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  #1  
Old 12-21-1999, 07:01 PM
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Hello all,

I'm planning on tossing the factory system into the trash and starting from scratch...that Becker Grand Prix is horrible!

What I'm planning is an Alpine CD head, a 4 channel amp of around 50W X4, and Infinity Kappa speakers...separates with 6.5 in. woofers in front, and maybe 5 1/4" coaxials for on the rear deck.

Now, I'm locked into nothing beyond the head unit as it now stands, so I'm very interested to hear what fits where, what has worked out well for other forum members, etc.

One thought: how good will the front speakers sound if the tweeters are way up on the dash and the woofers are down on the door panel next to your butt? Won't the mid-range fall off? Also, are coaxials the way to go in the rear, or should I figure out some way to stuff separates in back there?

I'm not planning a sub for now; I've got a 10 inch self-powered bazooka in the trunk and you can't even hear it through the gas tank! I may add one later, with a HUMONGOUS amp...

Any opinions/advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

------------------
Best regards, Michael
'92 500E
'88 300TE
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  #2  
Old 12-24-1999, 10:21 AM
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This is going to be a short reply as I think I'm dying from flu ;-)

1) You dont need components in the rear... your ear isnt that sensitive to sounds coming from behind you

2) The sound will be ok with tweets up high and the bass down low... the human brain is really poor at localising any frequency below about 500hz.. Obviously itd sound better with a proper threee way setup, i.e bass in the doors, mids in the dash, and say tweets on the pillars.

3) The trunk on the W124 is selaed tighter than Fort Knox... Try removing the rear speakers, leaving you with 2 4" holes in the deck. Two holes of this size should actually amplify the bass, as they'll act as a port.

Have fun, I'm going to lie down again!

Brian



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Brian Drought
1991 300CE
http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~drought/
ICQ: 2180069
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  #3  
Old 12-24-1999, 11:42 AM
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Hello all,

Just worked out some great deals on components, so now I need to figure out how to mount them.

Picked up 2 amps, both Precision Power with integral crossovers, the works...one is rated at 50W x 2 @ 4 ohms, the other is 75W X 2 @ 4 ohms. I also picked up MB Quart speakers; for the front, 3 way 6.5" woofer, 4" mid, 1" tweet. 3 way crossover; nice setup.

I also picked up a set of 5 1/4" coaxials for the rear, also MB quart. If I'd like I can exchange them (plus only a few bucks) for 5 1/4" 2 way component speakers.

Plan as it stands now is to mount (if possible, or do I need to go smaller???)coaxials in the rear. In the front, the woofer and mid locations are straighforward, but where to mount the tweeters?? For a surface-mount setup, the tweeter is 2.5" in diameter, so there's really nowhere I can put them on the pillar without looking silly. I'm thinkig about flush-mounting them into the upper corners of the dash speaker grills (nearest the windshield, on the corner nearest the center of the windshield)...any thoughts as to how this would sound??

I'm going to deal with the sub issue later...but will run the cables now. Will likely sacrifice the first aid kit to do so, unless another option presents itself.

As to the amp placement, I was thinking of hanging them from the underside of the parcel shelf, between the rear speakers inside the trunk. They're not very tall, so they won't be noticeable and they'll get good air flow. any thoughts on this would be appreciated too.

Thanks in advance all!

------------------
Best regards, Michael
'92 500E
'88 300TE
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  #4  
Old 12-24-1999, 05:39 PM
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Michael,

The best way to mount your tweeters would be pointing at you.. You can mount them flush on the speaker grill, and if pointed correctly at the middle of the windscreen can sound pretty good by effectively creating a reflection of the sound much higher up than you'd expect. Another option would be to make some groovy little 'Alien' pods for them... this is great this.. :

Take half of a kiddies toy egg (Kinder surprise etc) Spray it the same colour as your interior... mount the tweeter inside that, then with a piece of coathanger wire create a little 'stalk'. The stalk can be affixed to your main grille They end up looking very much like headlights on an old car. If I'm not making myself clear here, its probably the large amount of Port I consumed ver dinner...umm, purely for medicinal reasons. ;-0

Anyway, these pods would allow you to neatly point the tweeters wherever you liked.

