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 > Bavarian Soundwerks' Mobile Electronics Forum

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rating: Thread Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
Old 03-21-2012, 07:39 PM   #1
opti
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 35
My Ride: 2004 330xi
HK System Upgrade Path

I'm looking to upgrade the HK system in the car but am unsure how to go about it, I've been reading the forums for days but still have some questions. This is new to me, obviously, but I will be doing this myself.

For one, I miss not having a usb input or bluetooth. So deciding between whether to keep the stock HU or switch to a single din aftermarket or dynavin is something I've been looking into. The main thing that bugs me about dynavin is the screen quality, in every picture (thats not a screenshot) it looks washed out and has way too much glare. I could go with a single DIN and have a couple in mind but am wondering if I would just be better off keeping the stock one and getting something like the PACs or DICE. Would I still get better quality sound out of an aftermarket din than if I went with an input add-on for the stock head unit?

The other question I have is could I just replace my HK speakers with aftermarkets of the same impedence? Would the system sound better if I ONLY did that?

Looking for recommendations or maybe some threads I may have missed (there are a lot out there...), thanks.
opti is offline   Reply With Quote
Ads by Google

Guests, get your FREE E46Fanatics.com membership to remove this ad.
Old 03-21-2012, 07:43 PM   #2
Trashcan
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 668
My Ride: 2002 330ci
In for information

Sent from my ADR6300 using Bimmer App
Trashcan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2012, 10:18 AM   #3
Grande D
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: PA
Posts: 3,327
My Ride: E90 M-Sport
Quote:
Originally Posted by opti View Post
I'm looking to upgrade the HK system in the car but am unsure how to go about it, I've been reading the forums for days but still have some questions. This is new to me, obviously, but I will be doing this myself.

For one, I miss not having a usb input or bluetooth. So deciding between whether to keep the stock HU or switch to a single din aftermarket or dynavin is something I've been looking into. The main thing that bugs me about dynavin is the screen quality, in every picture (thats not a screenshot) it looks washed out and has way too much glare. I could go with a single DIN and have a couple in mind but am wondering if I would just be better off keeping the stock one and getting something like the PACs or DICE. Would I still get better quality sound out of an aftermarket din than if I went with an input add-on for the stock head unit?

The other question I have is could I just replace my HK speakers with aftermarkets of the same impedence? Would the system sound better if I ONLY did that?

Looking for recommendations or maybe some threads I may have missed (there are a lot out there...), thanks.
Switching to a good quality aftermarket DIN will sound better than the stock head unit with DICE. Compared to a better sounding unit like the Intravee II or USA-Spec the difference will be marginal between aftermarket source and the BMW unit. The BMW unit itself is of good quality, the aftermarket peripherals are kind of a crapshoot SQ wise.

If you were to go aftermarket I'd recommend the Kenwood KIV-BT901 or Pioneer MVH-8300BT so that you have bluetooth and a very nice user interface. If you go that route make sure to pick up the DIN mount that BMW made, which is centered. These two options will look pretty decent, but not as good as stock. You will need a box to keep steering wheel controls as well.

For bluetooth look up Parrot Connects2 bluetooth- which works with the stock unit for less than $100.

Replacing the speakers will sound better than stock, but not great. Which speakers were you thinking of? As far as E46 audio, I've been around the block several times. I've done drop in components, drop in individual speakers off of parts express, the stock system supplemented with a sub, and an aftermarket amp powering the whole thing. What's your budget like?

I would personally recommend getting a new amplifier- as the HK one is a bit bitter, harsh, and lifeless compared to- say- a good JL Audio HD or Slash amplifier, or something from Kenwood, Pioneer, etc. Tecnic also makes a harness enabling you to install an aftermarket amplifier without hacking the harness.

I hope I've given you a head start!
Grande D is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2012, 07:50 PM   #4
opti
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 35
My Ride: 2004 330xi
Quote:
Originally Posted by zhp43867 View Post

... Kenwood KIV-BT901 or Pioneer MVH-8300BT ...
Just another quick note, I was looking into those two that you mentioned and might end up going with them if I do aftermarket. The MVH-8300BT looks like its been discontinued from Pioneer though, the KIV I like and may end up getting. No A2DP though but its not too big of a deal for me.

