I have searched many times for a simple solution to upgrade our stereos. This seems to be the simplest so far, that is if i am following this thread correctly. For this particular install they just needed their chosen head unit, the surrounding bezel and your little gizmo to get all the functions working properly. is that correct?Hi Jabberwocky,
Can you expand on what you mean by this please?
I designed and manufacture the NXG-39 which is a bezel or fascia/fitting kit and you affix your chosen head unit into it. That 'combo' is then fitted to your car and you then connect up the head unit depending on what audio setup you want. There's no 'little gizmo' needed!
The 'best' or 'most efficient' route forward is to connect the head unit to modern, new and much better performing amplifiers and speakers as the resulting increase in Sound Quality and audio performance is vastly better/improved over the OEM amp/speakers. If you 'absolutely' wish to retain the OEM amp and speakers and connect to a high quality and reliable premium brand head unit, you'll need to search out all the old threads going back 10-15 years on this and other forums on how to connect.
Welcome to the forum !
I see you've just joined so not sure if you can send me a message. I'll drop you a message in instead!
Once you choose the head unit you'd like, it's just the NXG-39 you'd need in order to install and fit as you see in the pictures. Depending on what you'd like to do with the rest of the setup, there's various things you may need/want to do - my recommendation is as per above, which is to have new amplifier(s) and speakers throughout.
Would you recommend I try your solution before replacing speakers? My speakers are not blown but the system is flat. Thanks again!Todd, I used the Alpine KTA-450 Amp which was designed to work with Alpine ilx-w650. The Amp can actually be placed behind the head unit in the dash, that's how small it is. I had it installed in the trunk but I can tell you it performed better than the Factory DSP amp. I could immediately feel the difference and although I did not change my speakers, it sure felt like it.
You initially mentioned that you're upgrading your head unit only. I am going to guess that you are pretty happy with the factory sound system already, otherwise you would probably not be interested in keeping the factory amp. If you are content with your current speakers and you are installing this yourself, then sure why not? See how you like the more powerful amp. If you are paying somebody and want to get this upgrade done once, ask yourself how good the sound system needs to be for you to be happy and how much money you want to spend, so you can make sure you are happy with the final product. If you wish it were more immersive, you may want to consider new speakers and a sub.Would you recommend I try your solution before replacing speakers? My speakers are not blown but the system is flat. Thanks again!
I mainly wanted the XTRONS unit to get a modern looking head unit with technological functions that match what you would get in a newer car and the ability to go back to stock easily. It would be awesome to be able to add a subwoofer without splicing into or irreversibly modifying the stock system components.Hi Alex,
This would be a question to ask Xtrons or other users of this item who con confirm if they've tried and doing the same. I'd also have suggested it's something to have asked prior to purchase !
I see you have a specific question in the main section, so hopefully someone will reply there too.
This thread is aimed at those who want a high quality and reliable solution instead of the chinese replacements and 'ThePhantom' showcases that
Are these still available by any chance? And if so, where can I purchase one?Hello Board Members,
Many members on this board have probably considered upgrading their audio systems at some point during their ownership experience but were maybe hesitant in altering the original aesthetics and functionality of their vehicle's audio system. I recently decided I wanted to upgrade the stereo head unit in my E39 540i to something that had more of the modern conveniences. I was using a small FM transmitter to play music through bluetooth and to charge my phone via USB but lots of static and intermittent pauses led me to want to pursue a better setup. I wanted bluetooth, a direct USB connection for charging, and the OEM look. I created this post so that others can learn of the option I went with, in case they are looking for options.
I initially wanted to install a XTRONS head unit (a cheap chinese android head unit) because it ticked all the boxes. It's also compatible with the stock DSP amplifier and has a bluetooth OBD2 connector you can purchase separately to read codes on the display. The problem was, every single local car audio shop refused to install it out of fear of liability, due to the cheap quality of these units. Sure many have had good experiences, I'm sure, but these shops warned me that if and when the unit fails, they are not responsible. After more research, I discovered that many people have had defective units and that the company offers poor customer support. I reached out to XTRONS and was not impressed with their responses, so I was stuck figuring out what the next best thing was. I posted on this forum to hear feedback, get some input, and hopefully discover something new.
A member of this board, Dennis Cooper, introduced me to a new product he engineered called the Innovadrive NXG-39. I learned that it would be compatible with high quality head units and would address many the functionalities I sought. He had created a genuinely high quality fascia/fitting kit. It looked identical to the OEM 16:9 Navigation head unit offered with the higher-spec E39s. The overall aesthetics looked Genuine BMW, like it came from the BMW Factory in Germany. Dennis shared with me that this fitting kit is compatible with several new and high quality head units available on the market and provided me with an abundance of information and examples of successful installations. I went ahead and got the NXG-39, an Alpine iLX-W650 and an Alpine 4-channel Amp. I also got the steering wheel adapters and additional parts needed to integrate the head unit.
I wanted to change the trim for while from the Euro-Spec Matte Chrome to a Glossy "Piano" Black trim so I bought Oracal Wrap and Wrapped the Trim myself. I did this at the same time.
Some Before and After photos:
View attachment 934748
View attachment 934749
View attachment 934750
View attachment 934751
A quick overview is that the installer must first affix the head unit to the NXG-39. Steps are below:
1) Mount the chosen head unit into the NXG-39 by drilling mounting holes to match the head unit's mounting screw holes.
2) You'd then drop the lower dashboard.
3) Remove the OEM audio and cage. Once the OEM cage is removed, there's nothing to cut. If/when you need to sell the car, you can reverse the install procedure, refit the OEM stuff and bring it back to stock. Please note I had a non-nav unit from the factory (CD not cassette) and that some non-nav units (the cassette units) have mounting holes inside the dash. I am a little unsure of which units do and do not - if anybody has more info on this, please share.
4) Drill 4 mounting holes in the NXG-39's outer side panels to match the OEM screw holes and secure in place.
5) Connect the wiring and then refit the lower dash piece.
6) The buttons are pressable, back lit & dimmable, with the PCB which has a connector in order to be able to attach wiring to. They are purely for aesthetics (the volume knobs too). Dimmable backlighting when connected to the cars loom is integrated along with a close resemblance to the car's original dash backlight color.
The installation of the Kit with the headunit is straight forward. You drill 4 holes on each side, 2 holes on the inner part and 2 on the outer part - of both sides - and then affix the head unit inside with bolts, nuts, and washers. The material is not flimsy or weak, it's sturdy and very durable so no need to worry about cracking this fitting kit. I didn't drill holes yet here but this gives you a visual understanding.
View attachment 934753
I didn't get a photo of the fitting kit with the drilled holes but this photo from Dennis illustrates what it looks like before fitting the head unit:
View attachment 934757
Once the Head unit is in place and fits inside the kit, you can plug the appropriate wiring and slide the unit in snugly. The fit is so exact that it just slides in firmly and sits very tightly in place. Here is the head unit being placed inside the dash:
View attachment 934755
And of course the final result:
View attachment 934756
Overall, this route offers higher quality audio and parts, the OEM look, and all the functionalities one would need for their new setup. I am more than happy with the final results and hope this post was helpful.
If you're interested in having a fascia/fitting kit like the NXG-39, feel free to find Dennis Cooper on this board and he is happy to help you out.
Thanks for reading!