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I traded a Lexus 1998 LS400 on my 2000 M5. It was quite a lead sled but it had a great stereo/CD system. I remember a while back that one of the discussion threads on this site dealt with upgrading the speaker system of the M5.

I am 53 years old so I am not looking for a booming "hip-hop" speaker array that will pop the windows out. But it would be nice to get back some of the rumbling bass on Pink Floyd and Bon Jovi CD's.

The speakers that come on the M5 do not seem to handle deep bass without sounding like they are straining. I have tried all of the settings on the DSP and tone controls and I can make it somewhat better but not great.

Two questions for anyone that can help.

1) Will the addition of a more capable sub-woofer fill out the bass. Is that what is missing or is it a replacement of all the larger speakers?

2) If that is the solution, can an additional sub woofer or bass speaker be installed easily without tearing the inside of the car apart? Can they use the existing wiring? I have the full leather interior with the alcantara headliner and I don't want it screwed up

Thanks in advance for any thoughts. Royal Red/Caramel.
 

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My brother recently upgraded the stereo in his '99 540 - he basically put in new ads
speakers, disabled the current tweeters that are located on the passenger doors (they sit pretty close to ear level, and are right behind the head of the driver, so tend to distort the soundstage) and added a subwoofer.

Unfortunaly, in order for you to get the best sound from a new sub, you have to 1) add an enclosure, and 2) cut some space somewhere to allow the sound of the sub to pass from the trunk (usually the only place w/ enough space to install one) to the passenger cabin.

The installer did a great job of adding a grill to the rear dash? (the shelf area behind the passenger seats), making it look almost stock. Of course, there are compromises - he lost about a quarter of his trunk, but it appears that he can still fit a golf bag in there.

His car sounds great, but it took some time and faith on the installer not to mess up his new car. BTW, my brother listens to a variety of music, including opera, hip-hop, rock, etc., and the sound is tremendous. The ads speakers really deliver the most incredible sounding violins I've ever heard in a car.

As for me, I drive a 97 M3, and the HK stereo and speakers are more than enough for me...although once I get my M5 (I'm on the waiting list...probably won't see one until late next year) I might at least change the drop in speakers and add a new amp, along w/ the enhanced bass option.

Hope the post helped.
 

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I added a bazooka bass tube with a built in 100w amplifier. I used a crossover and have a knob for the bass control. I didnt want to tamper to much with the stock system, so this was a good solution for me. I also need the trunks space, and the bazooka comes out very easily (no tools required, just pop out the connection and unstrap) and is also small. What this did for me was add a decent amount of bass without overbudening the stock system's speakers (which sounds distorted once you pump up the bass). I also dont blast my music, so it filled in the bass well. I agree that you need to port the bass into the cabin for large amounts of bass, but just for filling in the bass it is not neccessary. This solution i did on my M coupe also and it sounds better because no porting was needed. This was a good solution if you want to keep your car as stock as possible, and dont wish to shell out lots of money for overkill. I would of liked to do a custom job, but it took to much space from the trunk, to much cutting and pasting for my likes, and was costing about $3000. I did this solution for only $550, parts and installation. The installation was done perfectly. The only downfall is that I cannot control the bass using the stock screen, but with a knob, but i really dont mind, and have gotten use to it. I dont keep the bass full blast unless i am on a highway with the windows down, for all other uses it is too loud. I would reccomend it ONLY if you are looking for good bass, not alot more.

hope that helps
fas
 

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I went a different route than most. I too wanted to maintain the original factory system as much as possible. Here is what I did to get my sound system sounding much better than stock.

1) removed the Piece-O-Crap sub enclosure from the factory.

2) built a new frame to bolt on 2 10" Kicker free-air subwoofers firing upward through the original venting (therefore, no cutting needed)

3) the subs are powered by a Precision Power 2X100 amp in bridged mode.

4) the installer discretely placed a small black rubber-tipped knob on my dash behind the steering wheel for gain control.

This setup sounds FANTASTIC!! Basically, the stock system has enough high and midrange sound, it was just missing some good clean bass on the low end. This problem has been solved in my car!.

It costed around $1300.00 installed. Custom Car Stereo in Houston TX did the work in case anyone is interested. Their website is www.customcarstereo.com.

I will take a picture of the installation and post a URL for all to see....
 

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I went to car hifi-expert who had already modified my previous E39 sound system and we decided to use same components as I had couple of years ago installed.
Bmw's front speakers are absolutely useless. We changed them to much better sounding Kenwoods. We removed ski-bag and now that hole is bumbing bass through 2x12" Caliber free-air installation. Alpine's amplifier was added and there it was. It was quite cheap and compared to Bmw DSP-system there is no question which one sounds better. Dynamically I haven't heard much better system.
I can use steering wheel functions as before and it takes only little trunk space.
 
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