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Old 01-30-2005, 09:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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We recently purchased a 96 328I - love it.

Initially, the CD's and radio only worked intermitently. We did some checking and talked with our local BMW dealer and they advised it was probably the head. We purchased a BMW E36 C33 Alpine Radio Stereo Head on ebay. Installed and it worked great for 1 week.

Now, our problem isn't quite the same - the CD's work, but the radio stations don't come in clear. We don't hear static, the sound is fuzzy with some background noise - especially FM stations. Has anyone else had these problems? any advice??
Thanks!
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Old 01-30-2005, 09:26 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You might get better help in the audio forum...

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Old 01-30-2005, 09:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Do this real quick. Tune it in to a known, strong AM station around your area. If you can pick up AM your antenna is fine and the FM tuner is bad. If you cannot pickup AM, its a good chance that your antenna is either not plugged in all the way or the antenna is bad. AM HAS to have a good, working antenna to recieve. You can pick up FM with a poor antenna. Do this and post your results. Hope this helps...
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Old 01-30-2005, 10:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally posted by da_bull@Jan 30 2005, 09:57 AM
Do this real quick. Tune it in to a known, strong AM station around your area. If you can pick up AM your antenna is fine and the FM tuner is bad. If you cannot pickup AM, its a good chance that your antenna is either not plugged in all the way or the antenna is bad. AM HAS to have a good, working antenna to recieve. You can pick up FM with a poor antenna. Do this and post your results. Hope this helps...
[snapback]282358[/snapback]

Thanks for your quick reply! We do get AM stations much clearer than FM stations -
What are the chances that both heads had bad FM tuners?? Thanks so much for your help!
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Old 01-30-2005, 11:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Its entirely possible. Ive seen it happen in more GM vehicles than I could shake a stick at. Most factory radios will last 8-10 years, and if you got one out of the same (or close) model year, when they do have a problem, typically goes across the board, until a model change.
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Old 01-30-2005, 05:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Do you think it is worth it to get another used BMW head, or are we better off getting a brand new Pioneer (or other brand) from an electronic shop?
Thanks again
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Old 01-30-2005, 06:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Having sold/installed car audio for 18+ years, I have seen a lot of factory untis go bad, you almost will never be disappointed with an aftermaket radio. I have had Pioneer (Premier, its the better series) for over 5 years with no clicks or glitches. The sound quality is good. My current shop installs Kenwood and Alpine, both are good products. The main thing is really, really, really listen to all of the products anyone suggests before purchasing. Purchase the one that sounds the best to your ears, not just because someone recommended it. You are the one that is going to be listening to it, not someone in here, at work, or the commision-based salesperson. Listen to everyones ideas and please YOUR ears.
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Old 01-30-2005, 06:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If we buy a new head (Alpine or Kenwood), do we need to get all new compontents (CD changer, speakers, etc)? I would assume we'd need a new CD changer - but are we OK with the orginal speakers?
They are a bit lame, so maybe we be better off with all new compontents...what are your thoughts?
Also - would you "trust" a electronics store to do the install? or would you bring it to a BMW shop? I have heard some horror stories about having an electronics shop install.
Thanks again.
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Old 01-30-2005, 07:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I would not go to a large chain store for install (best buy, circuit city etc) Check out a reputable car audio store (one that thats all they do, car audio). The people that work there are there just to do car audio. Thats what bugs me at the chain stores is the guy that sold you your microwave last week and was an expert on microwaves, is now an expert in car audio and knows what you want in your BMW?? Not this guy...
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Old 01-30-2005, 09:02 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Excellent - Thanks for all your help! I really appreciate it.
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