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W204 Third Party Component Speaker Upgrade

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W204 Third Party Component Speaker Upgrade

 
Old 07-22-2010, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by ICON 1 View Post
I would be interested to know how the install went and the sound results? Especially with the extra tweeter in the fronts.
Will do.

I am getting an installer to do it because it will cost less than time and tools I have to spend & buy - I gave him your instructions though Edit - don't have any tweeters now.
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Old 07-23-2010, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by ICON 1 View Post
Akadan, thanks again for taking the time to share your expertise and experience. So the crossover for the Audio 20 is in the headunit itself, correct? If I install a pair of third party components in the front would I need to install the crossovers as well? Since there is a crossover in the Audio 20 headunit would this work efficiently with the third party components? If not then would I connect the existing speaker wires (after removing factory speakers) to the crossover and then from the crossover to the third party components?

From your research which model of Infinity components has the tweeters that are the same size of the HK?

Since you installed the HK tweeters in the tweeter housing and 2 way Infinities in the front doors did you find the sound to have too much on the highs?
To be clear the head unit contains an equalizer. This means that the head unit changes the related power sent for the various frequencies.
This combined set of frequencies is sent down one set of wires.
This differs from a cross over which actually blocks or filters out certain frequencies before sending the remaining signal to the woofer or tweeter.
If the head unit had a crossover unit then 2 or even 3 sets of wires would be needed for each speaker.

For the separate Infinity Kappa's you can take a look at Crutchfield for 2 other models that offer this. I actually bought the Kappa's at a local Best buy to save on shipping and the price was the same as Crutchfield.

To the question of too many highs, too much treble... not at all.
The equalizer lets this too be balanced to your tastes and type of music.
Beyond the ECM equalizer settings there is the traditional sound settings for bass and treble.
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Old 07-27-2010, 08:36 PM
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Akadan - many thanks again. Amazing transformation!

Set my preset vol max to 85, used your equalizer settings and WOW. Have not played around with the tweeter button - yet haha.

How did you decipher those EQ setting in the first place because they make no sense to me? You a sound engineer?

Can you please post a screen shot of the Low / High Pass Filter - I think I may have mistakenly changed but set to flat now.

Any suggestions on the EQ setting for R&B, Techno? Sounds fabulous as is but just wondering since have no idea about the EQ terms etc.

This is a fabulous upgrade and value is exceptional !!
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Akadan View Post
To be clear the head unit contains an equalizer. This means that the head unit changes the related power sent for the various frequencies.
This combined set of frequencies is sent down one set of wires.
This differs from a cross over which actually blocks or filters out certain frequencies before sending the remaining signal to the woofer or tweeter.
If the head unit had a crossover unit then 2 or even 3 sets of wires would be needed for each speaker.

For the separate Infinity Kappa's you can take a look at Crutchfield for 2 other models that offer this. I actually bought the Kappa's at a local Best buy to save on shipping and the price was the same as Crutchfield.

To the question of too many highs, too much treble... not at all.
The equalizer lets this too be balanced to your tastes and type of music.
Beyond the ECM equalizer settings there is the traditional sound settings for bass and treble.
Akadan, I am considering the Infinity Kapps 60.9cs components for the front. Apparently the tweeters can fit exactly into the stock tweeter housing position. Are you familiar with these components? They apparently are an upgraded model to the Infinity Kappa 60.7cs which was mentioned and installed in another forum.

My question is since the stock fronts are components shouldn't there be 2 sets of wires coming from the head unit for these stocks (1pr to tweeters & 1 pr to mid-woofer)? If this is the case how would I wire to the crossover using the existing wires? Would I twist combine the stock tweeter wires together with the stock mid-woofer wires and then connect to the crossover input?
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by whiteongrey View Post
Will do.

I am getting an installer to do it because it will cost less than time and tools I have to spend & buy - I gave him your instructions though Edit - don't have any tweeters now.
May I ask what they charged you for the install? So you removed the stock tweeters altogether and are just running on 2 pairs of 2 ways front/back?
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Old 07-29-2010, 02:20 AM
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Originally Posted by ICON 1 View Post
May I ask what they charged you for the install? So you removed the stock tweeters altogether and are just running on 2 pairs of 2 ways front/back?
I paid $120 and he cut all the speakers with the install per instructions.

I had OE tweeters after all but they are more or less useless - they are still connected.

IMO sound is better than HK I listened to in a loaner car I had a few weeks ago. Max vol is perfect - any more and my ears would be toast.
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Old 07-29-2010, 09:47 PM
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Tweeters in door panel

Originally Posted by ICON 1 View Post
Akadan, I am considering the Infinity Kapps 60.9cs components for the front. Apparently the tweeters can fit exactly into the stock tweeter housing position. Are you familiar with these components? They apparently are an upgraded model to the Infinity Kappa 60.7cs which was mentioned and installed in another forum.

My question is since the stock fronts are components shouldn't there be 2 sets of wires coming from the head unit for these stocks (1pr to tweeters & 1 pr to mid-woofer)? If this is the case how would I wire to the crossover using the existing wires? Would I twist combine the stock tweeter wires together with the stock mid-woofer wires and then connect to the crossover input?
The head unit will only provide a pair of wires that carry the full frequency provided by the head unit. The separates - particularly the tweeters have a small frequency filter mounted on the back of the tweeter.
This acts to only pass through the higher frequencies that that the tweeter can process to sound.
In a similar way the second component the mid-range / woofer may or may not have a pass filter or a cross over. In either case the woofer can not process the higher frequencies even if these frequencies are passed through.
So in short you simply connect the new tweeters just as the existing stock tweeters are and you should be fine.

Good luck.
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Old 07-29-2010, 09:50 PM
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Great to hear that the upgrade went well for you

Originally Posted by whiteongrey View Post
I paid $120 and he cut all the speakers with the install per instructions.

I had OE tweeters after all but they are more or less useless - they are still connected.

IMO sound is better than HK I listened to in a loaner car I had a few weeks ago. Max vol is perfect - any more and my ears would be toast.
I agree the sound is better than the HK setup.
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Old 07-29-2010, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Akadan View Post
The head unit will only provide a pair of wires that carry the full frequency provided by the head unit. The separates - particularly the tweeters have a small frequency filter mounted on the back of the tweeter.
This acts to only pass through the higher frequencies that that the tweeter can process to sound.
In a similar way the second component the mid-range / woofer may or may not have a pass filter or a cross over. In either case the woofer can not process the higher frequencies even if these frequencies are passed through.
So in short you simply connect the new tweeters just as the existing stock tweeters are and you should be fine.

Good luck.
I just ordered the Infinity Kappa 60.9cs components from Crutchfield and will install these first before tackling the rears.

Thanks again for the details of the wiring specs. On the 2 wires wihich one is the + and which one is the -?

Will let everyone know how the install went.

Last edited by ICON 1; 07-29-2010 at 10:16 PM.
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Old 07-29-2010, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by whiteongrey View Post
I paid $120 and he cut all the speakers with the install per instructions.

I had OE tweeters after all but they are more or less useless - they are still connected.

IMO sound is better than HK I listened to in a loaner car I had a few weeks ago. Max vol is perfect - any more and my ears would be toast.
Is that $120 per pair or for both fronts & rears?

Glad to know that another successful install resulted in better sound, even better than the HK. I just order the Infinity Kappa 60.9cs components for the font. Will tackle this first and plan to install the Infinity Kappa 62.9i in the rear.

Last edited by ICON 1; 07-29-2010 at 10:15 PM.
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Old 07-30-2010, 02:58 PM
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It took the installer 3.5 hrs and aside from speaker cutting etc it is pure plug & play.
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Old 07-31-2010, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by ICON 1 View Post
I just ordered the Infinity Kappa 60.9cs components from Crutchfield and will install these first before tackling the rears.

Thanks again for the details of the wiring specs. On the 2 wires wihich one is the + and which one is the -?

Will let everyone know how the install went.
Typically the wire that has a line running along its length is positive.
This is what I choose. The key is that you are consistent with all four speakers.

There may also be a + marker on the terminal connector to help as well.


Good luck.
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Old 08-01-2010, 05:58 AM
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I just finished the install on the Infinity Kappa 60.9cs components and the sound is day and night. The stock speakers are just crap and there is no comparison. Using Akadan's retrofit instructions gave me a great base to work from. Here's what I needed to do for each component. The wiring of each component I will explain in the intall of Infinity crossover.

Tweeters - They do not fit into the 3 point plastic housing made for the stock tweeters behind the triangular grill. They do fit perfectly in the foam backing for the stock tweeters. After accessing how to install the Infinity tweeters I concluded I did not want to surface mount them. The easiest and most aesthetically pleasing would be to pressure mount them using a compination of the triangular grill and the inserted foam backing. The 3 point plastic housing behind the triangular grill is held in place by 3 plastic rivets glued onto it. I used a dremel and cut off the 3 rivet heads and gently pryed off the housing leaving only the triangular grill. With the Infinity tweeter inserted into the foam backing I simpley snapped the grill over the Infinity tweeter and it held the tweeter in place perfectly.

Woofer - I initially drilled out the rivets on the first stock speaker I was working on, removed the stock speaker, and was planning to install the first woofer directly into the woofer location. However the fit and trim was not working for me. I relooked at Akadan's surgical retrofit and realized that the stock woofer was built with a 2 inch spacer around it. The Infinity's came with 2 mounting rings for each woofer, 1 plastic and 1 metal. As Akadan stated on his retrofit the metal mounting rings fitted perfectly into the top of the stock speakers. As per Akadan's instructions I proceeded to cut out the guts of the stock speaker with a dremel thus leaving a perfect 2 inch spacer for the install of the Infinity woofers. I reinstalled the now dremel altered stock speaker housing with the supplied Infinity screws and metal clips and followed Akadan's instructions for mounting the metal ring and new Infinity woofer. The drilling out of he rivets and screwing the dremel altered stock speaker housing into place was only done on the first speaker. For the second front speaker I did not drill out the rivets and did the dremel cutting directly in place. The combination of the dremel altered stock speaker housing and the Infinity metal mounting ring made for a perfect fit install for the woofers.

Crossover - I will break this down to mounting and then wiring.

Mounting - This took some time to figure out where to position it. As some had mentioned there is plenty of space to mount on the aluminum door facing but the problem was will the removed door panel fit back in place properly afterwards. The overall crossover was nearly 1.75" in height and mounting it anywhere on the aluminum door facing was not going to work without affecting the reinstalling of the door panel. I then proceeded to look at the backside of the removed door panel itself and found at the backend there is a small pocket space that perfectly fitted the Infinity crossover. Using a combinations of double side tape and foam weather stripping for further rattle free insulation I installed the crossover in this small pocket space. However do not install the Infinity crossover in the small pocket until you finish the wiring and are ready to put the removed door panel back in place.

Wiring - The factory wiring actually has 2 sets of paired wires coming from the HU, 1 pair running to the tweeter and 1 pair runnining to the woofer. As Akadan and others have stated there is no factory crossover installed. The factory tweeter has a filter on the backside to filter out the lower frequenciies and that is it. After discussing the stock wiring with a Crutchfield technician it was determined that I would need to test which pair of wires carried the full range of frequencies from the HU. After cutting of the stock wire connectors, trial running and listening to each pair of stock wires I determined that the pair running to the woofer had a better range of frequencies. Using crimp wire connectors and extending the length of the paired stock woofer wires to the approximate length of where the crossover will finally be mounted I connected this to the input of the crossover. I then connected and ran new speaker wires from the crossover to the tweeter and then to the woofer.

For the woofer I drilled a small hole on the side the dremel altered stock speaker housing and ran it through for connection to the woofer. The Infinity woofer has a 6" dangling wire connector. Make sure you positioned this so that it does not vibrate. I initially had this wrapped around the diameter of the magnet and zipped tied onto one of the woofer's metal support. When I installed the woofer the plastic wired connector end was positioned on top of the speaker. This caused the plastic wired connector to vibrate with the bass. I had to remove the woofer and repositon it so the plastic wired connector was at the bottom position. You can also double stick tape the plastic wired connector to the back of the magnet. Just make sure you have enough room as to not affect the glass window.

After connecting and running all the wires and permanently screwing in the woofer I took the wired Infinity crossover and pushed it into pocket space at the backend of the door panel. Reinstalled the door panel and the window trim, then pressure mounted the tweeter into place.

The end result is astonishing and I could not be happier with the sound. If one does not want to use components I would recommend replacing with 2 ways for the woofers since this pair of stock wires are full range. By the way I found the wiring schematics on another forum and the front wires both left and right are Green (+) and Green/Brown (-).

Anyone opting for replacing the stock speakers will not regret it. Make sure you read and understand both Vic Viper's and Akadan's forum on the subject matter.

For the rears I just ordered the Infinity Kappa 62.9i 2 ways and can't wait to install them.
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Old 09-22-2010, 03:21 PM
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Hi guys. I have a sound 50 sistem in my c 220. I already replaced tweeters with HK and it sounds better. I tryed to find the audio settings in ENG menu, but i can't find it. My english is not my strongest part so can, please someone write a step by step thru the menu to the audio settings. Thanx.
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Old 09-23-2010, 04:25 PM
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Sorry Vodka but I am not familiar with the c220.
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:04 PM
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Even though my car is a lease, I am heavily considering upgrading the speakers. I am sure that between me and my dad we could do this without having to go to a shop. But I am sure there will be rattles and all these errors. So I want everything done right, and I am probably going to bring it to get it professionally done. But I need a bit of advice or information.

