S212 E500 Five Years In

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Londonscottish

Londonscottish

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Major financial breakthrough. My wife has spotted a jacket that she really really wants and said "we've been together 21 years and I want but something to commemorate that". "Sure," I said "as long as I get to but myself a toy".

I asked how much the jacket was. She said £400. Which means it's probably nearer £500. She asked how much the Android Auto was. Amazingly, I said it also costs "around £400".

So I'll buy the unit today and I'm half way (ish) to getting the unit itself bought and installed, the Comand controller wheel fixed and the sub installed.

I just need to shuffle a few things around via credit cards and bank accounts over the next week or so.

Ironically, my day job involves helping banks with anti money laundering which the same processes in reverse. Breaking up payments, layering transactions, generally obfuscating things.

Useful skills when going *ahem* a fair bit over budget......
 
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Londonscottish

Londonscottish

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......even better; she's just upgraded her holiday to Marakesh next week. That's the sub covered now too :).

I'm genuinely excited. I've seen all the comments on this forum about the Integrated Automotive unit that Comand Online fit and, although it's not the cheapest, it's looks like it's really elegant solution.

Having a phone on a vent mount obscuring half the screen and obscuring my reversing camera is shit at the best of time. Don't start me on having to turn my Bluetooth dongle on. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Trying to move between radio, podcasts and music on the move is just impossible. And the charging cable trailing across the cabin just pisses me off.

I can't wait to play with it and to also hear what the sub adds to the whole experience.
 
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Londonscottish

Londonscottish

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Rob at Comand/Unique Car Sound & Security did my JL Audio 10" Sub build with additional Amp recently in my GLE and it's transformed the HK system which was lacking decent Bass....A full custom build, the pic shows the carpet a little off colour but it's actually spot on when you see it.... All of the trim was created and moulded by hand, then wrapped in speaker fabric and other parts in carpet...Rob and Richard are really good at what they do there.... you wont be dissapointed, they worked on many of my cars past and present going back 10 years...

The coffee shop is great with snacks etc but for a whole day I'd reccomend getting a Cab somewhere as you'll get bored in that little village..

A library pic showing what it was like before and the actual pic of after....

I met Rob yesterday - top fella. And one of the Marks, ditto.

Rob was showing me what he was doing for his X5 - dremelling out the old ICE screen and replacing it with a bang up to date Alpine head unit, adding illumination to the buttons and converting one of the control knobs to alter the sub volume. Fabulous bit of work.

Rob fitted my sub very neatly behind the existing LHS boot panel. He had to move the Airmatic cylinder back a couple of inches, again super-neatly. It looks OEM which is exactly what I wanted and why I went for Comand/Unique in the first place. I've phoned a few London-based places in the past but they were just annoyingly vague.

These guys live sleep and breath MB's and tech which is a fairly unique skill set. Thoroughly recommended.

BTW I asked Mark why he thought so many people are disappointed with how their premium set ups sound and he said it's mainly down to the cheap speakers. Too often all the money goes on the branded amp and the speakers get forgotten.

I think I'll be getting some Morels, in the front doors anyway, and tweeters. And stop there. I don't need an amp, I really don't.

Although, if I get a fat bonus this year, all bets are off.

PS, I've just booked it into the body shop for after Easter to get the rear bumper sprayed and a couple of small blemishes sorted.

sub 2.jpg

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Londonscottish

Londonscottish

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I do like that blue.

I didn't know I liked Tanzanite until I bought the car.

I almost refused to even go and see it when Biglips spotted it and told me about it :) Blue? Why would I want a car that's blue?

Now it's one of my favourite colours.
 

MikeInWimbledon

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I didn't know I liked Tanzanite until I bought the car.
I almost refused to even go and see it when Biglips spotted it and told me about it :) Blue? Why would I want a car that's blue?
Now it's one of my favourite colours.
I do like a rare colour....
 
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Londonscottish

Londonscottish

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Great thread but no idea why you had to use a Bluetooth dongle on a W212… they have Bluetooth audio? If it’s not enabled, you can enable it in the engineers menu, but MB usuall do it for free.

In any case, too late now, and lovely car!

I looked into it at the time and concluded that mine was a few months too early for Bluetooth.

Anyway, even if I had been able to turn BT on it wouldn't have has this level of Integration.

This is proper apps in the dash stuff.
 

MikeInWimbledon

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Great thread but no idea why you had to use a Bluetooth dongle on a W212… they have Bluetooth audio? If it’s not enabled, you can enable it in the engineers menu, but MB usuall do it for free.

In any case, too late now, and lovely car!
The in-car Bluetooth was for phone calls only, as in my 2009 car, so no Audio streaming for music, podcasts, Siri, Google, voice controlled calls, and real time navigation etc

As I’ve recently found, you can fit a dongle to the MMI to add audio streaming, but it doesn’t give you the full on-screen App based stuff of this whole system replacement.
 

BaldGuy

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I met Rob yesterday - top fella. And one of the Marks, ditto.

Rob was showing me what he was doing for his X5 - dremelling out the old ICE screen and replacing it with a bang up to date Alpine head unit, adding illumination to the buttons and converting one of the control knobs to alter the sub volume. Fabulous bit of work.

Rob fitted my sub very neatly behind the existing LHS boot panel. He had to move the Airmatic cylinder back a couple of inches, again super-neatly. It looks OEM which is exactly what I wanted and why I went for Comand/Unique in the first place. I've phoned a few London-based places in the past but they were just annoyingly vague.

