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5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum)

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Old 03-26-2006, 09:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Cheaply Boosting Highs & Lows in Stock E39 Stereo

See my other post in the Audio & Electronics section of this forum (regarding upgrading speakers in Business system on '99 540/6), but here is the bottom line:

Infinity BassLink - a VERY effective way to add a LOT of bass to a stock non-DSP system

Component Speakers - were a waste of money IMHO due to the good quality of the stock/OEM woofers and the inability to circumvent the stock crossover. PS - Crutchfield rocks, because I can return this item for full refund.

Infinity 1011T 1" silk dome tweeters - are an excellent way to boost high end in place of the stock tweeters. Ordered in place of the component speakers.

BMW doors are unbelieveably engineered. Wow...
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Old 03-26-2006, 09:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Total Cost of Upgrade

Oh - here is the total cost of the above-described upgrades:
Infinity Basslink - $254 Crutchfield scratch-n-dent (I saw no scratches or dents on mine, it had simply been opened) ($299 non S&D)
Infinity 1011T Tweeters - $72 Crutchfield scratch-n-dent ($79 non S&D)

I re-used leftovers from amp install kit I bought a couple of years ago. Such kits by Scosche (good quality) are only about $20 at Wal-Mart.

So total tab is about $325 to $400. Well worth it IMHO.
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Old 03-26-2006, 02:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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yup, for that price i can imagine your system is much better...
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Old 03-27-2006, 07:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by da_bull
yup, for that price i can imagine your system is much better...
yep, I am having fun "calibrating" that subwoofer.

There are definitely cheaper alternatives to the BassLink out there. I've heard wonderful things about the Audiobahn 10" tube. But those things eat up trunk space.

With the Basslink installed (vertically), I am still (barely) able to use the larger half of the fold-down back seats, and also fold open the spare tire partition. If the Basslink's footprint were any larger, I would have had to sacrifice significant trunk space/utility.

The best thing about the Basslink is that it can be moved to my next car and adapt well, almost regardless of what that vehicle turns out to be...
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Old 03-27-2006, 08:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric S.
BMW doors are unbelieveably engineered. Wow...
...so are you saying they come off and back on easily, with a tight fit? or are they just a total PITA?

I am going to replace my stock tweets with ones from my old car, some Pioneer Premiers (which I have been totally happy with for the last 5 years). But I am leery of taking the door trim off and then it not having that total solid feel when i get it back together. Even being 9 years old, my bimmer still has that new car "tight" feeling and I dont want to lose that
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Old 03-29-2006, 12:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by winters97E39
...so are you saying they come off and back on easily, with a tight fit? or are they just a total PITA?

I am going to replace my stock tweets with ones from my old car, some Pioneer Premiers (which I have been totally happy with for the last 5 years). But I am leery of taking the door trim off and then it not having that total solid feel when i get it back together. Even being 9 years old, my bimmer still has that new car "tight" feeling and I dont want to lose that
Winters - It isn't difficult to remove and replace the door panels, especially if you have one of those flat tools made for popping the panel clips (I got mine from Crutchfield). All you need is the write-up on "bmwtips.com".Check "Tips & tricks" #4 under stereo category: "Speaker locations and directions". It will tell you all you need to know! In fact, here is the link: http://www.bimmer.org/5series/messag...w52/13119.html Read it, know it, live it.

My comment about the doors otherwise was I was simply impressed with the quality of materials and attention to detail that is evident once you remove the door panel. Molded hard foam plastic instead of plastic sheeting, molded foam gaskets instead of caulk, ANAL attention to sealing every little crevice. Stuff like that. Nothing you cant take apart and put back together.

BTW, I just installed my Infinity 1011T tweets tonight in the stock locations. Took me an hour and 45 minutes from start to finish, including clean up.
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Old 03-29-2006, 05:59 AM   #7 (permalink)
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sweet... yes, I have been very impressed with every aspect of my bimmer. Thanks for the info, i'm excited to get back home to install my components...

but for now I am enjoying my business trip in Manhattan... got a nice view of central park from my hotel room on the 44th floor...
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Old 03-29-2006, 07:40 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winters97E39
sweet... yes, I have been very impressed with every aspect of my bimmer. Thanks for the info, i'm excited to get back home to install my components...

but for now I am enjoying my business trip in Manhattan... got a nice view of central park from my hotel room on the 44th floor...
One thing I like about my current job is that I rarely if ever have to travel. At my previous company I traveled at least once per week, and it got old. However, once every 3 to 6 months wouldn't be bad, because it's pretty cool experiencing things like you are up in NYC. (my best business trip was a week in Honolulu)...
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Old 03-30-2006, 05:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yeah, with 4 kids, luckily I don't travel too often, maybe once every 1 to 2 months. I manage a team of people that are spread around the country, Jacksonville, Little Rock, Pittsburgh, and Atlanta, and have to visit client sites every once in a while for projects here and there. It's always fun to get to go out and see new places and eat at nice restaurants on the company dime, though..
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Old 04-01-2006, 08:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thumbs up

