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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > AUDIO/VIDEO + BLUETOOTH + Electronics/Alarm/Software > Alpine HiFi Retrofit Kit Upgrade



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      05-12-2016, 11:59 AM   #1
KhaosKid
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Alpine HiFi Retrofit Kit Upgrade

Hello everyone,

I've lurked on this forum for quite a while and recently decided to upgrade to the OEM Alpine kit and provide some information on this kit because people seem to always have questions about it and it seemed like the easiest option (that I could DIY) and reviews said it improved the sound of the disappointing base audio system substantially. P.S. I have the 2011 323i with the bmw Professional radio (SA 663).

I haven't actually installed it yet because I'm still waiting on the window frames (dealer screwed up the part numbers) but I thought I would post pictures of the kit since I have not seen any pictures of this version of the kit online. As you can see the packaging is slightly different than other pictures online, and the stickers on the back of the speakers provide more information about the speakers.

If you have any questions let me know. I'll update this thread after I install it (within 1-2 weeks) and give a review of the sound quality. I'm not an audiophile but I appreciate good-sounding music so I think this kit will do it for me

Part numbers:

Alpine Kit (Post 03/2009 version): 65 41 2 163 268 - There is another part number for cars made before 03/2009 (65 41 2 167 061)

EDIT: I have finished installing the kit in my garage. It took me about 5 hours to do everything by myself, but it really helps to have someone close by when putting the door pieces back on - otherwise it's going to be frustrating.
****IMPORTANT INFO ABOUT INSTALLATION**** In addition, the install instructions online were WRONG. Just match the wire colors of the diplexer to the wire colors of the tweeter/midrange speakers and you're good to go (so yellow to yellow and blue to blue - the instructions say yellow to blue and yellow to blue). I couldn't get the coding to hifi to work yet, but surprisingly the system sounds good with treble set to 0 and bass to whatever. The tinny aspect of the system goes away when treble setting is at 0, and after about 5 hours of use the speaker have 'settled in' a bit more. I can't really tell it's not coded so going to leave it like that for now.

Final note: one of my underseat (stock) subwoofers blew - I don't know if it was because of the amp or if one of my buddies messed it up? who knows but the stock woofers aren;t that great. the system is definitely lacking some bass, and isn't complete without a bass upgrade which I will do in the near future.

edit: THE OTHER SUBWOOFER ALSO popped, so i guess the amp pushed them too far.

Final thoughts:
This upgrade was worth the money in my opinion, especially because of how easy the DIY part was - everything is plug and play and saved money on install. Just go slow and easy and you won't break anything - the car is well made IMO and doesn't break that easily. BavSound has guides on how to remove and replace door cards and the tweeter housings on youtube. Will update when I install the logic7 subs i got used from another car.

The system is much more sharp/clear/CRISP and doesn't/rarely distorts on high volume. You can really crank it up much louder than the base system and maintain the clean sound. Didn't like the tinniness of tweeters at first but with treble set to 0 and breaking in, they sound good now.
EDIT: See 'CODING NEEDED?' section - the tinniness went away when I coded to HIFI
I really enjoy how the sound stage has moved up because of the higher positioning of the tweeters - feels like the sounds coming straight at your face, rather than from somewhere below you. When you listen to this system, you know it's a premium audio system, the base system just sounded crap in comparison.

**CODING NEEDED?*** : I tried the kit without coding for a week because at first it sounded pretty good and at that time I thought it was fine and doesnt need coding. Also, I tried coding for 5minutes and failed... xD. So after a week, I noticed that certain frequencies were distorting that I didn't even notice before. Basically some of the highs and some of the lows were distorting while mids were fine. So I tried adding $676 to the VO list again and coded all the modules and it worked xD. Sound is a lot more muted from the back speakers but can't really notice even if you're sitting in the backseat because the fronts are quite loud and the bass is decent. The distortion is gone, as well as the brightness/harshness of the system people usually complain about on the forums.

EDIT: I bought a pair of Logic7 (L7) subwoofers taken off a 2011 335i (chose to get LCI subwoofers for my lci car to make sure it fit - didn't know if pre-lci would work and didn't want to risk it). So after installing the new woofers which was pretty easy, I have to say that I'm REALLY satisfied by the way my car sounds now! The bass is bumping and from +6 - +8 sounds really nice and actually has some kick to it now. You can feel it through the seat now when turned up. I would highly suggest the L7 subwoofers to anyone who gets the alpine upgrade. IDK if it was because i didn't code to hifi for the first week, but my stock woofers popped. Just to confirm, in a 2011 323i these underseat woofers were 8", same as the L7 ones. however they are like 6 pounds lighter and the domes are made of flat fabric! they look so cheap (and obviously can;t handle amp power)! And the speaker dome is glued to the enclosure thats why i ordered subs WITH the enclosures.

