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      10-31-2008, 03:41 PM   #1
robbie99
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Arrow Alpine Hifi upgrade

Well guys, having been inspired by Gizze's blaupunkt thread and my general disappointment with the standard stereo I decided to treat myself to an upgrade and ordered the Alpine Hifi retrofit kit. I've finished installing and I thought I could share with you what you get...

This is what I ordered... Alpine Hifi retrofit kit part number 65410445684

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...94&hg=65&fg=95

Also required were the corner mouldings to house the tweeters - part numbers 51337184197 and 51337184198 for the E92.

Total cost to me was 330 which included a 10% discount after I enquired about if a trade discount would be possible seeing as I was so good at having the part numbers on hand!

The kit took 2 days to arrive to my local Dublin dealership. No install instructions were included and I when I asked for them I was told that BMW don't give them out, it's expected that BMW fit the kit and go talk to the service department to get a quote for fitting. Well I said thanks but I'll go figure it out myself. Anyway, I found a copy of the install instructions by googling. Two weeks later (today!) the parts guys were finally able to get me a printout.

I expected the kit to be only the amp and a pair of tweeters (and cabling) but I was surprised to find a pair of Alpine midrange speakers as well.

Here's what I got...

The Install Instructions. Very important this. The big difference between the Alpine upgrade and the blaupunkt upgrades that many are doing is that the amp gets it input and outputs directly to the speaker cables under the door sill rather than having to run a cable to behind the headunit. Also, each subwoofer gets a dedicated channel from the amp.
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File Type: pdf Alpine_install_instructions.pdf (1.52 MB, 21739 views)

Last edited by robbie99; 11-01-2008 at 09:29 AM. Reason: adding pictures as attachments
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      11-01-2008, 05:48 AM   #2
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Exclamation



Sounds a proper job, but I can't see your pics!

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      11-01-2008, 05:50 AM   #3
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I can't see them either
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      11-01-2008, 06:51 AM   #4
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The pictures were showing yesterday...
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      11-01-2008, 09:20 AM   #5
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So how is it?
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      11-01-2008, 09:39 AM   #6
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CAn the see the pics now... look forward to your review of it... I might invest in one myself if I keep the car long enough.
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      11-01-2008, 10:56 AM   #7
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Hi robbie99,

Great pics.

How did you find fitting the kit and how has the sound improved?

Did you take any pics when you were installing this upgrade?

Looking forward to reading any info you have.

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      11-01-2008, 11:36 AM   #8
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Fantastic .. please let us know how it sounds and if possible some sort of DIY would be great.

I'm really tempted to do this.
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      11-01-2008, 12:02 PM   #9
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What difference would there be between this and the HiFi upgrade on the options list?
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      11-01-2008, 12:31 PM   #10
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Good post I too, am very keen to know about the improvement in sound quality.

Can you add the central dash loudspeaker and under seat subs too?
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      11-04-2008, 12:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ant Man View Post
Can you add the central dash loudspeaker and under seat subs too?
Centre dash speaker would need a processor to work out the timing for the 5th channel, so this upgrade is just boosting the existing 4 channels.

The stock stereo system already has 2x 6.5" subs under the front seats, driven from the two front channels.
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      11-05-2008, 08:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robbie99 View Post
Also, each subwoofer gets a dedicated channel from the amp.
Can you confirm this? I didn't think the Alpine kit did this, and from the photo's i can only see FR,FL,RR,RL outputs?

Sorry if i've missed something!
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      11-05-2008, 08:45 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misterS3 View Post
Can you confirm this? I didn't think the Alpine kit did this, and from the photo's i can only see FR,FL,RR,RL outputs?

Sorry if i've missed something!
The ALPINE upgrade only comes with a 4 channel amp, so the Subs still run off the front 2 channels. You would need a 5 channel amp and new sub cables run to achieve this (which is what I'm doing with the Blaupunkt THA555)

HTH
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      11-05-2008, 09:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misterS3 View Post
Can you confirm this? I didn't think the Alpine kit did this, and from the photo's i can only see FR,FL,RR,RL outputs?

Sorry if i've missed something!
Yes, it does. FR and FL drive the front midrange and tweeters. RR and RL drive the subwoofers under the seats. The rear speakers remain driven from the headunit. FL from the headunit feeds both FL and RL inputs in the amp. The circuit diagrams in the install instructions show this.
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      11-05-2008, 09:20 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ant Man View Post
Good post I too, am very keen to know about the improvement in sound quality.

Can you add the central dash loudspeaker and under seat subs too?
Thanks but I'm afraid I know nothing about fitting a central dash loudspeaker
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      11-05-2008, 09:23 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanQS View Post
What difference would there be between this and the HiFi upgrade on the options list?
One thing I'm sure of is that the hifi system from the options list would have tweeters both front and rear. The alpine upgrade only adds tweeters to the front. Alpine upgrade does not amplify the rear speakers and I can't really comment on the quality of the speakers.

