E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Welcome to the E46Fanatics forums. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > BAVSOUND Mobile Electronics Forum

BAVSOUND Mobile Electronics Forum
Have all your A/V and electronics questions answered here. Ipods, A/V, Radar Detectors Oh My!
Sponsored by BAVSOUND

Thread Tools Search this Thread Rating: Thread Rating: 356 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
Old 03-29-2005, 09:48 AM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: NYC
Posts: 801
My Ride: 330ci, 911 Turbo X50
DIY - Aftermarket Amp, Speakers, + Subs w/ Stock Head Unit (Make Sticky?)

This is a verbatim copy of a SUPERB post over at Roadfly made by William Quiles (who kindly allowed me to repost it here), describing the steps needed to replace the stock amplifier and speakers, while retaining the factory head unit. In my opinion, this is a must-read for anyone planning an audio upgrade to an E46, whether they plan on doing it themselves or having it done by a shop. It provides answers to a large number of the questions I see posted here daily, and can help demystify any misconceptions put forward by Mobile Audio shops trying to sell you extra equipment. Thanks again to William.

E46 M3 Coupe (with H&K, no NAV) Full Audio Upgrade
By William Quiles (bmwm3coupe@yahoo.com)


Thanks to those who came before me and shared their information with me. They are the ones who deserve credit as they discovered most all of the information presented in here. Please look at the references for some very good sources of information, most specially the post by David Bagby on his lessons learned. He has the CORRECT wiring diagrams, which I used during my install (Yes, my H&K system has wires where his diagram shows no-connection, but it did not mater during my install). NOTE: To preserve this data (since it is the ONLY post I found that has this information) I have copied his wiring diagram at the end of this post in case his post is ever lost – this information is very valuable!


I am not an audiophile, nor do I like very loud music, but I do like clear and quality sound of an stereo system, specially if I am listening to CD’s. When I ordered my M3 Coupe (2002, late April production) I figured that the H&K would have been good enough for me. I also though, getting the upgrade now meant that if I wanted to replace components if would be easier later on. I was unfortunately wrong on both counts.

Based on “unofficial” polls here on E46 M3 board, about half of the owners feel the H&K is pretty decent, although it lacks bass. I am on of the “other” half that thinks that the H&K is not good enough since I was not happy with the audio system on my car (specially the spatial button!), plus the more I listened to it the more I was convinced that the system just SUCKS big time!. I hesitated for a while about what to do, but eventually decided I could not live with the factory system (music simply did not sound accurate nor “right”).

This whole process took about 2 months or so, so I am hoping that by me sharing what I learned it will be easier for those of you who are considering what to do. This post shares what I learned through this process and what I did on my particular car.

When I started I had some simple goals (which might or might not match your own):

- system must sound clear, with good imaging, and slightly louder.

- good, decent bass, although not wanting to win SPL contests.

- retain OEM head unit – no exceptions!

- make the install look 100% factory.

- no significant trunk space loss – preferably none.

- try as much as possible to make changes reversible.

- spend the LEAST amount of money possible.

- try to do all of the work myself (also saves money!)

Not only did I wanted to save lots of money by doing the install myself, but I really wanted to make sure that everything was done as best as possible. While researching for this task saw some photos of installs that were done by local shops that were not done “right”, so I studied my options for several weeks until I felt I had enough information to get started (see references/links at the end). Also, by doing the install myself I can tune and balance the system and the stage to MY liking, not somebody else. Lastly, if something went wrong, I have only but ME to blame J

I first upgraded my rear stock OEM subs with the superb Kicker 6x9 Free Air replacements. Quite a few have replaced the factory subs for these for a “quick and dirty” upgrade on the bass department. For some, this will be enough and it will also be the least expensive and by far the easiest upgrade. However, if you are used to larger (10” or larger subs) with amps then this is not going to be good enough by itself. Although the new Kicker subs were a good improvement, I decided I wanted a little bit more “punch” so I decided to use an amp to give more power to my new Kicker subs.

