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E46 Convertible
The E46 vert forum. Talk about dropping your E46 top here.

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Old 04-22-2016, 08:45 AM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 1
My Ride: e46 M3 Conv
M3 AudioSystem Upgrade

Hello all,

I have just recently purchased my topaz blue e46 m3 convertible and am more than impressed with the vehicle's performance. With that being said, however, I am utterly frustrated with the sound system. My 2003 M3 is optioned to have the H/K audio system without the navigation --- a seemingly well put together system. I am unpleasantly surprised with the performance of these speakers. The mid's and high's aren't poor, as in well, they are actually there. The lows however are nearly nonexistent. The volume that the system produces is horrific and is extremely distorted when turned up to a moderate sound level.

I am a bit of an audiophile and would love to replace the system in my vehicle. From what I have been reading there are limited options for replacements. I've looked at the BavSound options, but I have trouble believing that the sound quality and volume issues will be resolved by simply replacing the drivers themselves... It sounds to me like the system is simply under powered altogether and possibly outdated. If I can help it I'd like to keep my OEM head unit and add the system from there.

What are your recommendations for front, rear, amp, and sub complete system upgrades?



Last edited by Notes; 04-22-2016 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 04-30-2016, 11:16 AM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: San Diego
Posts: 2
My Ride: 330ci ZHP
I bought my 2006 330Ci (zhp) in February. Yes, the stock system, to me, is lacking.
There is a lot of info on this and various other forums regarding BMW audio upgrades. This is not a simple R&R. There is a lot of specificity to the BMW audio system. If you haven't already, I suggest you start reading so you are aware of what the issues are. I bought my ride two months ago and have read a considerable amount. Like you, I am keeping the stock head unit. I would actually prefer an aftermarket unit, however I am a minimalist, and the stock head unit just looks best to me.
Anyway... Head unit staying, everything else going. I have purchased the following:
Amplifier - Alpine 5 channel, Alpine components (front), Alpine coaxial (rear), RF sub. I also purchased a harness adaptor ( Technic) that will enable me to tie into the stock audio wiring without cutting and pasting (with the exception of the speaker terminal connections). Also, sound deadening materials for the doors and trunk. I plan to buy a Bluetooth adapter to stream my music and take the occasional phone call. I have already installed the auxiliary cable to manually connect my phone and play music. I plan to install everything this week. If you are handy, I suggest DIY. Professional install, at least in my area, was very, very expensive.
If, after you have done some reading, you have any questions, ask away. I may know the answer.
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Old 05-01-2016, 07:43 PM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 96
My Ride: 318Ci Convertible
I have just completed a speaker upgrade of my 318Ci. I just replaced the actual speakers and wow, such a difference. I read a blog about speaker replacing and it specifically mentioned that, in the authors opinion, that the amp was perfectly OK.

Anyway, I replaced the front pair (6.5") and tweeters with JBL GTO609C. With 4 hole to 3 hole adapters, the fitted straight in and tweeters and crossovers all fitted in OK too.

However, the rear are a different story. There is feck all room to allow a speaker of any real depth, a fact I never researched properly. The rear speakers for convertibles are 5 1/4". I needed to make stilts to allow the speaker to be mounted out from the original location. This of course meant that the speaker was now right up against the inside panel / card. Therefore, I needed to grind away some of the plastic to allow the panel to be re-installed after the speaker installation.

Last edited by ChampionC; 05-03-2016 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 05-18-2016, 04:34 PM   #4
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Burlington, VT
Posts: 447
My Ride: 07 328xi, 02 325Cic
I would expect that speakers need to be replaced over time as a wear-and-tear item, especially in a convertible where they get more exposure? My aftermarket replacements seem to be degrading after 7-8 years.

07 SG (Space Gray) 328xi coupe, 6-speed, premium/sport/cold/leather - daily/winter driver
02 AW 325Cic 5-speed, premium/leather, removable hardtop - summer cruiser: 18" CSL reps, JL amp/sub/door components, Reinhold remote top control
71 Buick Riviera - Land Yacht
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Old 05-18-2016, 04:41 PM   #5
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 96
My Ride: 318Ci Convertible
My originals seemed as new as the day they were installed. My car is from 2004

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