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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 07-17-2015, 08:27 AM
stuff4mason stuff4mason is offline
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E39 Any Aftermarket Stereo installs?

Hi. This is my first post to Bimmerfest!

I've just about had enough of the stock stereo in this 2003 530i car. No GPS, Sirius, etc. Only AM/FM, CD player, and one mini jack input, which is the only thing that has saved my sanity. I am thinking that the aftermarket stuff may look like crap compared to stock, but I don't really care. I've installed new units in every single vehicle I've owned in my life time. No sense in not changing this one out. Was wondering if anyone else has changed it out, and has pictures of what they've done. I am assuming that we'd have to do a single din, as I am not sure anyone makes a double Din to get rid of the cd player too? If we are stuck with single din, has anyone installed a retractable screen unit? Let's see um!!
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  #2  
Old 07-17-2015, 09:25 AM
edjack edjack is offline
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Search is your friend. This subject has been beaten to death. There are several solutions out there. You need only look for them.

Start with ebay for the various offerings.
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Last edited by edjack; 07-17-2015 at 09:27 AM.
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  #3  
Old 07-17-2015, 10:30 AM
stuff4mason stuff4mason is offline
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Yea Edjack.....I know how to do searches on the internet bro. Thought I'd ask E39 specific guys what they've done. If your not interested in participating, in this thread, then don't open it.
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  #4  
Old 07-17-2015, 10:34 AM
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DennisCooper! DennisCooper! is offline
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Hi,

Look on this and other BMW forums, plenty of installs that have been done, some that just have items thrown in and not efficiently installed and others that are much better and have a mid level costing point right up to show level and beautiful efficient installs.

You can choose between two double DIN head units that are shallow enough not to require the airbox mod - the Parrot Asteroid Smart and the Alpine iLX-007. The Alpine is an Apple Carplay specific unit so needs an iphone to work correctly. I personally use the Asteroid Smart and it's an excellent product with all the features and more.

You can choose a normal depth double DIN if you wish as it'll have a disk transport inside. To fit it 'flush' you'd need to modify the airbox to make space and then use a mounting kit. If you don't want to modify the airbox, then you can use a fitting kit that 'tilts' the head units lower rear edge above the airbox front top edge. The downside is the head unit front upper edge will stick out in the cabin more.

You can go for a single DIN unit as well which doesn't have any fitting issues.

You could go for one of the chinese made all in one replacements, the best being the Dynavin N6 as Jeff at J&T distributing in California supports them very well indeed. All the others you see all over ebay are at your own risk !

A quality 2 way component speaker system in the front doors mounted in baffles from 12V Electronics, rear co-axial 2 ways in a sedan/saloon, a good subwoofer enclosure to fire through the ski hatch and allow the bass to flow into the cabin, along with either a single 5 channel amplifier or a subwoofer amp and another 4 channel for the cabin speakers and you'll have potentially an excellent, balanced and smooth sounding install that sounds much better than the oem.

From your other thread bump, it sounds as though you've not got a ski hatch or cut a hole to allow the bass to flow into the cabin ;




The above pics show what you'd need to do
Cheers, Dennis!

Last edited by DennisCooper!; 07-17-2015 at 10:37 AM.
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  #5  
Old 07-17-2015, 10:46 AM
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seemyad seemyad is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stuff4mason View Post
Hi. This is my first post to Bimmerfest!

I've just about had enough of the stock stereo in this 2003 530i car. No GPS, Sirius, etc. Only AM/FM, CD player, and one mini jack input, which is the only thing that has saved my sanity. I am thinking that the aftermarket stuff may look like crap compared to stock, but I don't really care. I've installed new units in every single vehicle I've owned in my life time. No sense in not changing this one out. Was wondering if anyone else has changed it out, and has pictures of what they've done. I am assuming that we'd have to do a single din, as I am not sure anyone makes a double Din to get rid of the cd player too? If we are stuck with single din, has anyone installed a retractable screen unit? Let's see um!!
Go Dynavin N6 or go home!

