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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #26  
Old 05-08-2010, 01:05 PM
Wongway Wongway is offline
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I've been doing a long (really long) research into what I want to do for the sound system in my X3 as well.

There isn't a whole lot of information out there. (This forum being the source of one of few) however, I thought people here might appreciate the information contained in these two sites...
http://caraudiomag.com/articles/cdt-audio-bmw-x3
as well as
http://caraudiomag.com/forums/showth...?p=318#post318

Both of them have pictures of an X3 Owner's installation with some alternate configurations or options.
Total cost in parts here is apparently about $2100, so it is definitely pricier than Evlengr's suggestions, however, I imagine it will at least give people some more ideas for where to install things as well.
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  #27  
Old 05-09-2010, 09:36 PM
el_duderino el_duderino is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evlengr View Post
I have been asked on numerous occasions about stereo equipment for the X3 since I have installed them in two separate X3's (07 and 08) and helped dozens of others including some dealerships.
Cool. I've also done two X3. Fortunately, the audio architecture in the E9x, E82, X3, X5 E70, and E60 5-series are all pretty similar (the E60 is the weirdo of the bunch).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evlengr View Post
Stereo installations can be done in stages just like performance or handling enhancements can be done in most vehicles until the desired impact is achieved. This helps to not only spread out the cost, but keep it to a minimum.
But like tires, you can't buy what you can afford and then pay the difference later to upgrade. It's a complete replacement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evlengr View Post

For those that are new to the forum my recommendation come from over 35 years in the music industry as well as 20 years as a radio broadcast engineer with such big radio station names as DC 101 where Howard Stern started, and doing sound for a number of popular bands or groups.
Which certainly gives you great qualifications to judge the performance of the system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evlengr View Post
Please bear in mind with my experience and even more --- these are only suggestions since the human ear is the most perfectly diverse piece of audio test equipment available and what sounds good to me might sound like (expletive) to you .
The thing the ear is attached too varies even more than the pinna

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evlengr View Post

This will be done in five stages:

Since there are so many different variations I will make suggestions in what I consider to be each stage of improving your X3's basic business sound system. IF you have the higher grade sound system, you are probably content and don't need my meddling.
I question the latter statement.

Did 2010 X3 audio systems get decontented like E90 and E82 and E70?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evlengr View Post
First (Stage One): Speakers

speakers like tires can be an easy change but make a world of difference. I will not go into the full details of what specs are what, but only recommend ones I know will fit and have the proper electrical acceptability to the OEM sound system. Prices are approximate and taken from Crutchfield as it is an easy link and has good descriptions.


Alpine SPS-400 $70 all around good sound most popular http://www.crutchfield.com/p_500SPS4...ures_and_specs

Infinity Reference Series $130 favors the brighter side of music if your hearing is dulling these will certainly let you hear the sound of Santana as well as the violins of Tchaikovsky. Will also take more power if and amp is later added. http://signature.crutchfield.com/s_1...9i.html?tp=102

Focals 100 VRS $600 not cheap. This is really pushing it. I won't spend this kind of money, but if you have it and are serious about sound these are the best that will fit in your X3. Please be advised that they will never sound great with out additional power, like an external amp. http://signature.crutchfield.com/s_0...RS.html?tp=102
You like bright.

I categorically disagree with your description of the Focals. The best that will fit in an X3 is the Morel Hybrid Ovation comp set. Totally different sound than the Focal, bot bright or hard at all.

How do any of these "have the proper electrical acceptability"? I'm unclear on what you mean.


Why do you suggest that rear speakers match front speakers? Seriously?


BTW, the door panels come off and the speakers mount behind the grilles to the door panel.
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  #28  
Old 05-09-2010, 10:14 PM
bvkamp bvkamp is offline
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Someone worked hard on these audio upgrades:

http://x3.xbimmers.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3285304

and

http://www.caraudio.com/forum/car-au...on-thesis.html
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  #29  
Old 05-10-2010, 06:27 AM
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Evlengr Evlengr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by el_duderino View Post
Cool. I've also done two X3. Fortunately, the audio architecture in the E9x, E82, X3, X5 E70, and E60 5-series are all pretty similar (the E60 is the weirdo of the bunch).



