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Ferg
02-20-2004, 01:09 PM
I have been reading a lot on this forum over the last few weeks, especially anything to do with stereo upgrades, aux inputs, and iPods. Due to the posts I've read and my try-out at the dealership, I don't feel like I missed out on anything special by not upgrading to the Harmon-Kardon. However, this stock system is not cutting the mustard!

Should I replace the head unit first, or leave the head in and replace speakers? The stereo has a lack of bass definition, sounds far away, and has no clarity in the highs. Is the problem the head or the speaks? I don't need incredible volume, but I want a better quality sound.

Anyone here done a quick replacement of one or the other and received good results?

I have no idea which one to tackle first. :dunno:

jvr826
02-20-2004, 03:07 PM
I have been reading a lot on this forum over the last few weeks, especially anything to do with stereo upgrades, aux inputs, and iPods. Due to the posts I've read and my try-out at the dealership, I don't feel like I missed out on anything special by not upgrading to the Harmon-Kardon. However, this stock system is not cutting the mustard!

Should I replace the head unit first, or leave the head in and replace speakers? The stereo has a lack of bass definition, sounds far away, and has no clarity in the highs. Is the problem the head or the speaks? I don't need incredible volume, but I want a better quality sound.

Anyone here done a quick replacement of one or the other and received good results?

I have no idea which one to tackle first. :dunno:

I don't have a 3'er, but I have done a bit of work on the system in my 5'er. For us, replacing the head unit isn't a real posibility, especially with the nav system. Of course anything is possible given enough money and time. :D

So what I did was bypass the factory amplifier with an aftermarket amp, replaced the front 3-way speaker system with a high-end 2-way component system, used the factory rear mid-bass drivers as full-range rear fill, and added a subwoofer that fires through the arm rest of the rear seat. This is a massive improvement over the stock system and was fairly straightforward to do.

In the 5'er there's a 10 speaker system (standard) with a 10 channel amplifier. The outputs from which are frequency limited for the speaker they drive specifically. It was necessary to take the output signal from the head unit pre-amp and feed it's full-range signal to the new amplifier. In our factory system, the weak link is the amp and speakers IMO. In the 5'er, replacing just the speakers and retaining the factory amp results in very little improvement because the new speakers will be crossed over at the factory settings, not a perfect match for the speakers.

Dr. Phil
02-20-2004, 04:45 PM
The wink links are hard to identify. But in a pinch, I would go speakers and amp first....work around the short comings of the OEM head unit. That was my original plan but I got carried away and did it all at once :eeps: