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SL-Class (R230) 2003 -- 2012: Discussion on the SL500, SL550, SL600

Upgraded radio 2007 SL 550

 
Old 03-01-2019, 10:22 AM
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1966 W113 230SL 2005 R 230 SL350 (M112 3.7). Selling the W113.
This is a dispute that will never be settled. We subscribed to a fabled series 'Grand Musicians' in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. Both the venue and the orchestra are known the world over as top of the bill. Ten great concerts, good seats. Now and then I closed my eyes and wondered if this was undisputedly better than the CD at home. Ambiance: yes. Quality of sound: not always. No editing in a superb mixing studio, done by a top producer. Better or worse? Just different, that's what it was. Nothing beats a life performance, but canned music does have it's advantages. I would expect a car with a tweaked hifi set to be almost as ideal as it gets: everything can be tweaked, as opposed to a living room. Every argument bobterry proposes is totally sympathetic to me, but my stock NTG1 audio set up is dull. Those who critized it at it's launch were right from the beginning. Solid, reliable, but dull.

Last edited by Frederick NL; 03-02-2019 at 06:34 AM.
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Old 03-01-2019, 05:29 PM
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2008 SL550 R230
jps33, Thanks for sharing about your install. I have been wanting to change my radio for some time and have been debating over a Chinese Android head unit or some other name brand aftermarket head unit. I was looking at the Seicane (Chinese) radios here:
https://www.seicane.com/car-dvd-play...th-srd-s018817

This looks to be the same radio that you installed, maybe just under another brand.

However, I contacted Seicane to confirm that it would fit my 2008 SL550, and they asked me to send to send pictures of my factory radio and center console, which I did. They responded that it would NOT fit because I do not have the trim around the radio? See pic below:



Apparently on mine, there is no trim between the radio and the leather on the console (compared to the picture originally posted by jps33; I presume this trim hides the edge tabs on the Chinese head unit?)

Does anyone else have experience with this or has installed a different head unit with a center console like mine?

I understand and appreciate the points made by bobterry99, and I don't disagree with his wisdom. But, a car radio is no longer just a radio, and everyone values the various functions and aspects within a radio head unit with different priorities (sound quality vs. GPS navigation vs. smart phone integration vs. auxiliary source capabilities vs. ease of installation vs. price vs. controls/interface vs. name brand vs. cosmetic appearance... and the list goes on and on...).

The AVIN MOST Fiber interface suggested by bobterry99 looks to be a great option for going with some other name brand aftermarket radio. I suspect it would work with Bose, even though it says it will only work with Harman Kardon. Seicane has one as well here, and it says it works with either Bose or Harman Kardon. I believe you would lose steering wheel controls, but maybe there are other options to interface with steering wheel controls.

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Old 03-01-2019, 05:55 PM
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1966 W113 230SL 2005 R 230 SL350 (M112 3.7). Selling the W113.
MB sacrificed the elegant trim around the head unit to a unit with a bigger screen. I think this was in 2005. The Chinese units seem to focus on the older configuration.
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Old 03-01-2019, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Frederick NL View Post
Those who critized it at it's launch were right from the beginning. Solid, reliable, but dull.
Technically inferior audio systems add distortions and colorations which can be pleasing to some listeners. Consequently, with some music great audio systems can sound comparatively dull.

I'm reminded of a dozen years ago when I purchased Infinity's smaller version of its IRS (pictured in my prior post), and a friend found their sound underwhelming and inferior to his far less expensive Bose 601s. And that leads to a point mentioned elsewhere in this thread: audio is highly subjective. What sounds wonderful to one person can sound dreadful to another. For this reason it's prudent to take anyone's opinion of sound quality with not a grain but instead a kilogram of salt.

Originally Posted by Frederick NL View Post
I would expect a car with a tweaked hifi set to be almost as ideal as it gets: everything can be tweaked...
And since the R230's stock sound is tweaked with custom equalisation and digital signal processing, I truly wonder how it can be significantly improved without making modifications to the interior of the car which are of questionable taste.
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Old 03-02-2019, 11:25 PM
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2007 SL 550
Thanks so much for that advice!
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Old 03-03-2019, 01:34 PM
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Sl55 2003
Just fyi this radio has may issues I bought it for a sl55 2003 . Reception awful, every time you turn car on you need to wait for reboot , no fast start like ,alpine,kenwood.
bluetooth hit or miss. looks great , I am having too ship mine back to china for replacement at a cost of 90.00 after buying it for full price.
So I would look on the forum about reviews for this radio.
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Old 03-03-2019, 01:55 PM
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1966 W113 230SL 2005 R 230 SL350 (M112 3.7). Selling the W113.
Havenít you failed to hook up the constant 12V+ lead?
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Old 03-03-2019, 07:47 PM
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NO, i did that too. did not help, even external antenna that I bought did not help.
Reception is a huge issue on these, also if you have the top down you cant see the screen
due to the sun really big issue.
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Old 03-04-2019, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Austinsec View Post
NO, i did that too. did not help, even external antenna that I bought did not help.
Reception is a huge issue on these, also if you have the top down you cant see the screen
due to the sun really big issue.
Thsnks for that info.
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Old 03-07-2019, 02:00 AM
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Duckmoor, what did you decide to do? I'm looking at a 2005 with a bad COMAND unit and I'm wondering what the options are. Basically, I assume they boil down to:

1) Straight swap for another COMAND-APS NTG2 (2005-2008) unit --- I assume this is plug-and-play?

2) Aftermarket swap. Basically need a new head unit + the AVIN or Secane fiber interfaces mentioned earlier in this thread? Relatively straightforward?

3) COMAND-APS NTG2.5 (2009-2012) unit? Is this a possibility?

(I'd like to keep the stock look if at all possible)

Last edited by 850csi; 03-07-2019 at 02:11 AM.
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Old 03-07-2019, 12:59 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by 850csi View Post
Duckmoor, what did you decide to do? I'm looking at a 2005 with a bad COMAND unit and I'm wondering what the options are. Basically, I assume they boil down to:

1) Straight swap for another COMAND-APS NTG2 (2005-2008) unit --- I assume this is plug-and-play?
Yes, though I think you need to make sure you get the right version. I know in the W209 world, there was an internal difference in units that had a "SRV" button vs. a "SYS" button. Get the wrong one and your clock would not set. I do not know if this same issue exists with the R230.

2) Aftermarket swap. Basically need a new head unit + the AVIN or Secane fiber interfaces mentioned earlier in this thread? Relatively straightforward?
Yes, or, bypass the factory amps with your own analog audio wiring and use your own amp (or the new head unit's amp if you are satisfied with its output).

3) COMAND-APS NTG2.5 (2009-2012) unit? Is this a possibility?
I do not believe that is possible as the NTG 2.5 units require SCN coding which is basically where MBZ encrypts the car's VIN into it and must be done with a "virgin" unit and a live/licensed copy of SDS. There may be a way to do this, but it would be fairly complicated with lots of hacking involved.
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Old 03-08-2019, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Duckmoore View Post

Wow! Now that is Great info that is exactly what I will do. Any other info on my system that you think I need to know please send it to me.Buy the way I have relative that live in France! Bonjour and thanks.
Can you please help me with how can the Radio be converted to USA for GPS MAPS ETC. Or does it automically converts? Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-14-2019, 02:11 PM
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2007 SL 550
2007 SL 550 Command Center

I decided to replace the stock system and go to an entire new system. What are you going to do?
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