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Old 11-22-2018, 12:12 AM   #1
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Default Mercedes Sprinter 2500 Front Stereo

We have a 2006 Roadtrek Adventurous RS and the front stereo speakers are not very good. I wanted to see if anybody else with the Mercedes Sprinter has tried other speaker / stereo combinations in the front to get better sound.
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Old 11-22-2018, 01:23 PM   #2
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Pretty much anything you put in place of those OEM speakers is better than what's there right now. I'm serious. You can go to Walmart and get something for $20 off the shelf and it will be better.

Joel Sell (aka Million Mile Sprinter) posted a 1-minute vid to Instagram last week showing how easy it is to swap them out. I don't know how to access his short vids except via IG.

Thus far, we have taken three steps to improve our sound situation:

1/ Dash speaker swap-out as described above.

2/ Added a Pioneer head unit that kinda sorta has Apple Car Play. I will warn you that the ergonomics of this contraption are THE absolute worst I've ever seen. But with only the single DIN spot in the older Sprinters, there isn't much choice short of wholesale dash re-fabrication (which some owners have actually done but we decided against it).

3/ My husband installed two additional mid-range-y speakers in the center-bottom of the dash structure. These improved the sound, but not radically. Plus, if our dog happens to be snoozing between the cab seats, we have to be careful not to blast her head off with the speakers being so close. In fact, these speakers were part of my inspiration for building a proper dog platform for the passenger seat, because I like to crank tunes and podcasts while on the road. So, I needed to get the poor dog off the floor.

The system is still woefully bad, however. It needs a subwoofer (dog going "Woof! Woof!" does not count). We might eventually get around to installing one in the headliner, because in our rig, there really isn't any other location we could use (some people install behind the driver's seat, but our wet bath is right up against it).

Edit: We also added some noise attenuation measures to the cab (description here). T1N Sprinters tend to be so loud that even the best sound system would be undermined by road noise.




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Old 11-22-2018, 05:47 PM   #3
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Default With mobile electronics... you get what you pay for...

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Pretty much anything you put in place of those OEM speakers is better than what's there right now. I'm serious. You can go to Walmart and get something for $20 off the shelf and it will be better.

Joel Sell (aka Million Mile Sprinter) posted a 1-minute vid to Instagram last week showing how easy it is to swap them out. I don't know how to access his short vids except via IG.

Thus far, we have taken three steps to improve our sound situation:

1/ Dash speaker swap-out as described above.

2/ Added a Pioneer head unit that kinda sorta has Apple Car Play. I will warn you that the ergonomics of this contraption are THE absolute worst I've ever seen. But with only the single DIN spot in the older Sprinters, there isn't much choice short of wholesale dash re-fabrication (which some owners have actually done but we decided against it).

3/ My husband installed two additional mid-range-y speakers in the center-bottom of the dash structure. These improved the sound, but not radically. Plus, if our dog happens to be snoozing between the cab seats, we have to be careful not to blast her head off with the speakers being so close. In fact, these speakers were part of my inspiration for building a proper dog platform for the passenger seat, because I like to crank tunes and podcasts while on the road. So, I needed to get the poor dog off the floor.

The system is still woefully bad, however. It needs a subwoofer (dog going "Woof! Woof!" does not count). We might eventually get around to installing one in the headliner, because in our rig, there really isn't any other location we could use (some people install behind the driver's seat, but our wet bath is right up against it).

Edit: We also added some noise attenuation measures to the cab (description here). T1N Sprinters tend to be so loud that even the best sound system would be undermined by road noise.




Walmart?? Are you serious?

Well, if you are on a serious budget I suppose it's better than nothing.... but, there's a lot of really junk stuff out there in mobile electronics.....

Then, there's the installation...do you have the confidence for a complex dashboard installation and the wiring throughout the vehicle?

There's a lot that can go wrong... I like to tell people.... everything is easy when you know what to do.....

I've been through a lot of older cars where I've tried to save money purchasing a low cost unit only to find out in just a few years... that the system sounded like crap or just broke...not worth it......

I've found it's better to spend the money on a quality system have it installed professionally and just enjoy it....

My RS Adventurous has a Kenwood DNX 893 fully integrated system... with Android Auto..works fantastic.... was it pricey.... you bet...no regrets...

