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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 07-23-2005, 07:44 PM
mrebean mrebean is offline
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speaker upgrading

originally posted in the audio upgrade section, but it seems to be slow there so hopefully someone here can help:

hello to all -

i purchased my 99 540i last oct and i am finally fed up w/ the lackluster stock stereo. i would like to upgrade the speakers ( the receiver too but i want to keep the steering wheel controls ).

the only thing on sizes ive been able to find it that it takes 5.25". can that opening accomodate a larger speaker? also, what is the size of the rears? ive searced everywhere and havnt been able to find its size.

i was thinking of focal components for the front and coaxials for the rear. should i even bother w/ the rear door speakers?

any suggestions all round would be greatly appreciated.

many thanks in advance...

jR
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  #2  
Old 07-23-2005, 08:31 PM
BillP BillP is offline
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Front and back midwoofers are both nominally 5.25" - in reality they are smaller, but the hole size matches a normal 5.25" speaker. Put the stock speaker and replacement speaker side by side and you'll see what I mean. Don't even try going bigger in front, you'll have enough difficulties with 5.25".

I would personally leave the rears as-is. I replaced all of them, but the hassle factor combined with the fact that I leave the system faded toward the front anyway means it was a waste of time/money.


Bill
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  #3  
Old 07-23-2005, 09:55 PM
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chafik11 chafik11 is offline
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speaker replacment

i did upgrade my system in my 99 528I and i'm very hapy with it. you should deffinetly change the factory speakers( size 5'25 front and back) dont put any other size it wont fit, but pls keep your stock radio, add an Amp and some base.
i have diamond speakers all arround, and i add two 10" JL adio subs, with 5 ways Alpine Amp, my box is ported trough the arm rest wich means you hear the base inside the car not in the trunk. you will be happy with the setup, good luck.

Last edited by chafik11; 07-23-2005 at 09:57 PM.
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  #4  
Old 07-23-2005, 10:38 PM
mrebean mrebean is offline
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thanx for the feedback so far. from what ive reasearched, the rear speakers can kinda be a sob to replace. but if they are only 5.25 as well, i dont see that much of a benefit replacing them, since most of the time its just myself and maybe one other pasenger.

for those who have replaced them ..did u takle the task yourself, or have it professionaly done. how long did it take for you to remove the rear deck and replace them?

and how about the rear door? and benefit in replacing those? again, any help would be appreciated.

i also forgot to mention i have the non-dsp stock radio if that matters any.

thanx again...

jR
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  #5  
Old 07-23-2005, 10:53 PM
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chafik11 chafik11 is offline
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i suggest to replace all the speakers in order to have a clean good sound, in your car you have the high and the low and both they serve a purpose make no sense to upgrade the front and not the rear.
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  #6  
Old 07-24-2005, 03:54 AM
bensonc bensonc is offline
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you can easily replace the rear by just undo the cover. not a must to take the box out. good luck! I recommand replace all the speakers too, best to add an amp.
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  #7  
Old 07-24-2005, 08:58 AM
BillP BillP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrebean
thanx for the feedback so far. from what ive reasearched, the rear speakers can kinda be a sob to replace. but if they are only 5.25 as well, i dont see that much of a benefit replacing them, since most of the time its just myself and maybe one other pasenger.

for those who have replaced them ..did u takle the task yourself, or have it professionaly done. how long did it take for you to remove the rear deck and replace them?

and how about the rear door? and benefit in replacing those? again, any help would be appreciated.

i also forgot to mention i have the non-dsp stock radio if that matters any.

thanx again...

jR
I disagree with the statements about needing to replace the rears. For example, I have my rears permanently set to -10dB relative to the fronts (aka half volume). I can barely hear the rears and it just adds a bit of "fill" to the sound. Yes, I replaced them with better speakers, but the difference would be minimal compared to the very significant improvement you get by replacing the fronts. As a bonus, you save yourself some money. If you get done with the fronts and regret not replacing the rears, then do it! There is no cost of putting off that decision other than a bit of elapsed time and perhaps some shipping charges for the rear speakers.

