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.
Hi all. I'm looking to upgrade the standard 'Business' audio system in my 2002 325i to enable me to listen to mostly classical and jazz. I've been to a couple of shops and the best sounding option so far is to upgrade the front door speakers to a pair of 5.25" Kaption Audio speakers (has anyone ever heard of Kaption? how are they?), install a 4-channel (30 watts per channel) JL Audio amplifier into the side of the trunk wall, install a 10" Kaption Audio sub-woofer (with custom-built box to leave room for the ski-bag pass-thru), all hooked to an Alpine deck (CD/MP3/Tuner). (The front speakers and sub-woofer would be wired to the amp, while the rear speakers would be powered directly by the deck itself.) All this for $2,000 Canadian (about $1,750 USD) installed. Can anyone offer any advice? Is this overkill? Much thanks in advance!
I had the local Tweeter store install a Sony 10-disc mp3 changer, a 600-watt 4-channel Kenwood amp, and a 12" MB Quart sub w/ enclosure in my trunk. I bought the parts online (cheap), shipped them to me and had the store install them. Total cost was about $650. I've never heard of Kaption. JL Audio, Alpine, MB Quart or Polk are all great speakers.
I'd recommend, as an alternative, the JL Audio Stealthboxes for your trunk (they mount in the top corners of the trunk, completely out of the way). Try MB Quart or Polk speakers and install acoustical deadening mats behind them. That amplifier seemed kinda weak too... only 30 watts per channel? Try to find something that can give closer to 100 watts per channel... then the speakers that can handle it. Don't forget you have 1" tweeters in the doors that should be replaced too.
$1750 is a bit much. Havent ever heard of Kaption either, I would recommend against them. I will agree with Hootie, you should get more than 30watts per channel. Also, powering you rear speakers with just the deck is a bad idea. The midrange handle most of the sound in classical/jazz. If you look at the frequency ranges of the various instruments, few will spill over onto your high or low range speakers. Symbals and flute(piccholo) are typical of high range.
Now, the low range is a bit more tricky. This will take some tuning on your part to get it just right. You need an amp that will segment the signal such that the lowest range only goes to the woofers. I believe the most important thing you should look for is the ability to handle sound, not just the power. Also, when segmenting the bass, if you set the bass cutoff too low you will burn out your midrange easy.
I have found infiniti tweeters work well and arent too exensive. I havent ever used alpine speakers although the deck and amp I use are both Alpine. The other brands Hootie mentioned are all good. Add Bose to the list, they're a bit mnore expensive though.
One last thing, you got it right on the subwoofer. i wouldnt ever put anything bigger than a 10" in any car. Anything bigger than that gives too muffled a sound unless you put a lot of power to it. Think of it this way: when the string Bass is plucking a tune, it will sound like he's inside a booth(on a 12"). Now, you can let him out of the booth and rattle the car. But thats not why I like jazz. And certainly not why I like classical. Now, with a 10" you can put more power into it with less volume and get the sound of him actually plucking the strings.
__________________ Current: 2001 BMW 325XI, 60k miles
1993 Ford Ranger, 200k miles
1995 Ford Escort
1991 Ford Mustang
1986 Ford Taurus
1978 Pontiac Firebird
I did some research on Kaption and found they're a Canadian company started up in 1989. Not an overly long history and given that very few people have heard of them (to my knowledge, only this one shop has so far!), I'll be going with something else. I'll definitely look into MB Quart, Polk and Bose. Incidentally, I looked up the JL Audio Stealthbox on the web - definitely something to consider.
As for the amp, if I'm understanding you correctly, Satori, I'll need 5 or 6 channels if I'm to power all the speakers from the amp itself.
I think the only thing I've decided on thus far is the Alpine deck.
Thanks again, gentlemen, for your much-needed insights and advice! I'll be sure to keep you posted on how things go.
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