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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 10-30-2011, 08:20 PM
JimLev JimLev is offline
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New Boston Acoustic SC50 speakers and BMWTips

Just finished installing SC50's in all locations.
I found major differences in the amp connector wiring shown in BMWTips and what my car had. (both are non DSP)
I should have started taking notes when I did the front, but had the front door back together before I noticed the differences in my car and BMWTips.
If anyone has more wiring info let me know, I'll update my spreadsheet.
The SC50's sound way better than the OEM speakers.

Someone tell me how to post a link to a spreadsheet, I've tried it 3 times and can't get it to work.
























Last edited by JimLev; 10-31-2011 at 05:37 AM. Reason: Added more info
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  #2  
Old 10-30-2011, 08:30 PM
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doru doru is offline
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What is the cost of the speakers?
BSW sells their "kit" for about 500 bux (stage 1)
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  #3  
Old 10-30-2011, 10:13 PM
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seemyad seemyad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doru View Post
What is the cost of the speakers?
BSW sells their "kit" for about 500 bux (stage 1)
1 set (two woofers + two tweeters) were about $130. Two sets would be about $260. I installed one set in my front doors (two woofers + 2 tweeters). The store I normally but from, Crutchfield, list this model at $300 even for 1 set.

I am a little annoyed because the BMW amp seems to have cutoff the lower range of the door woofers. IMHO, when fading 100% to the front the woofers sound more like mid range and it is NOT due to the speakers.

That being said the overall sound quality has more depth to it and is less muffled. I had to back my treble down two notches due to the clarity of the new tweeters. They play far more notes simultaneously than the OEM tweeters.


- HUGE IDEA - Need thoughts on the following:

Based on this wiring diagram of the OEM non-DSP amp the front speaker output from the head unit are pins 23 - 26 on the amp.

Non DSP - http://www.bmwtips.com/tipsntricks/s...les/wiring.htm Need to verify this is correct

12 Pin Connector - Front woofers = pins 1 through 4
26 Pin Connector - Front tweeters = pins 16 through 19
26 Pin Connector - Front speaker Output from Head Unit = pins 23 through 26

I have read that the OEM AMP is moreso a powered, 10 channel crossover vs a signal amplifier. I read the Head Unit is the power driver, not the OEM Amp. If this is true (IF I SAY) one could:

1) Tap into the front speaker outputs from the head unit (do it in the trunk near the OEM amp).
2) Sever the amp output to the front door woofers and tweeters
3) Install the crossover units that came with the Boston Acoustics for the left and right woofer/tweeter
4) Leave the mid-range speakers connected to the OEM amp



Unless I receive intel suggesting otherwise I'm going to try this with ONE front door woofer to see if it works. My theory is the crossover that came with the Boston Acoustics will pass the full range of the woofer vs the limited range being passed by the OEM Amp/crossover.

I do not know how well the head unit will drive the speaker though if what I read about the head unit is incorrect.

.



.

Last edited by seemyad; 10-30-2011 at 11:25 PM.
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  #4  
Old 10-31-2011, 04:22 AM
JimLev JimLev is offline
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I paid $128 for each set of speakers which included free shopping.
Seemyad, the BMWTips wiring is wrong, as soon as I can figure out how I can link a spreadsheet I can show you the wiring.
You lost some base? Mine is much better than before. Maybe your front and back woofers are out of phase??
I also backed down the treble.

FYI, the head unit will not drive speakers.

Last edited by JimLev; 10-31-2011 at 11:39 AM.
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  #5  
Old 10-31-2011, 06:21 AM
540nj 540nj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimLev View Post
I paid $128 for each set of speakers which included free shopping.
Seemyad, the BMWTips wiring is wrong, as soon as I can figure out how I can link a spreadsheet I can show you the wiring.
You lost some base? Mine is much better than before. Maybe your front and back woofers are out of phase??
I also backed down the treble.

