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Bavarian Soundwerks' Mobile Electronics Forum
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:11 PM   #1
miweber929
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Woodbury, MN
Posts: 91
My Ride: 02 330xi
Replacing the head unit in my 02 xi w/HK

I am finding some conflicting infomation and need to know what I need to do to hook all this stuff up.

My head unit in my 02 330xi sucks and I want to add iPod, bluetooth and I need HD radio for my work (to monitor our HD stations on air). So I bought a Kenwood KDC-x896 head unit, dash kit, wiring harness, Axxess steering control unit and PAC speaker level to line level conrtoller, all from Crutchfield. What I need to know is:

- Do I need the line level converter for the amp? Most factory amps in my experience are speaker level in as otherwise you need different wiring. If so where do I install it, at the amp or in the dash? Where do I find an amp wiring diagram if that is where I should install it?

- Are there any gotchas in the dash I need to know about before wiring this stuff up? Looks pretty straight forward, but I haven't found much info.

- Anything else I need to know?

Thanks!
Mike

Last edited by miweber929; 11-27-2012 at 04:37 PM. Reason: Found some info
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:28 PM   #2
markusmarkus
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Location: USA
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My Ride: 2001 330Ci
The oem audio system uses balanced signals between the head unit and the amp.

"What is Balanced Audio?
Balanced audio is a method of minimizing unwanted noise from interference in audio cables. The idea is that any interference picked up in a balanced cable is eliminated at the point where the cable plugs into a sound mixer or other equipment.

Balanced audio works on the principle that two identical signals which are opposite polarities (often erroneously called "out of phase") will cancel each other out. The cables used in such systems are designed to carry two versions of the signal and manipulate the polarities of these signals to eliminate noise.

This will make more sense when we look at how balanced cables work, but first we need to take a step backwards and look at unbalanced audio cables."

The outputs from your new head unit are probably simple line level outputs. It won't work with the oem amp.
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:16 PM   #3
halo0
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My Ride: '02 330i 5mt
So you're saying it's not possible to replace the head unit in an HK-equipped car? That seems unlikely.
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:31 AM   #4
eJack
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The OEM HK amp was the worst component in the audio system. If you are going through the trouble of replacing the head unit, you should definitely also replace that (garbage) amp.
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2004 330Ci ZHP

BMW Performance Style 269 Wheels
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BMW Business CD stock head unit - yes it sounds great once you disconnect that garbage H/K amp!
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:40 AM   #5
ccaudio1
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what wire harness did you buy from crutchfield? is it the one with the rca out? or the one with just the speaker wires?
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:04 AM   #6
halo0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eJack View Post
The OEM HK amp was the worst component in the audio system. If you are going through the trouble of replacing the head unit, you should definitely also replace that (garbage) amp.
That is certainly an eventual possibility but for now I just want to get a new HU in there. I used the trick in my last car of splicing RCA jacks into the crutchfield wiring harness to feed line level signals to a bose amp from the aftermarket HU's line level outs. I don't see why that wouldn't work with the HK setup.
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