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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 325i base model without HK. I installed an Alpine ILX-W650 some months back along with new component speakers in the front doors. They are so quiet I can barely hear my podcasts and forget about it if the windows are even cracked.

After some research, I've learned that this is likely due to the stock amp being a little bitch. So, I wanted to pick your expertise on the best way to bypass it because I'm confident the speakers will sound better running off power from just the HU. For now I will not be installing an aftermarket amplifier but eventually, I think I will get the KTA-450 which mates to the headunit to pump a little more juice into the speakers as I replace them section by section.

Is it best to just run fresh wire from the HU to each speaker? Can I splice into the harness for the amp and if so, where/how?
 

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Hmm I have a dynavin headunit with an aftermarket amp. Maybe I don’t understand what you are trying to do
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I just want to nix the stock amp and run the speakers off the head unit’s power. Then eventually amp them.
 

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Here’s the problem. The factory head unit sends the amp balanced differential audio signals. The voltages of these signals are higher than the typical line level (aka RCA) signals (~2vac vs 0.5vac). Your new head unit is likely sending line level signals to the factory amp. That’s why the volume is so low. Be advised that the factory amp has built in crossovers. So, unless the new speakers have crossovers you’ll have to buy crossovers.

My suggestion is to buy a 4 channel line out converter (LOC) You can buy it at Crutchfield or other audio stores. The LOC allows you to decrease the voltage of speaker level signals. The LOC needs to be adjustable so that you can adjust the audio voltages seen by the factory amp.

I installed an LOC like this in a friends Nissan when he bought an Alpine head unit.


This specific LOC is for a Nissan. You need one for an E46. PAC Audio makes one.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Here’s the problem. The factory head unit sends the amp balanced differential audio signals. The voltages of these signals are higher than the typical line level (aka RCA) signals (~2vac vs 0.5vac). Your new head unit is likely sending line level signals to the factory amp. That’s why the volume is so low. Be advised that the factory amp has built in crossovers. So, unless the new speakers have crossovers you’ll have to buy crossovers.

My suggestion is to buy a 4 channel line out converter (LOC) You can buy it at Crutchfield or other audio stores. The LOC allows you to decrease the voltage of speaker level signals. The LOC needs to be adjustable so that you can adjust the audio voltages seen by the factory amp.

I installed an LOC like this in a friends Nissan when he bought an Alpine head unit.


This specific LOC is for a Nissan. You need one for an E46. PAC Audio makes one.
My plan is to buy the alpine kta-450, as it piggybacks onto my head unit (Ilx-w650). It appears to have built in crossovers.

I’ve already replaced the front door speakers save for the 2.5” mid with a set of components that came with a crossover. The rear deck speakers I ordered are 2 way without crossovers but the alpine amp should handle that should I bypass the OEM?

I’m almost willing to utilize only 4 speakers: front doors woofer/tweeter component, and rear deck. Do away with the 2.5’s altogether. I’m just craving some more volume and clarity. I feel like they’re performing at a lower level than they should be. If I delete the 2.5 mids and have that signal routed to the components i feel like it would be better quality. Finding replacement mids without going bavsound seems impossible as well.

This was all so much simpler in my former 2007 VW Rabbit. I got a 5 channel amp, wired the fronts and tears and a sub and even the stock paper speakers sounded amazing. With very little effort. I feel like the bmw OEM non-HK amp is a hinderance rather than an asset to sound quality.

Thank you all for your responses thus far. Please add more if anyone has insight. There’s more than one way to skin a cat, right? I appreciate you.
 

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I replaced the mids in my old 2001 330Ci (non-HK) with a pair of 2” full range speakers. I think I bought them at Parts Express but a) that was years ago, and b) I’ve heard the quality of the speakers has dropped considerably.
 
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