As to the amp mounting,.... probably not the best idea to mount them upside down under the shelf, as the air will not travel over them... but if you do, be sure to place some fans on them to keep them cool.

What I've done in my W124 is to remove the cardboard that covers the fuel tank, and using that as a template, cut a piece of MDF. This then goes against the fuel tank, and is secured by L brackets to the parcel shelf etc. Then you can fix your amps to this. ;-) Literally 30 mins work and the car can be put back to normal in 10 mins.... (especially important on a 500E!!)


Anyhoo, let me know what you think!

Bri


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Brian Drought
1991 300CE
http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~drought/
ICQ: 2180069
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  #5  
Old 12-29-1999, 08:51 PM
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Bri,

I'm likely going to take your advice on the amp install...painted the right color a slab of MDF with threee amps hanging off it should look good.

This is my Plan, anway, but only if I can figure out the sub issue. I think I am going to do do this whole thing at once, so 3 amps are going in. The dealer I bought the equipment from is recommending a non-ported bass box with a single 10" or 12" sub; it would reside in the trunk up near the gas tank, and they suggest I cut some sort of port to get the sound into the interior. In this case I'd likely have to sacrifice the stock first aid kit, but I'm okay with that. However, is there another way? What about one of those porting tubes of 2-3" diameter??


Brian, what did you do with your sub, and how much power do you run? As I mentioned, I have one Prec. Power rated at 75Wx2@4ohms, another at 50Wx2@4 ohms, and can either purchase a 100Wx2 or a 25Wx2. The dealer says that the 25W is plenty to run the rear coaxials, so I can run 50 to the fronts and run 150ish to the sub (75W bridged...it's quite an amp apparently). However, for "a few dollars more" I can run 75 to the front, 50 the the rear, and 200+ to the sub. What do you think? I don't play super-loud music often, but do on occasion...what I'm going for is a smooth, powerful sound with a lot of detail (thus the speaker choice).

As the the front speakers, I'm inclined to leave the look completely stock and mount the tweeters like a coaxial...there's enough room because I can mount the 4" mid a little deeper than the 5" stock speaker. This would have the tweeter pointing pretty much straight up at the windshield, but directed toward the center of the car by the curvature of the glass. The stock look's important to me, so this will be the way I'll likely go for starters (maybe try out the kiddie eggs later if it sounds crappy).

Any and all thoughts are appreciated....thanks in advance.

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

[This message has been edited by Michael (edited 12-29-1999).]
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  #6  
Old 12-30-1999, 09:06 AM
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Michael,

Best way to make the MDF in the trunk look right is to carpet it. Spray paint doesnt work too well on MDF as its porous.

To trim that you can either lave the amps screwed on, or I've created a surround made of pine wood, varnished to a nice rosewood-mahagony colour that surround the amps and really sets them off.

For a sub, dont forget you have a huge spare wheel well on that car. I used a large sheet of MDF over the wheel well, with weather sealant strip to make it air tight. The sub is mounted in this, and hangs inside the spare wheel (Thank goodness for 15" wheels!. You do lose the cubby hole, but its far better than losing masses of load space. Access to the spare wheel is fin, just unplug the sub, heave out the board with sub, and you're done.

In terms of porting the bass into the cabin, try this...: remove one of the rear speakers first... this gives you one 4in hole, then remove he other and see whats best. You dont need to cut te rear deck. I did, and wished I hadnt. No improvement in bass, and a lot more road noise into the cabin. Once you've found the right amount you need to remove, you could either cut 1 or 2 4 in holes, or you could relocate the rear speakers somewhere, and use their old holes for the bass port.

