Kraut's Shenanigans Continues: MB 300TE Wagon Content - Car Audio | DiyMobileAudio.com | Car Stereo Forum

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Old 05-17-2019   #1
 
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Default Kraut's Shenanigans Continues: MB 300TE Wagon Content

Welcome all to a new build. This time around I will be ruining a perfectly fine 1993 Mercedes Benz 300TE wagon. She's got 280k miles on the clock (that's 448,000 kilometers for your weirdos). I've had the car for going on a year now and the stereo has never worked. I'm tired of driving around with headphones plus I'm sitting on all this gear anyway, so it's time to stop being lazy.


My old build was (lost due to rust):
The '84 BMW E28 Lightweight System w/ 15" IB

I loved my old build. I've learned so much, met some awesome people at two NCSQ events I was fortunate to attend, sat in some awesome sound demos, and have also furthered my personal home audio journey quite a bit in the last few years.
I have to admit that the system in the beemer never quite sounded good. For the new build I want more midbass.






















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Old 05-17-2019   #2
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Default Re: Kraut's Shenanigans Continues: MB 300TE Wagon Content

Wow!

That's a very clean example W124 wago. A car that will last forever and two years beyond that if kept after.

Can't wait to see some progress.
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Old 05-17-2019   #3
 
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Default Re: Kraut's Shenanigans Continues: MB 300TE Wagon Content

Man, that thing is beautiful! If maintained properly it will run a half a million miles...

2018 Jeep GC - AF GB10s, GB25s, GS690s, Zapco & Mosconi amps, (2) AF GB12s, Helix Pro MK2 & Director, Fiio X5
"Just slap some drywall screws in it, and you'll be fine"
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Old 05-17-2019   #4
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Default Re: Kraut's Shenanigans Continues: MB 300TE Wagon Content

It looks like you could fit a whole sheet of MDF in the back of that thing up to the front seats. What are the real dimensions?

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Old 05-17-2019   #5
 
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Default Re: Kraut's Shenanigans Continues: MB 300TE Wagon Content

That's one solid and clean 124

Looking forward to the build.
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Old 05-17-2019   #6
 
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Default Re: Kraut's Shenanigans Continues: MB 300TE Wagon Content

Thanks all! I got super blessed with this ride.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Notloudenuf View Post
It looks like you could fit a whole sheet of MDF in the back of that thing up to the front seats. What are the real dimensions?
Not quite 4' between wheel wells, about 7' to the front seats. Tons of space.
Btw, which full rangers were you running in the Escape again? Sounded so good.

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Old 05-17-2019   #7
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Default Re: Kraut's Shenanigans Continues: MB 300TE Wagon Content

Quote:
Originally Posted by KrautNotRice View Post
Not quite 4' between wheel wells, about 7' to the front seats. Tons of space.
Btw, which full rangers were you running in the Escape again? Sounded so good.
Thanks. I was running the Tectonic 2" full range drivers linked here
https://www.parts-express.com/tecton...4-ohm--297-216

It's slightly possible you heard them with the Tang Band W2 but the 1811s that i had are no longer available. https://www.parts-express.com/tang-b...river--264-886

I liked the Tectonics far better though.

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Old 05-17-2019   #8
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Default Re: Kraut's Shenanigans Continues: MB 300TE Wagon Content

Sub'd for the new thread & build. You've got a great blank palette to work with there!
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Old 05-20-2019   #9
 
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Default Re: Kraut's Shenanigans Continues: MB 300TE Wagon Content

Quick update:
Confirmed that the door pods hold 6.5" mids.
I'm still leaning towards dual 12" B&C drivers as midbass and subs.
The dash holds up to 4.5"

Since I'd like very powerful midbass, I'm thinking about letting the dual 12s (right behind the front seats) play as high as 250 hz or so. My amp's 5th channel is mono though.
If I did that, the 6.5" door mids don't need to play low at all, only about 250 hz and up.



My headunit's DSP is the limiting factor here.
In network mode, I can only high-pass the front dash speakers as low as 1.6k and the door mids can't low-pass any lower than 1.25k



The NVX JAD900.5 also does have some filters though, and I could also run the deh80-prs in standard mode while retaining time-alignment. Standard mode lets the user high- and low-pass the speakers a little differently.

