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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I'm a relatively new owner of a 325i BMW. I've decided that I'm going to begin to upgrade my car's audio. I have about $600 to play with. I'm looking at 2 subs, an amp, and front speakers. I'm not dead set on a certain brand. Any infomation or advice is appreciated.
 

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I would do head unit and amp first. Nakamichi single disk head unit is what I'd recommend - great sound and it looks perfect in the E36.
 

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Hi, congrats on the car, let me make a couple of recommendations.

I'm not an expert on the E36 codes, but I think that your car is a sedan?

You have a 5.25 midwoofer in the kick panel, and a small mid and a smaller tweeter in the door panel.

This architecture is hard to retain. There are a few speaker makers with three-way systems - Dyne, Morel, DLS, Hertz - but none of them are cheap.

If you go with a two-way midwoofer/tweeter system, in your car it's very important to use a tweeter that plays low into the mid and can be turned lower in output relative to the midwoofer. The OEM system uses a different amp channel for the midwoofer than for the mid and tweeter and the midwoofer is driven harder to compensate. You probably won't have that luxury, you will probably use the same amp channel for the midwoofer and the tweeter, so make sure you can go -3dB or more.

You've told us your budget. While I think an aftermarket HU can help, in your situation on that budget I'd follow your plan, changing the OEM HU last, if at all.

Will this be self installed or pro installed?
 

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I had the same car, and the reason I suggest head unit is the stock unit doesn't even have a CD player. So unless you're playing tapes or listening to the radio, you'll need a head unit. $600 seems too shallow to put in decent speakers, amp and SW too, but you could get a decent head unit + amp maybe for $600.
 

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Somehow if he only had cassette I think he'd be saying so... maybe he has the OEM CD changer?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well actually I plug my MP3 player into an FM Transmitter which gets it's power from the ash tray. I just turn on my radio to 88.1 and listen to my music from there. I spoke with my mechanic about my options and he said it's a good idea, and perhaps go with Pioneer and only 1 SW. And to answer your question duderino, the equipment will be installed by my mechanic.

He also recommended putting in a stereo because I guess as far as the wiring is concerned it is needed.
 

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At a $600 budget, if you are putting in a head unit, amp, 2 subs AND paying for install, compromises are happening for sure.

My recommendation is to upgrade the head unit to something that will provide you with direct iPod control like the Alpine CDA-9856. It's a solid little unit and will provide a good system foundation for future upgrades. Then invest the rest in front speakers and leave the subwoofer out of the picture for a bit until you can afford something reasonably nice.
 

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Dude, seriously, you could easily find a good in dash that plays cd's and has a good built in equalizer to control your sounds really good for about $120, maybe an alpine or sony, maybe even pioneer. I live by Los Angeles so i got all my system from downtown LA in the warehouse district. There's dozens of car audio shops with really good prices.I bought two pioneer twelve inch sub's with 1000 watts max/ 400 watts rms for less then $100. I also bought a performance teknique amp, two channel, 1200 watt max, for $120 and boxes for the sub range anywhere from $20 to $100+. Speakers are cheap two, you could find an entire set of speakers for your car for under $100 bucks. Im not sure where your from but downtown is a really good spot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
haha I live on cape cod so its kinda tough. Maybe i'll take a trip to Boston or Providence and see the prices in the city. as of now best buy is looking to be too expensive. another option is ebay.

thanks for the advice
 

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Beelz06 said:
as of now best buy is looking to be too expensive. another option is ebay.
Best Buy is too expensive?
 

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Bavarian Soundwerks has a complete full speaker upgrade (no subs) for under 600. That is if you like MBQ or Rainbow. I bought their 6x9 adapter plate for my '92 325i and got a descent pair of Infinity 6x9s. The adapter and the speakers ran about 200 or 220 dollars total. If you fade a lot of the sound back to a good pair of 6x9's and not the 4'' speakers your car came with, you can get a DISCERNABLE amount of bass. So...then you MIGHT not need subs. So you'll have 480 dollars to work with. You could get a component system (5.25'') for oh.....200 or 250 dollars for a pretty good one. Then you'll have a little over 200 for a head unit. That's what I did anyway and I'm satisfied. Now I'm saving up for the Infinity Basslink thing that's made specifically for BMW's. Maybe my solution is a little too money saving, but it definetly worked for me. Bavarian Soundwerks was key as well.
 
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