Some info on 2020 MBUX Speaker Upgrades

Jackm

Member
I may be able to help with the pins and the crimper, we do that type of thing occasionally. There should be no guessing.

Sorry if this has been asked before, I have a 2020 radio that appears to only drive the front speakers. The fader control only recognizes 2 speakers.

Are you saying that the rear audio channels are are active present at the connector? I don't necessarily need to add an amplifier, just adding rear speaker is my objective.
 

andrewarm

Andrew
I may be able to help with the pins and the crimper, we do that type of thing occasionally. There should be no guessing.
If you have any advice, it’d be appreciated. Every manufacturer has their own shape of crimp, and I’m not willing to shell out several hundred bucks for their specific crimp die. So I use a cheap amazon crimper, but with the tight tolerances on a 1.2mm connector, it’s not particularly forgiving. If your crimp is off by even .1mm, you’ll have to push really hard to get it in the connector.

Sorry if this has been asked before, I have a 2020 radio that appears to only drive the front speakers. The fader control only recognizes 2 speakers.

Are you saying that the rear audio channels are are active present at the connector? I don't necessarily need to add an amplifier, just adding rear speaker is my objective.
Unclear. I suppose I could hook up a speaker to test that, but I wasn’t planning on using it right away. I’m hooking it up so that later in my build I can add rear speakers without having to tear everything apart again. My assumption is that by asking the dealer to turn on the fader (a known process, completed by others in the forum with the prewired rear hookup), those pins will become active.
 
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Jackm

Member
I have bad news and probably worse news.

The TE crimpers are expensive. The desk mount is about $3K and the hand tool is over $500.00.

I used a Molex crimper and I think the results may be acceptable, pm me your address if you want to try them out.

IMG_20200911_154616.jpg
 

Jackm

Member
I couldn't wait. The pins fit and the "guess" I believe is correct. There actually happens to be an audio signal on both pairs that you suggested. Thanks for the hard work. Now....how do you get the wires from the MBUX to under the drivers seat. Something that I read a while ago suggested that the option terminated the wires under the driver seat.
 

andrewarm

Andrew
I couldn't wait. The pins fit and the "guess" I believe is correct. There actually happens to be an audio signal on both pairs that you suggested. Thanks for the hard work. Now....how do you get the wires from the MBUX to under the drivers seat. Something that I read a while ago suggested that the option terminated the wires under the driver seat.
Glad to hear!

For wires, you’ll want to run straight down from the MBUX, then through the channel to the passenger seat. From there, run across the channel to the drivers seat.
 

COVAN-19

New member
So I installed a similar system just recently in my 2019 4x4 2500:

JL Audio C5 2 component in the front (I cut holes in the front door panels to compensate for the depth which was the easiest option)
JL Audio C5 3 component in the rear doors
JL Audio Vxi 600 amplifier under the passenger seat
Alpine PWE-S8 subwoofer in Hein's wall enclosure
MBUX to amp via front L and R door signals
BlueMe HD bluetooth receiver to amp via separate optical connection

I powered the amp from the house battery with the remote signal through an OEM dashboard switch which looks super clean. So by turning the system on at the dashboard I can get sound whether the MBUX is on or off because the amp will send both MBUX signal and the BlueMe HD signal simultaneously to all channels.

System was expensive but sounds incredible (for me as a car audio amateur). I highly recommend a JL Audio Vxi series amp if anyone is debating dropping a chunk of change on one. It is fully programmable and accepts and reprocesses high level input from the MBUX. Rear signal is simply a duplicated front speaker signal controlled by an accessory fader knob programmable with the amp software. For you pros, I realize that the 3 component speakers are not intended to be mounted entirely in the same cavity, but I did it anyway and it still sounds great to me.

Overkill? Yes probably.
 

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Jackm

Member
I just spent the weekend upgrading my speaker setup, and I wanted to provide info to others on the forum. I installed the following:
- Fix 86 DSP
- Alpine R-A60F Amplifier
- Focal ES 165KX2 Speakers

The pieces that I thought might be relevant for some folks are a) the speakers are 3" deep, b) speaker wiring for 2020 MBUX.

Regarding the speaker depth, I did several things:
- Shaved down the factory speaker ring (used a pocket knife, but a dremel would've been better)
- CNCed a speaker ring which mounts to the surface of the door rather than the existing ring
- Mounted CNCed ring using Sikaflex
- Heat formed speaker grill to get more space for cone (in retrospect, not sure this was necessary)

Regarding the 2020 MBUX wiring:
- To remove the MBUX Screen, you must first pop out the vents. Could use a coat hanger, or a tool like this: Mercedes Trim Tool. Just grab onto the crossbars inside the vent (preferably in two places at once) and pull.
- There are two large Aptiv/Delphi connectors on the back of the MBUX unit (note, this is the piece _behind_ the screen). The one with the speaker connections is the larger of the two (26 pin). Pins 2,3, 11, and 12 are FR+, FR-, FL-, FR+, respectively. Note that I do have a little bit of uncertainty about the FR+/- pins - I haven't done a phase test yet, but I'm 80% confident that's the right phase (backed up by the color of the wire). I do not have the rear connections, but I believe (and will be testing soon) that the pinouts for the rear speakers are 15,16, 24, and 25 for RR+, RR-, RL-, and RL+, respectively. If you do not have those connections already, you'll need to purchase terminals to fit in the connector. I currently have several connectors on order from mouser.com and will report back when I determine one that fits.

