E46 M3 Harman Kardon retrofit

Discussion in 'General maintenance, upgrades and modifications' started by Dezmoand, Oct 30, 2020.

  1. 30 Oct 2020 at 7:58 PM #1
    Dezmoand

    Dezmoand A mere Chipper

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    Hello All!

    I’m new here and I’m a proud owner of a Phoenix Yellow M3 coupe and I’m loving it!! I finally get what everyone is on about - the chassis is amaaaazing

    I am systematically retrofitting missing options to it and the HK system has me stumped. I have sourced the HK speakers and loom but have realised the loom is for single din non-nav - I have nav with TV.

    Is it possible to use the ‘wrong’ loom as a donor to splice into my existing loom? Basically I am doing everything to avoid having to source the original and correct loom for my car. Who can I get in touch with on here who will know exactly what I’m on about?

    The search function has not brought back much in the way of an explanation of the hk vs normal wiring - it just makes mention of it being an absolute pig of a job

    I want the stock hk look - any help would be much appreciated!

    Thanks
    Dez
     
  2. 31 Oct 2020 at 9:35 PM #2
    bmlfc88

    bmlfc88 Underwear thermally upgraded

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    Really not worth the effort mate, it’s an overly complicated system that is absolute garbage... would cost a lot of money and take a lot of effort to retrofit and when you are finished I guarantee you think “wow what a ****ing waste of time”
     
  3. 31 Oct 2020 at 9:36 PM #3
    bmlfc88

    bmlfc88 Underwear thermally upgraded

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    I’ve actually just finished ripping mine out and replacing with mid range aftermarket kit, the improvement is incredible.
     
  4. 2 Nov 2020 at 11:20 PM #4
    Dezmoand

    Dezmoand A mere Chipper

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    You, my friend, are the straw the broke the camels back - I've binned the hk (actually might post for sale here)

    What would be your suggestion for a reasonably oem upgrade?
     
  5. 2 Nov 2020 at 11:51 PM #5
    Nunga

    Nunga Wearing official crakows

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    Bavsound; it’s all 100% plug and play and the improvement in sound quality is huge.
     
  6. 3 Nov 2020 at 7:04 AM #6
    bmlfc88

    bmlfc88 Underwear thermally upgraded

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    overpriced, can get a lot better for less money if you are willing to do a bit of work yourself
     
  7. 3 Nov 2020 at 7:14 AM #7
    bmlfc88

    bmlfc88 Underwear thermally upgraded

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    I have taken a chance on an xtrons Android headunit, so far so good... my argument is that I’d have to buy 3 to cover the cost of the top of the range pioneer headunit which in my opinion looks crap with the huge plastic bezels around it...

    https://xtrons.co.uk/bmw-rover-mg-various-android-10-hexa-core-4gb-ram-64gb-rom-pq9046bl

    always discount codes about for xtrons side, I got 20% off that price.

    I went for Hertz front components for £100, the main thing you need to be aware of is the lack of depth available in the OEM fitment.. so unless you want to be cutting make sure you get shallow speakers. MB Quartz do a set that drop straight in without adaptors as an alternative for a bit more money.

    I got audison 6.5” coax in the rear shelf, had to use adaptors but no big deal they Cost £6 and the speakers sound great.

    I also got a nearly new JL Audio 10w3v3-4 sub for a bargain price on eBay which I’ve got housed in a visual ice E46 stealth enclosure which sits on the battery cover in the boot.

    lastly was the amp, you can power the rear speakers from the headunit and get a 3 channel amp, I decided to power everything off the amp as I was sceptical about the headunit output.. got a gladen 5 channel for £275 which is superb.

    My biggest tip would be to use some sound deadening, the 15-20 year old stuff in the car is terrible, for very little money and a bit of effort you can replace it with something like dodo mat which is such an improvement it’s almost hard to believe... I’ve always though dynamat type stuff was a bit of a gimmick, couldn’t have been more wrong...

    I sold everything from my factory setup except the speakers which were binned.

    sold my factory nav HU, my HK amp, HK sub basket, BM54 and Nav drive. Total of about £400-500 worth, a good start towards your new system depending how u decide to go.

    if you need any advice get in touch, more than happy to share my recently gained experience, I was helped a lot from guys on here to happy to pay it forward! No where near as daunting as it first seemed
     
  8. 3 Nov 2020 at 10:49 AM #8
    Nunga

    Nunga Wearing official crakows

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    I can’t comment as I’ve been far too long away from ICE, but I appreciated the achingly simple setup. You are probably right, but you’ll spend more time setting up other gear.
     
