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Old 06-22-2017, 02:49 PM   #1
CBVaughan
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Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 6
My Ride: 2000 323Ci
Audio System Upgrade with Eonon GA7150

Just wanted to share my audio system installation project, and also give some commentary on the Eonon GA7150. I am still working out some of the bugs with the Eonon, so I may also use this post to give some transparency to my troubleshooting communication with Eonon.

Car: 2000 323Ci Convertible

Factory stereo: Business CD, no HK

Plan/Objective: Replace all speakers, replace Business CD with Eonon head unit, and add 4-channel amp and subwoofer. Wanted to make a significant upgrade to the audio system, and do it on a budget.

The parts I used for the project were:
Eonon GA7150 ($300)
Rockford Fosgate Prime R165-S 6-1/2" Component System ($90)
Rockford Fosgate Prime R14X2 4" 2-way Speakers ($40)
Clarion APA450 Amp (Free)
JL 10" Subwoofer (Free)
Boss Audio KIT2 8 Gauge Amplifier Installation Kit

I chose the Eonon unit because it offered Bluetooth and retained the factory look. I don't like the way single-DIN radios look in these cars, and my needs for a head unit were pretty basic - look good, sound good, play radio stations, connect wirelessly to a phone for calls and streaming music, work with the steering wheel controls, and have GPS (not a necessity).

I chose the Rockford Fosgate speakers because they were inexpensive and highly rated on Crutchfield. I bought through Crutchfield because I had a gift card. I could have gotten them cheaper elsewhere. I chose the amp because I already had it from a previous system. I have been pleased using a 4-channel amp a couple of times before, using the front channels to drive the front speakers, and the rear channels (bridged) to drive the sub. The rear speakers are driven by the head unit, to add fill. I chose the JL subwoofer because I already had it from a previous system. The previous installation was in a pickup truck, so the sub was mounted in a behind-the-seat sub box. This worked really well laid flat in the trunk under the convertible top compartment.

Head Unit installation - Overall it went pretty well. The only significant issue I had was that the Eonon wire harness was VERY difficult to connect to the car's wire harness. Pins just didn't want to go into holes. I used gentle, heavy force, and eventually got them connected. Very much plug-and-play. Lots of wires in the dash, but plenty of room to get everything pushed back in. Radio looks great in the dash. Looks are a 10. Love that the button lights match the factory color. I chose to mount both the Wi-Fi antenna and GPS antenna inside the dash. No problems so far with establishing connections. Decided against the external mic. I have read that it's more trouble than it's worth, and may actually reduce call quality instead of improve it. This is my wife's car, and I have talked to her several times. I can hear her just fine. Skipped the backup camera. It's a convertible, so I didn't see the value. One thing I had to ask Eonon about was the issue where the screen goes blank when the car is put in reverse with no camera attached. The correction was to cut the brown wire going into/out of the CAN bus. This disconnects the reverse sensor.

Front speaker installation - Woofers went in super easy. Crutchfield provided adapter brackets, and they worked perfectly. The tweeters were more of a challenge. Crutchfield didn't provide anything to install them, and the factory bracketry isn't much help. I ended up cutting the factory tweeters out of their housings and using clear silicone caulk to install the R-F tweeters. A little rudimentary, but effective, and I'm happy with the results. I continue to be impressed with BMW engineering. The factory speaker wires appear to be 16 gauge. Not sure how many car manufacturers use speaker wire this big. It's nice that upgrading the components doesn't also require upgrading the wire. I just cut off the factory plugs and crimped on the R-F connectors.

Rear speaker installation - A completely different story. For starters, Crutchfield doesn't seem to know what size speakers fit the rear of this car. The answer is 5". I bought 4" speakers to make sure they were neither too big nor too deep. Because Crutchfield can't recommend a speaker, they don't send adapter brackets. I had to make my own. I bought a sheet of 1/8" HDPE from Amazon to use to make adapter brackets. If I had it to do over again, I would have used 1/4". I had to use rubber washers to keep the speaker magnets from contacting the body. 1/4" sheet would have eliminated the need for washers.

Wiring - I used as much of the factory wiring as possible. I removed the factory amp, and connected rear channel outputs from the head unit directly to the rear speaker wires, and connected the new amp front outputs to the factory front speaker wires.

Amp installation - It's tough to find a good spot for a full-sized amp. If I wasn't using an amp I already had, I would have chosen a physically smaller amp, to allow for more mounting options. It would have been nice to use one that fit where the factory amp was. I'm happy with the final result. I cut a slot in the trunk tray for the amp mounting flange to drop down into. That secures the bottom. The top right is secured with a screw. Wires behind, nice neat installation.