I've attached some photos to aid my descriptions. Happy to help folks so that they don't have to go through the struggles that I did figuring this all out.
SprinterSpeakerConnection.JPG

This appears to be the speaker connections and your best guess looks to be spot on. Two things, 1: I need some winning CA lottery numbers. 2: Where is connector with B1 and B10?
 

drodio

"Vader" • 2020 170" Crew 4x4
Just FYI -- the option EP7 adds a plug under the driver's seat to add your own wiring for rear speakers.
@VanGoSki i don't have EP7 on my van's option list but I'm wondering (hoping?) if it might be bundled w/ another package I do have -- esp because I do have a few extra sets of wire harnesses under the driver's seat.

Are one of these what you're referring to? (if not, any idea what they're for?
 

Jackm

Member
That was my first hope....dashed! in my case, I confirmed that the 4 (6 if we find the center channel) pins on the connector described above coming out of the MBUX was missing pins. Pins missing, cable lighter and cheaper. Incredible the cost saving manufacturing control Mercedes has.

I'm hoping EP7 turns on the equalizer. Once I inserted pins I was able to detect audio on the pins.
 

kper

Member
I'm in the process of this upgrade thanks to all the help from folks on this forum. I am wondering if some of you can help with a technical question:

- I am powering the new component speakers with an audio control amp with built in DSP
- My original plan is to run the signal from the oem door speaker wire to the amp/DSP, then feed it back to the components

The question that popped in my head as I was replacing the stock tweeters -- should I also be running the signal from the oem MBUX to tweeter wires to the amp/DSP (it accepts multiple inputs) to get that high frequency portion? Or is the general consensus that the door speaker wire has a full spectrum signal and I do not need anything else (ie, running the oem tweeter signal would be redundant)?

thank you
 

andrewarm

Andrew
I'm in the process of this upgrade thanks to all the help from folks on this forum. I am wondering if some of you can help with a technical question:

- I am powering the new component speakers with an audio control amp with built in DSP
- My original plan is to run the signal from the oem door speaker wire to the amp/DSP, then feed it back to the components

The question that popped in my head as I was replacing the stock tweeters -- should I also be running the signal from the oem MBUX to tweeter wires to the amp/DSP (it accepts multiple inputs) to get that high frequency portion? Or is the general consensus that the door speaker wire has a full spectrum signal and I do not need anything else (ie, running the oem tweeter signal would be redundant)?

thank you
The door speaker and the tweeter are the same signal - it’s just split somewhere under the dash.
 

JudoFish

New member
My recent install started with 6.5" JL Audio Speakers in the doors using the @DIYVANS adapters. JL Audio 5X7 coaxial in the rear doors, the powered Alpine sub using the panel insert from @DIYVANS and JL Audio amp to push the four JL audio speakers. Installed an auxiliary input adapter using all RCA cables to attach the newly installed speakers into the factory 10.5" factory interface. Entire system was tuned for sum inputs/outputs. I had a local shop do the work - they happen to do a lot of MB work for our local dealer.
 

Bjorgens

Member
My recent install started with 6.5" JL Audio Speakers in the doors using the @DIYVANS adapters. JL Audio 5X7 coaxial in the rear doors, the powered Alpine sub using the panel insert from @DIYVANS and JL Audio amp to push the four JL audio speakers. Installed an auxiliary input adapter using all RCA cables to attach the newly installed speakers into the factory 10.5" factory interface. Entire system was tuned for sum inputs/outputs. I had a local shop do the work - they happen to do a lot of MB work for our local dealer.
Very interested to hear your (or anyone else's who has installed one) thoughts on the sub panel's performance. I'm trying to figure out what I should do in my forthcoming van, and your system sounds very close to what I had in my head as well.
 

JudoFish

New member
The Alpine powered sub puts out an unbelievable amount of bass for the size of the unit. It took some dialing in but I now have the sound where I want it. I did have to pull the sub out of the cavity I have it mounted in and put in a ton of NOICO. As I build the walls out, I will install more NOICO to help when that low end thumps. Definitely start by detaching the front center dash speaker as many on this forum have suggested. Night and day and then install better speakers in the doors. I probably would go with 6X9's in the rear doors if I had it to do over again. I went with 5X7's. If you went with the 6X9's you may not need to worry about a sub. I mounted the rear speakers on the lower rear door panels - about midway up. They fit nicely. Speakers I installed: JL Audio 6.5 C1650x coax (front doors), JL Audio CX2570x in the rear doors, Alpine PWE-S8 sub, JL Audio XD400 amp. An input auxiliary unit was used to interface with the MBUX system. Sound now is AWESOME but it took some tweaking.
 

Bjorgens

Member
The Alpine powered sub puts out an unbelievable amount of bass for the size of the unit. It took some dialing in but I now have the sound where I want it. I did have to pull the sub out of the cavity I have it mounted in and put in a ton of NOICO. As I build the walls out, I will install more NOICO to help when that low end thumps. Definitely start by detaching the front center dash speaker as many on this forum have suggested. Night and day and then install better speakers in the doors. I probably would go with 6X9's in the rear doors if I had it to do over again. I went with 5X7's. If you went with the 6X9's you may not need to worry about a sub. I mounted the rear speakers on the lower rear door panels - about midway up. They fit nicely. Speakers I installed: JL Audio 6.5 C1650x coax (front doors), JL Audio CX2570x in the rear doors, Alpine PWE-S8 sub, JL Audio XD400 amp. An input auxiliary unit was used to interface with the MBUX system. Sound now is AWESOME but it took some tweaking.
thanks!
Did you install the JL Audio amp in the driver's seat pedestal, or elsewhere?
 

JudoFish

New member
thanks!
Did you install the JL Audio amp in the driver's seat pedestal, or elsewhere?
I installed it under the passenger seat. I may move it though when I put a diesel heater in. I purchased one of the panel insert boxes from DIYVAN that I plan to put the amp and my 12volt circuit breaker panel. The sub is mounted in a similar product from DIYVAN.
 

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