R172 Speaker and Amp Upgrade - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

SLK R172 General Discussion Discussion regarding the Mercedes SLK R172

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#1 Old 04-28-2019
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R172 Speaker and Amp Upgrade

I've been searching for a few hours and couldn't find anything specific on replacing speakers/amp in a R172 with HK audio system. I'd like to replace with aftermarket equipment and I expect to do some modding of the stock speaker pods. Some decent info on R171, including door panel removal instructions, but I doubt it's the same for the R172. Can anyone point me in the right direction?
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#2 Old 05-12-2019
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I've settled on the addition of a powered subwoofer under the passenger seat as my first mod of the audio system. I'm looking for a wiring diagram of the stock amplifier so I can tap the speaker outputs for high level amp inputs. The BBB wiring diagram doesn't seem to exist, and the WIS link from this thread seems to point to a Japanese link. Can someone point me in the right direction? https://www.slkworld.com/slk-r172-general-discussion/491601-where-can-i-find-purchase-wiring-diagrams.html
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#3 Old 05-14-2019
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Got the amp exposed in the foot well, which was surprisingly easy to access.
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#4 Old 05-14-2019
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Thanks for the update.

Keep the pictures coming of the updates.
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#5 Old 05-15-2019
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Ran a 4 Guage power cable to the positive battery terminal. Part of an amp wiring kit that came with an 80 amp circuit breaker. There's a rubber grommet just behind the battery making it easy to pass through the firewall. Subwoofer should be delivered today.
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#6 Old 05-16-2019
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I purchased the WIS EPC and was able to find the amp wiring diagram attached. The diagram shows that each door has 2 woofers in addition to a midrange and a tweeter. Can anyone verify that's correct? It could also be a single woofer with a dual voice coil, but that's less likely. I'm going to tap the output of one of the woofers to feed as input to my new powered sub. My concern is that the amp may be using a crossover to limit the lower frequencies to one of the woofers. It certainly filters the low frequencies send to the smaller speakers - I testing this by temporarily attaching a larger speaker to the rear speaker outputs and go no bass response whatsoever.
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#7 Old 05-17-2019
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Subwoofer has arrived! It's thin profile makes for several mounting options. I'm rethinking my idea to put it behind the passenger seat. I may opt instead for the passenger footwell or the rear bulkhead. Some pics attached.
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#8 Old 05-18-2019
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Done! Pics attached. I ended up mounting the sub directly to the passenger footwell metal plate. The improvement in sound quality is surprising good. For less than $300 total, it takes the HK audio system from average to excellent. I was originally going to replace the door speakers, but it's sounds so good with the sub, I'm just going to keep them This is a pretty easy mod for anyone to tackle, and aside from research it took about 8 hours of my labor and basic tools. If anyone's interested I'll post a materials list and an as-built wiring diagram.
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#9 Old 05-18-2019
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How much space do you lose in the footwell? Bass is the one area that I believe that the HK needs improvement. This might be a great upgrade my system as well. I’m just debating about how “factory” it will look. I always try to make non-cosmetic improvements. Ones that you cannot see.
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#10 Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katiebear00 View Post
Done! Pics attached. I ended up mounting the sub directly to the passenger footwell metal plate. The improvement in sound quality is surprising good. For less than $300 total, it takes the HK audio system from average to excellent. I was originally going to replace the door speakers, but it's sounds so good with the sub, I'm just going to keep them This is a pretty easy mod for anyone to tackle, and aside from research it took about 8 hours of my labor and basic tools. If anyone's interested I'll post a materials list and an as-built wiring diagram.

I would love a materials list and diagram, thanks!
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#11 Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Originally Posted by Mensra View Post
How much space do you lose in the footwell? Bass is the one area that I believe that the HK needs improvement. This might be a great upgrade my system as well. I’m just debating about how “factory” it will look. I always try to make non-cosmetic improvements. Ones that you cannot see.
. I cut away the 3 inches of foam from the back of the footwell carpet, so I only lost an inch or so. The final installation is completely hidden.
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#12 Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Here is my material list and pricing:


JBL Basspro SL 8" Subwoofer - $250

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_109BAS...assPro-SL.html


Amp Wiring Kit - $20
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1


Circuit Breaker -$13 (More convenient than the fuse included in the amp wiring kit)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1


