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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 10-19-2013, 10:29 PM
TimmyNY TimmyNY is offline
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E39 528i stereo system help

Hey guys I tried looking through the entire forum but never really seen anything on this. I wanted to know if anyone did any mod to their stock stereo system where you can play music from your phone instead of the CD player. I seen something online before called the GTA car kit for our cars but it seems its no longer available for purchase. So i wanted to know if anyone ever did that particular mod and if yes how to do it? Thanks.

P.S: i searched for this using the search function but with no luck. Its for all those smart asses that keep answering with that instead of the actual helpful info
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  #2  
Old 10-19-2013, 11:27 PM
ameiurus ameiurus is online now
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I'm using a Bluetooth FM transmitter for such functionality. Pretty cheap and easy...
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  #3  
Old 10-20-2013, 12:29 AM
TimmyNY TimmyNY is offline
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Originally Posted by ameiurus View Post
I'm using a Bluetooth FM transmitter for such functionality. Pretty cheap and easy...
Na with FM transmitter the sound quality if booty. Thank you for an input though
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  #4  
Old 10-20-2013, 04:10 AM
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diggyd357 diggyd357 is offline
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Re: E39 528i stereo system help

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Originally Posted by TimmyNY View Post
Na with FM transmitter the sound quality if booty. Thank you for an input though
If you want Bluetooth functionality combined with sound quality your best bet is to go with an aftermarket head unit. Personally, I've found Alpine's HD units to be just what the doctor ordered. You can even buy the ktp 445 , which is a small inline amplifier that installs behind the radio and will provide 45w rms to your speakers making up for deleting your onboard amplifier which you would need to do. Maybe there's a simpler way, but for Bluetooth coupled with sound quality, I've yet to see it. Maybe try posting in the car audio forum here. Good luck !

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  #5  
Old 10-20-2013, 05:54 AM
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DennisCooper! DennisCooper! is offline
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Hi,

You've not mentioned which stock audio setup you have!

As you've mentioned Sound Quality, then the little mod where someone took apart a cassette adapter and soldered to the tape head wiring with the other end on a 3.5mm jack to connect to an iPod or smartphone headphone jack wouldn't be good as the SQ issn't very good at all. As you have a CD transport, it's more redundant. The alternatives are you could look at the Dension, DICE, mObridge, GROM websites to see if they offer an interface which has a 3.5mm input or bluetooth for the oem audio setup you have in your car. Sound quality would be 'better' but again, not 'excellent. Another option is to get a mobile phone hands free unit from the likes of Parrot, Motorola, Scosche, iOPlay etc etc which have bluetooth streaming or an aux input.

If you are looking for 'excellent SQ' then using the oem stock head unit/setup is bit of a misnomer as the SQ you hear in the car to many owners isn't very good at all. Depending on how your music files are encoded and the quality of the source recording used to make the files will also have a bearing on Sound Quality.

Cheers, Dennis!
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  #6  
Old 10-20-2013, 02:55 PM
TimmyNY TimmyNY is offline
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Originally Posted by DennisCooper! View Post
Hi,

You've not mentioned which stock audio setup you have!

As you've mentioned Sound Quality, then the little mod where someone took apart a cassette adapter and soldered to the tape head wiring with the other end on a 3.5mm jack to connect to an iPod or smartphone headphone jack wouldn't be good as the SQ issn't very good at all. As you have a CD transport, it's more redundant. The alternatives are you could look at the Dension, DICE, mObridge, GROM websites to see if they offer an interface which has a 3.5mm input or bluetooth for the oem audio setup you have in your car. Sound quality would be 'better' but again, not 'excellent. Another option is to get a mobile phone hands free unit from the likes of Parrot, Motorola, Scosche, iOPlay etc etc which have bluetooth streaming or an aux input.

If you are looking for 'excellent SQ' then using the oem stock head unit/setup is bit of a misnomer as the SQ you hear in the car to many owners isn't very good at all. Depending on how your music files are encoded and the quality of the source recording used to make the files will also have a bearing on Sound Quality.

Cheers, Dennis!
Yea from what im getting here best thing to do is to get a new head unit lol. Im an idiot when it comes to the whole sound system so maybe someone can answer this for me... What will happen if ill just replace the oem amplifier with i dont know lets say alpine one?
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  #7  
Old 10-21-2013, 03:50 AM
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Hi,

I suggest you have a good read around this and other BMW forums where multiple thousands of E39 audio posts are! You can't directly connect an aftermarket amplifier to the BMW audio setups using RCA/Phono connections as the BMW setups are bespoke and closed type (i.e no phono outputs) You can connect at speaker level but that has it's own disadvantages. Also depending if your car has DSP or not, that has an impact with respect to the amplifer and speaker choices.

There's multiple ways forward and all depends on what you want to do and the sound quality increase levels you'd like to achieve. For those who prefer sound quality over 'looks' then an aftermarket head unit, amplifiers and speakers is the best way forward. If you *must* keep oem looks in the dash, then you need to start buying equipment to 'add on' to the oem setup.

Have a look around and decide on the route you'd wish to take and go from there

Cheers, Dennis!
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  #8  
Old 10-21-2013, 05:27 AM
mrblahh mrblahh is offline
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so much bad info in this thread

our cars have a few factory radio options, best to determin exactly what you have

factory unit has 2 pair of line outs that you can tap rca jacks onto for amps you do not have to connect to speaker level outputs.

factory tape deck can be modified to have a line in jack, some are simply add the adapter older cars require solidering to pins in the tape deck, this has good SQ as long as it is done right and not going through the doby filters

Last edited by mrblahh; 10-21-2013 at 05:30 AM.
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  #9  
Old 10-21-2013, 05:48 AM
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Hi MrBlahh,

Can you please post where the factory line outs are and on which oem setups please? I've never heard or seen of any - are they in the form of RCA/Phono plugs? or another type of connector?