I remembered that I do have some 6.5" Infinity Kappas, the carbon ones. They sound decent enough to give them a try before actually spending money on different mids.
If the door mids are band-passed from, say 300 hz to 1.25k, that leaves the dash speakers to pick up from 1.6k or so and up.
At that point, the dash speaker options are:

-NVX XSPTW tweeters (SB29) from 1.8 or 2.0k and up
-a Vifa 4" coaxial with passive crossover
-a decent 3" full ranger
-a decent 2" full ranger

Vifa 4" coax (Thanks to Chithead!):



NVX tweetersaurusrex (SB29):



I want to try the NVX tweeters first, because they're so awesome, flat and dynamic. Another pro would be simiplicity, not having to use a passive crossover at all.
BUT If I did the Vifa 4" coaxes, I could high pass them a lot lower than the NVX tweets, helping elevate the soundstage up front. Designing the passive crossover for the coaxes is easy and I've got all the components on hands. I would, however, lose control over the two individual drivers as far as level, xo point, eq. All that would have to be sorted via passive components and may require a bunch of back and forth until it sound right in the car.
Food for thought.
Btw just baked some thick cut, smoked bacon. Kraut likes his meat (no homo) lol


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Old 05-20-2019   #10
 
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Default Re: Kraut's Shenanigans Continues: MB 300TE Wagon Content

Can you cut the tweeter wires on the coax Vifas and run them active?


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Old 05-20-2019   #11
 
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Default Re: Kraut's Shenanigans Continues: MB 300TE Wagon Content

Quote:
Originally Posted by SiW80 View Post
Can you cut the tweeter wires on the coax Vifas and run them active?
Yes, in fact they have no xo at all, just two sets of wires.
However, my deck can only run an active 3 way including sub, so if I ran the coax like that I can't use 6.5" door speakers anymore, I'd lose time-alignment if I did.
Since time-alignment is really what pulls it all together and makes the sundstage coherent, I'm not willing to sacrifice that. Also, the coax mid and tweeter are already almost time-aligned, so running them active would be a waste.

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Old 05-20-2019   #12
 
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Default Kraut's Shenanigans Continues: MB 300TE Wagon Content

Quote:
Originally Posted by KrautNotRice View Post
Yes, in fact they have no xo at all, just two sets of wires.

However, my deck can only run an active 3 way including sub, so if I ran the coax like that I can't use 6.5" door speakers anymore, I'd lose time-alignment if I did.

Since time-alignment is really what pulls it all together and makes the sundstage coherent, I'm not willing to sacrifice that. Also, the coax mid and tweeter are already almost time-aligned, so running them active would be a waste.


Apologies - get you now

Get a Helix DSP - you know you want to!!

Being sensible you could do a passive setup but if active you would get the benefit of playing with crossover frequency and adjustable level matching.


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Old 05-21-2019   #13
 
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Default Re: Kraut's Shenanigans Continues: MB 300TE Wagon Content

Which model of Vifi coax speakers are they?


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Old 05-21-2019   #14
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Default Re: Kraut's Shenanigans Continues: MB 300TE Wagon Content

Where are you planning on having 12" subs/midbasses? Which models?
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Old 05-21-2019   #15
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Default Re: Kraut's Shenanigans Continues: MB 300TE Wagon Content

I would run the 12" subs, 6.5" mids you have and the NVX tweets. Do time alignment correctly and your stage height will be fine. If you want powerful MIDBASS cut the high efficiency subs you plan on using at 125hz. Make sure the 6.5's have a good home in a well deadened door. Trust me, there's no good reason to cross any decent car audio 6.5" above 80hz most of the time. 125hz would just help make sure you don't launch them when turning it up to ELEVEN and still sound OK even if the stage is pulled to the back a little.

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Default Re: Kraut's Shenanigans Continues: MB 300TE Wagon Content

Quote:
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Where are you planning on having 12" subs/midbasses? Which models?
Subs are going right behind front seats in the 2nd row foot wells.
Using the B&C 12tbx100 pair that I've got. They're efficient PA midbass, hoping that with cabin gain they'll have enough bottom end extension that I won't need subs.
The idea is to have them play high, so just once I can has guud midbass.

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Old 05-21-2019   #17
 
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Default Re: Kraut's Shenanigans Continues: MB 300TE Wagon Content

Quote:
Originally Posted by SiW80 View Post
Which model of Vifi coax speakers are they?
Can't find the model #. I posted a pic of them above. It's the model that Apex JR is selling as M&K old stock. They sound decent for sure, just depends on how well they do bouncing off the windshield.

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Old 05-21-2019   #18
 
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Default Re: Kraut's Shenanigans Continues: MB 300TE Wagon Content

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hillbilly SQ View Post
I would run the 12" subs, 6.5" mids you have and the NVX tweets. Do time alignment correctly and your stage height will be fine. If you want powerful MIDBASS cut the high efficiency subs you plan on using at 125hz. Make sure the 6.5's have a good home in a well deadened door. Trust me, there's no good reason to cross any decent car audio 6.5" above 80hz most of the time. 125hz would just help make sure you don't launch them when turning it up to ELEVEN and still sound OK even if the stage is pulled to the back a little.
This seems like the path of least resistance.
Once everything's hooked up and I'm tuning, I can always see what crossover point between 100 hz to 250 hz suits both the 12s and the 6.5s the best.
Obviously, the 12s will have significantly more midbass than the 6.5s, but the higher I play the 12s (in mono btw), the more they'll pull the soundstage towards the rear.

