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2001 SLK230
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78 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am very pleasantly surprised by the sound quality in the '01 SLK I just got. I actually really like the stock HU and changer, but I really want a Sony CDX-GT610Ui receiver. It has a built in iPod connection, front panel aux input, and a front panel USB input that can read from an external flash or hard drive. I think it's a steal at only $169.99 with all the installation gear.

So my question is for those of you who've installed aftermarket head units in your SLK. Will my sound quality or power decrease with a new receiver? I don't plan on upgrading the speakers, so I just want to make sure it'll still sound good with a new HU. Thanks!
 

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1997, SLK 200
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371 Posts
You will have more options for tweaking the sound quality, so a good aftermarked HU will only risk giving you better sound quality :). Just go for it. You will also have a lot more options like Ipod, Bluetooth, USB etc...
 

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2001 SLK230 Kompressor
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30 Posts
evillaundry,

I currently have a Alpine HU in and the sound quailty is amazing. However, I have never heard how the Original HU sounded. I also am getting ready to put a new alpine in. Check it out...

Alpine Electronics of America, Inc. - iDA-X001

I too have done nothing to the original speakers~just replacing the HU and ditching the changer.

Gmni Drm
 

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SLK 320 BRABUS Modded
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2,398 Posts
If you have a bose amp you may have a prob,
But if not, go for it.

I had an alpine fitted in mine and a alpine sub box, sounds great. First thing i did was get the mb cd ripped out :D
 

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SLK 320 BRABUS Modded
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2,398 Posts
Alot has changed in 6 years tony, Do you still use the same mobile phone you had 6 years ago?

When i changed to my alpine gear the diff was massive !

The MB disk player sounded good, but only lasted one day, I am an alpine fan, the kenwood sony units sound a bit warm and wooly for my tastes. + wanted to run an ipod
 

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2001 SLK230
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78 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I know it's not exactly a high-end receiver, but it has all the features I want and then some. In-dash USB reader and built in iPod adapter? Yes please. The stock setup is quality, but it's not functional for me.

Thanks for the input guys. Placing my Crutchfield order now.
 

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1999 SLK 230
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937 Posts
US spec SLKs came with a Bose amplified system. Check the speaker grills behind the seats for the Bose logo.

If you connect your aftermarket deck using the car's wiring harness, you'll be running through the Bose amplifier, so power output will not increase nor decrease. Because your chosen aftermarket head unit does not have preamp outputs, you'll be running through an unneeded amplification stage, which introduces some small distortion. So, sound quality will probably be slightly worse, although it will likely be too small to notice, and masked by other sonic characteristics of the head unit.

The interface between the factory head unit and Bose amplifier is a balanced signal of about 4 volts p-p. You really should not connect your speaker outputs directly to these Bose amp inputs, although others have. You should use a line output converter. If you do connect directly, your volume control will be overly sensitive, and you will not get the best sound quality. You may also get pops and clicks due to output capacitors charging.

Your changer will not work with the aftermarket unit.

There is more misinformation than knowledge floating around about connecting aftermarket equipment to factory Bose systems, including from stereo shops that should know better. I'm curious what advice you'd get from Crutchfield.
 

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SLK32, ML430
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6,349 Posts
Not a fan of Sony stuff. It is just not all the well built anymore (and has not been for a number of years) not to mention not having very good sound quality.

Personally if my only two choices were between the Sony HU and the stock HU I would stick with the stock unit.

There are plenty of options in the marketplace you can do much better than the sony.
 

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2001 SLK320, 2001 C320
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2,267 Posts
I have the Bose system. I replaced the stock head unit with an Alpine unit. The Bose amp is still wired in place. Regardless, the sound is MUCH better. The stock unit sucks, IMHO.

One of the sticky threads has a link to my step-by-step thread on HU replacement with the Bose system.
 

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2001 SLK230
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78 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
page62 said:
One of the sticky threads has a link to my step-by-step thread on HU replacement with the Bose system.
Already had your thread bookmarked, actually :)
 

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1997 SLK 230K
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68 Posts
Aftermarket unit

The Bose setup on my 97 SLK has an amp in the passanger footspace, it takes
not preamps but normal line outputs from the original hu. I replaced the unit and put a new amplifier behind the passanger seat and used it for the new front speakers. Then connected rear line output of the hu to the bose amp for the original rear woofers. Pretty good sound quality, but I guess the interior of the SLK with no mid speakers behind doesn't let you feel a surround sound environment inside. Much better than the original though. I advise you to change the speakers too, but unfortunately door covers are not too functional to take out and put back as original, the latches may break off, causing some loosening..
 
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