I was also looking at DEH-80PRS (not out yet) or KDC-X996 but crutchfield says they will not fit, anyone know why? Is it just the fold down plate they don't like?

As for speakers I was looking at just replacing the midbass with some individual infinities that match (3 ohms). From what I understand, the HK amp has built in crossovers...I may just end up doing the whole thing it looks like. :/ I'm wondering if it would be more beneficial to do the speakers/amp/subs or the HU/input addition first. I'll probably do a write up when I'm done as well, from a completely newbie perspective.

Last edited by opti; 03-22-2012 at 07:54 PM.
opti is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2012, 02:24 AM   #5
Kagedmaniak
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Seattle
Posts: 26
My Ride: 01 M3
Quote:
Originally Posted by zhp43867 View Post
Switching to a good quality aftermarket DIN will sound better than the stock head unit with DICE. Compared to a better sounding unit like the Intravee II or USA-Spec the difference will be marginal between aftermarket source and the BMW unit. The BMW unit itself is of good quality, the aftermarket peripherals are kind of a crapshoot SQ wise.

If you were to go aftermarket I'd recommend the Kenwood KIV-BT901 or Pioneer MVH-8300BT so that you have bluetooth and a very nice user interface. If you go that route make sure to pick up the DIN mount that BMW made, which is centered. These two options will look pretty decent, but not as good as stock. You will need a box to keep steering wheel controls as well.

For bluetooth look up Parrot Connects2 bluetooth- which works with the stock unit for less than $100.

Replacing the speakers will sound better than stock, but not great. Which speakers were you thinking of? As far as E46 audio, I've been around the block several times. I've done drop in components, drop in individual speakers off of parts express, the stock system supplemented with a sub, and an aftermarket amp powering the whole thing. What's your budget like?

I would personally recommend getting a new amplifier- as the HK one is a bit bitter, harsh, and lifeless compared to- say- a good JL Audio HD or Slash amplifier, or something from Kenwood, Pioneer, etc. Tecnic also makes a harness enabling you to install an aftermarket amplifier without hacking the harness.

I hope I've given you a head start!
What would you recommend for a complete system minus head unit for the $500-$750 range (product cost only). Front + Rear speakers (tweeter + maybe mid + component for front, would getting rears be beneficial as most of the sound stage is in the front), 1 or 2 amps, and a subwoofer (sub would be going in the ski pass through in my vert)

Last edited by Kagedmaniak; 03-23-2012 at 02:27 AM.
Kagedmaniak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2012, 09:38 AM   #6
Grande D
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: PA
Posts: 3,327
My Ride: E90 M-Sport
Rears are for rear fill, so that decision would be up to you. I don't have much experience with the convertible subwoofer, if you search here some people have made threads about little custom boxes.

Off hand I'd say:

JL C2-600 front components- $170
Precision Power Phantom P900.4- $229
Polk MM1040 subwoofer- $170
Custom enclosure- maybe modify the stock one- $?
Technic Harness for the stock amplifier- $75

Bridge the rear channels of the amplifier to the subwoofer and the front two to the components. You could leave the stock amplifier to power rear fill if you desire the rear fill, or get a more expensive 5 channel amplifier for all the components.

opti: I have JBL 5.25" woofers (which are the same as many of the Infiniti woofers, same parent company) and they are not a clear upgrade. I'd honestly wait on the speaker and component end until you can afford a nice amplifier, and the sub and components you want and do the whole thing at once.

Do the head unit first, I've found a lot can be forgiven SQ wise with a good interface.
Grande D is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2012, 02:36 PM   #7
Kagedmaniak
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Seattle
Posts: 26
My Ride: 01 M3
I am going planning on doing everything at once - I just upgraded my head unit to the enco/dynavin clone. Thanks for the recommendations - I'll look into them.
Kagedmaniak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2012, 12:12 PM   #8
Young Gun
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: GTA / Ontario Canada
Posts: 276
My Ride: 05 330ci
^ Good luck....

while packed with features... these units are not SQ friendly, sound quality & tunability is not their priority in other words.
__________________
Young Gun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2012, 12:46 PM   #9
zanth119
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Philly, PA
Posts: 61
My Ride: 2002 330cic
Check out BSW for speaker replacements, also amp in development - http://www.bavariansoundwerks.com/

