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07-31-2002, 09:54 AM
I need more bass in my 528i. Any suggestions. Don't want to spend a lot because of other mods. Thanks.

07-31-2002, 05:45 PM
Hi 528i,

RE: Speaker Upgrade - Here is what I did:

I just got a new 2002 525i in April with the non-dsp sound system.

The stock BMW system is not as bad as the "it sucks" crowd says. And it is not as good as the BMW marketing department wants you to believe.

The main problem with the BMW sound system is NO BASS. The stock 5.25" speakers cannot handle the lower bass (and will distort) and the whole system sounds weak and thin. So BASS is the first place to start. I went with the "Level I" upgrade first: I added a sub and a sub amp:

JL 10W3 10" subwoofer 2 ohm $160.

Alpine MRD M300 mono block amp - 300 watts, 80 hertz cutoff. $360.

CUSTOM FIBERGLASS installation of subwoofer in the square compartment
just above the battery. Cost was approx $500 with vinyl cover. Call Monnoy Car Audio - Redwood City Ca. - 415-299-9991. Ask for Leo (owner). For a sample picture, go to: and see my pics below.

(Or you can get a sub-enclosure box that sits inside the trunk for about $100+. Personally, I was never crazy about the sub box or mounting one or two big subs to the back seat, ski boot, etc. Also,
there are many other fine amps and subs. The Alpine M300 matches well to the BMW amp and the JL sub).

The installation looks and sounds great. Way more bass that you would ever need unless you are a "bass head" or really like to entertain the neighborhood.

With ski bag closed, and seats up and locked, there is more than ample
clean bass inside the cabin. On the head unit, I run the treble approx mid-position and the bass at 3/4 and it is a nice clean sound, no distortion, well balanced, and it will play head-pounding loud. The Alpine sub amp is set to 6 with a lot more volume in reserve.

Contrary to the "it sucks" crowd, the head unit (CD) is terrific, don't touch it; the stock amp is fine and it will play loud without distorting. With the sub handling the bass below 80 hz or so, the 5 1/4 door speakers are able to handle the mid range without distorting. The stock "mid" and tweeter sound fine. With the sub, the whole system is well balanced for all types of music. It will play very loud without distortion.

If however, you are an audiophile, or a "bass head", you may want to upgrade from there. The E39 message-boards suggest upgrading to an a/d/s amp, one or two subs, and the a/d/s 335 speakers up front. (You can leave the back speakers stock. They are for fill and sound just fine). MB Quarts speakers are mentioned as are Focals and other fine speakers. Cost will be $2,000 on up depending on your dedication and Master Card. The final result will be a GREAT sounding system.

There is more info at:

Also, go to the E39 search and type in: speaker upgrade, subwoofer upgrade, Bob Hazelwood, etc.

BTW, I think that CD changer from the dealer for $900-$1200 is a rip. I got a USA Spec BMW CD Changer for $350 installed right next to the stock amp. It is made for the BMW, fits perfect, and plugs right into the stock wiring harness. The head unit controls the operation. It plays perfect, changes quickly, sounds fine, doesn't skip, and it is still going strong.

Good luck,

Hope this helps. Email me if you have any questions.


Tom Kennedy
San Ramon, Ca.
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