View Full Version : Sound system setup question

08-02-2008, 03:37 PM
Hey guys,

I don't usually post in the Audio/sound forum (because I don't know anything about audio/sound setups) but since I have a question about it, I figured you could help me.

I have an E36 with the OEM setup. Yesterday I got a new deck installed. It's Alpine CDA-9887.

The speakers and amp are OEM and I'm thinking about upgrading them. I wouldn't want a crazy setup that would take 1/2 my trunk space. In fact, I'd preffer an OEM look with the amp hidden away yet powerful enough to support the speakers and possibly a subwoofer if I find a way to instal one without putting a huge box in the trunk.

What are my options? How many channels should the amp have? (The guys who sold me the deck suggested a 5 channel amp)

Help is appriciated,

08-02-2008, 04:45 PM
If I were to get back into the system game today I would pick this up

Small, powerful, nice looking. Its a 5 channel so it could handle any upgrades you wanted to do.

08-03-2008, 11:07 AM
That's the amp that they suggested I get. They had it priced at $600 as well.

08-03-2008, 05:24 PM
That amp will suit your needs pretty well.

Depending on how much you like your spare tire you could do a spare enclosure and it would like really OEM.

08-05-2008, 10:48 PM

I have the same setup as Yours. I am currently running a Kicker 5 channel amp (KX750.5) in one of my cars, but as time progressed, i really feel the lack of power and sound.
It is not a bad choice but You will be very limited. So, i am slowly upgrading.

You can choose a better 4 channel amp, run the fronts on each channel, and bridge the other two for a nice sub for the back.

Or You can run two amps, one for the components, and one for the sub. There are smaller and yet still powerful amps on the market, so You wont loose a lot of space in the trunk.

There are different kinds of subs and setups also. If You go with a sealed setup, the sub needs a very small box. With sealed You get a very tight precise bass sound. The other way is to go ported. The box is bigger and You get deeper bass. Well it depends also on what kind of music You listen to...

Trust me, it will cost You more on the long run to do the "shortcut"

I love my amp, runs amazing, just as a music lover, it does not do justice to me.

Hope it helps

I have some stuff i will be selling so if You need any more help on products, just ask. I run SQ, so i am more involved in higher end stuff.

08-06-2008, 12:23 AM
thanks for the suggestion Ben.

08-06-2008, 09:14 AM
I have had a 4 channel set up with the 2 rear channels bridged to the sub (Rockford amp).

It was decent but like Ben I wanted a little more so I dedicated one amp to the sub and used the rockford for my sound stage. The second amp I used was a large pioneer.

As I liked how this sounded, it was for sure a more labor intensive install and took up more space. I had to get a distroblock, make sure I did not introduce a ground loop, and run 2 rcas (neither of my amps could be daisy chained).

I also had to run larger power wire, and upgrade my big 3 (I will do those again however).

This system was my best one yet, but it didn't look oem, and took up a lot of space (in a truck at that). I won't do something that large ever again because when it got stolen I was almost blinded by rage, and I don't need that stress again.

I would still say if you are going for compact oem look a 5 channel, and a 10 with some good components will be great. But really it depends on what components you get, and how creative you feel like getting with the install.

08-08-2008, 08:02 PM
Yes, wire upgrade is a must! You have to buy a nice amp kit, or have the stereo shop personalize the proper setup for You.

Big 3 is also a must! (great advice - as lot of people skip this!)

And make sure Your alternator is able to support all Your electrical needs. With a bigger system, an alternator upgrade is highly recommended.

Lot of people buy a cap, and believe, that it will solve their problem. Don't be fooled. If You alternator is not strong enough, it will not be able charge Your cap, so basically, it is useless.

Have good power and ground wires, RCA's and the BIG 3!!!
And don't cheap out, do it ONCE do it RIGHT.


I know a great shop if need to be...one of the best in TO.

08-10-2008, 09:50 PM
This system was my best one yet, but it didn't look oem, and took up a lot of space (in a truck at that). I won't do something that large ever again because when it got stolen I was almost blinded by rage, and I don't need that stress again.

Did it get stolen from your house or while it was parked on the street? I can belive that it musta sucked real bad. Turn your systems off when your near your home so ppl dont know you have one.

08-10-2008, 10:45 PM
Nah, go station.

08-11-2008, 04:31 PM
dam even worse. my buddy had his and the two cars beside him, their cat converters got cut while left at the go station. no wonder people dont like taking public transit, they can't trust that their cars are safe