But like tires, you can't buy what you can afford and then pay the difference later to upgrade. It's a complete replacement.



Which certainly gives you great qualifications to judge the performance of the system.



The thing the ear is attached too varies even more than the pinna


I question the latter statement.

Did 2010 X3 audio systems get decontented like E90 and E82 and E70?



You like bright.

I categorically disagree with your description of the Focals. The best that will fit in an X3 is the Morel Hybrid Ovation comp set. Totally different sound than the Focal, bot bright or hard at all.

How do any of these "have the proper electrical acceptability"? I'm unclear on what you mean.


Why do you suggest that rear speakers match front speakers? Seriously?


BTW, the door panels come off and the speakers mount behind the grilles to the door panel.
I'm sorry are you trying to be funny, anger me, or want my advice?
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  #30  
Old 05-10-2010, 06:32 AM
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Evlengr Evlengr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bvkamp View Post
BVK, you just saved me some time, much thanks.

This is some really good work. I think I might try for this, but my suggestions are all based on the principle that you can put it all back to stock should you desire to trade in or sell the vehicle as original layout.
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  #31  
Old 05-10-2010, 06:43 AM
bvkamp bvkamp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evlengr View Post
BVK, you just saved me some time, much thanks.

This is some really good work. I think I might try for this, but my suggestions are all based on the principle that you can put it all back to stock should you desire to trade in or sell the vehicle as original layout.
That second project definitely alters the look from stock, but it is well-done. I'm sure those custom speaker cases are not cheap! Will most high-end car audio places be able to replicate that type of work?
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  #32  
Old 05-10-2010, 07:44 AM
Wongway Wongway is offline
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I believe by electrical acceptability, he means that both the Alpines and the Infinities can be driven by the stock factory amp if/when you sell your vehicle and rip out your amp and sub to take with you.

Also, if doing this in stages, you can also see if just dropping in either the Alpines or Infinities to see if they'll make you happy without adding more amplification (though I personally prefer to add the amplification)

Focals for example would never sound good driven with the factory amp.

Evlengr's suggestions (please keep in mind) are mostly if you want to do the upgrade little by little.

Heck, Focal speakers are like one car payment alone for the X3 =P

Evlengr:
I'm not sure, but I don't believe he's out to anger you. I will say this though, I could be wrong, however, I do believe El Duderino is the one that worked on the X3 linked in the first link that bvkamp linked. If I'm not mistaken, he's a car audio installer (former maybe?) that worked on two X3s as well. If nothing else, he has different opinions on what sounds good, however, his tastes do lean more towards the higher end quality speakers. Something I believe is outside your scope for a little by little piecemeal upgrade of the X3 sound system FAQ.

Last edited by Wongway; 05-10-2010 at 07:49 AM.
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  #33  
Old 05-10-2010, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bvkamp View Post
That second project definitely alters the look from stock, but it is well-done. I'm sure those custom speaker cases are not cheap! Will most high-end car audio places be able to replicate that type of work?
I would be very careful on doing this kind of work. There is no going back other than buying new door panels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wongway View Post

Evlengr's suggestions (please keep in mind) are mostly if you want to do the upgrade little by little.

Heck, Focal speakers are like one car payment alone for the X3 =P

Evlengr:
I'm not sure, but I don't believe he's out to anger you. If nothing else, he has different opinions on what sounds good, however, his tastes do lean more towards the higher end quality speakers. Something I believe is outside your scope for a little by little piecemeal upgrade of the X3 sound system FAQ.
Not outside of my scope, but outside of this conversation. This project as with any of my suggested work designed so you can put it back to original (without having to buy replacement pieces).

Last sound system I did prior to the BMW was almost $8k and others only $200 so --you take it from there.

Based on my previous experiences with folks on this site (X3's) it seems most don't want to go that route. If you do..no problem PM and I will be happy to help.

Besides my other experiences I was the Audio Manager of a hi end car shop for several years, but didn't think I needed to further validate my background.

Not out to make a buck,just have some fun and share.
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Last edited by Evlengr; 05-10-2010 at 08:04 AM.
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  #34  
Old 05-10-2010, 08:52 AM
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harplayr harplayr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evlengr View Post
I would be very careful on doing this kind of work. There is no going back other than buying new door panels.



