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I did a lot of research on what woofers to use. If you want a 8" sub that should fit in the factory spot then check out the Earthquake SWS subwoofer. I don't have them, but it looked like a good option. That is going to depend on where you do the high pass for the crossover at though too. I am not sure I would want to go over about 150hz with these. The nice thing is that they come in a 2 ohm version too, I think you could drop these in as a direct replacement and not even change the amp. You would need to verify the stock ohm rating for the 8" to make sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Here's where I'm at. There's an Audison dealer down the street from me and I sent out an email to them with the write up link. I'm waiting for their call...What is interesting in the write up is the comments. Several people did the Audison recommendation. And besides one guy who may have bought a bad amp, they all loved it.

So, if anyone who has the Gateway but just wants the best sound out of their OEM speakers, just get the Audison 8.9 installed inline AFTER the Gateway and that's it. The installation is a little tricky but it brings out the best in the underutilized and underperforming OEM speakers. The Gateway can still be used to power some of the smaller speakers and the OEM wiring is used. So, it's "only" $900 for the Audison Amp/DSP + installation. But the folks who responded went further and replaced some of their speakers as well.

Since my door woofers blew, I have to replace those. But I may buy a 3 way set to replace the 8" woofer, 3" or 4" midrange and 1+" front door top tweeter for each door. This place carries Audison, Hertz and Hybrid Audio Technologies speakers(which get amazing reviews but are pricey) so I'll have some choice. But the 2006 SLK car door woofers are shallow depth "pancake" woofers so maybe not that big of a choice.

I'll update how things go.
 

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Discussion Starter #23 (Edited)
I did a lot of research on what woofers to use. If you want a 8" sub that should fit in the factory spot then check out the Earthquake SWS subwoofer. I don't have them, but it looked like a good option. That is going to depend on where you do the high pass for the crossover at though too. I am not sure I would want to go over about 150hz with these. The nice thing is that they come in a 2 ohm version too, I think you could drop these in as a direct replacement and not even change the amp. You would need to verify the stock ohm rating for the 8" to make sure.
Thanks jet_fl. I've written that down. I've found that Hybrid Audio Technologies also has a shallow depth woofer so it's good to have options. I'll see what the audio shop suggests too.

The mounting depth of the Earthquake SWS 8X is 2 1/16". Do you happen to know what mounting depth is the the maximum for a door woofer? Was your research for a 2006 SLK?
 

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Thanks jet_fl. I've written that down. I've found that Hybrid Audio Technologies also has a shallow depth woofer so it's good to have options. I'll see what the audio shop suggests too.

The mounting depth of the Earthquake SWS 8X is 2 1/16". Do you happen to know what mounting depth is the the maximum for a door woofer? Was your research for a 2006 SLK?
I believe stock is 2 1/8". I will be taking mine out shortly as I am doing a full system upgrade. If you are able to do the work yourself you can do a serious upgrade for not that much money, or if the shop you are working with will install parts you provide.

I don't think just installing an amp is going to do too much. If you have handled the speakers you will realize they are very cheap. Parts Express is where I got a lot of my parts. They buy from the OEM manufacturers and are dirt cheap in comparison to other places. I will do a thread when I do my upgrade, it is going to be pretty awesome but will take some time. I am doing custom 10" subwoofer boxes behind the seats.
 

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I also think adding the 8 x 35 watt amp is not going to make much difference. Looking at the wire thickness of the wiring of the door woofers compared to the small other speakers I think the woofers get more of the 380 HK watts then the rest. Mounting depth is not that bad actually. See My topic

@jet_fl : 2 10” boxes will do the trick i guess. Looking forward to your thread!
 

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Discussion Starter #26
From what I understand from the article, what makes it work is that the Audison 8.9 has a very good DSP. That is why it works with the Gateway inline( and allows me to keep the OEM head unit in place and Comand to work in full)) with the Gateway sending its signal through the Audison.... It will improve the quality of sound by leaps and bounds over the Gateway alone. Just a straight amp won't do it.....

