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E36 M3 (1995-1999)

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  #1  
Old 09-29-2010, 01:50 PM
susan28 susan28 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 m3 5-speed sedan
BSW Alternatives for 10-speaker Aftermarket System

Hey all,

i'm looking to upgrade the OEM 10-speaker Harman/Kardon system in my e36 m3 but am seeing only BSW when it comes to replacing the factory configuration with better gear, but they won't work with stronger amps as they're made to be plug-and-play with factory amp.

anyone know of any BSW-style aftermarket setup with a bit more guts that uses all 10 speaker holes and won't necessitate leaving 2 dead speakers in my door like the typical aftermarket kick panel / tweeter "component" systems leave you with? i'm sure they sound fine but that just seems really sloppy - the disconnected speakers will resonate, with the only alternative being gaping holes in the door, both of which offend my sensibilities.

it's an m3 dammit! it shouldn't have to adapt to stereos, they should have to adapt to it !
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  #2  
Old 09-30-2010, 05:33 AM
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rrsperry rrsperry is offline
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Of course they will work with aftermarket amps. I've got them installed BSW tweets and midrange in the doors, and MB Quart midbass in the kick panels. Powered by an Alpine V12 4 channel amp. JL Audio Stealthboxes powered by another Alpint V12 amp.

All that plug and play means is that they have factory connectors installed, so you won't have to cut any wires.
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  #3  
Old 09-30-2010, 11:02 AM
susan28 susan28 is offline
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hmmm, well thanks for that. i think they were of course referring to a system consisting ONLY of their Stage One speaker suite, but my comment/question was based on the following statement from their FAQ:

source: http://www.bavariansoundwerks.com/kn...dio+Upgrade%3F

*****************************

Can I install an aftermarket amplifier with your Stage 1 Audio Upgrade?

"Our Stage 1 Audio Upgrade is not compatible with aftermarket amplifiers. That's because we've designed it from the ground up to work with the factory amplifier, power output, wiring, and built-in crossovers found in your vehicle. By eliminating the factory amplifier, you'll also eliminate the factory crossovers and change the frequencies and amount of power each speaker receives, meaning they won't be operating in their ideal range and are likely to be damaged, or at minimum sound pretty terrible. While it is theoretically possible to install an aftermarket amplifier and crossover configuration that would be compatible with our Stage 1, it is not something we would be able to provide information on or support in any way. It would also void our 100% satisfaction guarantee and the product warranty.

That said, for certain vehicle applications we do have a plug and play amplifier upgrade in development. As of August 21st, 2008, the vehicles for which we have a planned amplifier upgrade in development for are:

99-06 3 Series / M3 (E46)
00-06 X5 (E53)
Vehicles for which we are considering a plug and play amplifier upgrade are:

97-03 5 Series / M5 (E39)
04+ 5 Series / M5 (E60) - Standard Audio only
07+ 3 Series / M3 (E90/91/92/93) - Standard Audio only
02-06 Mini Cooper / Cooper S
If you'd like an upgrade for these vehicles, you can vote for them on our site by clicking the "feedback" button found on the right-hand side of every page and vote for what you want us to develop!

With regards to an ETA for these products, we do not yet have a release date. We are getting closer and closer daily, but we don't have a specific release date at this time. Here's why:

At BSW, we have a philosophy that anything we create and sell should be as close to perfect as possible before we release it. During the product development process, with each prototype version of a product, we find new changes, adjustments, and improvements that we can make.

In general, this means that our product development cycle is fairly long, and that the date at which a product will be available changes as we move through the development process. Instead of giving you a specific date, we'd rather say that this product will be available when it meets our exacting standards of quality and performance -- when its worthy of your BMW!"

******************************

So basically what i'm getting from this is that they intentionally designed their system to be uber-efficient so as to provide a standalone speaker switchout that wouldn't require more power, but the tradeoff is low power-handling, and i'd prefer a hole-for-hole speaker switch - preferably of the same brand and driver construction for maximum continuity - that could take a lil more wattage as i require every square inch of my trunk for my dj work (i know, a dj who can't use a sub due to needing the trunk for gear.. a cruel irony, yes?).