Not outside of my scope, but outside of this conversation. This project as with any of my suggested work designed so you can put it back to original (without having to buy replacement pieces).

Last sound system I did prior to the BMW was almost $8k and others only $200 so --you take it from there.

Based on my previous experiences with folks on this site (X3's) it seems most don't want to go that route. If you do..no problem PM and I will be happy to help.

Besides my other experiences I was the Audio Manager of a hi end car shop for several years, but didn't think I needed to further validate my background.

Not out to make a buck,just have some fun and share.
and it is greatly appreciated!

Thanks for sharing, and I'm looking forward to your next post in the series.
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  #35  
Old 05-10-2010, 05:30 PM
el_duderino el_duderino is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evlengr View Post
I'm sorry are you trying to be funny, anger me, or want my advice?
I'm not trying to anger you and I don't want your advice.

You're posting on a forum, so I asked you some questions. I was sincere about the comment that as a recording engineer, you should be a good judge of sound. (That wasn't a crack).

That said, I differ with some of your suggestions, and I've asked some questions of you. Since it's a forum, I'm attempting to engage you in conversation.
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Last edited by el_duderino; 05-10-2010 at 05:34 PM.
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  #36  
Old 05-10-2010, 07:06 PM
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Evlengr Evlengr is offline
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Exclamation Stage two

Second (Stage Two) Head Units:

Again, a reminder that I am not out to do any elaborate modifications. In fact these recommendations are based in part on feedback over the past two years. Therefore, all my recommendations in this thread are based on the simple principle that they can be removed and the original equipment reinstalled. They are not meant to deliver a system that will rattle the sunroof, but let you hear Flea (RHCP) pull his fingers from the bass strings or the third violin in the last row.

Also, they are based on technical specs, my personal experience with the mfg, a certain degree of difficulty, and features from advanced to moderate.


First:

If you haven't guessed by now Alpine is a favorite due to their innovation to deal with emerging technology and features, while keeping a high level of expertise.

These next two units have the ability to integrate with multiple add ons or stand alone as a media source and enough power to make the additional speakers sound better. More power is not always better, but less power is worse. Additional power usually (not always) leads to less distortion.


Alpine IDA-X305S

http://www.crutchfield.com/g_300/Car...FFBrand|Alpine

Allows you to not only use your iPod like it was meant to be used, but add Pandora from a smart or iPhone for streaming audio in your car. It will allows lego block type integration of BT, Steering control, CD Changer, separate processing, and multiple amps for an array of speaker set ups.

Alpine CDA-117 CD

Allows the easy integration of an iPod, but plays single cd's as well.

http://signature.crutchfield.com/s_5...7.html?tp=5684

Both have very easy controls to scroll through the iPod and CD as well.

Second:

Pioneer DEH-P6200BT

Great unit. offers BT integration at no additional cost as well as iPod. Only downside to this is the controls are somewhat clunky and the sounds quality from the iPod is not as good as the Alpines due to differences in D/A conversion.

http://signature.crutchfield.com/s_5...7.html?tp=5684

Third:

Sony CDX-GT700HD CD

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_158GT70...ab=other_items

Really like the features on this one. Simple yet offers a lot. Has HD built in decent controls and sound shaping. No BT though.

As far as kits I have used Metra for years and mine cost all of $20. I also understand that the older Z4 kits will center a radio if you want it that way.

http://www.metraonline.com/default.aspx

Right now we are simply determining what equipment is right for you. I have included links to Crutchfield as they do a great job describing features and benefits, and do you really want to listen to me drone on and on and on and on.

Remember... You have to decide what is right for you. Consider the basic rule of FAB!


Features, Advantages, and Benefits!

I will cover amps and processors next.

Pay attention folks because a processor may allow you to integrate better sound without changing the H/U if you want to keep the original look, control and sonic or acoustic control.

And of course amps for power, clarity, as well as sonic control.