I'm considering the Audison because I do not want to replace my head unit and I do not want to lose any of the Comand features and abilities. I just want better sound. I like hearing bass lines well but I don't want thudding/rattling bass that most subwoofers can bring. In my house I don't mind.

I will listen to what the article guy wrote and ask the installers about it:
"So try not to get hung up on amplifier wattage as a measure of quality or loudness. An honest 35 watts per channel over 8 channels into a 4 ohm load (the Prima’s rated output) with high efficiency speakers is plenty of power for an environment as small and insulated as a car’s cabin, particularly one like the S/CL."

SLK55's are a bit smaller than the S class and way more than the CL. They both have 4 doors methinks....... Is it worth buying 2 ohm speakers and get 65 W?

I've been corresponding with a tech. guy from Crutchfield about this and after he read the article he said it sounds like a good idea that would sound very good but he would replace the speakers.

@jet_fl What amplifier do you plan on installing.

@Merc55 , awesome install job...... Man, I wish I could do that kind of stuff. I can fix teeth all day, but not installations....You said that you disabled the center speaker. Why? More power to distribute elsewhere?

I wonder if I'd benefit doing that too. But then again, I have the Gateway to power that and the 2 basket speakers between the seats....Does the 2 basket speaker really do much even if powered better?

I respect your opinion about the Audison 8x35. But why would this article guy spend $3000+ on speakers, damping, a sub and rely on the Audison(and using the Gateway), if it doesn't do much. He sounded ecstatic. All responders who use the Audison did as well.
Thanks.
 

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I am running 2 different amps. I am using a dsp for all 4 sets of speakers (2 tweeters, 2 - 4", 2 - 8" and 2 10" subs). I have a class AB rockford fosgate for the tween and mid, then running a class D NVX for the woofers and subs. I am using a Dayton DSP unit that you can program basically everything in to. It will handle all cutoffs for the speakers and also has full EQ capabilities for all of them. I may run some small rear fill speakers. If I do I will power them with the head unit.

I am sure the Audison is an improvement, but you can go with a full aftermarket setup for less than $3k that will blow that amp away.
 

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Discussion Starter #28 (Edited)
I am running 2 different amps. I am using a dsp for all 4 sets of speakers (2 tweeters, 2 - 4", 2 - 8" and 2 10" subs). I have a class AB rockford fosgate for the tween and mid, then running a class D NVX for the woofers and subs. I am using a Dayton DSP unit that you can program basically everything in to. It will handle all cutoffs for the speakers and also has full EQ capabilities for all of them. I may run some small rear fill speakers. If I do I will power them with the head unit.

I am sure the Audison is an improvement, but you can go with a full aftermarket setup for less than $3k that will blow that amp away.
Your system does sound like a great one.

Let me say right away that I'm not trying to be argumentative below. I appreciate your council very much and I have not committed to anything yet. The car audio store still has not contacted me after I emailed and sent an online contact.......At 59, I'm new to car audio and trying to learn.

When you say "blow that amp away" do you mean play loud? I don't play loud..... I play low to mid volume. I just want to enjoy accurate, unadultered sound...... If I want to hear audiophile and loud I'll listen to my home stereo which is seriously maxed out gear.

You replaced your head unit. I have no need to go full digital and have all these abilities in my car. I just want to play my radio or Sirius and have very good sound. That is why I want to keep my OEM head unit. I never use navigation/GPS, but if needed to I could use my cell. I guess I'm old school....

No need for a booming subwoofer or sound damping.. Would a mild sub help tremendously or could high efficiency woofers do the job.....Anything would be a drastic improvement as I've been listening to OEM system for 11 years.

You did your install which helps with cost..... It sounds like what you did could be a complex and costly install for me.