Remember to take off the rubber backing of the sub thats left in the car before installing the new one with its backing., otherwise it won't fit. Don't strip your seat screw like i did and have to take your car to the mechanic and waste a bunch of time and feel like an idiot lol. use a proper Torx bit to remove seat screws lol not a hexagonal key.. its just $25 for a full torx kit for all your bmw needs from home depot xD.

OH BTW pro tip: you will need a 1-2" extension at the least to get to the nut that holds in the subwoofers on the left side of the enclosure.

Pictures:










Last edited by KhaosKid; 06-02-2016 at 11:31 PM..
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      05-12-2016, 02:09 PM   #2
dowlinr
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How much did you pay for the kit? I've been thinking about doing this for a while as mine sounds abysmal.

I see it's £354 including shipping here:
http://www.schmiedmann.co.uk

What HU do you have? Will this require coding?
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      05-12-2016, 02:10 PM   #3
dowlinr
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Just noticed you are Canada so any comparison in price is irrelevant
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      05-12-2016, 09:23 PM   #4
KhaosKid
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You can get it from schmiedman

Last edited by KhaosKid; 06-05-2017 at 02:58 AM..
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      05-22-2016, 06:17 AM   #5
lifeofjono
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dowlinr View Post
How much did you pay for the kit? I've been thinking about doing this for a while as mine sounds abysmal.

I see it's £354 including shipping here:
http://www.schmiedmann.co.uk

What HU do you have? Will this require coding?
Last I checked, Leebman24 has it around £20 cheaper and includes doorframe and delivery too.
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      04-18-2021, 06:20 PM   #6
KhaosKid
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5 year update: (all prices are canadian dollars)
I recently found my receipt for the parts.
For anyone still wondering, i paid 460$ CAD for the kit, 120$ CAD for tweeter housings (sedan), and about 150$ CAD each for the two Logic7 Subs. All in it was basically $900.

If you can get the entire system for this price or maybe even up to 1000$ I believe it’s worth it. You can find it used for substantially less if you are lucky.

So many people have told me how crisp and nice my audio system sounds that at this point I KNOW that anyone who sits in my car will compliment it eventually and ask if its upgraded. Doesn’t matter if they are an audiophile like me or just a (filthy) casual. They are usually shocked when i tell them i don’t have a sub in the trunk.

The sound is crisper than the Hifi system at higher volumes, and it gets a little louder, and the balance between the subs channels and front channels is tuned better, so one doesn’t really overpower the other. In other words the bass-to-mids/treble ratio is really good. There is also enough bass that people think I have a sub in the trunk.

After 4 years i still have no complaints, I would definitely upgrade the BASE stereo system if I had it, especially because thw type of music I listen to has a lot of treble and bass (think hip hop, rap, EDM). At HIGH volumes (like 75%-100%) the audio fidelity of this system is better than the Hifi system and on par with the Harman Kardon/Top HIFI system. Although HK system gets louder simply because there are more speakers.

Switch position 1 is LOUDER and definitely provides a little more bass and maybe a little more treble and mids in terms of the amplifiers built in equilizer settings for that switch position. Also the S-vol setting WILL affect the maximum volume of the system, no idea why.

If you code to Hifi, use switch position 1. Position 2 reduces bass and treble as well as the overall max volume, which makes it sound better with the built-in EQ of the ‘BMW Professional Stereo’, I’m assuming.

I HIGHLY, highly, HIGHLY suggest you code it, just dont pay more than like $50-$100, and code multiple features in one sitting to maximize the value of coding (find someone locally, dealer coding isn’t worth it financially, at that point you can pay someone on fiver to do it remotely and buy the cable yourself). I simply added $676 to the VO stored in CAS and NFRM in both expert mode and coding mode (ie with and without manipulation enabled), then turned off car for a while and when I came back used the secret menu to check if coding was set to HIFI (if i recall correctly, you hold the ‘m’ button on bottom left of the Professional stereo and then navigate till you see “hifi” or else the coding did not work)

Can you do it cheaper, and better? Definitely, especially if you buy USED amps and speakers/subs and use a line-out convertor so you can keep the stock stereo. Ideally you still want to code to hifi for less distortion/more clarity or fidelity, be cause amplification works better with a smaller input voltage.
If you do not buy used equipment I dont see how you can get close to alpine systems fidelity for much less than $800.

Finally, the system is loud enough that with all my windows open going around 100-120 kilometres per hour, I cannot hear any wind noise over the music and there is very very very little distortion at that volume.. That was honestly my goal with this upgrade. If you want more bass, get a 10-14 inch sub for your trunk, and maybe buy new rear speakers and amplify them too.


Last edited by KhaosKid; 04-18-2021 at 06:31 PM..
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