Let me take a moment to say that adding a simple sub and amp for the subs is what most folks need – no more. If you have the factory CD-changer and new rear left panel you already have enough space for a decent, small, 2-channel amp to drive the OEM subs. You will need to add a thin layer of foam around the H&K’s sub housing to reduce/eliminate rattle (believe me, if it did not rattle before, it “will” after you use an amp!).

You do not need more than 40 “clean” watts for the factory subs as right now they have FAR less. In fact, just look at the active crossover/amp next to the sub housing and you will see what you can not possibly have much power there at all. It would also be best if you get a small amp that has a built-in crossover for the sub frequencies (150Hz or less) as it will make the install easier. You should also know that there is power and ground going to the sub amp/crossover so you could install the amp to the underside of the rear deck and wired it all there. Some of the links at the end do show some other posts about just adding a sub/amp, so please review those as well before proceeding.

You could wire the sub for the amp directly from the rear or the factory subs, but realize (as I will cover later on) that the OEM amp already cuts the frequency range of all outputs (as it has buil-in active crossovers on all outputs), so if you do not bypass the OEM amp you will not have the full frequency range to feed your aftermarket amp. Some have reported excellent sound by taking the rear speakers directly to drive the subs, so you can try it to see what sounds good to you - after all that is what really counts.

Since I decided that I needed an amp for the Kicker subs and since I wanted to replace the front speakers for better sound/image/bass I knew I would be better of by getting a multi-channel amp. After doing some research I found that a six channel amp would work great when configured in this way:

- channel 1 and 2 – front door separates (component speakers)

- channel 3 and 4 – rear fill (provides small ambience for rear passengers)

- channel 5 and 6 – drive the subs

So now I need a 6-channel amp and a good set of quality component speakers. After much research for the amp I realized that if the amp had a built-in crossover to make tuning and balancing the overall system, the install would be easier on me. As you will see in the references, the a/d/s amps came highly rated and always got high marks for being very clear and for having clean power (low distortion at their rated power output). From my research, and since I do not listen to very loud music I found that I only needed about 40-60 watts of “clean” power per channel. Given this I started looking for a 6-channel a/d/s amp and after a month or so I found an used a/d/s P640 (6x40 watts) on Ebay for $250. Amp down, speakers to go!

From my internet research I found that the front speaker is about 6 inches in diameter but that because of depth you can only fit a 5 and ¼”, so I concentrated on the 5 and ¼” speakers as I did not wanted to modify the front door. For the front speakers separates I found 3 speakers recommended (in order of preference):

1) a/d/s 235is or 345is (345 better woofer and crossover but same tweeter as in 235is)

2) MB Quart (although some consider them a little bit too bright)

3) Infinity Kappas

Out of these I was able to listen to both the Kappas and the MB Quarts, and although I took a risk and was not able to listen to them, I pick the a/d/s speakers as the always got rave reviews for being the most clear and accurate, plus the fact that I already had an a/d/s amp meant that the system will work together for sure. After a couple of weeks I found a new set of 345is on Ebay that came from a closing store’s auction so I had my front speakers. Now I needed to figure out how to wire everything together.

Last edited by Seth_Horwitz; 03-29-2005 at 10:03 AM.
Seth_Horwitz is offline   Reply With Quote
Ads by Google

Guests, get your FREE E46Fanatics.com membership to remove this ad.
Old 03-29-2005, 09:49 AM   #2
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: NYC
Posts: 801
My Ride: 330ci, 911 Turbo X50
In case you were wondering about the rear “fill” speakers, my research (and emails to a/d/s technical support) revealed that the OEM speakers are good enough for fill duty as long as you take the very low end frequencies (feed those to the sub) and the high frequencies (only the front speaker set gets these as to not to confuse the imaging/staging). So far this is working great, although I can always upgrade those in the future if I want something with higher quality.

