PDA

View Full Version : e39 audio choice??


anejo99
09-16-2007, 01:30 PM
I have been reading several threads on aftermarket audio upgrades for the e39, but could use some 'upfront' help. I am currently in the market for an e39 M5 and was wondering what are the pro's / con's are regarding M-Audio, DSP, H-K stock systems or what should I look for, or on the otherhand avoid in this regard if I am buying a 'new to me' e39 (all else being equal)? A big quesiton is weather the head-units are different, and if so, what is different?

Meaning, if I am upgrading the audio system anyway to a higher-end status, but probably going to keep the stock headunit, does it matter what the rest of the stock system is? Or for instance is there some benefit to having the M-audio with the stock dual rear subs to use for mounting purposes of an aftermarket sub? Or does the DSP system have a better HU? Or does the H-K system give me some additional/better speaker mounting locations for the replacement drivers? Or in general, which stock system gives me what benefit when it comes to upgrading???? I ask because I don't want to cut up the car, thus keeping it as factory looking as possible.

My plan is to reuse as much of my existing audio gear running off the stock HU. I also am going to want iPod connectivity -- whereas I would also apprecaite some thoughts (pro's / con's) regarding the factory iPod harness vs. aftermarket ones like the Dice unit?

Lastly, does anybody have experience with sound deadening for the e39 -- how much and/or where is best to add this? (please don't just say to 'add it everywhere', details would be appreciated)

FYI - I have a Image Dynamics IDMAX 10 sub, Focal 6" mids, CDT 26A tweeters and/or considering alternative tweeters (Morel Supremo Piccalo?), Focal Coax (for rear) and a bunch of Mcintosh and Tru amps to run just about any combination of channels needed. I am also going to sell my Alpine IVA-W200 and H701 DSP so I should free up some cash to reinvest if needed.

Any thoughts, guidance or feedback would be appreciated. Thanks

BTW - I don't want this to digress into a debate about what harness, etc. I should use to connect from the stock HU.

xxpanipuri
09-16-2007, 04:40 PM
well I will chime in based on some research i've been doing as of late anyone else please feel free to correct me if i'm wrong.

So basically even though the e39 had numerous different systems the setup is similar.

upfront you either have a nav screen or just regular radio with indash cd or cassette.

that plugs into a radio tuner (usually located in the trunk near where your cd changer would go)

from there if you have dsp it plugs into a dsp amp

so in my case i have dsp so i have to inputs from my tuner to my DSP amp. the dsp amp then takes those two inputs and amplifies theminto 10 or 12 signals for the speakers

so based on this post.

http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=1123829

the 2 inputs from the tuner are 5 volt balanced inputs....


more info at that post.

so what does this mean?

this means you can plug in any amp that accepts balanced inputs the particular amplifier he's using in that post accepts balanced inputs and has a sub woofer amp pass through.

i actually found that same amp on ebay.

and i 'm going to get the harness from bavarian soundwerks....when they release their stage 2 upgrade for the e39 (which will include a 4 channel amp!)

also, i know in my 540i i am going to throw in 2 pairs of 5.25 mbquart qmc130 components front/back except i'll probably disconnect the tweeter in the back and not use the mbqaurt tweeters also in the back....

hope that was helpful.

also i just orderd the slim mount 10 " sub mount from bavarian soundwerks....which is supposed to be a replacement/upgade for the maudio subs and also to add subs in cars with non m audio subs.......




I have been reading several threads on aftermarket audio upgrades for the e39, but could use some 'upfront' help. I am currently in the market for an e39 M5 and was wondering what are the pro's / con's are regarding M-Audio, DSP, H-K stock systems or what should I look for, or on the otherhand avoid in this regard if I am buying a 'new to me' e39 (all else being equal)? A big quesiton is weather the head-units are different, and if so, what is different?

Meaning, if I am upgrading the audio system anyway to a higher-end status, but probably going to keep the stock headunit, does it matter what the rest of the stock system is? Or for instance is there some benefit to having the M-audio with the stock dual rear subs to use for mounting purposes of an aftermarket sub? Or does the DSP system have a better HU? Or does the H-K system give me some additional/better speaker mounting locations for the replacement drivers? Or in general, which stock system gives me what benefit when it comes to upgrading???? I ask because I don't want to cut up the car, thus keeping it as factory looking as possible.

