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Discussion Starter #1
I have been hanging around this message board and a few others to read what people have to say about the Pioneer AVIC D3 and specifically whether this unit could be installed in a 2007 Mercedes ML350. All the reviews on the unit were favorable but there were reported problems when attempting to install in newer Mercedes vehicles. For starters, the newer vehicles use fiber optic instead of wires to transmit signals between stereo components so adding an aftermarket device would eliminate the steering wheel control, factory blue tooth, and amp functionality. Armed with what I had read, I decided to visit the local audio/video installation shop in my area. On the first visit I inquired about the AVIC D3, which they had one left, and I also used the opportunity to confirm or deny what I read on the message boards. I asked a ton of question but the two questions that were the most important to me were, “Will I retain the steering wheel audio controls” and “Can I use the existing stock amp” and contradictory to what I had read online, I was told Yes and Yes.

Last Friday I dropped off my 2007 ML350 to have the AVIC D3 stereo and backup camera installed and was told that the process should take at most two days. Well on the second day after not receiving a call, I started calling for a status and was told the installer ran into few unexpected problems that needed more time to be worked out. There seemed to be a different problem each time I called which included:

1. A radio install kit was not available for my SUV so one had to be custom made. :(
2. The stock amp could not be used so they installed two amps under the seat. One amp is strictly for the sub. :mad:
3. The steering wheel audio controls and Bluetooth could not be used. :mad:

Damn Damn and Damn! :mad:

Finally I picked my car up last Friday and regret a thousand times over that I decided to go with an aftermarket head unit. The sound is nowhere near what I had and because they kept the vehicle so long I am wondering if something major went wrong that has yet to be discovered. :confused: I also notice my SUV carpet is not as tightly installed as it once was which pisses me off every time I look down. :mad: I took the vehicle home and had Friday night and Saturday afternoon to play around with the AVIC D3 and I am extremely unimpressed! Well let me back up and say while listening to a CD at low volume, the upper rear right speaker was crackling and popping like crazy. :mad: Admittedly the crackling and popping doesn’t happen on all songs but only on songs that play a certain frequency. Nevertheless, I drove the SUV back to the shop the very next day (Saturday) and was told to bring it back today which is where the SUV is now. Although customer service at this shop seems to be decent, one of the store managers did suggest on Saturday that the speaker could have already been blown. WTF!!! :eek: I didn’t go out and by new CD’s after driving from the shop Friday night so if the speaker was already blown, I would have heard it via the stock stereo playing the same damn CD. By the way, the crackling and popping can be heard at very low volume which I duplicated while at the shop Saturday.



There are many things about the AVIC D3 I like but there are a few major things I do not like.

1. The sun glare on the screen.
2. The inability to edit route once loaded into memory
3. The inability to search POI’s from route loaded in memory.
4. The slow process of performing an IPod song, artist, genre, title, etc search
5. The quirkiness of the navigation vicinity search.
6. The weak FM signal. I lost several of my favorite stations after upgrading to this unit because it cannot pull them in.
7. Routing isn’t as granular as other navigations I have used. For instance, I take the same route to work everyday which was found by my portable garmin because I wanted to avoid all highways and toll roads. Even though I selected avoid Freeways and toll roads on the AVIC D3, the navigation still routed me on both! I even started driving my normal route to work hoping that it would recalculate and get with the program but instead it kept insisting that I make a u-turn.

Maybe I need to have the unit in my possession a lil longer to fully appreciate it.

Anyway, I purposely did not flame the car install shop because I want to give them a fair chance to make things right by replacing or repairing my speaker and hopefully what they do to one side, they will also do to the other side to prevent me from having mismatch equipment.


To be continued...............
 

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Ouch - sounds *very* painful. Couple of thoughts - the CAN-BUS integration for the AVIC is pretty straight forward, but does require the proper kit. The fact that your guys didn't manage to get it to work makes me wonder if this might be their first MB install....

Without knowing how much you are paying for the install, it's hard to know what you should expect, but good sound would seem to be a minimum, eh?