So I started looking in the Internet for audio upgrades for BMW’s and I soon found that late model BMW head units work hand-in-hand with the H&K OEM amplifier. Unfortunately, the H&K amp (and I am talking here about the “main” amp, not the Mickey Mouse, tiny amp for the subs) uses built-in crossovers, which means that the amp and the speakers are matched to each other and that the outputs of the amp already have reduced frequency range. This means that if you take the output of the OEM amp to an aftermarket amp to drive your speakers you will never have a “pure” signal available. This is not terrible (it is actually a good design from BMW and H&K) but means that once you decide to upgrade your system you HAVE to replace the main amp as well.

I also learned (and this is REALLY important) that the OEM head unit in our cars does not use the “standard” RCA signals prevalent in aftermarket stereos, but the much better differential output signals. This means that you “CAN’T” directly connect the outputs from the head unit into an aftermarket amp – you need a converter. There are a few recent aftermarket amps that can take the diff signal directly, but most can’t (check BEFORE you get your amp). My amp is one of those that does not, but luckily for me Peripheral makes one that works perfect with my a/d/s amp, the Vendetta 4 (also called VEN4 for about $40). I am using it and I can tell you it works!

My a/d/s amp is driving speakers with the following frequency ranges, plus I am using a “relative” scale of 1-10 for power:

- front speakers: power 6, high pass at about 50Hz or so

- rear “fill” speakers: power 2-3, high pass at about 150Hz and low pass at about 2KHz or so

- Kicker subs: power 8-10, low pass at about 150Hz or so.

The system is predominantly front staged (driver and passenger, which is what I wanted) and just with enough fill from the back. Since I am only feeding limited spectrum to the subs, they of course have to get much more power to “balance” out with the rest of the system. Yes, there is a little multi-coverage on the low frequencies, but I adjusted the a/d/s crossovers until the system sounded good, seating in the front and the rear or the car. This part takes a while (since you have to go back and forth the trunk and the seats many times) but the results are worth it!.

As for the sources from the hear unit:

- front and rear channels use the OEM front signals, so the balance of front to rear is done at the amp since my amp has adjustable gain for each pair of channels.

- the subs use the OEM rear signals so this allows me to change the relative power going to the subs by simply using the FADER control on the OEM head unit.

NOTE: Some aftermarket amps (like my a/d/s) have a remote BASS adjustment that could have been used instead of the fader, but I wanted the stock look and did not wanted extra knobs in the front of the car.

Components/pieces that I used for the installation:

1) a/d/s P640 amp (6 channel x 40W, built-in crossover) = $250 (used on Ebay)

2) a/d/s 345is Separate Component Speakers = $245 (new, super deal on Ebay)

3) Kicker 6x9 Free Air Subs (now discontinued) = $150 for the pair (new)

4) Peripheral Vendetta 4 = $40 (new – search Internet for it)

5) Cable Ties, High-strength Velcro, labels, etc. = $20-30 (Radio Shack)

6) Amp Installation Kit (ground, Power, and in-line fuse) = $30 or so (but came free from the same guy who sold me the P640)

7) OEM CD install kit with new rear panel = $100 or so with BMWCCA discount.

So I spend about $850 on parts and since I did all of the installation (about 9-10 hours worth) myself I saved about $400-500 on the install. I estimated that retail-wise, my install (if done by any good local shop) would have cost me over $2K – easily. In fact, if I would have saved the $600 for the H&K upgrade I would have only needed an extra couple hundred to have a system worth a couple thousand!.