Installation will be Stage Four. This will be both my personal work, physical installation, wiring, pics, and pilfering of others fine work.
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2007 AT X3 RIPOS
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  #37  
Old 05-10-2010, 09:55 PM
el_duderino el_duderino is offline
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If you have a HiFi-equipped X3, your HU has flat, unprocessed outputs to the HiFi amp. Why would you need a processor?

http://www.oeinterface.com/showthread.php?t=2
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  #38  
Old 06-17-2010, 06:48 AM
Wongway Wongway is offline
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When might you plan on putting up Stage III?
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  #39  
Old 06-17-2010, 07:03 AM
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Evlengr Evlengr is offline
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Doh, Thanks for reminder.

Going to ask Kris L. to move this all to DIY when complete as well.
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  #40  
Old 06-17-2010, 10:23 AM
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X3-terrestrial X3-terrestrial is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evlengr View Post
Doh, Thanks for reminder.

Going to ask Kris L. to move this all to DIY when complete as well.
This thread is already in the DIY!
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  #41  
Old 06-17-2010, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X3-terrestrial View Post
This thread is already in the DIY!
Another Senior moment--thanks.
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1984 GTI Wolfsburg Edition Neuspeed and more
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  #42  
Old 08-06-2010, 12:41 PM
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Evlengr Evlengr is offline
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Sound system Diagram

This is a simple layout I used on my sound system hope it helps.
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2013 S4 Loaded (and NO RFT's) Awesome is an understatement
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2007 AT X3 RIPOS
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1984 GTI Wolfsburg Edition Neuspeed and more
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  #43  
Old 08-27-2010, 07:41 AM
x3keeper x3keeper is offline
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Hi,

Just want to thank you for your post recommending a couple of reasonably cheap but good speaker options. I had 4 of the Alpine speakers shipped to me from ebay and had them all installed in x3 today. Guess what! I hear a significant sound difference. The audio technician who did the install for me also said the speaker sounds fairly good. Thanks to your advice, I'm a happier bimmer driving a 2006 x3 3.0d in South Korea.

Thanks a lot!

Cheers,

Last edited by x3keeper; 08-27-2010 at 07:43 AM.
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  #44  
Old 10-09-2010, 08:56 PM
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Evlengr Evlengr is offline
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Door Speakers

Attached are some pics I took while doing some recon on the 5 1/4 speaker idea.

It can be done, but not for the faint of heart. And will require some serious attention and patience.

The problems are depth and placement as you will see by the pics. BMW has managed to make it near impossible to use any speaker with a large magnet depth and circumference. I'll let the pics speak and ask me any questions to fill in the blanks.

The nice thing is that they leave an easy spot to insert 1 inch tweeters if you have the basic speakers at this time

BTW the easiest part is removing the door panels.

3 screws --door with no air bag

4 screws --door with air bag (under "air bag" tab).


Carefully pry the wood inserts starting at the bottom with a nylon pry tool. NO METAL pry tool. Use a twisting clock wise motion and they should come up easily.

Use a torx 20 screwdriver to remove screws.
lift panel from bottom and pull out.

Disconnect wiring for windows by carefully pulling out molex connector.

Disconnect door handle cable by pulling down slowly and un hitch small red tab insert, then left up nylon connector.

Once all wires are disconnected lift door panel straight up (I put the window almost all the way down to prevent erroneous scratches).

Don't forget to disconnect speaker wires from speaker.

The rest should be self-explanatory from pics but feel free to pm or post.

The last pic is to show the metal backboard to the door panel.
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2008 MT X3 RIP you were a faithful sidekick and will be missed.
2007 AT X3 RIPOS
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1997 Twin Turbo RX-7
1984 GTI Wolfsburg Edition Neuspeed and more
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  #45  
Old 11-17-2010, 06:15 PM
RocketDude RocketDude is offline
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Aftermarket Replacement for Business CD?

Hello Evlengr, apparently we have a common past. I was ALSO a radio engineer at DC-101... in 1978! I built the studios at 1150 Conn. Ave. when they first went to remote studios.

Here's the problem:

I have a 2004 X3 (which I bought as a CPO used vehicle) with a "Business CD" that is flaky. The dealer wants $1050 to repair/replace the unit. I figured I would go aftermarket with a unit from Crutchfield, which I have done numerous times with other cars since the early 80's. Crutchfield wanted to know if I had an 8- or 10-speaker system. Since I couldn't see 10 speakers, I chose 8... Wrong! When I took my new radio with the supplied harness from Crutchfield to a local installer as directed, the harness didn't fit.

