DennisCooper

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About DennisCooper

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    Advanced Member

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  • Current Car E39 530d Touring - Ex Police
  • Gender Male
  • Location West London / Heathrow
  1. Speaker advice

    Hi, As per above! The OEM audio setups are custom versions made by BMW and you can't just use other standard car audio products directly with them. If you do, you'll still get 'sound' output, but it won't be right or sound as good as it potentially could. It sounds as though you are trying to retain the head unit aspect and only want to upgrade the speakers. There's custom fit and compatible speakers which are matched to the BMW specifications so make the OEM audio sound significantly better. Those are the speakers you'll need. The same question pops up from time to time so take a look at this thread and the link I've provided where you can choose from various E46 specific speaker upgrades I'd also suggest using the upgrade sets as designed, remove the old oem stuff and put in the upgraded crossover/mid woofer and tweeter in place.  Cheers, Dennis!  
  2. Wheels for E46 330cd

    Hi, You'll get choices for a decent amount of concavity on the rear wheels with that design aesthetic. The front wheels have a much more limited choice and thus, they'll be a light concave at best. This is due to the offset used on the 3 series over the multiple model designations. If you want a much deeper front concave wheel, then you'll need to look at custom wheels and/or 2/3 piece ones.  As an alternative, you'll find a bit more choice where wheels have a deep lip type design. These will usually have flatter centres but you'll find them with a quite a deep rear wheel lip, but again, due to the offsets on these 3 series, the front lips are usually much less. Again, if you go custom 3 piece, you can get a substantial deep lip on the front too. All depends on what you'd want and the budget you have allocated. Cheers, Dennis!
  3. DAB radio upgrade

    Hi, The only way is to find the ultra ultra rare Alpine TUA-T100 DAB tuner from many years ago and then fit the Intravee setup and I think you also need the Intravee switch as well. Once all wired in and installed, I think you'll need to install the antenna's for the Alpine behind the rear bumper or front one, you'll then be able to control it via the oem controls through the Intravee.  The last Alpine DAB tuner I saw and told an E39 M5 owner about to snap it up asap, was a good couple years ago now and I vaguely recall that on it's own was around £300 and happened to be unused old new stock or, was very very lightly used. Add in the cost for the Intravee at around £150, the switch I believe around £70, you might as well get the Alpine KCA-420i interface for the iPod at around £100 too. Good quality antenna's will be around £75-100 I'd have thought. Any installation costs in case you can't DIY will be on top.  This solution maintains the OEM look in the dash and the OEM controls - it 'looks' like it's seamless when you use the monitor display as everything shows up there. It is of course very expensive to go this route. If it's too much, then look to use a solution like the Alpine EZi-DAB which is a add on solution which has it's own display unit to fit somewhere in the dash and the relevant module and antenna's and is around £150 or so to purchase. Also, you could have the piggyback/modified type of install from Carphonics http://www.carphonics.co.uk/digitaltv.htm Cheers, Dennis!
  4. Hi Plenty of owners have done this. If you aren't so experienced/confident in taking apart the trim etc of the car, then have a reputable installer do it for you. Before doing anything, if you buy one of these cheap chinese units, see if you can test it prior to fitting it using a bench power supply.  Again, as per other threads, good luck if you do decide on the gamble with one of these clone type units - hopefully, it'll continue to work longer term for you. Cheers, Dennis!
  5. Bluetooth and Bmw Navigation unit?

    Hi, All the OEM Bluetooth modules don't have the functionality for Bluetooth Audio streaming as they're too old and were out before this BT profile/functionality became popular.  Baris at Carphonics (know him well and met him many times at shows and local events - so have every confidence in him) will indeed modify the oem modules for better/newer functionality and given that the OEM modules do fail more often, he can upgrade/repair them too.  The car you buy if it has the OEM widescreen monitor as you show in the picture, will have the other modules in place - Amplifier/Tuner unit, GPS computer and BT module where optioned. Carphonics 'modify' those modules for repairs and upgrades at the prices you see on his website.  For the BT audio streaming, you'll switch to the 'Aux' function and connect your phone to the new 'internal' piggybacked BT receiver installed by them.  When a phone call comes in, then if you change to a later version of the OEM BT module, then it may support the phone you have - iPhones currently have the best chance of full compatibility, Android is more hit and miss, so you might have to change the OEM BT module and hope the one you get supports your particular handset and it's operating system revision fully.  Lastly, keeping the OEM audio setup is the most expensive route to go longer term. As per above, the units fail and each module has multiple points of failure so sods law is you'll fix one issue, and then one of the other ones from another module will fail and you'll fix that and so forth.  Many owners do keep the OEM modules as you get 100% oem looks and the OBC functionality.  Cheers, Dennis!
  6. Head unit help

