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Help if you can. I just purchased a 98 sl500. The audio system sound is loaded with bass, even with the settings minimized. I am suspecting blown rear speakers because they are very muffled when I set the fader to rear only. Front only improves the sound quite a bit. Any experience with this? Thoughts on speakers or possibly the amp???
 

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2000 Obsidian Black Metallic Mercedes SL 320 V6
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Help if you can. I just purchased a 98 sl500. The audio system sound is loaded with bass, even with the settings minimized. I am suspecting blown rear speakers because they are very muffled when I set the fader to rear only. Front only improves the sound quite a bit. Any experience with this? Thoughts on speakers or possibly the amp???
csteck hi and welcome in our big and international friendly family. Please update your profile with your car, year and location to help us help you in the best and quickest possible way. For us it’s extremely important you do this.

Please get acquainted with the advanced search tool of the forum as the matter has been discussed already.

Cheers.
 

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2000 SL500 Mineral Green
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Bose is widely regarded as terrible by those who know good sound. Auto audio retailers refer to its "one note" bass. The SL speakers are of surprisingly low quality.

If you like good sound, get rid of the MBz head unit and the Bose electronics and install better drivers.

Can be done for $1000-1500.
 

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1997 SL600 Brilliant Silver Sport with grey/dark metal interior, 234K miles
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Until you pop $1000 for new audio stuff...

If a kid recently drove your car, make sure your bass setting isn't maxed out and your treble maxed low so he could be flossin' with the posse.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
No abuse.

Kid wasn't driving it. Settings are correct. Problem is ....when setting speaker fade to "all front", then it sounds ok. When fading to "all rear", then sound quality is bad and volume very low. i am suspecting the speakers, but was wondering if the amp may be bad for the rear channels.
 

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'84 300SD '91 300CE '95 SL500
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You can have a it checked out for free. Sounds like it may be your amp. I sent my amp and radio off. They checked out both. The radio was fine, but the amp had a blown channel. I can't remember the site, but you can do a search and find it.
 

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'03 SL Kleemann, 1997 SL320 Pano Top, Tesla Model X
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Rear speaker test

Kid wasn't driving it. Settings are correct. Problem is ....when setting speaker fade to "all front", then it sounds ok. When fading to "all rear", then sound quality is bad and volume very low. i am suspecting the speakers, but was wondering if the amp may be bad for the rear channels.
I recently bought a '99 that barely had any paper left in the rear speakers. Unless someone else here can point out easy access to the wires, you may want to remove the rear panels that house the speakers. That's how you get access to them. There are certainly some good instructions somewhere in the stickies, or you could follow the following instructions until you reach the section for disconnecting the speakers (Disregard the comments about cylinder inspection and removal; the panel removal is covered on pages 4-6): http://tophydraulicsinc.com/R129 Main Lift Cylinder Removal.pdf. Check out the speakers visually, and possibly take them out and hook them up to your home stereo at low volume...

Hope this helps,

-Klaus
 

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MB SL600, MB 380SE, Suzuki Grand Vitara, 38' Chris-Craft, Volvo V70XC, and my own two feet...
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Kid wasn't driving it. Settings are correct. Problem is ....when setting speaker fade to "all front", then it sounds ok. When fading to "all rear", then sound quality is bad and volume very low. i am suspecting the speakers, but was wondering if the amp may be bad for the rear channels.
Then the real problem is that your radio died or was stolen and someone replaced your radio with an improper unit off eBay. The correct radio for the SL has no F/R fade function, the fact that yours has that option is a dead giveaway. This explains your problem, you need the correct head unit and that should resolve your issues.

And FWIW, the bose speakers have way too much bass, and it is all within a small range, so the other poster was correct about "one note" bass, but aside from that it's really not terrible and hardly worth spending a grand or two to replace. The stereo in my SL, even with the nonexistent midrange and over-amped bass is still better than the stock systems in the new cars they sell today. Mercedes stereos REALLY went to crap when they switched to HK as their audio provider. If you think this is bad, test a HK equipped car and you'll be missing the mediocrity of the Bose system in your SL no time.

I guess MB didn't notice that BMW's have had the worst stereos on the planet for decades and have been using HK the whole time, so naturally MB decided they would do the same thing and hope for a different result. Well it didn't work! Mark Levinson is another overrated stock system, that sounds tinny and hurts my ears in my uncle's lexus.

