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Hi I own an e46 coupe and the sound system is ok but lacking in the bass department. Did BMW make subwoofers for the cars as extras. I dont really want to change the factory radio so just wondered if there was anything available to just plug in.
 

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Same boat

Hi there, I'm a new kid on the block too :thumbsup, so would welcome input from newbies alike and the highly knowledgeable seasoned members on rufioe46 post as it helps me too ;).

I've just got hold of an E46 Coupe MSport. Always liked them, just couldn’t afford them when they first came out. I have the same requirement as rufioe46. I have a factory 16:9 TV/DVD Nav screen and I really like it, so I wouldn’t want to change it either. Space is a major consideration for me. I'm not after jaw dropping bass, just something that greatly enhances bass without emptying my pockets.

I don’t believe BMW did a subwoofer upgrade. They did the Harman Kardon (HK) hi-fi but this was a factory upgrade and extremely difficult to have retro-fit (reviews state the bass is not great on these either). I have searched the net and haven't found anything readily available in the UK. :confused

This is what i have learnt over past 24 hours. I hope that you find it helpful ....

Ski hatch install - Apparently the coupe boot is well sealed so only 10% of the bass enters the cabin unless you 'open the ski hatch' where rear armrest is situated. However for the coupe that means having to hack through the metal behind the folding seats.

Stealthboxz/ Wicked cas (magic box) - There is a fibreglass box available that sits in free space, above battery in the boot. This is available at around £189.99 (without speaker). It comes out if need be (vecroed), however not the most convenient choice (if rear cluster bulb blows or battery access req) and then there’s still the issue of getting bass through into the cabin.

BSW - Bavarian Sound Werks - USA company. Sits under parcel shelf with amp integration. Looks amazing for E46 coupe but fairly expensive, but nobody supplies it in the UK.

JL Audio Stealthbox - http://www.abt.com/product/22470/JL-Audio-SBB3SER998IB4.html?utm_source=gan&utm_medium=aff&utm_campaign=k186085&utm_content=Skimlinks&utm_term=Primary

This used to sit under the parcel shelf, housing 2 x 8" JL subs. I say used to as these have been discontinued, and the forums state these are rarely available second hand. They have had positive reviews. I think this would be ideal. I've emailed www.jlaudio.co.uk, but I think i'll know what the response will be.

Free air subs - Uncommon. Sit beneath parcel shelf (6-8"?), but bass is uncontrolled. The info out there on these is very limited.

Pre-built sub boxes (ported and sealed) - Loads of these about. Hogs space in the boot. I haven’t had a sub box for about 15 years, but now , having aged (a little!), I'd want something with a little more of a custom look. I've seen a JL 10" box (grey cloth, with sub) for £89.99 which makes me think again!

Custom Install - Will probably cost the earth, but I guess you'll get exactly what you need....
 

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The HK system came with a sub i belive but sounds pretty rubbish,

so you only option would be aftermarket,

if you dont want to change you HU you will ned to by an amp with speaker level inputs

As for the bass, it depends on what you want .... do you want a mssive box in the boot? a small box? no box at all? something inside the cabin?

as mentioned above the coupe boot is well isnulated and the bass does struggle to get inside, Knocking the ski hatch through is one option, it is realtivly simple, its tack welded so a hammer does the job :)
 

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Knocking the ski hatch out looks pretty easy (4-6 small tack welds), and that's how I'd go even if you can get something above the battery.
 

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just to let you know for 7.99 in halfords you can buy an adapter to connect to your back speaker cables enadleing you to still use the speakers and allows you to have a rca output (basically the adapter is a rca output for an amplifier) i bought this item before for my astra coup and work great as i had a sat nav unit. i have bought it again for my bmw this after noon and fitted it and put my amp and sub in and it sounds really good with my standard business cd player. hope this helps. paul
 

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I know they're in the floor on mine so you couldn't do that but I bet you'd have room for a 6" under the seat's somewhere. Wouldn't need a ported box when it's coming up your bum (I don't think I've ever thought those last 4 words would be a good idea before!!).
But it would probably be easier to knock out the ski hatch.
My dads got a nokia sub in a box over the battery in his 540 sport tourer which is a factory fitment (they need it because the back speakers are in the roof as no room in the doors). But it's a bit shite so he's gonna see if he can fit a couple under the front seats.
 

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I not up to speed on forum rules, as not my post, but I'm appreciative of the replies!
Personally I wouldn't want to hammer out ski-hatch in a coupe unless a hatch could be put back later (re-sale). Does any one there have a JL AUDIO STEALTH BOX that's in excellent condition ? Or any ideas of subwoofers that are a direct replacement for the holes/ ones in parcel shelf ?
 

