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General BMW Model Discussion
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Old 04-11-2006, 09:47 PM   #1
InSuboRdiNaTioN
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E39 - Standard vs. Premium Sound

Looking at landing my Dad a 2003 530i pretty quick, and one of the cars that we're going to shoot for has the Premium sound.
I know a lot of you guys have owned E39s; how do the stock and premium sound systems compare? I know it's a $1,200 option, but I'm guessing it's probably not a huge step up?
Anyone know how it compares to the E46 Harmon Kardon? I have heard that sytem in action.
Thanks
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Old 04-11-2006, 10:36 PM   #2
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can't say I know, but I am very satisfied with my stock system in my 325Ci, I don't miss any bass, but I listen to classic rock mostly and don't need or care for the "bumpin" -make sure he gets Bi-Xenons though!!! and heated seats- my two favorite options
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Old 04-11-2006, 10:46 PM   #3
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Yeah, Xenons are pretty much standard on cars with both the Premium and Sport Package, we have found very few that don't have them. Not sure if they are Bi-xenons or not though. Dad could care less about heated seats... living in Sacramento, they really aren't that useful. I have them in my car, and virtually never use them.
I agree, the stock system in the E46 is decent. I find its bass response pretty dissapointing though, and added a Basslink as a result. My dad previously had an E39 wagon, and the bass really sucked in that thing, but I think it was partly because the rear speakers are so far away in the wagon, and they aren't 6X9s (which I think the sedan has?).
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Old 04-11-2006, 11:41 PM   #4
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lol, kinda funny, I use my heated seats all the time and I live in LA, but I drive with all windows down/popped and sunroof open, even if it's like 50-55 outside, so I guess it depends on personal preference, if the convertibles weren't so f***ing slow I'd have one, lol
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Old 04-11-2006, 11:46 PM   #5
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i have heard mixed things about the DSP system in the e39 5 series. Althoug, i will tell you the stock system in my cousins 02 530i is downright terrible and i'm not a bass junkie at all. its clear in a sense but i seems out of tune and when you demand the slightest bit of bass out of it, it distorts like crazy. If you plan on changing out the sound system, everyone says don't get the DSP because the wiring is completely different and alot more complicated.

So, although I haven't heard the DSP equipped 5 series, i can tell you the stock system is downright
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Old 04-18-2006, 03:34 PM   #6
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Hi

I have a 528i with the BMW Professional Hifi-system (as it is called here in Denmark - equals Premium Sound) - It has 12 speakers + a dual-port subwoofer and the DSP amplifier - AND IT SOUNDS GREAT !!

In all my former cars (BMW's ofcourse :-) I have installed new stereo's to get the sound that I want, but in the E39 with the above mentioned soundsystem, I am very pleased

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Old 04-18-2006, 04:50 PM   #7
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BMW is not known for there sound systems, even the E39 M5 with the M sound isn't supposed to be that good. However anything is better then the non DSP radio. I have the bare bone stock radio in my car and it aint great. So the DSP has to be better. Good luck with ur E39 hunting.
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Old 04-18-2006, 04:52 PM   #8
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I've got the M-Audio (DSP) system in my 03 M5. While it's not the greatest it's better than the HK upgrade I had in my E46. Typical as in any BMW audio "upgrade" it does lack bass.

Reading back that probably doesn't help you.

Oh btw: if you E39 guys are interested, there's a GB on Hella clears and Hella Celis tails over on m5board.com

http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=70474
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Old 04-18-2006, 06:13 PM   #9
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there r no premium sound systems that bmw has ever offered which sound alot better then the stock ones, they all suck IMO
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Old 04-18-2006, 06:42 PM   #10
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The carver sound system in the Z4 is pretty good. I was really suprised when I sat in one at the dealer and they had to tell me to turn it down. The bass response was amazing. The Logic7 system isn't half bad either.
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Old 04-18-2006, 10:13 PM   #11
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Thanks for all of the input We didn't get the car we we're going after that had premium sound, but we did land another without it. Oh well, dad isn't an audiophile anyways.
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Old 04-18-2006, 10:54 PM   #12
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Our 1997 Saab 9000 had THE BEST stock sound system I've ever heard. It only had 4 speakers (2 of them were subwoofers + mid-range speakers) but it sounded SOOOOOO good. The highs and lows where awesome. I swear, even today, it sounded as if you had an aftermarket system installed. And this is coming from an audiophile.
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Old 04-22-2006, 06:35 PM   #13
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I have the HK system in my 330ci. its really nice, a lot better than my friends non HK BMW system. I'm really happy my car ahs the HK system becuase it does have a lot better speakers and ****, plus if you ever want to up grade without a HK system then you have to repalce speakers sometimes (real bummer).
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