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Old 04-19-2005, 06:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hey all,

I'm new here.

I have a '91 Euro spec (Australian Delivered, Right hand drive) 520i.
It's a fantastic car, slightly underpowered for its weight but fantastic nonetheless.

It still has the original BMW tapedeck headunit which works perfectly, although it is:

i) Without a CD player

ii) not of high quality sound (its sound deteriorates at higher volumes)

I have a fairly decent budget and i want to incorporate a headunit replacement, replacement of all speakers and addition of amplifiers (and subwoofer, if the budget allows - but the provisions will be put in for this regardless).

I've been looking at Alpine gear and i'm satisfied that is what i should put in, so the choice of headunit isnt really the problem.

I am faced with the issue of not being able to get the factory headunit out. i have unscrewed the screws (weird pentagonal shape!) and can only remove the headunit around one and a half inches then it gets stuck on the left side. I've tried tugging it but this does not seem to help it. Does anyone have suggestions on how to remove this?

The second issue i am faced with is where to place the subwoofer. The boot of the car seems like a logical place, but im not sure whether to partition the boot and put the amplifiers behind where the seats are, inside the boot and then mount the drivers in enclosures behind the partition.

I also need to add a second battery, as i will have the problem with large bass notes - i think the usual 1 farad capacitors are a waste of money and not nearly as effective as a massive capacitor such as a battery
I need to know where the best place is to put this.

The third issue is what i should replace the speakers with.

I do want to have good sound front and back. Im pretty sure the rear shelf speakers are 5" with a 1" tweeter (aimed at the rear glass) mounted next to them. I think this is the same case up front, although it may be 4" speakers in the front with a 1" tweeter in the top of the dash, aimed at the windscreen.

I think the only option here is to replace them with a component/split system. I spose i am really asking for reccomendations of people who have had E34 cars and replaced the factory gear with better stuff.

I also want to figure out where to run cables (audio/power) to the boot. I'm not too sure about removing the dash. I havent been able to figure out how that is done yet! Help here would definately be appreciated! I think this will be crucial. I dont want to run them together for obvious reasons. But is the door sill the best location? If i do use the door sill, how do i get the cables into the trunk!?!


I would apprecite any advice with this matter.

By the way, i have Dynaudio speakers at home in my studio which i am EXTREMELY happy with (maybe these are an option for in the car. If only they were a little less expensive!). I also listen to mostly dance music, so i want crisp, tight sound rather than the huge booming bass that many people here who play mostly RnB. I dont want it to be excessively loud "competition" style, i think thats just silly but i definately want excellent sound quality.

Andrew/backindauk
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Old 04-19-2005, 06:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I will also add that i've done a forum search, but E34 cannot be used as a search term so that wasnt much use.
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Old 05-06-2005, 02:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I've just done my research and come up with the following:

Alpine CDA 9835 headunit
Infinity Kappa 5.25" component speakers (front)
Infinity Kappa 5.25" coaxial speakers (rear)

Now all i have to do is figure out what amplifiers to use and i'll be set. Any advice would be appreciated here

On other matters, i got my car back from service (eek! $$$$) and it runs like the mean machine it should!
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Old 05-06-2005, 05:37 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by backindauk@May 6 2005, 01:52 AM
I've just done my research and come up with the following:

Alpine CDA 9835 headunit
Infinity Kappa 5.25" component speakers (front)
Infinity Kappa 5.25" coaxial speakers (rear)

Now all i have to do is figure out what amplifiers to use and i'll be set. Any advice would be appreciated here

On other matters, i got my car back from service (eek! $$$$) and it runs like the mean machine it should!
[snapback]341402[/snapback]
to the forums,

Nice choice on equipment so far, you wont be disappointed with that stuff. Alpine makes an MRP-F240 that will make those Infinity's stand up and sing.

Alpine's S-series subs are a good choice, and they can be mounted in a relatively small enclosure. A pair of 10"ers will fill the bill nicely, and the MRP-M350 is a nice starter sub amp.

Quote:
I also need to add a second battery, as i will have the problem with large bass notes - i think the usual 1 farad capacitors are a waste of money and not nearly as effective as a massive capacitor such as a battery
I need to know where the best place is to put this.
A capacitor is better than a battery addition. Batteries in their design dont allow for quick jolts of current, they dont like to give it up quickly. Unless you do a lot of parking lot listening (most of us dont), a second battery is a waste of time. Once your car is running, your whole system is running off the alternator, not the battery. You could take your battery out and set it in the passenger seat while you drive down the road.

