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Understanding E30 speaker and amp wiring

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  • bradnic
    replied
    I updated the original post with more info, including an example of a two channel radio amp bypass. the 2 channel radio BMW sound system setup has fewer wires going to the power amp connector than the 4 channel setup.

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  • bradnic
    replied
    winterse30 that's a wide open question, very hard to answer. I assume this is a factory radio setup. if you can pull your radio to access the speaker wiring, try swapping the left and right speaker wires. If the working speakers change to the other side then the problem is your radio. if the same speakers still don't work then it's not the radio. You just need to keep isolating stuff until you figure out where the problem is. good luck

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  • winterse30
    replied
    Hey this maybe off topic. I’m new to R3V. Just wondering if I can get some help. My front and rear speaker aren’t working on the drivers side of my e30 sedan. What could the possible issues be? I’m not familiar with wiring etc.

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  • JeffWiley
    replied
    Hi...if you are wiring a car that did not have a factory amp, you'll have 4 twisted pairs that run to or near the head unit location. Sometimes you'll have to cut back the harness wrap a bit to find them. Each pair is a +/- set with the signal wire color as described above and the brown stripe wire the return ground. Wire the speakers as specified by the head unit manufacturer.

    pcb assembly
    Last edited by JeffWiley; 08-22-2019, 09:06 AM.

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  • bradnic
    replied
    I couldn’t disagree more with you George, but to each his own

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  • george graves
    replied
    Originally posted by bradnic View Post
    I’m actually working on an amp bypass kit that uses the existing amp housing.
    Awesome! Let's see some work!


    Originally posted by bradnic View Post
    @dimrun2002 I respect your view, but generally disagree.
    - The E30 headunits were made by Alpine and Pioneer, not BMW.
    - The BMW Sound System speaker drivers are very high quality actually.
    Yhe stock BMW speakers are crap. They are fantastic if you consider 1990's factory car speakers as a baseline. But even driven with a nice amp, they are muddy, with a ton of resonance that make it sound like there is a midget ringing a bell, all the while banging on a Amazon cardboard box in your e30.

    Luke Fisher tried to get us all to go down that rabbit hole.

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  • bradnic
    replied
    Originally posted by NeverEnough02 View Post
    Any luck with this? I am thinking I can use the radio output lines to feed signal to a digital sound processor. It would be great to just plug in a harness instead of the factory amp so, the factory harness is saved. I am not sure what kid of wattage is coming out of the OEM head unit. Would I wire the signal to speaker level inputs or adapt them to an RCA input?
    There are line level converters out there if you want to use external amps and line level inputs..

    I did get an Infinity Basslink DC powered sub (10" driver+ 10" passive radiator) setup working with the existing premium amp. but it's too big for my vert :-)
    Sounds darn good though.

    Still looking for the connector. I will have two plug-n-play two harness adapter kits when I'm finished:

    -- one to keep the OEM blaupunkt premium amp and add a powered sub.
    -- one to replace the OEM premium amp with an external 5 channel amp and sub.

    Originally posted by dlmrun2002 View Post
    I use to stick a HUGE PPI 4800.2 on trunk wall between tail lights.Right next to the battery and took up very little trunk space flat against the rear valance panel.
    That's a cool mount location but you do need to extend wiring back around further. Most folks probably mount behind their rear seat.

    Looks like the PPI 4800.2 is a 4 channel amp. Infinity sells a Reference 4555 5 channel that's smaller, $100 less and supports 500W to the sub. you don't really need big power for the other channels - 45W should be enough for most folks.

    Click on pic for Crutchfield listing


    Stay tuned..
    Last edited by bradnic; 06-30-2019, 11:27 AM.

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  • bradnic
    replied
    @dimrun2002 I respect your view, but generally disagree.
    - The E30 headunits were made by Alpine and Pioneer, not BMW.
    - The BMW Sound System speaker drivers are very high quality actually.

    DIY Areas for improvement from the original setup:
    - If you have the radio only standard setup then definitely replace all the speaker drivers with better stuff
    - If you have a convertible replace the rear speakers with coaxial drivers

    Advanced upgrades from the original setup:
    - Retrofit the BMW Sound System. this is a significant undertaking though that includes replacing the main rear speaker harness, all of the speaker drivers, adding tweeter wiring and door tweeter pods. It's definitely worth it if you don't have it, but sourcing all the bits is difficult.

