2002 BMW M3

“I bought my 2002 M3 convertible in November 2006.  It had the optional Harman Kardon sound system, but for the life of me I couldn’t understand why anybody would pay money for such a horrible sound system.  At high speeds with the top down my ears would literally hurt if I was listening to music at any decent volume level.

For three years I have tried many of the options available to me in order to enhance the sound quality in my car.  I do not want to name names, so I will just say that I’ve tried many of the popular audio brands listed on the BMW forums, and I even went as far as going to an extremely high-priced stereo system “designer” so I could overpay for what turned out to be mediocre results and A LOT of wasted time.  Long story short, I spent upwards of $5,000 only to be disappointed.  My initial budget was less than $1,000 but as you can tell by my severe budget creep, I tend to get obsessed with perfection.

I had written a post on one of the popular BMW forums seeking good stereo installers in the Orange County area.  I was fortunate enough to finally get a good referral, but was unfortunate in that the referral came long after my original post and long after my money was spent.  That good referral was Michael Thompson.

I have been in the information technology business for a long time and due to my experience and relationships I know a lot of great IT professionals.  If I can’t figure something out on my own, I have a handfull of people whom I trust 100% will help me get the right answer.  When it comes to my hobbies I also have people I trust in some areas, but definitely not all.  I have a select few for my auto mechanic, motorcycle mechanic, wood working, plumbing, and HVAC.  Until I met Michael I did not have a trusted provider of car audio services.  To say the very least – now I do.

I prefer to bring a problem to a trusted provider, communicate my requirements, and then leave them alone to get it done.  I don’t bother them, I don’t micro-manage the situation, I just leave my problems with them knowing that when they are done with whatever they are working on I will be happy with the results and will never have to worry about it again.

Unhappy with my overpriced sound system, I brought my M3 to Michael.  Within a couple hours of talking to me and thoroughly understanding my situation and my frustration, he analyzed my sound system and recommended some cost-effective and relatively quick fixes.  He didn’t tell me that I needed to rip everything out and start over, and he didn’t bad mouth the people who installed my system (this is an instant way to tell how professional and experienced somebody is).  He gave me realistic and effective solutions to my car audio problems.  I prepared myself for another round of “let’s see if this guy knows what he’s doing or not”, and handed over my keys.  Michael delivered on his promises, and the expectations he set with me were adequately met.  My audio system sounds far better than it ever did, and this was without any hardware changes!  I instantly knew that Michael is now joining my short list of service providers whom I trust.

I do not often write reviews or give much feedback, except when it is very well deserved – negative or positive.  I am happy to act as a referral for Michael, and if any prospective customer is reading this and wants to talk to me before spending any money with Michael I will take time out of my day to help out.” – Ben Gillenwater, Laguna Hills