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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tomarrow I drop my (new to me) cpo 99' 323i off at an audio shop to have some new gear put in. Phoenix gold tantrum amps, 400x4 and 500x2 (sub) pushing mb quart psd213's and rkc113's on the deck and front. In the trunk will be a 12" JL w3 in whatever box they see fit. Total cost is right around 3000 everything installed and the box apolstered and what not. Before you say anything, yes I know it's too much sound and too much money. I'm keeping the stock head though. I considered backing out of doing it, I told myself, it's just a car after all, right? right?



Talk some sense into me?
 

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As logn as you will enjoy it, it's well worth it.
I do rather think it's foolish not to change the head unit if you're putting all that money into the system, though.
 

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I'm a IASCA world competitors "friend" in the PRO 601+ division with that means anything haha. Anyways, have you looked into Stillwater Designs or as everyone knows it Kicker brand. Now that is some clean high quality equipment. The amps are around 300 bucks a piece 90x2 (which is plenty for midrange and treble) and then their sub amps are d-class roughly 400-1000 bucks depending on wattage 350-1400watts...

About the headunit yes definitely replace it with a good rca output headunit preferably with 4V or higher output, I've always used Kenwood Excelon headunits. As far as speakers run components up front and either components in the back or 3 ways depending on the money you have. For subwoofers I prefer the Kicker Solobarics very very nice subs...and most of the time you only need ONE!! their about 319 bucks...

Anyhow this might cost you around 2500 for all the parts but trust me it will sound like a dream! Oh yeah components go with either Diamond Audio or Kicker depending on what your ear likes better.

Theses are only suggestions, its all up to you what your ear likes as far as frequencies. If you really are worried about buying a stereo do it in steps like I did. The first thing you need to do is make a plan where do you want to end up and then build on that making sure you are keeping compatible ideas for the road ahead. What i did was headunit first...that lasted weeks till the speakers go then I went front components and amp then rear speakers followed by amp for them then sub and sub amp...then eq crossovers blah blah blah...I wouldn't do it all at once unless you know what you want. But definitely go out and listen if you like Phoenix then ignore what i'm saying, but from my experience I think Kicker is a great quality purchase. Think before you act salesmen like to make money. Any other questions feel free to post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
the kickers are good, i've listened to many a kicker system and I'm always impressed. The jl sub from what I hear can take a pounding in the amp dept some people run them at 3x the wattage and they dont seem to give out. I just want to put together a solid sounding system I can listen to all kinds of music from. I'm not out to win any competitions or anything hence the single 12" (they tried to talk me into 2 of them). The head unit is a definite consideration, and I was thinking of going with an xm capable unit (is it worth it?). If I dont go xm I'll probably have to put in a disk changer, which snags even more trunk space. Overall it's a really tough decision for me but I know from the quality of the components mb quart etc I will enjoy it a lot.
 

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Yeah I forgot to mention MQuart stuff is good. As far the XM radio its nice and probably will catch on. I don't feel like paying a monthly fee for radio though. I'd just burn cd's from the songs you like from Morpheus/Kazaa Network just make sure you get songs at 128 or 192kbits/sec. They should sound just as good as cd's as long as the recorder didn't mess it up. I don't know how computer oriented you are but this fashion is catching on ;O) I'm up to Rufus Mix 14 haha. with the upgraded indash cd player you could always add a changer to the headunit in my car I have now I mounted under the front seat for easy access I don't know if theres room under your seat now though...glove box is another consideration too. As far as the XM radio (going back to that) I'd get it just in case its probably not that much of a difference in price and it would be nice to have if you decide to sign up like you said before. Are you doing the install on this equipment or is a shop doing it?? Because I can get a lower price on that equipment from what you stated...

