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      02-01-2013, 02:14 PM   #19
Kirkland Sig
New Member

Drives: 2008 328i Coupe
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Los Angeles, CA

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Originally Posted by scubasteve2365 View Post
I'm one of the guys you PM'd, sorry didn't notice.

My car has the 8400BH and has the Hi-Fi Amp. I do however have an aftermarket amplifier that powers the underseats (upgraded to SWS) and the fronts. The rear are still powered by the HiFi amplifier and they do work. I fade mostly to the front and I haven't really listened to them with any care so I can't speak for the quality.

My upgrade path was this:

1) SWS and JL Amplifier installed with Stock Radio. I did not use Technic's harness but I did the same wiring work. I'm an electrical engineer and am quite comfortable doing this kind of thing. The JL amplifier at this point used the stock radio's level output. (IIRC)
2) I purchased and installed a Dynavin. I did not change any wiring with regards to amplifier feeds (i.e., switch to RCA)
3) Dynavin failed and I purchased the 8400BH. Again, I did not change any of the amplifier feeds but I do plan to run RCAs from the head to the JL amplifier eventually.

Considering that with the Pioneer 8400BH feeds the stock Hi-Fi amp that in turns feeds my rear speakers, I'd say that you can make it work with what you have.

The stock Hi-Fi amp has a very small gauge wire that is the remote turn-on lead. I tapped off of this to turn on my JL amplifier. I want to say this small guage wire extends to the front of the car and is in the harness where you plug in the radio. Look for it in the factory harness. See what pin it corresponds to and make sure that the Pioneer's remote turn-on lead matches to that pin. I want to say that the Metra harness did not match these up and I had to directly wire this turn-on to the Pioneer's remote turn-on lead. I can't say with 100% certainty though because I did this work Last July and again, I'm an electrical engineer that troubleshoots and develops so much it's second nature to me so I identified and solved the issue rather quickly. Enough so at least that I can't remember exact details.
Originally Posted by scubasteve2365 View Post
No, not necessarily. See above. I have the same series Pioneer that feeds into the Hi-Fi amp that in turn powers the rear speakers in my E90. I can't comment on it being a great wonderous sound as I fade to the front 2-3 notches (on the Pioneer). I can say that there isn't any distortion, pops, cracks or overall any issues coming from the rear speakers. Nor is there any noise.

You're probably going to be fine once you get it working. You're not going to win any competitions for quality that's for sure, but it'll probably suit you if you're just a casual listener streaming MP3s/Pandora via Bluetooth and the like.
Thanks Scuba for the detailed description. Very much appreciated.

Originally Posted by cdgatti View Post
Kirkland - did you ever get your aftermarket HU to work?
I apologize for the delayed response but I haven't had time to work on the install since my initial post. Been traveling for work and just haven't had the time. Planning on jumping back into it Saturday morning. I'll update once I do so.

Thanks again everyone for the input!