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E46 Coupe Uk Factory Vs Hi-fi Speaker System


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#1 brioni

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 02:48 PM

Hi, Iím having difficulty ascertaining the actual differences between these two systems through numerous web searches and the dealer. I used to own a 2000 X 325ci SE with the 10 speaker HI-FI upgrade. Last week I switched to my new car: a 2004 320cd M Sport and like most have been shocked at the quality of the sound system. It cannot possibly stay as it is, I never expected the come down from the HI-FI system to be so huge. I did discover through the BSW site that the US get the HI-FI speaker system as standard! All the perks huh, but even then it seems many want to switch out the speakers and even the HK ones for that matter. Personally I found it more than adequate for my needs so Iím trying to find out what iím missing to bring it back up to a respectable level! I suspect thatís going to be tricky with the way these motors are put together and I really want to keep it as invisible and plug & play as possible. How they can put crap like this in I donít know...itís completely at odds with the quality of the rest of motor, especially when itís a M Sport.

So am I right in saying, the 10 speaker system has a tweeter, mid & woofer 3 way in the doors and mid & woofer 2 way in the rear? (i seem to remember the mid was positioned above the rear passenger arm rests)
The brochure mentions ď4x25w woofers and 6x15w mid & tweetersĒ. I assume thereís also a (Bose? Alpine?) amp hidden away in the boot.
http://www.realoem.c...e...hg=65&fg=25

So with the factory fit, I can see the 2 rear mids are gone. But what else is different?

Have I dropped down to 8 speakers? How many speakers are in the factory fit?
Are the speakers themselves different?
Iím assuming thereís no amp at all? No wiring harness or bracket to plug a amp in? No rear mid mounting positions, connections behind the armrest?
Any other boxes that make the factory fit work? Iím not very fluent with how ice installs work. I guess the factory system is all hanging off the headunit?

Thanks.


#2 mit

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 03:22 PM

Retrofitting a BMW hifi system will be a big headache.
You've got most of it in your post above.

I've said this loads of times before but you will be loads better off just getting an Alpine PDX amp and some Rainbow Audio customfit speakers.

Everything I post is my opinion. If I don't know that you disagree, I won't argue with you :)


#3 autosri

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 03:32 PM

There are amps in the upgraded version but I would just go after market you will get much more for your money as you will have to retrofit pretty much everything
Im in the process of doing mine I've got some jl audio two way comps with crossovers in the doors
iv got some 6.5inch subs to mount infinite baffle to the rear shelf knockouts and am going to place the two amps in the spare wheel well as there is loads of room above the space saver wheel
the only thing you will see is the little subs

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#4 nathanwest

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 03:34 PM

Retrofitting a BMW hifi system will be a big headache.
You've got most of it in your post above.

I've said this loads of times before but you will be loads better off just getting an Alpine PDX amp and some Rainbow Audio customfit speakers.

+1
if you got standard HiFi, id just go aftermarket mate, will get alot better results :P
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#5 autosri

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 03:36 PM

Does the alpine take ballanced differential outputs or just high level outputs

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purge valve, automatic bottle heater, methanol/water injection direct in throttle body, 50/50 meth/water controlled with progressive controller.

twin 5lb bottles, 125bhp jets = lots of fun


#6 mit

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 04:22 PM

Does the alpine take ballanced differential outputs or just high level outputs


It takes BMW speaker level outputs (balanced differential if you insist) and is a straight swap for the H/K or HiFi amps. It was BSW who fed you that balanced differential stuff wasn't it? :P
If you want something a bit better you could also get an Audison SRx-4 which will also work with the BMW head unit, but since you're amplifying a speaker level input it's not really worth it.

(I have a BSW stage 1 speaker kit in my car and I had extensive discussions with them about this).

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#7 Michael Lam

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 04:32 PM

My 04 Saloon has this "BMW Hi-Fi Upgrade", I never realised how much better it sounded than stock until I sat in someone else's E46 with standard speakers and it sounded terrible, this was with similar sound settings to me.

Both running the Business HU

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#8 sterling01

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 08:51 PM

I am currently trying to buy an E46 (I'm just too picky). Is there a visual indication to tell if a car has the Hi-Fi upgrade or not?
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#9 mit

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 09:05 PM

I am currently trying to buy an E46 (I'm just too picky). Is there a visual indication to tell if a car has the Hi-Fi upgrade or not?


No, but if it has Harman Kardon it says so on the door speakers.