It is VERY important to have a reference CD to compare your system before and after, especially if like me you are changing the main speakers. I made a new CD with different songs to test the system before and after, plus I took the same CD every time I went to listen to speakers – something has to remain constant so that you can really make comparisons!. Pick music from various sources (not just from one CD nor author) so that you can “really” test different aspects of your system. I have hard rock, rock, pop, classical, soft-rock, etc. on my CD so pick something you listen to. Just in case you are curious these are the songs on my “test CD”:

- Hybrid Theory - Linkin Park

- December - Collective Soul

- You Oughta Know - Alanis Morissette

- Call Me - Blondie

- Sunglasses at Night - Corey Hart

- Drops of Jupiter - Train

- Meet Virginia - Train

- Home - Sheryl Crow

- Hold On - Santana

- Don't Do Me Like That - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

- Refugee - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

- Time and Tide - Basia

- Last Chance - Shooting Star

- Brand New Day - Sting

- Love Theme from "The Saint" Soundtrack

- Devil Inside - INXS

The “new” system is completely unbelievable: clean, sharp, great bass and superb imaging. A couple of co-workers (one of them a jazz musician, another a guy with an M3 like mine but with “stock” H&K stereo) have listened to the system and cannot believe how different and improved the music now sounds. It is like night and day – this is the way the H&K should have sounded when we got it. The new system is so impressive (specially with CD’s) that you can now listen to music louder and your ears do not hurt after a while, plus with the VEN4 there is absolutely ZERO hiss/noise when the engine is running.

Lessons learned:

- Research, and then do more research before you start. Look at the references I list below as a staring point. Those guys figured out what worked and what did not – lets leverage what they learned.

- YES, you can do the work yourself. As I will show you in the pictures below, there is a great deal of work involved to wire the amp to the OEM harness, but it is doable. Take your time – it pays.

- Make sure your amp can take the diff signals. I am exchanging email with another guy who tried without the VEN4 adapter and the noise was far too great once the engine was started that he had to shut down the radio. He is now in the process of buying the adapter.

- The H&K system is adequate, but not even close to being decent (in my opinion, of course). You can spend “relatively” little money and get a really good upgrade.

- The OEM head unit is very good. Certainly not the best, but good enough for most all stereo upgrades. Plus, keeping it means that the steering wheel controls DO work after the update.

- NO, you do NOT need special, pricey, super-duper speaker wires. The OEM wires are more than adequate and are already twisted which minimizes noise pickup.

- Yes, you do loose the speed sensitive and “spatial” mode – and I am VERY happy I did J

- NO, getting the H&K system upgrade hoping that will make upgrading easier later is not true (what was my hope and I was wrong). There is nothing in the H&K system that makes the upgrade easier. The ONLY thing I am re-using is the H&K sub housing, but to pay $600 for that is insane!

- For those of you who like the H&K but want extra bass, just get a 2 channel amp, the adapter (if needed), and drive your subs with it. You can also try to fit aftermarket 6x9’s (the subs I got are now discontinued) and just use the built-in crossover to give the subs only the lowest frequencies (100-150Hz is a good place to start).

- It is worth to get a quality amp and quality separates – my system sounds awesome and it is because of the items that I selected. Even if you are on a budget (like I was), remember that you can replace stuff later, but it is cheaper to put good stuff the first time around!

OK, so here are the install pictures.

Getting access to the OEM amp:

Seth_Horwitz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2005, 09:50 AM   #3
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: NYC
Posts: 801
My Ride: 330ci, 911 Turbo X50

Look at how “tiny” is the OEM amp that is supposed to be driving 6 speakers in the front, and four in the back (not counting the 2 subs):

Push the small “square” within the connector to remove it:

Remove the 4 screws holding the amp down:

Remove the piece of [Oops!] OEM amp from your fine car!:

Look at how much bigger the a/d/s amp is, even though is going to drive fewer speakers:

Although this is not the final resting place for the a/d/s amp, this is where I put it while I tested the whole system:

Seth_Horwitz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2005, 09:52 AM   #4
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: NYC
Posts: 801
My Ride: 330ci, 911 Turbo X50
It is always best to find a ground VERY close to the amp, in this case, it if even better to use the SAME spot used by the stock system for ALL audio grounds:

