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2000 Mercedes ML55 AMG, 2006 Mercedes ML350
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone.
I put a Kenwood DNX6140 in my 2000 ML55 the other day and everything worked perfect, except the max volume of 35 (on the kenwood) is not thattt loud. My factory Bose deck could go louder.
The harness I used uses RCA connections for the speakers. This is the only think I could think would cause the problem. Does anyone have any experience in this? My moms CLK used a VW harness which didnt have RCA connections and hers goes loud. So I may pull her radio out and see if that harness will work for me.
But if anyone has any info about what I should do, let me know
 

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1999 E55, 2001 E320, 1990 560 SEC, 2004 ML350, 2001 ML55, 1995 S500, 1998 SL500, 2010 E550 Sport zoo
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You propoerly hooked up the pre-amp output from the Kenwood into the Bose system - congratulations it worked !

However, the pre-amp output on the Kenwood is 2V, and the Bose is designed to operate best being driven by a pre-amp that is 4V (or 4V+).

One possible solution is to run from the amp output on the head unit - and use a in-line converter (and there are good ones and bad ones, the bad ones add a LOT of added noise) to convert that to the 4V/4V+ pre-amp ouput signal you need.

I would suggest you re-post your challenge in the audio forum up a bit in the website and see what they say is best for you.

If it was a do over, a higher pre-amp output helps the matching a LOT.

Keep the faith !
 

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1999 E55, 2001 E320, 1990 560 SEC, 2004 ML350, 2001 ML55, 1995 S500, 1998 SL500, 2010 E550 Sport zoo
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7,035 Posts
Other option is to run the speaker output of the head unit directly to the speakers.

Just trying to help buddy.
 

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2000 Mercedes ML55 AMG, 2006 Mercedes ML350
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Discussion Starter #4
Ok that 2v vs. 4v thing makes sense. So it looks like if I want to use RCA cables I will need to get an in line driver.

Now my new question, there are many posts on here with people that have ML55s who were able to keep the factory sub working by just getting a VW radio harness connector and connecting it using the speaker wire outputs from the deck. Would I be able to do this?
 

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1999 E55, 2001 E320, 1990 560 SEC, 2004 ML350, 2001 ML55, 1995 S500, 1998 SL500, 2010 E550 Sport zoo
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The "VW" harness, or the Metra harness are the same thing basically.

Your mother's car "probably" did not have a internal amp system like the Bose, so yes in her car the the speaker outputs from the head were spliced into the existing wires to the speakers.

In your car you have a small Bose amp between the head unit and the speakers.

My 55 has been "updated" and uses a Eclipse double-din head unit (6V pre-out) to the Metra/VW harness - feeding the existing Bose system. I ditched the changer for iPod interface, but thats me.

With your head unit with 2V pre-out, and OK built-in amp - the most viable adaptations I can recommend are:

a) speaker outputs thru a converter to drive the Bose (and some converters add a lot of noise). The converter will require a new live 12V feed wire and a really really good ground connection.

b) wiring the head unit speaker output directly to the speakers (which I treat as 2 ohm, but thats me). You could either pickup the speaker wires on the output side of the Bose "amp", or run new speaker wires directly to each speaker. in this option you may lose the sub woofer depending on what is possible from your head unit.

c) Offload the Kenwood, take a hit, and get a replacement head unit with at leadt 3V, if not 4V or 4V+ preamp output.

Can you drive the Bose system directly from the speaker output on the head unit ? I have never done this myself have no idea if it would work. Speaker output wires from the head unit you would splice into RCA plugs, then the RCA plug would plug into the Bose amp input connectors, so your MB wiring would stay intact.

Personally, the easiest would be to see if you could sell the Kenwood for like a $100 discount, then invest in different head unit with more pre-amp voltage.

Keep the faith !
 

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2000 Mercedes ML55 AMG, 2006 Mercedes ML350
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Discussion Starter #6
my moms clk has a bose amp with a sub in the back seat as well. I am tempted to unhook hers and try the wiring in my car, but I dont want to blow something hooking it up. if anyone has some experience in this let me know.
I am also looking at a few line drivers..
 

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1999 E55, 2001 E320, 1990 560 SEC, 2004 ML350, 2001 ML55, 1995 S500, 1998 SL500, 2010 E550 Sport zoo
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Metra harness

The Metra harness (also called the VW harness) gives you the male end plug that goes into the factory female that goes into the system.

If you have that $10 "plug" for your car then you have all you need to try your options, again I would be hesitant to say anything other than "experimental try" connecting the speaker output from the head unit with added RCA to the Bose amp input side.

Just trying to help - good luck !
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well I figured I should update my old threads with the solutions so here is what happened with this.
I hooked this up with the recommended harness (the one with the RCA plugs) and i had horrible volume. I was too lazy to try and figure it out so I drove like that for some time. On friday I got the afternoon off work so I decided to rewire it. I used the speaker outputs on the deck and connected them to the + and - speaker connections on the harness (by cutting out the RCA)
I now have perfect volume and my sub and speakers sound way better. The volume matches my jetta (also has a kenwood) so I am very happy now.
Hope this helps someone down the road.
 
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