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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there!
I have spent quite some time reading posts on this great community forum, but I could not find answers to the following questions (sorry if I missed them).

I have a 2005 SLK 350 R171 with navigation unit, most fiber loop, audio gateway, Harman Kardon system, etc.

The head unit failed, and I was quoted a very prohibitive price to replace it.
So I did some research for an aftermarket unit (on this forum primarily), and decided to opt for a Chinese unit which, although it does not have all the bells and whistles of some models out there, seems to have a less cheesy interface: Hot Selling! 7'' Car DVD GPS Navigation Stereo Radio Multimedia with iPod Bluetooth For BENZ SLK R171 SLK200/SLK230-in Car DVD from Automobiles & Motorcycles on Aliexpress.com | Alibaba Group

I'm thinking I should buy an aftermarket amp since the unit's internal amp should not have enough oomph when the top is down.

I have a few questions:

1) does my car have a subwoofer? I know that the harness that went to the audio gateway (and now goes to my new head unit through the 6m power cable) has a connector for it, but it does not necessarily mean that the car is equipped with one. Anyone could tell me where to look for to know for sure?

2) Can anybody recommend an aftermarket amp to replace the MOST audio gateway? If I have a subwoofer, I'm assuming I should get a 5 channel amp. If not, I'm assuming that a 4 channel amp would do. It bums me to let the front central and rear central speakers go dead, so if anyone has a trick for keeping them live with a new amp, I am all ears. Of course, I'm looking for an amp that could fit under the passenger foot rest, where the old audio gateway was.

3) I have removed the 6 disc CD changer from my glove box, my audio gateway from under the passenger footrest, and the DVD Navigation system from the trunk. My fiber loop is now pretty much non-existent. I was wondering, however, if by now a cable exists that would allow me to keep the audio gateway to leverage its amplification only (so all speakers could be leveraged). In essence, a cable that would take the stereo out audio signal form my aftermarket head unit, and convert it to a fiber optic signal that I would plug into the audio gateway.
If assured that such cable would work, I'd be willing to pay up to $250 for it, since that would avoid me the need to buy a new amp (and wire it, and lose the central speakers).

Sorry for the long message. I hope a kind soul out there may have shared my dilemma and be able to shed some light for me.

Kindest regards,
Regis
 

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DAS/STAR Premium Member 2005 SLK 55 AMG
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Morning ...

The headunit you're looking at seems to be one of the S100 / s150 Chinese units whicha afew of our members have fitted (have a go with the Search function and you'll find plenty of threads)

To answer your Q's

1 - No - you have two 8 inch woofers in the doors and no dedicated sub - they do provide a reasonable thump when needed ...
2 - Whatever suits your budget and sound tastes - I use Alpine personally. The AGW (Audio Gateway ) drives all 11 of the speakers currently in your car - there are no crossovers on the speakers as the AGW does all of that so you're going to need either a surround processor or additional crossovers to be able to drive the speakers correctly (unlike the cars with the more basic head units which have passive crossover components on the speakers). I'd look at some thing with 5 or 6 channels of amplification and do some rewiring if the speakers to end up with front left & right, rear left & right, centre and a dedicated sub channel with an extra sub in the boot (trunk).
There is plenty of room in the electronics bay under the passenger foot well for an amp or two.
3 - Not that I'm aware of ....

A couple of pics attached - I recently changed the V12 amp for a more powerful PDX unit, but you get the general idea ..
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you Seanhump for taking the time to respond. Much appreciated (and sorry for late reply, only seeing your response now...)
Good to know that I do not have a subwoofer. I could have looked for a long time. I loved the quality of the sound before my HU broke, so If I can drive the existing speakers one way or the other, I'd like to avoid adding a subwoofer.
So now I need to find an amp that somehow can drive all the existing speakers, but your mentioning of crossovers/digital processor, etc. kind of scares me. I'm reasonably savvy technically, but I need to spend the time to learn how to do it. And I don't want to break the bank either :)
I will post here the result of my research before I make the jump.

Thank you again,
Regis
 

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You could keep your current system intact by simply repairing the HU. They are repairable, and I have no problem finding techs who'll happily do the job.

Another thing to consider is radios usually last forever, and your problem may no more than a fuse or bad or loose connection.
 
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