My wants: I am young, 20, I listen to rap and pop and such, and always have the music at full blast. I love loud bass, but not where I break seals in my windshield and stuff, but I desperately miss the amazing lows my old infiniti bose studio on wheels used to have; you know, the type that you never even knew the song did until you heard them on good speakers.

If your willing to, I would love to hear the pros and cons of the various speakers, or your recommendation for what would be best for me. I am going to have the car for another 2 years and want it done right. And if all goes well, at this point I am 90% sure I will buy it out at the end of the lease.

For the next 2 years I am going to leave the stock audio 20 headunit. But if I buy it, I will retrofit in the comand system (will this make a difference?). The audio 20 system doesn't have a subwoofer, where is it on the H/K system? I would like to add subs, but don't want to have half my trunk space taken over...

Last request wold be to give me an approximation on how much the speakers cost (not including labor). If anyone could help me out with this I will love you forever!
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:10 PM
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Btw, anyone kno what brand is our OEM speaker on standard 6 speakers car?
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Old 09-24-2010, 01:21 PM
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My only speaker experience is with the Infinity Kappa 60.9cs (front components) and the Kappa 62.9i (rear 2 ways). Infinity and Harmon Kardon are now under the same company. I can't comment on other speakers in the market but I am sure they are comparable. The major benefit with the Infinity Kappas is the included metal speaker mounting ring. It fits perfectly into the surgically altered stock speaker housing (after removing the speaker guts). I believe this metal speaker mounting ring is only included with the Kappa series and not their lower line of speakers.

The sound from my Infinity Kappas are phenomenal. I could not be happier but then again any decent speaker replacement would be better than what is standard on the MB c300. It is ashame what MB has as standard speakers is just crap. The woofers are just cheap paper. The time and effort was well worth it. The highs are crisp and clear and the lows are deep and powerful without being booming. If you like the booming bass then you will need a sub. There is a forum from another c300 owner who installed a sub in his. Just google the subject and it will pull up. The head unit is fine for me as I listen to every type of music from classical to jazz to pop to hip hop (depends on mood while driving).

The entire speaker replacement cost me $340 from Crutchfield. I had looked at replacing with the HK speakers from MB but the cost was just too high (over $800) in my opinion. I'm not sure what a professsional will charge but if you and your dad are handy it is not hard to do the install yourself. Just read up on Vic Viper's and Akadan's forum on the subject matter and then read my follow up. If you understand after reading everything then I am sure you and your dad can complete the install.

One last note, the rear speakers are nearly impossible to replace. The stock speakers are riveted from within and there is no easy way to get them replaced other than how Akadan has posted.
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Old 09-24-2010, 01:23 PM
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I don't know what brand the stock speakers are but they are crap.
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Old 09-24-2010, 05:56 PM
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Thanks so much for the fast reply. I guess its a pretty affordable upgrade then... I just wish I could hear them in person before I did it. I think I read somewhere up earlier that someone got these at Best Buy? I am getting older and am starting to appreciate the better sound quality. But for what I listen to now, to be honest, the stock speakers do a great job. Big boomy bass that gets pretty loud.

Bottom line is, it would be ideal if the amount of boomy-ness remained the same, but I just got a lot louder and crisp and detailed mid and high end. I guess if they aren't a decent bass fullness, I can always add a subwoofer... But I really don't want to have to have trunk space sacrificed for it. How does the H/K system add the subwoofer, and where?

I think that I can do the install between him and I, but what got me a bit confused is when people started to talk about crossfaders and filters and junk. I just want ones that will pretty much fit and mount with no huge hassle (rivets and stuff like that are fine). I just don't want to take a majority of the car apart and have to run new wires from the head unit, but anything else that is pretty much plug and play, unmount old ones, remount new ones, and splice wires in? I am good for...
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Old 09-25-2010, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by jctevere View Post
Thanks so much for the fast reply. I guess its a pretty affordable upgrade then... I just wish I could hear them in person before I did it. I think I read somewhere up earlier that someone got these at Best Buy? I am getting older and am starting to appreciate the better sound quality. But for what I listen to now, to be honest, the stock speakers do a great job. Big boomy bass that gets pretty loud.

Bottom line is, it would be ideal if the amount of boomy-ness remained the same, but I just got a lot louder and crisp and detailed mid and high end. I guess if they aren't a decent bass fullness, I can always add a subwoofer... But I really don't want to have to have trunk space sacrificed for it. How does the H/K system add the subwoofer, and where?

