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Old 10-24-2011   #1 (permalink)
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Default Kenwood aftermarket radio install

I just purchased a 2006 SLK280 with Command Audio. I have a audio shop that seems competent and are going to install a Kenwood DNX6180 next week. The Harmon/Kardon system is the one presently installed and they mentioned they may have to wire around the amplifier. I am getting paranoid and am concerned about the fiber optic cable that I have read about in several post. What adapter is needed for this install and if they leave it disconnected what will I lose? I am not worried about steering wheel controls as I only have control over volume now but am worried it will affect other systems....

Any help on this matter is greatly appreciated. Hope I posted the correct info that is necessary as I am a newbie I am not sure what some of the abbreviations mean......
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Old 10-24-2011   #2 (permalink)
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So you'll lose - IMHO very little of value these days. Teleaide (or the newer MBrace), telephone integration, CD Changer, and Sirius if you have it.

They big bit your lose is the HK amp - and that does make a difference. I'd seriously consider replacing it with something with adequate power to drive the 11 speakers in your car.
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Old 10-24-2011   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the fast reply. I was told that MB sells a harness/adapter that would allow the use of the HK amplifier. Anyone know of this and a part ? I would love to leave the amp and speakers original as I have no problems with the sound. Just want to add Bluetooth and Navigation for less than MB OEM.
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Old 10-24-2011   #4 (permalink)
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In the R171, the AMP is connected to the head by MOST fiber. I'm not aware of an adapter that's capable of making use of it at all with an aftermarket radio. Heck, you can't even make it work with a later generation MB head.
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Old 10-24-2011   #5 (permalink)
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A buddy at work just installed a Kenwood audio/nav system (might be the exact model you mentioned) into his 2010 VW Toureg and they were able to order an adapter harness that plugged in the Toureg harness and he kept all functionality. All of his steering wheel buttons still work, the screen displays the image from the back-up camera when in reverse, the system has bluetooth, accesses the phone's contact list, displays all pertinent phone call info on the screen, handsfree, etc. It also has the Ipod and USB connection cables to read music from USB sticks and also works with Sirius Sat radio. Really slick system for aftermarket.
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Old 10-24-2011   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L9X25 View Post
A buddy at work just installed a Kenwood audio/nav system (might be the exact model you mentioned) into his 2010 VW Toureg and they were able to order an adapter harness that plugged in the Toureg harness and he kept all functionality. All of his steering wheel buttons still work, the screen displays the image from the back-up camera when in reverse, the system has bluetooth, accesses the phone's contact list, displays all pertinent phone call info on the screen, handsfree, etc. It also has the Ipod and USB connection cables to read music from USB sticks and also works with Sirius Sat radio. Really slick system for aftermarket.
Would it be possible to get some details from him? I'm still waiting to hear from my installer for details of what he has found out.
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Old 10-24-2011   #7 (permalink)
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Gents - no argument it can work in a VW - or that in the SLK the right CAN adapter can make the controls on the steering wheel work. The question I was answering was using the HK amp with an aftermarket head...

It's trivial to get an ISO harness - as a matter of fact, the VW one will work with a couple of pins swapped - and there are a couple of companies making stalk adapters for the SLK. Both of those are straightforward - the MOST integration is a bit more difficult. :P
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Old 10-24-2011   #8 (permalink)
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Buck,

My co-worker is NOT a technical guy ... but I can get the info on the shop that installed the system (Tampa, Florida) if that would help in any way. If you would like to ask him anything, I would be happy to help.

UK,

I was not trying to exaggerate the capacities of the Kenwood system, just saying that he would not lose as much as he might think. An amp is not that expensive to replace if that is all that he needs to complete the system.
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Old 10-24-2011   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L9X25 View Post
UK,

I was not trying to exaggerate the capacities of the Kenwood system, just saying that he would not lose as much as he might think. An amp is not that expensive to replace if that is all that he needs to complete the system.
LOL - I actually agree with you completely - if I had to do it again, I'd go aftermarket as well.

Was simply saying the only thing of value in my opinion in his current equation is the HK amp - the rest is easily replaced with better in the Kenwood. No clue if / how the Kenwood can drive the 11 speakers in the HK system - or if it would require an external amp. All I'm saying is that there's no way I know of to re-use the existing amp..

Thinking about it - his installer is right in that the ISO harness actually is not that straightforward, he has to get the copper speaker wires from the passenger footwelll where they are connected to the HK amp to the back of the HU. Not impossible, just a bit of custom work that I always manage to forget! :P
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Old 10-24-2011   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the info. The technician had stated that if they could not get the amp to work then they would have to connect to the speaker wires directly. That will drive up the install price. Again I'm not real worried about the volume control on the steering wheel just wanted to make sure nothing else would be affected downstream (or upstream).

Was hoping that there was a specific supplier that I might be able to get the adapter from that was designed for integrating everything without a lot of custom work. Guess I'll wait to see what the installer comes up with and then make plans from there.

Again, thanks for all the info. Will let you know how this all turns out.....
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Old 10-25-2011   #11 (permalink)
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There is a company in Germany that makes ISO adapters for NTG1 / HK systems, but they are for ROW spec car, not US Spec - you'd end up paying more as it would still be a custom build.

Key is to get a good installer who knows Mercedes, and ideally, the SLK. The speakers have built in caps and coils, so need to be taken into account with retrofitting.

There's a really long thread I posted with LinuxPro was upgrading his...
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Old 10-25-2011   #12 (permalink)
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I have the Kenwood DNX9980HD installed in my 07. I used the PAC controls for the steering wheel. Since I had the Audio20, all of my speaker wires were at the head end. My research didn't find any easy way to reuse the HK amp for those that have it.

I have CD, DVD, USB, iPOD, satellite radio, bluetooth, HD radio, navigation, and handsfree/voice command. It was a definite upgrade. I searched out the best bezel (as recommended here on the forum) and the match to the rest of the dash plastic is near perfect.
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Old 10-25-2011   #13 (permalink)
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For sake of being complete, the system he has in the Toureg is a DNX7180. As the previous poster listed, he has CD, DVD, USB, iPOD, satellite radio, bluetooth, HD radio, navigation, and handsfree/voice command.
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Old 11-15-2011   #14 (permalink)
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My installer did a great job. It was a good bit of work more than they were expecting but he stuck with his original estimate. He had to wire crossovers for the speakers? He left everything so it can be changed back to original is I ever decide to or sell the car. I do think I will have them install an amp in the near future. I like the unit but as the reviews said there is some delay when selecting different features and there are quite a few menus to select from. Still overall I'm happy with my choice. I had them install the IPOD and USB cable in the glove box and my Itouch and Iphone work great there and recharge at the same time. Haven't tried the USB or DVD video yet but they wired it so I should have DVD on the go (won't use it but it's there). Love the Navigation as I'm use Garmins all the time in my other vehicles.
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Old 11-18-2011   #15 (permalink)
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Just picked up the car with the new amplifier installed. Now I can bring the volume all the way up and it's clear as a bell (albiet very loud). Videos work great and DVD work as well...... Couldn't get the steering wheel controls hooked up as he couldn't find a pair of twisted wires needed for installing the adapter and didn't want to charge me extra for labor and then not be able to make it work. All in all I'm very happy with the unit and the resulting sounds....
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Old 11-18-2011   #16 (permalink)
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Glad to hear you got it working and sounding good, I have the HK system in my car and would like to change the head unit as you did. How many speakers are you running now and what amp did you use?
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Old 11-19-2011   #17 (permalink)
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I left all the details up to the installer. He has all the speakers working but had to make crossovers for them. I'll call him Monday and ask what amp he used.
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