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...522&highlight=

I love the unit.

Last edited by seemyad; 07-17-2015 at 10:48 AM.
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  #6  
Old 07-17-2015, 10:47 AM
stuff4mason stuff4mason is offline
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Dennis, THANK YOU!! This is the kind of input I was hoping for!! I really like the sub install. That looks nice! I didn't think about cutting the rear seat frame. I now have a project for the weekend!
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  #7  
Old 07-17-2015, 10:50 AM
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seemyad seemyad is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stuff4mason View Post
Dennis, THANK YOU!! This is the kind of input I was hoping for!! I really like the sub install. That looks nice! I didn't think about cutting the rear seat frame. I now have a project for the weekend!
I went this route with the sub. Here is a pic of my trunk.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/att...5&d=1314341144

Here is the write-up. You don't need the LOC as I first thought.
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=562823

She sounds incredible. A 12 inch may have been better because I drive the 10 inch pretty hard to obtaing the sound that I want. Had it for years and it still looks and sounds factory new. . In the end, it is up to individual preference and it is ALWAYS good to have options. I think you are fine with either direction.

I recently added the Bav Sound Stage 1 speaker upgrade.

https://www.bavsound.com/Stage-One/

This upgrade combined with my sub resulted in OMG!!!

.

Last edited by seemyad; 07-17-2015 at 11:00 AM.
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  #8  
Old 07-17-2015, 11:22 AM
stuff4mason stuff4mason is offline
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That's great advice on the double din install info. Glad someone told me before I just went out and bought a double din stereo. This Dynavin N6 advice - I went and looked at it. This appears to be a European deck. Which is cool, but I'm U.S., so do they have maps for that in U.S.? I have no idea how to convert Europe 599. to U.S. Guess I need to keep googling stuff!

Edit: eur 599 = $659. U.S.

Last edited by stuff4mason; 07-17-2015 at 11:25 AM.
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  #9  
Old 07-17-2015, 12:08 PM
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DennisCooper! DennisCooper! is offline
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Hi

The Dynavin is actually a chinese made unit/brand.

In the USA, Jeff at J&T distributing is the best place to buy one from - http://www.jandtdistributing.com/ The units have USA maps on them and US pricing at $750

Cheers, Dennis!
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  #10  
Old 07-19-2015, 07:16 PM
Alika808 Alika808 is offline
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Check this out. It's made for BMW E39. Make sure you read the pro and con. I installed in my E39 and perfectly fit.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Eonon-In-Car...item259fdee639
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  #11  
Old 07-19-2015, 07:19 PM
Alika808 Alika808 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DennisCooper! View Post
Hi,

Look on this and other BMW forums, plenty of installs that have been done, some that just have items thrown in and not efficiently installed and others that are much better and have a mid level costing point right up to show level and beautiful efficient installs.

You can choose between two double DIN head units that are shallow enough not to require the airbox mod - the Parrot Asteroid Smart and the Alpine iLX-007. The Alpine is an Apple Carplay specific unit so needs an iphone to work correctly. I personally use the Asteroid Smart and it's an excellent product with all the features and more.

You can choose a normal depth double DIN if you wish as it'll have a disk transport inside. To fit it 'flush' you'd need to modify the airbox to make space and then use a mounting kit. If you don't want to modify the airbox, then you can use a fitting kit that 'tilts' the head units lower rear edge above the airbox front top edge. The downside is the head unit front upper edge will stick out in the cabin more.

You can go for a single DIN unit as well which doesn't have any fitting issues.

You could go for one of the chinese made all in one replacements, the best being the Dynavin N6 as Jeff at J&T distributing in California supports them very well indeed. All the others you see all over ebay are at your own risk !

