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Old 09-29-2012, 05:53 PM   #1
Buckeyparker
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Bypass factory amplifier?

Bypass factory stereo amplifier?
Ok, so I've installed an aftermarket HU, amp, and subs. I have RCA's hooked up ONLY for my subs and I am using the OEM wired for all speakers inside the car. Everything is hooked up BUT the only time the interior speakers work is when the radio is in use (AM/FM). The subs in the trunk always work. So everything sounds great as long as I'm listening to the radio but if I switch to pandora or either of the USB inputs or the Bluetooth, the only sound that is produced is what comes through the subs. I'm aware of the factory amp and I'm wondering if I have to bypass it. I keep hearing about the blue remote wire. YES it's hooked up correctly. If I need to bypass the factory amp how do I do this? I figured I could just snip off the connector and connect the wires together that are in the harness at the factory amp. Someone please for the love of beamers HELP!!!
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Old 09-29-2012, 08:22 PM   #2
benzovs
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What kind of HU is it? Does it have 2 blue wires? One solid blue and one blue/white? This is a common mistake. The solid blue is the power antenna lead, and the blue/white is your amplifier remote turn on. When you turn on the "radio" or the tuner source of the HU, the HU tells the power antenna to go up to get better reception. Since you have that lead to your amps, it turns them on when your tuner is selected as the source. The power antenna does not need to be up when you are listening to a cd or pandora from your iphone, so the blue antenna lead does not turn on, and in turn your amps don't either. So IMO, NO, your remote wire is not hooked up correctly.

If you double check and you do in fact have the blue/white wire hooked up, then let me know and we can tackle this issue without a doubt.

Last edited by benzovs; 09-29-2012 at 08:24 PM. Reason: More info
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Old 09-29-2012, 09:14 PM   #3
Buckeyparker
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Well according to the wiring diagrams I have both of those wires hooked up correctly to their corresponding, matching colored wires. Are u saying I need to go against te assumed way of Doing it and hook up the antenna remote to a constant?
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:14 PM   #4
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Yes, most likely. Not to a constant 12v source, but to the blue/white, NOT blue. I have a 2000 323i so it's pretty much going to be exactly like your car, and mine does not have a power antenna. They might have amplified antennas, but not the power kind that roll up and down. So that being the case, you have to hook up the blue/white wire to the blue wire of the aftermarket harness. You have the blue/white lead going to your aftermarket amp correct? Well that is why your sub amp is always playing, but your factory amp is not, you have the power antenna lead going to your factory amp turn on lead. Now you may also have a black/white wire that is a factory amp ground, check that as well. Do you have the harmon kardon system? Let me know what you find out, if you need a diagram I will sketch one up on paint.