Results - This system is an upgrade in every way from the old, factory system. It really sounds great, and has enough power to still sound pretty good with the top down and the car in motion. As is true with all audio systems, the quality of the sound is very dependent on the quality of the input source. Some radio stations/genres sound awesome, some pretty average. I am very happy with the stability and quality of the Bluetooth connection.

Eonon GA7150 Comments - I really like this unit, and I want to love this unit, but I can't yet. If it were to do everything it's supposed to do the way it's supposed to do it, I might say that it's one of the best ways one could spend $300 on an e46. But I haven't gotten to that point yet. I have had two ongoing issues. The first is the buzzing noise at low volumes that others have reported. With the car at idle, and the volume at one or two, it is very noticeable. Upon acceleration, it seems to go away. It also occurs with the engine off, when the headlight switch is turned on. It's annoying enough that I need a resolution if I am to keep this unit. The second issue is the screen not dimming when the headlights are turned on. I have been communicating almost daily via email with Joey at Eonon. He has been very responsive, at the sometimes-maddening pace of one email per day. I email him at night, and I have a reply from him the next morning. Kudos to Eonon for the commitment. In an attempt to resolve the two issues, Joey walked me through several trouble-shooting steps, including changing settings on the head unit, and a software update. Nothing worked. Eonon then said they would replace it. I ordered a new one, and sent the original back. Installed the new unit last weekend. Initially, it appeared that the screen was dimming properly when the headlights were turned on. I have tested it almost every day since, and now it seems to be hit-or-miss. Need to figure out how to make it work every time. Unfortunately, the new unit has the same low-volume buzzing. I am now working with Joey to troubleshoot it again. Stay tuned for updates.
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Last edited by CBVaughan; 06-22-2017 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 06-22-2017, 03:14 PM   #2
nealfromnz
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 195
My Ride: 2002 e46
Great write up and nice tidy installl.

Dried the amp screw create a secondary ground for the amp? Try undoing it and see if buzz goes away.

The other is check our rca s to make sure the shield / ground is making contact.

Also can you here the light buzzing through the h/u amp and rear speakers ?
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Old 06-23-2017, 05:41 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBVaughan View Post
Just wanted to share my audio system installation project, and also give some commentary on the Eonon GA7150. I am still working out some of the bugs with the Eonon, so I may also use this post to give some transparency to my troubleshooting communication with Eonon.

Car: 2000 323Ci Convertible

Factory stereo: Business CD, no HK

Plan/Objective: Replace all speakers, replace Business CD with Eonon head unit, and add 4-channel amp and subwoofer. Wanted to make a significant upgrade to the audio system, and do it on a budget.

The parts I used for the project were:
Eonon GA7150 ($300)
Rockford Fosgate Prime R165-S 6-1/2" Component System ($90)
Rockford Fosgate Prime R14X2 4" 2-way Speakers ($40)
Clarion APA450 Amp (Free)
JL 10" Subwoofer (Free)
Boss Audio KIT2 8 Gauge Amplifier Installation Kit

I chose the Eonon unit because it offered Bluetooth and retained the factory look. I don't like the way single-DIN radios look in these cars, and my needs for a head unit were pretty basic - look good, sound good, play radio stations, connect wirelessly to a phone for calls and streaming music, work with the steering wheel controls, and have GPS (not a necessity).

I chose the Rockford Fosgate speakers because they were inexpensive and highly rated on Crutchfield. I bought through Crutchfield because I had a gift card. I could have gotten them cheaper elsewhere. I chose the amp because I already had it from a previous system. I have been pleased using a 4-channel amp a couple of times before, using the front channels to drive the front speakers, and the rear channels (bridged) to drive the sub. The rear speakers are driven by the head unit, to add fill. I chose the JL subwoofer because I already had it from a previous system. The previous installation was in a pickup truck, so the sub was mounted in a behind-the-seat sub box. This worked really well laid flat in the trunk under the convertible top compartment.

Head Unit installation - Overall it went pretty well. The only significant issue I had was that the Eonon wire harness was VERY difficult to connect to the car's wire harness. Pins just didn't want to go into holes. I used gentle, heavy force, and eventually got them connected. Very much plug-and-play. Lots of wires in the dash, but plenty of room to get everything pushed back in. Radio looks great in the dash. Looks are a 10. Love that the button lights match the factory color. I chose to mount both the Wi-Fi antenna and GPS antenna inside the dash. No problems so far with establishing connections. Decided against the external mic. I have read that it's more trouble than it's worth, and may actually reduce call quality instead of improve it. This is my wife's car, and I have talked to her several times. I can hear her just fine. Skipped the backup camera. It's a convertible, so I didn't see the value. One thing I had to ask Eonon about was the issue where the screen goes blank when the car is put in reverse with no camera attached. The correction was to cut the brown wire going into/out of the CAN bus. This disconnects the reverse sensor.

