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  #16  
Old 01-25-2000, 06:55 PM
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Location: CT, USA
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Thought I'd post a status of my project. The head unit, an Alpine CDA-7832 CD player, is in. Thankfully it has no problem activating either the OE antenna or the integrated cell phone (displays "INTRRUPT" when placing/rec'g a call). I chose Alpine for its reliability (the same unit's in my 300TE) and this particular unit's 4V pre-out and 3 sets of RCA jacks (with the sub being variable from the head unit...really nice feature). Well, the wiring is in, which required major surgery to the interior; had to remove door sills, rear seats, pass. front seat, all trunk lining, etc.

At the battery I started with Monster Cable battery clamps, to include upgrading the OE starter cable (2 ga.) with a gold-plated terminator. Ran 4 ga. Monster Power cable to a Monster Distribution block,which split the power into 4 X 8ga. 2 of these go to the 300W sub amp, as it draws 50 amps alone. A single wire goes to each of the other amps (2 X 100W for the front and 50W X 2 for rear), and like-sized ground wires go back thru to another distribution block, with a 4 ga. ground going to where the trunk-mounted battery grounds to.

Installed MBQuart 5 1/4" coaxials (.75" titanium tweeters)in place of the OE 5" woofers on the rear parcel shelf. I actually glued them into the OE trim ring that held the OE woofer, then glued the whole thing into place for extra strength.

Next to do are the front speakers; the question is: if the cell phone is currently hooked up to the left dash speaker, can I simply attach those leads to the left front mid-driver? Both are 4 ohm so no problem there. However, the outgoing speaker was a dual-cone-appearing design (the pass. side was a straightforward single cone deal) that had two sets of distinct inputs...on opposite sides of the speaker frame, each pair of leads had normal-looking wires going inward to the voice coil. I've never seen such a thing.

Any advice would be appreciated. So far, the results seem great, well worth the considerable effort !

------------------
Best regards, Michael
'92 500E
'88 300TE

[This message has been edited by Michael (edited 01-25-2000).]
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  #17  
Old 01-26-2000, 03:03 AM
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Hehe, I think people should take notice of Michael's 'Less speed, more haste' approach to installing... everything is planned out and checked first...more than most of us can say ;-)

This was emailed to Michael, but posted up here FYI:

-------------------

On the phone issue... well.. I wouldnt attatch to the speaker... as if you think about it, you'll be inputting the amp output into the phone input.... sort of. What I would do.... is this..... As far as I know the PPIs dont have speaker level *inputs* (aswell as RCAs), but you can get 'Hi-level to low-level' (speaker level to RCA) boxes from a dealer... What I would do is put a splitter inline with your front channel amp, and put this box in there. Run a cheap set of RCAs back to the box, and you'll get your phone sound thru the front speakers. ;-)

*OR* I would take the stock OEM speaker... wedge it under the dash (Theres LOADS of space) and attatch the phone output to this. Probably simpler ;-)


Bri
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  #18  
Old 01-26-2000, 11:40 PM
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SOUNDS LIKE THERE'S SOME REAL HI-FI BRAIN "BRIAN" POWER GOING ON HERE....ANY IDEAS FOR A SIMPLE ADD-ON CD CHANGER THAT WILL "BOLT UP" TO MY STOCK '94 E500? THE DEALER WANT'S TOO DEAR A PRICE AND MY LOCAL AUDIO SHOP SAYS THAT HIS BOOK (ALPINE)HAS NO LISTING FOR A 1994 E500 ....THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR ANY HELP....BSP

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  #19  
Old 01-27-2000, 07:52 PM
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Update: built the Amp Bar, as I call it; since the amps are 9" wide (or tall as they lie in the trunk end-to-end) and need 2" on all sides for cooling, I built an 11" tall (2" gap at top that I'll run power wires along) "Bar" out of 3/4" MDF that's around 40" long. Carpeted it with dark gray stuff to match, then drilled holes for the wires to come through. NOTE: drill holes before you carpet the MDF, 'cuz if whilest drilling the bit catchs a piece of carpet, you're done.