A quality 2 way component speaker system in the front doors mounted in baffles from 12V Electronics, rear co-axial 2 ways in a sedan/saloon, a good subwoofer enclosure to fire through the ski hatch and allow the bass to flow into the cabin, along with either a single 5 channel amplifier or a subwoofer amp and another 4 channel for the cabin speakers and you'll have potentially an excellent, balanced and smooth sounding install that sounds much better than the oem.

From your other thread bump, it sounds as though you've not got a ski hatch or cut a hole to allow the bass to flow into the cabin ;




The above pics show what you'd need to do
Cheers, Dennis!
Dennis, I am wondering what kind of speaker you installed in the back seat? Thank you.
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  #12  
Old 07-20-2015, 04:49 AM
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DennisCooper! DennisCooper! is offline
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Hi Alika,

The pictures above are not of my car, but another forum members vehicle. The subwoofer shown is a square 8 or 10inch Kicker Solobaric and is a model from perhaps 5+ years ago. It has a small enclosure behind it as well - no pics of that.

Also the Eonon you have which actually works is a good and lucky result for you. You seem to know about the cons of that brand. For anyone else who may not, then they used to sponsor this forum and others. They were kicked off or removed from all of them after many purchasers got units that were either faulty on arrival or developed issues soon after fitting and the company was less than rubbish in helping them out. A 'few' purchasers got lucky on the other hand.

Cheers, Dennis!
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  #13  
Old 07-20-2015, 05:47 AM
Barracuz Barracuz is offline
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EBay has a a whole bunch of stock looking units that include gps, WiFi,Bluetooth etc.
Some include an older obsolete android os while others use a proprietary Chinese os.
Also from what I've heard is that these are stand alone units that can not interact with the car So the install should be as easy as either getting an adapter or splicing the antennae, speakers, and power wires.

Now here you have a nice unit.. By the looks of it, it seems to be the best unit out there. Specs are comparable to a high end android phone but in your dash. It also has capabilities to communicate with your car and has some apps pre installed like torque And Valentine radar detector.
But it's a pretty hefty price even for its hardware(you could retrofit a brand new galaxy tab for way less). I'm sure this radio should be a direct fit.

EBay also sells faces where you could add any small standard radio.

I haven't done anything myself, I'm trying to save some money for the avin unit But due to its hefty price I might just get a tablet and hardwire the steering wheel buttons to it.

Last edited by Barracuz; 07-20-2015 at 05:52 AM.
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  #14  
Old 07-20-2015, 07:41 AM
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DennisCooper! DennisCooper! is offline
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Hi,

The Avin unit is another Chinese made one but, has crucial support and aftersales care from Jeff at J&T and Tommy at Avin. The unit differs from the Dynavin N6 as it doesn't have support for the DSP amplifier in some E39's, nor does it have the upgraded DAC circuitry (Digital to Analogue Converter) and it's shaped incorrectly for the E39. The front face is the more pronounced 'curved' one which fits the E53 X5. In an E39, it looks incorrect.

For those owners who like the flexibility of Android and wish to tinker with various apps, and change things around and run different software etc, then the Avin cater's for those who like to tinker with Android.

Barracuz - You could go for the Tablet install if you like tinkering around etc. However, your costs will increase when you need to fabricate a good looking fascia holder and find the software and hardware interface that connects the tablet to the car's oem steering controls, I think there is some hardware out there that does this so it's an extra cost as well. I think then you need an intelligent power supply to control the tablet for when the car is switched on/off so more expense there too. You then need a separate interface box which can get the best of the audio quality from the tablet output. The easy way instead of that is to just use the tablet's headphone socket but headphone sockets have lousy sound quality. I'd say all of this would be another $300-500 (or more) on the cost of the tablet. I'd expect $200-300 would be the cost of fabricating a nice fitting fascia fitting kit if you had a reputable and good quality and experienced car audio fabricator do the work. It'd be cheaper to DIY.