Choose carefully.....
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Old 11-25-2018, 01:25 AM   #4
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I said the OP could go to Walmart and get better speakers. Yes, I was serious. This is a thing with T1N Sprinters, hence the OP's question. The speakers that Mercedes put into the T1Ns were fashioned out of brown paper bags, like lunch sacks. They are beyond sucky.
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Old 11-27-2018, 04:31 PM   #5
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Has anybody tied in the front auto speakers to the rear sound system or vice versa? Some of our rear speakers are not working so I need to start tracing wires and testing them out. But I am not really happy with that set up either. There are plenty of speakers so as long as they work properly, I think it is a matter of getting the correct multimedia unit. I would like to put an external hard drive in the coach for streaming music and movies and would like to have the ability to connect a bluetooth speaker for outside listening instead of installing outside speakers. But that would necessitate 3 zones (1 for surround watching movies, 1 for all interior for music, and 1 for bluetooth so interior speakers are not playing when not needed). Plus that would mean a receiver with HDMI out to the TV. Not sure I want to spend that kind of money because I think that would essentially be a home unit.
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Old 11-27-2018, 05:56 PM   #6
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Default YES.... I have a system like this.... works fine.....all about the details..

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Has anybody tied in the front auto speakers to the rear sound system or vice versa? Some of our rear speakers are not working so I need to start tracing wires and testing them out. But I am not really happy with that set up either. There are plenty of speakers so as long as they work properly, I think it is a matter of getting the correct multimedia unit. I would like to put an external hard drive in the coach for streaming music and movies and would like to have the ability to connect a bluetooth speaker for outside listening instead of installing outside speakers. But that would necessitate 3 zones (1 for surround watching movies, 1 for all interior for music, and 1 for bluetooth so interior speakers are not playing when not needed). Plus that would mean a receiver with HDMI out to the TV. Not sure I want to spend that kind of money because I think that would essentially be a home unit.
IF you're supremely confident that you can do this yourself... great....

Otherwise, do yourself a favor and and find a mobile electronics expert for a professional installation... mobile electronics are tricky and it requires a lot of skill, hiding wiring inside the panels of your rig and getting everything connected to be precise......

Here's a picture of the switch on my rig for enabling 5.1 surround sound vs. regular interior music... plus I do have an integrated Bluetooth speaker with a separate microphone for talking on the phone with my Android Auto and answering phone calls.......

Yeah, you don't want to have all the speakers working when you are talking on the phone... that would NOT be good.....

Steaming music...why do you think you need an external hard drive??? Just stream over the internet and use your data...I can stream Google music on my Kenwood DNX 893 .... just using Android Auto....

Again... there's options...call a professional...and discuss with them... they will tell you what is easy to do.....

My receiver that came with my coach doesn't have HDMI.... would like to get that.. but it works.. maybe your existing system can work without it as well....all of this stuff is very expensive...if it's not broken, why replace it...?

Outside speakers??? For outside sound we just use a Bose Mini with Bluetooth...hook it up to an iPod or use our phones....we don't want to be blasting sounds all over the campsite... much more discreet.... I've seen people who have rigs with outside speakers and TV's... everyone can see and hear what they are doing.....

We have great home theater 5.1 Dolby Digital inside the rig... don't want that outside...

Unfortunately... when it comes to mobile electronics... there's no substitute for getting it right.... And, it's good to find someone who really knows what they're doing so it doesn't have to be done over...if you know what I mean.....

Good luck.....
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Old 11-27-2018, 06:20 PM   #7
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IF you're supremely confident that you can do this yourself... great....

Otherwise, do yourself a favor and and find a mobile electronics expert for a professional installation... mobile electronics are tricky and it requires a lot of skill, hiding wiring inside the panels of your rig and getting everything connected to be precise......
Why do you keep saying this? What on earth do you think is "tricky" about speaker wiring? If I had to pick a single area of electrical work to recommend to a beginner, it would be this. There are very few safety issues, the standards are robust, components are readily available, and the wiring conventions clear. Anybody who is willing to spend an hour on the Internet learning what "impedance" and "phase" are will do just fine. If you don't want to take that hour, that's fine, but I don't see any reason to actively discourage others from doing so.

And, don't get me started on those "professionals" you are likely to find at your local audio shop.
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Old 11-27-2018, 06:25 PM   #8
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Steaming music...why do you think you need an external hard drive??? Just stream over the internet and use your data...I can stream Google music on my Kenwood DNX 893 .... just using Android Auto....

