In search for a better sound quality

General conversations about BMW E28s and the people who own them.
DariusPri
Posts: 59
Joined: Nov 02, 2016 5:13 PM
Location: Lithuania

In search for a better sound quality

Post by DariusPri »

Hello,
my e28 had only 2 front speakers right from the beginning. Someone along the way wired two more for the rear.
And I guess that had an impact to the sound quality. I'm wondering would it be any better if I purchased an original amp (#65121375983) ?
Or should I just use a modern one? (I'm no wire stuff guru, original one would be more plug-n-play)

Thanks!
WVe28
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Joined: Jul 29, 2007 8:57 AM
Location: Charleston, WV

Re: In search for a better sound quality

Post by WVe28 »

You're far better off using an aftermarket amp and running new wiring. I know it adds a bit of difficulty but the factory system uses a common ground and you really need 2 dedicated wires to each speaker from the amp for optimal quality. There are many different speakers available that can be fit into the factory housings/grilles for a factory look but improved sound quality. A search here should return dozens of viable options to improve your sound quality.
Cactus
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Joined: Jun 06, 2010 4:13 AM
Location: Dayton, OH

Re: In search for a better sound quality

Post by Cactus »

Having done it both ways, run the new wires. As for speakers, I just use stock size ones. They're not the best. I've had a sub in the trunk, still felt like I was missing a fair few frequencies.

The best sound system is an s38 and a free-breathing muffler.
DariusPri
Posts: 59
Joined: Nov 02, 2016 5:13 PM
Location: Lithuania

Re: In search for a better sound quality

Post by DariusPri »

Okay, now about the new one I now have 4 identical speakers 160w each. What specs new amp should have for that setup?
Also was thinking of hiding it under the cassette player but I doubt that a new one will fit there :?
Cactus
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Location: Dayton, OH

Re: In search for a better sound quality

Post by Cactus »

Factory amp for premium sound is in the trunk. Some people have put their amp under the rear seat. I just use a decent head unit and call it a day.
DariusPri
Posts: 59
Joined: Nov 02, 2016 5:13 PM
Location: Lithuania

Re: In search for a better sound quality

Post by DariusPri »

Cactus wrote:Factory amp for premium sound is in the trunk. Some people have put their amp under the rear seat. I just use a decent head unit and call it a day.
Ummm... would you call Bmw Bavaria C a decent one? :roll:
Cactus
Posts: 4974
Joined: Jun 06, 2010 4:13 AM
Location: Dayton, OH

Re: In search for a better sound quality

Post by Cactus »

It's subjective. I'm not hugely picky because in an e28 you're always going to be fighting noise, engine noise, chassis rattles, wind noise. I just shoot for good enough. You might want to take the carpets out to put dynamat down before you run new speaker wires. I've never bothered. I do recommend you make sure your window guides are in good shape, that really cuts down on wind noise.

The only way to tell if your head unit pumps out enough power is to hook it up and try it.
Mike W.
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Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: Covid 19 Life during Wartime

Re: In search for a better sound quality

Post by Mike W. »

This all kind of depends on how much better sound quality you're looking for. New, decent speakers and a new stereo will likely make a big difference. And without any extra amp. If you want really good quality, then yes, you need to do soundproofing on the car, a separate amp, subwoofer etc. But personally, decent or better is all I would be looking for. You'll still need to run new wiring and get rid of the funky fader knob BMW was so fond of, but there's lots of decent stuff out there if good and better is all you want. Last year there was a lot of buzz about the Continental stereos as they have the correct look, and didn't seem to get bad reviews either. I've not heard one so I can't really make a statement about it, sound quality wise.

http://www.mye28.com/viewtopic.php?f=2& ... &p=1468622
dsw99a
Posts: 339
Joined: Jan 07, 2012 6:22 AM
Location: Hawaii

Re: In search for a better sound quality

Post by dsw99a »