Hung the Bar from the parcel shelf, using L-brackets affixed to the back side. Will run stout steel bars from the chassis to the bottom of the Bar to reinforce it front to back. Since the amps overhang the bottom of the Bar, you barely see it...when you look in the trunk, you just see the bottom of the amps! It all looks very OE (except for the shiny power & ground distribution blocks, which I might hide in the interest of ultra-stealth), which was what I was after.

Also installed the 4" mid-drivers in the dash...I decided to again use OE parts; in this case I actually cut the speakers from their surrounds! But hey, they fit good originally so why mess with it? I glued the speakers into the frames and will re-install them with butyl goop around the edge to ultra-seal them to the dash. Pop the OE grills on top and they're invisible.

As to the phone, I've opted for installing a dedicated speaker, which I'l mount behind the dash.

Left to go are the sub, the door woofers (6 1/2" in OE locations) and the tweets (which are on order; I don't even know exactly what they look like!). When done, I'll post pics of what little there will be to see!

And Brian was right about power...even the 5 1/4" speakers on the rear deck sound unbelievable...very tight, controlled sound

Only surprise here was what it costs just to wire a system like this! I mean, start with around $50.00 for speaker wire, $75.00 for RCAs (and those were CHEAP ones!), $50.00 for a 100 amp circuit breaker, and another $200 or so in power & ground cabling, distribution blocks, terminators and battery clamps! Maybe I went a bit overboard, but I'm only gonna do this once.

But then again, there's simply no perceptible noise in the system so far, so maybe it was money well spent!

I'll keep the updates coming, 'cuz I really want to get this done!



------------------
Best regards, Michael
'92 500E
'88 300TE
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  #20  
Old 01-30-2000, 03:21 PM
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Brian:
I have been following this thread with interest - great discussion and info! I have an 87 300E, and there seem to be some subtle differences in the body from the later 500E described. My spare tyre cover is a large rectangular lid which has a well mokded into it. this well nests into the spare, and is covered by a secondary circular lid. I am interested in replacing the dash speakers with quality 2 ways, and placing the 12" small enclosure sub in this well the way you described, and have several questions.
1. If I remove the two rear speakers and use the holes as ports for the sub, can the speaker wires be used as inputs to the sub's amplifier? If so, will the existing fader control act as a control for the amount of bass?
2. Can the trunk light wiring be used to power the amp, and is there a way to use the power antenna feed as an on/off switch for the amp?
Thanks for any input!


------------------
JCE
87 300E 59,000 miles
Smoke Silver


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  #21  
Old 01-30-2000, 06:27 PM
Adamou
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1) No you can't use the speaker's cable to go in the input in the amp because it is a High-Level signal. Your head unit must have a Low-Level signal output (two cinch) to go into the amp for a subwoofer.

[Moderators Note... this does depend on the amp...some DO have hi-level inputs so you can use speaker wires]

2) No, the amp needs a proper energy feed. For example a 260watts RMS amp needs about a 30A cable (quite big) and it must be connected directly to the battery.
You can use the antenna's power cable to turn on and off your amp (and sub) but I would suggest you to install a switch so you can turn on and off the amp whenever you want.

------------------
-------------------------------------
WEB Site : http://www.adamou.dpn.ch
A.S.C. 1999
-------------------------------------




[This message has been edited by bdrought (edited 01-30-2000).]
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  #22  
Old 01-30-2000, 06:36 PM
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>I have been following this thread with >interest - great discussion and info!

Yeah, its a great thread for any Benz owner, especially W124 owners. ;-)

>I have an 87 300E, and there seem to be
>some subtle differences in the body from
>the later 500E described. My spare tyre
>cover is a large rectangular lid which has
>a well mokded into it. this well nests into
>the spare, and is covered by a secondary
>circular lid.

Yup..this is it... Just remove the whole lot and replace with an MDF sheet ofver the entire well & tire. ;-)

>I am interested in replacing the dash
>speakers with quality 2 ways, and placing
>the 12" small enclosure sub in this well
>the way you described, and have several >questions.

Quality 2 ways are the best way to get a decent sound, an adding the sub should give you weight to the sound.

