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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
BMW E46 Coupe Audio Upgrade: Help Wanted!!

Hi! I'm thinking to upgrade the audio system in my 2004 BMW 330Ci (coupe), which has a trunk-mounted Harman Kardon amp with built-in crossovers. I'd like to keep the install close to stock appearance, except for the HU, which I'd like to switch to either a Clarion DRZ9255, or a Pioneer P99RS. I'm okay doing the project in stages, and getting the best components I can afford, but I have NO idea what to do beyond the HU. Can anybody here help?

Thanks!

Michele
 

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BMW E46 Coupe Audio Upgrade: Help Wanted!!

Hi! I'm thinking to upgrade the audio system in my 2004 BMW 330Ci (coupe), which has a trunk-mounted Harman Kardon amp with built-in crossovers. I'd like to keep the install close to stock appearance, except for the HU, which I'd like to switch to either a Clarion DRZ9255, or a Pioneer P99RS. I'm okay doing the project in stages, and getting the best components I can afford, but I have NO idea what to do beyond the HU. Can anybody here help?

Thanks!

Michele
Hi Michele. I owned an E46 (a 2001 330Ci) for 17 years. I mod' the audio system extensively, but kept the head unit.

Let me bring you up to date on your car.
First, the interface between the factory head unit and the factory amp is "balanced differential." That means the signals are greater (in volts) than line level (aka RCA) and less then speaker level signals. Differential Balanced Inputs.
Second, the crossovers in the HK system are not in the amp (unlike the HIFI audio system), but in the wiring. Basically, the HK system uses blocking capacitors.

My recommendation is to start with the speakers. Why? Replacing the factory speakers with quality component speakers will give you the biggest bang for the buck. Go to www.crutchfield.com to see what fits. Your head unit has a connector at the rear to accommodate an auxiliary inputs such as a phone or other audio source. Got www.e46fanactics.com to see what's available. There's a separate audio section.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi Marco—

Thanks for your reply! The original post was from 2012, and after no input I gave up on the project—until now. I have a trunk-mounted JL Audio 250/1 amp for a pair of 8” Kicker subs mounted to the rear deck using Stealthboxes. I don’t need window-rattling bass, but just enough to flesh out the lower frequencies of the music. As for speakers, I have a pair of BSW 5.25” speakers in the front door cards, but that’s it. I’m partial to my Focal 926 Electras in my home hi-fi setup, so I’ll look at their offerings. And I’m an E46F member—so off to the forum I will go. Thanks again!
 
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