Discussion in 'E36 M3 (1991-1999) and E30 M3 (1986-1990)' started by Breezy, May 1, 2018.
Plugged an old Pioneer stereo in today with a 50wx4 and the Focals sounded awesome.
So no issues with speakers or wiring.
Its just the internal amp in the Becker Indianapolis not being able to handle the speakers.
Been looking at this amp:
Its small, cheap and should do the job.
Shame I cannot add a subwoofer at a later date but cant have everything.
What do you guys think?
7992 is red
7990 is amber
7993 is green
7994 is blue display with red button illumination (VW)
7969 is the Holly grail BMW specific HU with I-bus compatibility and correct colour illumination although it is positive only.
Beckers do have an RCA out but you need a special lead that plugs into the top row of mini iso plugs, the lead has a yellow plug one end and RCA plugs the other end, they have a full set including sub out.
The Pioneer will have much the same rating as the Becker, the Pioneer will be 4x50 watt PMP (Peak Music Power) and the Becker is 4x18 watt RMS (Route Mean Square) which is constant output. The reality is they are about the same in real terms.
Sounds like the amp inside the Becker headunit is going down if the Pioneer is sounding OK.
Not sure that is right to be honest if the head unit does not have RCA outs.
Well, the manufacturer can put whatever connectors on they want, it's not a reliable indicator of their function. Speaker level is literally line level amplified, if you have line level (pre) out, then that's what you feed your amp. If you don't have line out then you just treat your HU as a pre-amp and make sure you set the levels accordingly OR you'll be able to disable the HU amp in a menu and then you'll get line level out (this leaves all amplification to your purpose-built amp which is preferable).
You may not have two sets of connectors but still be able to switch between line and speaker if your HU supports that.
This doesn't necessarily apply to BMW amps, I have no idea how they work but it's not standard.
Ok found the cable and its only £5.
Dilemma now is do I use RCAs and run all speaker cables to amp in boot and then back to the front but this gives me subwoofer input or do I use speaker level inputs which is plug and play from back of headunit with one cable running into the boot via left hand side of car under trims and behind rear seat but no subwoofer???
I'm a bit vague on your setup but you're best to run all your outputs to the amp and then back up to the front as necessary. It's a similar effort to run one cable as it is to run them all. You can still run them all down one side of the car and then just loop across under the dash if you like.
In light of the new info I have regarding the RCA cable that can be added to the Becker,this is my new plan but dont know if it will work.
Use an amp in the boot with speaker level inputs so that its plug and play therefore I dont have to take front speaker wires to the amp and then back again,and then use the RCA out cable that i will purchase to add a subwoofer.
My question is will the headunit know to use both the speaker level outputs and the RCA output to sub or is it a case of one or the other if that makes sense?.
I've read back a few pages and to be honest I'm a bit lost... so forgive me if I'm giving useless info.
You can't (or at best don't want to) use line and speaker outs, it either won't work (not enough power) or it'll sound terrible or your HU will get hot or trip. Pick one and if you're wanting to do it properly pick line.
Just accept that you want to run some quality gauge wire from front to rear (and back again for your fronts), RCA connectors are simple but not essential. You only need to do this once in the car's life and you'll be glad you did when you first crank the volume. If you run all 5 channels back now you'll never need to do it again, and run two channels (4 cables) back to the front regardless of what you're planing to do right now. I ran mine back down the left side of the car and forward down the right but you can make them all fit down one side if you like... but if you're doing one side then it's only a few more minutes and a few more metres of cable to do both sides.
Your amp is 2 Ohm so you can drive all your speakers + the sub off it if it's got clean power (I'm assuming your speakers are 4 Ohm). Just decide if you want balance or fade (you'll have to sacrifice one) and then use Ch1 for front or left, Ch2 for rear or right and bridge Ch3+Ch4 for your sub.
Did your front speakers (x3?) come as a set with a single input and one crossover or something else?
All speakers are Focal and front were component so mids and tweeters with a crossover.
You are correct in what you are saying,you do it once,its just the hassle of ripping it all up again,glovebox and trims etc.
But yes think RCA may be the best way forward.
So just to confirm- 3 channel amp, bridge ch1 for fronts,ch2 for rears and ch 3 for sub?
You're hurting my head - "3 channel amp"? lol, no.
You decide if you want to keep fade or balance... most keep balance (L/R) so you use Ch1 (FL) for the left front and rear, Ch2 (FR) for the right front and rear and you bridge Ch3 and Ch4 for the sub (and you can use fade to reduce sub volume like a poor man that way). You'll need two channels for the sub to deliver enough power (watts) to drive the cone.
Whether you're going fade or balance still run all 4 cables up front, 2 to each set of speakers. Do NOT run one set forward and daisy-chain the speakers or any other dickery. Also run a separate pair to each of your rear speaker sets and the sub, 3 pair, no shortcuts.
I'm (still) not clear on your fronts, do you have 2 or 3 speakers on each side?
2 each side
Nice, makes it easy, 2 cables each side up front.
I'm highly considering the Becker (if i can find one) but just to use with 2 front component speakers and some rear 6x9's will the built in pre-amp be enough to supply suitable power to this setup from the becker or does it all depend on the power out put of the speakers?
This is all I wanted but my Focal speakers at 20 ohm dont work well and at 3/4 volume the Becker starts to flicker and the speakers sound distorted. Therefore I dont know if the internal amp of the Becker is damaged or that it needs an external amp hence why Im doing this.
Crazy as all I wanted was a lovely period correct Becker unit for the car but its turning costly.
If you have 20 Ohm speakers that'll pretty-much guarantee they'll never work.
@Breezy the HU speaker outs should be fine to drive that kind of setup but don't expect to be able to shake the car. If you have 6 or 8 Ohm speakers then the HU will have less trouble driving them than 4 Ohms but you're likely going to get better speakers at 4 Ohms.
To save a massive rewire job you can buy 5m iso extension cables on eBay just plug it in at your headunit end of your cars speaker loom then run it back to in your new amp in the boot along with your RCA cables chop the connection off and make your amp connections. Basically it uses your existing car speaker wiring.
If you are close to Berkshire, I will happily let you plug a Becker in I have and see if it is your unit that is perhaps duff.