News:

www.W116.org - By the people, for the people!

Main Menu

Who's running a Becker?

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

Casey

#45
What were the differences between the Becker Mexico, Europa, and Grand Prix models?  They look very similar and I'm having difficulty remembering which of these came (with a mono speaker) in my 1976 240D 3.0L.

Casey

Okay, I'm realizing that my bad taste for Beckers probably mostly came from the nasty nasty one that came in my 1986 300D, which was just a pile of square black buttons and tilt levers that you hit up or down to adjust volume or tuning.  I do like the classic appearance of the older ones...

And now I find, that indeed Becker may just be the one company who has managed to produce exactly the car stereo of my dreams!  In the form of the Becker Mexico 7948, this model has the vintage appearance of the older Beckers, while being quite modern inside.



SD/CF card reader, navigation system, plug in your SIM card and it becomes your telephone, or connect to your phone via bluetooth if you're into that sort of thing, programmable voice commands, real remote iPod control from the unit, and even speed-controlled volume.

oscar

Quote from: Raptelan on 12 June 2011, 05:59 AM
What were the differences between the Becker Mexico, Europa, and Grand Prix models?  They look very similar and I'm having difficulty remembering which of these came (with a mono speaker) in my 1976 240D 3.0L.

I've forgotten a fair amount of detail regarding Becker research I did some time back, but here are a few little things that stood out for me when I was on the hunt. 

In a nutshell, IMO, the pinstripe Becker Mexico is the bees knees.  Europa II for a radio only solution.  The new retro is just groovy and worth getting if it's affordable.  Lastly, speakers usually let them all down but in saying that, a combined amp and speaker upgrade is the best move to get the most out of a Becker stereo.

There's a couple of mexicos, if not more, that differed a little in the facade, fonts used, text placement.  Notably though the FM indication going up to 106MHz in early ones to 108MHz in later ones, but I'm sure both FM and cassette were stereo in all cases.

There's a few Europa models but there's two main types.  The difference between them being that a "Europa" is mono, a "Europa II" is stereo, and neither have cassette players, they are radios only. 

Grand Prix, can't remember if they came in cassette and radio combos or just radio.

A word of advice.  Be mindful that some cassette radio combos only had a stereo cassette but mono only radio.  All radios from the era seem to have a green power-on light behind the tuning indicator.  If they have stereo capable FM tuning they will also have either a red light next to the power-on green light, or a "stereo" light.

An example of a stereo only cassette radio combo is the Monza.  Mine's below in an old pic.  I found out the hardway about this stereo cassette / mono radio combination.  Koan's ipod mod was done which sees the monza deliver ipod via stereo. 
Funny how that ipod below is dead and buried, an 80gb replacement one that cost me $500+ died two weeks ago and now I'm up to my 3rd ipod in 6yrs. The 30yo becker works a treat still 8)


1973 350SE, my first & fave

Casey

Quote from: Raptelan on 12 June 2011, 06:23 AM
And now I find, that indeed Becker may just be the one company who has managed to produce exactly the car stereo of my dreams!  In the form of the Becker Mexico 7948, this model has the vintage appearance of the older Beckers, while being quite modern inside.

Now the question is - who knows where the heck I can find one of these things?  I can't seem to find any online. :/

Casey

Quote from: oscar on 12 June 2011, 07:07 AM
Quote from: Raptelan on 12 June 2011, 05:59 AM
What were the differences between the Becker Mexico, Europa, and Grand Prix models?  They look very similar and I'm having difficulty remembering which of these came (with a mono speaker) in my 1976 240D 3.0L.
There's a few Europa models but there's two main types.  The difference between them being that a "Europa" is mono, a "Europa II" is stereo, and neither have cassette players, they are radios only. 

Grand Prix, can't remember if they came in cassette and radio combos or just radio.

It seems that the all came in radio-only varieties, or else this image is inaccurate:


jbrasile

Casey, Europa's from the 60's and early 70's were radio only. The black face units starting around 78-79 could be radio or cassette, always stereo. A few early Europa models were not stereo.

Koan's Monza Cassette came out in the early 70's but I believe it was replaced by the Mexico Cassette Stereo, I have neve seen a non stereo Mexico.

If you don't want cassette but just a radio you can mod to accept an I-pod connection and perhaps even an amp upgrade via RCA output, the way to go would be an Europa Stereo.

Tks,

Joe


1980sdga

Maybe Koan will weigh in but I think that you need a cassette to do the ipod mod. The wiring "tricks" the circuit into "believing" that the cassette is supplying the signal when the ipod plugged in.  Radio only tuners may not have the "select" board that allows 2 inputs.

I may be wrong but that's the way I understand it.

