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  #1  
Old 12-06-2004, 03:55 AM
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95 W124 - 2 kinds of factory sound systems?

1995 W124 brochure says...

'active base sound system' is
- standard on E300 diesel and E320 sedan/cabrio/wagon,
- not available on E320 coupe & E420 sedan,

'high performance sound system' is
- standard on E320 coupe and E420 sedan,
- optional on E300 diesel and E320 sedan,
- not available on E320 cabrio/wagon.

What components do these systems consist of / differ by? Thanks.

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  #2  
Old 12-06-2004, 02:13 PM
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Good question

I've had 2 '95 W124's (E300D's) and both number code plates decoded the car as having the "active bass" type system. I wasn't aware that there even was any other type of system. I'll be interested to see the response, if any.

Rgds,
Chris W.
'95 E300D
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  #3  
Old 12-06-2004, 02:42 PM
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I have the "active bass" system in my E320 wagon: 6 total speakers. Two on top of the dash, made out of paper with foam surrounds and whizzer tweeters built in. A little over 5" in diameter. Two more small 3-4" paper mid-range speakers in the armrest of the rear doors behind a grille. The "active bass" part of the system are two 6.5" woofers located in the bottom panel of each front door. These are better quality speakers in their own plastic housings. In the rear underfloor compartment of the wagon is an amplifier which looks decent sized and drives those two woofers only. End result: a system that basically sounds like garbage. There is never enough bass. Turn up the volume and you get plenty of distortion. There is little musical accuracy to the system. I think the only problems with the system could be resolved by better speakers and perhaps more powerful amps. The head unit is nice enough--it has an auto-seeking weatherband, CD changer controls and prewiring, auto speed-controlled volume, Dolby B & C noise reduction and full-logic cassette. This unit is also used in the S-Class sedans of around the same years 94-97? and is (I believe) the same one in the "Hi-Performance" E-Class system. My guess is very few cars have the better system, just like very, very few W124 E-Classes have the factory-offered switchblade key / keyless entry, or auto-dimming rearview mirror.
Probably the only difference between the high performance stereo and the active bass stereo is better (maybe Bose like the S-Class) speakers and amps.

I am embarassed to have such a lousy system in such a nice car. My 92 Range Rover has an amazing stereo (a/d/s -Range Rover, all seperate amps, wooden subwoofer enclosure, port tuned, liquid-cooled tweeters, 6-CD changer, Weatherband, etc) all factory in 1992. 120 full-bandwith watts RMS; very little T.H.D.
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  #4  
Old 12-06-2004, 02:44 PM
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Door speakers

I believe that the higher-end sound system has bose speakers. My 1995 E420 has, according to the dealer's spec sheet, Option 810 "Bose Premium Sound System". The radio looks like any other 1995 W124, but my guess is that the speakers are better. The bass response is quite good.

Troy
1995 E420 87k
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  #5  
Old 12-06-2004, 04:52 PM
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Lucky you. Where are the speakers located in the car?
I wonder if its possible to retrofit them into the E320?
Sound improvement would be quite nice.
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  #6  
Old 12-06-2004, 05:44 PM
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I hear you guys. Yesterday I took a spin in a 98 S320 which has i think a 11 speaker BOSE system. I think it has component set in front doors. (highs, mids, low) and 4 speakers on rear deck. I think it may also have speakers in dash. Anyways, that system is very nice. Doesn't distort and the sound quality is very good. I wish our W124 E300D came with a similar set up. Currently the E300D has the active base system.


I read few threads about W124s and it seems like its hard to upgrade the speakers due to odd sizes etc..
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  #7  
Old 12-06-2004, 05:47 PM
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Speaker Locations

My 1995 E420 has speakers in the dash, doors, and the rear shelf. I believe that it is a 10 speaker system - so the speakers in the doors and rear are probably mid-low and high-low setup.

I've seen people selling them on e-bay before. It might be as easy as plugging the speakers in - I don't believe that there's any separate crossover for the Bose unit - should be all integral to the speakers.

Troy
1995 E420 87k
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  #8  
Old 12-07-2004, 04:11 AM
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Thank you for the comments.

I have a E320 coupe with stock sound system, so presumably it is the so-called 'high performance' one. It sounds alright to my undemanding ears. However I have not got a chance to compare it to the 'active base' version.

I am quite curious as to how the 2 systems differ in terms of equipment specs or real-life experience -- more input from other members?

PS. Double checking the brochure, it lists active 'base' (rather than 'bass'). Not sure if there is a typo in the brochure though.
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  #9  
Old 12-16-2004, 04:15 AM
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I think 95 E320 coupe has Becker BE1492 head unit -- is it the same model as in other W124s?

Still wondering what differs between 'high performance' and 'active base' systems.
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  #10  
Old 12-17-2004, 01:47 PM
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According to my wiring diagrams, the two systems were "Two piece radio with sound system," and "Two piece radio with active bass." Both used an auxillary amp. The "sound system" uses aux amplifier to power all speakers. The "active bass" system uses aux amplifier to power only the left and right door speaker, which must be the sub woofer?? The rest get head unit only power.

Take a look for yourself, they're not easy to decipher. Wiring diagrams
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  #11  
Old 12-18-2004, 12:07 AM
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These 124's have the ten speaker system.

Two speakers on the dash

Two subs in the front doors

Two three-way speakers on the rear deck to make ten speakers total.

I just purchased a set of Rainbows from La Jolla Audio to replace the dash speakers. The stock one on the right has become spotty lately with an internal wiring problem. I'll let you all know how the Rainbows sound once I install them.
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  #12  
Old 12-21-2005, 12:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfloriII
These 124's have the ten speaker system.

Two speakers on the dash

Two subs in the front doors

Two three-way speakers on the rear deck to make ten speakers total.

I just purchased a set of Rainbows from La Jolla Audio to replace the dash speakers. The stock one on the right has become spotty lately with an internal wiring problem. I'll let you all know how the Rainbows sound once I install them.
I know this post is quite old, but how did the install go? I've got a new-to-me '95 E320 Wagon and trying to sort this all out. Thanks - Jonathan
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  #13  
Old 01-12-2006, 02:45 AM
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My 500 has the 10-speaker system. Here is a photo of what it looks like. There are two amps. One per side, each powering 5 speakers.

The dash speakes have caps on them as a 6 db/oct passive filter. I'm wondering if I should de-solder and retro them to a new set of speakes to keep the balance equal with the door mounted subs.

This now brings up the question of what to do with the 3 speaker clusters (L/R) in the rear. Replace with a good sounding Co-ax or maybe some seperates? Hm.. the biggest concern is a mounting system.

On my last W124 I gutted the front speaker cages and installed the new speakers into those cages. Made for a very tight install in the dash. The downside was the amount of time it took to cut the cages apart on the stock speakers.

I've not yet figured out what to do with the rears...
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95 W124 - 2 kinds of factory sound systems?-w124.active.bass.components.02.jpg   95 W124 - 2 kinds of factory sound systems?-w124.active.bass.components.03.jpg  
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  #14  
Old 01-13-2006, 11:53 AM
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95 E300 D: is it prewired for the CD changer?

I'd like to move the OEM 6CD changer from my 95 E320 wagon to the trunk of my 95 E300D, but there are no wiring bundles in the trunk wells that lead me to believe the car was not pre-wired for the OEM CD changer. Is there anyway for me to find out?
By the way, the 300D has the same style radio that the wagon has- with the 'CD'button on the top right of the unit.
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  #15  
Old 01-13-2006, 12:41 PM
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Those non-bose system speakers which are labelled "high quality loudspeaker" (ya right) is made by BECKER.

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