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Old 12-28-1999, 07:15 PM
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Buffalo, New York USA
Posts: 69
Although my owners manual doesn't mention it, my 420sel radio appears to go up and down in volume at a few different speeds. Is this documented anywhere? Has anyone done a CD upgrade to this radio either with a trunk-mount changer or total radio replacement? Which is easier/better?

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Old 12-29-1999, 04:05 AM
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Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: San Diego, CA USA
Posts: 38
What year/model is your 420? That makes quite a difference as to your CD changer options.

Speed sensitive volume is a feature, so that's likely what you're seeing. Not sure where it's documented...
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Old 12-29-1999, 10:16 AM
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Location: Buffalo, New York USA
Posts: 69
It's an 88 420 SEL with original radio.
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Old 12-30-1999, 01:55 AM
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Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: San Diego, CA USA
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88 should mean you have a Grand Prix model 780, which gives you a short list of options...

The 780 is not capable of controlling a CD changer, so you'd have to go with one of the CD changers that uses FM modulation (you listen to the CD changer over your Grand Prix's FM tuner). Your sound quality will suffer, but if you're not picky it lets you keep the stock appearance of your Becker.

One exception - JVC makes (or made, not sure if you can still buy them new, but they're not too hard to find surplus on the Internet) a model called KD-MA1, which splices into your car's wiring, thus improving the sound vs. one of the FM modulation models, and lets you keep your Becker.

Other than that, you're going to want to replace the Becker. Many people go with one of Blaupunkt or Nakamichi's more conservative-looking models that don't look *too* out of place in your Benz's conservative interior (as opposed to the 30 blinking lights in 16 different colors you find on lots of decks these days).

You'll lose the use of the fader control by your gearshift and may lose the speed-sensitive volume, but otherwise your sound quality will improve, even without speaker upgrades.
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Old 01-03-2000, 11:22 AM
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 1,935

I hate that speed sensitive volume. My '93 300E has that feature in the radio. It seems to "jump" quite a bit even on light acceleration. I'll put up with it for originality's sake, but it can be a real annoyance.

Aaron Greenberg
MB technician
Precision Motorcars, Cincinnati, Ohio
'67 250SE Cabriolet
'77 450SL
'79 6.9
'80 300SD
'85 380SE
'89 420SEL
'93 300E 2.8

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