My plan is to reuse as much of my existing audio gear running off the stock HU. I also am going to want iPod connectivity -- whereas I would also apprecaite some thoughts (pro's / con's) regarding the factory iPod harness vs. aftermarket ones like the Dice unit?

Lastly, does anybody have experience with sound deadening for the e39 -- how much and/or where is best to add this? (please don't just say to 'add it everywhere', details would be appreciated)

FYI - I have a Image Dynamics IDMAX 10 sub, Focal 6" mids, CDT 26A tweeters and/or considering alternative tweeters (Morel Supremo Piccalo?), Focal Coax (for rear) and a bunch of Mcintosh and Tru amps to run just about any combination of channels needed. I am also going to sell my Alpine IVA-W200 and H701 DSP so I should free up some cash to reinvest if needed.

Any thoughts, guidance or feedback would be appreciated. Thanks

BTW - I don't want this to digress into a debate about what harness, etc. I should use to connect from the stock HU.

DouglasABaker
09-16-2007, 06:50 PM
First off, good luck with whatever you end up choosing to do. The stock setup isn't bad (more on that later) so there are only a few places you'll want to upgrade.

Let's take the components in turn:

BordMonitor (aka Headunit): Leave It
Well, you really don't have a lot of choice here. regardless of whether or not you like the stock head unit putting anything else in there will require significant modification of dashboard internals. While the opening will hold double-dins, the depth is too shallow. Having said that, anything is possible :)

Oh, btw - the thing up front that everyone calls a head unit isn't. it is simply a display that controls things in the back of the car (look in the back left corner of the trunk).

Component Speakers: Upgrade
Midbass are all 5 1/4" (front doors and rear deck).
Good midrange (exc. M-audio which does not have midrange at all), and very hard to replace (due to size). BSW has one, but no one else I'm aware of.
Tweeters: Typically 1". Located in sail mirrors in front doors, upper trim panel in rear doors.

Ok, walk to the back left corner of the trunk and remove the trim panel. As you look at it, the radio tuner is on the left (silver square box), the CD Changer is right in front of you, the nav unit (if equipped) is on the top, and the amplifier is behind the CD Changer.

Amplifier: Upgrade
Under-powered. If you have DSP then it also imparts a horrible equalization curve

Radio tuner: Leave it
Not much to say here - it tunes in stations just fine. Oh, it also consolidates the signals from the CD, nav, phone, etc before passing them to the amplifier, so you really don't have a choice unless you remove the whole system.

CD Changer: Your Call
It performs fine, but if you update the radio unit to new version (post 2004) as well as the CD Changer then you can get CD Text on your Nav Display.

Wiring: Leave It
The speaker wiring is all twisted pair and is 18 gauge exc. for the subwoofers. Twisted pair is as interference resistant as it comes, and quite frankly you'll never exceed the amperage capacity of 18 gauge wire so there is no reason to bother touching it. If you choose to do so anyway, then I sincerely wish the best of luck, but don't say I didn't tell you :)

I'm most familiar with the M series and we don't have an HK option, so I can't comment. Of the other 3 options, base, DSP, M-Audio, I wouldn't spend extra for M-Audio. The primary advantage of M-Audio is the subwoofers and the upgraded interior speakers. You'll end up upgrading the interior speakers, so that is no value, and the subwoofers can be bought off EBay relatively cheaply. If you live in the US you'll get DSP by default.

The biggest issue with the stock sound is the DSP amp. Getting rid of the DSP amp and replacing it with a new one isn't that big a deal. XXPanuPuri gave you a link to how to remove it. If you look in that thread there is a link to a blog with even more details and photos.

Specific recommendations:

Components: I like MB Quarts. They are universally popular along with the BSW upgrade. Many choose the higher end models, but I'm quite happy with the $130 I spent to replace ALL of my interior speakers with DUA213's.

Subwoofers: M-Audio is a good subwoofer, but is underpowered. JL Audio's are also popular. I personally like MTX as they represent the best value (price for performance) in the market. RE Audio are also very good.