Now, knowing how I feel, do you still think I can do better for the same money? Figure $900 for the Audison, $1000+? for the 6 door speakers(2 woofers, 2 mid range, 2 tweeters) maybe 2 inexpensive rear speakers? and keep the stock speakers everywhere else and $600 for the install? That's $2500+/-.

I've reread that article several times. The writer was so happy, as were others, with what he/they did with the Audison. I am doing almost the same except no subwoofer. If there were other options that allowed me to keep the Gateway and Head unit, I am open to it.

I am grateful for your(or any other) thoughts. Thanks.
 

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I may run some small rear fill speakers. If I do I will power them with the head unit.
Your DSP will also do time alignment. That means the sound of the rear speakers will not be processed and will arive at your ears at the same time as the signal of others go in to processing.
It won’t work if your headunit can not do delay as well. There then is always a very hearable delay in your fronts. Plan a small amp via the DSP for the rear speakers. But then you need 10 processed channels which you don’t have on the DSP. You then could let the active crossover of the rockford amp do the job between front mids and highs (ignoring that the tweeters are closer to your ears then then mids thus need to be delayed more)

Or: Don’t use the rears. When you go to a concert you don’t see them hang up a soundwall in the rear of the arena to provide rear fill:unsure:

I used to do rears in 4 door cars also but when I was dealing in the sound to my liking I ended up with rears that could not be heard. Front staging and all that.
 

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I've reread that article several times. The writer was so happy, as were others, with what he/they did with the Audison. I am doing almost the same except no subwoofer. If there were other options that allowed me to keep the Gateway and Head unit
You don’t need big power indeed. I once had a high end system with 2 amps of 4x30 watt RMS and a 100 watt RMS mono sub amp. It sounded awesome. It’s just that the Audison will get a already DSP processed (for the SLK interior) and HK amplified signal of similar power levels.

You don’t have to drive trough town one hand at the top of the wheel and with your cap on backwards to qualify for subwoofers. They really improve the sound. It’s not about being louder, just better and without disortion.

But hey. I’m preaching to a member how blew his two subwoofers:)

So your plan will sound good for sure. Adding a sub with 100 watts or more will be an extra improvement.
 

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Discussion Starter #31 (Edited)
You don’t need big power indeed. I once had a high end system with 2 amps of 4x30 watt RMS and a 100 watt RMS mono sub amp. It sounded awesome. It’s just that the Audison will get a already DSP processed (for the SLK interior) and HK amplified signal of similar power levels.

You don’t have to drive trough town one hand at the top of the wheel and with your cap on backwards to qualify for subwoofers. They really improve the sound. It’s not about being louder, just better and without disortion.

But hey. I’m preaching to a member how blew his two subwoofers:)
Touche! I blew them like 2 years ago when I was a "crank yanker" and have been driving with the bass turned down all the way since cause I am lazy. And didn't care about it. I finally decided to do something about it.

So @Merc55 what do you think of my proposal. In order to keep the head unit, Gateway and Comand, getting the Audison. Stupid? The article writer makes the point that the Audison will indeed get the Gateway's signal but will clean it up so well and do an great equalizer job that it will get the most out of, and even make the OEM speakers sound good and more musical.

Getting the Audison seems like the only way to do this so I can keep my head unit, Gateway and Comand system. I read another thread where a guy put in a small sub under the passenger seat and it did exactly what you describe. Not booming but tighter bass...I'll try to find the write up.... But then my costs have gone up with the sub and amp.

Is buying 2 ohm speakers for the doors so I can get 65 watts/channel a possible option worth considering? The Gateway could power the front center speaker, the bucket speakers between the seats and the rear speakers. That leaves the Audison to power the 6 door speakers.

Am I being short sighted(and overcomplicating the install) by not replacing the head unit(and lose the Gateway and Comand?). But like I said, I only listen to the radio and Sirius...

