Help Support Bigcoupe.com

Factory Looking Headunits

Post in this forum for topics relating to the interior.

Moderators: ron, bfons, GRNSHRK

kylefav390
Bigcoupe supporter
Posts: 143
Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:17 pm
Location: Massachusetts, U.S.

Factory Looking Headunits

Post by kylefav390 » Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:50 am

I've been considering the idea of replacing the factory headunit in my e24, but I hate the look of the flashy modern headunits. Has anyone found a replacement that looks period appropriate, but with modern functions? Or one that doesn't stick out like a sore thumb in our well-aged interiors? 8)

captpkelly
Bigcoupe supporter
Posts: 107
Joined: Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:13 am
Location: Snohomish, WA
Contact:

Post by captpkelly » Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:05 am

I'll be eagerly watching this for replies.

I bought an RMT 200 head unit. It's original equipment on euro VW's. It looks as period correct as I could find, although the main info screen lighting is white. The biggest issue so far is that it isn't designed to operate a power antenna. That has made it a failed plan so far.
Attachments
2014-04-28 20.54.05.jpg
2014-04-28 20.54.05.jpg (1.63 MiB) Viewed 6960 times
GetAttachment.jpg
I apologize for the size of the one pic. I thought I had fixed the issue Grrrrr!
GetAttachment.jpg (9.45 KiB) Viewed 6960 times
1988 M6
US model w/ build date of 3/88

m6dave
Bigcoupe supporter
Posts: 373
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 10:50 am
Location: New South Wales Australia

Post by m6dave » Tue Apr 29, 2014 8:55 am

Nakamichi have a suitable range that sound and look great, here is an example
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nakamichi-MB-X- ... 1091444217

User avatar
sharkfan
Senior Member
Posts: 2111
Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2004 3:14 pm
Location: Guildford, U.K.

Post by sharkfan » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:26 am

I have fitted a Blaupunkt BT400 in both my E34 Touring and my E24;

E34....

http://forum.bmw5.co.uk/topic/81194-jus ... ntry845689

E24....

http://forum.bmw5.co.uk/topic/66431-e34 ... ntry682581

Image

I'm very pleased with them indeed.

User avatar
Finally6
Bigcoupe supporter
Posts: 181
Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:01 pm
Location: Stafford, VA

Post by Finally6 » Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:07 pm

sharkfan wrote:I have fitted a Blaupunkt BT400 in both my E34 Touring and my E24;

I'm very pleased with them indeed.
I like the look in your e24, it looks like it was made for it.

User avatar
Brucey
6 Series Guru
Posts: 9993
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2004 7:17 am
Location: Cambridge, UK

Post by Brucey » Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:59 pm

I can understand the desire for a decent look in the car alright, but the depressing thing is that you can spend $$$£££ etc on the head unit and it is the loudspeakers that let the side down in terms of sound quality.

My 6er had the kick panel Pioneer speakers fitted from new (a dealer option in the UK, where Pioneer stereos outnumbered BMW OEM ones about 10:1 on new cars from the dealer, back in the day).

When the Pioneers clapped out I upgraded the kickpanel speakers to 6x8 ones (with proper cable) and fitted decent 4x6 ones in the front and (to the dismay of others who may have spent a load more time and cash on it than I have) the net result sounds bloody good even with a cheap modern head unit fitted.

So the head unit I have at present was only meant to be a temporary measure ('not good enough to be stolen'), but TBH I can't see the point of kicking it out now unless it blows up or something; it only looks 'wrong' when it is turned on anyway.

If you have nowt but 6x4 speakers in there the sound (mid/bass downwards especially) is always going to struggle, because the enclosures are so poor. You can fit a sub to help things along, but even then there is often a big 'hole' where you have nothing much going on in the upper bass register.

Even with premium rear pods the enclosures are not that great and again without a speaker upgrade in there it won't be very special at all. I think between the crossover/enclosure issues and the reflections off the rear window the treble is liable to turn to mush. Given that amps have moved on a lot in the meantime I'd question retaining the OEM amp too.

