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Benjamin
01-12-1999, 10:24 AM
I'm looking to upgrade my stock M3 stereo and I was considering the following set-up:<br> 1. MB Quart 3-Way speaker component system in front<br> 2. Stock speaker in rear for "fill"<br> 3. Eclipse 4 channel amp for speakers (4x50 watts)<br> 4. Boston Acoustics 10' sub-woofer (mount sub-woofer in the spare tire storage area in a custom made enclosure. Of course I'd have to remove the spare tire!)<br> 5. Eclipse 2 channel "bridgeable" amp for sub-woofer<br> 6. Bullet Proof's "Epicenter" for bass enhancement<p>This is my preliminary configuration. I wondered if anyone had any opinions about this system. Would you recommend doing it another way, or use different products?

Herc
01-12-1999, 06:03 PM
Go with the Quarts. look around for a different subwoofer setup..... removing the spare tire is opening a "pandora's box". you never know when you'll need it. If you can get a chance look for any back issues of any car audio mag. many feature bimmer installs from "mild 2 wild"<p><br><i>: I'm looking to upgrade my stock M3 stereo and I was considering the following set-up:<br>: 1. MB Quart 3-Way speaker component system in front<br>: 2. Stock speaker in rear for "fill"<br>: 3. Eclipse 4 channel amp for speakers (4x50 watts)<br>: 4. Boston Acoustics 10' sub-woofer (mount sub-woofer in the spare tire storage area in a custom made enclosure. Of course I'd have to remove the spare tire!)<br>: 5. Eclipse 2 channel "bridgeable" amp for sub-woofer<br>: 6. Bullet Proof's "Epicenter" for bass enhancement<p>: This is my preliminary configuration. I wondered if anyone had any opinions about this system. Would you recommend doing it another way, or use different products? <p><br></i>

BillK
01-12-1999, 08:45 PM
<i>: I'm looking to upgrade my stock M3 stereo and I was considering the following set-up:<br>: 1. MB Quart 3-Way speaker component system in front<br>: 2. Stock speaker in rear for "fill"<br>: 3. Eclipse 4 channel amp for speakers (4x50 watts)<br>: 4. Boston Acoustics 10' sub-woofer (mount sub-woofer in the spare tire storage area in a custom made enclosure. Of course I'd have to remove the spare tire!)<br>: 5. Eclipse 2 channel "bridgeable" amp for sub-woofer<br>: 6. Bullet Proof's "Epicenter" for bass enhancement<p>: This is my preliminary configuration. I wondered if anyone had any opinions about this system. Would you recommend doing it another way, or use different products? <br></i><p>Stereo upgrade is next on the list for my '99 M3 Coupe so I'm in the middle of research too.<p>One question -- do you have 2 doors or 4? I am not too keen on making holes in the BMW for the sake of sound (your priorities may differ) so I have been researching sub options. JL Audio (www.jlaudio.com) makes a product called the "stealthbox" which replaces the stock rear speakers with 2 8" subs. I have not been by my local autosound place to listen yet, but I like the concept. If you have a 4dr with the ski bag, you have even more options for getting sound into the cabin.<p>I would <b>not</b> remove the spare tire. Multiple downsides to this:<br>1. Life sucks if you happen to get a flat.<br>2. Affects the weight balance of the car (maybe not if you replace it with a bunch of speakers and amps, though)<br>3. The tire is part of the crash protection scheme for the car -- although this is important only in the unfortunate case of getting rear-ended!<p>Re. the fronts, I am thinking I may go MB Quart, although I have read good things about a/d/s too. I will need to listen and decide. People caution that you need to be careful about what amp you use with the Quarts -- if you use them with a "harsh" sounding amp, the result is pretty unpleasant.<p>In general, I have found that the weakest link in the stock system is amplification. Replace the anemic stock amp and crossover, and even the stock speakers sound better (did this in a previous car). BMW head units are not high-end, but they're not total junk like the amps and speakers, either.<p>Good luck -- let us know what you decide on.

Andy
01-13-1999, 12:37 AM
I just went through an extensive and costly overhaul of '98 M3/2 stock system. This is not for the faint-of-heart. Forgive my strongly-held opinions because the wounds haven't healed yet. Here are my sugestions:<p>Definitely go with the JL Audio Stealthbox 8" subs. You'll never miss the rear speakers and you don't want to tear up your trunk trying to make something else work. Make sure that you have a fader so that you can fine-tune your bass. <p>Go with MB quart 3-ways, but make sure that you use a quality amp--I'm using a Soundesign 4-channel, with the rears bridged for mono to the subs--consider having the installer set the speaker crossovers at -3db (I'm told that the MB quarts have three available settings, and <br>-3db is the least "bright"). Initially, before going back to my installer several times to have the speakers tweaked, the MB quarts sounded painfully bright, especially in the upper mid-range. Another improvement came when my installer put in separate mid-range and tweeters (the combined mid-range/tweeter combination that came with my original MB's sounded shrill, even with upgraded crossovers. I was prepared to pull the MB quarts and switch to ADS until this occurred).<p>Find a clean head-unit with pre-amp (low-level) outs. I'm using a Blaupunkt Toronto. I would have preferred a head-unit with a built-in equalizer (instead of the fairly-basic tone controls that come with the Toronto), but I chose the Blau because of its stock-look/lighting (I also liked the key card anti-theft device). I also got the Blau 10-disc trunk-mounted changer, which works just fine.<p>Find a competent installer who's done this type of installation before. Pay extra for this, if you have to. I wasn't so fortunate. I started my installation on December 15th. Nearly four weeks and at least a dozen trips to the installer later, my hoped-for "bolt-on" system still isn't completed. I've had to chase down: various installation-related buzzes and rattles; disconnected kick-panel speakers; a broken speaker grill (still not replaced); holes mistakenly punched through my seats by a careless installer(still awaiting leather-shop repair); no AM radio reception (still awating a replacement Blau Toronto), and the list goes on...<p>Was it worth it? I'll let you know when my installation ordeal is over. My system sounds great. Stereo imaging and clarity are excetional, the highs are sweet and the subs add desperately needed punch. The system sounds better than the fatory's HK setup in my wife's '96 328is, but given the grief and expense I've endured (nearly $3k with tax), I'm not sure that I can recommend the experience with a clear conscience. On the other hand, the stock system is truly awful. <p> <p><p>