    Hi Tim-Ci, I'm not antagonised at all, this is a discussion forum! I know opinions and thoughts can and often do get heated when it's typing up on a computer screen etc but I always look for as best, accurate and knowledgeable information as possible. Everyone has their own view of course and I do know that there are purchasers of Chinese units who are and continue to be happy with their units.  Perhaps in the last few years, since being removed or kicked off forums, Eonon have greatly improved their after sales care? it's certainly possible. Their website description in search engine results states 'car dvd manufacturer' in which case I'd say they market themselves as the 'manufacturer' of their units and therefore should have consistently reliable units. As of now, that's not the case. In your earlier post, you mention you've 'fixed the 3rd one now' - do you mean the 3rd 'issue' in the list? or the 3rd 'actual' unit you've had sent to you from Eonon? - I think the brand needs to open a 'proper' UK presence ( I do laugh at their website saying they despatch from the UK yet their telephone help line is open from 1.30 to 10.30 am UK time!) and maybe then their improved customer service/support will be much more evident and thus, more customers posting on this and other forums to report that ! Cheers, Dennis!  
  7. Time for a new stereo...any thoughts?

    Hi dontpannic, The Dynavin N6 is a single DIN traditional depth (as it has a disk mechanism internally) chassis with a faceplate that matches the dimensions of various car dash area apertures. I agree with you that they've not provided any indication that their units have LHD and RHD versions. Bennno's post above is the first I've read that a car needed it's airbox cutting and extensively at that, to fit one in. It's the same with all the other Chinese units, none mention anything to do with having handed versions to suit LHD & RHD. Cheers, Dennis!
  8. Head unit help

    Hi, Dontpannic - Basing statements on 'just' internet forum responses isn't good enough as it's only 'one' viewpoint. I've previously mentioned on this forum and others, that I'm within the automotive electronics industry and cover various sub sectors in order to gain my knowledge, experience, industry level insight and evaluations. I've spoken extensively in the past to Chinese factories and their representatives, 'middleman' brand representatives, various distributors in the UK and abroad, UK based businesses who've imported the units from China, actual customers who have them in their cars in order to get a more accurate picture. I've seen some of the above and their actual unit sold Vs units with issues/unhappy customers figures, seen figures to buy and distribute in order to have some factory backing and support etc. Although I can't give you 100% accurate figures, I'd still say that overall, the ratio to happy purchasers where their unit arrived working and continues to work longer term would be around 10-15%. The remainder would be the range of small niggles on arrival to issues that get worse over time to completely dead. When I find a chinese replacement unit, that has better quality internals and build and where the manufacturer provides a solid after sales warranty channel where I as a importer/seller can rely on all at a price that reflects better what the item is, I'll feel much more confident in selling and providing a guarantee to E46 owners throughout the UK. All that have tried so far in the UK over the last 6+ years or so aren't around anymore.  Govich - That 'style' unit you show is a bit better than others which have the rectangle 'block' type buttons. Even so, the unit you show shows four buttons each side of the screen panel and the OEM has 6 and 5 are the same shape and one is a completely different shape. Many purchasers got units that had problems out of the box, some were small niggles, others were more annoying. Some where showstopping and yet more were the fact their unit's arrived completely dead. The lack of aftercare support for those who had more serious issues was what made many post up their experiences. This also tallied with my own research and knowledge I've gained that I mention above. Eonon have been removed from other forums (or kicked off?) due to many members experiencing issues and getting rubbish to nil support and many either just sold off the units where they could or junked them into the bin and lost their money. You've been one of the luckier ones with your unit Mugs - which double DIN do you think you'll go for? I agree, when spending £200-500 or so on a unit, I'd want it to work as best as possible and reliably. If in the case of issues, I'd want a smooth and easy warranty service where I know the chances of a favourable resolution is much higher.  Cheers, Dennis!  
  9. Speaker Upgrades

    Hi, BMW's audio systems are specific in relation to their electronic engineering and putting in aftermarket speakers at the industry standard of 4 ohms won't match the BMW systems. Although you'll still get 'audio output' it's not ideal nor correct which means you don't get the full benefit of your spend. There are a few brands which offer E46 specific fitment upgraded speakers which make the 'best' of the oem audio setup. These are MBQuart, Gladen, Focal,Rainbow and BSW. They are also direct drop in replacement physically as well so there's no need to make any physical changes to make them fit.  http://www.caraudiodirect.co.uk/speakers/custom-fit/bmw Cheers, Dennis!
  10. Head unit help

