probably afford a new RT! thumbsup.gif)

 

PM me. Let's get started.

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We went with Starcom, there are also motocomm, and J&M.

 

We've had the Starcoms (2 units for 2 bikes) about month now. One headset developed an intermittent short and they agreed to send a replacement immediately, no questions asked. I bent the pins to headset connector once, but after asking on the forum everyone opined that the connectors are pretty much standard and this was operator error. They bent back fine, and I haven't used it since, so can't comment on the future.

 

We got the basic starcom1, which is stereo, has all the inputs you could ask for, has a very effective auto volume control, and good sound quality. The unit cuts out the mp3 input for the radio very effectively, and is pleasant to use.

 

Packaged with a headset and radio/PTT cable/switch, and shipping the units were just about $300 ea. The unit is a bit bulky, especially since the cable connectors stick out of both ends.

 

However, for about another $50 you can get the upgrade unit which is much smaller and has a volume switch that you can mount somewhere.

 

I wouldn't say I'm recommending it over the others. Have not had it past warranty period, or really long enough to comment on reliability at all. I can say that initial design is pleasing, the unit meets our needs, and I think was significantly cheaper than autocomm or baehr, and much easier to configure too.

 

We also looked seriously at the motocomm. The unit is very inexpensive, but is not stereo. Our friend up the street rides his fjr with one and likes it. His brother too.

 

starcom

motocomm

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I had both, hated the Autocomm and loved the Baehr. Simply, the Autocomm required too much futzzing around to get it to perform and then it was less than desirable. My experience with the Baehr was right out of the box it was almost perfect. A couple of test rides later to tweek the adjustments and it was perfect and has advertised. Also, I was impressed with the quality of the unit and especially the cables. Yeh the price is a bit salty, but you get what you pay for IMHO and the Baehr is a first class unit. They also offer different price points depending on how you plan to use it. Depending on your needs, you may not need the most expensive unit.

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+1 Baehr (Ultima XL for R1150RT). I've used the unit for two years ... no problems yet. Very well made ... integrated perfectly with the BMW radio/cassette player in the bike and allows me to run CB/GMRS, cell phone, and GPS as well as AM/FM radio, XM, and iPod (thru the BMW radio cassette player with an adapter). The price of the Baehr was very high and Baehr's USA tech support is non-existent (sucks). But since I haven't needed support yet, it hasn't been a problem. If I were going to buy another unit for another bike, I would probably go with Autocom because they have improved the features of their newer units, they have good support network in US, and they are about half the cost of the Baehr systems. Just my $.02. wave.gif

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We are still working on that, but Autocom USA is baffeled. So my question to them was since it is not "any bike, any speed, guaranteed", for me anyway, do I get my money back? Nope. Unit works fine, for them. Disappointing. Found a used Pro-7 and everything works again. clap.gif USA will be at the MOA rally, so I will bring the unit to them and see what happens.

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At this point I can't get the Kenwood and Autocom far enough apart or sheilded to prevent a radio chatter when I transmit. USA says it is normal. Check my other thread, on this topic so we don't hijack this one.

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+ 1 again for Baehr.

Have had the RT specific unit since new with no problems I couldn't figure out myself. On the one occaision that had me stumped for a while Tony from Challenger Motors offered to repair the unit at once. (Turned out it was a bum ground connection) He has been very helpful with my queries over the years and always replies.

Costly yes, but as others have stated it was simple plug and play with no horsing around fiddling with the setup. I will be going this way again if the opportunity arises.

Cheers

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nazdravanul

Baehr . I just love it. The last thing that put a smile on my face is their noise reduction cable : it managed to really clear out some very nasty electical noise from my radar detector.

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I know this post has been running for some time - but I thought I'd chip in anyway - Autocom are excellent for After Sales service and this has led 3 of us to buy from them. Even down to fitting speakers to helmets, helping you with issues way outside warranty etc they have been really good. The units perform well and we had tried many different systems prior to Autocom - although not Baehr but having said that it would now take a lot to change me from Autocom.

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