I replaced the woofer and tweeter on the drivers side with my Pioneer Premier 5 1/4" components when I had some spare time this afternoon. I can already tell a HUGE difference. And Eric, you were right on about the construction of the doors.. very clean inside, I was quite impressed by the workmanship. The doors came out pretty easily. One thing I had to do was fabricate a foam surround for my tweeter since once I removed the old one there was nothing to mount the new one to. It was a peice of cake, though. I had some dense shipping foam lying around, just cut into the basic shape of the area behind the grill, cut a small hole in it and imbedded the tweeter in there. stuffed all behind the grill and it fit snugly! spliced and heat shrunk the wires and voila! the woofer was an easy swap, the stock speaker connects even fit right on the Pioneers. One thing I noticed though.. the stocks were dual voice coil, and when I connected one set of wires to my single vc speaker, it only came on when the balance was turned all the way to the passenger side (I was replacing the driver's side). When I connected the other set of wires though, the speaker came on correctly. I just taped off the other pair and shoved them back in. Everything went back in snug and tight just like I never removed it, and I didnt even bust a door clip! That door handle was a pain in the ass, though... I did have to remove the everything twice because the back end of it came off the tensioner and I didnt notice before buttoning it all back up the first time.:lol:

The job took me about and hour total, mainly because I had not done it before, and was taking my time figuring out the removal of the door panel.

Gonna put the other two in tomorrow, should only take me half the time it took me today. Then next plans are replacing the stock amp with my Soundstream 405, and sitting my 10" MTX in the trunk. Already did a test fit of my amp, looks like all I have to do is fabricate a custom mount and it will fit right there in the stock location. saaawweeet.
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Old 04-01-2006, 09:00 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Cool, glad to hear your experience was positive. My Infinity tweeters actually fit into the stock foam exactly, so I just re-used that (without the stock bracket).

The dual voice coil on the OEM woofer is actually a loop for the voice telephone function. The shorter set of wires is what you need to hook up to your aftermarket speakers. The longer wires need to be taped off as you did. It's an expensive mistake to connect both sets of wires to one terminal on aftermarket speakers (as the bmwtips.com write-up noted).

I was fairly impressed with the stock woofers' construction, and was adding the Infinity Basslink anyway, so I opted not to replace my woofers and just replaced my tweeters. I am still giddy it sounds so good. I think the Infinity Basslink II would be even better, in an equally-compact package.
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Old 04-01-2006, 10:47 PM   #12 (permalink)
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My 5'er did not have any stock foam around the tweets, they must have added that post 1997. But, at any rate, it still sounds excellent, cant wait to get the other pair in. Those Pioneer Premiers have lasted me through 3 cars since 1997, a testament to a well constructed product. My Soundstream amp I have had since 1999. And I don't just listen to classical music at a low level either....
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Old 04-01-2006, 11:01 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by winters97E39
My 5'er did not have any stock foam around the tweets, they must have added that post 1997. But, at any rate, it still sounds excellent, cant wait to get the other pair in. Those Pioneer Premiers have lasted me through 3 cars since 1997, a testament to a well constructed product. My Soundstream amp I have had since 1999. And I don't just listen to classical music at a low level either....
IMHO, it's very tough to beat Pioneer speakers. They were my favorites all the way back in 1982 and 1983 when I worked part time in the local car stereo shop while in colllege. Very smooth, with a great high-end.

I had a similar experience to yours: I had a pair of nice 6-1/2" Pioneer co-ax speakers in the doors of an old Civic I bought. Those speakers lasted through multiple cars and a flood and are still pumping out great sound even today in my most recent Civic (which my 72-year-old mother drives since I bought my 5-er)..
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Old 04-01-2006, 11:11 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Sweet.... LONG LIVE PIONEER!! BTW, my Pioneer CD head unit is still going strong too, just pulled it from my prelude the other day. I've had it since late 2000 as well. I was going to replace it with one that played MP3s, until I won my 30GB iPod in a conference door prize drawing last Decemeber..

cost me just $25 for a ip-bus to RCA cable, and BAM..iPod from the AUX output.
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Old 04-02-2006, 10:52 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Question

Winters - Where did you get your headlights? Not the projector beams, but the ones that look OEM except for the clear turn signal lenses. I am planning to go for that exact same look (I already have the Celis tails and clear side markers).
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