25W is fine for the rear, and 50 more than adequeate for the fronts.. *but* I think in time, you'll probably want to get more. Its probably worth gettin the extra. In any case, you may get fed up of the rear speakers (now you have so much clarity up front) and want to use the old rear channels to power the tweeters on their own. I suggest you run 2 sets of speaker wire for future flexibility.

As for mounting the tweeter coaxially, if it fits, go for it ;-)

Have a great new year, let me know your thoughts on this.

Brian



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Brian Drought
1991 300CE
http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~drought/
ICQ: 2180069
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  #7  
Old 12-30-1999, 01:52 PM
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Brian,

Thanks for your comments. As regards the sub placement, I do indeed have the well you speak of (and there's a 16" wheel in there, full-size). In my trunk, there's what looks like a round one-ended cylinder that screws in and holds the spare in place. On top of that there's a plastic tray with a door in it that allows access to the wheel well. Did you simply replace this part with a sheet of MDF with the sub bolted into it?? Then what did you do about trhe carpet on top of that, did you retain it but mount a grill in it?

As regards the rear speakers, I'm still planning on installing the 5 1/2" coaxials in the OE locations on the rear deck..I often ride with 3-4 people in the car so I really wanted to retain full-range sound throughout the cabin. That said, I won't be able to use those holes as ports for the sub. However, you indicated that the ports did little for your bass...so, do you think I should install a big 'ole 12 in. sub in the floor of the trunk, powered by 200+ watts mono (I am going to do the larger amps) and see where it gets me?

Also, I saw that one of the sub manufacturers has a flexible "tube" that attaches to the port on a sub cabinet and can be directed anywhere...in my case I could run it straight out the top of the first aid kit and there would be maybe a 2 1/2" - 3" hole. What are your thoughts on such a device, and how much of the sub's noise actually passes out the port vs the front of the speaker?

Thanks, as always, for your help.

------------------
Best regards, Michael
'92 500E
'88 300TE
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  #8  
Old 12-30-1999, 05:25 PM
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Basically, you remove the cylinder that forms the cubby hole. You then need to cut a small circular piece of wood to go over the screw thread to lock the wheel in place....or you can do what I did and stuff some card in there ;-)

Remove the top plastic sheet (it just unclips from the back near the gas tank) and you'll see you end up with a pretty nice flat surface on which to contruct your sub mounting.

With regards to carpeting... I left my carpet alone, and ontop of the MDF sheet (the sub is mounted from the bottom) I put some heavy duty mesh. The whole grill structure is 18mm (thickness of MDF!) from the sub so theres no worry of the two meeting. The mesh can easily take 200lbs placed on it. The carpet goes over the whole shebang no problem and you'd never know the sub was underneath. Theres no accoustic penalty for having the carpet there at all, as below 200hz, nothing short of a concrete wall is going to do much ;-)

To even up the carpet (you've raised it by about 18mm) you might want to cut up some card or some carpet underlay (great cheap soundproofing!) to raise the carpet on the left side.

On my 300CE noone knows the sub is there until you play it!

If you have *no* porting into the cabin you'll get no sound as the trunk on the W124 is pretty airtight. I suggest try removing 1, then 2 of the rear speakers to determine how big a port you want. Then cut it under the first aid kit. Be warned tho, cutting here is nasty as the metal is *THICK*. What about treating your passengers to some full range sound from the front? I dont know if theres anywhere to make builds behind the front seats? That way they could have great imaging, and you wont have to cut holes in your rear deck!

You wont need porting from the sub 'box' in the wheel well into the cabin. A port that long wont work, and plus you'll introduce all sorts of port 'whooosh' noise, and possibly make the subs response very 'one-note'... not what an audiophile wants! Ported subs are great for 'boom'. A little less goo for music. Try with a simple sealed 'box' design and go from there.

Its New Years Eve tommorow, and I'm taking the day off work to build a sub box for the passengers feet! I'll let you know how I get on.... <grin>

If you have any more questions feel free to ask, lets see if we can get you the sound you want!