I went with one of the Continental VDO heads. I like it, im no serious audiophile, but its ample for me. I wanted a retro look and wanted bluetooth, so really good for my needs. I did however add a underseat powered subwoofer; it added the extra dimension I wanted for a balanced sound. I liked it so much i bought one for my e12 also. Most, or at least the one i chose- could both, fit under the rear seat, or under the front passenger seat. I wanted something invisible and did not want to load up the boot with speaker boxes, also those big boxes are pretty heavy
DariusPri
Posts: 59
Joined: Nov 02, 2016 5:13 PM
Location: Lithuania

Re: In search for a better sound quality

Post by DariusPri »

Thanks, guys for the feedback. Continental looks really good! Although I'd really like to leave my current one. I'm not looking for a really huge change just a bit if that's possible with my current stereo?
Mike W.
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Re: In search for a better sound quality

Post by Mike W. »

The original speakers weren't great so replacing them should improve things. Not knowing your current stereo you may or may not be able to add rear speakers to your current setup. One of the attractions to me on the Continental stereo is the ability to use an USB input. I've got a lot of music on my computer so I could listen to that. Others have it on their phones so they like the Bluetooth feature. But better, new speakers should help if you have the originals, they weren't all that great when they were new.
topher800
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Joined: Nov 24, 2009 10:44 AM
Location: Boulder, CO

Re: In search for a better sound quality

Post by topher800 »

Mike W. wrote:The original speakers weren't great so replacing them should improve things. .... But better, new speakers should help if you have the originals, they weren't all that great when they were new.

Speakers are like shocks and wine, they are a consumable. Rash generalization: auto speakers have a 5-10 year life span.

Edit: ....the wine reference was to the fact that it starts aging once you open it.
Last edited by topher800 on May 23, 2020 11:30 AM, edited 1 time in total.
Mike W.
Posts: 24840
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
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Re: In search for a better sound quality

Post by Mike W. »

topher800 wrote:
Mike W. wrote:The original speakers weren't great so replacing them should improve things. .... But better, new speakers should help if you have the originals, they weren't all that great when they were new.

Speakers are like shocks and wine, they are a consumable. Rash generalization: auto speakers have a 5-10 year life span.
To an extent like wine in that different people have different tastes too. I got some speakers in an E28 parts car long ago, Polk IIRC, whatever, a name brand. They looked fairly new, but hard to say, although they weren't blown or anything. I put a pair in replacing the originals and they were terrible. In short order I pulled them out and put the originals back in.
cyclist
Posts: 43
Joined: Jan 17, 2015 11:54 AM
Location: Texas

Re: In search for a better sound quality

Post by cyclist »

If you have the "premium" rear deck speakers you shoudl be able to use a set of 5 1/4" components. I am about to install a set of focal es130k in mine powered by a mcintosh mc420. Still deciding on what sub I am going to use (focal ibus 20 under rear seat at the moment)
DariusPri
Posts: 59
Joined: Nov 02, 2016 5:13 PM
Location: Lithuania

Re: In search for a better sound quality

Post by DariusPri »

cyclist wrote:If you have the "premium" rear deck speakers you shoudl be able to use a set of 5 1/4" components. I am about to install a set of focal es130k in mine powered by a mcintosh mc420. Still deciding on what sub I am going to use (focal ibus 20 under rear seat at the moment)
I don't. I have 4 of these:

Image
Image


What kind of amp could do some justice for these? Budget is limited :oops:
LeiseyJr
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Joined: Dec 22, 2013 11:11 PM
Location: Houston,Tx

Re: In search for a better sound quality

Post by LeiseyJr »

crutchfield.com
DariusPri
Posts: 59
Joined: Nov 02, 2016 5:13 PM
Location: Lithuania

Re: In search for a better sound quality

Post by DariusPri »

LeiseyJr wrote: Jun 01, 2020 8:11 AM crutchfield.com
Hey, thanks for the reply. Kenwood KAC-M1814 seems to be what I'm looking for. Will have to do some research on how to connect it and what harnesses and connectors I'd need..
Cgailbmr87
Posts: 24
Joined: Jan 01, 2019 3:49 PM
Location: long beach

