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#1 (permalink) Old 05-14-2004, 02:27 AM
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Hey Guys, i'm upgrading my stero. I'm adding two phoenix golds amps, replacing all speakers & adding subs (all phoenix gold) .... to my factory deck Bussiness Radio ..... Here's the problem, when I added the hi/low converted i'm not getting a signal from the head unit. Has anyone added amps to they're factory radio ? Please Help ghead
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#2 (permalink) Old 05-14-2004, 02:53 AM
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I'm assuming you have an e36 328

If your line level converter is tapping the speaker wire prior to the factory amp, you will get little to no signal.

But I would HIGHLY recomend repalcing the oem head unit. I help guys add amp/sub combos to their oem system, but to do as mcuh as you are and leaving your oem deck, is just a bad idea.

An aftermarket deck will feed those PG amps MUCH better as aftermarket amps are really designed to work with aftermarket head units. LOC's are ok to feed a sub amp, but your mids/highs will undoubtedly suffer from the less than clean signal.

I recomend looking at Alpine, Kenwood, or Nakamichi, in the long run, this is the smartest thing to do.

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#3 (permalink) Old 05-15-2004, 01:55 PM
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Thanks Alot. I have an e46 it's a late 99. I have thought about an Alipie 9835 Deck, I am a big fan of alpine. The only problem is the steering wheel controls will not work with the Alpine deck. there is no adapter as of yet. The other thing is the look, even though u can match the dash color with Alpine the look is just off to me but, to get the full sound of my P.G. Amps, Crossover, Speakers, Subs, I do agree with you .....


Update .... I just all this installed & now the shop blew the signal on my radio, there is no signal coming out of the radio ghead So they sent my deck out to be repaired & now I have all this equipment with no deck ...... The line converter is not working, If you guys have any more info to why this happened, please help.

I thank the Alpine God is angry for me using my factory deck
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#4 (permalink) Old 05-15-2004, 03:19 PM
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Yeah, you should've gone with aftermarket from the start. I added my amp and subs before changing the factory HU, and there really wasn't much difference. Once I addedd the Alpine the whole things changed.

<span style='color:gray'><span style='font-family:Courier'>1995 e36 3 Series RIP
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#5 (permalink) Old 05-15-2004, 05:13 PM
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Line level converters are really just band aid cures. They are not a good idea and this is why it blew up. Its kinda like an RF modulator for a DVD player when you have a TV with no AV inputs. Its just a bad idea.

I agree with everyone else that Alpine is a great maufacturer. I also agree with you that they deviate from the oem look. Even if you find the rare Amber illumination or change it yourself, it just looks aftermarket.

That's why I went with Nakamichi, they are a little more than an Alpine, but sound better made better, and look very oem.

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#6 (permalink) Old 05-16-2004, 01:28 AM
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I really dont need you talking about how much more OEMish they look. YOUR MAKING ME WANT ONE!

The what am I going to do with the XM tuner???

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#7 (permalink) Old 05-16-2004, 01:48 AM
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Dude, stick with your Alpine. I know these products well, and while I would certainly recomend Nak, I wouldn't say they are so awesome that i would ditch a good working Alpine deck for one.

Besides, they are finicky about playing CDR's which for most of you young guys, its unexceptable. I have my Satelite radio interfaced via AUX in, so i enjoy good sound quality from it, and dont play many CD's. I actually buy a lot CDs from record stores (odd concept for most these days) so I have it when i need it.

Love your Alpine (unfortunately it wont die soon)and make your next deck a Nakamichi.

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#8 (permalink) Old 05-16-2004, 06:58 AM
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Hello,
The outputs of the factory deck are of "rca" level. This means you could solder rca ends onto the factory wires that feed the oem amp in the trunk then feed to your aftermarket amps. Or cut the ends off of a set of good twisted pair cables and solder them together and have length to run around the trunk, center pin is positive. you may or maynot need the speaker negative connected.
If your "shop" used a cheap l.o.c. it is quite easy to destroy any deck. There are models out there that can interface with the most complex/ sensitve systems. You just have to have the most important things.... knowledge/ experience. Alot of shops have kids/ teens with little experience ripping apart beautiful cars with reckless abandon.
Nothing would be better then an aftermarket deck to fed the system you are palnning, but nothing beats the oem look of these cars. Only you can make the decision to swap the deck. If it were me Id try it with the stock deck, if it doesnt cut it then swap it out. You may be surprised.
I personally went with a Harmon Kardon Traffic pro... still looks pretty stock in my
2000 528i. Even with the aftermarket dash kit.
Best regards,
Dave
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#9 (permalink) Old 05-16-2004, 07:52 AM
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Thanks all for your response, Dave I did consider the HK traffic pro for the navigation, it does kinda still look factory ... Does it have a cd with th HK?
I am at heart an Alpine Fan, always have been .....
Well i'm gonna wait & see what happen when my oem deck comes back from the shop..... Since I have to wait almost two weeks i'm gonna seen some sort of compensation .... The hardest part is trusting my car to go back there ......
I give them some credit, the work is very neat ..... too bad it doesn't work ghead . If I don't get the sound i'm looking for I will switch decks .....
Does anyone know a company the sells a steering wheel adapter ?????
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#10 (permalink) Old 05-16-2004, 02:47 PM
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possibly blitzsafe, but i don't know. If there is one, they make it.