Amplifiers: You are limited here as you need an amp that can take high level (5V) balanced inputs. I again like MTX because their amps are bullet-proof, exceed their power ratings, accept the inputs we have, and they have terrific customer service. There are a LOT of good amps out there, but there is also a lot of crap. Remember that you get what you pay for. I chose to go "old school" and get the Blue Thunder series. The new TA series are also very very good - the TA3404 will give you plenty of power and fit in the stock location. The TA5604 will make you deaf.

My vote (and what I did): get the base soundsystem, upgrade the interior speakers, upgrade the amplifier, add a sub amp, and if you don't have the M-Audio subs either add them or replace them with new ones.

Good luck!

Doug

anejo99
09-16-2007, 11:48 PM
Great info from both you guys, thanks.

What about the iPod interface, especially in displaying info (you mention that it takes the 2004+ units to display CD info), does it do this for the iPod regardless of which sound system and/or which iPod interface (i.e. Dice or factory)?

Also, regarding the front door speakers - is there room in there, with a little massaging for 6.5" units? In regards to the mid-range speaker location (not necessarily the speaker), does that ONLY come with the DSP option?

Lastly, anybody have experience with sound deadening and the need or not for it and/or where? Typically the front doors are almost always needed, but where else?

Thanks again for all the good feedback.

rogan
09-17-2007, 04:00 AM
Well you're gonna be gutted with the factory h/u if you're downgrading from the w200/h701 combo.

I'm about to start trying to put the same combo into my E39 and to get around the depth problem I'm looking at removing the swing face so that's all I have to put in the dash, then have the double din part and the H701 somewhere else. wish me luck, I'll need it. I'll be relocating my MID to the glove box (which from all accounts is simple to do). I have seen pics of an E39 with the w200 installed - they did a bit of work on the airbox housing to get it to fit. Another option is to try and fit something like the Alpine single din pop up screen headies with processor control, but personally I'm not a fan of the pop out screen.

Nice choice of sub. I'm a huge Image Dynamics fan (should mention I'm the NZ distributor for the stuff so I am a tad biased). My previous sub was a Focal Utopia 38wx and the max12 matches it in the lower frequencies and kills it in the 40+ hz area. I expected there to be a much bigger gap between the max10 and the max12 but the 10 gives the 12 a damn good run for its money.

My game plan is Image dynamics CD2 horns under the dash, the new ID XS69 midbass in custom door pods, basic ID coaxs in the rear and either the IDmax12 or 2 of the new IDQ12v3 in the boot. Should be able to get by with 3 Boston Acoustic amps giving 900rms to the sub, 350rms to each 6x9 and 30rms to the horns, 50rms to the rears and a spare channel for a centre but with the horns I doubt I'll need it.

First thing on my list is Dynamat and I'll probably go overkill. Factory SD doesn't seem to bad at all around the cabin. The boot definitely needs it, and the roof could probably do with some help. Obviously if you're gonna try and fit 6.5 in the door and then give them some terps the front doors is a must then.

The Morel piccolo could be the way to go, very nice dome and might fit into the factory position if that where you're going with them. I've got a pair of the fullsize Supremos, hell of a tweeter but near impossible to install in a normal car.

Haven't had my door cards off yet to see what's behind there re your midrange. Have a look here http://icixsound.com/vb/showthread.php?t=38435&page=1&pp=10 . Another option would be the DLS Nobellium 5.2 . The tweters should fit in the factory location and the midbass is rated down to 55hz so it probably wouldn't be too hard getting them to play very nicely down to say 90hz and have the max10 doing 90 down

Another h/u option that could be a goer is the Pioneer P90 combo. That way you only need single din,

anejo99
09-22-2007, 05:00 PM
I do not think I am going to install my Alpine W200 -- seems like to much trouble to try to make it fit.... so, I am going to want to upgrade the stock 4:3 system to a newer 16:9 and was wondering FOR AUDIO only, is there a difference between the various years/models (i.e. Mark II, III, IV, etc.)?

