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Hello!

 

I have a BMW 523i E39 sedan that I think has the most basic sound system offered in the E39 which I want to upgrade. The stereo is currently always off as the stereo or antenna isn't working cause it can't get a good connection to any channel. The stereo also has the common E39 pixel problems and it lacks a way to connect the phone which I want to do. I'm therefor planning on upgrading the audio in the car.

I would like to get a double din stereo with Apple Car Play which would allow me to use Google Maps along with playing music from my phone. This is my first car and first stereo upgrade and really don't know what's good and what isn't but I'm doing all the research I can. Audio quality is my top priority and if the stereos with Apple Car Play are noticeably worse than ones without I'll opt for audio quality rather than Car Play. I also want to upgrade the speakers and add 1-2 subwoofers to the car. I want to be able to play with high volume but audio quality and clarity are my main priorities.

 

I've tried to do as much research as possible lately and I have a hard time finding what the best combinations for a set budget is as this is my first stereo upgrade and I don't know which brands are good etc yet. I'm now wondering if any of you guys here have any recommendations in different price ranges that you'd be willing to share? I have three different budgets in mind as I don't know how much I want to spend yet but they are $500-1000, $2000-2500 and $3-4000.

 

I know that this is a very broad question that might not get many answers but I wouldn't get any if I don't post it so I made the decision to try 🙂

 

Thanks in advance!

Edited by TS1997

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You should be fine getting quality audio out of a headunit that has carplay, i don't think you should have any concerns there. The best way to do this is go out and figure out what headunits you like and come back and ask if anyone sees any glaring issues with them. Pioneer/Kenwood/Sony/Alpine are brands you can feel confident about, just go look and come back with some questions!

 

Then you can worry about the rest of the system!


 

F150:

Stock :(

 

2019 Harley Road Glide:

All Rockford Fosgate

Amp: TM400Xad - 4 channel 400 watt

Fairing (Front) 6.5s -TMS65

Lid (Rear) 6x9s -  TMS69

 

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i ran a decent sized system in an e39 528 wagon, i feel like i might be of some help.

 

first, you're not going to notice a difference in sound quality when it comes to getting a double din with or without carplay, unless you're spending less than $150 and getting a non reputable brand name.  So the decision is, do you want carplay?  if so, get it.  it's worth it in my wife's opinion.

 

second, have you looked into the amount of work it takes to fit a double din in that dash?  the modifications that you have to do to the vent tubing behind the radio?  definitely read up about it and see if you're ready for that level of work just to fit a headunit.  that being said, there are single din flip outs with carplay in them, just give it a google.

 

third, your poor reception is due to a faulty/malfunctioning/possibly unhooked diversity antenna.  the antenna is built into the rear windshield glass and the controller and connections for it can be found in your drivers side C pillar near the top.  check that to see if the connections are tight still and go from there.  it may be a simple fix.  but replacing your head unit will not fix the issue.

 

fourth, check to see which level of the oem stereo you have.  do you have a factory sub?  the level of oem sterero will help you figure out how much work will go into fitting aftermarket speakers, amps, headunits, etc.  i thought i had the most basic too based on my radio face and features but it turned out that i had factory amplification and had to chase that down to bypass it.  btw the factory amp in e39s is usually located in the rear left of the car either in the trunk behind some trunk wall material or in the rear left access panel in the wagon hatch.  you'll know it because it looks like an amp and has several twisted pairs of wires to and from it.

 

As far as speakers for the front doors, you should have 3 per door, a mid woofer, a midrange, and a tweeter.  there are companies that make super expensive direct replacement kits that are plug and play and fit perfect.  if that's what you want, go for it.  i went custom.  when it comes to replacing the speakers and upgrading them, be very aware of your mounting sizes and depths as the factory tweeter is a 0.75" tweeter.  I made a 1" fit without too much effort and a little creativity.  the mid range you can disconnect completely, you wont notice it being gone.  the 5.25" woofer has it's own sealed enclosure pod, if you want to reuse it for some great midbass, feel free, but again, check and double check the mounting depths.  I had to cut out the rear of mine and just used it for mounting, still sounded great tho just not as good as if it had been in an enclosure.

 

when it comes to which brands... well it's pretty much all subjective.  I used all CT Sounds mids and highs because i was on a budget and wanted to give them a try.  I have zero complaints and no hesitation in recommending their products now (the Meso or strato PA lines at least).  All i can say is come and ask questions about brands you're curious about, not in a VS manner (cause it's against the rules), just make sure you do research here and elsewhere before just throwing down cash.  

 

Feel free to message me and ask questions about stuff and if i can help, i'll be glad to :)

 

Welcome to the forum!

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Nice response. This is want this forum is all about.  OP... when you go to start this build take lot of pics and start a build log so we can see how it turns out and a review of the system.

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Thanks for the help guys! @bmwking Thanks for all the E39 specific tips and things to look for! 

 

What do you guys think about the Pioneer AVH-Z9200DAB? @slowfkncar Do you think this stereo would work without any cutting etc with that kit?

 

And I'll try to take as many pictures as possible @bcbrassard

 

Thanks in advance! 

 

Edited by TS1997
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4 hours ago, TS1997 said:

What do you guys think about the Pioneer AVH-Z9200DAB? @slowfkncar Do you think this stereo would work without any cutting etc with that kit?

 

You dont need to cut any factory pieces with that kit, if anything i would worry about fitting a kenwood/jvc through the metra faceplate as they are slightly oversized, the pioneer should drop right in but might need to be centered perfectly so that it's motorized face doesn't hit the top/bottom lip of the kit. If it does, its nothing a flat file cant fix

 

 

 

 

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