    Hi Mugs, There's nothing which has decent OEM aesthetics and that's reliable available off the shelf to put into your car. With all of the chinese replacement units, their reliability, quality, after sales backup and support are all low, but they have a pseudo OEM look about them. The buttons don't look OEM at all though. The high quality, reliable, well made and sounding with excellent after sales care and support, well recognized and established brand units don't have the pseudo OEM looks.  If you look over all the BMW forums about the chinese units and those 'brands' which did sponsor various forums etc, then it's not long before you see the pattern of failures, unhappiness from those who purchased and removal/kicked off status of those 'brands' from the forums. You'll see a similar pattern for the UK businesses who tried to sell these units as most no longer exist. There are a 'relative' few who have got unit's which fully worked out of the box and crucially, have remained working fully longer term. I'd say the balance would be for every one happy purchaser, there's 8 or 9 other's who have had issues/problems with their units. So the summary is, if you do decide to go for a Chinese unit, then I wish you good luck in that you get a unit which works out of the box fully, and crucially, remains working fully longer term.  If your budget is around £450, then I'd say definitely go for the Alpine iLX-700. Over time, you could then supplement with a similar brand and quality amplifier and upgraded speakers and a 8/10/12 inch subwoofer and the resulting sound quality would be leagues ahead of a similar setup with a chinese head unit would be.  Cheers, Dennis!  
  11. Time for a new stereo...any thoughts?

    Hi, Bennno2005 - I agree with you that 'IF' indeed the Dynavin has been designed for a LHD E46 and they didn't make a RHD version knowing there'd be physically fitment issues, then as we've both mentioned, it's a very poor show from them given that it's not mentioned on their website or any sales brochures etc. My point is, that on all the other UK forums where the unit is mentioned and purchased by others, your's is the first one where I've read there's this level of fitment issue. No one else seems to have mentioned they had to cut/modify the airbox/pipes to fit a Dynavin N6. On this thread, it's why I've asked Kal187 if he had to do what your mate did.  dontpannic - That's just it! your last sentence is what Bennno is challenging with the Dynavin N6 specifically !  Wonder what BeamerGaz went for eventually ! Cheers, Dennis!  
  12. Time for a new stereo...any thoughts?

    Hi, Here's the Dynavin E46 N6 product page from what is the UK importer Status Vehicle Technology http://www.dynavinstore.com/store/shop/bmw-series/dynavin-n6-e46.html Here's the official Dynavin brand website http://www.dynavin.com/products/n6_e46.php Both do not mention about specific versions for a Left hand drive E46 nor a Right hand drive E46.  Given that most of the worlds countries are Left Hand Drive, then Dynavin *must've* known that to sell their units into the UK and Australia and Japan (and any other RHD countries) that they'd have had to make a specific Right hand drive version.  I'm not speaking from personal experience as I prefer long established and reputable brand car audio that's much better quality so haven't installed a Dynavin into an E46. Given the amount of posts on this and m3cutters and a number of other UK forums where E46 owners have installed a Dynavin and reported back onto the forum post, then as per above, this one is the first I've seen that mentions the Dynavin N6 has different versions for LHD and RHD.  In recent history, a member on this forum took Status Vehicle Technology to court about the fact their Dynavin N6 wasn't fit for purpose and won. This suggests that if Dynavin in all their websites and online advertising haven't mentioned that their units NEED to have a LHD and RHD version for the E46, then it's just another example of how inept they are.  Not sure if beemerGaz is still reading this or has updated in another post which head unit he went for! Kal187 - how did you find your N6? did you need to cut significant parts of your airbox/ducts to make it fit? Cheers, Dennis!
  13. Android Auto - Now available as a Standalone App for your Phone

    Hi Rich, I saw your writeup for the Kenwood unit you recently installed, around £1000'ish is the recommended retail for it I seem to recall. I posted up about the Alpine E46 specific unit for around the same price and a good number of responders here on E46 zone were astonished at the price given the cheap chinese units are £200-300.  The links I've amended and seem to be working fine now! Need to see which Android 5 and above handsets can connect to an external display and then install that in the dash of an E46 with a bezel and connect your Android Phone to it Cheers, Dennis!
  14. Hi, Android Auto is now available as an App which can be downloaded to use on an Android smartphone running version 5.0 or later.  Some links to read up the announcement yesterday; http://www.androidcentral.com/android-auto http://www.techradar.com/news/you-can-now-use-android-auto-on-your-phone http://www.networkworld.com/article/3139061/mobile-wireless/android-auto-20-for-phonesno-more-excuses-for-distracted-driving.amp.html Definitely an interesting idea - what's everyones thoughts? Cheers, Dennis!
  15. What's needed to fit the asteroid parrot smart please

      This is true, if a purchaser gets a unit that works out of the box and continues to work fully and properly long term. As I'm sure you are aware, the vast majority of purchasers of these units don't experience that. When issues/problems occur, there's very little support and help from the seller and the UK based and registered business's who tried to offer good after sales care and help over the last few years have all either gone out of business or stopped selling the units due to the volumes of returned/failed/problematic units. The physical size of them does indeed fit the E46 dash aperture and do have a pseudo OEM look about them which really is their only actual advantage over a traditional double DIN unit. Quinny320d - 'Hopefully' the unit you get does turn out to be a good one that continues to work properly long term for you. Cheers, Dennis!