So if i was gonna go the MB Quart or any other mfgr route, i'd want them to include a midrange driver for the door in one of their setups. My fave studio monitors are Focals who also make awesome car gear, but alas, only 2-way. Which i actually prefer, but not when i've got a 2" hole in my door that needs a driver in it whether i like it or not - at least that's how i see it; i know some just disconnect it and Paul from BSW himself said they've gotten great results with that mid unplugged and some aftermarket power put to the BSW tweets and kick-panels, but for various reasons that just doesn't set well with me so i might be stuck just using the Stage One rig and settling for less power... i mean it IS an M3 afterall, no use crying too much over lost volume when i spend the majority of my driving time preferring to listen to the music of my engine!!

's jus that, being a dj an' all, peeps 'spect me to have a kickin' stereo and it's easier just to have one than to 'splain why i don't, ya noz?

plus it HAS been years now since the first day i got the car and proceeded to blow those mids on the way home from the dealer and i'm just trying to avoid a repeat given it takes me so long to replace blown speakers
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  #4  
Old 10-01-2010, 04:26 AM
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rrsperry rrsperry is offline
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Believe what you want, but the replacement speakers are made by Rainbow, and can handle almost anythng you throw at them.
That entire section is devoted to covering thier ass.

Yes you need to provide approprate crossovers. I'm using an AudioControls DQX to break out the High/mid, Mid bass, and sub signals for the amps, and using the MB Quart 2 way passive xover to get the signal to the tweets / mids. The system was tuned by an IASCA judge, and it works really really well.
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  #5  
Old 10-01-2010, 07:43 AM
susan28 susan28 is offline
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ya know, rasp, that has the ring of truth to it. all good gear is conservatively rated to exceed expectations. and yes that blurb did have a CYA vibe to it. trying to make the system (as advertised) idiot-proof, ie: "don't mess with adult toys like outboard crossovers and you won't hurt yourself", hehe.. and as someone looking for a one-brand, turnkey solution i do fit their market profile, but still!

maybe i'll just try the Stage One as-is and see what if any room/need for improvement manifests. like i said car sound isn't a huge priority for me, but as a bimmer driver i'm just allergic to compromise by nature..

anyway i feel a lil better after your reality-check (thanks!) but i do wish they wouldn't be so conciliatory about the specs of their speakers, unless they expect you to go to Rainbow's site and ferret them out. they've responded to all my emails EXCEPT repeated ones asking for the specs (magnet weight, voice coil, freq resp, power handling), which they ignore. weird..
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  #6  
Old 10-02-2010, 03:59 AM
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rrsperry rrsperry is offline
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Not really weird at all. They are in the business of selling speakers. They have years of experience, and probably don't want to "give" away the knowledge it took them hard work to get.

Anyway, they really are very good speakers, and will make a big difference, even with the stock hu and amp.

Rich
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  #7  
Old 10-04-2010, 11:04 AM
Staric Staric is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 M3
alternative

For what it's worth, when I was looking for an upgrade 3 or 4 years ago, I just went with a Blaupunkt head unit (Bahamas was the model name IIRC) and a pair of decent 6x9 speakers in the rear. The install was easy - I believe I used 6x9 speaker adapters I got from BSW, which struck me as hugely overpriced for a couple of pieces of plastic but were the only way I could find to install bigger speakers - and the results were a huge improvement over the factory sound. No, it's not the world's greatest/loudest system but is way way better than befeore, has plenty of power, and didn't cost an arm and a leg. I think I spent well under $500 total. I considered following up with replacement front speakers but decided after doing the rears and the new head unit that it really wasn't necessary - I am getting a solid sound just with good rears, even with the fader set in the middle. The look of the dash is pretty clean, too. You can customize the color of the display on the head unit to match the reddish orange of everything else, and it has RCA jacks on the rear, making it easy to run a cable somewhere discreet for iPod, XM, etc.
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