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Old 01-30-2007, 08:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Aftermarket Speakers - OEM Amp

Hey all... Well, I have been trying to upgrade my speakers in my car and bought some speakers from Crutchfield to fit in the OEM locations. I have a 10 speaker hi-fi system with the OEM amp still in place.

I am having trouble getting the rear speakers to work properly. I install 3 way 6X9s in the OEM rear deck location with adapters, but I had to change the wiring myself. Not a problem, at least I thought. The rear speakers sounds like crap. I am hoping that the speakers aren't blown (which I guess is a possibility).

What I am really hoping to find out is what the output specs of the OEM amp are... Anyone? HELP! I want to make sure that I can match the speakers to the amp better...

Thanks,
Paco
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Old 01-30-2007, 06:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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That factory amp should only put out about 20w per channel. You may have the rear speaker out of phase with each other. Try swapping the pos/neg on only one speaker (doesnt matter which side), and see how that sounds to you. If you bought decent speakers you may actually need more power than what the factory provides. Hope that helps...
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Old 01-31-2007, 02:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Cool, I appreciate the help. I will let you know what i find. I beleive I have them wired properly (used wiring diagrams to find which wires are positive and negative), but I have another set of speakers to test with.

Let ya know what I find.

Thanks again,
Paco
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Old 01-31-2007, 06:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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No problem, good luck and if you need anything else lemme know...
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Old 01-31-2007, 08:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The big problem is that the stock HK amp has funky 3 ohm outputs, whereas aftermarket speakers are usually 4 or 8 ohms. The other problem is that you're stuck with stock amp's hard wired crossover khz setting matched for the stock rear component tweeter & mid. (The wiring diagram may claim "woofer" but it's really a mid.)

edit:
another thing... i'm guessing you went with the 4" to 6x9 adaptor plates? thus losing the oem rear "enclosure" boxes, so you're also setting yourself up for an infinite baffle situation. if you have a 4-door, it's possible (with time & patience) to isolate air movement between the trunk and the cabin, but with a coupe, it's almost impossible to completely seal it off.
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Old 02-01-2007, 10:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Cool

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Originally Posted by DesmoBob
another thing... i'm guessing you went with the 4" to 6x9 adaptor plates? thus losing the oem rear "enclosure" boxes, so you're also setting yourself up for an infinite baffle situation. if you have a 4-door, it's possible (with time & patience) to isolate air movement between the trunk and the cabin, but with a coupe, it's almost impossible to completely seal it off.

Yeah, that is exactly what I have done. I bought some 4 ohm Pioneer speakers and they actually sound like they are blown. So I hooked up some known good Pioneers that I have laying and they sound like crap too. So I have to assume at this time that it is the issue with the 3 ohm amp? How in the heck do I wire the speakers to make those work? I am not worried about getting the speakers sealed from the trunk, if it comes down to it I can do some fiberglass work to make 'em fit better.
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Old 02-01-2007, 01:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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heheh upgrading audio opens up a whole can of worms.

Supposedly bavariansoundwerks.com have plug & play aftermarket speakers that work with the stock amp, but they are really expensive. Personally I wouldn't buy from them but they may have pointers on matching component speakers with the stock amp (though take it with a grain of salt). I haven't actually heard what they sell with my own ears so I can't really say how good/bad they sound. Other than that, you CAN'T just replace the stock speakers without changing the amp at the same time.

However, you could bypass the amp entirely and let the head power the coaxials directly, which would send the full range signal. You won't be able to crank it loud, but the fidelity should improve.
OEM HU --> aftermarket coax
should sound better than:
OEM HU --> OEM AMP --> aftermarket coax

But if it's in your budget, I encourage you to upgrade the amp, it will open up an entire world of new possibilities.
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Old 02-01-2007, 06:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Yeah, definitely an aftermarket amplifier will sound WAY better than the stock stuff. The 3 ohm to 4 ohm difference should only make the amplifier put out 33% less power, but the new speakers are designed for 3-4 times the power that the stock amp will put out (especially since its delivering less power).

Lets say (for arguements sake, I cant remember exactly) the amp puts out 30 watts RMS per channel. BMW designers also make the stock speakers VERY efficient, but only will handle 30W RMS per speaker. Putting a less efficient speaker (i.e. your new ones) and at a higher ohm load (now the amp puts out 20 watts), and your speakers really need 50-60W per channel to sound decent, you can see where this is going.

Especially if you're going to keep the car for a while, I'd bypass all the factory stuff you can. Like Desmo said, these cars are a "leave it stock" or a "get rid of everything and make it like you want it" type car.

Keep the shiny side up...
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Old 02-02-2007, 11:50 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Yeah, I was afraid you guys were going to say that. I have an amp already, that I was going to power a small sub with to get some bass in the car. Sounds like I need to hook that up to run the 6x9s and then get a powered 10" or something else for the bass portion. Well, I do appreciate the information, I really was at a loss for what to do with this. Bull - Desmo, you guys are the best.

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Old 02-02-2007, 01:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Oh, thought of one more thing... Does the OE radio have pre-amp outputs on the back? Or do I have to tie into the speaker wiring somewhere?
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Old 02-02-2007, 02:50 PM   #11 (permalink)
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OE head only has speaker level outs, so if you're going into an aftermarket amp you need a line output converter (LOC) or an amp that will accept speaker level ins.
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Old 02-05-2007, 07:30 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Hmmm.. Ok. Thanks again. I will let you know how it all works out.
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