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E36 M3 (1992-1999) {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999


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Old Thu, May-13-2010, 11:47:45 PM   #1
camlacen
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Default Standard to Harmon Kardon

I just bought a '95 m3 that I've been fixing up a little and the first thing on my list is audio. It has an alpine hu and standard stock speakers. Anyways, it just sounded like every speaker was blown, but I hooked them up to a different stereo and they sounded fine. I tried putting the stock hu back in and it sounded horrible still. So, I went ahead and pulled the amp out since that's the only thing I believe could be causing it. I was wandering if I could put and aftermarket or Harmon Kardon amp in to maybe get a little better sound quality when I do get better speakers.
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Old Fri, May-14-2010, 07:58:20 AM   #2
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HK sound system was OK for back in the day.

Cheapest oem fitting alternative, with decent support is probably the the BSW speakers and packages.

I am sure there are people on here that have install their system. I installed their mid-range speakers and liked them a lot.
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Old Fri, May-14-2010, 11:29:37 AM   #3
das borgen
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OP, check out the sound forums on bimmerforums. BSW is too expensive for what it is IMO but it is pretty well OEM fitting
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Old Fri, May-14-2010, 11:32:32 AM   #4
Richardsperry
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No, you can't use a HK amp.

Your best bet is to replace the HU, and the crappy amp.

While the HK is better than the total pos that came in the 95, it's a pos too. Any Best Buy, Buy More, or Walmart sourced stereo will be way better.

If the amp isn't the culpret, (it probably isn't), just getting a CD43, (or any other newer HU), will make things a lot better. Not great, but way better.
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Old Fri, May-14-2010, 05:44:04 PM   #5
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As some of the folks already mentioned, you may want to check out Bavarian Soundwerks (BSW). I worked with them recently to get ideas and suggestions on how to solve my problems and found them to be very knowledgeable without pushing their products too hard. I talked to Halston and he diagnosed the issues with my system pretty quickly. My preference is to keep the OEM look and their Stage 1 does just that - it replaces all of the speakers but keeps the stock headunit and amp (~$500 but you can sometimes find a 10% discount code). They also suggested the CD43 to replace my old headunit with the cassette tape, but that will have to wait for a bit.

FYI - the BSW Stage 1 kit is different for HK vs non-HK equipped cars. From what I've read the improvement in bass is much more noticeable when upgrading a non-HK system,
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Old Fri, May-14-2010, 09:43:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richardsperry View Post
No, you can't use a HK amp.

Your best bet is to replace the HU, and the crappy amp.

While the HK is better than the total pos that came in the 95, it's a pos too. Any Best Buy, Buy More, or Walmart sourced stereo will be way better.

If the amp isn't the culpret, (it probably isn't), just getting a CD43, (or any other newer HU), will make things a lot better. Not great, but way better.
This is completely wrong as far as the quality of the HK system. I have a HK system with all new speakers (Bav Sound) except the rears with a sub an an oem cd43 w/dice unit and it is stunning. It has very good clarity allowing you to distinguish all the instruments in a song. The sub hits without overpowering. Unless you have experienced a correct operating oem HK system, please don't comment on them. There is enough bad information out there.
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Old Fri, May-14-2010, 09:51:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingchris View Post
This is completely wrong as far as the quality of the HK system. I have a HK system with all new speakers (Bav Sound) except the rears with a sub an an oem cd43 w/dice unit and it is stunning. It has very good clarity allowing you to distinguish all the instruments in a song. The sub hits without overpowering. Unless you have experienced a correct operating oem HK system, please don't comment on them. There is enough bad information out there.
When you say HK system, you mean OE HK amp with BSW stage 1 speakers? I've heard new HK systems even in a new E46 M3. It's garbage. What i'd do is use an aftermarket headunit + BSW stage 1 + BSW amp (AFAIK, they're working on a replacement amp for the factory HK unit)
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Old Fri, May-14-2010, 09:57:32 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Synenergy52 View Post
When you say HK system, you mean OE HK amp with BSW stage 1 speakers? I've heard new HK systems even in a new E46 M3. It's garbage. What i'd do is use an aftermarket headunit + BSW stage 1 + BSW amp (AFAIK, they're working on a replacement amp for the factory HK unit)
So what do you have? Garbage??? And please don't tell me some walmart set up with a blue headunit.
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Old Fri, May-14-2010, 10:37:46 PM   #9
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Actually, yes. I still have the OE HK system. And indeed, it is garbage. And I won't even create a response to your walmart statement.
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Old Fri, May-14-2010, 11:32:28 PM   #10
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Actually, yes. I still have the OE HK system. And indeed, it is garbage. And I won't even create a response to your walmart statement.
Frown. Maybe I'm just easy to please, but I have a CD43 with the HK amp and BSW Stage 1 kit and I think it sounds absolutely fantastic. I'm not one to like a real thumpy system though, so maybe that's it. I have turned it up as loud as I can stand and I didn't get a hint of distortion... that combined with the extremely clear sound and OEM look is really all I can ask for.

EDIT: On second thought, I'd love for it to have an aux in port. I've heard awful things about the DICE kits.
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Discussing Standard to Harmon Kardon in the E36 M3 (1992-1999) Forum - {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999 at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)