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Thread: Rear Door Speaker install?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    Bmw E46 330i

    Rear Door Speaker install?

    Hey guys, hope all is good for you. I have an E46 330i sedan and I have question that google can't seem to answer. Or maybe I just a bad researcher. So, has anyone ever for the sake of god installed a rear door speaker on an sedan back doors.
    Mine doesn't have any on it. I was looking for a diy, but it seems like there's none anywhere.
    Can somebody help?
    I'd be really grateful,
    Cheers guys.

  2. #2
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    Iím assuming youíre in the US.

    Hereís the problem: all E46s sold in the US have an amp in the left side of the trunk. Itís behind the grey vertical liner. That amp has, I believe, 10 output channels (my 2001 330Ci did). Each channel carries only a specific range of sound frequencies. That is, a channel dedicated to a tweeter will have only upper frequencies that match the design of the tweeter. So your problem would be how to power the speakers. Youíd need a separate amp.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcoZandrini View Post
    Iím assuming youíre in the US.

    Hereís the problem: all E46s sold in the US have an amp in the left side of the trunk. Itís behind the grey vertical liner. That amp has, I believe, 10 output channels (my 2001 330Ci did). Each channel carries only a specific range of sound frequencies. That is, a channel dedicated to a tweeter will have only upper frequencies that match the design of the tweeter. So your problem would be how to power the speakers. Youíd need a separate amp.
    Im not from the US, actually from a small island called Mauritius.
    We have the same models as the UK ones, Rhd. I've already replaced all the stock amps, speakers etc. Replaced with pioneer champion series amps, 1 for subs and 1 for speakers.
    But my question was more in the direction of how to actually install tge speakers in the rear door as there's no stock placement for it as in the front doors. The wiring will be easy.
    It' s just that I wanted to know if there is a diy or something to guide me on what to buy and how to fix the speaker in the door, mounts, adapters to buy etc.
    Sorry if that's a bit confusing. Any help would be most welcome.

  4. #4
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    Hi,

    The rear doors are a bad/terrible location for speakers.

    The tried and tested locations as you go up the sound quality improvement ladder are well known and put simply, work very well indeed.

    In the front and if you require a significant increase in sound quality for a entry level to intermediate level of spend, then the standard locations fine. You can strengthen the door cards and make/install speaker mounting rings which are much more solid and then fit a 2 way component speaker set of your choice/budget. The more soild mount for the 5.25 inch or 6.5 inch component set you get will help them play better. They'll come with an included crossover so you can then put the tweeter in the OEM location in the corner of the window.

    For the rear, which really should only provide a little 'rear fill' the standard location on the parcel shelf is fine. Putting speakers in the rear doors will 'pull back' the stereo imaging/soundstage from the front. The premise of home/car/public audio is to reproduce a scenario if a band/singer were playing live for you. Hiumans use their eyes and ears to determine where sound is emanating from and in the scenario of listing to a live band, then they and all the instruments would be in front of you and spread across horizontally and that's the 'effect' you'll be trying to re-create. There's no instruments/vocals playing from behind you so there's no need to put speakers in the rear doors. If you go higher up in the car audio sound quality performance levels, you'll find many awesome sounding installs with zero rear speakers at all.

    If you are retaining the OEM audio setup then as per Marco's post, there's no provision/capability to drive another set of speakers located there. If you *must* put speakers in the rear doors, then you'd need to have another amplifier and do a custom install, which will cost you a fair/reasonable/big amount for nil/very little gain depending on your perspective.

    Cheers, Dennis!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DennisCooper View Post
    Hi,

    The rear doors are a bad/terrible location for speakers.

    The tried and tested locations as you go up the sound quality improvement ladder are well known and put simply, work very well indeed.

    In the front and if you require a significant increase in sound quality for a entry level to intermediate level of spend, then the standard locations fine. You can strengthen the door cards and make/install speaker mounting rings which are much more solid and then fit a 2 way component speaker set of your choice/budget. The more soild mount for the 5.25 inch or 6.5 inch component set you get will help them play better. They'll come with an included crossover so you can then put the tweeter in the OEM location in the corner of the window.

    For the rear, which really should only provide a little 'rear fill' the standard location on the parcel shelf is fine. Putting speakers in the rear doors will 'pull back' the stereo imaging/soundstage from the front. The premise of home/car/public audio is to reproduce a scenario if a band/singer were playing live for you. Hiumans use their eyes and ears to determine where sound is emanating from and in the scenario of listing to a live band, then they and all the instruments would be in front of you and spread across horizontally and that's the 'effect' you'll be trying to re-create. There's no instruments/vocals playing from behind you so there's no need to put speakers in the rear doors. If you go higher up in the car audio sound quality performance levels, you'll find many awesome sounding installs with zero rear speakers at all.

    If you are retaining the OEM audio setup then as per Marco's post, there's no provision/capability to drive another set of speakers located there. If you *must* put speakers in the rear doors, then you'd need to have another amplifier and do a custom install, which will cost you a fair/reasonable/big amount for nil/very little gain depending on your perspective.

    Cheers, Dennis!
    Hi Dennis,
    Thanks for all the info. Indeed I've thought about that.
    The issue here for me is that the speakers up front do deliver acceptable sound, but its delivering the sound at the bottom znd if the windows are down they kind of get alittle bit lost. Im running V2 pioneers champion series 300w peak. And theres no room for more powerful speakers in the doors. Ive already modified the door panel to fit the V2 due to the magnet size.
    The reason I wanted to install speakers at the rear door was have a more submersive sound, where i'll be having the sound closer to me instead of having the volume high to get the sound from the rear deck.
    Anyway, would you have any suggestions to get a better sound while keeping the original set up? In terms of speakers?
    I have a pair of V2 champs at front and a pair of pro series at the back, both from pioneer, right now.
    Cheers.
    B.