FYI, the head unit will not drive speakers.
Jim,

The BMWTips is wrong on speaker polarity. i posted about it many years ago when I did my 528 non-DSP audio. I found the ADS info to be correct, not sure if thats out there anymore.

dave
03 540i6
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  #6  
Old 10-31-2011, 07:30 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seemyad View Post
- HUGE IDEA - Need thoughts on the following:

I have read that the OEM AMP is moreso a powered, 10 channel crossover vs a signal amplifier. I read the Head Unit is the power driver, not the OEM Amp. If this is true (IF I SAY) one could:

1) Tap into the front speaker outputs from the head unit (do it in the trunk near the OEM amp).
2) Sever the amp output to the front door woofers and tweeters
3) Install the crossover units that came with the Boston Acoustics for the left and right woofer/tweeter
4) Leave the mid-range speakers connected to the OEM amp

.
You may be partially correct. The crossover may be electronic and be integrated into the amp. This would then send power in a specific frequency range to each speaker, eliminating the need for a passive crossover. I don't think the head unit generates ANY power, just signal to the amp. Either way, what you propose should not work.

IF what you suggest is correct, you would be unable to properly blend the volume levels of the various speakers. In addition, the tweeter and bass would overlap with the mids, since they would be using a two way x-over. I cannot imagine this sounding very good.

IF what I suggest (integrated electronic crossover in the amp) is correct, it would not allow you to use the passive x-over from BA either as you would not have a full signal available to split. Keep in mind, the BA uses a 2-way x-over and the OEM system is a three way, which includes the mid.

When I replaced my door speakers, I simply replaced the old woofer with the new component woofer, using the same wiring from the stock amp & x-over. I did the same with the tweeter and I left the original mid in place. I did not use the speaker supplied x-over. I found that I needed to actually turn down my high end a bit to get the proper balance. Since I added a subwoofer, I turn down the bass on the head unit to reduce distortion in the door speakers but have it bumped higher on the subwoofer.
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  #7  
Old 10-31-2011, 08:50 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Jim,

Thanks very much for posting this. My rear door Tweeter speaker is dead, so I am looking for excuses to upgrade my speaker system.

Some obvious questions before I jump into this project:

1. I assume the sound is better with Boston Acoustics? Yes, No?

2. Detailed wiring diagram if you don't mind drawing one for us.
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  #8  
Old 10-31-2011, 09:06 AM
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doru doru is offline
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Jim said he cannot upload the xls spreadsheet.
Jim, can you maybe pdf the spreadsheet, then post it?
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  #9  
Old 10-31-2011, 09:26 AM
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Albo Albo is offline
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JimLev,

Perhaps you could do screenprints of the spreadsheet and upload those?
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  #10  
Old 10-31-2011, 09:35 AM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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somebody knows which speakers are used in BSW Stage I Audio Upgrade for BMW 5 Series ?
is it possible to find the same speakers online ?

Last edited by champaign777; 10-31-2011 at 09:36 AM.
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  #11  
Old 10-31-2011, 10:21 AM
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I believe they are Rainbow IQs. Other Rainbow speaker models (KX) are available online for less but they are not the same.
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  #12  
Old 10-31-2011, 10:49 AM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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Wow, I bet I could make some tin cans that have more definition than those OEM pieces of crap. Haven't really looked at pictures before.

The OEM crossovers and cutoffs are weird. I have no doubt that you'll find the audio a lot better if you install a more intelligent amp, but I don't think what you have in mind will work unless you have a separate cutoff that turns off the midrange, otherwise the sub will be trying to make high frequency noise and will sound awful.
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  #13  
Old 10-31-2011, 11:08 AM
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Hi,

I think you'd all find the DSP Amplifier is where the 'low level' signals are 'Amplified'. Built into the IC's used, will be the crossover section. In this oem setup, where DSP was optioned when the car was new, the unit that sits in the dashboard does NOT amplify any signals.

So, in order to make aftermarket 4 ohm speakers of which there's hundreds of choices out there work with the OEM DSP amp, you'd need to reverse engineer the DSP amplifier, work out if the crossover occurs before amplification or after that stage, work out how to change the impedance output by perhaps using different IC's etc. You could then work out which frequency band is being outputted upon which wires and the cutoff frequencies used.

