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  #1  
Old 04-10-2006, 03:04 AM
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The best audio system to install in w124?

What's the best audio system to install in w124?
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  #2  
Old 04-10-2006, 10:21 AM
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you might as well ask what car manufacturer is the best... the question is a little too open ended to be answered properly.

How about some more details like...
- adding power amp or using head unit?
- replacing speakers or using stock?
- doing work yourself or professional?
- what type of music do you listen to?
- want competition level system or a good around town system?
- want loud clear music? or just loud thumps from a sub?
- how much trunk space do you want to lose?
- how long do you want to spend on the project?
- what are your skills?
- how much money do you want to spend?
- you listen to FM only? or CD? or satellite?

I'd say these are some basics that would be helpful
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  #3  
Old 04-10-2006, 08:32 PM
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ok, hmm...just a system that adds a little more clarity to the music coming through the speakers, yes I do want to have that "thump" but not so much that it rattles my trunk. I have a lot of trunk space so two subs should do, I would like to add an amp and I generally listen to hip hop. I'm not too concerned about the price right now...
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  #4  
Old 04-11-2006, 11:06 AM
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Do you plan on doing it yourself? or having it done for you? If you do it yourself - it's a lot of work. I have a 95 E300 - and did it myself (sound dampening, replaced all speakers, installed sub, installed new head unit, installed satellite, installed power amp) - and it took me almost 2 weeks. A pro could do it in 1-2 days (probably).

Note: I am not a pro - my information my be inaccurate.

The problem is (as I understand it) - the speakers in the car are too old to sound any better than they do (they are paper cones and are probably worn out by now). You can't just replace the speakers though - normal speakers won't work with the MB head/amp unit (although I think there is a brand (Rainbow maybe) that does) because it's wired differently.

So either you replace all, or nothing.

If you want a sub in the trunk - not much will get through to the cabin due to the insulation and gas tank. You can have a sub mounted in your rear deck (where the first aid kit is) or you can port the rear deck (by leaving out the rear speakers or cutting into the rear deck to allow sound in. (I ported the rear deck).

I wasn't willing to give up trunk space - so I mounted my sub in the floor of the trunk - inside the spare tire. It works very well - but took a fair amount of work.

Unless you are willing to spend a lot of time on this - I'd take it to a pro installer. Expect to pay $1500-$2000 for a good setup. Doing it myself cost about $1200 - but took me quite a long time...
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  #5  
Old 04-11-2006, 08:18 PM
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Did it leave room for the spare tire??
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  #6  
Old 04-12-2006, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battlecat714
Did it leave room for the spare tire??
Yes it does I have set it up so the sub sits right where the plastic piece goes in the spare tire. I chose a single 10" sub, but probably could have fit a 12" in there as well. For my type of music (alt rock, classic rock, pop) - it works very well.

I made a trunk floor piece out of 1" MDF (covers the entire trunk floor except the wheel wells, sound dampened it (Cascade) on both sides, covered it with auto fabric. It looks professional and sounds great.
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  #7  
Old 04-13-2006, 05:20 AM
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Ohh wow, never knew there was that much room in there...
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  #8  
Old 04-13-2006, 02:23 PM
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what are all the components you used bfisher?

HU? Amp? Speakers (all around)? etc.

Pics greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
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  #9  
Old 04-13-2006, 04:36 PM
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I used a Pioneer Premier Head Unit - with Sirius satellite tuner. I used a Pheonix Gold amp - 4 x 75W (into 4 ohms) and 1x300 (bridged) into the Sub (dual coil 2 ohm in series to 4 ohm)

Speakers: I used MBQuart 4" two-way in the dash, MBQuart 5.25" two-way in rear deck, and CL-5 5.25" midrange in the door. The doors and front speakers are wired in parallel (makes 2 ohm).

Sub is a 10" Kicker.

I used Dynamat Extreme almost everwhere, and switched to Cascade soundproofing for the rest.

My goal was great sound and yet have it look stock. Only thing you notice is a different head unit (but it's subtle and still looks classy), and the cutout in the first aid kit. However, since it's just a port from the trunk - it looks small and doesn't bely the sub under it.

Here are some pics:
Door with the 5.25" mounted in it.


Trunk showing Amp and Sub:


The silver brackets are holding on the sub grill but more importantly - they are about 1/4" above the sub - so if I do have to put something heavy in the trunk - it's not resting on the sub itself.