On the routing of Garmin vs AVIC, I have to admit I think that the Garmin has better routing by far, and I also think TomTom beats Garmin... ;-P
 

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I just had a Pioneer Z2 installed in my car on the weekend and it is already gone and am waiting to have the Kenwood double din installed which uses Garmin for it'sd nav the reason i got got rid of the Pioneer Z2 are

1. very bad and slow ipod intergration
2. nav and poi sytem in Z2 very poor hard to find POIs and very slow nav

as for the sound the Pioneer Z2 sounded better thab the factory unit, i was expecting it to sound like crap and was ready to install a 5 channel amp but not neccessary the harness that my installer used was made specifically for Base intergration. It sound like your installer may not have to much experience with MB Good luck

Pat
 

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Im not sure how anyone is intergrating the AVIC's using the bose amps. All 2003+ up ML's use fiber optics and there doesnt seem to be an adapter out there. I installed a 5 channel amp to the aciv and ran it to the bose speakers...WOW! They rock and they are taking about 80 watts RMS @ 2 ohms (remember wiring the head unit to the speakers is very bad, as they are two ohms)

ML3504ME, sorry about your luck. The amps should make that puppy scream. Its normal precedure to add an amp to a factory equipped fiber optic car. There should be no cracking in any of the speakers though....Im sure its just a bad connection.


Also, you can get your steering wheel controls back no problem...Check out the brand PAC..they make a kit for most cars.


The bluetooth can get added as well.. Check out the pioneer BTB-200..I have it for my avic and it works perfectly. Very clear and very easy to use.


Lets see some pics of the installation.

Also, the avic is a neat unit, you need to spend sometime with it..Yes the maps are different but it works great when you are going somewhere you have never been. It takes me different ways...be sure you select (fastest or shortest)

Joe
 

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Hi Joe,
Does your job needs some mods to fit the Avic into the COMAND monitor slot ? Please show us your pix.
Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I may be following your lead by getting rid of the pioneer D3! The more I play with this thing the more I regret ripping my Harmon Kardon and replacing with this unit, which in my opinion is subpar. I have no idea why people (on this message board and others) praise the D3 so much as I find it to be a poorly designed system. There are many things I like about the unit but the bad definitely outweigh the good!

Which Kenwood model are you referring to?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Joe,

Initially the shop wired the subwoofer to a separate amp, the front speakers to a separate amp and the rear speakers directly to the AVIC D3 headunit. As a result, one of the rear speakers blew resulting in the shop installing two new speakers in the upper rear hatch area. I went to pick up my SUV and before pulling out of the parking lot, ALL of the rear speakers in the back completely stopped working. My SUV is due back in the shop tomorrow and they plan to install another amp for the rear speakers. Ultimately, I will have all the speakers running off of an amp. The downside to them experimenting is I have been without my SUV for about two weeks altogether and have had to return back to the shop about 5 times! The upside to them experimenting is so far I have received 2 free speakers and 3 free amps. I just want my SUV back and in working order! I am not in it for the freebies because I suggested they take all their equipment back and replace with my factory stuff which they declined.
 

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I may be following your lead by getting rid of the pioneer D3! The more I play with this thing the more I regret ripping my Harmon Kardon and replacing with this unit, which in my opinion is subpar. I have no idea why people (on this message board and others) praise the D3 so much as I find it to be a poorly designed system. There are many things I like about the unit but the bad definitely outweigh the good!

Which Kenwood model are you referring to?
ML3504ME

I went with the Kenwood DNX7120 i found this unit to be much nicer than the Pioneer Z2 very good ipod features including video excellent nav unit which is powered by garmin and very good sound quality

BTW got the truck back with everything running off my JL Amp the sound is unbelivable 100 watts per channel Joe you were right about that sub under the seat just needing more power incredible the bass was moving my pant legs

here are the pics http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w163-m-class/1366523-post-your-aftermarket-double-din-pics-here-3.html

Pat
 
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