I have the DICE MB with BT and it works well, though the USB MP3 functionality is primative, and takes a long time to scroll through large volumes

I installed the Parrot BT kit in a Mazda 6, works really well, only drawback is not integrating into the car's systems (using seperate remote control and screen as opposed to car's steering wheel controls and head unit display)

I had a Kenwood BT head unit in my old Subaru, loved it, great product, and they use Parrot's BT technology
__________________
"Some people will tell you that slow is good - and it may be, on some days - but I am here to tell you that fast is better. I've always believed this, in spite of the trouble it's caused me. Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube" - Hunter S. Thompson
zanth119 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2012, 03:41 PM   #10
opti
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 35
My Ride: 2004 330xi
I went with the KDC-X996, also have the pioneer on pre-order but I will either return it or use it in another vehicle that needs a HU.

I'm not sure I'm completely understanding but for speakers the stock HU outputs balanced differential to the HK amp, through the crossovers then back to the speakers, correct me if I'm wrong. If I get components will the HK amps built in crossovers work for any speaker or are the filtered frequencies speaker specific? As in, is the HK amp is only designed for the HK speakers that came with the vehicle? I have a few more Qs but will leave it at that as it may answer some more questions. Appreciate the help.
opti is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2012, 06:35 PM   #11
opti
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 35
My Ride: 2004 330xi
I have the KDC-X996 installed, did not use the PAC-SOEM4 and just wired directly to the speaker level outputs.

First, I'm not sure I understand how the sound is distributed to each speaker from the OEM head unit. I know the amp has active crossovers and has 4 sets of inputs ( left front/rear right front/rear). So is the signal directed to the amp then split via crossovers, boosted and then redistributed from the amp to each individual speaker, including the subs (so it would output to 10 different speakers + 2 subs for the HK sedan system)?

Second, what I want to do is replace the speakers and subs. I was thinking about just doing 2-ways (components?) in the front and subs in the back then go from there. Would I need to run new wires for the speakers? Subs? Need help.
opti is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2012, 08:05 PM   #12
Erick Sermon
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Toronto
Posts: 622
My Ride: 2000 323Ci
The amp actively crosses the signal going out to the spkrs. It's a basic 4-ch in, each is filtered and the amp will drive individual channels (front tweets, mids and mid woofers for example).

If you skip the factory amp entirely you can run 2-ways up front easily using passive xovers or active via a multi ch amp or active processor.

The system isn't that complicated really. If you tap signals before the amp they are full range unfiltered leaving you flexibility to design your system the way you want.
Erick Sermon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2012, 08:27 PM   #13
radarcontact
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Crestview, Florida
Posts: 707
My Ride: 2006 330CiC/ZHP
Quote:
Originally Posted by opti View Post
For one, I miss not having a usb input or bluetooth.
My OEM head unit did have Bluetooth, maybe as a factory option. I believe, as well, that you can hook into the back of the OEM head unit and install a BMW accessory for auxiliary input.
radarcontact is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2012, 01:30 PM   #14
opti
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 35
My Ride: 2004 330xi
Okay, so would a 2-channel amp work? Say, if I wired the front left/rights directly to the (new) 2-ways and the rears to the amps speaker level ins and use that for my sub line? Or would this just be pointless as the speaker levels are already amped?

Last edited by opti; 04-24-2012 at 02:21 PM.
opti is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2012, 06:41 PM   #15
fadeaway
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: South OC
Posts: 309
My Ride: 04 330Ci
Hello.

You really have about four different options:

1) Stick with your system and say forget about it.

2) Get new speakers and maybe an amp but keep the stock head unit.
a) do a LOT of research on components and figure out impedances, etc...
b) figure out level outputs from the stock head unit and see if you need a level converter depending on the type of head unit you have. Since you have an 04 I'm guessing you have an Alpine CD53 (or whatever model number that is) which can not play mp3's from CD's and an HK system. Dump the HK crap.

3) Get a single-din or double-din head unit but keep stock speakers.
a) you have a lot of options here including alpine, pioneer, etc... or even a carputer. However, a double-din will need duct work and either single or double din will need a piece of face plate trim to look proper.

4) Get a Dynavin/Enco and call it a day. Plug-n-play and supports back-up cam.

