A238 Premium Audio upgrade

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CabrioChap

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A238 E350d 4Matic CABRIOLET 2018
In case anyone wants to do the same.. I have installed upgraded speakers in the front doors and footwells of my 2018 E class cabriolet.

I went for Blam MB 100 S speakers for the doors (as I picked them up cheap on eBay) these are just plug and play, although I added silent coat sound deadening to the door trim and bitumen goop around the speaker apertures as per this youtube video:
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I was gong to leave it at that, until I looked closely and realised that in the Premium e class (non-Burmester), there is only one bass speaker in the passenger footwell. I had looked in the driver footwell and had seen a black plastic thing screwed to the body and thought that must be a speaker as well - on closer inspection, that's just a plug, to cover up the speaker hole.

For the bass speakers, I bought Vibe Audio OPTISOUNDMERC8WR-V2 8" units. I went for these as they are about 4 Ohms impedance, and the amp I am using doesn't allow 2 Ohm speakers.
I already had an Audison Prima AP8.9 bit amplifier from my previous install in my A207 E Class Cabriolet. So re-used that. Although this time, I couldn't use my Helix SDMI25 MOST interface as there doesn't appear to be a MOST ring in this car..

I had previously made my own cable for the Audison Amp to the head unit and back to the speakers, but this time I decided to get a better one, so went for a german made MUSWAY quadlock adapter. I also ran the amp power through a 30A switch as previously it would sometimes refuse to power on until the fuse was removed. hopefully if that happens again, I can just kill the +12V feed with the switch and that will bring it back to life.

Installation of the Amp and passenger bass speaker does require the removal of the carpet. For the driver side bass speaker, it is possible to just peel back the carpet once the lower dash cover is removed. So no need to unscrew the accelerator pedal.

Getting the head unit out was a bit of a task, I had to unbolt the bracket in the end, as I couldn't get the thing to un-clip otherwise. but it's all fairly obvious once you get into it.

It sounds a lot better with 2x 8" bass speakers, in addition to the upgraded door speakers. I haven't gone mad with the DSP on my amp yet. I have just set the low and high pass filters and adjusted the gain. I did take measurements and setup the time alignment, but haven't enabled it as when I've done that before, I've found it very sensitive to moving my head in and out of the 'sweet spot' which is distracting when you are driving about.

On the Audison Amp, I have assigned the front and rear door speakers to the 4x 40W RMS channels and bridged the remaining channels into 2x 80W for the bass speakers (tweaked down a bit so as not to be too much). We shall see how it behaves in the summer. I don't really like the idea of the amp cooking itself in the footwell with virtually no airflow. Although in my previous install, it was in the boot under the floor with a thumping great big subwoofer box on top of it and it never managed to overheat then..

Carpet removed from passenger side (loosen the seat so you can yank the carpet out) there's a ton of wiring in the channels.

IMG_7952 Large.jpeg
With the plastic cover removed, the standard bass speaker is revealed. Behind the power block.
IMG_7954 Large.jpeg
A comparison of the standard 6" speaker with the Vibe Audio unit. I swapped the basket from the back of the factor speaker onto the Vibe one as there were clips for it to fit to.

IMG_7955 Large.jpeg
With the Vibe Audio speaker installed, there is just enough room for the amp - I wired this to the adjacent power block where there is a spare terminal. I positioned my switch up in the fusebox, so I can just pop off the plastic cover and switch off the amp, should that ever be necessary.
IMG_7959 Large.jpeg
Getting to the quad lock on the back of the head unit is not a trivial task, but I was able to do it, working carefully and methodically. I didn't unplug all the connectors in the centre console as I wasn't entirely sure how the clipped in and didn't want to break anything.
IMG_7960 Large.jpeg
Once I got everything back together and the amp configured with my laptop, I rather lost the will to take pictures so here is one of the driver side bass speaker once installed:
IMG_8015 Large.jpeg
It's just peeking out where the plug used to be. Obviously there was no cage on the plug, so I wasn't able to install that on the driver side bass speaker. but I haven't noticed much difference without it being on there. With the lower dash cover removed, there is enough room to pull the carpet down and out of the way to install the speaker. Having a powered wrench certainly helps with the bolts.IMG_8016 Large.jpeg
I do have an Audison wired remote, but I decided not to bother installing that in the centre console cubby hole as it wouldn't be much use. I think it's more for show really. The only thing I could usefully do with it is switch between config A and B, which I can also do with my computer, when connected to the USB cable.
 
In case anyone wants to do the same.. I have installed upgraded speakers in the front doors and footwells of my 2018 E class cabriolet.

I went for Blam MB 100 S speakers for the doors (as I picked them up cheap on eBay) these are just plug and play, although I added silent coat sound deadening to the door trim and bitumen goop around the speaker apertures as per this youtube video:
To view this content we will need your consent to set third party cookies.
For more detailed information, see our cookies page.