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Old 05-21-2019   #19
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Default Re: Kraut's Shenanigans Continues: MB 300TE Wagon Content

100-125 is as high as I'd cross the 12's especially being in mono. The 6.5's should hammer pretty good down to 80hz if needed in a well prepped door.

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Old 05-21-2019   #20
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Default Re: Kraut's Shenanigans Continues: MB 300TE Wagon Content

Hey Martin! Sorry to thread-jack, but wanted to say we missed you and your dad at Jasons GTG earlier this month. Hope you all are doing well!

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Old 05-21-2019   #21
 
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Default Re: Kraut's Shenanigans Continues: MB 300TE Wagon Content

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Hey Martin! Sorry to thread-jack, but wanted to say we missed you and your dad at Jasons GTG earlier this month. Hope you all are doing well!
Hey thanks! I haven't been on the board that much the past couple years, so I was a little out of the loop.

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Old 05-21-2019   #22
 
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Default Re: Kraut's Shenanigans Continues: MB 300TE Wagon Content

So I took a crack at the doors today, everything went really well. Removing and reinstalling the door panels was a breeze. The Infinity Kappa 60.11cs woofers I had laying around fit into the stock door pods like a glove.



Once I identified the factory speaker wires' colors, I traced them the foot wells under the floor mats. I simply soldered my speaker wires to the factory wires in a convenient spot, heat shrinked over everything and tucked them back into the plastic cable channel.
I really REALLY didn't feel like snaking the aftermarket wire through the door jambs, so I did it quick and dirty for now.
Just look at that OEM nylon braiding (tech flex) around the speakers wires... beautifus.









No pic of it soldered, but it is.





On to the door pods.





Once on the bench, mandatory old vs. new shots:



Old is paper cone, pretty stiff suspension, pretty hefty magnet actually, stamped steel frame, 2 Ohm and unknown power handing. Perhaps around 30 to 40 watts on a good day?
Looking at the speakers, I had to admit to myself that the old mids looked like they would sound better, more natural than the Infinities.
The Kappas are 'carbon fiber' cones, even stiffer suspension, composite basket (weak and bendy), similar size magnet, also 2 Ohm but 90 watts rms. I know these aren't the greatest mids, but it's what I have on hand right now. The NVX amp will be feeding them with 110 watts on tap at 2 Ohm.
As soon as funds allow, I may spring for a set of Silver Flutes.
The mission right now is to get everything hooked up with spending as little moneys as possible.




The Kappas are a great fit for the door pod opening. I had tp trim the plastic ears of the drivers, no big deal. I made a new gasket out of Ensolite:





Drilled new holes and installed the new mids with stainless screws.



The factory hardware back in its spot so it doesn't get lost:



Everything's reinstalled and I confirmed that both new door speakers work using a home audio amp, because the new deck and amp aren't wired up yet.

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Old 05-22-2019   #23
 
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Default Re: Kraut's Shenanigans Continues: MB 300TE Wagon Content

Next up is wiring the amp power cable from under the hood, through the firewall using an existing rubber grommet right next to the battery (thanks MB) and running a ground cable to a nearby factory ground.
The amp is going under the second row seat, there's a nice little void space with the seat backs folded down. I may try some large velcro patches to secure the amp to the carpet.
The second row seat bottoms are removed, they pulled right off their tabs without tools, very convenient. Tons of space for dual 1.5 cf enclosures in the foot wells, they can be as high as needed to achieve the internal volume.



Once everything but the subs are hooked up and playing, I will mock up the sub boxes using cardboard to get the shape down before cutting plywood. That's right, plywood not mdf.
Also, some people may cringe at what I'm about to use as power and ground cable, but instead of buying new 4ga welding cable like for my last build (runs were very short as amp was next to battery), I am repurposing a set of old jumper cables. They are very thick, probably bigger than 4 ga, solid copper and were free. I see no reason not to do it, especially because I own a newer set of jumper cables already.
Stay tuned for more shenanigans / pics.

1993 MB 300TE Wagon build thread

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Old 05-22-2019   #24
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Default Re: Kraut's Shenanigans Continues: MB 300TE Wagon Content

Looking good Martin! I want to hear it at the ‘20 NCSQ Meet! BTW.....I recently moved from Rice to Kraut (wait.....is that PC these days?)


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Default Re: Kraut's Shenanigans Continues: MB 300TE Wagon Content

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Originally Posted by bertholomey View Post
Looking good Martin! I want to hear it at the ‘20 NCSQ Meet! BTW.....I recently moved from Rice to Kraut (wait.....is that PC these days?)


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LOL... I moved to Kraut as well!

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