Adding another battery just puts more of a load on your alternator, because now it has to supply current to 2 batteries AND your audio system. The batteries dont care that you have an audio system that requires a certain amount of current to run. And now your charging capability is divided between the 2 batteries.

Scenario: Lets say you have a stock alternator (90 amps, guessing...). The car takes 30 amps (again guessing) to run down the road. The audio system takes another 40 amps. Adding another battery will require its own amperage to keep it charged to its potential. Now you have peaked your alternator out and you didnt benifit your audio system at all. You could spend the 500-800 to buy a upgraded alternator (150 amps)and that would help, but for the system I described, its not necessary to do that.

A capacitor, on the other hand (for about the same money as a battery), stores its own current, once charged. It will charge and discharge almost instanty, giving you ample current for your system, and only when required. The capacitor will charge itself inbetween bass notes to its fullest potential (whatever the alternators voltage is).

They recommend 1 farad for every 1000 watts RMS of power you have. The system I described above will be less than 1000 watts, so 1 farad will work great for that.

The "large bass notes" as you described will benefit much more from a cap than a battery, since the cap will keep the voltage/current at a constant level for your amps. When your headlights dim because of a large bass note, you are losing voltage, which hinders the performance of the $$$$ your just spent on your audio system. I would leave the battery at the store and adjust your budget $100 and get you a capacitor.

Hope that helps....
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Old 05-06-2005, 07:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thankyou for your quick reply I will go with the cap. I was told by an installer that they are a waste of money and i should put in a bigger battery ($500)... Obvioiusly not true with a bit of internet research - So a capacitor is most definately the better option both in cost and function

I'm definately set on buying the Infinity speakers. They are absolutely fantastic and will fit into my car no problemo!
However, i'm not an expert on car audio (yet) and i need a few things clarified:

Just on the amplifiers, i guess i will require a pair of those MRP-F240 amplifiers for two pairs of speakers? (one for front, one for rear).

Also, i need to figure out the best way to get the power cabling (and audio signal) from the front of the car and dash area to the boot. I will definately run the cable down the door sill area.. but how do i:
a) get it out of the dash and into there? (need to remove the dash?)
B) get the cables into the boot?

Thanks again...

Andrew
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Old 05-06-2005, 07:14 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Another question :

How much cable will i need? It seems that i can either get 5 or 10 metre (17 or 35 feet) RCA cables and power kits... I dont want to get it too short, and not excessively long - especially for the RCA

Where is the best place to buy the Infinity speakers? i have checked out the bay but i can only find the "reference" models. I want Kappa!
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Old 05-08-2005, 01:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by backindauk@May 6 2005, 06:11 AM
Thankyou for your quick reply I will go with the cap. I was told by an installer that they are a waste of money and i should put in a bigger battery ($500)... Obvioiusly not true with a bit of internet research - So a capacitor is most definately the better option both in cost and function

I'm definately set on buying the Infinity speakers. They are absolutely fantastic and will fit into my car no problemo!
However, i'm not an expert on car audio (yet) and i need a few things clarified:

Just on the amplifiers, i guess i will require a pair of those MRP-F240 amplifiers for two pairs of speakers? (one for front, one for rear).

Also, i need to figure out the best way to get the power cabling (and audio signal) from the front of the car and dash area to the boot. I will definately run the cable down the door sill area.. but how do i:
a) get it out of the dash and into there? (need to remove the dash?)
B) get the cables into the boot?

Thanks again...

Andrew
[snapback]341417[/snapback]
a) its not too bad, run them down the passenger side, the glove box removal will allow a little bit of room to run cabling.

B) the rear seat most of the time has to be removed. you can run the cabling through there.

c) you only need to buy the one amplifier, it is a four channel and will run all four of your midrange very nicely.

Quote:
Another question :

How much cable will i need? It seems that i can either get 5 or 10 metre (17 or 35 feet) RCA cables and power kits... I dont want to get it too short, and not excessively long - especially for the RCA

Where is the best place to buy the Infinity speakers? i have checked out the bay but i can only find the "reference" models. I want Kappa!
the 5 meter set will work fine, it will be long enough to get you in to the trunk and you will have about 1/2 meter left over.

ebay kappa sales: http://search.ebay.com/kappa_Car-Electroni...pZ1QQsacatZ3270
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Old 05-18-2005, 12:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Wonderful.

Thankyou for your replies.