If you don't wish or can't be bothered or don't have the DIY skills for all that above, you could just run a Parrot Asteroid Smart unit which runs on Android and is car audio grade components all round. You can side load apps onto it as well. The likelihood of needing to run lots and lots of apps is fairly small, on the unit I use, I've only used maybe 4/5 other apps on the unit.. The unit has all the same features and better ones for the car - like the facility to have two mobile phones connected to it and perhaps proper voice control too. There's a separate unit for steering wheel controls too, it's called the UNIKA so a purchase of that and it's plug in and you've got that functionality - I didn't get it as I find moving my hand about 8 inches is easy to do!

The Parrot Smart can be purchased for around $440-477 USD or so (from Amazon.com) and is a much higher quality solution that trying to fit a tablet in.

Cheers, Dennis!
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  #15  
Old 07-20-2015, 11:03 AM
777-300ER 777-300ER is offline
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Make sure you check if you have or don't have DSP on your vehicle. If you do, the Dynavin is the only solution that will work for your vehicle unless you get a new amplifier.

[EDIT] This is what mine looks like in my car.

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Last edited by 777-300ER; 07-20-2015 at 11:34 AM.
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  #16  
Old 07-20-2015, 11:56 AM
stuff4mason stuff4mason is offline
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So this weekend I cut a 10" hole in the trunk behind the rear seat arm rest. The arm rest rear cover keeps the hole hidden, if the arm rest is in down position. I pulled the trunk carpet cover on the other side down to make the cut, then put it back, so if the speaker isn't in the car, you still will not see the hole. This made a huge difference and can now actually hear the sub. In fact, my kids all piled into my car with me to find and listen to heavy sub type music. We sat in the running car for well over 1 1/2 hours. They showed me lots of bass driven things on youtube through our phones. It was fun, but most of us couldn't hear much when we go out!!!

So, I stopped by Crutchfield audio over the weekend to pick up a Kenwood deck for my sons Tacoma. They said according to their database, they have about 12 double din units that appear to be able to fit in the E39 without issue. At the time I didn't realize that I do have a DSP button on my stock radio. I also confirmed that I have an amp in the rear quarter panel of the car. So, what does the DSP change for an aftermarket install???

Why do you all keep wanting these units you mentioned above? Cause your looking for stereo's that fill the entire space, (for looks)? I have a hard time buying a car stereo that isn't Kenwood, Pioneer, or Alpine. I have a great separate Garmin GPS, so don't need that functionality. Not sure what systems the car would have to interact with a stereo that you've mentioned above.

I guess now, I need to figure out the DSP part and if the air vent hose behind the stereo is going to hamper install.

I looked up the Dynavin units......OMG! $1,049? Are you kidding me?

Last edited by stuff4mason; 07-20-2015 at 12:01 PM.
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  #17  
Old 07-20-2015, 12:25 PM
777-300ER 777-300ER is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stuff4mason View Post
-snip-

They're $700 from J&T Here with coupon code BIMMER. It is cheaper to go Dynavin when you have DSP. It will cost about a grand to remove the DSP system and put something else in (if not more). It's a pain but it's just how it is.
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Dynavin N6, more to come.

Last edited by 777-300ER; 07-20-2015 at 12:27 PM.
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  #18  
Old 07-20-2015, 12:36 PM
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DennisCooper! DennisCooper! is offline
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Hi Stuff4mason,

The crutchfield catalogue is most likely innacurate. There's only 2 premium brand double DIN shallow depth head units that fit into the E39 without having to cut/modify the cabin airbox as I mention in post no.4 of this thread. Unless there's been 10 more premium brand head units that are similarly shallow depth released in the last few days, I'd say they've given you incorrect information (or you've misunderstood!)

Now 'IF you must' keep the oem DSP speakers, then to drive them nicely you'll need the GAS E39 specific crossover unit which is priced at around $375 USD (fitting charges would be extra if you feel a professional needs to install it). This will allow you to use any aftermarket head unit you want and retain the oem DSP speakers. You can remove the oem DSP amp in this scenario.

