I believe there were 4 levels of sound system on offer in the UK on E39 saloons:
- Stereo system: no additional amp and only 6 speakers.
- Hifi Loudspeaker: additional amp and 10 speakers.
- DSP: same speakers as the Hifi Loudspeaker syste but better amplifier with equalizer controlled through headunit and the additional of a Nokia-built subwoofer located under the parcel shelf.
- Individual Audio: (aka M Audio) same as the DSP but with higher quality woofers, no mids in the rear doors and much better subwoofers to replace the Nokia shelf.
I have teh Hifi Loudspeaker which is reasonable but lacks bass (no subwoofer) and it can sound a little harsh.
IMO, it was too much hassle to upgrade from the Hifi to the DSP or Individual system due to needing to run a cable from from to rear, software upgrade, additional wiring required for subwoofers, changing the amplifier and connectors etc...........
I wanted to spend under £500 and, where possible, to be able to return the car to 'stock' if the upgrade did not suit the next owner of teh car - i.e. I could remove easily before selling.
I had decided to install the speakers from the Individual/M Audio system and to power teh subwoofers using a separate amp which I could fit in place of the redundant TrafficMaster box (most discs are now supplied with TMC enabled) when I came across the all-in-one Pioneer TS-WX77A TS-WX77A Space-Saving Amplified Subwoofer (200W) - Pioneer
which fits perfectly across the back of the seats! I will let you do teh reading on this piece of kit but needless to say I am writing this article because I feel it is a great piece of kit for the money and all you need to do is to follow the BSW wiring instructions for fitting their subwoofer to an E39 and it's done! Armed with the information to hand, it took me 2 hours in total - it's that simple! I removed the knock-out plates on the underside of the parcel shelf to let as much bass through to the cabin as possible. Others may prefer to cut a section out of the metal plate behind the rear centre armrest but I am not convinced this would provide anything significantly more as the drivers are internal to the unit.
Phase 2 will be to fit the 4 individual audio woofers which I purchased for £150. I know I cold have got better speakers but I need dual coil for the front to support the telephone and the most third party upgrade kits do not have dual coils.
I iwll post a photo shortly