I was gong to leave it at that, until I looked closely and realised that in the Premium e class (non-Burmester), there is only one bass speaker in the passenger footwell. I had looked in the driver footwell and had seen a black plastic thing screwed to the body and thought that must be a speaker as well - on closer inspection, that's just a plug, to cover up the speaker hole.

For the bass speakers, I bought Vibe Audio OPTISOUNDMERC8WR-V2 8" units. I went for these as they are about 4 Ohms impedance, and the amp I am using doesn't allow 2 Ohm speakers.
I already had an Audison Prima AP8.9 bit amplifier from my previous install in my A207 E Class Cabriolet. So re-used that. Although this time, I couldn't use my Helix SDMI25 MOST interface as there doesn't appear to be a MOST ring in this car..

I had previously made my own cable for the Audison Amp to the head unit and back to the speakers, but this time I decided to get a better one, so went for a german made MUSWAY quadlock adapter. I also ran the amp power through a 30A switch as previously it would sometimes refuse to power on until the fuse was removed. hopefully if that happens again, I can just kill the +12V feed with the switch and that will bring it back to life.

Installation of the Amp and passenger bass speaker does require the removal of the carpet. For the driver side bass speaker, it is possible to just peel back the carpet once the lower dash cover is removed. So no need to unscrew the accelerator pedal.

Getting the head unit out was a bit of a task, I had to unbolt the bracket in the end, as I couldn't get the thing to un-clip otherwise. but it's all fairly obvious once you get into it.

It sounds a lot better with 2x 8" bass speakers, in addition to the upgraded door speakers. I haven't gone mad with the DSP on my amp yet. I have just set the low and high pass filters and adjusted the gain. I did take measurements and setup the time alignment, but haven't enabled it as when I've done that before, I've found it very sensitive to moving my head in and out of the 'sweet spot' which is distracting when you are driving about.

On the Audison Amp, I have assigned the front and rear door speakers to the 4x 40W RMS channels and bridged the remaining channels into 2x 80W for the bass speakers (tweaked down a bit so as not to be too much). We shall see how it behaves in the summer. I don't really like the idea of the amp cooking itself in the footwell with virtually no airflow. Although in my previous install, it was in the boot under the floor with a thumping great big subwoofer box on top of it and it never managed to overheat then..

Carpet removed from passenger side (loosen the seat so you can yank the carpet out) there's a ton of wiring in the channels.

View attachment 135981
With the plastic cover removed, the standard bass speaker is revealed. Behind the power block.
View attachment 135982
A comparison of the standard 6" speaker with the Vibe Audio unit. I swapped the basket from the back of the factor speaker onto the Vibe one as there were clips for it to fit to.

View attachment 135983
With the Vibe Audio speaker installed, there is just enough room for the amp - I wired this to the adjacent power block where there is a spare terminal. I positioned my switch up in the fusebox, so I can just pop off the plastic cover and switch off the amp, should that ever be necessary.
View attachment 135984
Getting to the quad lock on the back of the head unit is not a trivial task, but I was able to do it, working carefully and methodically. I didn't unplug all the connectors in the centre console as I wasn't entirely sure how the clipped in and didn't want to break anything.
View attachment 135985
Once I got everything back together and the amp configured with my laptop, I rather lost the will to take pictures so here is one of the driver side bass speaker once installed:
View attachment 135986
It's just peeking out where the plug used to be. Obviously there was no cage on the plug, so I wasn't able to install that on the driver side bass speaker. but I haven't noticed much difference without it being on there. With the lower dash cover removed, there is enough room to pull the carpet down and out of the way to install the speaker. Having a powered wrench certainly helps with the bolts.View attachment 135987
I do have an Audison wired remote, but I decided not to bother installing that in the centre console cubby hole as it wouldn't be much use. I think it's more for show really. The only thing I could usefully do with it is switch between config A and B, which I can also do with my computer, when connected to the USB cable.
Hi thanks for this write up can I ask you what you think of the Blam speakers? I am thinking of buying a set of this brand speakers for my C Class estate and installing them with an amp sound is pretty basic in my stock set up.
Cheers
 
The Blam speakers sound good to my ears.. they are definitely an improvement over the standard ones.
 
We fit loads of the BLAMs, with some carefully placed Dynamat. It transforms the Burmeister system too (as-well as the basic system) - in fact in the last E-Cabriolet we did, we put Burmeister system in with BLAM speakers as significantly better than the Mercedes Burmeister speakers.

Customer had bought car without Burmiester, and then his girlfriend got one with Burmeister so needed an upgrade !!

Warning, if installing dual BLAM woofers in a car with just one, do not wire both the woofers in parallel - you end up with 3 speakers on 1 channel of the amplifier, and the head-unit amplifier gives up in the end. (Seen more than one of those ...)

Richard
 

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