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Old 10-06-2004, 10:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Two Questions:

1)I have just purchased a 1999 E46 BMW 328i and want to upgrade my sound. The dealer quoted me $1500 for the 6 disc cd and install, it is already prewired and I can get the changer for under $500 - is this easy to do myself, is this a fair price?

2) I want to upgrade the speakers and add a sub and power amps, but keep the deck as is. First off can I get good sound with the factory deck? Second has anyone had any experience with Focal Speakers, JL Subs and Audison Power amps, I have the 8 speaker system, so for speakers sub and 2 poweramps they are quoting me $2195 which includes install, any thoughts or other alternatives?

Thanks, this is my first post, and I love my Beemer!
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Old 10-16-2004, 11:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Your can get great sound from your stock head unit with aftermarket amplifiers. Focal speakers are awesome, as are JL subs. Built the right box and make sure you have adequate ventalation from the trunk into the car to get the most out of your bass. BMW's are designed with a lot of sound deadening, and therefore not a lot of your bass will make it from the trunk into the car. I'd recommend going to a good car audio/upholstery shop where they can custom build you a box, and cut a vent in your rear package tray underneathe the rear windshield and cover it with grille cloth. This will let your bass come in. I'd definately recommend getting a 4-channel amp and a sub amp. Your may not need a four channel amp if your stock system is factory amplified and sound good, but just lacks bass.
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Old 10-17-2004, 12:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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If you wish to add the oem changer, fine, but install it yourself. It's not hard, and more importantly, assinine to pay that kind of $$$ to the stealership.

If you wish to add aftermarket speakers, amp, and sub; forget the oem changer and replace your head unit with a quality aftermarket head unit. You could purchase a great deck for well under $500 (the cost of your changer), and would realistically the only way to add other aftermarket components.

Yes you could leave the oem deck, and add the other stuff, but that is certainly bassackwards. The head unit is the beging of everything, hence it being called the head unit or source unit.

A line level converter would be necessary if you wish to add an aftermarket amp to the oem deck, and this would start the signal flow in a very dirty fashion leading to the dissemination of a dirty signal througout the rest of your brand new aftermarket audio system. ghead

Either add the oem changer and leave it, or buy an aftermarket head unit, and then add whatever you want. I recomend...

Head Units
Nakamichi- High End
Alpine- Mid Grade
Kenwood- Good Entry Level

Amps:
Xtant or HiFonics- High End
Precision Power or Infinity- Mid Grade
Kenwood Excelon- Good Entry Level

Speakers
DynaAudio or Diamond Audio - High End
Infinity, PolkAudio, MBQuart- Mid Grade

Subs
Xtant, Hart High End
Infinity, Kicker- Mid Grade

Your choices are fine, but the above are all prefered. As for improving ventilation, any system built right doesn't need any cuting or venting to add bass. I have one 8" sub, yup one 8, and it is more than I need, and I have modified nothing.

Just opinions from someone who knows, merely my $.02
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Old 10-20-2004, 04:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Firstly subs, Have a look at this link

http://www.autoacoustics.co.uk/sbo-e464.htm

Save you losing your trunk. Alternatively, you could do what I did (pictures attached. I have since changed the 10" for a 15" and the bass is awesome.

I have the standard HU and BMW cd changer. The rear speakers are disconnected but the speaker output is running directly into my amp (it is made to take it). The HU is running Macrom components in the front (similar sort of quality to Focal. I never expected it to sound as good as it does but it really does sound good. I do have every intention of changing the HU and adding another amp, both of which are sat awaiting installation. However, it is going to take me 12-15 hours to do properly and it sounds so good now that it is no longer a priority.

Your choice of Focal is fine. JL subs are fine too but a little warm sounding for my tastes. I have never hearn of Audison amps.
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