I am perplexed and don't know what option I should do. I don't want to short change the sound but I don't want to spend well over $3,000. I'm trying not to go "hog wild". Ideally, I'd like to keep costs(before tax) around $2,000-$2250.

Thanks!
 

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I don’t believe you are at a stage in your life now where you can’t be temped to turn up the volume on a nice song you like. Please keep acting like a young man and stay young at heart!

Your plan will work all be it you pay for a high end system. The tuning by the shop must be done by one experiend. Make sure of it. Using 2 ohm speakers to gain more power is a proven tactic with 2 ohm stable amps. Will work.

Combining the use of the HK amp and the Audison amp to drive speakers will probably not work because of delays by the processing time of the Audison. Please let the shop make a plan for your based on your article
 

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Discussion Starter #33
I don’t believe you are at a stage in your life now where you can’t be temped to turn up the volume on a nice song you like. Please keep acting like a young man and stay young at heart!

Your plan will work all be it you pay for a high end system. The tuning by the shop must be done by one experiend. Make sure of it. Using 2 ohm speakers to gain more power is a proven tactic with 2 ohm stable amps. Will work.

Combining the use of the HK amp and the Audison amp to drive speakers will probably not work because of delays by the processing time of the Audison. Please let the shop make a plan for your based on your article
Thanks Merc55. I will heed the advice of the shop. And I still do turn it up. Just not cranking it too much.

I still don't know if I am making a "mistake" keeping the OEM head unit and Gateway in that I maybe could simplify the install and get better sound with a new head unit and removing the Gateway.... But I'd rather not lose head unit or the steering wheel Comand multifunction and display. I'll have to trust the shop. I just worry about being oversold.
 

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Discussion Starter #34 (Edited)
I finally spoke to the shop and the guy was afraid to work on my system because of the fiber optics and complicated nature of the wiring. Referred me elsewhere locally. Spoke to them. They have lots of experience with the Gateway/Mercedes etc..He said that sometimes they upgrade the amp/dsp and leave the factory speakers because they sound so good with the upgrade (but will look into appropriate speaker upgrades for that car and map out options). I thought that was honest and it lines up with what the article writer said...I will speak to the shop owner later today. I'll ask about a small subwoofer too. Will update later.
 

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I have to say that although mine is r172, the hk speakers I have sound fantastic BUT only when played with the factory-supplied demo disk. I even get sound out of the rears with that demo disk (none so's I notice with the sd). That supports your techie's comment about how good they sound. FWIW.

I mostly/all the time actually use sd card so can't remember how store-bought cd's sound in comparison to that demo disc.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
I have to say that although mine is r172, the hk speakers I have sound fantastic BUT only when played with the factory-supplied demo disk. I even get sound out of the rears with that demo disk (none so's I notice with the sd). That supports your techie's comment about how good they sound. FWIW.

I mostly/all the time actually use sd card so can't remember how store-bought cd's sound in comparison to that demo disc.
Maybe that is why installing the Audison 8.9 in line after the Gateway makes such a noticeable improvement. Its DSP and EQ ability tweaks the sound very nicely. Perhaps the demo disk is recorded in such a way as to excite the surround sound abilities of the Gateway?
 

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Discussion Starter #37 (Edited)
Hey @osi @Merc55 @jet_fl

What do you guys think is the best way to spend an additional $500 on my upgrade. After considering the Audison 8.9 on 4 channels(130 W/ch to woofers and mids) - replace my blown woofers at $175 each and keep my OEM door speakers or

Upgrade my door OEM speakers(woofer, mid, tweeter) with slightly better speakers? Plus maybe getting 2 ohm woofers and mids so I can get 65 W/ch?

Or look into a small subwoofer/amp and keep OEM speakers.

Or get the Audison F8.9 that powers 8 channels at 85 W. (Or 4 channels at 260 W(which might be overkill)?. Or 2 ohm speakers at 130W?

Thanks guys.
 