So if you are concerned with sound quality, (in terms of listening to rock/pop etc anyway) I think time spent on the speakers pays off much better than that on the head unit; in fact I'd argue that a toppermost Becker, Nakamichi, or Blaupunkt head unit is pretty much wasted on OEM speakers or 6x4s etc in an E24.

If it sounds terrible I couldn't give a monkey's what it looks like, I'm not going to turn it on anyway... :wink:

-just my two pence worth-

cheers
~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

jacko
Bigcoupe supporter
Posts: 412
Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:43 pm
Location: DFW Texas

head unit

Post by jacko » Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:44 pm

I don't use cds in cars anymore.

These are available for about US $100 and work fine.
http://mobile.alpine-usa.com/mobile/product/ute-42bt

wattsmonkey
Bigcoupe supporter
Posts: 1441
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 2:58 pm
Location: Cheltenham, U.K.

Post by wattsmonkey » Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:09 pm

I think the reason the look of the headunit is of such importance in the six is because you can't hear much once you're going over 60mph anyway due to the wind noise!

You only need those speakers because of your Fritz noisebox anyway, Brucey!

The p.o. of my car (or temporary custodian as I owned it before him) has fitted a Pioneer unit which has a choice of LED display colours, including an orangey-red which isn't a million miles from the OBC colour, now I've fixed the light.
"Most of it necessary; all of it enjoyable[!]" LJKS
'84 635CSi, dogleg fun

User avatar
cecotto479
Senior Member
Posts: 921
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:10 pm
Location: Glasgow area UK
Contact:

Post by cecotto479 » Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:23 pm

I like Beckers

Image

I had this in the 325i until last year and replaced it with the Mexico CD.

I also like the Blaupunkts from the E36.

I have this - in CD43 BMW Business CD format in the E24. These are also available much cheaper as Rover or MG versions.

Image

Both of these and other similar ones are for sale.
1989 635 CSi Motorsport
1989 E30 325i Motorsport Cabrio
Bavarian Retro - Classic BMW cars, parts and accessories
Facebook

bpoliakoff
Bigcoupe supporter
Posts: 2684
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:28 pm
Location: scottsdale, arizona
Contact:

Post by bpoliakoff » Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:50 pm

Nakamichi CD400. Looks just right and lighting can be adjusted to match the dash lights. I foud mine by putting a WTB on craigs list. Took 6 weeks for a response and I ended up with a new one for $225. They also show o on Ebay as rebuilt for around $275
81 Euro 635 M90 with motronic. Currently under a complete nut and bolt restoration. Pictures at
flickr.com/photos/bertsphotos.

User avatar
Brucey
6 Series Guru
Posts: 9993
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2004 7:17 am
Location: Cambridge, UK

Post by Brucey » Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:54 pm

wattsmonkey wrote:I think the reason the look of the headunit is of such importance in the six is because you can't hear much once you're going over 60mph anyway due to the wind noise!


are you sure it is a good idea to be scrutinising your dashboard at speed...?
You only need those speakers because of your Fritz noisebox anyway, Brucey!
:shock: :lol: guilty as charged....:wink:
The p.o. of my car (or temporary custodian as I owned it before him) has fitted a Pioneer unit which has a choice of LED display colours, including an orangey-red which isn't a million miles from the OBC colour, now I've fixed the light.


Quite a few Pioneer units have the right colour (near enough) and some Kenwood units have it too. I got as far as converting the colour of a sony head unit, but haven't actually felt the urge to fit it yet..... It has been gathering dust for about five years so far.

cheers
~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Paul Humpage
Senior Member
Posts: 1723
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 3:16 am
Location: Sydney,Australia

Post by Paul Humpage » Tue Apr 29, 2014 8:10 pm

Brucey wrote:
When the Pioneers clapped out I upgraded the kickpanel speakers to 6x8 ones (with proper cable) and fitted decent 4x6 ones in the front and (to the dismay of others who may have spent a load more time and cash on it than I have) the net result sounds bloody good even with a cheap modern head unit fitted.

