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Discussion Starter #1
Well, having owned a 2006 R171 SLK350 for 12 years with the standard audio 20 and standard speakers, I can give a comparative.

Sadly, I am disappointed with the standard Audio 20 with standard speakers in my SLC43 :frown:
I wish I had paid the extra £645 for Harman Kardon - just to get the 11 speakers / amplifier channels instead of the four(?) that I have. I'm not so interested in the fake surround sound, although I haven't heard it.

There is just not enough bass "oomph" that the reversed 8" door woofers had in the SLK - in the R171 SLK the volume and audio punch was waaaay good enough for fast top down cruising and reasonable audio balance and power.

The SLC just lacks enough low frequency power. Turn the volume up and it is all mid range and treble and not at all satisfying.
It's just about "OK" with the roof up but not good with the roof down.
I have even adjusted the tone controls (Which I don't normally do due to it crudely unbalancing the sound) to increase the bass by +5/10 and decrease the mid by 1/10 and treble by 2/10)


My opinion: pay extra for the amplifiers and speakers if you order a new one and you are in a country like the UK (where you don't have the Premium 1 Package that the US has including the HK Audio and included as standard with the AMG model)

I guess I just have to live with(out) the sound now, unless I go down aftermarket options?
 

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I have the 43 and, Comand and don't think the audio us that bad. I decided that the HK audio was not worth it as, I have in my A class and, most listening is at levels which do not need all the extra ommphh.

Plus I find most of the time, ANY audio in the 43 gets in the way of the sound system they put under the car which activates, is controlled with the right foot :wink:>:D
 

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Registered 2016 SLK55 AMG w/P30
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Harmon Kardon isnt standard on the 43? I was under the impression that it is, at least in the US.

I wish they had put the burmeister system in. Much better than HK, which is showing its age.
 

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Being an old duffer with a hearing aid I though the standard set up was quite good.

It's a car after all with wind and tyre noise, can't expect true hi fidelity quality.
Save that for when you get home!
Just my two pence!
 

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Super Moderator CA 2012 SLK55 AMG w/P30
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Been discussed in other model threads (although with a brand new unit you'd think it would be better) BUT what's your source for music?

I know my HK setup sounds thin whether it's fm, sirius or homemade cd's BUT if I put in the MB-supplied disc, the sound is "complete" both bass and treble.

You may not have any :wink: but have you tried factory music discs? I have a couple and they do sound better than my burnt ones.
 

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I agree @LeonardoDaBenz a purchased disc (or most at least) have a richer sound than burnt audio. Im no expert but, audio can be burnt to disc at differing rates which all has an effect on quality.

I download all audio I purchase at the highest setting as, storage space is very cheap nowadays. Also don't ever judge an audio device by way of bluetooth audio as that is barely usable at its best lol.
 

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harman kardon

I,ve had karman kardon in both a r171 and a r172.I think the set up in the r171 is much better.There's hardly any volume in the rear of the 172 and any front to rear balance settings.I guess I need discs in 5.1 surround sound .
 

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Registered 2016 SLK55 AMG w/P30
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I agree @LeonardoDaBenz a purchased disc (or most at least) have a richer sound than burnt audio. Im no expert but, audio can be burnt to disc at differing rates which all has an effect on quality.

I download all audio I purchase at the highest setting as, storage space is very cheap nowadays. Also don't ever judge an audio device by way of bluetooth audio as that is barely usable at its best lol.
Not sure the seriousness of some other comments but yes, burnt audio (who burns anymore? just use a USB drive and stick it in the arm cubby with thousands of songs on it!) is affected by bitrate.

Firstly if you are "ripping" your own CD collection, you want to rip in the highest settings your computer and audio program can do. This will creat le MP4 files that are much larger than a lot of pirated music, but less audio quality is lost.

If youre using a large thumb drive you can put these full minimally compressed, LARGE MP4s on the drive. Youll fit less on one thumb drive but the audio will be much better. Likewise if you arw burning them onto a CDrom or DVDrom. The higher the bitrate, the less audio quality is lost.

That said there are some programs out there that work serious magic compressing larger audio files or original .wav files into small MP4s that still havr good quality.

Or, you know, install a record player in the passenger seat for lossless audio! :smile:
 

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Premium Member 2012 SLK350
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With the HK, I personally find that Opera, Jazz or more classical music sounds better than rock & roll or country, but I do like it and at times I will crank it up.
 

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I have to admit that Mercede’s base audio systems are extremely poor quality. The slogan “the best or nothing” does not apply to their 2.0 system. I also own a Lexus SUV and it’s standard audio pakage just blows the door off Mercedes. No pun intended.
Prior to owning my SLC300 I did have a C300 with what I thought would be a fairly good system. Boy was I wrong! Furthermore it would have been costly and complicated to change or modify.
My SLC300 does have the HK audio system and it has a decent sound, when the roof is up. I believe the rule of thumb with Mercedes audio is always buy their upgrade, you won’t regret it.
 

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Premium Member 2018 SLC43
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I have COMAND & HK in My SLC43 and sounds good with an original purchased music CD's and possibly mildly better with a few 5.1 Disks that I've purchased, but not to justify the ~£20 You pay for them on eBay....

I also have old school 1 & 2Gb SD Cards, which I plug straight into the COMAND Head unit, which I have created from CD's @ 320kbps Bit Rate.

Would be good to compare two R172's side by side, doing a listening test to really answer this question?
 

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Well, having owned a 2006 R171 SLK350 for 12 years with the standard audio 20 and standard speakers, I can give a comparative.

Sadly, I am disappointed with the standard Audio 20 with standard speakers in my SLC43 :frown:
I wish I had paid the extra £645 for Harman Kardon - just to get the 11 speakers / amplifier channels instead of the four(?) that I have. I'm not so interested in the fake surround sound, although I haven't heard it.

There is just not enough bass "oomph" that the reversed 8" door woofers had in the SLK - in the R171 SLK the volume and audio punch was waaaay good enough for fast top down cruising and reasonable audio balance and power.

The SLC just lacks enough low frequency power. Turn the volume up and it is all mid range and treble and not at all satisfying.
It's just about "OK" with the roof up but not good with the roof down.
I have even adjusted the tone controls (Which I don't normally do due to it crudely unbalancing the sound) to increase the bass by +5/10 and decrease the mid by 1/10 and treble by 2/10)


My opinion: pay extra for the amplifiers and speakers if you order a new one and you are in a country like the UK (where you don't have the Premium 1 Package that the US has including the HK Audio and included as standard with the AMG model)

I guess I just have to live with(out) the sound now, unless I go down aftermarket options?

I totally understand what you are saying. I had bought a C300 with standard audio system. What a huge disappointment! What does the commercial say, “the best or nothing”. Then they should put in nothing because it is next to impossible to replace this system with 3rd party audio systems because MB uses fibre optic cabling and the after market stereo guys do not support this. I’ll qualify this to say they didn’t 2 years ago.
It too bad that MB install such terrible base audio systems in their cars.
 

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Super Moderator UK SLK 55 AMG 2007
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25,462 Posts
Roof down you can just listen to the loud music from neighbouring cars.

This will extend the life of the OE system.

However, once traffic moves, you can introduce them to the SLK/C sound system :|
 
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