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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 Roadster, Z3 coupe, Z3 M Roadster and Z3 M Coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 07-20-2003, 07:21 PM
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elfhearse elfhearse is offline
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Replacement Head Unit Suggestions

Background: I replaced the battery on my 99 2.8 Coupe and found that the radio will not accept the correct security code when I try to enter it. (I confirmed the radio S/N with the security code my dealer gave me last year)
So, I assume that it's starting to fail and am considering replacing the head unit (only). The 2.8 is my daily driver and I will probably be trading/selling it someday so I don't plan on upgrading the complete audio system.

Any suggestions on "simple" head units/ single CD that are plug-n-play? (Aftermarket Blau-punk-ts look ultra bling-bling)
Thanks
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  #2  
Old 07-20-2003, 08:05 PM
Daver Daver is offline
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Location: Folsom, CA
 
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Nakamichi makes headunits that are very OEM-like in appearence.

Just about any DIN-formfactor headunit will drop right in with a couple of adapters (one for audio harness, one for antenna).
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  #3  
Old 07-20-2003, 08:35 PM
acao acao is offline
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Nakamichi's are a pretty good unit. Pro's include OEM color, good quality, understated appearance. Con's include high price, meager feature set, and availability/support.

I recently looked at head units. My criteria were no bling, OEM match illumination, rotary knob for major functions (volume buttons suck), and plays MP3's and WMA's. If I recall correctly, Clarion's match. They have adjustable illumination, have a competitive feature set. Check Crutchfield.
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  #4  
Old 07-20-2003, 09:01 PM
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The Roadstergal The Roadstergal is offline
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I have a Kenwood CD/MP3 that has faster tracking and has yet to skip, and clear sound sans amp; much better than the Rockford-Fosgate I used to have or the Sony in the 325. Adjustable illumination color.

They don't make the KDC-MPV619 anymore, but this is the newer version, FWIW.
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  #5  
Old 07-20-2003, 09:34 PM
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Well, if you think a Blaupunkt is bling bling, you ain't gonna be happy with a Kenwood. Or a Sony. I echo the Nak recommendation. Or better yet, get a TrafficPro.

One advantage to Naks is you can get a 6 cd in dash changer.


The "plain" Nak is superkool too:


I noticed that Alpine has toned down their head units a bit lately. They even have a volume knob that actually turns. The high end ones have switchable illumination if I recall correctly.

Last edited by JonM; 07-20-2003 at 09:38 PM.
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  #6  
Old 07-21-2003, 05:37 AM
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elfhearse elfhearse is offline
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Thanks, Nakamichi's look pretty good. I was also looking at a black panel Sony. The bling factor is overwhelming in most aftermarket head units.

Plan B: See if the OEM head unit is covered by CPO warranty ($50)
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  #7  
Old 07-21-2003, 10:20 AM
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elfhearse elfhearse is offline
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Dealer is "stumped" too. You put in the correct radio code and it drops the numbers after a few seconds. "Must be going bad".

Nakamichi 400's pretty reasonable on e-bay. How hard is the wiring changeover as they have RCA connections?? Get the BMW wiring harness separately from C-field or others and try to adapt it??
(audio is not my forte.. I usually listen to the Supersprint)
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  #8  
Old 07-21-2003, 11:38 AM
wernst wernst is offline
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I got a Clarion HU because I wanted a black face plate, a red/orange display, a rotary knob, MP3 playback, a hookup for my iPod, and Satellite radio (Sirrius). Plus, it had to sound better and louder than the OEM (e.g., garbagy) stereo.

I posted a some photos of it on roadfly.

Here are two URLs of how it looks in my car (in case the attached photos don't work); one for how it looks in daylight, and one how it looks at night.

http://bimmer.roadfly.org/bmw/forums...postid=3505557

http://bimmer.roadfly.org/bmw/forums...3505583&page=1

I'm very happy that I upgraded.

-Warr



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  #9  
Old 07-21-2003, 12:07 PM
Ben Carufel Ben Carufel is offline
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Jon, what's that second Nak you posted a pic of? The "plain" one. Is that the CD700II? Any idea on the list on that?

Wernst, where's the auxiliary input jack for your iPod wired to? A few weeks ago I put a new HU in the E30 I just sold this past weekend -- a Kenwood KDC-X815. I had an auxiliary input wired down to a place in the center console that's not noticeable unless you know to look for it...

I'll have to do that to the M Coupe when I get it, as now I'm spoiled and can't live without my iPod in the car.
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  #10  
Old 07-21-2003, 12:16 PM
wernst wernst is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Carufel
Wernst, where's the auxiliary input jack for your iPod wired to? A few weeks ago I put a new HU in the E30 I just sold this past weekend -- a Kenwood KDC-X815. I had an auxiliary input wired down to a place in the center console that's not noticeable unless you know to look for it...
The Aux input is in the form of a pair of RCA female jacks on the end of a pigtail on the rear of the unit. Therefore, you'll need a 1/8" stereo male to twin RCA male plug adapter. Radio Shack has them, as will any electronics store. I've simply routed the cable through the center console to under the center armrest, as I keep the iPod over the emergency flasher button when driving.

-Warr
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  #11  
Old 07-21-2003, 12:19 PM
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JonM JonM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Carufel
Jon, what's that second Nak you posted a pic of? The "plain" one. Is that the CD700II? Any idea on the list on that?
List is in the $1350 range, making it a really, really expensive unit. Especially considering you are not paying for an onboard amp.

I'm currently running my iPod though a Blitzsafe adapter via the CD changer harness with my stock head unit.
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  #12  
Old 07-21-2003, 03:31 PM
Ben Carufel Ben Carufel is offline
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Thanks guys.

Warr -- I had pretty much the same setup, except in my case since the HU I was running didn't have a proprietary auxiliary in I had to buy the adapter to get the RCA's into the cd changer port...the stereo shop just wired pretty much the same system you described, with the input jack being right near the ashtray.

Jon -- Thanks! Not a bad price. I'm also looking at a McIntosh unit. $1399 list.
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  #13  
Old 07-28-2003, 12:40 PM
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rlcanon rlcanon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Carufel
Not a bad price. I'm also looking at a McIntosh unit. $1399 list.
I had the Nak CD700 for a while. I liked the look and I had positive nostalgia about my TD500 from the dark ages. I wanted to like it, but the transport just wasn't right. Another unit in your price range to consider is the Denon Z1. It's brushed aluminum instead of black, but has orange illumination that's a good match.


http://128.83.80.200/mcoupe/startengine1.jpg
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  #14  
Old 07-30-2003, 08:31 PM
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elfhearse elfhearse is offline
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UPDATE:
Ordered a Blaupunkt BPV650 from (sound-domain), with wiring harness and antenna adapter, the total was $155.
Yes, I went low budget but I'm amazed at the improvement in sound quality and the X-Bass should not be increased above 1(minimum) or I'll be mistaken for a lowered Datsun B210.
Install was very simple and looks good (all black faceplate). Only neg. is the are no amber lights. Red & blue which match the hot/cold rheostat knob below on the console.
$155 vs BMW Bus. CD List $680 approx. (!)

out of focus pic attached>>>
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Last edited by elfhearse; 07-30-2003 at 08:35 PM.
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