E3's stereo installation in his 98 M3/4

Wow! A 10-speaker stereo system? Standard? From the factory? No kidding?

I wish they were kidding! The above sentence is what went through my head with I ordered my 1998 M3 Sedan. After hearing it, I have come to the conclusion that BMW stereo systems SUCK!. And don't even get me started on the Harmon-Kardon system. What a waste! Something had to be done, but it had to be done right!

After doing some serious research online and not willing to settle for the 'bassbox in the trunk' option, I decided on the following setup which I am extremely happy with:

Current Setup
NOTE:Links (below) updated 2/2/03

My primary focus was:

I'll try and add more details later, in the meantime, here are some pictures.


My Empeg MP3 stereo. If you want an excellent MP3 player with tons of storage space, this is it! (Not to mention the uber-geekness of a stereo that runs Linux.) (Note: The "Red" lense from Empeg matches the "BMW orange" color perfectly, but the brightness is severely reduced. The standard blue lense offers the best visiblity in all lighting conditions.)

My "Old" Blaupunkt 'Toronto' head unit. I consider this to be the best looking aftermarket stereo for Bimmers. (The VarioColor feature allows you to match the BMW factory illumination color.)

Don't let the tiny tweeter fool you, there is a BIG 7" driver behind that grille! And boy does it sound good. (And no, the tweeter doesn't get kicked around by your feet.)

This is perhaps the best part of the JLAudio stealthboxes- they don't intrude on useful storage space. It is amazing how much bass these puppies put out. And it isn't boomy bass. In fact you really can't hear the bass outside of the car. The tightly sealed trunk really pushes the sound into the cabin.

This was a really tight fit, but I got it in there. I didn't want to impede on the small trunk space, so the side mounting method was the only way to go.