I'm confused Brucey, the kick panel ones are the front ones aren't they? You say you fitted decent 4x6 in the front and 6x8 in the kickpanels which has got me scratching my head.

I've got really ordinary speakers in mine which i want to replace but i don't want to have to fart around with any modifications.

Thanks
Paul

User avatar
Brucey
6 Series Guru
Posts: 9993
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2004 7:17 am
Location: Cambridge, UK

Post by Brucey » Tue Apr 29, 2014 8:47 pm

sorry Paul I meant the kick panel below the rear seats. I originally thought a PO had fitted them but in fact it turns out that back in 1987 mine left the dealers with some (then cutting edge...) ~160mm Pioneer round speakers in there. Fifteen years later they were (unsurprisingly....) toast.

You can see what I did here;

viewtopic.php?t=2154

cheers
~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

captpkelly
Bigcoupe supporter
Posts: 107
Joined: Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:13 am
Location: Snohomish, WA
Contact:

Post by captpkelly » Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:50 am

I neglected to point out in my first post that the VW head unit has Bluetooth, as well as the USB and AUX ports on the front panel seen in the pics. BT was kindergarten simple to set up!

Pat
1988 M6
US model w/ build date of 3/88

Paul Humpage
Senior Member
Posts: 1723
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 3:16 am
Location: Sydney,Australia

Post by Paul Humpage » Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:50 am

Brucey wrote:sorry Paul I meant the kick panel below the rear seats. I originally thought a PO had fitted them but in fact it turns out that back in 1987 mine left the dealers with some (then cutting edge...) ~160mm Pioneer round speakers in there. Fifteen years later they were (unsurprisingly....) toast.

You can see what I did here;

viewtopic.php?t=2154

cheers
Thanks Bruce, that makes sense. I've thought now and then about putting a pair where you have but it strikes me as too much effort. The BMW system even though mine's an expensive Becker Mexico tape deck is rather pedestrian and really needs improving so maybe i might get around to doing something one day. One day.

Regards
Paul

User avatar
Brucey
6 Series Guru
Posts: 9993
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2004 7:17 am
Location: Cambridge, UK

Post by Brucey » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:36 am

I obviously had holes there already but if you don't it is quite a big change -although the carpet is a separate section at that point so the change is cosmetically reversible at least.

If you don't want to make a permanent change to the car then better rear speakers can go into the rear speaker pods or the rear side trim panels. In both cases spare trim pieces can be bought and the old ones retained in original condition.

However, the rear pods are acoustically compromised, especially if no port is cut through into the boot (trunk). Also dust will settle on the loudspeaker. Even with a fine grille cloth some will get through. This is a dirty little secret that the loudspeaker manufacturers keep schtum about. When you go shopping for new drive units the vast majority of single units (with several voice coils) will have a tweeter etc mounted on a post in the middle of the main speaker. The gap at the sides of the post will either be open, or it will have a foam seal. If you want a horizontally mounted speaker not to fill up with dust (and eventually fail) then a foam seal is a good idea. However the seal itself will rub slightly (if it doesn't the seal isn't perfect) and this usually makes the diaphragm compliance go way down, killing the bass response. So if you want the best bass response you need the sort of speakers that have no foam seal, and either mount them vertically or find another way of living with the dust issue.

I think that 6" round units can be mounted in the rear side trim panels and that (with extra anti-drumming compound on the panels behind) it might even sound OK too. But... I have a worry that unless you have black trim and black speakers, with flush grilles (tricky, the surface is curved) it is just going to look terrible; the speakers are otherwise going to be the first things you will see in the back of the car. I have a set of beige side trims for my car ready to have a go with, but I have not thought of a way of making it look half-way decent yet.

cheers
~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

jumbee
Bigcoupe Contributor
Posts: 116
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:49 pm
Location: NYC

Post by jumbee » Thu May 01, 2014 5:41 am

BMW CD43 is perfecto
88 635i
87 325iC

kylefav390
Bigcoupe supporter
Posts: 143
Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:17 pm
Location: Massachusetts, U.S.