To get at the rear speakers, you have to remove the rear seat bottom, then the rear seat back, then the rear deck cover, then get at the two plastic speaker pods. Those pods will almost certainly need to be modified with a heat gun because most aftermarket speakers are larger than the stock speakers (nominal 5.25" measurements mean little). I've done this a bunch of times on various E39s, so it is fairly easy for me and it would take perhaps two hours. For a first-timer, double or triple that (don't forget to buy the heat gun!) The rear seat bottom and back are easy, the rear deck cover is a major PITA - especially if you have the electric window shade (disconnect from the roof of the trunk). I have no idea how bensonc could get at the rear speakers through the speaker grill - the grill is far too small to even get near the screws.

OK, so you decide to be stubborn and replace the rears ... I would go with coaxials in the rear deck (woofer and tweeter in one piece) and NOT replace the tweeters in the rear door. I would either disconnect the door tweeters at the amp or leave them be. If/when you choose to replace the stock amp, you would then ignore the door tweeters and use the ones in the coaxial unit. Why disconnect? Because the rear door tweeters are too close to the front passengers' heads and really mess with the front sound stage.

Directions for doing this can be found at www.bmwtips.com under tips&tricks. Should you choose to go that route and have any difficulties, I can walk you through some of the more subtle issues involved.

Should you choose to ignore all of my advice, that's fine - I'm married and quite used to being ignored.


Bill
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'71 2002 Green/Black - GONE
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  #8  
Old 07-24-2005, 09:25 AM
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chivas chivas is offline
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Mein Auto: 98 540i/6
Quote:
Originally Posted by chafik11
i did upgrade my system in my 99 528I and i'm very hapy with it. you should deffinetly change the factory speakers( size 5'25 front and back) dont put any other size it wont fit, but pls keep your stock radio, add an Amp and some base.
i have diamond speakers all arround, and i add two 10" JL adio subs, with 5 ways Alpine Amp, my box is ported trough the arm rest wich means you hear the base inside the car not in the trunk. you will be happy with the setup, good luck.
there's also 2 punch out holes on the rear deck you can, well, punch out, to get more air in the cabin.
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  #9  
Old 07-25-2005, 08:05 PM
mrebean mrebean is offline
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thank you to everyone for your input. now all i have to decide is to either get focal or diamond hex speakers
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  #10  
Old 07-25-2005, 08:13 PM
BillP BillP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrebean
thank you to everyone for your input. now all i have to decide is to either get focal or diamond hex speakers
I have the Diamond Hex. Loved them in the showroom, but regret not getting the Focals. The Diamonds get pretty harsh at high volumes and I've blown two midwoofers.

Granted, I do play them pretty loud.


Bill
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'00 540iA/Sport, Anthracite/Black - Euro Delivery in Spring 2000
'06 Honda S2000, Black/Black (my go-kart) - GONE
'03 Z4 3.0 6-speed/Sport, Sterling Gray/Black - GONE
'71 2002 Green/Black - GONE
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  #11  
Old 07-26-2005, 07:10 AM
mrebean mrebean is offline
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bill -

which model focals did you test? k2, utopia?

ive also heard good things about rainbow profi, cdt and oz audio speakers ...i just havnt had a chance to audition them yet.
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  #12  
Old 07-26-2005, 07:50 AM
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chgolatin2 chgolatin2 is offline
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Billp has some great points I am heading in the same directions, replacing the fronts first and then taken it from there, why -10db???
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  #13  
Old 07-26-2005, 09:02 AM
Charlutz Charlutz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chgolatin2
Billp has some great points I am heading in the same directions, replacing the fronts first and then taken it from there, why -10db???
Because the object of assembling a system is to duplicate the sound as if you were listening live -- and to hear it the way it was intended when produced. The sound is stereo and should come from in front of you. Bass can come from anywhere as your ears can't localize low sound, but you don't want high freqs coming from behind you, i.e., the tweets. It's also the reason your front tweets are mounted higher than the front mids.
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