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Discussion Starter #1
Is it possible to just add an amp and subs to the stock radio? I dont wanna replace the Stock radio/nag for an ugly aftermarket head unit.. Does anyone have a write up?? thanks for any help.

Its for an 02 S55 AMG
 

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Silver 2010 S550
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I don't have a write up but I have it set up. Had a box with 2 12" JL Audio subs put in my trunk with amp attached to partition wall behind trunk and backseat. It makes the stock system sound incredible.
 

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W221 & Audio Moderator
2013 S550
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Yes, you can. Use the speaker-level outputs for the sub on your existing amp. Some amps can accept speaker level input; others require a matching device to step the speaker level inout down to what the amp's inputs can handle, but it can be done.

Just remember to turn it down if you drive through my neighborhood at 2:00 AM.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So I can just add the subs without an aftermarket amp? By hooking it to the stock amp? Or did I mis understand it?
 

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Let me be clearer. You add a new amp. You run the speaker level sub output from your existing amp to the new amp. The manner in which you connect the two amps will depend on the input capability of the new amp.
 

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2000 and 2003 W220 S500
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I've been wanting to do this. My 2003 stereo is much softer than my 2000, what brands work without having to replace the whole fiber optic system?
 

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2013 S550
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Gabby, it is now possible to replace a fiber optic amp by use of a fiber optic preamp that allows a non-fiber optic amp to be used, if you have a MOST fiber optic system. See http://www.mbca.org/forum/it-possible-replace-stock-amp-3rd-party-amp-most-fiber-optic-systems-0; mObridge makes the DA-1000 and DA-2000, and their site has compatibility charts for each.

If you are replacing a Bose amp, be aware that the speakers will be 2-Ohm impedance where most car audio uses 4-Ohm. The lower impedance can overload low-power amps; and the speakers can be blown by high power amps. Choice of output power wil be important if you keep your speakers; otherwise you will be into replacing them as well. However, you are able to keep the rest of your fiber optics system - phone, CDC, voice control, nav, etc.

Also, in most MB Bose audio, the active equalization for the speakers is designed into the head unit itself. You may need additional equipment such as the Audion Bit-1 processor or at least a JL Cleansweep in order to restore proper equalization - since the Bose EQ curves were designed for the Bose speakers and amp, one or both of which you would be removing (while retaining the Bose EQ curves).

However, I am told it can be done. This would be a task for a high-end audio shop with considerable MB experience. Also note the caution in the second post in the link.

You might want to consider adding a better sub (and removing the existing sub to allow better dispersion into the passenger compartment), since the objection most folks seem to have to existing MB audio is in bass response. My old Audi A6 with 2 10-inch subs in the trunk (stock) had far tighter and more satisfactory bass than either of my S500s.
 

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Thank you Skylaw, this is great info!
Now I know the Benz blasting Henryk Gorecki's 3rd Symphony at 4AM.
 

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2000 S500 Designo
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Question. (if it has already been answered, and I overlooked it, feel free to whack me on the head)

What are the actual connections going TO and FROM the stock amp. Are they fiber optic connections or typical stereo connections?

(I'm trying to figure out whether I will need one of those converters conveniently posted in Skylaw's link if I install just a new head unit and leave the stock amp & speakers)

Thanks!
 

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W221 & Audio Moderator
2013 S550
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The connections between the head unit (COMAND in your case) and the amp are fiber optic. The connections between the amp and the speakers are copper wire.

The use of which I am aware for the fiber to copper conversion unit is from the H/U (and the rest of the fiber optic ring) to the amp. I don't know if it will work in reverse. Interesting question.

But note Gabby's response, above. He is right, they are for MOST systems. Sorry I overlooked that in my initial responses.
 

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You won't find a 2-Ohm amp except Bose. You may be able to find an amp that is OK for the 2-Ohm speakers, but because I have not done audio retrofits to my own cars, I suggest you consult a high-end audio shop for the answers to your questions. You can get some (but not all) of the answers at the Bose UK site, http://www.bose.co.uk/GB/en/automotive-systems/f-a-q/
 

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Discussion Starter #16
this looks hard to do myself.. I think im just gonna get it install at a shop instead.. But thanks for the info guys
 

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A buddy of mine wanted some extra thump in his CL55. After digging around he decided to go to a shop to have it done. The shop made it happen but it was not easy for them either, it was a 4 day job. He kept the factory head unit. Everything else was upgraded.
 

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You won't find a 2-Ohm amp except Bose. You may be able to find an amp that is OK for the 2-Ohm speakers, but because I have not done audio retrofits to my own cars, I suggest you consult a high-end audio shop for the answers to your questions. You can get some (but not all) of the answers at the Bose UK site, BOSE: Automotive Music Systems
In my opinion to run 2ohm speakers is no problem for any amp since most of amp can run on both 4 and 2 ohms and somemore u need less expensive amp for 2ohm. But for the sub most amps are stable at 4ohm when bridged. So when using a single amp one can run bose stock speakers + a sub at 4 ohm when bridged.
 

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It is still something one must consider, and be careful when making choices.

Bose uses speakers rated at 2 Ohms impedance. Most other car audio systems are 4 Ohms (and home audio is normally 8 Ohms).

The differences in impedance can mean a lot when choosing an amp. A moderately high-powered amp rated at 4 Ohms can blow out 2-Ohm speakers far more quickly than speakers matched to the amp. An underpowered amp can quickly be driven to clipping by 2-Ohm speakers when the amp is designed for 4-Ohm impedance. That is hard fact. However, it is a situation that can be worked around by careful choices of amps.

In addition, perhaps unique to Bose systems, is that the equalization curves designed specifically for the type of car in which it was installed will be removed when replacing the head unit. This too can be overcome with the use of a high quality audio processor, such as the Audion Bit-1. Without doing that, owners may be very disappointed in sound quality by continuing the use of Bose speakers with non-Bose equipment.

On the other hand, using the sub-out on the Bose amp to power a separate 4-ohm amp and 4-Ohm subwoofer is not a problem; one must simply use a sub amp that accepts speaker level input, or step the Bose amp output down to a level matching the input of the sub amp used.
 

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skylaw can you point me in the right direction. ive read almost everything in the encyclopedia and was able to fix many things but i cant for the life of me find the exact info for my 2005 s430 to turn on an second amp for a sub. i saw others did it off the c d changer but im not getting a reading on my test light for any of the wires back there. please help if possible. thanks in advance. im located in florida.
 
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