Front speaker installation - Woofers went in super easy. Crutchfield provided adapter brackets, and they worked perfectly. The tweeters were more of a challenge. Crutchfield didn't provide anything to install them, and the factory bracketry isn't much help. I ended up cutting the factory tweeters out of their housings and using clear silicone caulk to install the R-F tweeters. A little rudimentary, but effective, and I'm happy with the results. I continue to be impressed with BMW engineering. The factory speaker wires appear to be 16 gauge. Not sure how many car manufacturers use speaker wire this big. It's nice that upgrading the components doesn't also require upgrading the wire. I just cut off the factory plugs and crimped on the R-F connectors.

Rear speaker installation - A completely different story. For starters, Crutchfield doesn't seem to know what size speakers fit the rear of this car. The answer is 5". I bought 4" speakers to make sure they were neither too big nor too deep. Because Crutchfield can't recommend a speaker, they don't send adapter brackets. I had to make my own. I bought a sheet of 1/8" HDPE from Amazon to use to make adapter brackets. If I had it to do over again, I would have used 1/4". I had to use rubber washers to keep the speaker magnets from contacting the body. 1/4" sheet would have eliminated the need for washers.

Wiring - I used as much of the factory wiring as possible. I removed the factory amp, and connected rear channel outputs from the head unit directly to the rear speaker wires, and connected the new amp front outputs to the factory front speaker wires.

Amp installation - It's tough to find a good spot for a full-sized amp. If I wasn't using an amp I already had, I would have chosen a physically smaller amp, to allow for more mounting options. It would have been nice to use one that fit where the factory amp was. I'm happy with the final result. I cut a slot in the trunk tray for the amp mounting flange to drop down into. That secures the bottom. The top right is secured with a screw. Wires behind, nice neat installation.

Results - This system is an upgrade in every way from the old, factory system. It really sounds great, and has enough power to still sound pretty good with the top down and the car in motion. As is true with all audio systems, the quality of the sound is very dependent on the quality of the input source. Some radio stations/genres sound awesome, some pretty average. I am very happy with the stability and quality of the Bluetooth connection.

Eonon GA7150 Comments - I really like this unit, and I want to love this unit, but I can't yet. If it were to do everything it's supposed to do the way it's supposed to do it, I might say that it's one of the best ways one could spend $300 on an e46. But I haven't gotten to that point yet. I have had two ongoing issues. The first is the buzzing noise at low volumes that others have reported. With the car at idle, and the volume at one or two, it is very noticeable. Upon acceleration, it seems to go away. It also occurs with the engine off, when the headlight switch is turned on. It's annoying enough that I need a resolution if I am to keep this unit. The second issue is the screen not dimming when the headlights are turned on. I have been communicating almost daily via email with Joey at Eonon. He has been very responsive, at the sometimes-maddening pace of one email per day. I email him at night, and I have a reply from him the next morning. Kudos to Eonon for the commitment. In an attempt to resolve the two issues, Joey walked me through several trouble-shooting steps, including changing settings on the head unit, and a software update. Nothing worked. Eonon then said they would replace it. I ordered a new one, and sent the original back. Installed the new unit last weekend. Initially, it appeared that the screen was dimming properly when the headlights were turned on. I have tested it almost every day since, and now it seems to be hit-or-miss. Need to figure out how to make it work every time. Unfortunately, the new unit has the same low-volume buzzing. I am now working with Joey to troubleshoot it again. Stay tuned for updates.
Hi CBVaughan, thank you for sharing with us the nice pics & reviews. We will follow up with your case well by email. Thanks!
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Old 06-24-2017, 10:45 AM   #4
BunnySlope
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Excellent work.

Fantastic write up and thanks for the details.

Not counting the fabrication work, how long did it take you to do the entire install?
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Old 06-30-2017, 10:59 AM   #5
CBVaughan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nealfromnz View Post
Great write up and nice tidy installl.

Dried the amp screw create a secondary ground for the amp? Try undoing it and see if buzz goes away.

The other is check our rca s to make sure the shield / ground is making contact.

Also can you here the light buzzing through the h/u amp and rear speakers ?
Thanks for the compliments and the help. I removed the amp mounting screw - no change. I think you may be on to something with the rca connections. More on that later. The buzzing seems to be coming from the front speakers, but I can't confirm for sure.
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Old 06-30-2017, 11:01 AM   #6
CBVaughan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BunnySlope View Post
Fantastic write up and thanks for the details.

