I have the Bose system in my current car and had the standard system in a coupe I owned for 77 days while wainting for my current car. Many people, especially younger ones, find the bass lacking in either system. I find it somewhat lacking myself, but not too bad. The treble response is fine to my ears.
The Bose bass module is located between the right quarter panel and the right cargo compartment wall. It is not ported into the cabin so the bass is trapped in the rear of the car.
Many people have swapped the Alpine cassette headunit for the Becker Audio 10 single cd player headunit. This is an optional item in non-North American markets. They report greatly improved bass response, especially in vehicles with the standard system. The Audio can be purchased on the German version of ebay of from Autoclass.net.
Some people are replacing the entire system with aftermarket pieces. If you think you might go this route, don't spend the extra money for the Bose. Also, be aware that the Bose system is harder to upgrade. It uses an MB proprietary fober optic protocol to send signals from the head unit to the Bose amp, and the Bose speaker use a non-standard impedance.
If you replace the headunit with a non-Mercedes unit, you will lose the ablility to control the volume and change stations from the steeering wheel buttons. You will also lose the audio related display on the Multi-Function Display. Also you should know that there are only two cd-changers which can be used with an MB headunit. They are the MB-Alpine sold by the dealer and also sold by Autoclass.net and the Becker Silverstone 2662. The Silverstone will not fit in the glovebox where the MB=Alpine is mounted and therefore requires routing of a fiber optic cable to different location.
Please forgive any typos or grammatical errors. I don't have time to proofread this right now.
Very regrettably I am slowly going deaf. It's a hereditary thing, my dad's worn a hearing aid since he was in his early fourties and I'm heading in the same direction.
So, sort of like one last fling, I got the factory bose system. If this is the last car stereo I hear, it had might as well be good.
As one deafens, typically the higher ranges go out first and you become very attune to bass. It is after all where you get all the information about what's happening in the audible world.
What at I can tell you is this. Even I was disappointed by the bass in the Bose system. Even to me it sounded too trebley (?).
To adjust things, I set bass to 10, treble to -4 and biased the fader well back. That helped.
I have also noticed a difference in cd tracks that were once an mp3 file and then blown up to a wav. On this Bose, one-time mp3s lack the depth and bass of a "virgin" wav/cd track. I have found this to be the case without exception.
Original genuine audio CDs sound the best, in bass terms anyway.
You'll never rock the block with Bose system. And you know what? That's pretty much okay. Cherish and protect your hearing kids.[/img]
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