I think that I can do the install between him and I, but what got me a bit confused is when people started to talk about crossfaders and filters and junk. I just want ones that will pretty much fit and mount with no huge hassle (rivets and stuff like that are fine). I just don't want to take a majority of the car apart and have to run new wires from the head unit, but anything else that is pretty much plug and play, unmount old ones, remount new ones, and splice wires in? I am good for...
The HK system has the subwoofer on the rear deck with the rear speakers. It is not very effective, better with an aftermarket. If you're concerned about space you can install many types of pre-fab subwoofers with quick disconnects that will allow you to remove it in a few seconds. Bazooka is one such brand


On a side note, I checked in engineering mode and could not find an EQ for my HK system, anyone know if there is one.
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Old 09-26-2010, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by jctevere View Post
Thanks so much for the fast reply. I guess its a pretty affordable upgrade then... I just wish I could hear them in person before I did it. I think I read somewhere up earlier that someone got these at Best Buy? I am getting older and am starting to appreciate the better sound quality. But for what I listen to now, to be honest, the stock speakers do a great job. Big boomy bass that gets pretty loud.

Bottom line is, it would be ideal if the amount of boomy-ness remained the same, but I just got a lot louder and crisp and detailed mid and high end. I guess if they aren't a decent bass fullness, I can always add a subwoofer... But I really don't want to have to have trunk space sacrificed for it. How does the H/K system add the subwoofer, and where?

I think that I can do the install between him and I, but what got me a bit confused is when people started to talk about crossfaders and filters and junk. I just want ones that will pretty much fit and mount with no huge hassle (rivets and stuff like that are fine). I just don't want to take a majority of the car apart and have to run new wires from the head unit, but anything else that is pretty much plug and play, unmount old ones, remount new ones, and splice wires in? I am good for...
Initially I wanted to hear them first before purchasing but after reading a lot of the positive reviews I felt more confident in proceeding with a blind purchase. I received a good price from Crutchfield after finding a 20% coupon code online. Their customer service is great and they have technicians available to answer most questions during the install. There cheaper prices available from Amazon but I beleive these are gray market goods and customer service from these third party sellers are non-existence.

Another reason for going with the Infinity Kappas is the perfect fit of the metal speaker mounting ring. These fit perfectly into the speaker housing after removing the guts from the stock speakers (detailed in Akadan's forum on the subject matter) and using the stock speaker housing as a spacer and speaker mount. Installing it this way you do not need to remove the rivets. Besides I see no other easy way to install the rear speakers without a total disassembling of the door panel components.

The bass on the Infinity Kappas are very precise. It is not boomy but it is strong. When I turn it up I can feel it. What I love about these speakers is when I am driving with all windows opened I can still hear the sound precision through all of the wind noise.

Filters are components that filter out the unnecessary frequencies to a specified speaker and are typically installed either on the speaker or into the particular wire for the speaker. Crossovers are more elaborate filters, it is a seperate component that seperates the upper and lower frequencies coming from the HU and then sending the correct frequency to each of the component speakers. As I had stated in my install the crossover design of the Infinity Kappa fitted perfectly into small pocket in the door panel. Except for a few minor modifications the install was pretty easy. Running wires from the HU was not on my list of to dos and I did consider mounting the crossover under the dash but running the wires from the crossover through the door was not an easy task after I assessed it. Not that I am trying to convince you to go with the Infinity Kappas but if you are installing components in the front make sure the crossovers that come with the speakers are similar in size to the ones with the Infinity Kappas. There is not a lot of room for installing a crossover in the door panel and any larger sized crossover will need to be installed under the dash.
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Old 09-26-2010, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Norm01 View Post
The HK system has the subwoofer on the rear deck with the rear speakers. It is not very effective, better with an aftermarket. If you're concerned about space you can install many types of pre-fab subwoofers with quick disconnects that will allow you to remove it in a few seconds. Bazooka is one such brand


On a side note, I checked in engineering mode and could not find an EQ for my HK system, anyone know if there is one.
I'm not sure on the HK system but for the audio 20 when you access engineering mode (push & hold hang up, 1, & #) naviagate and select the sound menu, under sound menu there is the menu for equalizer.
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Old 09-26-2010, 12:29 PM
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Mercedes C220 cdi avantgarde W 204, tinted windows, Brabus springs, 22mm spacers on back
What about audio 50 sistem? Can you make any settings? Where is amplifier located?
vodka is offline  
Old 09-26-2010, 08:04 PM
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2013 C300 Sport
Originally Posted by vodka View Post
What about audio 50 sistem? Can you make any settings? Where is amplifier located?
Sorry not familiar with the audio 50.
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