View Full Version : Stero Upgrade ??
Sat, Nov-23-2002, 01:43:19 PM
Looking for comments on upgrading the stereo on my M3. (Delivery in late December or early January).
I ordered the car without the HK upgrade. In talking to the accessories guy at the dealer, he showed me an upgrade package he can do for $1200.
Package: Add a Kicker KX 700.5 Amp (cross overs, etc) and add a Kicker Comp VR 12" sub-woofer. They'll run all new wires and run all the existing 10 speakers through the amp. The guy claims the system will sound awsome (better than the HK).
I looked up the stuff on ebay. I can buy the stuff on ebay for around $600.
Question: First, can anyone comment on the standard stereo in the M3 (not the HK)?
Second: Advice --- Should I have the dealer install the upgrades, ask a "stero shop" to install it, or do it myself?
Sat, Nov-23-2002, 02:32:25 PM
The Standard stereo in the M3 is ok. It's not going to impress in the least.
However, contrary to some on these boards, I LOVE the Harmon Kardon system. If you are a Bass head and have to have THUMPING bass, then it's not for you. However, if you like clean sound it's great. On top of that, I hate having to put custom stereo crap in my car. It takes away from the dash appearance and can actually hurt resale value.
Fri, Nov-29-2002, 02:00:48 PM
The beauty of the HK system is that for only $675 you get a very nice sound. Many don't like the HK - say it lacks bass. I'm not into ground shaking bass, so the HK is just fine with me. In my lease, I'll only be paying $256.50 (38% of $675). Another benefit of staying with BMW is that everything is covered under warranty - and you don't have somebody tearing your car apart to put in after-market items.
If you haven't gone 112 yet, you could still add in the HK. Try it out at your dealer. If they don't have an M3 with HK, try a 325 vs. 330 (330 comes with HK).
Here's a link:
Fri, Nov-29-2002, 02:11:41 PM
My car is far past 112. It's on the boat (the Faust) and on it's way to port in Charlotte.
I don't know what happened when I ordered my car. For some reason, we went without the HK. Then, 3 days later, I wanted to add it. But, the dealer had used one of there allocations that was going into 112 status two days after I ordered the car. So, they were able to change the car to my order, but then when I tried to change it a day later, it was already "in production". It happened very fast !!
The dealer can put the "kicker system" in and it will be covered under warranty, etc. So that won't be a problem. But, it is more expensive. I heard a system they had just completed (in an M3) and it sounded awsome !
With all the people on this site complaining of rattling and noise, etc, I think that if I do upgrade to the kicker system, I'll have it done at the BMW dealer to avoid any problems if noises start, etc.
Fri, Nov-29-2002, 02:29:21 PM
The HK is not for everyone... Different strokes for different folks.
There was a rattle problem and BMW issued a service bulletin on how to fix it.
I didn't care for the stock system (had it for 3 years in my E46 328Ci). Highs and mids are ok, low is not there. The HK is a big improvement to me, but others don't like HK at all.
I remember 3 years ago looking for direct replacement speakers for the stock system and came up empty. MB Quart promised replacements long ago - they are probably on the market.
From what I hear, the shortcoming of the stock system is the lack of deep bass. The head unit is pretty good. Perhaps an option is to just add a sub ($1200 sounds incredibly high for just a sub) and see how you like it. Next might be to replace the stock speakers with MB Quarts.
Fri, Nov-29-2002, 03:41:01 PM
... but I didn't order the HK upgrade based on the nearly universal dislike of the system on this board (and on roadfly). I'm starting to regret that decision.
I think it all depends on what music you listen to. The rappers out there seem to be only satisfied if there is enough base to flex the windows! I on the other hand, am just a 39 year old rock n' roller who likes a more "balanced" sound and I don't generally turn the volume up too loud.
The HK system on my 328i is (in my opinion), a very decent one. I expect I'd have thought the same about the HK in the M3. So, now I'm probably going to have to go aftermarket and worry they're going to screw something up. :(
Fri, Nov-29-2002, 04:13:51 PM
I'm 39 too and want precision in my music, not thumping loud bass (though I do have a high-end Velodyne sub for my home theater - with high-end Klipsch speakers elsewhere).
As I mentioned, your best route to higher quality now might be to add shallow depth 6x9 subs in the rear deck (where they put the HK subs) and see if that does it. I don't know pricing, but I can't imagine it would be that expensive just for 2 small subs. Then if that doesn't do the trick, try MB Quart repacement speakers elsewhere. Check their web site - you'll see the configuration / options when you pick the M3.
Fri, Nov-29-2002, 09:05:22 PM
My brother has got a HK system in his 330Ci and to me it sounds really good. Excellent mids and highs. Although it does lack low frequencies. This can be easily fixed by hooking up an external amp and subs which will cost about $1000 for a quality setup. No need to rip out your deck. This is what i plan to do with my M3 stereo setup.
Sat, Nov-30-2002, 02:23:46 PM
I think I'll probably add the amp and sub woofer. Since I'll need to bring the car back in at the 1200 mile mark, I'll probably pick up the car with the stock stereo. Then, listen to it for 1200 miles and then do the upgrade (if I still want to ) at the 1200 mile service mark.
Also, the stock speakers in the M3 are fine. The M3 that I listened to with the Kicker Amp and Sub-woofer was running off the stock speakers. The Kicker amp (600W) gets routed into all 10 stock speakers and the sub. So, everything gets a "boost". That's what brings the sound out in the system. Also, the sub comes with a switch in the front where you can manually adjust the power to the sub (from completely off to all the way on).
Sat, Nov-30-2002, 04:55:50 PM
How many amps is the upgraded HK system? I am at 1700watts in my current car.
Sat, Nov-30-2002, 08:13:01 PM
Originally posted by raffaelli
How many amps is the upgraded HK system? I am at 1700watts in my current car. There is one amp (deck) and it is 40% more powerful than the standard system. At least this is what the dealership told me.
Sat, Nov-30-2002, 08:21:23 PM
so thats ??? + 40% = ??? :help:
Sat, Nov-30-2002, 09:19:39 PM
If young don't get HK it won't plz you, and for 1200 for that stuff is a ripoff, you can buy better equipment for better price than 1200, kicker stinks anyways, go with JL audio.:D
Sat, Nov-30-2002, 09:30:29 PM
I dunno about the HK sound system...my friend has it in his 330Ci cab...i guess it's alright but for 675 you could get much better aftermarket speakers, like JL or MB quart. and as for the Kicker system, don't get it, Kicker is crap, not much better than Sony. I would keep the stock head unit and once again, invest in JL amps and subs...you could get two 12 W3v2's, which are very good subs, and a 500.1 amp for about 1200 or under, and it would sound much deeper and much cleaner than that Kicker ever could. Trust me, I've had both brands and I regret not getting JL earlier.
Sat, Nov-30-2002, 09:47:33 PM
okay people check the post: Harman Kardon ****s and by the way it's 600 something $ not 12,000$....