I think the bottom line is pretty much every stock stereo sucks for one reason or another, because they are attempts "one-size-fits-all" applications, which just doesn't exist with audio. The designers have to pander to everyone the car will be sold to, not just to you. So they have to make the idiot kid with the backwards turned baseball hat happy, they also have to make his grandmother happy, and then they are trying to make you happy at the same time, but of course now you run into the old adage that when you try to please everyone you wind up pleasing no one.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Radio is the original and, per my owners manual for the unit, it DOES have the fade functions. I don't think this is the wrong head unit.
 

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MB SL600, MB 380SE, Suzuki Grand Vitara, 38' Chris-Craft, Volvo V70XC, and my own two feet...
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Radio is the original and, per my owners manual for the unit, it DOES have the fade functions. I don't think this is the wrong head unit.
Yeah it should have the buttons, but that's not what I'm saying. When you go into the menus, there should be a L/R function and no fader function. If your car has a fader function, it's the incorrect head unit and that is the source of your problems.

Source: Had 3 SL's, a 1990, 1998, and 2001. None had F/R fader.

Trust me. You have the wrong head unit.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Certain?

Why then does my owners manual describe the fade function exactly as it is in the car? It clearly describes the L/R and F/R features of the radio and the radio performs exactly as described in the manual, but for the poor sound. ???
 

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63 300SL, 82 380SL, 97 320SL, 08 350ML, 77HD-FXE, 91HD-FLSTF, 97HD-FLSTS
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I have to agree with Chris. Radio manual mentions fader control, but the asterisk next to the mention states"SL models do not have the fader function":crybaby2:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
You're Right!

Well, I did a little more investigating...and you are absolutely right! My R129 should have the 1692 head unit, but has a CM2396. I appreciate the help. I'm gonna locate the correct unit and replace. THANKS!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Conclusion-Problem Solved!

Ok...heres the deal. This car is new to me and I learned that the radio is original and correct. The car had an ipod connection added post factory called an Blitzsafe MB Link 1 V1.b which plugs into the cd changer port on the back of the radio. When I disconnected the adapter and replaced with the cd changer all function returned as normal and it sounded great! There is no more F/R option and only L/R. Thanks to all for the comments and direction. Very helpful. It goes without saying that I would not recommend a BlitzSafe product... for this vehicle anyway.
 

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2000 Obsidian Black Metallic Mercedes SL 320 V6
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Ok...heres the deal. This car is new to me and I learned that the radio is original and correct. The car had an ipod connection added post factory called an Blitzsafe MB Link 1 V1.b which plugs into the cd changer port on the back of the radio. When I disconnected the adapter and replaced with the cd changer all function returned as normal and it sounded great! There is no more F/R option and only L/R. Thanks to all for the comments and direction. Very helpful. It goes without saying that I would not recommend a BlitzSafe product... for this vehicle anyway.
csteck hi and welcome in our big and international friendly family:). Please update your profile with your car, year and location to help us help you in the best and quickest possible way. For us it’s extremely important you do this.

Honestly I wouldn't either reccomend MB head units since their quality is ... well ... not so good to use an euphemism so maybe you want to consider another unit.

Cheers.
 

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MB SL600, MB 380SE, Suzuki Grand Vitara, 38' Chris-Craft, Volvo V70XC, and my own two feet...
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Ok...heres the deal. This car is new to me and I learned that the radio is original and correct. The car had an ipod connection added post factory called an Blitzsafe MB Link 1 V1.b which plugs into the cd changer port on the back of the radio. When I disconnected the adapter and replaced with the cd changer all function returned as normal and it sounded great! There is no more F/R option and only L/R. Thanks to all for the comments and direction. Very helpful. It goes without saying that I would not recommend a BlitzSafe product... for this vehicle anyway.
The SL radio manufactured by Alpine doesn't even have traditional rear channels, nor a menu function for them. I'm not sure how adding the iPod dock would have somehow added rear channels and the software menu that the correct head units were never shipped with? Accordingly, I still suspect that you've got the incorrect Becker head unit in there, regardless of whatever the previous owner told you. Annoyingly, the Alpine and the Bekcer units look exactly identical, the only difference is the manufacturer and the number of channels, neither of which is visible by just looking at it.

But with that said, if it works well enough for your tastes with the iPod thing removed, then so be it.
 
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