Of course, use heavy gage wire with an in-line fuse as close to the 12+ terminal as possible (notice I used cable ties everywhere – no room for accidents!):

OK, this is now the hardest and most time consuming part (by far): to deal with this little devil over here, which is really two connectors inside one housing (just pull apart gently the black housing) :

The connector is well marked with pin #’s on both sides:

You can probably deal with this in many ways, but I decided to label every pin (with labels from Radio Shack) to make sure I knew where they came from in case I had to re-wire at any point (which I did). Many of the wires are the SAME color, so without labels you are in big trouble if you get confused. This seems (and it was) a lot of work, but my complete install worked the very first time with ZERO errors. Here is a picture of the labeling process:

Here I am almost done with the labels:

Seth_Horwitz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2005, 09:52 AM   #5
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: NYC
Posts: 801
My Ride: 330ci, 911 Turbo X50
One tip is to group (with electrical tape) the channels as you go along. For example, group together the front speakers (left), the front speakers (right), and so on. If you know that you are not going to use some of the wires (like I did not use the front mids nor the rear tweeters) you can group those aside and out of the way.

Here is the Peripheral VEN4 being wired:

You probably noticed that I am using screw-type white posts to get signals together. Not only these are electrically strong, but allow me to re-wire as appropriate (which I did since I first wired the amp to the stock speakers, and then later to the external passive crossovers for the separate front components). Pick the right method to fit your needs.

Here is everything wired (to the stock front speakers) to test the system:

The a/d/s amp has all adjustments and crossovers on one side (opposite to I/O signals) so it is very easy to adjust:

By the way, I used the a/d/s amp with the factory front woofer and tweeter and although it was a little bit improved with the new (and more powerful) amp, it simply pales in comparison to the a/d/s speakers. Even though my new woofer was actually smaller than the OEM woofer, the new a/d/s woofer has a lot more bass. Those who think the OEM H&K speakers are great simply have to listen to really good speakers to realize that they are actually not that good.

In these pictures the factory lining does not fit, but it covers the amp for now (I drove it for a week like this), until I replace it with the OEM CD-changer kit (with new panel) later on:

Seth_Horwitz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2005, 09:53 AM   #6
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: NYC
Posts: 801
My Ride: 330ci, 911 Turbo X50
Here I now start with the front doors:

I have a link below (from bmw330ci.com) that shows in detail how to get the panel off, so I am not going to post my pictures of that. Here is the door with the panel off:

There are the OEM H&K factory door speakers:

Seth_Horwitz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2005, 11:01 PM   #7
Registered User
GlockMan's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 2,142
My Ride: Suburban LT 4x4
Thanks so much for the information. I used this last weekend and it was extremely valuable.
National Champs: 1925, 1926, 1930, 1934, 1941, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1973, 1978, 1979, 1992, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017?

Ranting about Panny plasmas, Canon cameras, Glocks, BlueNile, and HDMI on a BMW board since 2005.

2016 Honda Accord Sedan V6 Touring (wife)
2007 Chevy Suburban LT 4x4 with Nav/Bose/DVD
1968 Ford Mustang with Polk/ADS (my first car)