I think the DSP option came out in 1997 and it's now late 2011 - in 14 or so years there was extremely little or next to no demand in doing much with E39 audio and especially with wanting to change the DSP amp and then use that to drive better quality speakers. Now that those amplifiers are failing etc there is a small amount of interest in doing things with it. One major stumbling block I see is that the oem DSP amp, also has quite a weedy RMS output level and aftermarket component speakers which are available sound much better when being driven by a much higher RMS output amplifier.

The cost of reverse engineering the DSP amp is hardly worth doing in this respect as I'd expect it to run into 5 figures from the outset.

By far the best solution would be to use a signal summing interface, which takes the outputs from the OEM ampifier and 'sums' them up to a full range, clean and undistorted signal output via RCA's. You can then take those RCA's and if you are so inclined, use an active crossover type audio setup where you can change and try all sorts of crossover frequencies matched to certain speakers and drivers which are known to perform fantastically with sound quality. It'll cost much less, provide a vastly extended quality level to go the signal processor route

If you *must* have oem audio modules, then the only option is the matched set of speakers from BSW which were developed with all the above in mind, which connect as drop in and connected replacements

Cheers, Dennis!
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  #14  
Old 10-31-2011, 11:44 AM
JimLev JimLev is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Jim,

Thanks very much for posting this. My rear door Tweeter speaker is dead, so I am looking for excuses to upgrade my speaker system.

Some obvious questions before I jump into this project:

1. I assume the sound is better with Boston Acoustics? Yes, No?

2. Detailed wiring diagram if you don't mind drawing one for us.
Answers,
1) Yes, noticably better.
2) I'm working on it, hope to have something posted before the end of the day.
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Old 10-31-2011, 11:47 AM
JimLev JimLev is offline
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Originally Posted by Albo View Post
JimLev,

Perhaps you could do screenprints of the spreadsheet and upload those?
Thanks for the tip, I was thinking about scaning a printout but will try both and see which one looks better.
I'd really like to be able to post a downloadable spreadsheet so if there are any errors in it you guys can make corrections to it.
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Old 10-31-2011, 12:53 PM
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seemyad seemyad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
When I replaced my door speakers, I simply replaced the old woofer with the new component woofer, using the same wiring from the stock amp & x-over. I did the same with the tweeter and I left the original mid in place. I did not use the speaker supplied x-over. I found that I needed to actually turn down my high end a bit to get the proper balance. Since I added a subwoofer, I turn down the bass on the head unit to reduce distortion in the door speakers but have it bumped higher on the subwoofer.
Thanks for the intel.

We have a very similar setup. I ponder if the higher impedance of the new tweeters played a role in having to turn down the treble a little OR is it simply because of the higher quality of the speaker which reproduces EVERY high available.

The system sounds much better and far richer than it did. The subwoofer is a MUST. The sub alone was 80% of the improvement.

I'll look into a low cost/power two channel amp (150 - 200 watts) and simply tap into line level output to drive the BA woofers then. It annoys me to have them so limited by the OEM crossover. The frequency range for those start lower than what they are being fed. It's like I purchased a 400 horse power car and put a governor on it.

Granted it could make the overall sound unbalanced but there is only one way to find out.
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Old 10-31-2011, 02:49 PM
JimLev JimLev is offline
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Non DSP Amp and Speaker wiring info

Seemyad, the lower the impedance the more power the speaker will draw.
My old front tweeters were 8 ohms, the rears were 4 ohms.
All of the new BA's are 4 ohms.
I use to have my treble set to +1, now it's at -1.

I know all of the pinouts from the two connectors at the amp to the indicated speakers are correct. I pumped audio from a transistor radio to each set of speaker pins at the amp connectors and then verified that the audio was coming from where I have noted it in the chart.

If anyone is going to upgrade their system can you check the front mid speaker wires colors at the speaker and let me know? I didn't start to take many notes until I had the front door panels back on.

If any of you want the real spreadsheet, PM me with your email address and I'll send it to you.