If you choose say the Dynavin N6, then you don't need to buy the GAS crossover but you need to keep the oem DSP amp in this scenario. The N6 is priced at $749 USD

The Dynavin N6 is the 'best' of the chinese units in the USA that have an 'oem' look to them. If you measure across every single BMW owner, then 90% + will say they want to keep the oem looks for their audio head unit above all else. The look that particularly wanted is the oem 16:9 widescreen monitor/satnav setup. So the chinese units all try to 'emulate' that look with varying degrees of success/accuracy. The trouble with most of these Chinese units is that their internal circuitry and build quality as well as their reliability and performance are all pretty much significantly below any of the premium brands. However, those owners push all that down the priority list - so long as they get an 'oem look' in their dash.

Aside from the Parrot Smart and the Alpine iLX-007, then all other traditional depth double DIN head units (they have a disk drive mechanism inside which necessitates the depth) can be made to fit 'flush' by modifying the airbox so that the units sit further back and with the use of a fitting cage and front bezel. The cost aspect rises considerably if you need to have a professional do the work of modifying and also the purchase of the fitting cage and bezel. A cheaper route for one of these traditional depth units is to use a fitting fascia kit which 'tilts' the lower rear edge of the head unit up and above the upper front edge of the cabin airbox. The disadvantage is that in the cabin, you see the protrusion of the front upper edge of the head unit 'sticking out'.

So depending on which route you take, there's positives and negatives for each.

Cheers, Dennis!
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Old 07-20-2015, 01:15 PM
stuff4mason stuff4mason is offline
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Great write up. Thanks!

Alpine unit is $600.00. But, just like Kenwood AND Pioneer, these guys are ALL geared towards Apple. I am an android user. Always have been, always will. Especially after watching my kids go through issue after issue with their iphones. My wife and I love our S5 and S6's. Apple must be paying all these guys under the table. F Iphones...

Crutchfield has two outlet stores. Luckily one of them is right in my town. Usually, they are pretty accurate for fitment issues, but I suppose they could be wrong...especially in dealing with BMW's. I do know I forgot to tell them I had DSP on my current deck.

So, I guess my only choice is to keep everything stock, or spend the $700 on Dynavin n6. My beemer is my secondary car, so that's a hard one to justify.
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  #20  
Old 07-20-2015, 02:37 PM
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Hi,

Pioneer have literally in the last week or so announced their latest range of double DIN units that have Apple Carplay AND Android Auto installed in the same unit. I don't think any of them are shallow depth though, the details so far I can't find on the Pioneer USA website - http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PU...ch.NEX.Compare (click the apple carplay and android auto filters)

I'm not an iPhone user either, the Parrot Smart has been excellent for me. When Parrot release the next unit currently called the RNB6, that will be shallow depth and have Apple Carplay & Android Auto onboard as well.

The 'stock' stuff is getting old and modules are failing more often and the fixes cost a lot of money - far in excess of an aftermarket unit if more of the common points of failure need to be fixed.

The Dynavin is the best of the Chinese stuff out there, but no chinese brand at this 'lower' end of the quality scale will ever be certified to legally have Android Auto or Apple Carplay included officially - the hardware is too unreliable for it. Maybe in some years time, one chinese car audio manufacturer will increase their quality substantially to license the operating systems, but for now, don't hold your breath !

Cheers, Dennis!
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Old 07-20-2015, 05:40 PM
Barracuz Barracuz is offline
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Seriously though all these headunits are way overpriced. I think i might tackle the tablet install.
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  #22  
Old 07-20-2015, 08:50 PM
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seemyad seemyad is online now
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Most (if not all) double din units require a modified air hose system. I did see a few single din units that had a flip out display. $700 for ANY unit is a lot of money for the average household income. Let your wallet determine your purchase. I have heard many negative statements about the Eonon system.

