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View Full Version : can I use the stock speaker wiring?


kruler
05-07-2009, 09:41 AM
I'm about to install a system in my car consisting of the following:

front: MB Quart RCE 213 components
rear: BSW adapters w/ DLS 6x9s
Kicker ZX750.4 4 ch amp (125x4 RMS)

What I'd like to know is can I use the factory wires going from the stock amp to the speakers, or is the gauge too small for the upgraded wattage?

Randy
05-15-2009, 03:50 AM
I dont "know" per say. But I too am installing a set of amplified components, and I'll be running all new wiring. with all the $$ I've put into this beast, I don't want the thickness/purity of the speaker wire to be its downfall.

eta Epsilon
05-15-2009, 06:57 AM
+1 on that.
It will take you 1 or 2 hours to do so and the wires are not expensive.
It's worth it!

spooling
05-16-2009, 05:46 PM
+2 run new thicker gauge wires

Randy
05-28-2009, 09:42 AM
wait, halt.. im rethinking this. I've heard recently that signal cable (ie. speaker wire) doesn't require the 18 AWG wire that we usually use to upgrade it... apparently its all overkill. The car's original wiring diagrams are available off of forums, and can be tapped into and utilized to run after market equipment - several people have done this, and claim there is no sound loss/electrical issues. this type of jig would be cleaner, easier .. smarter?

talk to me.

Blades
05-28-2009, 11:28 AM
best way to find out .. run the speakers loud and if the wire started to get hot .. change it .. otherwise your fine. A better wire may improve sound quality as well.

kruler
06-14-2009, 10:05 AM
wait, halt.. im rethinking this. I've heard recently that signal cable (ie. speaker wire) doesn't require the 18 AWG wire that we usually use to upgrade it... apparently its all overkill. The car's original wiring diagrams are available off of forums, and can be tapped into and utilized to run after market equipment - several people have done this, and claim there is no sound loss/electrical issues. this type of jig would be cleaner, easier .. smarter?

talk to me.

I just installed the speakers and used the factory wiring. BMW used 16AWG for the woofers and 14AWG for the mids and tweets. This is more than sufficient. The wire is also much better quality than anything you would buy in the aftermarket. Its also nice to have all the wires colour coded for reference.

doogee
10-08-2009, 04:51 AM
Hows it sound?

InfiniteDice
10-08-2009, 09:03 AM
Using stock wiring can be done, but they are getting so old, when I did that back in 2001 I had to use a ground loop isolator to get rid of the rpm whine, and you lose resolution doing that.

I'd go with laying new wires and cutting out as much of that crap as possible, including that dumb left right balancer in the dash.

Randy
10-31-2009, 05:14 AM
I did mine (E46) this past summer, and never posted my results - so here it is:

Used stock wiring with amplified components in each door. and the sound is amazing. i won't claim to be an audiophile, but I have a decent ear, and to me, the sound is brilliant.

even my gf noticed how clear and realistic it all sounded ... and she doesn't usually notice anything (related to the car).

I did have some RPM whine, but to correct that I simply rerouted the RCA cable from the deck so it avoided the (+) lead from the battery to the engine (along right side flood panel of the car).

Conclusions: stock wiring is fine (and colour coded in a logical way), I have a (corrected) .jpeg for the wire colour codes used in my car.

es175
11-01-2009, 09:58 AM
I did have some RPM whine, but to correct that I simply rerouted the RCA cable from the deck so it avoided the (+) lead from the battery to the engine (along right side flood panel of the car).

So are you saying that you avoided the (+) power lead by running the RCA cable along the right side? Or does the (+) power lead run along the right side?

tg07lq
11-10-2009, 08:16 PM
ill be using my stock wiring to do mine, wheneveri get around to it lol. hoping this will be sufficient.
ill post up results

Randy
11-13-2009, 04:33 AM
the battery lead runs along the right side of my car (the battery is in the right side of the trunk as well). I ran my rca cables along the left side of the car (driver's side).

es175
11-13-2009, 12:57 PM
the battery lead runs along the right side of my car (the battery is in the right side of the trunk as well). I ran my rca cables along the left side of the car (driver's side).