Not counting the fabrication work, how long did it take you to do the entire install?
Thanks for the compliment. I took my time with this, doing some cleaning and vinyl wrapping as well. Worked on it off and on for most of the 1st weekend. I won't consider it done until I get it working properly.
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Old 06-30-2017, 11:15 AM   #7
CBVaughan
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I haven't been able to commit as much time to troubleshooting as I would like (or wouldn't like), but here's the latest.

So to review the speaker hookups:

*The rear speakers are fed directly from the head unit through factory speaker wires.
*The front speakers are driven by the front two channels of a 4-channel amp, fed from front outputs via RCA cable.
*The subwoofer is driven by the rear two channels (bridged) of the 4-channel amp, fed from rear outputs via RCA cable.

I took a look at the RCA cables, and thought I had traced the source to one of them. I ordered a new cable, and tried it last night. No luck. Here are the symptoms under different conditions:

*With both RCA cables connected, very noticeable buzzing at low volumes.
*With rear RCAs connected and fronts disconnected, the buzzing is there, but not as loud.
*With front RCAs connected and rears disconnected, buzzing seems to go away.
*With no RCAs connected, it is basically the same as when the rears only are connected.

All of these are with the engine running, and buzzing goes away when radio volume is at zero.

Still not having luck with the screen dimming, but that is a secondary concern until I get this buzzing noise resolved.
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Old 07-01-2017, 03:52 PM   #8
nealfromnz
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Sounding like the head unit might need a ground loop isolator on the front rcas to the aftermarket amp.

http://www.bcae1.com/glisoltr.htm

Last edited by nealfromnz; 07-01-2017 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 07-14-2017, 08:40 AM   #9
CBVaughan
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Originally Posted by nealfromnz View Post
Sounding like the head unit might need a ground loop isolator on the front rcas to the aftermarket amp.

http://www.bcae1.com/glisoltr.htm
Thanks for the advice. I haven't had a chance to do much troubleshooting lately, but I was able to look at it a little more yesterday. I was just about to pull the trigger on a GLI, but decided I wanted to double-check the amp ground first. I was hoping to solve the problem without adding a filter to the circuit. The picture attached shows where I had/have it grounded. Everything is tight. Ground wire is new. I tried some different ground locations, with no change. Ordered a GLI last night. Hopefully that will do it.
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Old 07-14-2017, 05:13 PM   #10
nealfromnz
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That factory ground point should be fine. My amps are grounded to the same factory point in the trunk where the Nav modules / factory amp earthed. I suspect the noise is coming from the hu with tuning a combo of running onboard amp and rca outputs . ( remember that hu has been built to a price point with the emphasis on features)
Like yourself I would prefer not to run GLIs but in reality they don't add too much of a signature.

If it's not this the only other thing might be noise from the PDc module if your can has one ( I have amps in same location as you but no pdc with sites close to the tray)

Last edited by nealfromnz; 07-14-2017 at 05:18 PM.
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Old 07-26-2017, 10:00 PM   #11
CBVaughan
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Here's the latest in my saga to get my Eonon unit to work correctly. Looks like I'm trading one problem for another. Finally got around to adding a ground loop isolator to address the buzzing noise. Added it to the rear outputs last weekend, and the noise seems to have gone away. Unfortunately, today a new issue arose. Drove the car to the gas station. Everythng sounded good, and I checked again for the buzzing noise - gone. When I turned the car back on after filling up, no sound was coming out of the front left speaker. Checked it with the zone fader, turned the unit off and back on, both with re-boot and without - no change. Needless to say, I am running out of patience with this unit. Oh, and the non-dimming screen issue remains...
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Old 07-27-2017, 12:03 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBVaughan View Post
Here's the latest in my saga to get my Eonon unit to work correctly. Looks like I'm trading one problem for another. Finally got around to adding a ground loop isolator to address the buzzing noise. Added it to the rear outputs last weekend, and the noise seems to have gone away. Unfortunately, today a new issue arose. Drove the car to the gas station. Everythng sounded good, and I checked again for the buzzing noise - gone. When I turned the car back on after filling up, no sound was coming out of the front left speaker. Checked it with the zone fader, turned the unit off and back on, both with re-boot and without - no change. Needless to say, I am running out of patience with this unit. Oh, and the non-dimming screen issue remains...
Hi CBVaughan, no worry we will do our best to help you. Could you please PM us your email, the order no. or serial no. of your unit? We will help you check, thanks!
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