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Advice on New Head Unit Please

Discussion in 'GadgetZ, GismoZ and Bling' started by Varptr, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. Varptr

    Varptr Regular Member
    British Zeds

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    Hi,
    I have just taken ownership of a very nice Z3 which came with an Alpine CDE-9881RB head unit and Harmon Kardon speakers. I don't know much about this system so to start with maybe someone could enlighten me as to whether the HK part of this setup is just speakers or a power amp as well? There is a HK sub between the seats (where a storage box used to be). It sounds good.
    I want to replace the head unit for one which will allow bluetooth music streaming and hands free mobile phone usage from an iPhone 6. I am currently looking at the CDE-133BT.
    Does anyone have any experience of this unit and would it be a straightforward replacement?
    Thanks
     
  2. t-tony

    t-tony Zorg Expert (I)
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    Firstly, Varptr, welcome to the forum. I fitted a Sony unit in my car last year partly to update but it has USB and aux on the front only. Zedonist will be around later and he is very knowledgable on this subject. You might like to introduce yourself on the introduction page, with some details and pictures of your car?:)

    Tony.
     
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  3. GazHyde

    GazHyde The Gaz Monkey
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    Hi Varptr,

    What year is your Z3 so we can get an idea of which HK system you have.

    My own experience of switching the head unit over is documented here. https://zroadster.org/articles/bmw-z3-radio-head-unit-removal-and-replacement.70/

    I went with a Sony MEX BT3800U head unit which provides bluetooth, USB, AUX in etc. The only thing I don't like about the unit is the white LED on the front is stupidly bright at night.

    He definitely is, but is away for the next week. However, acting as his proxy for the time being his current setup is documented here -
    https://zroadster.org/threads/zedonist-z3-audio-setup.5334/
     
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  4. Varptr

    Varptr Regular Member
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    Hi,
    Thanks for the replies. Car is 2001 and (hopefully) here is a picture of the sub if that helps, I've not tried to remove the lid from the locker to see what's inside.
     

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  5. GazHyde

    GazHyde The Gaz Monkey
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    Mines a 2001, and you probably have the same system. Not much excitement when you take the top of the sub off, just the speakers!

    The amp on mine sits in the carpet lump the autochanger hangs from (not sure if you have that or not). If you look at the picture, it's in the area behind the two black carpet plugs.

    With mine just changing the head unit as per the article I posted was adequate to improve the sound. Didn't touch the amp in any way.

    2013-07-11 14.32.02.jpg
     
  6. Varptr

    Varptr Regular Member
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    I don't have the auto changer, was this picture taken in the boot? If so maybe I have an amp in there.
     
  7. Lee

    Lee Zorg Guru (V)
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    I just had a new headunit fitted. I have an earlier version of the Harmon setup with the centre sub. I went for a top of the range alpine with a parrot system for handsfree calling. came with all the usb/bluetooth toys. The headunit plus all the fitting came in at £280 and saved me having to pull my dash apart and fit the mic.

    IMG_0694.JPG IMG_0695.JPG

    Lee
     
  8. GazHyde

    GazHyde The Gaz Monkey
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    Yes the picture is the boot. Do you have the lump in the carpet in the back left corner?
     
  9. Varptr

    Varptr Regular Member
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    No lump in the boot. Maybe the head unit contains it's own amplifier?
    I want to be sure whatever I buy as an uprade is going to work.
    I currently have CDE-9881RB.
     
  10. GazHyde

    GazHyde The Gaz Monkey
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    There will be an HK amplifier in the car (somewhere). The ISO connector converts the BMW wiring loom to match whichever head unit you have, so as long as you buy the to match the new unit it's a straight swap out.
     
  11. Varptr

    Varptr Regular Member
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    Thats very pretty.
     
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  12. t-tony

    t-tony Zorg Expert (I)
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    With the Sony units you can choose the colour of the background and illumination.

    Tony.
     
  13. Varptr

    Varptr Regular Member
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    OK thanks.
    Anyone used the Alpine CDE-133BT?
     
  14. Varptr

    Varptr Regular Member
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    Finally got around to taking the current unit out and the RCA connectors are not being used, just the multi-way connector, I guess this means I have no additional amplifier in the car.
    About to order a CDE-173BT as a replacement.
     
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  15. hard top

    hard top Zorg Expert (I)
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    This was in the car when I bought it, VDO Dayton, I did not realize that it had navigation until it started flashing up that I was over the speed limit.......:bag:
    Great bit of kit.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Lee

    Lee Zorg Guru (V)
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    Did you return it to the museum @hard top when you finished using it? =))
     
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  17. hard top

    hard top Zorg Expert (I)
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    Haha @Lee yes, I think its as old as the car and has been in it since day one.
    Must have cost the guy (I bought the car from the first owner who is a car collector) a small fortune at the time. 18 years young last October.......
     
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  18. DivideBYZero

    DivideBYZero Zorg Legend

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  19. oldcarman

    oldcarman Zorg Guru (V)
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    I agree it is better looking than the sony which I have now! It is very similar to Gaz's if not the same and I think it looks horrible in the dash.Will definitely get something different as I can't get it to work with the exception of the CD. And it talks to me or is it the drugs I take? JIM
     
  20. David Cullen

    David Cullen Zorg Legend
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    i have a flip up screen in mine which has usb and line in for phone, i have a camera wired up to it also and usually have fast and furious tokyo drift playing while driving lol mainly for the music but also have music video cds which i play, just like the flip up screen factor :)
     

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