Finally Listened To My Stereo... - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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#1 (permalink) Old 07-28-2005, 11:30 PM
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Being a n00b in the car scene, I want to DIY this repair. That way I'll know how to get some aftermarket stuff done when I can. Please note that this was a used car, and I was stupid and didn't think stereo system. This is a speaker question, as the radio/cassette+6-disc changer appears OEM.
Anyway, there is apparently little to no bass coming out of my rear 2 speakers (8 speaker system; this isn't OEM for e36, but is it for m3?).
The rundown. I've got component speakers in front (tweeters under side view mirror, mid-range woofers below them a couple inches, and by the feet are some large low-range pioneer subs).
In the back it looks like two infinity speakers w/tweeters. It's these two rear infinity speakers that aren't putting out any bass.

Possible solutions? I know, it's a very non-descript problem; I'm hoping you can give me the "what can I do to find out what the problem is" and eventually a solution. I know that infinity's aren't the best in audio, but consider money not an option - if you can suggest reasonable replacement parts that I can get without having them shipped (apartment), then I will probably purchase them.


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#2 (permalink) Old 07-29-2005, 01:45 AM
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Lack of bass from those speakers is a good thing.

Find out if its the stock amp - if not - check the crossover on the amp.

Are the crossovers that came with the speakers being used - or is it the wrong or different ones?

Maybe theres a bass blocker installed so they can be played louder?

How about the bass on the head unit - turned up, down?

There are a bunch of possibilities, but generally I like to keep the bass away from my smaller speakers and put it mostly to the subs. How much lack of bass are you talking about?

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#3 (permalink) Old 07-29-2005, 09:09 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions, I'll try to get back to you on this after work tonight.
I haven't checked wiring yet, just discovered this last night on a trip to the hospital...
Don't know about the bass blocker...
The head unit's bass is up (in an effort to hear the bass, and I kind of left it there), treble turned quite a bit down.
I'm thinking about getting a pair of aftermarket 12" subs anyway with a seperate amp.

But yeah, there's sound coming from those speakers, but in the words of the witness (I'm never in my rear seat, so I never really noticed/had an idea until I played with the head unit, because it all sounded so "forward"), it sounded "very lacking" and "tinny".
I asked to clarify, and "it was there, just tinny."
Which to me sounds like either a blown speaker or some nasty crossover problem.
But I could definitely be wrong.
Also I didn't check anything yet.

Update to come soon.

It's just that in my e36 318, the bass definitely came from the woofers in back. I hesitate for a second to believe that the 6 speaker 318i system is any better in malleability to the e36 m3 system.


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#4 (permalink) Old 07-29-2005, 11:07 AM
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You might want to check to see if you have a switch in front of your shifter with two speakers on it. One on each side of the rocker. It sounds like you have the HK system. That switch is so that if there are people in the back you can bring the sound forward as not to overpower them. It makes a HUGE difference. There are pics around of the switch or at least that area, that someone should be able to provide.

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#5 (permalink) Old 07-29-2005, 11:10 AM
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I know exactly what you are talking about, I was glancing at pics while trying to determine if I had the HK setup.
Unfortunately, no, the only buttons in that area consist of... well... ASC. So no dice there. Would the wiring for such a switch be under there? I don't think I would be comfortable digging in that area for a "possible" fix for something like this.
Good point though.


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#6 (permalink) Old 07-29-2005, 04:17 PM
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Reviewing information at tweeter is rekindling my lacking knowledge in car audio. I rephrased some of my earlier information. Just to clarify, as well, the speakers in the back or putting out abnormally low amounts of bass - it's not just "weak." If I were to use the head unit to put all the sound in the rear, it would sound like a small mono clock radio in the back just in front of the third brake light.
So I'm beginning to think it's the speakers. Just for kicks, I'll check wiring. Any suggestions on speakers? What size fits that rear deck? I know the e36 318i I had used some stupid Nokia speakers with a random size (4T). They looked like really miniscule subs. These speakers are different; just rear deck woofers. No boxes or anything. Anyway, just wondering the size... thinking about getting speakers at Best Buy or Tweeter tonight.


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#7 (permalink) Old 07-29-2005, 06:46 PM
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It very well could be a crapped out amp or something, too.

a tinny sound from infinity woofers doesn't sound right, they are usually quite bassy unless they are blown. Often when they are blown, they make a funny vibration sound in addition to the lack of diaphragm movement.

There are a number of things here - maybe the surround is gone from UV, etc, etc but you say it's tinny - thats where I'm stuck.