Brian

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Brian Drought
1991 300CE
http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~drought/
ICQ: 2180069
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  #9  
Old 12-30-1999, 08:59 PM
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I guess the big issue now is the hole to be cut. I just spent some time looking about inside the trunk and discovered that there are three 57mm x 130 mm holes in the angled sheet metal (if you can call stuff that thick "sheet metal")of the parcel shelf. The holes are in the near-vertical piece of the parcel shelf ...the area I mean is on the passenger compartment side of the sunscreen, and the center of the three holes aligns perfectly with the back, angled wall on the inside of the 1st aid kit. If I cut through the wool (??)and the underlayment/insulation scthuff I'd have me a port I do believe. And that port would breath through the imperfectly sealed 1st aid cover, which in my case includes a big hole where you grab it to open it. Or would I need to install a 6" or 8" (max) grille in the cover to provide no obstruction at all at that point??

The nice thing here is that the head unit has a dedicated, independently adjustable sub out adjustable from the front face, so it'll be easy to attenuate volume-wise (even shut off on business...).

So, how much road noise would this size port really add? If much, could you do some sort of flapper made of thin rubber to isolate when not emanating sub vibes? My trunk's completely lined in that wool-looking stuff (they didn't skip anywhere except directly under the parcel shelf), so I'd think it's pretty quiet back there to start with, no??

What's the purpose of the mesh you use, Bri?? Does it simply act as a grille? And why wouldn't a metal/plastic grille mounted flush with the top surface of the MDF be adequate with the carpet popped on top?? Then I could retain the original floor mat back there and just elevate the small separate piece that covers the well on the drivers side (the OE phone brain's down in there, and when installed there's a cover for the entire well). Sorry if I'm a neophyte, but some of this is above my head and I'm nothing more than a frustrated engineer, no formal training.

Given that I'm gonna run a very solid 200 watts to the sub, will that thereby require a smaller hole 'cuz you're making so much thump?? I really want to keep road noise to a minimum, so I guess I want it all...

Lastly, any recommendations on size/ohm rating/single-DVC/brand on the sub? How about the thickness of the MDF on the floor & back of trunk?

As always everyone's thoughts are appreciated.

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

[This message has been edited by Michael (edited 12-30-1999).]
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  #10  
Old 12-31-1999, 10:07 AM
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Additional note...I under-rated the amps. When bridged, the 100W X 2@ 4ohm amp makes 400 WRMS X 1 @ 4 ohms.

Knowing this, that sucker ought to drive darn near any size sub, no?

Also, should I then plan to use the 100W for the front, 50W for rear fill, and 300W (75W amp bridged makes 300 X 1 @ 4 ohms) for sub? 400 just seems sorta ridiculous to me, just SO much more power than I've ever had

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

[This message has been edited by Michael (edited 12-31-1999).]
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  #11  
Old 12-31-1999, 10:46 AM
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'Power is Control'. Dont forget that! I suppose with a 500E you're unlikely to forget it!!

To stop a sub, and start it takes one heck of a lot of current. My home system I've got playing now, the bass notes are quick enough to drive the air from your lungs. Not especially loud, but VERY fast and accurate. I've got 'Altan', an Irish folk band on. Can *feel* the air move.

The reason for this? Well... about 500w RMS per speaker (mid & tweeter), and about 1kW into 1ohm on the bass drivers.

Also, and amp running at 10% is going to sound better than one running flat out. Better dynamics, and a LOT more headroom.

I say go for as much power as possible.

Brian

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1991 300CE
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  #12  
Old 01-02-2000, 10:40 AM
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Bri,

I'll take your response to mean that power is good; so, I've bought the 100W amp. I will power the fronts with it (max recommended continuous power rating on the spkrs) and use the 50W for the rears.

