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Old 04-26-1999, 01:04 AM
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I just got an E320 with the Bose "upgrade" (couldn't find a moonroof without it) and discovered the ridiculous price of the dealer-installed CD changer, basically a $400 Alpine with a $600 MB logo. There is no adaptor for the fiber optic controller to use any after market changer, at least not yet. (BMW has a similar situation and an adaptor is iminent.)

The stock head unit is OK for the 2 cassettes I own, but the FM reception leaves a lot to be desired, and the Bose-awful bass has to be seriously attenuated.

I'm not looking for anything exotic. I'd settle for a good in-dash CD receiver that looked like it belonged in the car, but most I've found would look out of place. Anyone have suggestions?

In addition, I'm having trouble getting info on the exact specs of what's in the system. I'm guessing that there are front door pillar tweeters, dash mids, and front door woofers plus package shelf full-range. Is this correct? If so has anyone cured the Bose EQ effects by replacing the amp/crossovers? Any info on this system and it's compatibility with any aftermarket cost-effective improvements gratefully received.
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Old 04-26-1999, 01:30 AM
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I have the same sound system in my '99 CLK, and I totally agree with you on all your points. The reception and sound quality are much better in my '75 BMW if you can believe that. The problem with the bass isn't so much the quantity, but the quality... far too bloated with no definition. And I think that the hidden antenna does nothing for the reception. So my point is that I don't think that the problems can be solved by switching the head unit, unless of course your main objective is to get a CD player out of it. But then a good new head unit with a built-in CD player plus installation will cost you about what MB wants for the trunk mounted changer anyway...
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Old 04-26-1999, 02:44 AM
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Kenwood has a cd receiver under $400 installed that flips to a flat black (like the heater/AC bezel) when off so it looks like it belongs. I may put in my $300, 3-month old Alpine from my trade-in until I get a permanent solution.

The Bose approach, car or home, has always been to boom the bass, punch the mids, and sizzle the highs. Great marketing since it is impressive on first hearing. Listen a while longer and it's inaccurate and annoying. The Bose amps have some kind of EQ which I hope can be defeated by replacing the Bose amp with a decent one. These need not be expensive either.
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Old 04-26-1999, 10:44 AM
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I have the same sound system in my 99' C280. My dealership offers the CD Changer for @$789 and the installation kit for @$89 (Outrageous!). I have heard about a company in California that sells the 99' factory Mercedes CD players for @$590 total with the kit. From what I've seen, if your dealer can do it for @$600 I'd be interested in seeing if they will do mail order.

Also, I spoke with a company that specializes on aftermarket CD interfaces. They are called PIE Technologies and can be located at They said that they are working on an interface but probably would not have anything ready to go for about 6 mths. to a year. It is a shame that Mercedes doesn't incorporate a CD Changer at a reasonable price.
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Old 04-26-1999, 12:15 PM
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Try changing the speakers. I have a CLK with 8 speakers. I don't know the number for the Eclass. I used Studio Driver 6 in for the front 4 and MBquartz for the 4in speakers in the rear of the door. I preferred the Studio speakers over the MB quartz but they only had MB quartz for the 4in size. The sound quality has gone WAY up but now I need to replace the horrible Bose subs in the rear.
I'm also looking for a CD head unit but haven't been able to locate one.
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Old 06-04-1999, 12:47 PM
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I put a Alpine CHM-S611 changer in with a MBZDA Alpine CD interface by Peripheral Electronics that works with all 1995 1/2-98 Mercedes head units. You'll need to initialize the head unit by doing the following:turn on radio with ignition,wait 3 sec,turn off radio with ignition,wait 5 sec,turn on radio with ignition. You can call 813-572-9255 ext 230 for tech assistance from Peripheral.Total installed cost was $497.
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Old 06-22-1999, 06:53 AM
richard u
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Do any of these “CD-in dash” solutions
ALSO keep the cell-phone controls on the radio?

The cell-phone auto answers and auto dials From the Radio. I am not real happy with Bose system. The radioIn my old Crown Vic. was much better. I need a radio That will Be a direct swap for the Bose, continue the cell phone Features have Smother freq. response, CD in the dash, AND a better AM section (love my talk radio and Baseball)

Is this to much to ask?

1999 E-300TD
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Old 06-27-1999, 12:35 AM
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Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Land O Lakes, FL
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Yes, that is too much to ask. I don't think you'll find any other unit with the cell phone controls, and nothing with LED displays (which is just about all of them) will look like it belongs in the car.

I just turned down the bass and added a CD changer. Got it for $499 from S&W stereo. They suggested I skip the dealer supplied installation kit. Everything I needed was in the box and I installed it under the parcel shelf in under an hour. The head unit recognized it instantly.

Call Stefan at (919) 963-3663. BTW, the changer is a Becker. I called Becker and they wanted $688 for the same thing.

Rick Miley
Tampa, FL
99 E300DT
86 190E
87 300E

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Old 08-29-1999, 02:41 PM
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I had a 92 190E with OE radio. My local audio dealer had an adapter which enabled me to install an Alpine 6-disc player and use the factory head unit to control it. It worked great, no problems whatsoever. I don't know about other apps, but if you contact Rick @ Alpine Audio in Abingdon, VA, he might be able to help you. Tel#: 540.628.3177

Good Luck,

Joe Slemp
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Old 08-31-1999, 01:06 PM
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Join Date: May 1999
Location: East Windsor, NJ USA
Posts: 65
I have the same reception problems with my 98 CLK with the hidden antenna.

I noticed that the cabriolet has an external antenna on the rear fender. Is it worth having that one installed and disconnecting the hidden antenna? Has anyone any thoughts on this?
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Old 09-01-1999, 09:30 AM
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for the poor reception problem i will suggest an fm booster costs about $15 and will do wonders for your reception also is easy to put. and for the cd changer you could use one with fm modulator they come with a little display and remote control so you can control them. and since it sends the signal to the fm band it works with all mercedes benz receivers. hope this help
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