Total : $283


If you're on a budget, there are cheaper subwoofer options with the same form factor like this one for $140:
https://www.crutchfield.com/p_777B8P...ered_subwoofer



I may end up replacing the door tweeters, but the powered subwoofer addition is definitely the biggest bang for the buck
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#13 Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Thank you! Is the HK amp in the passenger footwell? So you just tapped the sub output on that diagram you posted? A little more bass will go a long way in this car I think, thanks for this!
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#14 Old 4 Weeks Ago
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If youre in the states I might have to commission you to do this for me some day. I'd be scared to death to fry the electronics in my car somehow by doing it wrong.
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#15 Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Originally Posted by cousjcc View Post
If youre in the states I might have to commission you to do this for me some day. I'd be scared to death to fry the electronics in my car somehow by doing it wrong.
I think this is actually a low risk project. The only wiring you are cutting into are speaker outputs between the amp and the door speakers. Wiring to the battery is pretty straightforward also and does not require disconnecting the battery. The only potential hazard would be accidentally grounding the new power wire you attach the battery, and I eliminated this possibility by using the circuit breaker in my material list. You effectively switch off the new power wire until everything is hooked up and ready to turn on.
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#16 Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Are you not worried that somebody stepping into your passenger seat might break the speaker grille?
Having the seats being so low, and sometimes not being able to fully open my door (due to other nearby cars), I always step really hard into the passenger footwell area, before I am able to sit down.

That foam is there also for this specific reason, and now, being thinner...

The speaker is also now covered with the remaining foam, doesn't that affect the sound quality?

Also, did you consider putting the base into the trunk? Possibly into the spare wheel area?
Not sure how it would behave with the top down, but while the top is up, I think the trunk space would further amplify the sound quality.
I have also previously seen most people add their base system in the trunk for this specific reason.

I have retrofitted OEM Bose system into my previous R170. The placement of the additional speakers were on the back wall, just behind the seats, and the sound faced the driver/passenger.

I am no sound expert, just my 2 cents
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#17 Old 4 Weeks Ago
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I also wondered what these circle cut-out spaces are reserved for.
My first insight would be that they were planning to add speakers (base kinds) there as well, but considering they are so small, I'm also doubting it.
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#18 Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Originally Posted by Rooster OG View Post
Thank you! Is the HK amp in the passenger footwell? So you just tapped the sub output on that diagram you posted? A little more bass will go a long way in this car I think, thanks for this!
Yes the HK amp is in the passenger footwell. Attached is the procedure to access it.
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#19 Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Originally Posted by Wilhelm Sorban View Post
Are you not worried that somebody stepping into your passenger seat might break the speaker grille?
No, it's a very stiff grill. The grill is strong enough that I can stand on top of it.


Quote:
That foam is there also for this specific reason, and now, being thinner...
It was 3 inches of Styrofoam, presumably for sound dampening. There is additional foam on the firewall that I didn't touch. I haven't noticed a difference in cabin noise. Maybe because I'm cranking my tunes with my new sub. [/QUOTE]

Quote:
The speaker is also now covered with the remaining foam, doesn't that affect the sound quality?
Not at all. Bass is non-directional. That's why subwoofers still work in the trunk and it doesn't sound like the sound is coming from behind you.


Quote:
Also, did you consider putting the base into the trunk?

Possibly into the spare wheel area?
I did, but it seemed more difficult to me because it involves running wires further and removing more panels, trim, carpet, etc. There's another thread in this forum where a guy did a great job mounting it there.



Quote:
Not sure how it would behave with the top down, but while the top is up, I think the trunk space would further amplify the sound quality.
I have also previously seen most people add their base system in the trunk for this specific reason.
Subs are installed in the trunk because that's usually where it will fit, especially for a traditional type sub, which is large. With the sub in the passenger compartment, the sound quality is likely better. But not by much.
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#20 Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Originally Posted by Wilhelm Sorban View Post
I also wondered what these circle cut-out spaces are reserved for.
My first insight would be that they were planning to add speakers (base kinds) there as well, but considering they are so small, I'm also doubting it.
THat cut out is to replace the rear suspension trust
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