2007 Lexus GS350
2001 BMW 330ci
GlockMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2005, 10:41 AM   #8
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 88
My Ride: 2002 325ci
Send a message via AIM to kapkani83
can someone please tell me where to tap in for the LOC (hi-low converter)??? i know the rear speakers, but I heard you are supposed to tap in before the amp, and if this is true, what is the wiring diagram for the non-HK amp?? and just to make sure is the amp on the driver side or the passenger side?? my car is an '02 325ci (and this is just for simple a mono-subs install
kapkani83 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2011, 04:27 PM   #9
Registered User
Join Date: May 2009
Location: ny
Posts: 312
My Ride: nothing
Originally Posted by kapkani83 View Post
can someone please tell me where to tap in for the LOC (hi-low converter)??? i know the rear speakers, but I heard you are supposed to tap in before the amp, and if this is true, what is the wiring diagram for the non-HK amp?? and just to make sure is the amp on the driver side or the passenger side?? my car is an '02 325ci (and this is just for simple a mono-subs install
Please anyone
91blksi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2011, 10:30 PM   #10
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 39
My Ride: 2005 E46 M3
Originally Posted by 91blksi View Post
Please anyone
The factory amp is on the drivers side of the vehicle, I don't recall which wires exactly are for the rear speakers. If you can see connections on one of the rear speakers then find those same wires at the amplifier to make the connections for your LOC. You only need to find the wires for left or right not both because of subwoofers being mono. Wire the solid grey and solid white together and the grey/stripe with the white/stripe together from the LOC. You will want to strip the factory wire back and solder the LOC wires directly to the factory speaker wiring. DO NOT CUT the factory wiring you are only "borrowing" the signal so the aftermarket amplifier has the proper information.
Double Din Mod - Kenwood DNX9980HD | Focal Be N 7 | Focal Be N 6 | Focal 33KX x 2 | Mosconi AS Amplifiers | K&N Cold Air | Eisenmann Mid Pipes | AA Gen IV Exhaust | UUC SSK DSSR | DINAN Stage 4 | K40 RL360 | Foose 20s on Nitto INVOs | Ultrasuede Interior - Top Half | Painted Interior Trim - Gloss Black | Vorsteiner CF VRS Hood | CF Vents |
Jh05M3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2006, 10:11 AM   #11
Burns Rubber(s)
timmay77's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: C-Bus, OH
Posts: 1,056
My Ride: My Wifey
timmay77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2006, 02:16 AM   #12
Join Date: Jan 1970
Location: currently: Shanghai
Posts: 2,399
My Ride: Jet Black02' 325ci
Send a message via AIM to BMWintoxication Send a message via MSN to BMWintoxication

BMWintoxication is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2006, 06:47 PM   #13
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 1970
Location: Socal
Posts: 572
My Ride: 2.5 ASA Technik SKI
So If I want to run an aftermarket unit, do I just omit the step that deals with the Ven4 and just run RCA cables to the amp from the new head unit?
Here are the components I have:
1 alpine 4 channel amp, to drive front woofer and tweeter (mbquart component) through channel 1 and 2. Channel 3 and 4 for the rears.
1 alpine 2 channel amp for one sub.

So let me get this right....I'm in the process of installing now...I already got the head unit installed and the rca cable routed to the trunk.

cut and connect appropriate wires for the front woofer and tweeter from the oem amp and run those through my crossovers and then to the amp.

Do the same for the rears, but they are not components so just wire them directly to the amp and connect to channel 3 and 4...

Wire appropriate wires for the amp...throw away the stock amp...and here's is where I need your help fanatics!!!

668Ci is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2006, 11:08 AM   #14
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: NYC
Posts: 801
My Ride: 330ci, 911 Turbo X50
It seems like your on target. If you wanted to make all of your connections in one place and not have to hide speaker wire running to the rear speakers, you could tap all of your speakers off of the factory harness. You're correct, though, in that you don't have to. Basically, ignore anything having to do with the SVEN4 or RCAs, and you're good. One note, you'll need to tap a remote turn on lead for your amplifiers, even with an aftermarket head.
Seth_Horwitz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2006, 02:53 PM   #15
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 22
My Ride: 2001 BMW 330CI
Can someone please help me on this; I'm a little confused.

I want to upgrade the sound system in my 2001 bmw 330ci (non H&K) and here are the components I already own:

(1) 2-channel amp w/ built-in crossover, one 12" sub and a capacitor (all Rockford Fosgate).

What I want to accomplish is:
- Use my already own 2-channel amp with the 12" sub for a deeper bass
- Upgrade the front and rear speakers and tweeters (for a cleaner sound)
- Get a new aftermarket 4-channel amp w/ build-in crossover to drive the front and rear speakers.
- Retain my OEM head unit.