Good Luck! -- Justin
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's all being done by a shop, I would do it myself but, with equipment that expensive I really wouldnt want to accidently cross some wires plus the custom install will look a lot nicer than what i'd end up mangling. Everything is a bit overpriced but I just wanted to do it all at once and get it over with you know. I've had half built systems in other cars and it's really a pain when you cant listen to the radio because you're in the process of wiring it or something. It's a retail shop hence the higher price but they do good work, "install of the month" was on a ferrari, a nice new ferrari. I too have reservations about xm for a monthly fee. I'm a computer nerd by trade so I know all about the new-fangled-mp3 and I also burn copies of my cd's for car use.
 

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Mattx, any upgrade you do will be worth it. I am putting in an entire system (see sig) as soon as my car arrives (and as soon as Clarion decides to ship their DVD head unit!).

I would definitely consider either XM radio or Sirius. I went with Sirius only b/c I really loved the Clarion unit and they only were Sirius compatible. The problem with Sirius is that it will not be available nationwide until late summer/early fall. :thumbdwn:

The price of a custom audio system goes up exponentially if you end up really getting into it. I have been installing/upgrading my stereo in my cars since I was 17. I will not be installing anything into the BMW b/c if I break anything in the car or any of the stereo components, I'm screwed. I also wanted a professional installation which is costing me $$$$.

After installing, post some pics. I'm still trying to design the layout in my trunk for all of my equipment and I am always curious to see what others are doing.

Good Luck!:D
 

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Convertible suggestions?

It looks like you guys actually know what you are talking about - without trying to win competitions/ be loud and thumpy/ etc. I used to be really "into" the car-audio thing, but now $$ (and another person dictating how it is spent) I'm not.
My old car has ads-pq10 running front MB Quart separates in the door, and OZ 6 in the deck with another ads-pq10 pushing a bandpass rockfort premade box with with 2 8's.

So here goes the question:

What would you suggest for a convertible? I would like to limit all intall in the trunk to the area below the top, keep the head unit, keep the speakers in stock locations, but get better sound than the HK with some increased bass. Some have talked before about the Infinity Basslink unit - but I'm wary of a unit I've never heard.

Any suggestions, links, pics would be appreciated.
 

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Trivia Question at the bottom....

I have the HK system (2002 330I) and as much as I love car Stereos (My Honda had 2 PPI amps and MB Quarts) I got the thing to sound pretty good.

For the HK:
1. Boost treble about 4 clicks
2. Boost bass about 2 clicks (more makes some odd reverberations at high listening levels)
3. Boost the balance 1 or 2 clicks to the Front

TRIVIA QUESTION: Who built the FIRST aftermarket Car Stereo with Pre-outs?

EXTRA POINTS: Approx. when?

HINT: I put one in my PINTO! with a seperate Amp and Phillips home Tweeters and Midranges and Radio Shaq Woofers and crossovers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The first thing you should do is hit up a local car audio place, dont tell them what you're thinking of doing or what car you drive. Ask to listen to the basslink (self powered relatively compact subwoofer) then ask to listen to a comparable enclosed sub. Maybe listen to some mb quart components if you're thinking of upgrading panel speakers. Do you want a 12" or 10", based on what type of music you listen to and the range of response you want you'll have to make that decision. Personally I'd try and keep the amp space to a minimum, go with one five channel amp for everything or get the bass link and if you're just looking for a pretty big hk upgrade one twelve would do the trick.
 

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RKB, I had the Infinity basslink in my old car (not a convertible) and it is an amazing unit. It doesn't take up nearly as much space as a box and seperate amp would and its costs nowhere near as much. You should be able to pick a new one up online for less than $230 and I'm sure there are tons of used ones on E-bay for under $200. It's really easy to hook up and if you're not into thumping, make you feel like you're going to puke bass then I would recommend it.
 

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I'm gonna put a mp3 head unit in my car. I tired of having three cd books in my car. Then I can put like 150 songs on one cd. Also E-Bay has great prices on all kinds of audio stuff. As for subs, I prefer the JL subs, and also like the fosgate's dual voicecoils. It might be cheaper to find your stuff there and then have someone else install it later for you.
 