I have a NAS drive at home with over 50,000 songs and 500+ movies plus TV Shows. So I want to be able to get access to parts of that whenever I want to, without dealing with data plans or internet access. That is pretty simple and cheap to do, with the right components. Right now at home, we do it very effectively using Roku which is connected directly to my NAD Home Theater system. I much prefer accessing my own playlists, music, etc. than streaming apps. We still use the apps from time to time, but they are not my first choice.

These are not items I will be updating anytime soon. I will research all the options first and decide over the next year or two, especially once we see how we use the coach.

Thanks for the feedback.
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Old 11-27-2018, 06:29 PM   #9
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Why do you keep saying this? What on earth do you think is "tricky" about speaker wiring? If I had to pick a single area of electrical work to recommend to a beginner, it would be this. There are very few safety issues, the standards are robust, components are readily available, and the wiring conventions clear. Anybody who is willing to spend an hour on the Internet learning what "impedance" and "phase" are will do just fine. If you don't want to take that hour, that's fine, but I don't see any reason to actively discourage others from doing so.

And, don't get me started on those "professionals" you are likely to find at your local audio shop.
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.

Steaming music...why do you think you need an external hard drive??? .....
He is listening too much to .. .. Steaming . .. music, temperature could have an impact.

Cheers,
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Old 11-27-2018, 07:23 PM   #10
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He is listening too much to ….. ….. …… Steaming …. ….. …… music, temperature could have an impact.

Cheers,
LOOK... Avanti and George....I'm NOT talking about some ""hacks" at some local chain store.... I've been using the same audio shop for over 20 years with all my vehicles....

Same person who installed my high definition camera on the rear of my van and other vehicles .... it's all about the "details"..... Why am saying how difficult this is.... well, concealing all of this inside and outside the vehicle is NOT easy... drilling holes into metal and ensuring it's waterproof.....

Go ahead...if you think you have the skills.....

There's alternatives to "STREAMING"...use an iPod or Sirius XM radio...

And make sure you use the right wires for all that.....

Oh..one last thing.... you're not going to be able to to learn this in one hour, let alone install it in a short period of time....... whatever gave you that idea.....????

My professional ... took several hours to wire everything....and in some cases had to crawl underneath the rig.... very difficult access..... Hiding the wires inside the coach required removing door and wall panels with some also hidden in the ceiling panels....not easy to do....

Again, if you are not confident in doing all that... don't even attempt it.....
Oh, I suppose you could just run the wires and use a surface raceway..... but that will look really bad.... I don't recommend it....tacky....

Look at this picture of the rear HD camera.... I've seen a lot of people use some license plate frame with a camera installed..... rough install showing exposed wires...
This is hard wired to the front of the coach... some 15 feet or more.

I'm not trying to discourage anyone who has the skills... but, you have to ask why are there so many professional people in this field....my audio expert is in constant demand....if you don't have an appointment.... you're not going to get him to help you.... yes, he's that busy.

Again...the devil's in the details......

Besides.... except for standing stationary... it's my understanding that a T1N is so noisy.... you're going to have a really difficult time listening to music while driving.....
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Old 11-29-2018, 05:55 PM   #11
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I popped off the trim going up from dash along window - it pulls off easily. Then the speaker grill covers come up easily. I removed the old speakers and put in some 4" Kickers DSC40. This greatly improved the sound. I have the 2004 Sprinter 2500 and I think it's about the same as your 2006.
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Old 11-29-2018, 06:09 PM   #12
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Is the Backup Camera you have pictured located in the door of the RS? Mine presents the issues of no backup light power in the door to activate the camera and the full swing hinges make a wired connection impractical. I had been considering mounting it alongside or within the roof mounted third brake light. Open to suggestions.
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Old 12-01-2018, 12:03 AM   #13
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My son gave me a new head for the stereo to replace the dinky original equipment. Even without touching the speakers, the improvement was immediately noticeable!
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Old 12-01-2018, 01:35 AM   #14
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Default Okay...bad speakers are pretty obvious..

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My son gave me a new head for the stereo to replace the dinky original equipment. Even without touching the speakers, the improvement was immediately noticeable!

I'm sure it's an improvement; if you need new speakers.. might as well get them .

Depending on your system.. good sounds require a lot of air volume, proper balance ...

Also, too much road noise can be very distracting... when you have to crank up the volume... there's usually more distortion... Otherwise... when you're stationary... you can hear more details....

