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amauvis

E39 DSP Amp

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Hi All,

 

I've been struggling recently with a Dynavin N7 installation. It's in and it works (worked) but a couple of days ago, all sound stopped. I also saw that the unit is no longer responding to steering wheel input (i.e. the volume button graphic no longer appears), and the forward/back S/W buttons have no effect.

 

Reconnecting the original MID, and the DSP button is non-responsive.

 

The Dynavin itself displays FM and DAB details fine, so it is receiving input. A bit of research suggests that the steering wheel buttons operate the amp, and just before I lost sound altogether, the sound quality from digital input (DAB) was really poor, like a poorly tuned FM station. Also, for some years now the left rear parcel shelf speaker sound has been poor quality, which I put down to a blown speaker or some sort of rattle. I have a brand new one that I had not yet fitted. But with this, and the sudden poor quality across the board before entire loss of sound, is it fair to suspect that the DSP amp has died?

 

And if that's fair, does anyone have one for sale? Car is a 98 (S) 528i SE.

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Hi,

 

You'll find listings for the DSP amplifier but you'll need to ensure you get the one compatible with your build date year. The DSP amp was BMW's specifications and the OEM manufacturing partners were Philips, Lear, Becker and Alpine. I can't quite remember if each of them made the DSP amp, definitely Lear as I sold mine some 18/24 months ago. I think you can use ones from the E53 and/or different model / revision number years but you may need to code them to your car - some more research for you there. 

 

The above assumes you find a working unit as well. As you've discovered or discovering, there's no specialists that repair faulty DSP amplifiers as BMW didn't release any schematics for their audio systems of the era (maybe they still don't?). So, chances are if you do get a working one, then sooner or later, that one will also fail. Of course, it may last a good while longer as well. 

 

I'd suggest a better alternative is to ditch the DSP amp and also the old DSP speakers and use a modern 4/5 channel amplifier with upgraded front 2 way component speakers and rear co-axial ones instead. As an interim, you could use the N7's on board amplifier stage and run the upgraded speakers directly off it whilst you research/evaluate/save up for the amplifier and subwoofer solution you prefer. 

 

As for current testing, disconnect the DSP amp, steering wheel control interface/connections etc, so just the N7 on it's own. Find a known working speaker and connect to each speaker level output. If it all seems ok/fine, then it may well be the DSP amp that's failing/failed. If you get the bad audio output, then it's likely the N7 is faulty.  You'll need to contact the N7's seller to see if they'll replace under warranty, assuming you purchased from the Dynavin UK importer or authorised seller? If it turns out it's the N7, I'm not surprised really, they're made using low grade and quality electronics like all the chinese made replacement type units, so fingers crossed you get proper support/warranty from the seller. 

 

Cheers, Dennis!

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Thanks Dennis, as you probably guessed, the question was more for you than anyone else, and your answers are always detailed, concise and helpful. What let me to suspect the amp was the sudden failure of the steering wheel buttons. I was also thinking of yanking out the N7, reconnecting the factory Business radio and MID and seeing if anything changes - I just need to find some garage time to do it..

 

I also discovered that there are a wide range of variants of the DSP amp available and I just know that I'm bound to get it wrong. I also read that coding of a new/replacement amp would be unavoidable. But, while searching online for info, I found this:

 

http://www.bba-reman.com/gb/catalogue/detailedproduct.aspx?detailedproduct=2217

 

If what they say is true, I can be back up and running with a stock amplifier (i.e. mine) that might offer elongated service. So perhaps an enduring repair is the way to go. I had a positive experience with a similar outfit getting my E60 CCC fixed.

 

In terms of alternatives, I also saw from one of your posts about the possibility of using a 5 channel amp with a ten way crossover but the llink in that post didn't go anywhere any more. Truth be told, I am happy enough with the output from the (functioning) DSP system and have no burning desire to improve it (although accept that it is improvable), so would be happy enough with it's restoration. That said, I'm not against springing for a replacement but one thing I absolutely want to avoid is a big, boxy sub in the boot impingeing on available space. I know there are limitations to boot space with the Nokia subs but I've learned to live with that limitation, and it is a far more elegant solution.

 

Have you heard of BBA-Reman. I'm reasonably sure I have but can't remember the occasion or context.

Edited by amauvis

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Hi,

 

I have indeed heard of BBA Reman, they did my ABS unit exchange. From your link, they are offering an exchange unit in place of an old faulty one so it's your only option as I don't know of anyone else repairing these. There may well be some one else though saying that, just not seen them as yet !

 

The 10 way crossover solution was from a seller in the USA and over a period of about a year or so, those who purchased got their units. Some didn't sound right and a proportion of buyers complained and wanted fixes. With some bad customer service, those fixes didn't happen and it all ended with bitterness from the customers but suprisingly also from the seller who posted up some terrible responses. 

 

I prefer aftermarket equipment as I mention above, the performance increase Vs money spent is much greater than keeping the old oem modules alive! Sods law is you'll fix the DSP amp and something else in the setup will begin to fail/will fail!

 

With modern slimline subwoofers, you'll be very surprised at just how tiny subwoofer enclosures can be! the days of 'having' to have a big enclosure are long gone !

 

Cheers, Dennis!

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