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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I have to admit I was a little (quite a lot) dissapointed with the sound quality, tone and volume level of my new car :jaw-dropping

As far as I know (and I'm pretty certain) that the system that's in the car is the standard system which came with the car.

What can I do to make it sound better? I 'm not wanting big bass boxes or to spend hundreds and hundreds on a big ICE system.

Any suggestions? Does anyone else find thier standard system a bit on the weak side?

Cheers
 

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Probably the most common complaint of the E46. You need an Amplifier or new head unit, and new speakers. Don't just buy speakers as they will sound very crap on the Business head unit. It needs its own speakers to sound even reasonable.

I am (as soon as I get it) going to install an amplifier that takes speaker level inputs and run it directly from the business CD player, which has no line outputs, with new speakers. This is the only way to go if you want to keep the existing Business HU, which is good in every other respect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah I like the business head unit.

I've just added the CD changer to my car and that works well too.

Anyone got suggestions of which amp and speakers to go for? I guess this will be an easy enough job for DIY? The speakers will fit in the same holes the ones come out of? There also seems to be quite a bit of room near where I fitted the CD changer.... would the amp fit here?

Cheers.
 

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BSW of the USA do some good youtube video's on OEM look speaker installs Chris. Search youtube for bavsound or www.bavariansoundwerks.com and look at how they fit thier own systems....might give you a feel for what you have to do.

Sorry, no idea on amp/speaker suggestions right now, although the rainbow ones that BSW use are a direct fit so Iv heard, but im sure there are other options.......
 

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Couple of different options.

1 - New Head unit and new speakers (This made a little bit of difference, not much)
2 - New Head unit, and amp the current speakers (made nice amount of difference, much clearer)
3 - New Head unit, amps and new speakers (makes all the difference)

However, I pressume your e46 would be very similar to mine, in which case, I WOULD recomend drilling holes in your front doors. Basically you have a huge metal plate that sits directly behind the front door woofer componets. If you drill lots of small holes in it, then it will sound much better.

Also, if your not wanting big bass, but want bass and are going to buy a sub, the boot of these cars are well insulated and trap alot of the subwoofer sound. I had to knock through the ski hatch in the back seat of my car and position the sub to fire through that hole. It sounds about 4 times as good as it used to.

I cant be held responsible if it goes wrong though :shifty::shifty:

Currently in my set up I have alot of Diamond Audio, previously used Infinity. Both very good brands. I have heard that InPhase are also a good brand. Sadly they do have a price tag but pay for what you get.

I bought all my first lot of AMPs second hand of ebay and went for the Alpine V12s

Example Clicky Here

I had these powering a set of Infinity Kappa 5.25" speakers, a set of Infinity Reference 6x9s and a set of Infinity reference 6" speakers in my previous car. (a 206 peugeot.) I currently have them powering my front and rear speakers in my BMW, and they can handle what i throw at them. Only problem is, they are second hand so do be careful with which ones you buy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Helth Hazards!

Thanks for your tips!

So I really need to change the head unit in your opinion? To be honest I really like the head unit and I like the steering wheel controls for it. What would you swap it for? Something else which is BMW? Would I be able to keep my steering controls?

I'm really looking to make the car fool proof and this is my priority order.....

1. Hands free for my mobile & somewhere to put my mobile
2. Good sound quality and nice sounding
3. iPod hook up
4. Sat Nav
5. MP3 capability

4 & 5 are really non essentials.

Thought I'd give you all the information so you can see what you think.

Thanks again
 

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I would always change the headunit, but then again i love my tunes in my car and love for them to sound perfect. Persoanlly I would go for the same unit I have if it did ever break god forbid. But generally just look around see which ones you like the look of, make sure it has enough per-outs for however many amps you want to run. If your not planning to run amps and just use the head unit to amp the speakers than you make sure that the head unit is of decent spek.

If you want to go for a aftermarket headunit then that will allow you to amp the front and rear speakers. It does make it sound better quality than that of the standard system. I had the front and rear ones amped for a while on the stock speakers and could turn it up pretty loud.

With the doors, you could quite easily keep the stock speakers in the front. I would recomend drilling say 10 - 20 small holes or about 8 decent size holes in the door. This gives you an echo chamber as such which will basically give you better bass and make it sound less tinny if you get what i mean. It is also a cost effective way of making it sound better without buying new speakers.

Yes you can keep all your steering wheel controls with after market head units, you just have to purchase a connector like Clicky Linky. This will allow you to use volume up, down next track etc etc control.

I know BMW have there own handsfree kit which uses bluetooth. You should have the controls already on the wheel for(someone correct me if i am wrong, I have it on mine) you just need to get the bluetooth kit.

The other alternative is to go for a parrot system or something similar. Cliky Linky

Most headunits these days come with some way of hooking up an ipod. Some come already or specially designed for the ipod, some you have to buy connectors such as this for the alpine head units and will display the text on the screen and make it so the ipod is fully controllable via the headunit. Clicky Linky

Personally I have never got on with them and have just plugged it in via a belkin ipod charger and a aux input cable into the back of my head unit. I can then use my ipod freely and generally just leave it on one playlist for the durration of my trip.

Also most headunits now a days come with the capability to play MP3s.

At the end of the day it all depends how much money you want to spend and how much better you want it. These are the main factors that will decide what you should do.
 

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I got good results just changing the front speakers and keeping the business head unit whilst saving up to upgrade the rest.

when I changed just the speakers i could hear a lot more of the range - if you only want to spend a little money I would just replace the front speakers and go from there.

my thread is in here somewhere about upgrading the speakers.
 

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If all you want is a bit more amplifier power then just install a Blaupunkt THA plug and play Amplifier.

You will need to buy the Blau't connector lead that has the E46 plug on it, but it leaves everything the same just boosts the amp - a lot!!

A friend of mine used to have one in his 320 (now sold) and it was seriously good with just the standard speakers. I liked it because it was like a factory upgrade- no messing about routing leads from the battery etc- but then again it was no 500W rms amp either.
 
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