  6. #6
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    Hi B,

    'Sound Quality' means differen things to different people and if it sounds 'good' to you then all is good and you don't have to listen to what anyone else tells you to do! that said;

    You'll need to perhaps read up on some car audio forums and BMW forums where owners have done 'modest' installs following the tried and tested routes similar to what I mention above. What you'll find is no one who's into good/proper/higher performance car audio recommending putting speakers in the back doors.

    Leading on, 300W Peak doesn't really mean anything, it's just marketing blurb and is used to make you 'think' you have fantastic performing speakers. The 'RMS' figure is much more indicative and accurate. Also, the figure is what the speaker can handle in terms of Audio power from an amplifier. So, if your amplifier provides a RMS power output of 65W per channel, then if your chosen speakers 'handle' 100W RMS, you'll get 65W not 100. If you drive the same speaker with a 15W RMS per channel amplifier, you'll get 15W not 100. So, if you are driving your Pioneer V2's with the E46's oem amplifier, you'll be getting perhaps between 7/10W RMS from it. That's very low and fine for the OEM speakers the car came with as they were made to handle around that kind of power (you can power them with a much more powerful RMS amplifier, but you need to be careful with the settings called 'Gain' on the amplifier and also bass level controls etc so as not to overheat the voice coil - when the voice coil overheats, it's damaged beyond economical repair)

    There's plenty more to read up on and learn and it'll all depend on what you want, the kind of sound quality and performance you'd want all tied in with the level of spend you envisage.

    From what you mention, I'd say ensure the front speakers are well and solidly fitted which it seems you've done. The rears don't need as much 'solidity' in real terms as they should be playing at a lower output level to provide a bit of rear fill. It's the front's where the most focus should be in terms of capability and performance - a ratio I'd say for 85-90% Front and just 10% for the rear. What will really make a significant increase for you would be to add a subwoofer solution and drive that and all four cabin speakers from either a single 5 channel amplifier or a 4 channel one for your cabin speakers and a separate mono one for your subwoofer.

    There's a couple of ways to add an amplifier to the OEM setup, a basic one involving speaker to RCA converters (many amplifiers have this function built in) or by using a dedicated sound processor.

    Again, if you still want to place speakers in the rear doors and you aren't overly concerned about imaging, staging and clarity, then you'll need to progress with some sort of build and it'd be for the 'low end' frequencies as they're non directional. If you play mid bass/midrange/high frequencies at the back doors location, you'll lose all the imaging/staging aspects but get that 'more immersive sound' you mention, basically, 'just music/sound' only. To me and those who prefer sound quality and accuracy, this kind of setup doesn't sound good at all. If you want/like it, then press on !

    Cheers, Dennis!

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by DennisCooper View Post
    Hi B,

    'Sound Quality' means differen things to different people and if it sounds 'good' to you then all is good and you don't have to listen to what anyone else tells you to do! that said;

    You'll need to perhaps read up on some car audio forums and BMW forums where owners have done 'modest' installs following the tried and tested routes similar to what I mention above. What you'll find is no one who's into good/proper/higher performance car audio recommending putting speakers in the back doors.

    Leading on, 300W Peak doesn't really mean anything, it's just marketing blurb and is used to make you 'think' you have fantastic performing speakers. The 'RMS' figure is much more indicative and accurate. Also, the figure is what the speaker can handle in terms of Audio power from an amplifier. So, if your amplifier provides a RMS power output of 65W per channel, then if your chosen speakers 'handle' 100W RMS, you'll get 65W not 100. If you drive the same speaker with a 15W RMS per channel amplifier, you'll get 15W not 100. So, if you are driving your Pioneer V2's with the E46's oem amplifier, you'll be getting perhaps between 7/10W RMS from it. That's very low and fine for the OEM speakers the car came with as they were made to handle around that kind of power (you can power them with a much more powerful RMS amplifier, but you need to be careful with the settings called 'Gain' on the amplifier and also bass level controls etc so as not to overheat the voice coil - when the voice coil overheats, it's damaged beyond economical repair)

    There's plenty more to read up on and learn and it'll all depend on what you want, the kind of sound quality and performance you'd want all tied in with the level of spend you envisage.

    From what you mention, I'd say ensure the front speakers are well and solidly fitted which it seems you've done. The rears don't need as much 'solidity' in real terms as they should be playing at a lower output level to provide a bit of rear fill. It's the front's where the most focus should be in terms of capability and performance - a ratio I'd say for 85-90% Front and just 10% for the rear. What will really make a significant increase for you would be to add a subwoofer solution and drive that and all four cabin speakers from either a single 5 channel amplifier or a 4 channel one for your cabin speakers and a separate mono one for your subwoofer.

    There's a couple of ways to add an amplifier to the OEM setup, a basic one involving speaker to RCA converters (many amplifiers have this function built in) or by using a dedicated sound processor.

    Again, if you still want to place speakers in the rear doors and you aren't overly concerned about imaging, staging and clarity, then you'll need to progress with some sort of build and it'd be for the 'low end' frequencies as they're non directional. If you play mid bass/midrange/high frequencies at the back doors location, you'll lose all the imaging/staging aspects but get that 'more immersive sound' you mention, basically, 'just music/sound' only. To me and those who prefer sound quality and accuracy, this kind of setup doesn't sound good at all. If you want/like it, then press on !

    Cheers, Dennis!
    Hey Dennis,

    Thanks again for the reply. Cool info you provided here. I'll get a little more research in before starting anything. And rebuild my set up.
    Cheers,
    B.

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