Stock radio, volume issue - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-26-2019, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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Stock radio, volume issue

The stock radio in my 90 190e is producing low volume output. I know they are only 4inch speakers, but with the volume turned up full and all four speakers working I can still carry on a conversation in the car without any problem. That doesn't seem right to me. It's the same with either the radio or the cassette player. Any suggestions on what may be the problem?
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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 02:20 PM
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Glen,

Have you tried cleaning the fader switch that's located in the shifter console?

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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 08:22 AM Thread Starter
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I haven't tried cleaning it, but I will. And I'll let you know if there is any improvement.
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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 09:12 AM
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Good luck! If that doesn't do it, you'll need to start examining the wiring. If wiring looks okay, it's quite possible that the headunit itself is having issues. Do you happen to have a spare available to test?

'85 Euro 190E 2.3-16
'84 Euro 500SE
'51 Euro 170S
'15 G63 AMG
'97 Jeep Wrangler Sport
'98 Dodge Durango SLT+ 5.9L Magnum V8
'96 Ford F350 7.3 PSD

~Josh
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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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So I cleaned the contacts on the fader switch in centre console as best I could and it didn't improve the volume from the speakers. I can confirm that the fader does control the sound front to back in the car. The cassette player still works but has the same volume issue as the radio. Sorry I don't have another radio to try with the speakers.
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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 03:41 PM
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Okay, but at least we can rule out the fader switch. Often times the gunk they accumulate will cause loss of sound as the contacts get dirty as the switch is actuated.

You might want to look at the speakers themselves if you haven't already. If the cones have come apart (highly likely if they are the original speakers), that will play a role in sound quality as well, ranging from quiet, to excessively trebly, to no sound at all.

'85 Euro 190E 2.3-16
'84 Euro 500SE
'51 Euro 170S
'15 G63 AMG
'97 Jeep Wrangler Sport
'98 Dodge Durango SLT+ 5.9L Magnum V8
'96 Ford F350 7.3 PSD

~Josh
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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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Actually I had to replace two of the speakers as they weren't working at all. So both the speakers on the passenger side are new. I did buy 'Walmart' replacement speakers as I didn't see a lot of choices for 4 inch speakers. The new speakers are rated for 180 watts which I think is sufficient. So if the two driver's side speakers are 'working' but not working properly would that also affect the volume on the two new speakers?
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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 04:14 PM
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No, if a speaker isn't working, it shouldn't affect any others.

I replaced my front 4" dash speakers with Helix Blue B4X speakers. Had to trim the tabs, but they fit well. They're 5-25 watts and 75 watts for peak power, and they sound great and are plenty loud.

I don't have door speakers, yet, but those will come eventually. I don't suspect there is a wiring issue and that fault is on the headunit itself being unable to drive the speakers.

'85 Euro 190E 2.3-16
'84 Euro 500SE
'51 Euro 170S
'15 G63 AMG
'97 Jeep Wrangler Sport
'98 Dodge Durango SLT+ 5.9L Magnum V8
'96 Ford F350 7.3 PSD

~Josh
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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 07:27 PM
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So the stock head unit doesn't have much power at all It has a 2 channel output that goes to the fader and splits 4 ways. It's roughly 50 watts of total power, so about 12.5 watts per speaker.
Your low volume issues might have something to do w/ the speaker ohm rating. If I recall, the stock 4" speakers are rated at 6 ohms and most aftermarket speakers are 4 ohms. The lower the ohms, the higher the power draw, which the stock head unit can't keep up with, hence your low volume.
If originality isn't important to you, then I'd recommend swapping for an aftermarket radio. Most new radios put out 17-20 watts per channel which is plenty of power for the average listener.

#1.1989 190E 2.6 355 Diamond Blue Metallic, 1 owner car w/ lots of euro goodies.

#2.1989 190E 2.6 877 Blue Green metallic, Euro headlights, 15" AMG monoblock wheels, AMG replica body kit, rear lip spoiler

#3 1992 190E 2.6 888 Teal Blue Metallic, junker car parted out.
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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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355190e26 you are correct about the ohm ratings. I just checked the two stock speakers that I replaced and they are rated for 6 ohms. The new Walmart speakers are rated at 4 ohms.

I'm not that concerned about originality so an after market radio would be fine. (though I had just dug out some of my old cassettes lol)

I'm not interested in spending a lot of money and I don't need bluetooth etc. AM/FM cd would be just fine.

Any suggestions on what I should look for? Will I need to replace the cassette holder with something? Or does it stay in place? Or are there alternatives to the cassette holder?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

PS if I had only two stock speakers connected would that improve the volume?
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