I understand that I will need a Peripheral Vendetta 4 to convert the outputs from the OEM head unit to standard RCA.

So if I got this right I'll use channel 1 and 2 from the 4-channel amp for the front speakers and channel 3 and 4 for the rear speakers (high pass only). The configuration would be as follow: OEM Head unit speaker outputs -> ven4 -> aftermarket 4-channel amp -> front and rear speakers

My question is how do I setup the 2-channel amp to the sub? Which wire would I use from the OEM head unit to the 2-channel amp to drive the sub and would I need another ven4 to convert the cable to RCA?
tuckyb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2006, 09:26 PM   #16
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: NYC
Posts: 801
My Ride: 330ci, 911 Turbo X50
You're better off skipping the SVEN4, and getting an AudioControl crossover that provides 6 output channels. If you don't mind losing fader (front/back) control, one of their less expensive 2 channel inputs/6 channel outputs will work for you. This will replace the SVEN4 in the above write-up. I'm not too familiar with the entire AudioControl line, but there are guys on this board who are. Good luck.
Seth_Horwitz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2006, 11:33 PM   #17
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 22
My Ride: 2001 BMW 330CI
Can anyone advise on the above thread? Which model would I need from AudioControl to achieve this setup, and how would it work?
tuckyb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2006, 10:13 AM   #18
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 22
My Ride: 2001 BMW 330CI
I visited the AudioControl website and noticed that the LC6 might be the one I need.

Items I would need to complete this set up are:
(1) 2-channel amp w/ built-in crossover to drive the 12" sub (set a low pass) [already own]
(1) Pair of new front and rear speakers
(1) 4-channel amp w/ built-in crossover to drive the front and rear speakers (set at high pass)
(1) LC6 to convert the output signals from the OEM headunit

Can someone please let me know if this setup is correct and would I get a decent sound from it?
tuckyb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2006, 12:37 PM   #19
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Santa Cruz County, CA
Posts: 351
My Ride: '05 330ci 6MT
Thanks to William and Seth!!

I just wanted to say thanks to the original author, William Quiles, and to Seth for posting this flawless DIY. I've made use of the wiring diagram and front door mounting ideas to upgrade my 2005 330ci with similar a/d/s/ equipment. I'll post a new thread with pictures of my equipment board and additional information.

For now, I wanted to add my contribution to the wiring portion by posting a diagram I made that maps the pins from the connectors on the harness to the internal connections of the amp. I purchased a used non-HK amp from a 1999 E46 sedan and removed the guts except for the small PC board the connector is attached to. The board has six mini connectors on it that are straight-thru signals.

I used 24ga phone wire, solid core, as "pins" to insert into these connectors and mapped the appropriate pins to terminal strips like the ones William used in his original DIY. Viola! A connector for the harness without cutting the harness!

Attached are two pics of how my "connector" turned out, and the pin mapping diagram.

BTW, I made one mistake when I created this. I ran the +12v remote-on wire along with the pre-amp connections. This has resulted in a low level buzzing noise since this wire has power while the stereo is on. So, I've re-routed the wire to alleviate the problem.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	e46AmpPinMapping-052806a.jpg
Views:	5063
Size:	96.1 KB
ID:	181758   Click image for larger version

Name:	e46AmpAsConnector-03.jpg
Views:	1238
Size:	65.1 KB
ID:	181756   Click image for larger version

Name:	e46AmpAsConnector-02.jpg
Views:	1213
Size:	58.3 KB
ID:	181757  

Last edited by jvr826; 05-28-2006 at 12:50 PM.
jvr826 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2006, 12:28 PM   #20
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: IOWA
Posts: 169
My Ride: 05 Phnix Yellow M3
Has anyone made a connector they are willing to sell so we dont have to split the wires???
DMD is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:58 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - 2016 performanceIX Inc - privacy policy - terms of use