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3-Series (E46, E90) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.

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Old 07-28-2004, 02:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi all. This is my first post, but I've been a fan of this site for a while. My problem is with my 2002 325i with the Harmon Kardon stereo. When I bought the car, the stereo was awesome. As the car aged, though, the driver's door started to sound less crisp than the front passenger door -- most noticeably with the high-end sounds. As the problem progressed, the driver's door started sounding more muddy than the passenger door. I took it to the dealer, but trying to explain that the sound was more muddy to a BMW repairman proved to be a fruitless effort; they couldn't tell a difference.

The next stage of this problem came when the mid-bass (the bottom speaker) started distorting at high volume. The speaker was replaced, and this solved the distortion problem temporarily. The speaker started distorting again, and was again replaced. Recently, I hit a speedbump while shutting off the stereo and broke the volume knob. The dealer replaced the head unit (which is cool, as my car was produced 01/02 and before this replacement wasn't capable of Bluetooth, Sirrus, iPod, etc.) and the problem persisted. They then replaced the amp in the trunk. Still there.

Last week they had the factory rep look at it and the mid-bass was replaced again, along with the tweeter (the one up by the outside mirror that says Harmon-Kardon on it).

With everything they do, the problem is temporarily fixed, but now (four days later) it's worse than it's ever been. When you go from right to left with the balance, it sounds like a completely different stereo and the mid-bass is distorting again. My problem is, aside from the wiring harnass(es) there is nothing left to replace and the factory rep told me that very specificly.

Has anyone else had this problem? Any insight as to what could be the problem and what can fix this?
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Old 07-28-2004, 08:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have an '02 325ci w/ HK and I think the system is just crap. Everyone I know w/ a 3 series and an aging HK stereo has either blown speakers or in my case mysterious intermittent rattles. One thing that helped a bit was ordering Dynamat from Crutchfield.com. Dynamat is a sound deadening material. I am by no means a mechanic & I was able to take my door panel off after hunting around on some of the DIY BMW websites to get directions. Check some of the other BMW websites for the directions. That is about the best you can do. I used to play loud music in my car all the time & I have resigned myself to listening at a lower volume as long as I own a BMW!
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Old 07-28-2004, 08:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I was really surprised to see how small the amp was when it was replaced. Do you think that adding a different set of component speakers to the front would help? I love the 'imaging' aspects of the HK stereo, but the sound quality in this particular door is getting worse and worse...
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Old 08-03-2004, 07:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If my speakers ever distort or blow I will probably replace them with aftermarket ones- I think MB Quart makes ones that fit the BMW openings...
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Old 08-03-2004, 09:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If BMW wont replace your wire harnesses, or that doesnt solve the problem, i suggest you just replace the speakers.

MB Quart is one of the more popular brands of high-end speakers for BMWs, but it depends on who you ask. I would suggest the Q line, if you have a coupe, get 6.5s, if u have a sedan, get 5.25s. I would also suggest an amp for them, which would require a high/low convertor ($30) to hook it up to ur factory HU.
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Old 08-11-2004, 02:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Someone emailed me regarding how to take off the door panel: here it is:

http://www.bmw330ci.com/DIY_Files.htm
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Old 08-11-2004, 08:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hmmm....

So how IS the sound quality with these MB Quart speakers/amp attached to the BMW head unit? Much better? A little better?

I am somewhat OK with the H-K speakers, but I am curious if anyone here that actually HAS then can comment. Thanks.
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Old 08-13-2004, 12:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
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If I did replace them, what would happen with the tweeter up by the driver's mirror? Would the MB Quart unit go inside the little triangular box that says Harmon Kardon on it?

I too am interested if anyone has done this yet and how it changed the sound quality...
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