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Old 12-22-2000, 12:55 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 115

It is time to upgrade the sound system in my '88 300E.

Here's what I'm planning, comments solicited and appreciated.

Boston Acoustics ProSeries 6.53 front components. the 6" built into the door pocket (sacrifice the pocket, unless these fit in the door between the handle and pocket.) The 4" in the stock dash location and the tweeters mounted high up on the A pillar. Grills and bezel painted to match car interior. Install hints here would be greatly appreciated.

No rear speakers.

NHT 1259 12" sub in spare tire well.

Has anybody done this? (The system, not just the sub) How does it sound?

Also, I haven't selected amps yet, I used to buy all MTX but I wonder if there are new high end amps with better price/performance ratios out now. Specific amp recommendations would be appreciated. I figure a 2-channel for the fronts and a dedicated sub amp. If I ever add rear fill speakers, I figure I'll run those off the deck outputs.

Speaking of decks, anybody have experience with the Aiwa CDC-MP3 or the Kenwood Z919?

Thanks in advance

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Old 12-22-2000, 04:40 PM
Q Q is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 839
I don't know what materials that NHT 1259 uses in its construction, but I do know that it was engineered for home use. With that in mind, a car's environment is pretty harsh. I would consider that factor when choosing a sub. One that I have had experience with and can say whole-heartedly is an excellent automotive sub is the Image Dynamics IDQ. A lot of people on my car audio forum use them. I decided to buy my brother one to see what they sounded like. I got him the 10" and he put it in the recommended 0.65 cubic foot sealed enclosure. With only 150 Watts, this thing sounded beautiful. They play VERY low and don't require a lot of space or power. I would say 200-250W for a 12" would be perfect.

As for amps, there is an amplifier manufacturer that is offering memebers of my board a special discount. The price is so low, they won't let us tell anyone what it is without blowing the deal. Last I heard, the deal was good through 12-25, but I would imagine that if you called them after and asked about it, they would honor it. Go to and look up their contact information there. The guy's name you need to talk with is Demetrios. All reports have been extremely favorable with these amps. Very high quality and extremely clean sounding. Some have replaced their PPI Power Class amps with these and have not looked back. Be sure to mention that you are part of the Elite Car Audio group buy if you want to get the price.

For the record, there are a LOT of head units out there that I would buy before AIWA and Kenwood. Look at Alpine and Eclipse. There are some affordable models out there, and you can't beat their quality.
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Old 12-23-2000, 02:51 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
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I agree with Q here, You can do better than Aiwa.

Alpine and Eclipse Are very good.

I myself have always used either alpine or pioneer. I find pioneer's higher end models are excellent, but their lower end ones are just that, low end.

I always like to start with the best head unit I can afford.

As for speakers, I go with what sounds good to me when I hear it.

My jeep had all fosgate audiophiles, which sounded killer to me, of course were talking speakers from around 1994-1995 when fosgate was sounding very nice.

When I do my benz, since I like clarity and crisp highs, and good deep hard hitting bass, I'll probably go with some nice MB Quart or Another brand that fits the sound requirement and sounds good.

The key thing here is to listen to everything you are going to buy thoroughly. Try to hear the equipment in another car, try to hear the system someone else has in a car like yours that sounds great.

I've seen people spend in excess of 5000 on a system, and it ended up sounding decent. I've seen people spend even more than that, and it sounded good, from a block away. but when you were in the car, you didn't know what you were hearing. Sometimes there is such a thing as just too loud.

I know someone who put in a sick system in his benz, 3 12" Subs, 1500 Watts of power to the whole system, 3 amps, 12 speakers in the car, Head unit, changer, eq, and he still isn't satisfied, because he didn't listen to the stuff he was buying first, and just took his stereo shops word for it. of course the bass and turn your ear drums inside out, but to me its just excessive.

I've personally spent 1000 and had the sound incredible, so its not always about how much you spend, but how it sounds.

Just because something costs way more it doesn't necessarily mean it will sound better. You would think that if it costs more it would, but I'll give you an example.

My father just got the top of the line B&O Home system with the nice tower speakers. It sounds crystal clear and crisp, but has almost no bass at all. Now for a $10,000 home stereo system, I would expect it to sound amazing, but to me, it lacks bass other than that it is amazing. Adding an aftermarket powered sub to it will give it that bass it so badly needs. You would think for that kinda dough, it would come with a specially tuned B&O Sub, but when I went to their store, they told me to find any old aftermarket powered aub for it. Now on the other end of things, I have a crappy 10 year old technics amp, with 4 speakers on it, each with a 12" Sub, normal size mids and normal size tweeters. it actually sounds very good, and puts out good bass and really makes TV and movies come alive nicely.

So with that in mind, you can see the most expensive is not always the best for everything.

I would look into the stuff Q Mentioned. He is very knowledgable about these things, and wouldn't steer you in the worng direction.

But please also take my advise about listening to the stuff before you buy it. Buy what sounds great to you, and you probably wont be disappointed.

'92 300CE - Sold
2004 C240 - 744 - C7 Wheels - Android Radio
2002 C320 - 816 - Sport Wagon
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Old 12-24-2000, 08:06 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 115
Thanks for the valuable input. ARC Audio amps look like a great deal! I'm going to run Boston 6.53's up front and 12" sub (looks like brand not decided yet) in the spare well.

ARC offers 2 amps:

The 2050 at 2x50watts RMS and 230w bridged mono and
the 2100 at 2x100watts RMS and 380w bridged mono.

Now, I know more power is ALWAYS better, but I'm on a married with 2 children budget and the difference between 2 2050's and 2 2100's is $200. I'm assuming 230w mono is adequate for a 12" sub (for musical bass, as opposed to pounding bass), is the 2x50w adequate for the Bostons, or are they real power hogs.

As an aside, anybody know the air volume of a '88 300E spare tire well with the stock aluminum wheel and tire in it? (For sub air calculation)

Thanks again, this forum rocks!
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Old 12-26-2000, 05:44 PM
Q Q is offline
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Posts: 839
If you can afford to do the higher dollar amp, go for it. Additional power does not equate to louder sound. What it will buy you is accuracy and detail. If you choose the IDQ sub, 230W will be PLENTY!! 50W per side for the front would be just fine and match you sub great if you do decide to go that route.

Be aware that subwoofers come in different impedances and wiring configurations. I am pretty sure that that Arc amp is 4 ohms stable when bridged mono. Make sure that the subwoofer(s) are compatible with that rating. As an example, some subs come in 8 ohm varieties. In that case, to get the most from your amp, you would need two of them wired in parallel to make your speaker load equate to 4 ohms. A 4 ohm single voice coil, or a 2 or 8 ohm dual voice coil is what is required for a single sub installation to get maximum power from your amp at 4 ohms.

You can email me with any technical questions in the future if need be.
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Old 12-29-2000, 04:36 PM
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nakamichi's got my vote for head units - they're some of the best sounding, full featured, highest quality head units available, and they arent at all flashy or bright, so they dont look stupid on your benz dash. check out the 40z and 45z
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