>1. If I remove the two rear speakers and >use the holes as ports for the sub, can the >speaker wires be used as inputs to the >sub's amplifier?

Depends on the amp. You need to find an amp with 'Hi-Level' or 'Speaker Level' inputs. If you get one of these you'll be fine.

> If so, will the existing fader control act > as a control for the amount of bass?

Yes, if wired this way you can use the fader to fine tune the bass. Very useful as you need more bass at higher speeds to overcome the roadnoise.

>2. Can the trunk light wiring be used to
> power the amp, and is there a way to use
>the power antenna feed as an on/off switch
>for the amp?

You could not use the light wiring... theres not nearly enough current coming through... you need a seperate power feed, say an 8 gauge feed from the battery (with a fuse near the battery). Theres an easy way to get the wire through the engine firewall and into the cabin. Ask for more details if you wan them ;-) You then need to use a grounding point in the trunk, which is easy to find...there are plenty, just pick a bolt that goes into the main chassis and ground the amp to that.

You are spot on with the attenna feed... just wire it up to the 'REM ON' input on the amp. Then it'll only turn on when your headunit powers up ;-)

Bri



------------------
Brian Drought
1991 300CE
http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~drought/
ICQ: 2180069
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  #23  
Old 01-31-2000, 09:24 AM
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Continuing with the update, all of the front speakers are in. I mounted the 6 1/2" woofers in the OE enclosures in the doors...with a little trimming away of excess metal on the speakers, they popped in beautifully and I sealed them with the butyl stuff and used the OE screws to hold the speakers in their enclosures. I used the old speaker wire to pull the Monster Cable wires thru the chassis; worked like a charm! Note: while the door panel's are off, I suggest putting a light locking compound on the threads of all screws/bolts back in there...the stereo vibrations tend to work things loose (the wood inlays on my door panels were almost falling off!).

I have a set of MBQuart tweeters (although not a match to my set, they'll do for now) which I mounted above the 4" speakers in the dash on pieces of metal strapping. I wanted to play around with them, point them in all sorts of directions, and see where they sounded best. Frankly I think they sound great pointed at the windshield a little towrds center; and if kept like this, they'll fit under the OE grills! I'm going to reserve final judgement for when I hook up the correct tweeters, which should be in within a week.

Lastly, the crossovers were tough but a stuffed one up under the dash on the driver's side (Bri, you were right!) and the other I fit under the plastic panel under the passenger's feet. No cutting was necessary, so that worked out well.

Now just waiting for the other two amps to arrive; looks like I can start on the subwoofer project. So far so good!


------------------
Best regards, Michael
'92 500E
'88 300TE
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  #24  
Old 02-08-2000, 01:47 AM
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Peter,
This is a long thread and its easy to miss bits, but I think Michael is installing the amps against the back of the trunk, not the bottom of the rear deck ;-)

You are right tho, upside down mounted amps get hot hot hot unless you install a fan or 2.

Bri
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  #25  
Old 02-08-2000, 03:23 PM
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Yes, the amps are indeed mounted against the upper back wall of the trunk. Since they are Precision Power, the fins are on the inside and they convectively cool themselves wherein the heat dissipates out the ends of the amps. I've left plenty of room around the amps to allow for this cooling.

As to the MBQuarts, they do indeed fit into SOME OE locations with no mods. Such is not the case with my W124, so minor mods were required.

------------------
Best regards, Michael
'92 500E
'88 300TE
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  #26  
Old 02-08-2000, 08:47 PM
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It's time to mount the tweets, so as usual I have a few questions. I'd like to mount them under the dash grilles if in any way possible; keeping the OE look is big to me.
However, if I can dramatically improve the sound of the system, then I'm prepared to at least cut the existing dash grilles to optimize the tweeters. In for a penny...

The tweeters came with flush-mount, angle mount and surface mount trim rings, for reference. So please explain: where do I want the tweets to point? I know earlier Brian you've said that pointed at your head is good; what if you point them at the windscreen? I've done so and my temporary tweets sound pretty good; is there a way to test how they're performing? You want the tweets to give the sense that they're coming from high up, no? Well, bouncing off the windshield would get the waves higher, true? Perhaps harder to control I presume, but please advise as to your thoughts.

