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Harmon Kardon Retrofit


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#1 Jamesy Boy ACS3d

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 01:33 PM

Just started my Harmon Kardon full system retrofit yesterday into my touring.

Managed to get a full system of eBay including:

  • Full HK wiring loom
  • HK wiring looms for all 4 doors
  • Front heated door surrounds with HK tweeter covers
  • HK tweeters
  • Front black leather door cards with leather arm rests, HK mid and sub speakers
  • Rear black leather door cards with learher arm rests and HK mid speakers
  • Rear parcel shelf HK speakers with HK grills (will be selling the grills off)
  • 2 x HK subs (6x9's) with amp
  • HK main amp and mounting brackets
Purchased an OEM CD player from Jorge (Cheers buddy :D)

Purchased a Connects2 IPod connector of eBay (new and for half the price, bargain :P)

The only part I am missing is the HK spatialiser button (and how this is wired into the system as there is no connection on the loom B))

Got started on this installation yesterday and ran out of time as BigRich78 visited (he has some lovely pics of the touring exposing parts that she shouldn't :huh:). Drove to work today with no door card or seats (apart from the drivers), must admit she did move a bit quicker!!

So far I have removed rear trim, door cards, seats, door runner covers, some carpet, stereo, dash trim, heater matrix, ashtray, sunglass holder, centre console and some other parts. Started to remove the orginal stereo wiring loom.

Just hope I can remember where it all goes back :D

Next steps:
  • Run HK wiring loom
  • Run new door wiring looms from doors to body
  • Fit HK front door surrounds
  • Attach new speakers to all doors and refit with new door cards
  • Fit 'loon rear parcel shelf speakers into boot speaker locations (normally this is where the HK 6x9's would go)
  • Temporarily fit HK 6x9's onto boot floor (Next phase is to purchase a HK convertible sub 8" and install into rear multi-CD trim cover)
  • Run Connects2 Ipod wiring from stereo location to armrest compartment for Ipod
  • Install OEM CD player
  • Refit all trim, carpet, seats, console etc.
Should keep me out of the misses way for a bit!

Also does anybody know how to retrofit the HK spatialiser button into the loom?? As I will be requiring the 18mm button which is separate from other buttons (not in a console bar with other buttons DSC etc, which is the 16mm version).

Will post some pics when I get a chance.
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#2 marmite monster

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 01:29 AM

got the HK in my touring <_<
get some pics up.!
mine when the bass is all the way up distorts a bit duno if there is a fault with one of the drivers?
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#3 mit

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 02:06 AM

The spatialiser button you speak of is DSP. It's not part of HK specifically.

I hope the kit wasn't too expensive!

<_< B)

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#4 Steve330i

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 08:38 PM

got the HK in my touring :huh:
get some pics up.!
mine when the bass is all the way up distorts a bit duno if there is a fault with one of the drivers?


I've got it in my touring, too.

The bass is a bit overpowering and boomy when turned up.

Pretty disappointing for a so-called 'premium' sound system - no where near as crisp and rich sounding as the standard system in a '98 A4 my wife used to have.
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#5 Jamesy Boy ACS3d

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 10:28 PM

The spatialiser button you speak of is DSP. It's not part of HK specifically.

I hope the kit wasn't too expensive!

:huh: :P


Cheers for the info on the button, done a bit more research and found out not all HK systems came with the DSP button. So mines probably one of these.

Got the whole HK system & 4 HK speaker fitted black leather door cards for £400. Will be putting my black leather door cards & all the other bits I remove up for sale. So hopefully in the end I won't have forked out to much.

Hopefully finishing off the install this weekend, weather permitting. Will then get some pics and a write up posted B)
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#6 mit

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 10:41 PM

Not a bad price, yeah definitely get some pics up, I know there are quite a few people interested in this upgrade :huh:

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


#7 marmite monster

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 01:54 AM

I've got it in my touring, too.

The bass is a bit overpowering and boomy when turned up.

Pretty disappointing for a so-called 'premium' sound system - no where near as crisp and rich sounding as the standard system in a '98 A4 my wife used to have.


totaly agree my mates a4 standard system and my other mates mk4 golf standard system kick the HK quality and loudness. was quite dissapointed when i got the car. maybe a better amp would make better use of the speakers??
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#8 mit

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 09:42 AM

The HK speakers are the weak link (just cheapo paper things with a logo on them made on the cheap for BMW). The amp is quite good. Change the speakers and it will sound loads better.

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#9 Steve330i

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 04:12 PM

I thought upgrading the speakers was hard as they are wired oddly (or something)?
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#10 mit

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 04:21 PM

No, they are non-standard sizes but have a look for dicky's speaker DIY for an idea on what to do ;)

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


#11 BigRich78

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 06:28 PM

Well i saw the process of James taking his car apart, and personally i wouldn't even attempt it. From the amount of wires and the ball ache involved, not for me. I already have HK in my car and i dont really see if being any better than going to an audio shop and putting in aftermarket speakers in. If my car hadnt got the HK in, i would of put custom fit speakers in. Good luck james, if ya get stuck i can always bring my mate up who is a installation god...
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325 sport saloon, black grills, black badges, HID's, hk stereo, black leather, tinted windows

#12 richsaunders

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 09:28 AM

Sou da v complicated to me

#13 Jamesy Boy ACS3d

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 12:00 PM

It's better than the standard stereo. But I'm ripping out the whole HK system (loom, speakers and amp) in the summer to replace with a Dynavin V5 headunit and JL Audio system :D Will be putting up as many photos as possible as I do it.
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#14 Ashpotter1991

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 09:17 PM

Just wondering how your hk retrofit went , I know it was couple of years ago but could do with some advise on it if you took photos of the install or any tips ect with new wire loom

#15 Trickster

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 09:20 PM

The OP has not been on since February dude

#16 Ashpotter1991

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 09:22 PM

Worth a try lol having a hard time getting any information on retrofitting hk into my car...

#17 JWM330CI

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 08:36 AM

I have the HK system and think its great. I've had 2 audis with their premium concert system and Bose and compared it with a jaguar with a bowers and Wilkins system and with my unprofessional ears the HK system is just as good.
400 is a great purchase especially as you can sell your old gear.

#18 Mike k

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 10:54 AM

H/K in my coupe was excellent imo, could go much louder than what i ever wanted. Not so gresat in my convertible but thats to be expected.

Does anybody know what the button does though? When i bought my coupe the owner said it turns the h/k amp off if u dont want it so loud but as far as i could see, or hear , in my ownership it didnt seem to make any difference on or off. Oh and my convertible doesn't have the button.

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#19 Matt_330CI

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 08:26 AM

HK is alright.


For a 10+ year old sound system.
IMO you could do better by wiring up an aftermarket sub, amp and a couple of compenents in the front.
In all honesty, I probably would have done the same if it wasnt so damn expensive to upgrade the HK speakers.
Standard(ish) is the way forward.
iPods are for Sheeple. Intravee + Alpine S634 = MP3 but keeps CD's
Retro-upgrade from MkIII to MkIV Nav.
Integrated bluetooth next on the list of "things to do"

#20 mit

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 09:26 AM

H/K in my coupe was excellent imo, could go much louder than what i ever wanted. Not so gresat in my convertible but thats to be expected.

Does anybody know what the button does though? When i bought my coupe the owner said it turns the h/k amp off if u dont want it so loud but as far as i could see, or hear , in my ownership it didnt seem to make any difference on or off. Oh and my convertible doesn't have the button.


It turns on the digital signal processor. The amp is always on.

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





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