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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all-

After many years of faithful service, I've experienced my first real failure on my 02 ML320. The radio, which started off operating intermittently a few months back has finally gone silent.

The rest of the features continue to function, so I'm not sure whether it's the MCS or the Bose amplifier that has gone bad. At first I was tempted to just order an amp off eBay, but those units are used, so even if I have the right culprit, who knows how long I'll get out of it before it goes to pot.

So I guess I have a couple of questions:

- Has anyone figured out a way to troubleshoot this issue? Is there any way to bypass either the amp or the radio to see which one stopped working? I've gone so far as to remove the MCS and reseat the wiring harnesses, and do the same with the amp as well as check it's fuse, but everything looks good and still doesn't work.

- Has anyone installed a double DIN radio with nav in the same spot that they could recommend? I know it's an older car at this point, but it's still reliable and I'd like to have a radio again. Would be worth spending a few bucks if I could get Bluetooth and a newer Nav system while I'm at it.

I'm handy and know my way around with a soldering iron and a voltmeter, so I don't mind hacking apart wiring harnesses to get a new radio in, but I'd much rather have something I could just slap in (both radio and harness alike) and get the damn thing going in under a couple of hours. I tried the local radio place here, but they're a ripoff, asking for $750 to *install* whatever I decide to buy (which they also requested I purchase through them).

Any thoughts, gladly appreciated!
 

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W221 & Audio Moderator
2013 S550
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10,978 Posts
This forum is full of recommendations on 3rd party systems - Kenwood excelon, Alpine, Pioneer, and others - but you are looking at replacing the amp, possibly needing a good audio processor (such as an Audion Bit-1), since you will be removing the active EQ designed for your car and your speakers; you may be able to retain your speakers if you're careful in your choice of amps. The Bose speakers are 2-Ohm impedance, vs 4-Ohm in most systems. They can easily be blown by too powerful an amp, and they can overload too weak an amp.

If you want to keep your HU and replace the amp, mObridge makes a device that will simulate a fiber optics connection and let you use any 3rd party amp. mObridge | Bridging media, communication, and lifestyle with your vehicle.

Though it is for cars other than yours, see http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w220-s-class/1618981-removing-command-system.html It will give you more to consider.

Once you get there, and considering the dashboard fascia you may need, $750 may not sound like so much of a ripoff.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies guys.

I don't mind replacing the amp, but my problem is not knowing whether it's the amp or the head unit (no way to troubleshoot this it seems). The car is almost 11 years old, I hate to dump this much on a radio, especially given it's a commuter now that doesn't get more than a half hour of use per day (if that). I'm looking for something reasonable, whether that means trying to salvage the existing installation or rip the amp/HU out and replace with a single unit. I know the 2 ohm speakers might complicate that, but don't they make bridges to match impedance for situations like this? Sound quality might suffer, but again, not looking for great, just working.
 
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