brioni

E46 Coupe Uk Factory Vs Hi-fi Speaker System

30 posts in this topic

Hi, I’m 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 I’m trying to find out what i’m missing to bring it back up to a respectable level! I suspect that’s 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 don’t know...it’s completely at odds with the quality of the rest of motor, especially when it’s 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 “4x25w woofers and 6x15w mid & tweeters”. I assume there’s also a (Bose? Alpine?) amp hidden away in the boot.

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/partgrp.do?mode...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?

I’m assuming there’s 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? I’m not very fluent with how ice installs work. I guess the factory system is all hanging off the headunit?

Thanks.

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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.

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

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

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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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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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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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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!

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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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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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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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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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thanks for all the replies- just realised my email subscription wasn't on!

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.

Yep, this seems to be the general way forward, although i'm attracted to retrofitting a HK system (minus the rear mid's) mainly because the spec and power will satisfy me. that and the price of 2nd hand parts (hopefully around a similar age to my motor) is all i really want to pay. we're talking about £200 pound difference between a used HK amp and the Alpine PDX. is the fitting really a ball breaker?! although I wasn't planning on doing it myself, I can see laying cables from the boot down to the front could be a bitch although it will have to be done either way. At the moment i'm gonna have to discuss it with a few car install places in my region-(east anglia), gotta find out who i can trust to work on this motor!

+1

if you got standard HiFi, id just go aftermarket mate, will get alot better results ;)

It would be nice and still a possibility, even if i can't afford it all now i could build upon the system. Am gonna have to tot up the overall figure of an entire system, check the budget and make a judgement if i'm really in need of something that high quality at that price and the time i spend in my motor.

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

Tell me about it! and the Hi-Fi system isn't even anything special compared to some of the aftermarket kit we're talking about here but for me I was very happy with it. The come down to a 4x15 system is huge to my ears after driving my 325 for 6 years.

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?

It's marketed by BMW as a 10-speaker system (they seem to include the tweeters in this total). you will see the extra mid range speakers near the rear passenger arm rests.

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 :P

I wish they bloody did! i've since found out the factory system is 4x15W, 4 channels with 2 drive units on the front 2 channels and just one on the rear. The front tweeters are just wired in series with the mid/bass and have a small capacitor in line as a very crude cross over. In other words- pony! if you think its satisfactory then it maybe because you don't know what your missing out on :D

Another problem I seem to have is the driver’s side tweeter & mid seems very low (or even non-existent) which is completely throwing the balance off :lol:

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I wish they bloody did! i've since found out the factory system is 4x15W, 4 channels with 2 drive units on the front 2 channels and just one on the rear. The front tweeters are just wired in series with the mid/bass and have a small capacitor in line as a very crude cross over. In other words- pony! if you think its satisfactory then it maybe because you don't know what your missing out on ;):(

Ive done ice upgrades in the past and there's no way on earth mine is 4x15w :)

Seems when the previous owner replaced the cassette HU for the CD unit he must have replaced the speakers too?

If they are 4x15 ill eat my my own hair in an omlette like Clarkson did! :lol:

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I wasn't planning on doing it myself ... gotta find out who i can trust to work on this motor!

In that case expect to pay about £1000 in labour at least.

there's no way on earth mine is 4x15w :)

Even if they replaced the speakers it would still be 4x15w, unless it was amplified. Maybe your previous systems sucked, or you're confusing RMS with PMPO?

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Head units are normaly rated at 4 x15 but that's max power so a pointless number it's more like 2-5 rms so that's why it sounds crap you turn the up they run out of power and clip and distort like mad

I ca t wait to get my setup back but may have to change my subs as they are not suited to my needs

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Head units are normaly rated at 4 x15 but that's max power so a pointless number it's more like 2-5 rms so that's why it sounds crap you turn the up they run out of power and clip and distort like mad

There's no distortion at all, even at full volume i only have to turn the base down slightly (from full to nearer the middle)

Where would an amp be located if i had one? Im assuming behind the boot carpet near where the CD changer would normally go?

Im still adamant theyre more than 15w per channel, be it RMS or peak.

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