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From Tue Dec 28 12:29:52 1999
for <>; Tue, 28 Dec 1999 12:29:52 -0800
Subject: [E36M3] RE:
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 12:29:45 -0800

I am forwarding this I think the list can benefit from this information. I have been banging my head against the wall looking for the best solution in regards to a stereo upgrade to my 95 M3. This is the response I received from the horses mouth.


Yes, I do know quite a bit about the E36 audio system, as I helped to design it while working as the Product Development Manager for BMW until recently. With regards to upgrading your audio system, the weakest link is currently (and unfortunately) the radio. In your 1995 E36, you have what is called the C33 platform, identifiable by having weather band feature.

Since then, the unit has been upgraded 2 more times; the C43 and more recently the CD43. Although the C43 (still a cassette unit) is somewhat better than your C33, the CD43 is substantially better. The CD43, however, is an in-dash CD player. The major difference being the output voltage, which better drives the existing amplifier. All of these units will work in your vehicle with no modifications whatsoever; the power harness, everything, are direct p[lug-ins.

What you currently experience is a low voltage output from the C33, which does not adequately drive (take advantage) of the on-board, external amplifier. Your unit also has a limiter on the upper frequency range in the FM mode, meaning that when you play FM, you never hear anything above 9 or 10K. This was because there was inherent noise from the engine that could not be attenuated, so the radio had to be attenuated. This hurt sound quality in the upper frequency range (sounds muffled).

I eliminated the limiter altogether on both C43/CD43 platforms for US cars. Now the Radio drives the amp better and you can enjoy higher frequency output. These units will work w/o any noise problems in your car.

So basically, what I am suggesting, since you want to retain cosmetic-integration and don't care for cassette, is to get your hands on the CD43. This will also control your CD Changer, if you have one.

Now, of coarse, if you are planning a full blown system with amps, etc, then we need to reconsider my suggestion, since this unit still does not have RCA (line-level) audio outputs, necessary in driving aftermarket amps (properly).

Let me know what you think

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