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Re: Aftermarket Audio for E39? (archive)

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Posted by Ross Cook on January 08, 1999 at 11:51:19:

In Reply to: Re: Aftermarket Audio for E39? posted by Bob Hazelwood on January 08, 1999 at 01:42:22:


I am also interested in finding out more about your products. I must admit though that since getting the CD changer I am much happier with the Premium/DSP than I was when all I had was the FM radio. At least newer CDs sound good. CDs of old, 70's, music, such as the Rolling Stones, still sound pretty dull.

Like JimL below (or above) I also have the Premium/DSP system. So I have basically the same questions he has plus a few more.

There is already precious little space in the trunk so it would be really great if your speakers dropped right in where the factory ones are in the rear package shelf. I took a look at your web page but did not find any information on this. It looks like you, or someone at your company, has already done this on several BMW models. So hopefully you already know the answer to this question. Any information you could send or publish would be most helpful. Also, similar information on the front drivers. Your web page gives some tips on hookup but I did not find anything on the physical aspects of the installation. This might be important to many people driving a $50K+ car - it's just not worth taking a chance of botching up a beautiful interior no matter how good the sound, at least not to me.

Also, it would be helpful to know how much of a car audio "installation expert" someone needs to be to install your systems. I have lots of experience installing audio components in various cars and vans, plus a boat, and around my home. I feel confident that I can remove and replace much of what I'm willing to change (I'm not really into big amps nor earth shking bass), but I am not willing to cut any upholestery nor enlarge any holes in any panels in this vehicle.

Is there any hope for someone like me ?


Ross Cook

: You have been misinformed about the difficulty of upgrading an E39. You do NOT have to upgrade the audio after the factory amp. THis is costly, complcated, and basically just asking for trouble. It will not work. The best place to pick up the signal is BEFORE the BMW amplifier, where it is a standard 4-channel common ground signal. Simply plug this into any aftermarket amp which can handle a 4V signal. No problem, No noise. You can even use ALL of the already installed BMW wiring for signal to the new amp and from the new amp and the speakers. If the installer knows what he is doing, the E39 actually is one of the most simple vehicles to upgrade on the market. If a dealer tries to tell you differently, don't let them get anywhere near your car. They don't know what they are doing.
: See our site at for a few ideas.

: Best regards,
: Bob Hazelwood
: VP Product Management, a/d/s/
: '93 525 5-sp, BL/ss'd, Sharked, etc.
: BMW CCA (Boston)

: : Ok, so even with the premium audio I STILL didn't like the way the stereo in the 540i sounds. Sad that BMW gets EVERYTHING else right and then puts in a stereo that is blown away by what's in a Caddy Seville.

: : In any case, I took the plunge and upgraded the stereo. What an ordeal! You must hook the sundry equipement AFTER the BMW amplifier... Mind you this entails 12 channels of amplification (separate channel for each speaker driver). But it's still not right, the noise levels are too high! Does anyone know of a way to put an aftermarket radio in an E39 without completely trashing the dash and losing telephone functions? I remember Sony doing a concept car using an E39 but can't find the article ANYWHERE!

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