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Who's running a Becker?

Started by 1980sdga, 06 June 2011, 06:04 PM

powerglide

Thanks Koan, Carl888 and others for the informative discussion.  My 1975 280SE came with a dealer-fit Mitsubishi AM-only spring-loaded 'wonder bar' radio, and 6" Pioneer speakers wounted to the parcel-shelf board, the usual 4" speakers in the dash. The antenna is raised from a console-mounted switch.  This is being replaced by a circa 1980 Pioneer KPX-9000 component system that came out of a Fiat 128.  It is the best unit I ever had and I swap it from car to car. I have a pair of 3-way 6" Pioneers for the rear (one-for-one upgrade), and a pair of GREAT Sansui 100w 4" dual cone speakers for the front (these came out of a Datsun 180B I had when a student). The head unit is getting a new drive belt (courtesy of Speakerbits in Port Melbourne, who also rebuilt the cone surrounds on the Sansuis). The head unit fits in the dash aperture fine, but the issue I have yet to solve is where to mount the power amp.  It is reasonably small, so I hope to get it in behind the dash panel/console area.  It could go under the passenger seat as the cable set is long enough (no short-cuts with Pioneer, my friends!), but that is messy, and I like to keep my Melway there anyway.  Any suggestions?

For iPods, there is a system (I used this in my Datsun at first to get FM reception thru the original AM radio) whereby the radio is set to a frequency that receives another input (MP3 in this case). No sockets necessary. Apparently the drawback is that it doesn't work too well in the country, but that's where the 'ol cassettes of Brit rock from the '60s and '70s come in handy, isn't it?  There is a new version of this that you can get from JB HiFi for about $65, but I haven't tried it.  I'm just skipping the whole CD thing as an obsolescent technology.

A Becker Mexico would be nice, but it will cost upwards of $2k by the time it is sourced, overhauled, and matched with speakers, and never sound as good as a Pioneer.  If you ever see a vintage Pioneer component system for sale like the KPX-9000, just grab it! - there were a few different models through the 1970s into the early 1980s, after which came the trash.  I think that it is only recently that quality car audio is coming back, and some of the retro look products are interesting.

BTW, Corvettes from the 1950s had a 'wonderbar' radio as an option.
Powerglide

Casey

#76
Here's an interesting one - the Becker Mexico Avantgarde:




Apparently you could also get the Becker Mexico Electronic in burlwood too:


jbrasile

Casey,

There was also the Mexico CD, BE861 or 863 if I am not mistaken. They were not available in the US but I have seen a few installed in Euro 107's, 124's and 126's, same look as the Grand Prix used on US cars but with a CD and a separate amp, very cool!

Tks,

Joe

Casey

Quote from: jbrasile on 10 October 2011, 05:48 PM
There was also the Mexico CD, BE861 or 863 if I am not mistaken. They were not available in the US but I have seen a few installed in Euro 107's, 124's and 126's, same look as the Grand Prix used on US cars but with a CD and a separate amp, very cool!



I wouldn't want one in the W116 (might be okay in a W123 but I really don't like CD's), but interesting nonetheless. :)

Mforcer

That is the exact Becker I installed in my car. I still have the original Becker in storage but the CD player and better radio is worth the swap.
Michael
1977 450SE [Brilliant Red]
2006 B200

jbrasile

Casey,

Here is the Becker Mexico CD I was talking about:



Tks,

Joe

Casey

#81
Quote from: jbrasile on 10 October 2011, 10:34 PM
Here is the Becker Mexico CD I was talking about:



This looks like the one that was in my '86 300D.  not sure if mine had a CD though but it was definitely the same button layout and volume/tuning controls.  I guess it was probably a Grand Prix.  Whatever sort of media you could put in it wouldn't play, the speakers were shot in that car so I had to use it on really low volume and then the radio gave up the ghost entirely a couple weeks after I bought the car.

TJ 450

The compact disc option was rather rare, as the CD was still a quite recent, and expensive technology having been released in 1982.

It would be nice for originality in a 1980s car though.

I'm not sure about this one, but a lot of early players sounded pretty atrocious by today's standards... Just something to be aware of.

I like the other modern Becker.

Tim
1976 450SEL 6.9 1432
1969 300SEL 6.3 1394
2003 ML500

jbrasile

Tim,

They actually sound pretty good! I have actually listen to a few of these units in different cars and they are not bad at all. The problem is that they can get a little troublesome, especially the transport mechanism where the CD will get stuck and you have to take the player apart to remove it. A good friend of mine had an 88 300CE with this Becker installed and a Sting CD got stuck in there and would only play one song then repeat it over and over.... imagine listening to Roxane for months on end, hehehe....


Tks,

Joe

powerglide

I've kind of given up on getting anything to work better than moderately (I put the Pioneer component system in the 280SE and it was acceptably good, but not as good as it had been in the Datsun where the boot became the speaker box.  The issue of speaker mounting inthe W116 has been covered in detail already. 

For me the revelation is the sound system in my 'new' third-hand S420: this has a Bose am/fm/cassette head unit, a Eurovox 10-CD stacker in the boot, and 10 speakers in the dash, in the doors, and in the parcel shelf (or is it 11? - there is also a little speaker behind the interior rear vision mirror). This does sound very good, I admit, and I am thinking about the best way to splice in MP3 - this can be wireless with some of the smart jiggers you can buy now.  For the W116 addict, the question is, do you care more about appearance and authenticity, or is it the sound quality?  I just can't get away how good the Pioneer component system with Sansui speakers sounds in an ideal installation - which of course you can't do in a W116 without some butchery. And all this overkill in the W140 to achieve a comparable outcome, but I guess I am not the first to use the terms "overkill" and "W140" in the same sentence.  By comparison the W116 (excepting p'raps the 6.9) is delightfully uncomplicated.  I'm not sorry I ended up with a W140 rather than a W126, but there are trade-offs.  I am thinking of keeping a W116 after all.  Not game to run that idea past the boss just yet.
Powerglide

WGB

1) In Australia the CD Becker was only found in the top range models like the 560SEC and the like in the late 80's.

2) A 6.9 is only complicated when it's suspension doesn't work - when it's fixed and used regularly it largely works totally unseen.

Bil