The differences that are of most interest are: sound quality (if any), RCA outputs (for connection to aftermaket amps, etc.), display features (iPod info, etc.)?

rogan
09-22-2007, 11:36 PM
I do not think I am going to install my Alpine W200 -- seems like to much trouble to try to make it fit

I've got the nosepiece off mine now - 8 screws and undo a cable connector and it's done, quite easy. Problem is getting a longer cable to connect the nosepiece to the h/u. I've been to the Alpine distributor and they do have a longer cable for servicing purposes so they've ordered me one but unfortunately noone knows how long it is so have to wait for it to be imported (6-8 weeks) before I'll know if it'll be feasable. No problem returning the unit to stock if I ever decide to sell it.

But yeah going factory would be easier if there's RCA out etc available. Another option could be the new Alpine Imprint H650, takes the factory output, flattens it and gives you 8 pre amp outs, time alignment and all the other fruit
http://www.alpine-usa.com/US-en/products/product.php?model=PXE-H650

DouglasABaker
09-24-2007, 04:43 PM
Sorry it took me so long to respond - thought I had a subscription automatically when I replied, but apparently not.

Anyway, your Ipod interface has nothing to do with the radio, so it should be fine. It is all controlled through the IBus itself, and you will not be affecting those connections.

As for 6.5" speakers, as I understand it they will fit with some "massaging". I didn't because I didn't want to put in the effort. Would Have, Could Have, Should Have. Live and learn.

The midrange comes with DSP as well as analog, but not with M-Audio.

Sound deadening is not needed except on the rear deck in my opinion. The door seals essentially already are sound deadening and most of the trunk is already covered. There just aren't too many places left...

d-

m3hamann
10-12-2007, 09:36 PM
Rogan i love your game plan with Image dynamics i m a big fan of them as well.I am working on my system as well so far i did some conversion on my H/U I love the factory look .here some picture of what I did with my H/U.
I have a pair of CD2 (FB),idq 8 and 2 12 IDMAX couple XTANT amp (X1001e ,X604e) .And I m going old school with the image dynamics EQ and X-OVER ,with a pair of 8ís .i gonna try to install the 8 s in the door panel (try to keep the stock look)with an enclosure behind it with a minimum cosmetic change on the door panel and CX52 in the rear deck .I m going to use the vehicle hub pro from Alpine (vpa-B222) to integrate with my stock deck (what can I say I love the stock look) i gonna try to post more pictures of my install later

rogan
10-14-2007, 11:10 PM
m3hamann, those pics have given me some good ideas about the h/u - might be able to integrate the w200 nosepiece into that hacked and chopped factory frame and achieve a more factory look.

You got any links to more of your photos / build log? Be very interested in seeing more.

Have a serious think about mini bodies on the horns. They don't play down as low but they should be better than the full bodies which will probably have too much reflection off the centre console. The mini bodies are better where you've got a proud centre console. I spoke to Eric and Matt at ID about this and they reckon mb is definitely the way to go for the e39. Doesn't cost much for the mini bodies from memory (the mega cost is in the drivers). I've had a change in heart on my amps, so looks like DLS A series for subs and midbass and then a tube amp for the horns.

I'd also consider the H701 processor than can be controlled off the vehicle hub. There's 8 output channels, about 30eq bands per channel, 5.1 processing and independant time alignment. With it being run off the vehicle hub there wouldn't be the tweaking and tuning issues you'd have with separate eq/xover in another position (boot or wherever). Pretty sure the vehicle hub can control the H701 directly without need for another controller.

m3hamann
10-15-2007, 11:24 AM
About the full body and the probabilities of reflection off the centre console I was thinking about that and I don***8217;t think it s gonna be a issue because our console it wrap
With leather and I don***8217;t think the reflection gonna be noticeable but I could be wrong. I would change my full bodies to mini bodies if I have a clearance problem in my install. Try to keep the sound as natural as possible. I wouldn***8217; t get the H701 but the 1/3 eq it a very good ideal to clean up everything the 5.1? I really don t know about it just because you dont have any center channel .Just get yourself a good x-over and a good pair of eq***8217;s you should ask the ID team Matt or Eric at ID they should be able to tell you witch unit to get .Remember the simpler you system is going to be the less problem you gonna have and the better the sound gonna be