Sub work starts this weekend..I'll keep everyone posted



------------------
Best regards, Michael
'92 500E
'88 300TE
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  #27  
Old 03-29-2000, 02:30 AM
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Peter,

I take your point, but I must defend myself here.... the system I've recommended to Michael is the same setup as I'm running... and it produces 'the cleanest, deepest, smoothest bass you have ever heard!' And thats not quoting me...thats quoting a SQ Soundoff Judge...

In this particular case, with this particular sub, this layout works...and works well.

Bri

<flat to 12hz>

------------------
Brian Drought
1991 300CE
http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~drought/
ICQ: 2180069
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  #28  
Old 03-29-2000, 07:27 AM
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Well, I'm almost done with this; just waiting for the amps to return from service (few minor bugs upon delivery). I've added an Alpine Digital Phase Processor to the mix; it time-aligns all of the speakers, cancels reflected low-octave waves and has a parametric equalizer. Further, it has a microphone and an auto set-up program that purports to automatically make your car flat as a pancake.

The processor did obviate a bunch of wire, so I went in and removed all the RCAs and remote power-on leads, as a single AiNet DIN cable handles all that. The sub's built and installed, so we're gonna givve it a go for a while and see how it sounds. I also ran dedicated power/ground wires to the processor and the head unit, which came off the distribution blocks, in the interest of avoiding any noise (the entire system gets power & ground from the distr. blocks).

I just wanted to thank Bri and Peter for their comments and advice...if I don't take the advice at the moment I assure you I've stored it for future consideration (especially the band-pass sub idea).

I'll post some pictures when this is all done...thanks again!

Michael

Alpine CDA-7832 CD Head Unit
Alpine PXA-H600 Time Alignment/Digital Phase Processor
MBQuart 3-way separates, 1" titanium tweet, 4" & 6.5" midranges
MBQuart 5 1/4" coaxials, 3/4" titanium tweet
NHT 1259 Subwoofer
Precision Power PowerClass 275 & 4100 amplifiers (100W X2 front, 75W X2 rear, 400W X1 sub)
Monster cable-all wiring,power distribution and fusing


------------------
Best regards, Michael
'92 500E
'88 300TE

[This message has been edited by Michael (edited 04-18-2000).]
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  #29  
Old 04-17-2000, 07:41 PM
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Since Precision Power was taking forever to repair the amps, I blew a gasket and got the President of my retailer on the phone. Ended up with a PowerClass 4100 amp (4 X 100W, or 2 X 100W + 400W X 1) for my troubles, with which I was quite pleased since I picked up another 100 watts for my sub.

Well, finished up the install yesterday; looked and sounded great!! However, while deeply involved in setting up the system (the signal processor is pretty involved in order to get it just right) the 4100 went POP! No sub, and mostly distortion from the front channels. The rears, now powered by the 75W X2 PC275 amp sounded great...little consolation.

Anyway, since I'd had enough at this point I decided to call PPI and ruffle a few feathers.

At their cost, I'll be overnighting the amp back to PPI tomorrow, and they promise to repair it the same day and overnight it back to me. I'll simply wait to see.

Am I cursed or what?? I will say, though, that for the few minutes that it all worked, that sound was breathtaking...so no matter what moderator Brian says, just do it...he knows this stuff better than likely any of us!!!

------------------
Best regards, Michael
'92 500E
'88 300TE
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  #30  
Old 04-18-2000, 03:55 AM
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Whew... this topic is getting large!

Anyhow.. glad you're pleased with the sound, that NHT should give you the smoooooth but detailed sound you're after.

Thanks for the compliment too Michael....glad you've kept faith up to now!

What does everyone think about making Michaels 500E a MercedesShop feature car? I mean, the whole install was built with advice given on this board, and I think it'd be neat to see a few photos of the finished article? Michael, your thoughts?

Bri

------------------
Brian Drought
1991 300CE
http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~drought/
ICQ: 2180069
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