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From what you say, I sincerely reckon you would be better off just replacing and upgrading the broken speakers and perhaps upgrading the satellite rear speakers. You said you don't need big volume and thumping bass and as I said before, the original HK set up does a pretty nice job but lacks controllability. The Gateway has good power and even if you did employ an additional power amp, without a graphic equalizer, DSP or multiple balance adjustment, it's kind of wasted. Upgrade the speakers within the budget and if in the future you decide to venture into aftermarket head unit land, you will have a good basis to go forward.

Maya ~ Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #39 (Edited)
From what you say, I sincerely reckon you would be better off just replacing and upgrading the broken speakers and perhaps upgrading the satellite rear speakers. You said you don't need big volume and thumping bass and as I said before, the original HK set up does a pretty nice job but lacks controllability. The Gateway has good power and even if you did employ an additional power amp, without a graphic equalizer, DSP or multiple balance adjustment, it's kind of wasted. Upgrade the speakers within the budget and if in the future you decide to venture into aftermarket head unit land, you will have a good basis to go forward.

Maya ~ Tapatalk
Yes. I want moderate volume and great sound......I'm a bit confused though, I think.

The Audison's have DSP, do equalize and will be tuned with a laptop. So If I understand you correctly, the Audison would NOT be wasted. Only a straight up amp would be.

Then it would just be a question of which Audison. The Audison Prima 8.9 is $900 and the F8.9 is $1450....35x8 4 ohm/65x8 2ohm/130 bridged 4 channel vs.
85x8 4 ohm/130x8 2 ohm/260 4 channel bridged. If I can get 2 ohm door speakers, the lesser expensive 8.9 could power more speakers at 65 watts.

The shop owner recommended the F8.9 because the factory amp puts out 30 watts per. Ch and the F8.9 puts out 85x8..... Or I could just upgrade the front stage in 4 channel mode and leave all the other speakers playing on the factory amp . That way it will be sending the correct amount of power to the front doors to make a difference. So, 8.9 channeled to just the woofer and mid or the F8.9 85 watts to 6 door and rear speakers. Maybe the extra $500 is best spent buying the F8.9 and leaving all OEM speakers...And then upgrade the woofers if I spend a little bit more than OEM...If worth it that is.

To clarify, are you are saying just upgrade the blown woofers? Or all three door speakers and rears within budget. I did send a message to the shop today about upgrading to the Monacor rear speakers that you used.

They quoted me for Audison front door woofers($800/pair) but the writer of that Audison upgrade article suggested if someone were to upgrade the front door speakers, get "inexpensive" speakers. So, I don't know how high to go in cost with an upgrade as I think I'd want to replace the woofers, mids and tweeters..... In my message to the shop today, I asked them the same question I posted here about spending $500 more and what was the best way to go on that.

Thanks so much osi.
 

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Firstly, if both amps have the same quality, low distortion, wide frequency spectrum and adjustability, then the more powerful amp will only benefit you with tight strong bass so in that case get the best subwoofers you can. It takes a fraction of the power to generate a 5000hz sine wave that it would say, 50hz and below that the amp needs to generate enough power to actually create wind. My lovely old home 12" home JBL's studio monitors act like a fan if I stand near to them at 40hz. I don't want to bore you with too much science, and I could rattle on forever! But the larger the transducer, the more air it can move but it needs more power to feed off. These days, clever modern hi-fi speakers employ wonderful crossovers, enclosures and port tuning without relying on larger speaker cones to reproduce good bass but this is difficult in a car door. If your dealer can convince you that you that a good bass speaker will perform well, go for the more powerful amp I reckon but I still say, it is the smaller hf speakers that will give you the clarity. So far as impedance goes. I keep hearing how the HK system uses 2 ohm speakers, as do a lot of in car speakers. Remember tho that while lower impedance may generate more volume it won't necessarily give you better quality so I would be wary here.

Maya ~ Tapatalk
 
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