Re: In search for a better sound quality

Post by Cgailbmr87 »

I did a total restore, ran all new wires under the carpet. New Kenwood KDC-x702,!), JL woofer,JL RD 400 amp 4 ch, JL RD 500 mono amp JL C2 5 1/4 up front and Used the original Speakers on the back deck that came with the premium sound system. We glassed the woofer under the back seat on the driver side. It sounds amazing. Mounted the amps under the rear deck lid in the truck. Any questions give me a shout and i can send some picks.
Philo
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Location: Long Beach, CA

Re: In search for a better sound quality

Post by Philo »

Post pics for reference please :)
sixseries
Posts: 1300
Joined: Jan 25, 2008 2:17 AM
Location: Portland, OR

Re: In search for a better sound quality

Post by sixseries »

I'd love to see some pics.

Also, see below link for a good stereo that will produce 45w RMS, which is much better than the 16-17 most head units put out, so your speakers should sound better. Your basically getting a true mini amp without all the extra wiring.

https://www.crutchfield.com/S-wt647VskJ ... 120BT.html
DariusPri
Posts: 59
Joined: Nov 02, 2016 5:13 PM
Location: Lithuania

Re: In search for a better sound quality

Post by DariusPri »

bimmerpwner wrote: Jun 12, 2020 4:02 AM I'd love to see some pics.

Also, see below link for a good stereo that will produce 45w RMS, which is much better than the 16-17 most head units put out, so your speakers should sound better. Your basically getting a true mini amp without all the extra wiring.

https://www.crutchfield.com/S-wt647VskJ ... 120BT.html

This looks really good but I have this historical status number plates and I can't use something so historical inaccurate :/
joema
Posts: 21
Joined: Apr 09, 2014 12:51 AM
Location: Lakewood, CA

Re: In search for a better sound quality

Post by joema »

Down the rabbit hole of car audio you go. My thoughts: with car audio you have almost too many options. Even on a modest budget. But, I’ll echo what others have said and say at a minimum you should use all new speaker wiring. I would further consider running larger gauge wiring than is necessary for anticipated setup. That way, if you choose to use more powerful speakers or amp(s) in the future, your wiring infrastructure is already in place. Any upgrades in the future would essentially be plug and play. So if the speaker wiring from your amp calls for 16 awg, I might use 14 – 10 awg. If the power/ground cables to the amp call for 8 awg or 10 awg, I might use 4 – 1/0 awg and use a reducer to make the actual connection at the amp.

Also, your amp selection looks like it only takes RCA inputs. If you’re intent on retaining the factory head-unit, you’ll have to connect/crimp the speaker output wires from the head-unit to bare wire RCA connectors.
DariusPri
Posts: 59
Joined: Nov 02, 2016 5:13 PM
Location: Lithuania

Re: In search for a better sound quality

Post by DariusPri »

Okay so I decided not to use an amp and from the feedback from you guys ended up buying Blaupunkt Bremen SQR 46 which also has the amp inside. Everything sounds good now!
sixseries
Posts: 1300
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Location: Portland, OR

Re: In search for a better sound quality

Post by sixseries »

Not to be a downer, but the 'built in amp' on that stereo is the same that most any $100 single din stereo has. 50w max and around 15-20w rms per channel. I guess you're going for period correct look, but that is quite a price to pay.
DariusPri
Posts: 59
Joined: Nov 02, 2016 5:13 PM
Location: Lithuania

Re: In search for a better sound quality

Post by DariusPri »

sixseries wrote: Jul 21, 2020 4:33 PM Not to be a downer, but the 'built in amp' on that stereo is the same that most any $100 single din stereo has. 50w max and around 15-20w rms per channel. I guess you're going for period correct look, but that is quite a price to pay.
You're right! Although it seems to do justice for my current speaker setup
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