View Full Version : Long time audiophile. Designing system for 01 M3

03-15-2007, 10:39 AM
Installed my first serious sound system in 1991. Just bought a 2001 BMW M3 Cabrio with the factory Harmon Kardon 11 speaker sound system. Not bad, but I'm planning on pulling the entire thing out and replacing it with a moderately high-end system.

Came here to get feedback on the latest technology, as things have changed quite a bit since the 90's. MB Quart is now owned by the same company that produces Crunch Amplifiers?? I was really leaning in MB's direction, being a german speaker for a german car, and all. I guess since I have french tires (Michelin), then I should go with Focals, huh?

I'm here to learn. This system is going together piecemeal. I'm going to start by augmenting the factory sound by replacing the factory H/K free air sub behind the seats with an Infinity Perfect 10.1 I've got sitting around and powering it with one of the Rockford old school DSM amps I've also got sitting around.

Oh, and before someone whips out the "this thread is useless without pics" emoticon, here you go:

03-15-2007, 10:46 AM
nice car. I like the stocdk sound sytem in those myself. I mean i know theres better but i really thought it was nice. In a nut shell what's your question ill try and help

03-15-2007, 10:53 AM
Yeah, the stock H/K is good enough that I'm not going to rush this job and throw in a set of low end MB Quarts and a sub and call it done. The mids are what seem to need the most work. Doesn't make much sense when you consider that H/K went through the effort of putting 3-way components in the front. It's definitely not that they're not loud enough. They're just inconsistent (not loud enough in some passages and far too loud in most passages).

I've got TONS of questions, but I'll throw a few of the more pressing ones out first:

1) Back in the 90's, one bought a high end head unit to get a clean output section with something better than just 1.0V output. Seems like even cheapie $140 HU's have >5.0V outputs now. These base units even seem to have parametric equalization and easy to read screens! What would I gain from a high-end head unit? Bluetooth maybe?

2) I'm going to spend the most time deliberating about the front soundstage, since this is going to be a SQ system. Are Focals worth it? And if so, which Focal line would I need, at a minimum, in order to be able to appreciate the sound quality they are able to offer? Is there an MB Quart line that can compete with, say, the Focal K2 line?

3) Amplification. I don't even know where to start. Is Rockford still a safe bet? From what I am reading, it seems like they've sold out, too.

03-15-2007, 02:01 PM
I'd look into Dynaudio, Focal, DLS, Diamond Audio (their D9 components), or Rainbow for speakers these days. You can do a lot better than MBQ.

03-15-2007, 02:04 PM
use stuff from when you were first into car audio...

i'm running ppi art amps in my 1999 c43

honestly though- we need to know more about what you are willing ot modify in there- i've done a few installs in that car.

nice car btw

03-15-2007, 02:17 PM
I'm seriously considering using an old Rockford 60DSMix and 100DSMix that I've still got. They both work perfectly. I remember those PPI art amps! Gorgeous things, they!

As for how far I'm willing to go - probably not far. I wish I could go with ID horns, but there just isn't room. I'm figuring on adapting 6.5" midbasses to the doors (I am an absolute kickdrum nut). I'd love to go with a more robust 3-way and go with a long-excursion 6.5 and a smooth 3.5" midrange and 1" tweeter, but it doesn't look like there will be room for the midrage. I'll probably just stick with a 2-way.

I'll wear out the search button a little bit and research some of the components Beat Dom listed. I'm sure I can do better than MBQ, but if my budget is in the $300-$400 range, it seems that several of those are eliminated pretty rapidly.

03-16-2007, 10:20 AM
love the car

03-16-2007, 11:05 AM
Thanks! It's been my dream car for way too long.

03-26-2007, 07:01 PM
I can see Im going to be watching this thread a lot.....
Im also looking to upgrade the HK system. So far I put in BSW's stage one kit and Im very happy but its still not as tough as I want.

03-26-2007, 10:31 PM
I started checking out the BSW line and then decided to just build from scratch after looking at their prices. My only regret might be losing the steering wheel controls. I'm in the process of moving from the MS Gulf Coast to Winston-Salem, NC this week, though, so this whole project is on hold for now. I'll post pics of the sub install as soon as I am situated in Winston.

03-27-2007, 12:21 PM
E36 M3 owner here...

I looked at the BSW stage one and decided to pass.

I went with the CDT EF-51neos with the upgraded DRT-25 tweeter and am really liking it.

Dropped right in with any cutting or mods.

03-27-2007, 04:39 PM
E36 M3 owner here...

I looked at the BSW stage one and decided to pass.

I went with the CDT EF-51neos with the upgraded DRT-25 tweeter and am really liking it.

Dropped right in with any cutting or mods.

Well for someone who doesnt know what a "CDT" or a "DRT" is, BSW works just fine. I think if I knew more about car audio I could have made a better purchase..but..I dont, so, Im here.

03-27-2007, 04:57 PM
why didn't i buy that e46 m3 when i had the chance, why?.....