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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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Old 09-13-2016, 10:11 AM
Normdude's Avatar
Normdude Normdude is offline
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Location: Long Island, NY "The Hamptons"
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Mein Auto: 2003 530i Sport
2003 E39, Aftermarket amp question

I'm trying to figure out what wire to hook an amp up to from my trunk. All the pictures and why are schematics I've seen don't match what I have. My Stock amp has three plugs. One 26 and two 12 pin plugs. I have the amp working but it doesn't respond with the volume. It just stays at one loudness. So I turn the volume down and the bass is still on. I have DSP. Does anyone have any pictures of the right wire I should tap into? I'd really appreciate it thank you
2003 530i Sport Package
1996 318i (blown head gasket )
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Old 09-13-2016, 10:33 AM
528iAut 528iAut is online now
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Location: Moraira, Spain
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Mein Auto: 528i
With the DSP you already have an amp......did you remove that then?
E39 528i Steptronic 1996, Comfort seats, Rear curtain, Oxford Green.
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Old 09-13-2016, 01:56 PM
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DennisCooper! DennisCooper! is offline
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Location: West London / Heathrow UK
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Mein Auto: 03 Ex Cop 530d Touring

You can't directly add a traditional 2/4/5 or even 6 channel aftermarket amplifier to the OEM DSP amp as it contains in internal crossover and outputs a specific band of frequencies per pair of outputs. Also, are you wishing to retain your (not very good) oem DSP speakers? if so, then you'll need to either purchase a JBL MS-8 processor with in built 8 channel amplifier rated at 8x30W RMS but is now discontinued, or the Mosconi ONE 60.8 processor with 8 channels of amplification, rated at 8X60W RMS. These units take the all outputs from the OEM DSP amplifier, use clever processing to 'clean' the signal up and then amplify it to output to either you oem DSP speakers or, more ideally, upgraded speakers.

If you are just trying to add some bass, then you can find out which speaker outputs from the DSP amp provide the 'low' frequencies and 'splice' to one channel of those and connect that to a speaker to RCA converter and then plug that output to the amplifier you are using. This method is the basic one and has limitations in terms of quality and performance. Also, due to the oem DSP amp RMS output not being all that powerful, any distortion you push it into to will be passed through the RCA converter to your amplifier, where it's then amplified and sent to your subwoofer. That distortion heats up the subwoofer voice coil and the number one reason for speaker failure is overheated voice coils. To compensate, you might turn the gain/bass down on the amplifier, which kind of defeats the purpose really. This method isn't one I'd recommend although it is the 'cheap and quick' way that many choose to do and are happy with the results. Plenty of those owners have then heard what's capable in a well setup and more quality orientated setup and been astonished in the difference

Cheers, Dennis!
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