Last edited by benzovs; 09-29-2012 at 10:17 PM.
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Old 09-30-2012, 01:16 AM   #5
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No it's not the Harmon karden system. Wow man I'd really appreciate the help. You can email me directly at buckeyparker@me.com if you want. Thanks again man.
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Old 09-30-2012, 01:18 AM   #6
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I think I'm still gonna have to do a bypass at some point. I think the factory amp is failing because periodically it will cut out. It did it with the factory deck and its still doing it since I installed my Sony deck. Is there an easy way of bypassing the amp without snipping the connector and fumbling around with the wires in the trunk that aren't even marked? It looks like a nightmare
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Old 09-30-2012, 12:22 PM   #7
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I sent the diagram to your email. Try that first. It should resolve the problem. If you do decide at some point to bypass the amp, we will cross that bridge when we get there. It is not that hard, but remember, you have 10 speakers, and your sony only has 4 speaker outputs ( and some pre outs as well). So..... you see where I'm going with this? Lets focus on powering up your factory amp for now.
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:58 PM   #8
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Ok I got the wire hooked up and we're in business. It's still cutting out here and there so I'm thinking the factory amp is in its way out. It was doing this before I hooked up the new HU. Plus my Sony specifically states its to be used with passive speakers rather than active, which is what I'm dealing with with the factory amp beig there. So a bypass is easy you say? I'm all ears my friend. Thank you for your help so far.
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:59 PM   #9
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My Sony has front left and right as well as rear left and right Pre outs. That's not including the loose wires in the harness of course.
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:30 PM   #10
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Thanks a bunch for the diagram by the way. I can't thank you enough for all the help so far.
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Old 10-01-2012, 12:45 AM   #11
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Not a problem at all. I'm glad that your problem was a simple fix. If you do decide to bypass the factory amp let me know and I'll walk you through it. What you have to decide is what route you will take to bypass the amp. You can't run all 10 speakers off of the 4 speaker outputs from your sony (well, in theory you can, but you don't want to). So you can run 4 speakers by just using the speaker outs, and leave the other 6 unused, or you can get an additional amp ( or two) and run all 10 speakers. But, if you go that route, you will probably want to upgrade all of your speakers. It's not an easy decision. So dwell on it for a bit while you make up your mind as to whether or not you will in fact bypass the factory amp.
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Old 10-01-2012, 12:54 AM   #12
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Also wanted to tell you that even though your current factory speaker setup is technically an "active speaker" your sony doesn't see it, since you are using the factory amp. And the fact that you tell me that your speakers cut out leads me to believe that it may be a single speaker that is shorting out and causing the amp to shut down briefly. Speakers sometimes have an open or a short spot somewhere along the voice coil, and when a certain frequency comes along (usually a deep bass note) the speaker shorts out. Just something for you to keep an eye on. We might even be able to troubleshoot the cause of your factory amp shutting down, then you won't have to do any bypassing, unless you decide you want to.
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Old 10-01-2012, 01:16 AM   #13
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Ok. Well being that the signals must be split at some point I have to suspect its possible to keep all the speakers in use by using the wires in the harness as opposed to the pre outs correct? There's only front left and right and rear left and right wires in the harness yet all 10 speakers are working. My first inclination is to detach the plug from the harness on the factory amp and splice all the wires together, effectively bypassing the amp. I would've already done this if I knew what wires are what on that particular harness but they aren't labelled. The 2 speakers in the front doors are blown so if I'd have to lose any of them, those are my first choices. I'm up in the air at this point. All I know is I want to listen to my music uninterrupted so I'm ready to do something now. What route would u suggest? I'm not in a position to purchase another amp so lets count that out for now.
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Old 10-01-2012, 01:54 AM   #14
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No. That wouldn't work. The wires from the harness go to the amp, they are essentially pre outs, but since they are in the form of speaker outputs, they are high level inputs to the factory amplifier. Once they get to the amp, the amp internally splits the 4 high level inputs into 10 speaker outputs. And it might not even be 10 outputs, the tweeters in the front doors might be tied into the mids, so it could be 8 outputs at the factory amp. I really haven't looked into the actuall factory setup that we have in our cars, but the fact that we have 10 speakers means that we HAVE to have an amp somewhere in the car ( I haven't even bothered looking into it). The factory stereo cannot run 10 speakers by itself. The second thing is we only have 8 speaker cables at the factory harness in the dash ( 4 positive, 4 negative) That means that the speakers aren't just spliced together somewhere along the line. What I would recommend right now for the mean time is to disconnect your blown speakers. That may stop your amp from cutting out. Just disconnect them from the inside the door panel. But you will not be able to splice the cables together and get all 10 speakers to play, without causing damage to your Hu.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:15 PM   #15
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Ok well it seems like if I just use my fader and push everything to the back it cuts out a little less. Still cutting out though. You really think disconnecting the blown speakers will stop it from cutting out? If so, I need to get into the door panel and I have no idea where to begin with that one.
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:37 PM   #16
benzovs
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Quote:
You really think disconnecting the blown speakers will stop it from cutting out? If so, I need to get into the door panel and I have no idea where to begin with that one.
It's possible, the fact that fading it helped out some leads me to believe theres a good chance, but not 100%. I found a diagram of the factory amp, it's pretty much the same for HK and non-HK. The only difference in the diagram that I found was that the HK has subwoofer outputs where ours has blank pins.

If you decide that you want to troubleshoot this, I can walk you through it. Do you have a multimeter? If you do and know how to use it even a little, then I can show you many tests that you can conduct that would point us in the right direction as far as determining if it's the amp or a speaker/speakers that is causing the problem. Then once you find out what the real issue is, you can decide on what route to take from there.

Do you have any buddies with an e46 non-hk? A simple and super fast test would be to swap amps with them just to test it out. See if that fixes it, then you know for sure it's the amp itself and not a speaker/speakers or even the power supply to the amp.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:17 PM   #17
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Can u be a little more specific about this multimeter? I might be able to find a friend who has one. Depends on what exactly we're talking about. Just an electrical multimeter?
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:34 PM   #18
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Ha! I found a multimeter. I will have it in my possession tomorrow evening around 6pm EST. I'm ready when you are chief. if you find that calling would be easier my phone number is (541) 652-8803. Whatever is easiest. I can't thank you enough for your help.
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:07 AM   #19
benzovs
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Sounds good. At the very least we will know if you amp is at fault or not. If it does turn out to be the amp, well, then you have many routes you can take, all you have to do is decide. I'll be in touch Friday.
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:14 AM   #20
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Friday I'm in school til noon and then I work til 9pm so I won't have time to do anything Friday. Saturday morning around 11 or 12 works for me as does tomorrow around 530pm of you're available...My friend will be hooking me up with the multimeter some time tomorrow I hope. That's the plan at least. As soon as I have the meter in my hands ill send you a message on here.
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