Get the best quality for your wallet. I installed a $40 Aux unit and used that for years. Then I finally upgraded to my $700 Dynavin when my budget was in a good place. I am also purchasing a pricey set of refurbished stock BBS wheels. I waited two years to do it.

So be smart about your purchases. Although I would love to purchase a set of new BBS LM for $1200 each, I am very happy to run a showroom new looking, refurbished set of my stock BBS Style 42s, which originally cost $600 each.

If your budget for a radio is $300, get the best quality that $300 can buy. Don't buy $300 junk just because it looks cool yet will malfunction 91 days after the purchase. The $700 Dynavin does a LOT and is very expandable. The quality seems to be there and the support is a welcomed commodity.

Look at the single din units with the flip out display if you can't find a double din that does not require modifying your air-hose system.

Last edited by seemyad; 07-20-2015 at 08:55 PM.
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  #23  
Old 07-21-2015, 07:58 AM
stuff4mason stuff4mason is offline
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Well, after some good research, it appears to do aftermarket stereo through crutchfield, etc, that I'd have to rewire the entire car, due to the DSP. This would have to include new speakers all the way around. Don't mind new speakers, but running wiring through doors would suck. Then, you'd have to tap into the fuse panel for stereo power, etc., or as mentioned above, buy a stereo adapted to the car. Unless my stock stereo goes out, there's no way my wife will let me spend $750 on one deck. She'd flip! This thread was great guys. I sure appreciate all the feedback.
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Old 07-21-2015, 04:12 PM
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seemyad seemyad is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stuff4mason View Post
Well, after some good research, it appears to do aftermarket stereo through crutchfield, etc, that I'd have to rewire the entire car, due to the DSP. This would have to include new speakers all the way around. Don't mind new speakers, but running wiring through doors would suck. Then, you'd have to tap into the fuse panel for stereo power, etc., or as mentioned above, buy a stereo adapted to the car. Unless my stock stereo goes out, there's no way my wife will let me spend $750 on one deck. She'd flip! This thread was great guys. I sure appreciate all the feedback.
Your wife sounds smart. Good for her. Hold on to that one my friend.

Consider adding an Aux input adapter or a Smartphone adapter to the stock unit. They are very cost effective and really expands the functionality of the system.


USASPEC (PA12-BMW-DSP) iPod In-Vehicle Interface Adapter for BMW DSP Style Radios
http://www.amazon.com/USASPEC-PA12-B.../dp/B0016AOO6Y
OR
http://www.crutchfield.com/S-Dmq6Oix...&awmt=b&awnw=g

DICE MBR-1500-BMW MediaBridge with Bluetooth for BMW
http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listi...&condition=all
OR
http://www.bavauto.com/fland.asp?par...FY6EaQod7KkOuQ

Not sure how the following item works but seems interesting.

Grom Electronics Bmw Dsp Conversion Kit
http://www.autotoys.com/x/product.php?productid=21385

In addition, someone may be offering a refurbished unit on Craigslist or Ebay.

Last edited by seemyad; 07-21-2015 at 04:14 PM.
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  #25  
Old 07-22-2015, 07:06 AM
stuff4mason stuff4mason is offline
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Location: Virginia
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 17
Mein Auto: 2003 530i
The stock unit already has the aux port. I've got a bluetooth plugged into it, so the smart phone picks it up when I turn the car on. I also went out and discovered that what I thought was the DSP button you guys talk about was actually the DSC!!! So, no DSP button!! (Need glasses I guess) YEA! Back to the drawing board.

My major problem with the stock stereo is that there is WAY too much mid range. Enough that it hurts my ears when its turned up. Makes me cringe! I like Deep bass and high's turned up as high as it'll go. There's no way to control the mid range sound on this stereo. Any aftermarket will give you the power to turn mid range way down. There are controls on the phone to change some sound, but not enough to get that ear piercing sound out.

Question: you guys mention an airbox mod....but I've searched for hours and don't see any DYI to modify it. Anyone do a write up on this to get deep double din units in the dash?
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