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In my E36 Compact I had an Auto Acoustics Stealth Boxz with a 10" Kenwood Sub and matching amp. This was with an Alpine HU but with standard BMW speakers and the bass could literally make you eyes wobble. The custom fit Stealth Boxz's are awesome, especially if you're looking to save space but they cost a bloody fortune.

In my E46 Coupe I have just fitted one of those Fli Trap 12 active subs simply because it was going cheap on eGay, I got it for £26 and I have to say that I'm pretty impressed with it. I have it on the right hand side of the boot and it really could'nt have been easier to fit as the battery is more or less next to it and there is high level inputs so you can connect to the rear speaker. Its the same colour as the boot carpet and trim and you only have to drop the seat down to fiddle with the gain, frequency and bass boost controls. The only fiddly bit was bringing a switched live from behind the HU but routing the wire was easy without even removing any trim. The only thing is it takes up a whopping amount of boot space but come on, £26! I might even take the ski hatch out.



 

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I not up to speed on forum rules, as not my post, but I'm appreciative of the replies!
Personally I wouldn't want to hammer out ski-hatch in a coupe unless a hatch could be put back later (re-sale).
Erm, the ski hatch/through loading system was an paid optional extra (£100 ish I think)
 

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. The custom fit Stealth Boxz's are awesome, especially if you're looking to save space but they cost a bloody fortune.
I've had an E36 compact too. The boot insulation is nowhere as good as the E46 coupe. However all I need is a good boost on the standard bass so it might do the trick.... StealthBoxz £190, JL sub 10" £180 + leads etc = £400+ ... quite a lot in these times of spending cuts :eek
I think I may hold out for some kind of 2nd hand deal ...
 

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coupe boot is well isnulated and the bass does struggle to get inside, Knocking the ski hatch through is one option, it is realtivly simple, its tack welded so a hammer does the job :)
Sam, I notice that you have recently carried out a ski hatch install. Very nice.
You have free air/ infinite baffle 8" Alpine subwoofer. How does it perform? If you don't mind me asking, how much would an install like that set me back ?
A concern is the folding seat of the coupe with a subwoofer and wires attached...
 

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Wouldn't need a ported box when it's coming up your bum (I don't think I've ever thought those last 4 words would be a good idea before!!)
:hihi

Good idea regarding 6" under seat subs but I think this would cost abit though and I like the BM54 and battery being at the back so that interior trim doesnt get pulled out to run wires ...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Didn't know about the RCA adaptor so might just do that. Got a vibe sub with built in amp knocking around so might as well make use for it. Cheers on the heads up.
 

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The adapter converts high level output from the speaker wires to low level RCA for HU's that don't have dedicated outputs an amp. One end you have 5 wires, left hand +, left hand -, right hand +, right hand - and an earth. On the other end you have female RCA plugs. No remote wire though.
 

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I've got one of the Halfords line converters going spare if anyone wants to give me a fiver for it? (PM me):thumbsup

 

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In my E36 Compact I had an Auto Acoustics Stealth Boxz with a 10" Kenwood Sub and matching amp. This was with an Alpine HU but with standard BMW speakers and the bass could literally make you eyes wobble. The custom fit Stealth Boxz's are awesome, especially if you're looking to save space but they cost a bloody fortune.

In my E46 Coupe I have just fitted one of those Fli Trap 12 active subs simply because it was going cheap on eGay, I got it for £26 and I have to say that I'm pretty impressed with it. I have it on the right hand side of the boot and it really could'nt have been easier to fit as the battery is more or less next to it and there is high level inputs so you can connect to the rear speaker. Its the same colour as the boot carpet and trim and you only have to drop the seat down to fiddle with the gain, frequency and bass boost controls. The only fiddly bit was bringing a switched live from behind the HU but routing the wire was easy without even removing any trim. The only thing is it takes up a whopping amount of boot space but come on, £26! I might even take the ski hatch out.




Hi very old thread I know, but could you eloborate on how you got the sound source into the sub/amp unit please. Are you saying you cut into one of the speaker wires?
 

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Hi very old thread I know, but could you eloborate on how you got the sound source into the sub/amp unit please. Are you saying you cut into one of the speaker wires?
Thats correct. If you look at the photo you'll see a white plug coming from the amp with 5 wires. 2 of the wires go to the left speaker in the parcel shelf, 2 to the right and the remaining 1 to earth.
 
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