Thanks for the reply.

How did you get the RCA cables pass the piece of plastic trim where the trunk and hood release is located?

tg07lq
11-13-2009, 02:21 PM
that piece will come off. do you ahve a bently manual ? its pretty simple run in these cars. pull it all off, fish it through and voila your done! even has grommets to pass through to the trunk haha

es175
11-13-2009, 03:54 PM
that piece will come off. do you ahve a bently manual ? its pretty simple run in these cars. pull it all off, fish it through and voila your done! even has grommets to pass through to the trunk haha

Thanks for the info. I don't have the manual yet but I was able to get the wires from the trunk through the hole with the plug.

I will take another look at the piece of plastic trim with the trunk and hood release, my preference is to avoid the side of the car with the power cable if possible.

InFBMW
11-15-2009, 09:39 PM
Stock wires are just fine! I run 150 RMS on stock wires for 2 years with no problem or any sound quality loss. However, I would never regret putting better wires. It's all up to you.

Cheers

tg07lq
11-15-2009, 11:25 PM
its easy to avoid, if you need pics i can send them

bigfeller
12-03-2009, 10:56 AM
As mentioned, the stock wiring is 16 AWG (mids and tweets) and 14 AWG (woofers). This is PLENTY. On top of that, it's all twisted pair wiring of seemingly excellent quality. The E36 chassis is electrically noisey, and twisted pair wiring is designed to minimize induced noise. You'll have to spend a lot of money to get an equivalent quality wire with the same amount of noise suppression designed in.

As for the wires being old, that's not a concern- copper doesn't deteriorate signifcantly over time, and even if you do get some oxidation, cupric oxide acts as a barrier to further corrosion (think of the green copper roofs you see on some older buildings- unlike iron or tin which will continue to rust at an increasing rate as more rust is formed).

Finally, don't believe the hype. Companies spend big marketing money to convince people that their proprietary oxygen free copper and tungsten-welded blah blah is 800% better than the competition. Time after time, independent blind listening test have shown, even in anechoic chambers, that the audible differences in cabling are extremely miniscule, or even undetectable by most ears. Factor in the mobile audio environment, and the difference is even less.

tg07lq
12-03-2009, 01:09 PM
^this
how did you make you make out with the install?
after tearing into my audio i realized the quality of it. its far superior to other OEM equipment. ill be using stock wiring myself.
p.s , post pics?

es175
12-03-2009, 02:03 PM
^this
how did you make you make out with the install?
after tearing into my audio i realized the quality of it. its far superior to other OEM equipment. ill be using stock wiring myself.
p.s , post pics?

Hey tg07lg,

Not sure if you are asking me the question but if you are, I just replied to your pm. Sorry for the delay.

To recap my pm:

I ran my wires from the trunk to the new HU down the left side (thanks for your help with that). I tapped into the speaker wires coming off the HU and kept the stock wiring going to the doors.

I've replaced my front speakers with 5.25 components. Since I didn't run new wire to the doors I had to also stuff the crossover for the speakers in the door as well, turned out not to be a big deal.

Right now I'm finishing up the subwoofer box I built and will install it in a couple of days. I still need to find a good location for my amp, it will likely end up vertically against the left driver side.

doogee
12-03-2009, 10:30 PM
Replaced all my speakers with stock wiring minus the rears. Worked perfectly!

tg07lq
12-04-2009, 09:41 PM
just got the pm now, sounds like it all went well. next step is to post some pics.
ive gotta get around to doing mine, got caught up doing everyone elses that i neglected my own, and now that its cold im sure that will be my excuse for not doing them. i made an mdf rack to hold mine against the quarter by the the d-side light. seems a good location, works well and doesnt interfere. i can shoot ya some pics if you want