Last edited by robbie99; 11-05-2008 at 10:05 AM.
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      11-05-2008, 09:53 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robbie99 View Post
Yes, it does. FR and FL drive the front midrange and tweeters. RR and RL drive the subwoofers under the seats. The rear speakers remain driven from the headunit. FL from the headunit feeds both FL and RL inputs in the amp. The circuit diagrams in the install instructions show this.
Yes, I stand corrected Robbie99, having looked at the wiring diagram more carefully, the Alpine amp just connects to the front speakers and subs. I am more tempted to get this upgrade for the 130.
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      11-05-2008, 09:57 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by NFS View Post
Fantastic .. please let us know how it sounds and if possible some sort of DIY would be great.

I'm really tempted to do this.
I had intended to take photos while installing this but because I was so afraid of damaging trim and stuff I was so concentrated on doing things carefully that I completely forgot to take photos (particularly of the wiring loom that's under the carpets at the door sill).

I think that removing the door trim and fitting the tweeters is well documented in another thread. I also had to lift the rear seats (which required far more force than I expected!), remove the backrest side section (not at all difficult with the backrest folded down), lift out the boot floor and remove the door sill trim in order to access the wiring under the carpet.

As for how it sounds, well I'm not an audiophile but I can say that it's an improvement but not as good as I expected. What I didn't like most about the stock sound system was that when I wanted to play music loudly, the sound went into distortion. This is fixed now with the Alpine amp. I was actually quite happy with the old sound quality (at low to normal volume levels) even though I knew there where no tweeters. I would have the bass up to +6 and treble up to +4 and to me this sounded quite good, 'warm' even. With the new speakers yes I now hear the the high frequencies like symbols but because I was so used to not hearing them before to me it sounded quite tinny and hissy so initially I wasn't impressed. I've turned the treble down to +2 and I'm now quite happy with this. The other thing that didn't impress me and is still an issue is that whenever a male DJ with a low voice is talking you get a humming sound or echo under the lowest parts of his speech. I've had to turn down the bass to +2 to avoid this humming sound. Otherwise I'm quite glad that I upgraded. Certainly it was worth it in order hear undistorted music.

The other thing I'm pleased about is that the upgrade cost me €330 (and 2 days not the quoted 2.5 hours! although now that I've done it I could possibly do it again in the 2 hours) rather than the €650+ cost (for Ireland, we're taxed to the hilt here) of the hifi upgrade on the options list.
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      11-05-2008, 11:32 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robbie99 View Post
I had intended to take photos while installing this but because I was so afraid of damaging trim and stuff I was so concentrated on doing things carefully that I completely forgot to take photos (particularly of the wiring loom that's under the carpets at the door sill).

I think that removing the door trim and fitting the tweeters is well documented in another thread. I also had to lift the rear seats (which required far more force than I expected!), remove the backrest side section (not at all difficult with the backrest folded down), lift out the boot floor and remove the door sill trim in order to access the wiring under the carpet.

As for how it sounds, well I'm not an audiophile but I can say that it's an improvement but not as good as I expected. What I didn't like most about the stock sound system was that when I wanted to play music loudly, the sound went into distortion. This is fixed now with the Alpine amp. I was actually quite happy with the old sound quality (at low to normal volume levels) even though I knew there where no tweeters. I would have the bass up to +6 and treble up to +4 and to me this sounded quite good, 'warm' even. With the new speakers yes I now hear the the high frequencies like symbols but because I was so used to not hearing them before to me it sounded quite tinny and hissy so initially I wasn't impressed. I've turned the treble down to +2 and I'm now quite happy with this. The other thing that didn't impress me and is still an issue is that whenever a male DJ with a low voice is talking you get a humming sound or echo under the lowest parts of his speech. I've had to turn down the bass to +2 to avoid this humming sound. Otherwise I'm quite glad that I upgraded. Certainly it was worth it in order hear undistorted music.

The other thing I'm pleased about is that the upgrade cost me 330 (and 2 days not the quoted 2.5 hours! although now that I've done it I could possibly do it again in the 2 hours) rather than the 650+ cost (for Ireland, we're taxed to the hilt here) of the hifi upgrade on the options list.
Thanks for the reply. For me the stock system lacks separation and punchy bass.

I'm not convinced that this will fix this entirely.
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      11-05-2008, 11:40 AM   #20
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Thanks for the reply. For me the stock system lacks separation and punchy bass.

I'm not convinced that this will fix this entirely.
I agree NFS but for 250 ish it is a relatively cheap upgrade, especially without having to mess around with the cars wiring permanently.

Easily removeable when the time comes to sell the car, and will be easy to shift on here or ebay. Prob easily get 150 for it on ebay so in real terms will cost hundred quid 'ish' for the 'use' of it.

If mine was not due to go in the Spring I would defo go for it, but very doubtful if I will get a Beemer again and if I did would defo spec a better stereo than the crap that BMW fit as standard! Already got the wheels, grille, lip spoiler, Nokia blouetooth kit, etc to remove so don't want to add anything else ha ha
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      11-05-2008, 05:53 PM   #21
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Thumbs up

Thanks for the write up, robbie99.

This sounds like a good solution to upgrade the sound system.

MMMMMmmmmmmm! I need to think if I'm happy to pull the car apart.

In for a penny in for a pound!

Maybe a weekend project.

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      11-06-2008, 04:39 AM   #22
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I'm thinking this and the earthquake sub upgrade might be the path to follow....
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