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Old 10-31-2011, 03:10 PM
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doru doru is offline
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So, Jim, you changed only the rear tweaters and Subwoofers, and you left in place the OEM front tweeters and door speakers?
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Old 10-31-2011, 04:03 PM
JimLev JimLev is offline
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I changed all of the speakers with the exception of the front door mids, which don't come with any upgrade kit that I have seen.
The wiring in the chart is for the OEM speakers.
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Old 10-31-2011, 04:28 PM
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seemyad seemyad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimLev View Post
Seemyad, the lower the impedance the more power the speaker will draw.
My old front tweeters were 8 ohms, the rears were 4 ohms.
All of the new BA's are 4 ohms.
I use to have my treble set to +1, now it's at -1.
Jim, my front tweeter lables show 2 ohms (I'll double check when I make it home). If not for the label what you state makes 100% sense. I found it odd to see a mix of OEM 2 0hm, 4ohm, and 8 ohm speakers in the front door which is why it stands out in my memory (I will still double check).

- EDIT -

My OEM tweeters are 8 ohms

The ink faded on one of them to make it look like 2 vs 8.

YOU ARE CORRECT. Thanks!

Quote:
If anyone is going to upgrade their system can you check the front mid speaker wires colors at the speaker and let me know? I didn't start to take many notes until I had the front door panels back on.

If any of you want the real spreadsheet, PM me with your email address and I'll send it to you.
The mid-range front door speaker wires are:

Green = negative (I assume due to the woofer. The speaker is not labeled)
Green/black = positive (I assume)

The woofer front door speakers are:

Green = negative
Green/black = positive

The front tweeters are: (will double check this evening and report back)

Yellow = negative (speaker is labeled)
Yellow/red= positive

- EDIT -

Confirmed tweeter color code.

.

Last edited by seemyad; 10-31-2011 at 10:04 PM.
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  #21  
Old 11-01-2011, 04:50 PM
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seemyad seemyad is offline
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I decided to see what the Boston Acoustics sound like without the OEM amp. Just ordered a small amp to drive the Boston Acustics installed in my front doors.
http://www.amazon.com/CX250-Exxtreme...0189074&sr=1-3

They had cheaper amps but the 102db sensitivity on this one played a role in my decision. They also have stronger amps available for a little more cost ($12) but I considered the current sound and opted against going much louder. My goal is improved depth and clarity at moderate volume levels vs drawing attention from people that are impressed with loud, obnoxious, "look at me due to my disturbing you" music.

I am curious to see (hear) the impact of opening the input to the Boston Acustics to their designed frequency range vs responding to the limitations of the OEM amp crossover. It may make the overall sound better. It may make it worse but curiosity has me by the gnads.

Modified planned to see what the speakers sound like with the crossovers that came with them so I intend to:

1) Install the amp
2) Tap into the front speaker outputs from the head unit (do it in the trunk near the OEM amp).
3) Sever the OEM amp output to the front door woofers and tweeters (crimp on quick disconnects)
4) Install the crossover units that came with the Boston Acoustic speakers betwen the after market amd and the speakers
4) Leave the OEM mid-range speakers connected to the OEM amp (may test the sound without these mids as well)
5) Report my findings here

One immediate gain will be impedence matching the 4 ohm BA tweeters with a 4 ohm/2 ohm amp.

Considering either suspending the amp from the rear deck bracket (that might be cool) OR just outside the location of the OEM amp OR outside the battery compartment (needs air to keep cool). Should have it in this weekend.

.

Last edited by seemyad; 11-01-2011 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 11-01-2011, 06:57 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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An interesting experiment. I suspect you will probably wind up disconnecting the mids, since they will overlap the woofer and tweeters and make the setup biased towards the midrange. Interesting to see (hear) what it sounds like. I suspect just the two speaker setup will sound better than the OEM.
Your original post indicated you did the direct replacement of the woofer and the tweeter, leaving the mid and using the original amp but you were disappointed with the bass cutoff. Did you check to see if your phasing was correct? Loss of bass is a classic out of phase symptom. I can't imagine the new speakers being not obviously better than the OEM.
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Old 11-01-2011, 07:41 PM
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seemyad seemyad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman
Your original post indicated you did the direct replacement of the woofer and the tweeter, leaving the mid and using the original amp but you were disappointed with the bass cutoff. Did you check to see if your phasing was correct? Loss of bass is a classic out of phase symptom. I can't imagine the new speakers being not obviously better than the OEM.
Yes Fudman. They were out of phase so I switched polarity and they definitely out perform the OEM speakers (sounds much better).