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#10 Michael Lam

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 10:34 PM

Not clearly, but look on the Door Cards, if there is a extra middle speaker then its the "Hi-Fi" upgrade,

Harman Kardon as stated bit Mit looks identical to Hi-Fi but it has Harman Kardon badges on the front speakers by the Door Mirrors and the rear parcel tray speakers.

Also they have a Speaker button on the lower dash pannal

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#11 Stan 24v

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 10:41 PM

The only real way of checking the HK is to find the amp in the boot, as anyone can buy the speaker grilles on ebay.

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#12 mit

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 11:22 PM

Not all H/K have the speaker button. The speaker button is the DSP Spatializer thingy.

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#13 autosri

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 11:35 PM

I have been Reading up about the differential output and havnt spoken with anyone about it
I am going to borrow the scope from work and have a test later this week but as far as I know from alot of info on the net you need different adaptors and only certain amps like audioson and jl will rake those inputs
I used the normal high level adaptors and got very little output to the point where I had to use a line driver to boost the signal even more as I couldn't get the amp to clip on test tones at 0 db and I understand that's because I'm only getting half the signal

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wizards of nos sb150i nitrous oxide kit, max extreme top of the range progressive controller, 6 cyl direct port conversion kit,

purge valve, automatic bottle heater, methanol/water injection direct in throttle body, 50/50 meth/water controlled with progressive controller.

twin 5lb bottles, 125bhp jets = lots of fun


#14 mit

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 11:54 PM

Hmm ok...

Anyway just get an Alpine PDX amp. It will take the outputs and it's a great amp :(

I didn't realise speaker level was different to balanced diff though...

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#15 autosri

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 12:02 AM

I've got all the amps from a previous install so all set for that however much I do like the pdx amps

I can't explain how they are differant but do some google searches and it shows it clearer than I ever could in words

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wizards of nos sb150i nitrous oxide kit, max extreme top of the range progressive controller, 6 cyl direct port conversion kit,

purge valve, automatic bottle heater, methanol/water injection direct in throttle body, 50/50 meth/water controlled with progressive controller.

twin 5lb bottles, 125bhp jets = lots of fun


#16 mit

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 12:08 AM

hehe fair enough. From the name I'd guess the output is +/- voltages rather than all +
You can get speaker level converters that should do the trick as well though (but this isn't as good as an amp that takes the inputs directly).

Don't forget to write up a DIY for it all in any case!

Everything I post is my opinion. If I don't know that you disagree, I won't argue with you :)


#17 Rob-

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 12:09 AM

May just be me but my standard setup is very loud and still carries excellent base at near enough full volume without having to turn the base down. Ive had powerful ICE upgrades in previous cars and the BMW system ive got seems to near enough match them with regards to sound quality and volume. (obviously it wont contend with two 12 inch subs and no sealed boot )

This is why ive never tried to upgrade the door/parcel shelf speakers because they're ampley loud, any louder and id deafen myself :(

I think BMW did a pretty good job on the e46 sound wise tbh. You should try listening to any early E39 with standard setup :D
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#18 autosri

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 12:20 AM

Yeah sort of mate they alternate to each other and when it gets amped it works out what's in the positive and compairsit to the negative and the differance is removed

I've bought one of those Sven4 things I wanted an active version but couldn't find any in the uk sub 200 quid so passive will have to do

it's going to be an infinit baffle design this time seeing as how well the boot is sealed might aswel take advantage of it and the two amps are going in the spare wheel well along with the Sven4 and if I can afford one the eq will be there too and maybe the epicentre if I feel silly during the install

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wizards of nos sb150i nitrous oxide kit, max extreme top of the range progressive controller, 6 cyl direct port conversion kit,

purge valve, automatic bottle heater, methanol/water injection direct in throttle body, 50/50 meth/water controlled with progressive controller.

twin 5lb bottles, 125bhp jets = lots of fun


#19 mit

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 12:24 AM

May just be me but my standard setup is very loud and still carries excellent base at near enough full volume without having to turn the base down. Ive had powerful ICE upgrades in previous cars and the BMW system ive got seems to near enough match them with regards to sound quality and volume. (obviously it wont contend with two 12 inch subs and no sealed boot )

This is why ive never tried to upgrade the door/parcel shelf speakers because they're ampley loud, any louder and id deafen myself :(

I think BMW did a pretty good job on the e46 sound wise tbh. You should try listening to any early E39 with standard setup :D


You sure you don't have the hifi speaker upgrade? :)

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#20 Rob-

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 12:27 AM

You sure you don't have the hifi speaker upgrade? :D


Pretty sure, think i only have 6 speakers. Still enough to make my ears ring lol

They probably put louder systems in diesels to drown out the racket from the engine :(
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