Now, my car has the battery in the front of the car above the right suspension tower. Can i mount the amplifier under the rear seat (using the positive connection which would form the fusible link for a seat mounted battery) rather than having to run the power from the front of the car all the way to the boot? It seems logical to do it that way. I guess these two lines are the same and there wouldnt be much potential difference between that and the battery (if any).

It seems even more logical to place the amplifier there as there is access to the rest of the car wiring (including existing speaker wiring and so on) and it will definately be tidier than having the amplifier for my speakers mounted in the boot. The only problem may be air circulation... But this alpine amplifier doesnt generate much heat anyway.

Let us know and thanks again for your replies

Andrew
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Old 05-18-2005, 01:26 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Argh!

I cant get the existing head unit out.

I've undone the screws behind the little flaps but now i can only get one side out. It seems as if there is something stuck behind the headunit or one of those screw things hasnt released from the dash. Either way, i cant get it out! I have pulled really hard which only pulls out the right side more.

Any tips?
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Old 05-18-2005, 05:21 AM   #10 (permalink)
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You can try the connection for the battery there. I dont know the size of wire that is under there. It would need to be an 8ga. or larger. If not, go ahead and run a line from the battery (fused out by the battery to protect your car).

The amplifier needs room to breathe, so under the seat is not a good place, it will overheat. Even though the amp doesnt heat up much right now, putting it in a place where the hot air cant escape will make it heat up, and eventually damage the amp. I would put it in the trunk.

Make sure you are actually turning the screw, these are REALLY soft metal and will strip out easily. Push the radio back in, unscrew it some more and then try to pull it out again. By pushing it back in, it may release the locking mechanism.
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Old 05-18-2005, 05:34 AM   #11 (permalink)
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The screw on that side is rooted, i have just realised that the actual head of the screw is detached from the threaded part.

I am not sure what to do in this instance... The head unit slides out a couple of cm, maybe around 2cm while the other side seems free and can be pulled out about 5cm.

That cable is indeed 4gauge and it will be just fine i think!
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Old 05-19-2005, 04:13 AM   #12 (permalink)
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It took me over an hour and a bit of drilling but that bitch is right out of there! A simple prying out with a screwdriver on the left side was needed to get the stuck bits out. I ended up just drilling out that whole screw assembly

It was caught on the left side of the radio on this connector which is coming off the harness at that point.

Now its much easier to understand! I finally have figured out how to do everything.
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Old 05-19-2005, 05:21 AM   #13 (permalink)
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do me a favor and make sure you fuse your cable within a couple of inches (less than 12") from the point that you tap into the 4ga. thats back there. this will protect your car from catching fire if something goes wrong with your cable/amplifier (i.e.: car wreck, pinched wire, amp dead shorts, there are a bunch more scenarios)

glad i could help, good luck to the rest of your install...
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Old 05-19-2005, 06:36 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by da_bull@May 19 2005, 09:21 PM
do me a favor and make sure you fuse your cable within a couple of inches (less than 12") from the point that you tap into the 4ga. thats back there. this will protect your car from catching fire if something goes wrong with your cable/amplifier (i.e.: car wreck, pinched wire, amp dead shorts, there are a bunch more scenarios)

glad i could help, good luck to the rest of your install...
[snapback]345931[/snapback]

I've already got that No expense has been spared by BMW in getting the electrics right in the car, it makes things quite easy. I'm getting all the wiring done when i have the chance (speakers, RCA, headunit) and then getting a local installer to do the amps in the back (connect + mount).

Alpine headunit will be here next week. Woohoo!

Thanks again...
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Old 06-03-2005, 02:32 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I have actually gone for a slightly different setup.

Focal Polyglass 130V2 components x 4
Alpine MRV-F345 Amplifier
Focal 13" sub in enclosure (SB33 V2)
Alpine MRD-M605 amplifier for sub

I installed the headunit on Wednesday with a HUGE improvement in sound quality over stock system, however it is not enough as it still distorts at ~20 on the Headunit.

I found a rubber seal which i am going to run the power cable through which goes directly into the cabin on the driver's side. Very easy!

I just need to purchase some speaker cable this weekend to do all the cabling and i will be in business!

I bought 3x Stinger Helix series 5.2 metre RCA cables so everything is cabled at once.

Is there a way i can use the amplifier link box KCE-511m (or 510m) with these amplifiers and my CDA-9835 headunit? I dont want to order it unless i can definately do it.

Another question... If i add the iPod interface, can i still use a CD changer with the headunit?

Thanks for your help everyone, i cant find the info anywhere else. Other forums are not as helpful either!

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