Benjamin
01-13-1999, 12:00 PM
Thanks for the good advice! I didn't consider the consequences of removing the spare (from the safety perspective). My M3 is a 98' coupe. I've got the 6 CD factory disc changer, so I'm alittle hesistant to spend the $ to replace both the head unit and changer(because I understand the factory disc changer cannot be used with a new head unit). But, if you think I'm making a mistake I'd consider it. I understand that using a high quality amp with MB Quarts is a must. Do you have any thoughts about what amplifiers (models and sizes) would be good? <i>: : I'm looking to upgrade my stock M3 stereo and I was considering the following set-up:<br>: : 1. MB Quart 3-Way speaker component system in front<br>: : 2. Stock speaker in rear for "fill"<br>: : 3. Eclipse 4 channel amp for speakers (4x50 watts)<br>: : 4. Boston Acoustics 10' sub-woofer (mount sub-woofer in the spare tire storage area in a custom made enclosure. Of course I'd have to remove the spare tire!)<br>: : 5. Eclipse 2 channel "bridgeable" amp for sub-woofer<br>: : 6. Bullet Proof's "Epicenter" for bass enhancement<p>: : This is my preliminary configuration. I wondered if anyone had any opinions about this system. Would you recommend doing it another way, or use different products? <p>: Stereo upgrade is next on the list for my '99 M3 Coupe so I'm in the middle of research too.<p>: One question -- do you have 2 doors or 4? I am not too keen on making holes in the BMW for the sake of sound (your priorities may differ) so I have been researching sub options. JL Audio (www.jlaudio.com) makes a product called the "stealthbox" which replaces the stock rear speakers with 2 8" subs. I have not been by my local autosound place to listen yet, but I like the concept. If you have a 4dr with the ski bag, you have even more options for getting sound into the cabin.<p>: I would <b>not</b> remove the spare tire. Multiple downsides to this:<br>: 1. Life sucks if you happen to get a flat.<br>: 2. Affects the weight balance of the car (maybe not if you replace it with a bunch of speakers and amps, though)<br>: 3. The tire is part of the crash protection scheme for the car -- although this is important only in the unfortunate case of getting rear-ended!<p>: Re. the fronts, I am thinking I may go MB Quart, although I have read good things about a/d/s too. I will need to listen and decide. People caution that you need to be careful about what amp you use with the Quarts -- if you use them with a "harsh" sounding amp, the result is pretty unpleasant.<p>: In general, I have found that the weakest link in the stock system is amplification. Replace the anemic stock amp and crossover, and even the stock speakers sound better (did this in a previous car). BMW head units are not high-end, but they're not total junk like the amps and speakers, either.<p>: Good luck -- let us know what you decide on.<p></i>

Chester Wong
01-13-1999, 05:00 PM
I was looking at a very similar setup. I was thinking about the JL Audio Stealthboxes in the rear and a/d/s/ for the kickpanels. I was also looking towards the a/d/s/ 6 channel amp. Is this overkill? I haven't been able to price out the a/d/s/ stuff. How much am I looking at for parts.? BTW, I have a '99 M3 Coupe.<p>Chester

BillK
01-13-1999, 08:35 PM
I haven't started really drilling into the amps and crossovers yet. On the previous E36 project I used a Kicker 4-channel amp (don't have the specs here at the office) and a crossover custom-built by my installer.<p>I think you have things in the right order -- replace amps and speakers first, listen, then replace the head unit and changer if you don't like the results. The head unit is the strongest part of the stock system, and as I said, it isn't bad.

Matt
01-14-1999, 05:06 PM
Just make sure you like the speakers before you spend that kind of money on them. I listened to the Quarts and Boston Pro 6.5's side by side (6 1/2" components) and I preferred the Bostons. If you don't mind buying used than you can find plenty of used Quarts. You want to listen to as many speakers as possible. Diamond Audio, Focal, a/d/s, Eclipse etc. all make great speakers and it comes down to personal preference. The best prices on Quarts I've seen is Executive (in the way back of C&D, R&T etc.) and www.tms-electronics.com. I would ditch the rear fill for now. Use the rear two channels of the [4 channel] amp to drive the sub/subs. <p><i>: I'm looking to upgrade my stock M3 stereo and I was considering the following set-up:<br>: 1. MB Quart 3-Way speaker component system in front<br>: 2. Stock speaker in rear for "fill"<br>: 3. Eclipse 4 channel amp for speakers (4x50 watts)<br>: 4. Boston Acoustics 10' sub-woofer (mount sub-woofer in the spare tire storage area in a custom made enclosure. Of course I'd have to remove the spare tire!)<br>: 5. Eclipse 2 channel "bridgeable" amp for sub-woofer<br>: 6. Bullet Proof's "Epicenter" for bass enhancement<p>: This is my preliminary configuration. I wondered if anyone had any opinions about this system. Would you recommend doing it another way, or use different products? <p></i>


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