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What I'd really like to do...

Hey - to everyone, thanks for your input. Unfortunately it's going to end up with a lot more questions generated on my part.

Yeah, I'd rather do a JL box with separate amplification, and replace the front door speakers with some nice MB Quarts, but space and cost is at a premium. I don't want to boom, but I'd like some more punch. Primary music listened to ranges all over (rock, reggae, blues, classical, rap), I usually like to turn it up after a crappy day at work to something loud and would like to have some more feeling to the low end - let alone clipping in the right front speaker. Also, I fear the installers in my town would butcher a BMW and just try to sell me their products without any thought to the sound or talent to the work.

So I'm pretty much limiting myself now to adding on the sub - unless someone can suggest a reasonable alternative.

- anyone able to compare a Bazooka self-powered tube with the Infinity?
- anyone have any experience with convertibles and bass placement. I was thinking about placing the driver of the basslink at the "ski port" hole, but the .pdf for the Infinity shows a corner loading. Does this apply to convertibles?
- anyone have any links to sites/ message boards/ informational sites that relate to convertibles and car audio?

Thanks for everyones help in advance.

Damn - now I'm getting bitten by the car audio bug again.
:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
One thing to note the mbquart component speakers should be three piece tweets mids and woofer for the front, I got a two piece component set of 6" mb's because the 3 piece is insanely priced.

Also the infinity will sound much better than the bazooka's because of it's conical surface area pushing air more directly. The bazooka tube essentially traps the air and leaves you with less bass response, so your space saving alternative comes at the price of "tightness" in sound.
 

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only do it if you are planning on keeping this car for a while. keep in mind that when you sell it the $3k gear won't be worth anything.

I also would not keep the stock head unit.

--Andrew

mattx said:
Tomarrow I drop my (new to me) cpo 99' 323i off at an audio shop to have some new gear put in. Phoenix gold tantrum amps, 400x4 and 500x2 (sub) pushing mb quart psd213's and rkc113's on the deck and front. In the trunk will be a 12" JL w3 in whatever box they see fit. Total cost is right around 3000 everything installed and the box apolstered and what not. Before you say anything, yes I know it's too much sound and too much money. I'm keeping the stock head though. I considered backing out of doing it, I told myself, it's just a car after all, right? right?

Talk some sense into me?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I plan on keeping the car for quite some time and I'll be taking the gear when it's sold and replacing the stereo with the original equipment. I realize that the stereo is worth nil when it comes time to sell the car unless you do factory upgrades like bmw disk changer etc.
 

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mattx said:
I plan on keeping the car for quite some time and I'll be taking the gear when it's sold and replacing the stereo with the original equipment. I realize that the stereo is worth nil when it comes time to sell the car unless you do factory upgrades like bmw disk changer etc.
I hope you find a REALLY good shop if you plan on putting stock stuff back. Most shops will take the easy way out and hack off all the stock connectors and chuck em in the trash making restoring the original system impossible.

I'm replacing the speakers and amp on my own and will do it with everything 100% reversible.
 

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Some things to change

MB Quartz is One of the best interior Speakers you can get so leave those. the Amps i prefer Rockferd Fosgate Amps And Speakers You Should Get Kickers. Leaving your factory headunit Will not benifit you in any way shape or form. You are better off getting an aftermarket headunit (I like clarion or pioneer). With the factory headunit you will lose alot of clarity (being it doesnt have any rca outs.
 

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i also have a 99' 323i.. trying to install sub/amp by myself i think i can get away with it since the battery is in the trunk... but... how can i get away with it.. meaning the stock amp and all?.... do i need a special harness?... heard u can tap it in my rear speakers.. but i also heard it makes it sound "bad"... and not hit as hard as it can.. any inputs?.. thanks in advance... basically i'm just trying to bump as much bass as possible with my 2 JL w3 v2 OR i can always pay TWEETER to do it for me...but i wanna save some dough
 
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