That gives me a bridged 75 W amp...300W X 1 @ 4 ohms for the sub. So:
1.) Do I use a 12" or 15" sub, and why?
2.) Single or Dual Voice Coil, and why?
3.) Any particular brand you'd recommend (I'm considering all; JL Audio seems popular, though)?
4.) 4 or 8 ohm?
5.) How thick should I go on the MDF (3/4" is readily available)?
6.) What's the mesh do, and where can I get some?
7.) Any thoughts on the small port I described in the back of the first aid kit?

Sorry for the litany of questions, but I really want to get this right the first time. Thanks again!

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

[This message has been edited by Michael (edited 01-02-2000).]
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  #13  
Old 01-03-2000, 07:34 AM
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Michael,

Power is great. ;-) Its also better to overpower rather than underpower. Underpowering means the amps more likely to run out of steam and start distorting, which cooks your speaker due to the DC current. Overpowering is fine unless you turn it up far too much.

1) I'd use a 12... a 15 is waay overkill, and are less accurate than a 12 (more mass to stop and start), tho its personal preference.

2) SVC or DVC makes little difference. A DVC sub gives you more wiring options... you can wire then in series or in parralell to give 2ohms or 8ohm. I take it your amp is designed to give most power into 4ohms? (a 2ohm load can make them *HOT*) A SVC 4ohm may be your better option here.

3) JL are good... but I've got a cheap tip here... www.madisound.com is selling the NHT 1259 for $150. This sub is..... *awesome*. Its got a huge XMax, which is how far the cone can move outwards... Spec wise this thing kills anything below about $300 thats designed for in car. I use one in my spare wheel well, and its stunning.

4) 4ohm or 8ohm? Well look at how your amp is specced. 4ohm should be fine when running bridged. The NHT above is 4ohm

5) The thicker the better with the MDF. I use 1/2", but I braced it with hot rolled steel strips ;-). The less the board flexes the better. You may way to line the spare wheel well with carpet underlay (avaliable for $50 for a 30m roll....far cheaper than Dynamat etc etc)

6) The mesh just stops anything falling onto the sub... just a grill under the carpet. I can stand on the grill holding my girlfriend, so about 200lbs, and it supports this quite easily. ;-)

7) On the port, I think you really need to see what size will work in your car. With an NHT 1259 in my trunk, I found that 2 4in holes worked best. Experiment by removing the rear speakers one at a time to guess what size and number of holes you need. I think you'll be pretty happy with the bass..of course if you think you need more then you can look at putting a proper port there... (like 5inches or so of pipe..)

I understand about getting it right first time, and dont worry about all the questions...that is of course why this website exists ;-)

Bri



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Brian Drought
1991 300CE
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  #14  
Old 01-16-2000, 04:55 PM
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Regarding the woofers I would recommend getting two 12" inch subs in the trunk. Power them through a 400 watt amp. Take out the first aid kits and use them as ports. This is the setup I have and you can hear me coming from a block away.
My friend has a bass tube in the trunk of his benz and you can barely hear it. Another friend has one 12" and it sounds like he has a really good stock system, you wouldn't think he has a sub in the trunk.
If you get 2 subwoofers and put them in the trunk your rear speakers will barely be heard. Therefore I wouldn't waste my money on expensive rear speakers. But if you got the extra money, then you might as well go for it. I would go 12" not 15". 15"'s are loud but unclear. I would go 2 10"'s instead of one 12" just because I've heard both and 2 12"'s sound a lot better.
My subs are Kicker XPL's. The sound is awesome. I would recommend Kickers, Cervin Vega, or Rockford.

Mike
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  #15  
Old 01-17-2000, 03:49 PM
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560SEL,

Well, thats one option, but if you look at Michaels post, you'll see that he wants quality, not volume. You also wont hear a tube or anything in the trunk if theres no port. The trunk of a Benz is REALLY well sealed.

Also, 2 12s, or 15s would take up most of the trunk space..

Different strokes for different folks, eh?

Bri



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