  9. 3 Nov 2020 at 4:28 PM #9
    bmlfc88

    bmlfc88 Underwear thermally upgraded

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    absolutely correct, if time is of the essence Bavsound is a decent plug and play upgrade... haven’t even got to cup any wires. But even they recommend addition of sound deadening when you fit the kit.

    I will admit I was looking at the Bavsound stage 1, mainly because I couldn’t find definitive answers on how to move away from HK and not being confident with electrics and wiring it seemed an easy answer.

    however thanks to a few guys on here clearing things up I realised it’s very simple to move from HK if you are totally getting rid. The difficulty is trying to keep half and half.

    I’ve been Working from home for 7 months with plenty of free time to do the job a couple of hours a day and order bits I need as I go... if you don’t have that luxury Bavsound worth considering.

    as I say though if anyone wants guidance on moving totally away I am happy to help as much as required
     
  10. 4 Nov 2020 at 9:19 PM #10
    ExCop530dT

    ExCop530dT Standard amice donned

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    Hi,

    Dezmoand - If you intend on keeping the OEM modules/monitor in the dash etc, but would like an upgrade in Sound Quality, then there's E46 specific speaker upgrades that 'swap over' with the exisiting OEM speakers. The BSW/Bavsound items aren't available in the UK (assuming you are in the UK of course!) so you'd need to import these in. The HK upgrade kit comes in at $457 USD on their website and they don't send to the UK anymore. You'd need to have them sent (for free) to someone you know in the USA who'd then ship them over to you. Upon landing in the UK port of entry, they'd be subject to import duty/VAT/customs clearance fees on top of the shipping cost. As a ball park, given the current exchange rates, I'd say landed in the UK cost could be 'around' £530/540 or so. The upgrade would be for the front components and the rear speakers/pods (assuming you have a Coupe) they dont do their Ghost subwoofer kits any more for this car (amongst other similar era BMW's) but I do recall when they were available, they were 'around' the $800 USD level, so if they were available now, would have been around the £900 level landed in the UK.

    Other brands that make E46 specific speaker upgrades are available from brands like Gladen, MBQuart, Rockford Fosgate, Rainbow, MTX.

    These speakers will give you a marked increase in SQ and performance and where they have UK distibution, would be significantly cheaper than the BSW option.

    If you are more open to DIY, then as bmlfc88 mentions, then a good aftermarket setup that it 'relatively' straightforward to plan and install will 'potentially' sound significantly better again. However, much of that is also down to head unit choice. Myself and bmlfc88 have discussed previously his setup and his only 'weak point' in his setup is the low quality Chinese replacement head unit he's using. The high quality amplifier and speakers he's using won't play/perform to what they're more capable of doing due to his head unit choice - however, for him and what he wants, he's currently happy with the SQ it provides.

    If Sound quality is an important factor to you, then I'd always suggest an established, reputable and high quality brand head unit from the likes of Kenwood/Alpine/Pioneer/Sony/JVC (the only ones left nowadays!) and can be had from aroudn £199 to around £400 or so. Everything about these such units is high quality and reliable and their performance far exceeds the chinese replacement units. The only things they don't have are 'OEM'ish looks and OBC diaplay support.

    If sound quality and reliability isn't so important to you and you prefer the OEM'ish looks over those aspects, then any of the Chinese replacement units will perhaps be on your list , be that an Xtrons, Avin, Eonon, Pumnkin, Erisin, Dynavin, Doogee etc. There's no real difference between them as they come out of 3/4 factories in China en masse and those brands 'apply' a software skin and make a brand name & website and sell them on via ebay/amazon.

    So, it comes down to what you'd like in your audio upgrade for your car based on what you prefer and how much you'd like to spend with respect to how well/nice you like your music reproduced. You'll get recommendations for each route mentioned above and perhaps a couple others (Tablet install, Car PC & raspberry Pi integrations to the OEM modules) and all options have their own advantages/disadvantages.

    Cheers, Dennis!
     
    bmlfc88 likes this.

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