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Who's running a Becker?

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

1980sdga

I have a nice Jensen in my car but the Becker in the trunk calls to me  ;D  I'm thinking about doing Koans ipod mod to it only running a wire to the console along with power for the ipod. I may do it in the glove box but the console would be a lot more accessible.

I'm also used to having XM and I have a direct input (through the antenna) tuner.  Maybe stash it somewhere as well.

Any thoughts?

I just think it would be cool having that old radio in the dash  8)

I've been doing mechanicals so I'm ready to do something else.

jbrasile

Jon, I personally love the look on these old Beckers, but the sound quality is pretty unimpressive, even when they were new there were better radios available from Pioneer for example.

I think the way to make sure your original Mexico is performing at 100% is to have it re-furbished by Becker North America, however that is not a cheap proposition. The nice thing is that they can add an I-pod input either through  a cable or by adding a jack to the front panel that looks like it was there from the factory, really cool...

There is also a pretty interesting mod where they will add a pair of RCA output cables so you can hook the unit up to a modern amp. That's a really neat feature because with the I-pod input, the cassette and the RCA setup you are be able to have a pretty decent stereo system while retaining the charm of the original radio in the dash.

Tks,

Joe


1980sdga

About how much does a refurbish run?  I'm not exactly an uber audiophile, just as long as it plays tunes I'm pretty happy  :D

Mine is just like Koans:



I've been looking at pictures of old Beckers and I think this model "Mexico" is the sharpest looking  8)

I hope my wiring harness hasn't been butched too much. It appears as if there is one of those round plugs on the back of the radio plus some wires hooked into the amp.  I don't think it's been hacked too much because the fader still works and I believe I have the original speakers!

koan

Quote from: jbrasile on 06 June 2011, 06:35 PM
There is also a pretty interesting mod where they will add a pair of RCA output cables so you can hook the unit up to a modern amp. That's a really neat feature because with the I-pod input, the cassette and the RCA setup you are be able to have a pretty decent stereo system while retaining the charm of the original radio in the dash.

I was thinking along those lines, a more powerful amp would be good, RCA sockets and a relay to switch amp power but the micro speakers and the difficulty getting anything bigger in put me off.

koan
Boogity, Boogity, Boogity, Amen!

1980sdga

So, does the "Mexico" not have any station presets?

koan

Quote from: 1980sdga on 06 June 2011, 07:10 PM
So, does the "Mexico" not have any station presets?

No presets, just a motor driven station search, wide button at middle top.

koan
Boogity, Boogity, Boogity, Amen!

1980sdga

Quote from: koan on 06 June 2011, 07:12 PM
Quote from: 1980sdga on 06 June 2011, 07:10 PM
So, does the "Mexico" not have any station presets?

No presets, just a motor driven station search, wide button at middle top.

koan

Wow, that really makes me want to use it!

jbrasile

Hehehe.... the "wunderbar" (I think that's what they call it)  is like a seek function, it is motorized and the pointer runs on the dial and stops when it tunes a station, you press it again and it finds the next one. Pretty advanced stuff for the 1960's when the first ones came out with this feature (maybe even earlier...)

Give Becker a call: 201-773-0976 and try to speak with Tom, he can probably tell you how much for a full rebuild + the mods you desire.

Koan, it is possible to run 5 1/4 modern rear speakers in the back under the original grilles and 4 or 4x6 in the front, get the right ones and the improvement is remarkable.

Jon, it is easy to test if your harness is ok, just plug the mexico into the power cord (round male on the radio to female in the car), ground is screwed on the back, antenna plugs into the radio as well and the DIN cable goes to the amp. The wire the powers the antenna is also plugged into the amp using one of the male spade connectors marked 12V.

Tks,

Joe

1980sdga

#8
Yea, that's great! I just found a youtube vid of one in action!  I just keep finding more and more "Easter Eggs" with this car  ;D

I gotta have a working Becker now...  And working ACC...

Well, I hooked it up to power, (no antenna or speakers) and the "wonderbar" seemed to work.  It was a little glitchy but it's been sitting for years.  Maybe some contact cleaner on the tuner?

I just don't have a bunch of money put into a stereo right now...

Some Becker stuff:

http://www.beckerautosound.com/install%20PDF's/116%20LATE%20STEREO.pdf

300SDude

I have a gizomo that plugs into the ashtray lighter that you can set the radio to tune to a certain channel and I can play the music from my USB (actually, there is a spot on one of the ones that you can plug your MP3 player into and do the  same thing).

that way, you don't loose your stock radio, but can still listen to your music through an updated system.

300SDude.

koan

Quote from: jbrasile on 06 June 2011, 07:39 PM

it is possible to run 5 1/4 modern rear speakers in the back under the original grilles and 4 or 4x6 in the front, get the right ones and the improvement is remarkable.


Wasn't there a change at some time, the front speakers were relocated from down just above knees to top of dash. Don't think anything bigger than 4" round will fit my knee highs.

koan
Boogity, Boogity, Boogity, Amen!

jbrasile

Yes koan,

I believe the change took place in 77 or 78 and MB went from 4 inches at the base of the dash to 4x6 on the top.

Still, you can fit decent 4 inch speakers to early cars. The trick is the size of the magnet which tends to be quite large on modern units.

You also have to watch for  tweeter height on the rear speakers otherwise you will not be able to use factory grilles.

Tks,

Joe

Type17

'76 350SE in Silver-Green

WGB

I have a Pinstripe Becker in my 79 ( I also have the correct black faced Becker as well) which has an auxillary input for an ipod and is fitted with modern speakers and a large modern amplifier under the passenger's seat.

Works well enough but not a remote patch on the Harmon Kardon systems in my E500 and ML320CDI.

I leave it off and listen to the 6.9 working instead.

Bill

TJ 450

The Becker Mexico was certainly not cutting edge audio technology in the '70s. It is really a left over from the '60s, albeit a proven one.

The followup Grand Prix 612 was even worse in terms of function and sound quality (but it featured a built-in amp-on-a-chip, and a microprocessor controlled interface!). But I love the appearance of the Mexico, and the AM tuner is good.

The original speakers are well matched for sensitivity... most modern speakers don't fare well with the little amp in that regard.

I removed the Becker from my car a while back, as I was using it a fair bit and wanted the CD function. However, now that I won't use that car much, the Becker will return after the current project is complete.

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