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Old 12-12-2007, 03:16 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 2,527
BE 1432 dead, what to replace with?

Howdy All -

The FM section of the BE 1432 in the spousal sedan has bitten the dust. It's a 1993 300E sedan, equipped with the dreaded 'active bass' system. The AM and tape sections work fine, so I'm reasonably certain the FM tuner is the problem, and not some other component of the system.

So the question becomes with what head unit to replace the late, unlamented Becker? Requirements are AM/FM, CD, and iPod integration. Other than that, nothing fancy required. Actually, the simpler the better as the wife has a policy of refusing to RTFM.

I've been browsing the Crutchfield website. Sony makes some interesting head units with a surprising number of features for the price. The only downside is they beep as a reminder to take the face plate when the car is shut off. Apparently it's quite annoying and cannot be disabled. Anyone have experience with one of these?

I'm not planning to replace any other components. She's not an audiophile and isn't into head banging bass. I'll wire around the fader and drive the dash and deck speakers directly from the head unit. The aktiv bass amp takes speaker level inputs, so I'll connect it to either the front or rear and see how it sounds. Any input on which might be more appropriate?

- JimY
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Old 12-16-2007, 07:39 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,084
I believe that is a two piece radio, the tuner in the trunk. Becker can provide repairs and a I-Pod input but no CD support.
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Old 12-16-2007, 10:29 AM
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Location: Plano, TX
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Well, it was a two piece radio, it's gone now. Given how lousy the Becker system sounded I couldn't see spending the money to get it refurbed. I replaced it with this: You get AM/FM, single CD, iPod control & charging, USB input, an aux input, three band tone controls, and a silly little remote control - all for $139 on sale locally. It's not too obnoxious looking by modern aftermarket standards. All you need is some wire, an antenna cable extension, and lots of time.

It was a substantial amount of work to install. I bypassed the console fader switch and wired the speakers directly to the 4 channel amp on the head unit. The "active bass" speakers and amp from the factory stereo remain. The amp takes its input from the rear channels - the active bass amp uses speaker level inputs. The head unit triggers the automatic antenna when in tuner mode, and turns on the active bass amp.

The system sounds far, far better than I ever thought it would or could. It's actually quite pleasant to listen too. The active bass system will even rattle the door panels - a little bit.

Highly recommended, but not for the faint of heart or electrically challenged.

- JimY
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Old 12-16-2007, 12:18 PM
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JCE JCE is offline
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Join Date: May 1999
Location: So Kalifornia
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Nice looking HU - probably get one for my 87 stereo replacement. It has been several years since I played with the wiring on that car - I remember how to pull the switch and front wire connectors, but don't remember where the rear speakers connect up to the console swith that I want to bypass. Any suggestions on where they are? I seem to remember that they were not back by the switch, but were somewhere up behind the ashtray.

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Old 12-16-2007, 06:54 PM
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Afraid I don't know about the '87, it's a completely different animal than the '93 with regard to the audio system. You won't have access to all four speaker feeds from behind the HU. At best that'll happen at the fader in the console. But to wire up a modern 4 channel HU you'll need to have access to separate + and - feeds for each speaker. The stock setup splits the + feed to front and rear after the fader, but uses a common - for both front and rear on each side.

If you have the full factory electrical manual you can probably figure it out using the wiring diagram and the connector locator. It'll be a fair amount of work just to reverse engineer the system apart from the new install.

- JimY
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Old 03-20-2012, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by jcyuhn View Post
But to wire up a modern 4 channel HU you'll need to have access to separate + and - feeds for each speaker. The stock setup splits the + feed to front and rear after the fader, but uses a common - for both front and rear on each side.
- JimY
Thanks for this info. Is there a way to address this common "-" for both front and rear on each side problem?? would split or running another extra common "-" for both front and rear would fix this problem? Many thanks!
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Old 04-02-2012, 12:39 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: MA
Posts: 217
You realize this is a 5 year old thread?

That being said I'll be doing similar things as the new to me 92 400E has an aftermarket stereo that needs help. Seems like they have the rear speakers hooked up as well as the doors but not the fronts - coupled with a giant stupid Omega aftermarket sub taking up half the trunk.

I figure I'll go with fronts and rears, and the door speakers as the subs (as I believe the factory system intended). I realize people do lots more but the factory locations sounded OK for what I am looking for.

I have not started search on any preferred methods of wiring (but it looks like lots of info is out there) - fronts and rears to head unit door subs a second amp, front and rears from the head unit but wired into the factory fader... etc.

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