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Thread: Anyone have stock HK Speaker Upgrade options and reviews for sedan?

  1. #11
    I'm in the middle of an audio refresh for my car too. The HK system bites, it's got absolutely no low end or high end, it's all sort of a muddy in the middle sound. It's taken me some time to wade through all the various E46 audio forums, audio installation forums, audio equipment sites, and talking with a few good installers, to figure things out, but there are alternative and better solutions available rather than the Bavsound route for about the same amount of money.

    I am by no means any sort of audiophile, but after listening the HK setup for a while, the majority of the sound seems to be produced by the two 6.5" woofers located in the bottom of the front doors. The two 5.25" midrange speakers located in the rear passenger provide the next layer of fill, with the remaining fill coming from the two front midrange speakers and four tweeters located front and rear. With this in mind, and based on what others have done who know a lot more about this stuff than I do, the best and most logical solution seems to be replacing the two front door woofers and rear subwoofer with quality after market speakers being driven by a quality after market 5 channel amp. The OEM HK amp is retained and used to drive the smaller midrange speakers and tweeters. It makes for a lot of splicing and dicing, but in the end is what appears to be a viable and affordable solution.

    Based on what I could dig up, the OEM HK amp is a true 10 channel amp sending separate signals to each of the 10 speakers in the car. The HK amp delivers a separate and actively crossed-over signal to each of the ten speakers. There are no passive crossovers anywhere. The concept and engineering behind the HK system is really amazing, but somehow it falls short of creating what should have been an incredible listening experience. I blame this on the BMW engineers who are constantly looking for ways to reduce weight while maximizing interior space and comfort, the speakers used in this system are all extremely light weight and are shoved into very shallow and tiny spaces which don't allow enough depth to accommodate an efficient speaker. Consequently, when most E46 owners choose to upgrade their HK system, they usually become frustrated when they discover the lack of quality after market speakers that will fit in these little nooks. This is where Bavsound (BSW) comes in. BSW discovered this niche and they've done some excellent marketing and in doing so, has created somewhat of a monopoly when it comes to down to your options for an audio "upgrade". IMO, the Bavsound route is really more of a compromise than a solution.

    For the two front door woofers, I got a great deal on a pair of 5.25 Focal K2 Power 130KRC from Crutchfield for $399.00, which usually retail for around $750.
    I went with a 5.25" speaker, because I couldn't find a quality OEM sized 6.5" speaker that would fit. The Focal's from Crutchfield come with a pair of free adapter plates which allow the proper fit.

    https://www.crutchfield.com/p_091130...RC.html?tp=105

    I didn't want to do a bunch of work in the rear ski pass area trying to custom install a sub, so I opted for an enclosed sub made by Pioneer for $111.00 from BestBuy. It's perfectly sized and will attach directly to the trunk side of the rear passenger seat wall. All you have to do is remove the existing OEM sub and plastic door, then attach it with the brackets supplied by Pioneer, or make your own brackets out of 1" aluminum angle from Home Depot, which is what I'm going to do. I'm doing this because the brackets supplied by Pioneer are a little flimsy and I'm worried about the sub rattling around. I'm also going to use some 1" adhesive backed rubber foam to isolate the brackets from the rear seat wall.

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/pioneer-...?skuId=5588607

    I'm not sure about the 5 channel amp yet, but have two in mind:

    1. https://www.crutchfield.com/p_530PN5....html?tp=35808

    2. https://www.crutchfield.com/p_500PDR....html?tp=35808

    The Soundstream amp is affordable and seems adequate, but the Alpine would be my first choice if it wasn't for the price tag, so I'm still looking.

    You'll also need a 5 channel line out converter. I couldn't find a 5 channel, only a 6. Anyway, they're easy to find and run between 100 to 150 bucks for a decent one.
    Last edited by Bludsport; 04-10-2017 at 07:13 AM.

  2. #12
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    Please write up your install with lots of pics!


    ---
    "ZHP is a garbage option anyway- just some cosmetic upgrades with a different cam and diff to claw back some of the performance lost fitting those hideous and heavy wheels. Any 330 with a 3.46 diff will smoke a ZHP every time. The whole Mafia thing reeks of childish behavior." - anonymous E46 fanatic

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ELCID86 View Post
    Please write up your install with lots of pics!


