A new soundtrack to life (Mercedes meets Nakamichi, and they like each other)

Posted: November 14, 2010 in Cassette Decks

One of the first projects I needed to do on the old Mercedes coupe was replace the original Blaupunkt stereo, as although it sounded reasonable, it only offered radio and tape sources.

The main problem anyone with a car like this faces, is finding a head unit that is able to respect the original purity of design – harder than I thought, most units are miniature nightclubs and feature everything including the kitchen sink, nasty, even if the sound quality it there, the style most defiantly isn’t. It would be almost criminal to put one of the aforementioned into a car like the Mercedes Coupe.

After some serious digging, I came up with the Nakamichi CD 500, a relatively old unit by most standards, but with impeccable high end audio heritage. It also comes with the ability to play mp3/wma files, and a direct auxiliary connection for external sources, so all I really needed.

Although rather difficult to get hold of, a very helpful local hifi centre managed to find me one, and made me a suitable ISO connection block. With a bit of work, the new unit is in, and looks stunning, it fits perfectly with the coupes interior, has a crystal clear sound and the cars acoustics seem to really help engage you.

Both my iPhone 3G and iPod connect perfectly but don’t have any head unit control except for volume, not a problem for me, put it on random play, and have access to 160gb’s worth of music. And depending on your level of recording quality, the sounds are just a clear as the cd player too.

I will be changing the OE speakers for some Rainbow IQ ones, as apparently, the sound is great, and most importantly, drop straight in to the Mercedes housings, im looking forward to try these.


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