    - Add a powered sub to a BMW Sound System setup. Requires some custom harness work.

    - Replace the premium amp with an external 5 channel amp and a passive sub.

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  • dlmrun2002
    replied
    Lets face it. BMW makes sh*tty stereo's. The speakers wires are ok. Get a new head unit, a quality amp and some good speakers with some sub setup. Install. I use to stick a HUGE PPI 4800.2 on trunk wall between tail lights.Right next to the battery and took up very little trunk space flat against the rear valance panel.

    Leave a comment:


  • AndrewBird
    replied
    If you can't find the stock amp connector anywhere, you might consider replicating it in CAD and 3D printing it.

    There are lots of places to get high quality 3D prints now a days. Stratasys, Xometry, ProtoLabs to name a few.

    Leave a comment:


  • NeverEnough02
    replied
    Originally posted by bradnic View Post
    Answering your question directly, a class D 4 channel amp could potentially fit in the original amp housing. It’s a lot of work though. You can accomplish the same thing with an amp bypass and wiring in a small commercial class d amp. It does require cutting the harness though. The key issue is sourcing the connector on the amp housing. I haven’t been able to find it yet.
    Any luck with this? I am thinking I can use the radio output lines to feed signal to a digital sound processor. It would be great to just plug in a harness instead of the factory amp so, the factory harness is saved. I am not sure what kid of wattage is coming out of the OEM head unit. Would I wire the signal to speaker level inputs or adapt them to an RCA input?

    Leave a comment:


  • bradnic
    replied
    Originally posted by Zambuzan View Post
    I should've added in my original post that my goal would be to have an amp hidden, aka not taking up trunk space, just like the factory amp.
    Answering your question directly, a class D 4 channel amp could potentially fit in the original amp housing. It’s a lot of work though. You can accomplish the same thing with an amp bypass and wiring in a small commercial class d amp. It does require cutting the harness though. The key issue is sourcing the connector on the amp housing. I haven’t been able to find it yet.

    Leave a comment:


  • bradnic
    replied
    Yes basically an integrated amp+trunk sub connected through the OEM trunk amp housing. No cut wires. If you’re going to install a trunk sub anyway, this is probably the best option

    If you’re lucky enough to have original BMW Sound System wiring it will be plug-n-play to upgrade power and add a trunk sub... well for coupes and sedans with trunk battery locations anyway.

    EDIT: I will have two different harness types.. if you're just adding a powered trunk sub it will simply tap into the premium amp wiring directly. Super easy.
    Last edited by bradnic; 06-30-2019, 11:29 AM.

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  • Zambuzan
    replied
    Originally posted by bradnic View Post
    I’m actually working on an amp bypass kit that uses the existing amp housing. You’ll be able to use a 5 channel amp and a trunk sub with it. Aiming the first install on my 86 325, using an Infinity Reference 4555a and a JBL 1224Ss 12” trunk sub. Just finished a BMW Sound System rear parcel shelf retrofit on that car actually. Front tweeters are installed too, and have the OEM front speakers on order from Germany.
    Wait wut? You mean to physically place that Infinity amp in the OEM trunk location? Am I misunderstanding? Or do you mean modifying the internals of the OEM amp?
    I should've added in my original post that my goal would be to have an amp hidden, aka not taking up trunk space, just like the factory amp.

    Leave a comment:


  • bradnic
    replied
    Originally posted by Zambuzan View Post
    Any suggestions for a newer amp to install in the stock trunk location? Or is it not worth the trouble?
    I’m actually working on an amp bypass kit that uses the existing amp housing. You’ll be able to use a 5 channel amp and a trunk sub with it. Aiming the first install on my 86 325, using an Infinity Reference 4555a and a JBL 1224Ss 12” trunk sub. Just finished a BMW Sound System rear parcel shelf retrofit on that car actually. Front tweeters are installed too, and have the OEM front speakers on order from Germany.

    Leave a comment:

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