These guys live sleep and breath MB's and tech which is a fairly unique skill set. Thoroughly recommended.

BTW I asked Mark why he thought so many people are disappointed with how their premium set ups sound and he said it's mainly down to the cheap speakers. Too often all the money goes on the branded amp and the speakers get forgotten.

I think I'll be getting some Morels, in the front doors anyway, and tweeters. And stop there. I don't need an amp, I really don't.

Although, if I get a fat bonus this year, all bets are off.

PS, I've just booked it into the body shop for after Easter to get the rear bumper sprayed and a couple of small blemishes sorted.

View attachment 125745

View attachment 125747
Rob @ Command did my sub install in my GLE recently (the carpet does match, odd pic)... was lacking Bass and like you I'm thinking of Morel component fronts now... I've seen the finished project in his X5 4.8iS and its as expected very OEM look and everything hidden away....sounds superb.... Robs work is simply excellent... They have a great setup there, owned by Richard with Rob and Mark Woodland doing the installs and command upgrades/retrofits.... sub.jpg
 

TeddyRuxpin

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The in-car Bluetooth was for phone calls only, as in my 2009 car, so no Audio streaming for music, podcasts, Siri, Google, voice controlled calls, and real time navigation etc

As I’ve recently found, you can fit a dongle to the MMI to add audio streaming, but it doesn’t give you the full on-screen App based stuff of this whole system replacement.
I have a 2009 W212 too... as I said, mine came like that - no bluetooth audio/music - then I enabled it in the engineering menu. Or if you ever take it to Mercedes, they will update the comand software and enable it (they did this for free, in my case, while I had other work done a few years ago).

It seems like you guys found other solutions - for others, see post no.5 in this thread: Bluetooth Audio Streaming

I also added DAB to my W212 using OEM parts (except for the aerial) - it doesn't work amazingly, but it's nice to have.

I'd love to get an Apple CarPlay module working on my NTG4 though, if the prices aren't too crazy.
 

Bobby Dazzler

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Rob @ Command did my sub install in my GLE recently (the carpet does match, odd pic)... was lacking Bass and like you I'm thinking of Morel component fronts now... I've seen the finished project in his X5 4.8iS and its as expected very OEM look and everything hidden away....sounds superb.... Robs work is simply excellent... They have a great setup there, owned by Richard with Rob and Mark Woodland doing the installs and command upgrades/retrofits.... View attachment 128828
Looks good. I assume that’s a panel they’ve made up and carpeted rather than use the panel covering cars with a factory sub?
 
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Londonscottish

Londonscottish

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Rob @ Command did my sub install in my GLE recently (the carpet does match, odd pic)... was lacking Bass and like you I'm thinking of Morel component fronts now... I've seen the finished project in his X5 4.8iS and its as expected very OEM look and everything hidden away....sounds superb.... Robs work is simply excellent... They have a great setup there, owned by Richard with Rob and Mark Woodland doing the installs and command upgrades/retrofits.... View attachment 128828

I remember seeing your posts when you had that done and thinking how OEM it looked.

Having had a rather obvious externa sub bolted into my C43 Estate and a bazooka in my 200SX I knew that I wanted some along those lines.

I must get mine booked in for the door speakers soon.
 
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Londonscottish

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The in-car Bluetooth was for phone calls only, as in my 2009 car, so no Audio streaming for music, podcasts, Siri, Google, voice controlled calls, and real time navigation etc

Same as me. IIRC mine was a March 2010 build or something. BT music streaming didn't arrive for another 6 months or so.

I assume that it's like the sort of system in my wife's car where it can see your phone and what you're playing (Spotify, podcast, audio book., whatever). You can see what's playing on one of the dash displays and you can start/stop/pause/skip.

But, to change the source, you need to go back to your phone. If I'd gone down that route (and I probably would have as the upfront cost is zero) I'd have been asking Comand Online to fit a decent phone cradle with a discrete power supply. Then I could have controlled everything through Android Auto on my phone.

FWIW I find it a bit fiddly trying to use touch screen phone controls when I'm driving and think being able to use the Comand nudge wheel is far easier. Also, I don't know if the voice activation would be as good - talking to my phone mic in the car is a bit rubbish but it works well through the car mic(s).

Anyway, that's what I'd have done had I had the option but I didn't so I was happily forced to upgrade.
 

E55BOF

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Just seen this thread. If you hadn't beaten me to it that car would have been mine five years ago... I wonder if I would still have it if it had? Probably not; I was still prone to stupid fast then...
 
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Londonscottish

Londonscottish

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Just seen this thread. If you hadn't beaten me to it that car would have been mine five years ago... I wonder if I would still have it if it had? Probably not; I was still prone to stupid fast then...

I remember someone else had been making enquiries when I got to Maundrells. I was between jobs at the time so was able to drop everything to get down to the showroom as early as I could the following morning, have a drive in it and get the deposit down. I'd had money ready for ages for one, the problem was they rarely came up so I wasn't going to hang about.

I tend to keep cars a fairly long time but even I'd have have normally moved this one on by now. The trouble is that the nearest equivalent (the E43) is still mid-high £20k's and I'd rather keep that sort of money working for me than sitting on the drive.

Pus it's on low miles and still feels remarkably well screwed together. MB know how to build E Classes to last.
 

BaldGuy

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Looks good. I assume that’s a panel they’ve made up and carpeted rather than use the panel covering cars with a factory sub?
Yep... a shaped piece of wood then wrapped in speaker cloth as is the carpet panel.. shaped wood then wrapped in carpet...
 

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