Upgrading sound system in E46 - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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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#1 (permalink) Old 08-19-2004, 02:34 PM
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I have 2004 325i without HK premium sound upgrade.
I'm thinking to upgrade it and have a few questions - I guess asking in this forum is much more efficient than asking a local dealer.

(1) In the factory E46 audio system, is the power amplifier intergrated into in-dash receiver/CD unit or separated?

(2) If it is separated, I will want to upgrade it since I still want to keep factory receiver/CD unit. Is it located easy enough place?

(3) Any suggestion for power amplifier? I want to add subwoofers without using a crossover.

Many thinks,
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#2 (permalink) Old 08-19-2004, 07:56 PM
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1) The E46 has a seperate amplifier to power the sound system.

2) It should be located in the left rear of the car (drivers side) behind the trim along the side of the trunk wall.

3) Alpine makes some of the best amplifiers for the price, I suggest one of their v12 amps. It really depends on exactly what you want out of your amplifier, as to what brand you should look at. However, Alpine is a good all around choice.

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#3 (permalink) Old 08-20-2004, 01:46 AM
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Thank you, man.
I'll check it out.

BTW, how many channels in the amp do I need for existing 10 speakers + 2 additional subwoofers?
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#4 (permalink) Old 08-20-2004, 02:21 AM
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That's a VERY good question.

First off, with that number of speakers, you would deffinately want a two amp set up. One for subs, one for the rest.

You sub amp need simply be strong and clean (more watts the better, the lower the Total Harmonic Distortion the better). Alpine's V12 series are quite good.


Assuming the head unit's dead head outputs are similar to that of the e36 cars (the amps are at least in the same place), you wont find an aftermarket amp that will accomidate things in a similar fashion. At this point you would need new speakers or a new crossover network.

Any other questions regarding car audio would most likely get the highest number of replies if they were posted in the Audio Section.

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#5 (permalink) Old 08-25-2004, 04:34 AM
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2 amp,
1 for urs spreakers
1 for urs subwoofer,
u always wanna to spreate them

for the speakers, 4 chan is good enough, just hook up the front tweeter, and woofer, cut the mid-range out, so, it only 4 at the front then keep the 4 at the back

but the thing b4 u do, u gotta change urs speakers too, b4 they blows out,
5 speakers on my car already blows! fuk me!"!
i got a rockford 150X4, and one more rockford 1800wX1
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#6 (permalink) Old 08-25-2004, 07:56 AM
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How many watts are on the standard 325i? Does it come with a subwoofer? Can anyone with the standard sound system critique it?
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#7 (permalink) Old 08-25-2004, 10:34 AM
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I have the stock business head unit with front components, rears disconnected but the speaker level output providing the input for the below. Bass is deep and clean It is only a 10". If I were to do it again I would use a 12"..
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#8 (permalink) Old 08-25-2004, 11:19 AM
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I have a 2000 328i with the BMW Business CD headunit. I have one of the front speakers (on the driver's side) blown out it seems... I was thinking maybe of just replacing both (left and right speakers) with new ones... What do you guys recommend (brand, etc)...I realize that speakers are the most important item in a sound system probably.. but i dont want it to be overkill if I am not going to use the full potential of them.. since i am keeping the headunit and the factory amp.. has anyone gone through this???

Thanks in advance..
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#9 (permalink) Old 08-25-2004, 11:36 AM
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The stock speakers are very efficient so make sure you replace them with something efficient, circa 93db sensitivity. Infinity reference range or JBL GTO would be a good place to start. They are 16.5CM not 17CM.

Best of luck
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#10 (permalink) Old 08-25-2004, 02:52 PM
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which speakers should I get, 2 way speakers...?? or 3 way???
thanks!
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#11 (permalink) Old 08-26-2004, 05:14 AM
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Personally I would go for components, the tweeter on the E46 is fastened on by the bolts that hold the wing mirror in place. Simply remove the old one and put the new one in its place. Obviously you cannot use the same bolts and I don't like tapping screws in for this sort of thing, so I just use a blob of silicone to hold the tweeter in place.

Once you have the door panel off, replacing the tweeter takes about 15 minutes per door. The actual door speaker is more difficult though.

If you really want 2 or 3 way, go for 3 way. Big difference in treble clarity. Components for best results though.

Best
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#12 (permalink) Old 08-26-2004, 08:56 AM
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Thanks a lot!!!!

I think I will definitely do that.. I am still researching what speakers to buy and learning as I go....

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#13 (permalink) Old 08-30-2004, 02:53 PM
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My opinion is that if you're going to mess with the speakers then you should just buy an amp. I spent all day yesterday researching the options on my '01 325xi with the standard sound system.

The good news is that BMW's appear to be really easy to amp up. All of the input and output wires are in the drivers-side trunk along with the stock amp/crossover box so you can tap everything in one place. The battery is in the trunk on the other side that makes powering a new amp super-easy.

The consensus seems to be that the 3rd speaker in the front doors is essentially a low-range tweeter and almost worthless. That means a 5.25" component set for the front door is in order (just disconnect that middle driver). My car only has tweeters in the back door and I rarely have passengers so unless I decide I want some rear-fill I'm going to disconnect them.

I ordered CDT Audio's HD52 component set and an Alpine F420 2-channel amp. I'm also going to keep the stock head unit because I already bought a Soundgate adaptor that lets me use the Pioneer 903XM radio tuner. I ordered a speaker-level to line-level adaptor from Navone (http://www.davidnavone.com/adaptor_products.htm) to connect the amp...heard good things about it on another forum. Total was about $600. I'll need to buy some power distribution parts at Ultimate Electronics to finish the install.

On my last car I rarely felt a need to turn on the sub so I'm going to try the system without one. I can always add a 12" CDT sub and another Alpine amp later. I could also tack another set of tweeters onto the front channels with an attenuator to adjust the level--CDT sells an Upstage package that I should be able to adapt for the back doors.

Taking the doors apart without breaking anything is my only concern at this point. The amp install should just be a matter of chucking the old amp and strapping the new one onto the existing bracket...piece of cake compared to my previous vehicles.
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#14 (permalink) Old 08-30-2004, 03:59 PM
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Will an Alpine MRV-540 be enough power to replace the factory amp with significant improvment in sound?

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#15 (permalink) Old 08-31-2004, 12:22 AM
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Anybody know how to hook up an I pod to a PRE '02 model?

Will replacing the headunit be enuf?
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