    ---
    "ZHP is a garbage option anyway- just some cosmetic upgrades with a different cam and diff to claw back some of the performance lost fitting those hideous and heavy wheels. Any 330 with a 3.46 diff will smoke a ZHP every time. The whole Mafia thing reeks of childish behavior." - anonymous E46 fanatic
    Ditto!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  4. #14
    Definitely will, but I have to tell you guys that I really...really...hate audio installation. Crunching and contorting myself in the trunk and rear seat areas is not my idea of a good time. I'll have some updates and photos soon.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bludsport View Post
    Definitely will, but I have to tell you guys that I really...really...hate audio installation. Crunching and contorting myself in the trunk and rear seat areas is not my idea of a good time. I'll have some updates and photos soon.
    Is custom install an option?

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by ELCID86 View Post
    Is custom install an option?
    Well...it definitely is now.

    Today I removed the drivers side trunk carpet panel to get access to the HK amp only to discover that it had been removed. The factory build sheet for my car indicates that the full HK system was a factory option on my car, but at some point someone removed the HK amp. No wonder my systems sounded so bleak.

    The dealer's ad posted online stated that the "HK Sound System" was one of the options included with the car, so I just sent him an email asking him how he plans to compensate me for the $1,350 missing amp. I told him I don't have to have a new HK amp and that I'd be willing to settle for a comparable after market replacement. Today, a comparable 10 channel amp with balanced inputs would actually cost more than the original HK amp. So I guess I'll just have to sit back for now and see how the dealer responds.

    Besides the new front door speakers I bought, the remaining speakers are now entirely useless without the HK amp, so I'll have to replace all of them as well.
    I removed the radio, navigation and bluetooth modules from the car today and tomorrow I'm going to remove the all the existing speakers as well as the factory wiring harness for all this crap. I'll replace the wiring with simple speaker wires and RCA cables running from the dash back to a new amp. I'm not sure about what rear speakers I'll use yet. After a long conversation with the owner of the company that reps the E46 Dynavin head units, I'm going to ditch this idea as well and look instead for a good CarPlay double din unit like Clarion, Pioneer or Kenwood.

    So much for the affordable solution...ha!

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Bludsport View Post
    Well...it definitely is now.

    Today I removed the drivers side trunk carpet panel to get access to the HK amp only to discover that it had been removed. The factory build sheet for my car indicates that the full HK system was a factory option on my car, but at some point someone removed the HK amp. No wonder my systems sounded so bleak.

    The dealer's ad posted online stated that the "HK Sound System" was one of the options included with the car, so I just sent him an email asking him how he plans to compensate me for the $1,350 missing amp. I told him I don't have to have a new HK amp and that I'd be willing to settle for a comparable after market replacement. Today, a comparable 10 channel amp with balanced inputs would actually cost more than the original HK amp. So I guess I'll just have to sit back for now and see how the dealer responds.

    Besides the new front door speakers I bought, the remaining speakers are now entirely useless without the HK amp, so I'll have to replace all of them as well.
    I removed the radio, navigation and bluetooth modules from the car today and tomorrow I'm going to remove the all the existing speakers as well as the factory wiring harness for all this crap. I'll replace the wiring with simple speaker wires and RCA cables running from the dash back to a new amp. I'm not sure about what rear speakers I'll use yet. After a long conversation with the owner of the company that reps the E46 Dynavin head units, I'm going to ditch this idea as well and look instead for a good CarPlay double din unit like Clarion, Pioneer or Kenwood.

    So much for the affordable solution...ha!
    Check out this unit...

    promising new CarPlayo/Android Auto unit from Sony coming - $499

    https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink?sha...0&share_type=t

    If I had not just received a reckless driving ticket in VA I would be buying it. Looks like a really nice head unit.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #18
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  9. #19
    Finally finished my audio install

    Name:  6.jpg
Views: 208
Size:  95.6 KB

    HA! Just messing with ya's!

    Check out this guys E46 on diymobileaudio's site:

    http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/...bmw-330-a.html

  10. #20
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    May 2011
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    Anyone have stock HK Speaker Upgrade options and reviews for sedan?

    I had Kyle (static667) upgrade my stereo amps and speakers in my M3 a few years back and some forum members got to hear it at one of the reunion meets when Dane had it at his place in VA.

    We used Rockford Fosgate Speakers for the in-cabin speakers and an Alpine Subwoofer. The Amps Kyle chose for my install were Rockford Fosgate amps and an MB Quart amp for my subs. My requirement for the install was that everything had to look stock with exception of the subwoofer enclosure in the trunk. Sound quality is amazing. Kyle is the man to see regarding BMW stereo installs


    Sent from my iPhone6S using Tapatalk Pro
    .........2008 GT Silver 997.1tt.........................2004 TiAg ///M......................2001.5 Audi S4 Avant.........

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