Is your system fully integrated into the the system for Bluetooth hands free calling on your cell phone??
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Old 12-01-2018, 01:55 AM   #15
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Craig, what make/model head did you install?
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Old 12-01-2018, 03:03 AM   #16
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Default Yes, it's mounted to the door of the rig

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Is the Backup Camera you have pictured located in the door of the RS? Mine presents the issues of no backup light power in the door to activate the camera and the full swing hinges make a wired connection impractical. I had been considering mounting it alongside or within the roof mounted third brake light. Open to suggestions.
My HD camera operates in extremely low light... when I'm backing up...the rear white taillights are plenty enough illumination for me to see..... Check out Rydeen electronics.. they specialize in this technology...

By the way.. this is where it gets tricky to install... I think you are saying that you couldn't see how it would be practical for a wired connection ?? My connection is hard wired all the way to the front of the coach...

Sorry again for bringing this up, but, there's going to be a lot of people out there who just will not have the skills to do that.... I've read many stories of people who just did a Bluetooth connection.. you can probably do that... BUT, a hardwired connection is going to be a lot more solid...

As soon as I go into reverse....my dashboard camera right on my Kenwood display lights up....

Yeah. Good luck solving this.... that's why I hired a professional....
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Old 12-02-2018, 03:03 AM   #17
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Is the Backup Camera you have pictured located in the door of the RS? Mine presents the issues of no backup light power in the door to activate the camera and the full swing hinges make a wired connection impractical. I had been considering mounting it alongside or within the roof mounted third brake light. Open to suggestions.
I'm not sure if this is useful to you, but we did ours alongside the center brake light (and added two more lights up top).

The only issue I have with it is the DIRT that covers everything on the back of a Sprinter van. Very hard to keep this camera clean. We also added two side cameras to the cab - they activate when the signal lever is pressed. They are far easier to keep clean. We hung a 9 inch monitor in the cab where a rear view mirror would typically go.



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Old 12-22-2018, 10:22 PM   #18
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I have borrowed from the ideas here and a few of my own. Beginning with the observations that the rear compartment speakers are useless while driving; that the ignition needs to be on to use the dash stereo (I do not have a separate cabin stereo); if you want to listen while camped the privacy curtains block the dash speakers. I attacked all problems. I added a hot line supply switch that sends power to the stereo through a diode, so the stereo still goes off when the ignition is turned off. I took a power split off the downstream side of the diode to a accessory plug rack in the console that powers the XM receiver and antenna preamp. The upstream side of the diode has the normal ignition on feed and the feed from the hot switch. The hot switch also powers a relay with two DPDT circuits that control the speakers. I added two speakers in the cup holder (like Interblog's picture). So when the engine is running the speakers function with the cupholder set as "Front" (with Left/right flipped) and the Dash speakers as "Rear." The rear cabin speakers are dead. When the engine is off you can turn on the switch and the radio comes on, the dash speakers go dead and the rear cabin speakers come on. The cupholder speakers always are "front" to the stereo. This arrangement also puts a left and a right in closer proximity to both the driver and passenger when rolling.

The pic with everything pulled out shows the relay, which will be mounted into a box and fit into the space behind the stereo. I have been adding things under the console and took time to reorganize, simplify , and label the wiring.

Another enhancement was to run the power cord for the window mounted GPS behind the stereo and up out near the left side fresh air vent. This leaves the console socket free for phone charger or the brake buddy receiver.
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Old 12-23-2018, 04:25 AM   #19
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There's alternatives to "STREAMING"...use an iPod or Sirius XM radio...
We (and the bank) currently own and drive a Chrysler Town & Country Mini-Van with a Sirius XM radio and the best part to that particular setup is - it already has a built-in CD player AND a 30 GB Hard drive. I have a lot of MP3 music on it and have only used about 3 GB of space. If you want a good quality radio with Sirius XM capabilities, then buy one and have it professionally installed in your vehicle. And while you are at it get some good quality speakers installed at the same time.

When I was much younger I might have taken on installing a stereo and speakers in a car / truck / etc., but not now! My body don't bend like it used to and it takes way too long to get over its little hurts.

You've spent the money on the RV, now part with some more dollars and get the best along with professional installers.
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Old 03-09-2019, 04:08 PM   #20
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I hear you all talking about speakers, but in my 2006 Sprinter Adventurous has a lousy static am radio reception(I know, old school, but I like the am radio) is there a cheap fix for that static or do I have to bite the bullet and upgrade the radio unit?
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