I guess some owners would consider the original tape deck head as having good SQ however for the mass produced E39 (and other similar era cars with a cassette player) they weren't as good as home hi-fi cassette decks. Nowadays I'd not say the tape deck heads from these often 15-17 year old modules are 'good' for SQ and would merely be an 'option' for those who aren't into musical sound quality.

Cheers, Dennis!
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  #10  
Old 10-21-2013, 10:25 AM
mrblahh mrblahh is offline
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they are hard wired into the factory amp tap or splice onto those

the original tape deck has terrible sq I was sure not talking about cassette adapters, the DIY involves soldiering the channels into the circuit board after the processing circuits on the cassette side so the head unit gets unaltered signals from your ipod or whatever, there are a few DIY threads on here and another forum
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  #11  
Old 10-21-2013, 10:38 AM
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Hi MrBlahh

What about E39's that don't have a factory amp?

Of those that do have an oem amplifier, could you post about where they are specifically? This is the first I've heard about 'line outs' on an E39 amplifier, so it'd help everyone reading this too. Again, which type of connector are they and is there enough room to perhaps connect an RCA phono lead etc? any pictures of what you mean?

Cheers, Dennis!
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  #12  
Old 10-21-2013, 10:45 AM
mrblahh mrblahh is offline
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not sure on those without factory amp, I dont think we got those in the US

if you google e39 stereo diagram it's the 4 pairs of inputs into the factory amp, those are line level inputs they are on the big connector and thinner guage wire. Woofer outputs are on the small connector and thicker guage wire

I installed mine with a pair of 2 channel amps, one runs front components, one runs sub in trunk I left the factory rear speakers on the factory amp for fill

I use the fader to control the sub & rear fill

Last edited by mrblahh; 10-21-2013 at 10:47 AM.
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  #13  
Old 10-21-2013, 11:05 AM
mrblahh mrblahh is offline
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edit dsp use balanced input mine may too I'm not really sure I bought amps that can handle the grounded low level input and the balanced input I think the DSP uses balanced input

most modern amps should be able to handle regular 4v line in and balanced input up to 9v read the specs to make sure

Last edited by mrblahh; 10-21-2013 at 11:17 AM.
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  #14  
Old 10-21-2013, 11:37 AM
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Hi,

Mr Blahh, do keep in mind many E39's are outside of the US and not the same spec, and plenty don't come with an oem amplifier. I know the OP in this case in the US and probably does indeed have an oem amplifier but until confirmation is given also as to which setup is in their car and also as they've also explained that they're a very new to car audio aspects, mentioning balanced differential inputs/outputs will only potentially confuse.

TimmyNY - once you cross reference the setup in your car, and know exactly which one it is, you can decide better which route you wish to take. If you *must* keep the oem head unit for 100% looks in the dash, you may need to find an amplifier that can accept balanced differential inputs and then work out where on the car's wiring to modify/connect to the amplifier (check member JIMLEV's posts about connecting aftermarket amplifiers to the oem loom amongst others) - There's no 'direct' connection on any of the E39 audio setups where you can just connect phono RCA plugs into, if you have an oem setup that needs a little splicing, then you'll need to find/choose an amplifier such as the one JIMLEV uses.

If you don't mind losing the 100% oem looks, then you can put in an aftermarket head unit which RCA phono outputs and directly plug in pretty much any good quality aftermarket amplifier via RCA phono extension cables.

There's thousands of threads about the various routes forward you can go with E39 audio choices, so depends on what you'd like to have and achieve
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  #15  
Old 10-21-2013, 12:34 PM
mrblahh mrblahh is offline
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he's asking about line in anyway, totally different subject line in can be added regardless of factory amp or lack of amp as long as you have a tape deck that's already got a DIY on how to solder in the line in

there's multiple articles and tape deck versions so you gotta make sure you match the tape deck to the article

he's got a 2000 it may have the easy add a wire line in, I'm not sure what year they went to that radio, basically you add a plug and your aux in works

Last edited by mrblahh; 10-21-2013 at 12:36 PM.
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  #16  
Old 10-21-2013, 04:01 PM
TimmyNY TimmyNY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblahh View Post
he's asking about line in anyway, totally different subject line in can be added regardless of factory amp or lack of amp as long as you have a tape deck that's already got a DIY on how to solder in the line in

there's multiple articles and tape deck versions so you gotta make sure you match the tape deck to the article

he's got a 2000 it may have the easy add a wire line in, I'm not sure what year they went to that radio, basically you add a plug and your aux in works
just for reference i donthave dch or whatever its called radio i have the other one. I know this because i looked at what the difference is on youtube lol. Anyways I think Im just going to replace the head unit. Its the easiest way out and plus then i can start getting some good speakers installed lol
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  #17  
Old 10-21-2013, 05:31 PM
mrblahh mrblahh is offline
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same one we have I think, c33 radio

I did the aux in mod to ours tonight, I also disconnected the tape deck head ribbon cable by unsoldering it, with it connected it picked up some hiss. I used these directions, took about 30 min

these directions input the signal before the doby chip, I think after the chip is better but I'm not sure how to with the C33 radio/tapedeck

http://web.archive.org/web/201201140...mw-aux-in.html

Last edited by mrblahh; 10-21-2013 at 05:32 PM.
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