Certified Autosound and Security in Abbotsford recently got a call from the local Honda dealership for some help with this used 2005 Mercedes Benz SL55 radio. The sound system in the car wasn’t working, and a replacement from Mercedes-Benz was going to cost a LOT of money. They asked us if we could look at the vehicle and try to get the audio system working for the new owner.
Audio System Research
After digging into the system and speaking with the MOST fiber optic integration experts at NAV-TV, it became apparent that the factory amplifier wasn’t working. One option was to use a MOST interface with the factory radio and install a new amplifier. We didn’t go this route as the factory radios in these cars don’t offer modern communication features, and this model lacked Bluetooth for hands-free communication. After talking to the dealership, we proposed an upgrade solution that would provide the client with great sound quality and modern communication features. They loved the plan and gave us the approval to start work.
Mercedes Benz SL55 Radio Replacement
We removed the factory radio and installed a Kenwood DDX-9904S digital media receiver using a Connects2 fascia and mounting kit. The Kenwood eXcelon DDX-9904S receiver includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration. These technologies allow the driver to send text messages, make phone calls and even send a short e-mail by talking to the radio. He can keep his hands on the steering wheel and eyes on the road the whole time. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay also include turn-by-turn navigation. They provide quick and easy access to music stored on the smartphone and streaming media like Pandora, iHeartRadio and Tidal.
The DDX-9904S can play MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV and FLAC digital media files from a USB memory stick connected to one of its two USB ports. If the client chooses, we can add a backup camera to the system to make parking easier and safer. As you can see, the DDX-9904S is an impressive upgrade from the original Mercedes Benz SL55 Radio.
Audison Amplifier Upgrade
The factory sound system in the Benz has a lot of speakers compared to most vehicles built in 2005. To maximize the performance of the system, we installed an Audison Prima AP8.9bit eight-channel amplifier in the vehicle. The Prima amp includes a nine-channel digital signal processor that we used to set crossovers, equalization and signal delay for each speaker in the system.
Automobiles are difficult environments when it comes to reproducing music. The offset seating position for the driver puts the listener much closer to the left-side speakers than the right. As such, imaging suffers. Using the signal delay functions in the AP8.9 bit amplifier, we can delay the output of the near-side speakers so that all of the sound arrives at the listening position simultaneously. The icing on the cake is the ability to smooth the frequency response from each speaker to compensate for acoustic reflections and resonances in the vehicle. The bit processor in the amp allows us to make these adjustments efficiently and accurately.
We mounted the Audison amplifier under the rear seat using a bracket attached to the chassis. After completing the electrical connections, we wrapped the wiring in automotive-grade cloth tape to keep it secure and tidy.
Upgrade Your Vehicle at Certified Autosound and Security
We have many customers that come to Certified Autosound and Security in Abbotsford, Maple Ridge and Chilliwack in search of technology and feature upgrades for older vehicles. Smartphone integration solutions such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto change the way we can communicate while on the road. At the same time, older sound systems don’t have the power to provide music enthusiasts an enjoyable experience. Our upgrades provide solutions to these challenges, and much more. If you have any questions about upgrading the entertainment system in your vehicle, drop by our location nearest to you and speak with a member of our sales team. We’ll work with you to design a solution that will fulfill your upgrade requirements and works with your budget. For more information about any of our products or services, give us a call or send us an e-mail using our online contact form. We look forward to assisting you.