I've since learned that the Business CD is an upgraded unit, so I guess I have the 10 speaker radio. Problem - Crutchfield does not have a harness for this configuration. Now, in my youth I would have just hacked into the harness and worked it out. It's not rocket science, and I should know - I build satellites for a living these days. I just want a simple installation - I have no free time.

Do you have any advice for a simple aftermarket replacement for the Business CD in my 2004 X3 short of cutting up the harness and probing it all out?
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  #46  
Old 04-20-2011, 06:25 PM
breakleft breakleft is offline
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Hello. Posting my first post so I can PM Evlengr. I am having zero luck finding pictures of the SPS-400 install. I ordered some for my 2010 X3, have one rear door off and one 4" speaker out (business CD, no sound upgrade). Now I am unsure about the required wiring and how to mount a speaker with 4 screws into the slot which had 3. Thanks for anyone's help...
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  #47  
Old 04-20-2011, 08:22 PM
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Evlengr Evlengr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by breakleft View Post
Hello. Posting my first post so I can PM Evlengr. I am having zero luck finding pictures of the SPS-400 install. I ordered some for my 2010 X3, have one rear door off and one 4" speaker out (business CD, no sound upgrade). Now I am unsure about the required wiring and how to mount a speaker with 4 screws into the slot which had 3. Thanks for anyone's help...

Look closely at picture 5 above it shows a 4 inch speaker. Now look at the bottom of the speaker. I used a nylon washer to clamp down on the ring of the speaker basket while securing it with two on the top.

I am going to repost all my pix on Friday with a bullet point how to.

Got a number of questions in the past week and figured this way I can answer all of them (hopefully) in one fail swoop

EE
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  #48  
Old 04-25-2011, 06:45 AM
enamoured enamoured is offline
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Bump! Friday is long gone EE. :-)
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  #49  
Old 04-25-2011, 08:26 AM
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Evlengr Evlengr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enamoured View Post
Bump! Friday is long gone EE. :-)
Sorry sixteen hour work days takes some motivation to keep repeating the same things over and over.

Promise to get to it when I can see straight.

Think I may just open a tech support phone line.

Up to you I have a phone number that I use for spam calls, Lol.

Just looked over my post on installing speakers.

Not sure how the above post doesnt explain it clear enough.

Not to be mean but if it doesn't you may want to have a pro do it.

Only thing I left out was that if you look at the pix for the infinity speakers you will see that I used the top two factory screws and then used a washer to act a lip to secure the bottom portion.

The same applies to the sps-400. In fact they were easier.
__________________
2013 S4 Loaded (and NO RFT's) Awesome is an understatement
2008 MT X3 RIP you were a faithful sidekick and will be missed.
2007 AT X3 RIPOS
2005 GC
2000 Jeep Cherokee
1997 Twin Turbo RX-7
1984 GTI Wolfsburg Edition Neuspeed and more

Last edited by Evlengr; 04-25-2011 at 06:06 PM.
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  #50  
Old 04-30-2011, 06:46 PM
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Evlengr Evlengr is offline
Ukemi - that's how I roll
Location: MD
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 4,252
Mein Auto: 2013 Audi S4 2010 MT MCS
BMWNA Getting Smart?

This just in from radio trade rags:

BMWs Pandora integration goes live.
BMW car owners are now able to connect their iPhone to the dashboard to listen to Pandora. The automaker released its mobile application yesterday, the first third-party app approved by BMW for use in its in-car system on select 2011 and 2012 models.


I am friggin impressed. Been sayng this is where radio is going now for the past five years.

BMW is one of over a dozen car mfg that is intergrating broad band into their vehicles. Better late than never.
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2013 S4 Loaded (and NO RFT's) Awesome is an understatement
2008 MT X3 RIP you were a faithful sidekick and will be missed.
2007 AT X3 RIPOS
2005 GC
2000 Jeep Cherokee
1997 Twin Turbo RX-7
1984 GTI Wolfsburg Edition Neuspeed and more
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