I originally thought the OEM tweeter was 2 ohm vs 8 ohm. Being 8 ohms explains the louder 4 ohm tweeter replacement.

If you fade 100% to the front you can hear the narrow frequency range being delivered to the mid-bass from the OEM amp. Although the sound has improved I am curios to see what the new speakers can do without the OEM restrictions.

The four speaker set came with two crossovers (one for each left/right channel). I want to hear how the speakers were designed to sound. Albeit some noise may be introduced due to the line level input vs low level .

If the overall quality noticeably improves, or not I'll post it here. The amps run as low as $40 on Amazon with free shipping and have built in crossovers. You have to pay a little more for a high signal to noise ratio/sensitivity.

I like to hear every musical note in a song without paying $1000 to do so. Since I don't need to rattle my neighbors windows I can get quality at relatively low cost. Quality at ear damaging levels is where the cost sky rockets but I'm sure you know all of this.

I am also keeping an eye on how much additional weight I introduce to the car. I don't just consider upfront cost. I also consider how much additional MPG I may lose due to additional weight which is a direct cost of the component for years to come.

I understand why BMW used so much plastic. Yet the plastic they use seems to last over 80k at a minimum on most parts. Not bad for plastic components under so much tension, vibration, and temperature variation.

.

Last edited by seemyad; 11-01-2011 at 07:43 PM.
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  #24  
Old 11-06-2011, 01:14 AM
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seemyad seemyad is offline
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Yet another twist.

Pins 15 and 17 (head unit left front output) in my car feed the RIGHT/front woofer. Three diagrams I studied suggest these two pins feed the LEFT/front woofer..

I believe the wiring diagram posted above in this thread is correct as it agrees with the one I used to install my subwoofer a month or two ago.

HOWEVER, my head unit's front left and right channels are BACKWARDS aka swapped!

Friday I spent half the day troubleshooting my new amp install. I faded and balanced my radio to front/right to test my first connection and got nothing from pins 14 and 16. I restudied two different, yet in agreement, wiring diagrams and thought I had a bad amp or bad connection. I stripped back the front right woofer wire pairs to ensure a good connection and still nothing. I tapped into the rear right input and the amp worked so I still thought I had a bad connection.

I removed and dismantled the 26 pin connector. I used a twist-tie that I stripped and connected to my amp to probe each pin (holes were too small to fit anything but a sowing needle or a twist-tie that sometimes is used to close plastic bread bags and such). That is when I discovered that when the fader/balance are moved to the front/right pins 15 and 17 (head unit front/left outputs) are hot and the opposite was true as well. YET, the speakers would react correctly to shifting the balance between left and right (odd). So I tapped into the head unit's LEFT channel output to run the new anp that I connected to the front right door woofer and it worked.

Every diagram shows the same left/front right/front color code and pin-out. My connector color code and pin-out agrees with the diagrams however the front left and front right channels are swapped elsewhere (I suspect at the connector on head unit itself). My rear channels may or may NOT swapped. A month or so ago I bridged the subwoofer amp (I installed) output from the rear channels so I really do not know if they are backwards too (and don't care at the moment). Due to the subwoofer amp being bridged shifting the balance left or right produces the same outcome with the sub so I cannot truly say the rear channels are not backwards as well.

Weird. Just weird and very taxing to troubleshoot when you justifiably trust the diagram which agrees 100% with other diagrams.

Last edited by seemyad; 11-06-2011 at 01:12 PM.
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  #25  
Old 11-06-2011, 05:15 AM
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AnotherGeezer AnotherGeezer is offline
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Location: ManchVegas, New Hampster
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 3,749
Mein Auto: 2003 530i/5
I'm having some Alpine SPR-50C's installed in my front doors on Wednesday. Should sound a little better than the stock stuff.
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