Post by kylefav390 » Thu May 01, 2014 7:15 pm

great examples, anyone know of one that has a USB hookup?

bkats
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:57 pm
Location: California

Post by bkats » Tue May 13, 2014 11:11 pm

The Kenwood (and Alpine if you are willing to spend the money) look pretty good. (i.e. lots of black, changeable backlighting, minimal shiny parts, mostly rectangular buttons) Most of them have USB now.

check out crutchfield.com

Be aware that the factory unit barely fits in cars with AC and only really fits because the harnesses face upward. Modern units have harnesses that come out the back, so preferrably pick a unit that is 1/2 to 1" shorter in depth than factory, again if you have AC.

I was considering the Kenwood Excelon series, but ended up with an Alpine CDE-154BT

I even got my Alpine to backlight amber to match my OBC
1989 BMW 635 Csi

User avatar
jps635
Bigcoupe supporter
Posts: 685
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 10:50 pm
Location: NZ

Nakamachi Cd400

Post by jps635 » Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:27 am

Hi bpoliakoff.

Noticed you have commented on a number of threads regarding the Nakamichi CD400. Realise they are old stock now.

Did this fit in the dash ok - depth?

Thanks
Chris
'85 635csi JPS (RA2-66)

bpoliakoff
Bigcoupe supporter
Posts: 2684
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:28 pm
Location: scottsdale, arizona
Contact:

Post by bpoliakoff » Thu Apr 30, 2015 3:44 pm

I have not installed mine yet. However, from what I have read on various forums over the years, it will fit. I understand it will be a very tight fit and the problem, IIRC, is the wiring has to be very tight to the unit so the little bit of extra room needed can be obtained
81 Euro 635 M90 with motronic. Currently under a complete nut and bolt restoration. Pictures at
flickr.com/photos/bertsphotos.

User avatar
WelshBentleyBoy
Posts: 80
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:17 pm
Location: Cardiff UK

Post by WelshBentleyBoy » Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:21 pm

I have fitted a Clarion NZ502E in my E24. It does the lot.
Retractable touch screen
Radio
Cd
DVD
Bluetooth
IPod
Satnav
Camera fitting.

With the Screen retracted it is relatively unobtrusive but as a 1din unit it fits perfectly
Attachments
P1010015.JPG
P1010015.JPG (682.6 KiB) Viewed 5508 times
Paul
WelshBentleyBoy

User avatar
pummer
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2014 10:12 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Post by pummer » Thu Apr 30, 2015 11:13 pm

CD43+GROM. Done deal. Looks legit and does it all.

User avatar
jps635
Bigcoupe supporter
Posts: 685
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 10:50 pm
Location: NZ

Post by jps635 » Fri May 01, 2015 9:05 am

Thanks Bert. By all accounts you've had that a while. Specs say is 3mm longer than the BP I have. From what I can gather any issue will be with the RCA jacks for aux input.

Cheers Chris
'85 635csi JPS (RA2-66)

Greenedoggie
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2014 2:52 pm

Post by Greenedoggie » Thu May 07, 2015 2:24 pm

I just finished a complete audio install, replacing all speakers, wires, amplifier and headunit. Wanted to keep things somewhat retro, so I ended up choosing the Nakamichi MBVI, which is a single-din 6 cd changer. For more music options, I have a Onyx XM player wired into Aux1, and I can tap my phone into Aux2. Only downside is it doesn't have Bluetooth. I like the ability to customize the backlighting (I chose amber & red) which is fairly close to factory. Got it NOS on ebay for $200. Went with Polk Audio speakers front and back with monster cables running to 700w Kenwood Amp. Total install was less than $600, and the sound quality is pretty good.

One note about the MBVI - it is a very tight fit. Took a lot of work to arrange the wires behind the unit - ended up pulling them down and to the side of the unit. Sits pretty flush, but it wasn't easy.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests