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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > AUDIO/VIDEO + BLUETOOTH + Electronics/Alarm/Software > Base Stereo Upgrade Advice



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      02-19-2013, 11:10 PM   #1
two24studios
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Base Stereo Upgrade Advice

Hey guys! I've been doing a LOT of research lately on upgrading my 2010 3335xi sedan's base audio system. I'm just looking for your advice on options and install. I have installed car audio systems in the past (Jetta's, Civic's, etc) but am very anxious about starting to take apart my BMW. Unfortunately, I wasn't aware of the varying systems when I recently purchased my new car. I moved from a 2006 325xi sedan that had the HiFi system... and WOW it's noticeably worse

The first option I considered was the Alpine Retrofit kit from BMW. I contacted the dealer where I purchased my car and they wanted around $1100 installed. While I am a believer in having BMW service the vehicle, that seems overpriced for what you are actually getting.

I then decided to take a drive down to the local car audio chain (Car Toys) here in Denver, CO. After speaking to an installer that I was referred to, he recommended Focal (which I had in the past and like a lot) but wanted to do 5 1/4 components in the front and 5 1/4 rears with amp and clean-sweep. It didn't seem like they had much advice on the under seat subs.

After all that, I've really been leaning towards Musicar's Level One system. It's a little bit more than I wanted to spend and not 100% sure if I want to attempt the install myself or not. I really like that their systems are plug and play, don't require any cutting, or removal of the headunit. I have sent them an email through their website to get more info.

Any help or advice is greatly appreciated. If it helps I listen to mostly electronic music, with some hip hop and rock mixed in. Thanks all!
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      02-20-2013, 12:28 AM   #2
ctuna
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Have you read the audio upgrade sticky.

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=641323

MusicarNw system are a complete solution and not that hard
to install if you are reasonably competent with tools and cars.

There are many examples of system in that thread. I would ignore
the rear in favor of the under seats.

The price of quality speakers seems to be rising as fast as the price of
gas in California.

There is enough info to piece something together if you want to just
be sure to get a Harness .
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      02-20-2013, 01:29 AM   #3
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I too have a 2010 335, which had the base stereo. Like you, I found myself doing lots of research and being overwhelmed by the complexity of the audio systems in recent BMWs. Improving it is certainly not straightforward like it may be for other cars.

About a year ago, I installed a MusicarNW Level 2 system as a DIY. I had been toying with mods here and there on cars but nothing major, and I had very few issues installing the system provided by MusicarNW. Ken the owner really knows his stuff and was really quite helpful through the process, and the system exceeded my audiophile-like expectations and is one of the most awesome audio systems I have ever heard, in or out of a car. I really mean this because I was a critical listener of home audio systems first.

I can heartily recommend MusicarNW systems and the service they provide. It is truly plug and play. Ken gets very busy but if you get his attention, he is going to go out of his way to help you out!
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      02-20-2013, 04:09 AM   #4
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$1100 is not that bad for a retrofit.
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      02-20-2013, 11:57 AM   #5
two24studios
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Thanks for the input everyone. I know these threads are probably getting tiresome and that there are a LOT of examples already here (which I've dug through)

I just wanted to make sure I wasn't overlooking any other solid options out there.

I received a response from Ken at MusicarNW and WOW, he did an awesome job explaining all my options. I think I am going to move forward with them... like I said, it's a little more than I wanted to spend, but I am firm believer that you get what you pay for!
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      02-20-2013, 03:58 PM   #6
two24studios
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericinca View Post
I too have a 2010 335, which had the base stereo. Like you, I found myself doing lots of research and being overwhelmed by the complexity of the audio systems in recent BMWs. Improving it is certainly not straightforward like it may be for other cars.

About a year ago, I installed a MusicarNW Level 2 system as a DIY. I had been toying with mods here and there on cars but nothing major, and I had very few issues installing the system provided by MusicarNW. Ken the owner really knows his stuff and was really quite helpful through the process, and the system exceeded my audiophile-like expectations and is one of the most awesome audio systems I have ever heard, in or out of a car. I really mean this because I was a critical listener of home audio systems first.

I can heartily recommend MusicarNW systems and the service they provide. It is truly plug and play. Ken gets very busy but if you get his attention, he is going to go out of his way to help you out!
When you did your Level 2 system, did you upgrade the factory rear speakers or add a sub in the trunk?
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      02-20-2013, 04:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by two24studios View Post
When you did your Level 2 system, did you upgrade the factory rear speakers or add a sub in the trunk?
I considered both of these options.

Ken convinced me that rear speakers were put there by "commies" and weren't necessary to upgrade. I decided to go along with his recommendation, which saved me some bucks, and I have to say I never missed them. The sound from the front speakers are so much louder when seated at the front that the rears are hardly audible, and you are probably purchasing this system for yourself the driver. Seated in the rear, you can notice the sound is not as good, but not by too much. The sound from the under-seat woofers and upgraded fronts continue to be noticed from the rear.

Re: the trunk sub, it wasn't necessary for me, since I don't listen to much rap (which was Ken's recommendation). The under-seat woofers are much improved and exhibit very, very strong bass, but you might ask about the differences between the various packages in terms of the woofers.
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      02-20-2013, 04:37 PM   #8
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Sorry to post slightly off topic, but does anyone know of a better way to get ahold of Musicar? I emailed them through their website, PM'd VP electricity, and called them almost a month ago. No replies.
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      02-20-2013, 04:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericinca View Post
I considered both of these options.

Ken convinced me that rear speakers were put there by "commies" and weren't necessary to upgrade. I decided to go along with his recommendation, which saved me some bucks, and I have to say I never missed them. The sound from the front speakers are so much louder when seated at the front that the rears are hardly audible, and you are probably purchasing this system for yourself the driver. Seated in the rear, you can notice the sound is not as good, but not by too much. The sound from the under-seat woofers and upgraded fronts continue to be noticed from the rear.

Re: the trunk sub, it wasn't necessary for me, since I don't listen to much rap (which was Ken's recommendation). The under-seat woofers are much improved and exhibit very, very strong bass, but you might ask about the differences between the various packages in terms of the woofers.
Awesome... I'm going the same route as you. I had previously considered upgrading those rears, but it seems like a lot more work plus the increased cost. Thanks again for your input!
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      02-20-2013, 04:42 PM   #10
two24studios
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnson47376 View Post
Sorry to post slightly off topic, but does anyone know of a better way to get ahold of Musicar? I emailed them through their website, PM'd VP electricity, and called them almost a month ago. No replies.
You might want to just drop them another email. I sent a message to them through their website last night and they got right back to me.
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