Head Unit:


Back deck - first aid kit cutout for trunk sub


Beck Deck - under the first aid kit
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  #10  
Old 04-13-2006, 05:54 PM
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Very nice, bfisher! A couple of questions: How do you get to the spare and what type of enclosure is behind the sub or is it open to the tire well area? I have been killing myself to find a solution to install 2 amps and 2 subs in my trunk (without taking up too much space) and am running out of ideas. Also, I am shopping for a HU, how do you like your Pioneer?

Thanks for the info and inspiration!
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Old 04-13-2006, 06:24 PM
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Where did you add soundproofing (dynomat)?

How does your system sound if you have the sub off?

I'd like to upgrade the stereo in my 94 w124 but don't plan on adding a sub. I just don't need that much bass.
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  #12  
Old 04-13-2006, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
How do you get to the spare and what type of enclosure is behind the sub or is it open to the tire well area?
To get to the spare tire, you lift up the 1" MDF board that the sub is mounted to (in the picture, its a slightly darker grey carpet). It's a tight fit, but it will lift up. The tire is in it's original position and held in place with all the original components.

There is no enclosure around the sub - just the board laying on the floor of the trunk. It sounds quite good actually - better than I expected! One thing - I covered the entire board (both sides) with Cascade damping materials before covering it with the carpet. My first attempt at this (3/4" MDF) resonated like crazy. The 1" with damping sounds very good and no resonations.

I'm not sure you could fit 2 subs in this space - but you could probably fit a 12" instead of a 10". I think there is enough room as long as it's not too deep/long.

Quote:
Also, I am shopping for a HU, how do you like your Pioneer?
I like it. It looks good in the car - doesn't call attention to itself at all. With the Sirius tuner, it works great!

Two negatives I have with it - Sirius song/artists don't show both at the same time. I have to push a button to toggle between the two (not a big deal). Second is if I want to wire in a phone, there is no phone mute lead (to auto-mute when a call comes in). Otherwise, very happy. I am NOT using any of it's amplifier - it all goes to the power amp in the trunk.

Quote:
Where did you add soundproofing (dynomat)?
Everywhere I could

I put a ton in the trunk - any open metal got it. Under the back seat, wheel wells, front floor boards, inside the front doors (since I had them apart already).

I started with Dynamat Extreme (whole car kit). I finished with Cascade. If I was to do it again, I'd probably do Cascade everywhere. Much less messy and seems to do as good of a job. Cascade is pretty good price on eBay. Also, I'd buy 2 whole car kits. I bought 1, and a door kit (after starting and realizing I didn't have enough) - and could have used more. Maybe I went overboard - but I think it helps

Quote:
How does your system sound if you have the sub off?
Hard to tell actually because of the cutoff (set at 80Hz). No sound lower than 80hz will go to the main speakers - only to the sub. With the cutoff at 80, if I turn off the sub - it sounds really hollow, no depth. Very clear and loud though! I'm really glad I added the sub - it really adds depth to the music.
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Last edited by bfisher; 04-14-2006 at 02:08 PM.
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  #13  
Old 04-14-2006, 01:39 PM
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Good info, bfisher! Is the Kicker a free-air sub, then? I decided to go with one sub now. I can put a helluva lot more power to the one and save space too. I was shopping on ebay for Pioneer Hu's yesterday. They look pretty good. My interior is a little different than yours but, I think I could find something to look nice. I like the looks of a Clarion unit but it is $800 on sale! A local shop has both so I will get a look at them the next time I get over there. I'll keep you up to date. Thanks for your time!
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  #14  
Old 04-14-2006, 02:10 PM
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(1 sub for space/cost) That was my thought process as well!!

As for head units, I also liked the Kenwood (don't remember model number). It looked like it belonged in a Mercedes - very understated. I looked at a Clarion and it looked too techie for my Mercedes...
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  #15  
Old 04-16-2006, 04:46 AM
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FWIW I did a budget install in my 300E over a couple of years - an Alpine head unit, Rainbow SL120's in the front, and a bazooka powered sub in the trunk. The Alpine and the Rainbows add a lot of clarity and detail, and the sub, though it's not going to win any SQ or SPL contests, does the job of filling in the low end. I didn't have a problem getting bass into the cabin, despite the gas tank and the sealed parcel shelf. It's only 100W into a 10" sub, but it carries through okay.
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