I drove for many hours the other day with my ipod/Becker setup with the factory speakers and amp. While OK I was pretty unimpressed with the audio.  I plan on installing an a small aftermarket amp and modern speakers in the future.

I drove my "old" 300SD to chase some parts and the CD player with modern 4X6's and 6's is more than adequate for me.  If I can replicate the sound with my old Becker I'll be really happy!

I think that snazzy new Becker is a euro only and costs about $2000  :o 

Casey

Quote from: 1980sdga on 12 June 2011, 11:38 AM
I think that snazzy new Becker is a euro only and costs about $2000  :o 

It was just under $2000 when new in 2006 - imagine it would be a little less now.  And what makes it euro-only?  I read that it was offered only in euro markets, but also that the GPS data is stored (or at least loaded from) a SD card.  So it should just be a matter of getting the appropriate format of data files copied onto a card to make it work fine in the US?  Now, I don't imagine that to be as simple as it sounds, since Becker probably has their own proprietary format and most vendors charge a boatload of cash for navdata updates.

It also looks like the new Mexico 7948 (and also, an equivalent-looking 7942 I just noticed), are no longer available, and Becker no longer seems to be making car audio solutions at all - the only product their current site advertises at all is a navigation system. :(

A real shame.

Found this on a website, thought y'all would appreciate:

DON'T DO THIS TO YOUR MERCEDES:

Casey

Videos of the new Becker that should have taken off like wildfire...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfDu_YZN9e4

Casey

Man... I've been looking at car stereos all day.  It seems to me that the world is in a pretty sad state when we value things like being able to have an animated multicolor swimming dolphin, wavy contoured plastic facings, buttons where conformance to some sort of weird oval shape outweigh actual ergonomic concerns (or lack of buttons at all - I kid you not - some car stereos are now 100% touchscreen so you can fill them with widescreen video) over things like durability or quality of sound.

This is what I think I'll have to make a long-term goal, at this point:


http://www.crutchfield.com/s_130DEXP99R/Pioneer-Stage-4-DEX-P99RS.html?c=3&tp=5684&avf=N&nvpair=AG_Size%7cFFSingle-DIN

Clean, simple controls without overage of blangblangflashyaction.
CD player, but at least I don't have to stare at a big dumb slot all the time and thus I can just pretend it's not there.
Ridiculous ability to tune the sound that would probably take me a long time to figure out.
Undisputedly good audio quality.
Fairly generic, future-compatible USB interface - supports iPod controls, or plug in an SD (or any other) card reader, or an external hard drive.

jbrasile

Yes Casey, it is pretty hard to choose a radio that will not look ridiculous in our old 116's...

This Pioneer you showed is very nice but being a DEX you will need a separate amp to power it. I am a Pioneer man myself,have always  loved their old stuff, especially the early digital units from the  eighties like the KEX-50, KE5100, 6100 etc... in fact I have a brand new in the box KE5100 in my small collection, just a gorgeous radio...

I decided to try something different and purchased a Nakamichi CD-400 last month. It had great reviews when it came out and I think it has a "Beckerish" look to it + Nakamichi is legendary as far as sound quality so I am pretty curious to see how it performs.



Tks,

Joe






jjb-w116-hu

and joe the nakamichi's are great, used to have a seperate component AV setup with their kit in the house - stunning. and i do like the yellow tone to that display, could almost match in well.


TJ 450

The CD-400 is a top unit as far as I have heard. It's a rare breed.

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

1980sdga

This is probably cheap but looks the part:

http://www.vintagecarradio.com/store/product_info.php?cPath=1&products_id=59&osCsid=1579f3d4b563f4a5eeac7200f9580783

That Becker is amazing! Thanks for posting the vid!  Cool seeing it in action  8)

That's a nice stereo Joe! I think the yellow will look nice in your car. Something about the weird blue and other colors in most new radios just doesn't look good in our cars. We need something that will blend in with our mellow yellow incandescent bulbs...  Seems like the trend is towards really sharp, bright, sterile lighting but I enjoy the warm yellow light  8)

I had originally considered looking into updating to LED's for the instruments but I now realize that was a bad idea. Old school light bulbs are just soooo cool!

Casey

Quote from: 1980sdga on 13 June 2011, 02:34 AM
I had originally considered looking into updating to LED's for the instruments but I now realize that was a bad idea. Old school light bulbs are just soooo cool!

I'd originally considered looking into updating the brake lights, etc. to LED then realized they really piss me off any time there's a car in front of me with them at night.  It's not just that they're extra-bright, but the lack of a few millisecond warm-up/cool-down time (touted as an "advantage") causes the change to be a lot more jarring.  They don't piss me off quite as much as those few year/model cars that came with blinking third brake lights, but they're right up there.