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#11 (permalink) Old 05-16-2004, 05:21 PM
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I would excercise extreme caution in trying to do what TWKTCC was offering as a solution. First off, I wouldnt recomend "chopping" off a speaker lead and terminating it with an RCA connection. In order for this to work, the oem deck's output would have to have the proper output voltage (min. of 2.5V), proper resistance (no less than 70ohm), and the it would have to be a shielded lead. None of these are the case. Not to sound aggressive, but dont offer such advice that could damage one's audio system.

As far as a kit for the steering wheel controls, this is a hard find. They are common place for GM and Nissan cars, but rarely for BMW steering wheels. Your best bet would be to take the car to a knowledgable +12volt audio shop and innquire if they are able to do this as a custom job.

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#12 (permalink) Old 05-16-2004, 07:49 PM
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jllphan,
Not to step on your toes, but Ive been in the car audio business for over 15 yrs. I have installed for 10+ of those. Worked on many vehicles much more complex then the bmw systems.
I never said to "chop" any speaker leads either, I said cut the end off of a good twisted pair rca cable, next you would then unplug the input/ output to the amp (now the amp is dead and out of the loop), solder to the proper leads, then feed the aftermarket amp, finally from the aftermarket amp to the speakers in the car. (This is only one of many easier options) It is possible to use the factory output wiring at the amp as well for 25-50 watts. It really isnt necessary to rewire the whole car, bmw does a good job running twisted pair wires everywhere to negate noise. They dont need to be shielded either, some of the most expensive/high quality audiophile cabling is just twisted pairs with no shield. That has been proven to be the best setup time and time again in the car audio environment. Ever open up a pair of high end Monster/Rockford/PG/LighteningAudio/Directed electronics/ Esoteric Audio cables? I have.
BTW, most reputable amps can handle at least 8 volt input through their rca input, some even 15 or more. One brand we sell, Zapco is quite flexable with their Symbilink system.
I doubt he is going to do this himself, but hopefully with a little knowledge under his belt he will understand all of his possibilities rather then just doing what the shop that blew up his factory deck wants to do. We try to educate the customer about what their factory system consists of and what we can do to make it better. There isnt too much out there that cant be worked around. There are many great companies that make "little black boxes" to interface with all kinds of good stuff.

DHW BMW328I,
Ive had good luck with L.O.C.'s, as long as it is a quality piece and installed properly they work just fine. Dont be scared of them, be scared of improper install.

The hk piece is a very high quality am/fm tuner with cd that is also a navigation unit. Crutchfield is blowing them out cheap right now... Its worth a look definatly.
Best regards all,
Dave
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#13 (permalink) Old 05-16-2004, 11:13 PM
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From your earlier post, it was easily visable that you are no stranger to +12volt audio. I too have been gainfully employed by a car/home audio/video retailer for well over a decade and have gained a wealth of knowledge over that time.

While it is posible to do what you mentioned earlier, it is not generally feasible for the shade tree mechanic. When i say shielded, i merely refer to the fact that most folks wont comprehend how to successfully convert a pos/neg speaker lead to a hooded rca termination. Couple that with the tendency of ground loops to build in +12 volt systems, this would prove an arduous task.

As for taking RCA's apart, I do this with every new line up we carry. I am usually rewarded with soldered v.s. welded connections and seldom a lifted dielectric.

And even with the proper knowledge, the oem audio package in a BMW differs greatly from most oem systems, not to mention the completely different world of aftermarket components. While most aftermarket amps will handle a high volt input (few on this fourm have the cheese for one that would handle 8 volts), the oem deck puts out less than 2.5 (grab your multimeter and go to work) I dont even want to get into line level impedence

This is why i shy away from giving the advice you did, and make the suggestion both of us would agree with, and that is to buy an aftermarket deck with the aforementioned system.

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#14 (permalink) Old 05-17-2004, 06:26 AM
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I concur . Hence my suggestion of the hk unit as well. For a tad bit more then a good headunit would cost you get navigation!!!
Best regards,
Dave
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#15 (permalink) Old 05-20-2004, 12:02 AM
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Update: The shop is going to put in a temp. aftermarket deck til my oem deck come back from the shop. In a way that's good I get to hear my system with the aftermarket & the oem .... the shop is trying to make good on ruining my oem deck. I will let you guy know what happen & how the aftermarket deck sounds

P.S. thanks for all your info it's been very helpful BMW for life
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