MAYBE crossover is shot, MAYBE the amp's rear channels - but that would just be wierd. If you have another set of speaker laying around, just hook them up to the rear channel and see if you get some kind of extended bass output. Usually, an enclosure of some sort is an enormous help, too - but I'm guessing those infinity's are designed for free-air usage anyhow.

hmmmm.. I'll think of some more ideas and wait for you to post more info.

good luck.

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#8 (permalink) Old 07-29-2005, 07:00 PM
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HA HA HA HA!!! Lucky me, it turns out to be a pothole. Anyone got some wire and a soddering iron?
No, seriously.
Hell, forget about buying new speakers. I took a closer look - they're 6 1/2" Infinity Reference woofers. w00t! Multi-pass for me! Those component speakers were the ones I was drooling at back when I had the 318i. Yay!
I looked at the amp, it looked oem (what does oem look like?) - determined by the utter lack of brand naming. Solid lead look with maybe heat sink functional ribs. Otherwise, it's non-descript and looks like some dumb amp.
Anyway, didn't see bass blockers or any crap... looked closer at the speaker (I took some pictures, but without autofocus, they look like crap. I can post them if you want; you won't be able to see anything though). And that's where I found the problem.
A couple of the wires from the bass leads were shot - snapped from looked like ride damage (no burns or anything, clean tears). Obviously, this wouldn't be from speaker vibration, so I figured it had to be from when I may have hit some nasty railroad tracks.
Anyway, I put all the wires together w/o a soddering iron, and tested the stereo - voila! Perfect sound from those wonderful speakers. Now all I need is a soddering iron to make it permanent. Any suggestions?


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#9 (permalink) Old 07-29-2005, 09:52 PM
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Radio shack sells a cheap soldering iron :P

If it works and it sounds good, and you are comfortable using a soldering iron, go ahead and go for it. The speakers are more than likely out of warranty, they are broken, and this is what will take to make them sound good again....do it. If you arent, just take it to your car audio shop you trust and they should be able to do it for you, for a small donation of 10-20.

Glad you figured it out....now you see boys and girls, car audio can be fun :P



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#10 (permalink) Old 07-30-2005, 12:44 AM
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Unfortunately, my "audio shop" doesn't exist any more... Several years ago the only car audio I did was DIY with my friend (both car audio and home audio). The basics haven't changed, but there are some things that I'm just not sure about yah. So I'll probably get a soldering iron from... I don't know, best buy? Do you think best buy solders? Ah hell. Where's the electrical tape before I blow up...

Thanks for the patience fellas.


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#11 (permalink) Old 07-30-2005, 06:18 AM
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I would check Radio Shack, Walmart, Target, or whatever you have up there. I doubt that Best Buy would have one but they might.



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#12 (permalink) Old 07-30-2005, 08:30 AM
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I refuse to go to Walmart.

Now that I got that out of the way...

Say I wanted to install a subwoofer (2x10"). What brands of sub do you all recommend? I was looking at some Fosgates, but that was a couple years ago... have the brands changed in any consumer-notable way? Also, since I'm sure you all have more experience than me, what kind of amp should I be looking at? Sealed or port? I've only worked with port, never really gave a thought to sealed subs. Placement and/or recommended type of install?

Sorry for all the questions, but all I want is a little "depth." To that degree, 10's aren't really necessary, I can live with a single 10" or even a pair of 8's.


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#13 (permalink) Old 07-30-2005, 02:17 PM
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Get a single... or a pair of Ava 10s. yummm. trust me.

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#14 (permalink) Old 08-01-2005, 01:48 AM
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I am running 2 Polk MOMO 10xs and love them!!! You can check out the system on the link below. Price wasn't that bad and I had to turn the amps down pretty far because they pound. But they are the clearest and the most distortion free sub setup I have ever heard. I listen to everything from ghetto rap to classical so clarity was a must!

Sub System

Zapco is well worth the money and their stuff is great! Just don't bother getting their bass remote control it only turns up the 60hz level. Didn't really understand that but hey it works!

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#15 (permalink) Old 08-01-2005, 05:14 PM
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On second thought, it looks like I'm not going to go big on the subs. I was weighing the pros and cons... and I decided that my desire for performance right now is utterly devastating my desire for butt-thuming bass.
Imagine that.
That having been said, are there any good lightweight setups that you guys can think of? Has anyone tried the stealth boxes, and do they really work (I saw a picture of them, and let me tell you that I am indeed dubious)?


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