I personally have tried option number 4 but am making a switch to option number 2. I just picked up a Eclipse BT-E600 (same as CK3000 Evo Black Edition) and CTPPAR007 to hook up to my stock head unit in order to keep the steering wheel controls. I also just picked up a dock for my phone to use as nav which will use the aux for my old DICE crap unit or BT when a call comes in. It's a bit frankensteined, but I think it suits my needs just fine. Next up on the list for me is speakers and an amp.

Good Luck!!!
fadeaway is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2012, 05:39 AM   #16
afward
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Sheffield
Posts: 6
My Ride: 2003 M3 Convertible
Hi fadeaway,

You option 3, double-din. you say it will need duct work? what do you mean by this?

I've just bought a Pioneer AVH-2400BT and I was hoping that install was just a case of new facia (DFP-06-04 or -00??) and a couple of ISO Wiring Leads to connect head to existing loom and one for steering wheel controls (PC99-X21)?

Have I just made a balls up?
afward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2012, 09:12 PM   #17
opti
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 35
My Ride: 2004 330xi
This is slow going because I don't want to go too overboard, just want to get a few things and add to it if necessary.

New additions:

6.5 Polk Components
BA 4 Channel Amp

I will be cutting off power to the rest of the speakers and just starting with the front set. I just use the speaker level outs from the head unit for the amp input, right? How would this change if I went back to the stock unit, I'm a little confused on the outputs from our stock head units vs current ones. The one I have now is a KDC-X996.

The other question is I'm debating getting rid of the head unit and staying with the stock but I'm not sure how this will change the sound quality, any input here either regarding specifically sound quality?
opti is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2013, 09:49 AM   #18
opti
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 35
My Ride: 2004 330xi
Quick question, will the stock head unit work with this amp:

http://www.crutchfield.com/S-KvaExv3...s-GTA-704.html

using speaker the speaker level inputs? Or will I have to use a LOC and use the RCAs? I'd rather not use the LOC for obvious reasons, might just get another amp if that won't work. Seems I always run into conflicting information regarding the balanced differential outputs for the head units.

Or are speaker level inputs the same thing as the balanced differential (but only used to describe certain RCA jacks) and I'm reading too much into it?

Last edited by opti; 02-19-2013 at 10:01 AM. Reason: Additional question.
opti is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2013, 02:07 PM   #19
opti
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 35
My Ride: 2004 330xi
I "finished" my install. Everything is connected and in place, final connections and placement isn't completed yet though. I did not cut any wires, just purchased terminals and pins and put them into the amp harness so I could reverse the entire thing if I wasn't happy.

What I used:

Kenwood Excelon KDC-X996
Boston Acoustics GTA 704 Amp
BA SR50 5.25" , 5-1/4" Components
Pioneer TS-SW2501S4 Sub

Connected the components to the front channels, sub to the back (mono). First thing I noticed was a real lack of bass up front. Is this because I went from 6.25 to 5.25? I didn't think it would make such a huge difference. I avoided 6.75 because I didn't want to modify the car. :/ Any suggestions here? Any good 5.25 sets that give off better bass? The frequency response of these is supposed to be 50hz-20khz. About where should I set my crossovers?

Another thing is I have the front channels turned down quiet a bit to match the amount of bass that I would like up front, is this normal? The sub is just sitting in the trunk.
opti is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2013, 10:55 AM   #20
Grande D
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: PA
Posts: 3,327
My Ride: E90 M-Sport
It seems like those speakers aren't known for their bass response... however I doubt the speakers are the issue.

There is no airspace behind the driver in the stock location- and that hammers the bass response of other drivers. You really should mount the speaker properly to the door frame- loading into the door of course (you'd have to cut a hole). I'm assuming you've read about this?

To compensate, you can try pulling the sub/midbass crossover up. Where is it set now? somewhere between 50-80hz? Try pulling it up to around 130hz first (low pass for sub, high pass for front speakers) and then slowly pull it down from there if you don't like it.

The only issue with that- and I haven't heard your sub so this is conjecture- is that your sub has a very high moving mass which might make the bass feel or sound "slow" at those relatively high frequencies for a sub (100hz+).
Grande D is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

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 07:57 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - 2011 performanceIX Inc - privacy policy - terms of use