So here is my new Alpine. Awesome deal from Crutchfield. ($199) The shit deal was when i had to solder 26 connections. With the soldering i have a much better connection though. The downside to all that was that the Crutchfield instructions were wrong on a few different things. But their staff was helpful and polite and cool. Total time was about 4-5 hours. The new stereo smokes my old one and the sound is phenomenal. I would do it again if i had to. Here are some picks. I will take some night ones to show you the nice BMW color scheme that it comes with (the LED's can go blue, green or amber). Thanks for the recommendations to go to a new Alpine head-unit guys!!
Originally posted by Larry Horne@Apr 2 2005, 10:06 PM Morph,
Which Alpine did you get? I have the same panel in my 1997 328 and am debating the selection between Alpine and Wenwood.
BTW did you have an OEM business HU to start. If so what happened to it? Mine went dim then I shorted it out and now the LEDs all glow dark solid amber.
Nice job. What were the glitches?
I bought the Alpine 9847 from Crutchfield (www.crutchfield.com). It's a sweet little unit and only cost me $240 for the stereo, the BMW wiring harness and the PAC OEM-2 conversion harness - the shipping is free. Just be ready for 2-3 hours of soldering, or 1-2 of wire-crimping. Email me or PM me or something if you go that route because there are a few changes you'll want to know about from the manual when installing.
I had the standard radio/tape player up front. The reason i bought the Alpine is because i had a shitty FM modulated Sony 10-disc that i couldn't handle any more. I still have the old radio for the bimmer, but i highly recommend this deal if you can afford it. The sound is fricken awesome!! Huge improvement over the stock radio...
Crutchfield recommended the CDA 9847 ($199) but their first recommendation was the Kenwood KDC889 ($449). I'm trying to stay with the mostly black face to match the original panel and I really like the Radio Data System (RDS) and Kenwood is just about the only company to have this feature. Also would go SAT. I hate to trash the factory unit, I'm not a music nut, things were ok the way they were but now i can not see the display so changing channels sucks. I have to tell you that my factory CD changer has been replaced once and is not acting up again and no more $250 to the STEALER. ghead
The only thing that is wrong with my OEM HU ALPINE
65.12-8 364 944 is the display. Went dim then I ended up shorting it out on the 12th disassemply. Been looking on ebay for one but most have the dim display problem, its common.
My understand is that the wireless remote for the 9847 is optional. did you get it? What else did you do to the system?
So i am not familiar with Kenwood. I hear they make a great system, but that is about it. I have had experience with Alpine, and depending on the BMW, the rear changer is Alpine and i don't know about the HU.
I am not familiar with the RDS. I mainly listen to CDs, but have lots from certain artists (about 30 Skinny Puppy CDs, 26 Nine Inch Nails, 8-10 Tori Amos etc.) The things that attracted me to the Alpine were cost, MP3 compatability, $99 iPod adapter that can control the iPod from the stereo and my previous Alpine history. Now i can put all my music (from one artist) on to one or two cd's, which makes my CD holder drastically smaller (a good thing).
After installing it (see above posts for how the install went) i totally love it. A great price, a great product and i think it looks great. The color scheme can be changed to your liking (blue, green, red, amber). The volume knob has a little rubberized grip and is comfortable to use. The 'mute' feature is nice. There is a volume fade on start up after 'unmuting.' I also like the physical look of the unit in the car. The sound is awesome. I would have guessed that it cost more if i heard it. It is a definite improvement over the factory unit. Also the ergonomics and architecture or the unit are great! Easy to navigate and it is pretty intuitive. I would definitely recommend it, particularly if you want to only burn $250 for everything, or $350 if you plan on using it with an iPod (which is my eventual plan). I don't know, but think it has XM capabilities.
I hope this helps!! Any other questions i'll be glad to help with.
(i decided not to email you and post here in the event that this helps more then 1 person. )
Originally posted by Larry Horne@Apr 3 2005, 07:51 AM Morph,
Very well put.
FYI factory HU and charger are Alpine (BMW prorietary) in my '97 328i.
Your are correct. I am torn between efficient and ecomonic with great sound for $350 or gatchety for $750. Most likely taking the econ road.
You may hear more from me regarding install tips.
Thx, very useful.
No problem. Email me [email@example.com] if and when you order it or know this now, when you get the wiring harness from Alpine (comes with the stereo) and you go into the PAC OEM-2, you need to solder the Blue/White to the Blue and then from the PAC to the BMW Adapter harness you need to go Blue/Blue. I forget why (it was explained to me briefly on the phone) but if you don't you'll have issues. Also you do not use the Grey/Red, Voilet/Red, Green/Red, White/Red as you might think when wiring speakers, instead the solid colors are + and the Color/Black are - (there are positive and negative speaker wires for each speaker). This was not as clear as it could have been in the instructions.
If you solder expect 2.5-4 hours for installation (unless you have done a lot of soldering/car stereo stuff in the past). I have done a fair amount of soldering for making sound cables, but not car audio stuff, so it was the schematics and making sure i got it all right that took the longest. I recommend soldering because it creates a better connection than twisting and capping.
Regardless, you can call the tech support for further help (or this forum) and with the above in mind, it should be a no brainer. I can post some more picutres is you like.
If it is any consolation, i considered spending more myself, but decided against due to my past experiences with Alpine. For $200-350 you can get some pretty sweet Alpine units!!
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