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W221 Harmon Kardon amp repair

Discussion in 'Electrics, Vacuum, Ignition and ECU' started by alexanderfoti, Aug 23, 2017.

  1. OP
    alexanderfoti

    alexanderfoti Moderator

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    That is from them. New one on order !
     
  2. JBell

    JBell Senior Member

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    Ahhhhh
     
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  3. OP
    alexanderfoti

    alexanderfoti Moderator

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    That is the noise I made when I ordered it! :p
     
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  4. Botus

    Botus Senior Member

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    the likes of Naim I think use far simpler boards with the main wearable bits designed to be swapped out...
    and as we really know a board is probably £100 so even if they binned it and soldered a couple of posh capacitors on would fall inside a £250 quid service (thats a guess by the way). The French own Nain now so who know how log the new kit will live.

    The merc amp is just a £30 quid Alba board in a aluminium box (in facts its not even that as an Alba one would still work in 20 years), £1200 of the price is pure profit.
     
  5. OP
    alexanderfoti

    alexanderfoti Moderator

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    Spot on, absolutely nothing special inside.
     
  6. barry jones

    barry jones Senior Member

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    The HK Amp can be replaced with a standard S Class unit. When I got my first W221, whoever had the car before me had done this.... It doesn't have all the functionality of the HK but it does work. I eventually got one from comandonline and it was fine until I sold it a few weeks ago and had lasted about 5 years up until that point!
     
  7. OP
    alexanderfoti

    alexanderfoti Moderator

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    What bits do you loose? Just the 5.1 I'm assuming?

    E: Looking at pictures of the amp, it would appear to be missing 3x speaker connections so safe to assume 3 speakers would stop working, one of which is probably the subwoofer
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2017
  8. Botus

    Botus Senior Member

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    mine has the small amp, there's a big sub in the parcel shelf
     
  9. OP
    alexanderfoti

    alexanderfoti Moderator

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    Seems as though there are 3 subwoofers on the harmon kardon system.
     
  10. barry jones

    barry jones Senior Member

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    Yes, a couple of speakers don't work including the sub woofer. Seeing as I mainly listen to radio 4 or talk radio type stations it wasn't a big issue at the time. Plus I managed to sell on the old amp when I got the HK one sorted so that reduced the costs a bit!!
     
  11. OP
    alexanderfoti

    alexanderfoti Moderator

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    Good to know its an option!
     
  12. Submariner1

    Submariner1 Senior Member

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    Ouch ...
    Does anyone know what year MB stopped using these flaky HK amps in SLs and CLs i.e. Went over to Burmeister?

    And are they any better?
     
  13. OP
    alexanderfoti

    alexanderfoti Moderator

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    Same time as the facelift, 2010 approx. Not sure if they are any better though. Not heard of any issues, but then they are not that old now.
     
  14. Submariner1

    Submariner1 Senior Member

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    True 6+ years is just a tad too short a timespan to tell.
    I guess now HK have lost the contract to Burmeister they will have no interest in helping existing customers with service item, to uphold their reputation. They will just cream out the overpriced replacements.

    Butnthen MB has never had a clue about audio quality, always been overcomplicated, overpriced rubbish quality.
     
  15. OP
    alexanderfoti

    alexanderfoti Moderator

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    Replacement second hand amp now fitted and everything working well.
     
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  16. Submariner1

    Submariner1 Senior Member

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    Pleased for you
    Must be a nice feeling.
    Out of interest how much was it? And where did you get it from?
     
  17. OP
    alexanderfoti

    alexanderfoti Moderator

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    It is nice having sound back!

    Around £500 delivered. From a salvage seller in ebay usa
     
  18. Submariner1

    Submariner1 Senior Member

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    Pretty reasonable prce versus a new one :)
    I still cant understand why they seem to be unfixable.
    Guess there isnt the volume demand.
     
  19. Botus

    Botus Senior Member

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    if it is a reflow issue (as in one of the main chipsets is no longer correctly soldered on the board) then its hit and miss if reheating will work. Its kind of a made once situation. The whole reflow idea is a fingers crossed situation if lucky you might get away with it.

    I got hold of a 2012 amp and the fan is US. Mercedes are just rubbish... designed to fail
     
  20. OP
    alexanderfoti

    alexanderfoti Moderator

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    I did try reflowing this one before replacing it.

    The board has soot all over it from underneath the fan. Cleaning this soot of the board showed damages to the traces underneath. None of them where broken completely but that probably explains why it worked intermittently.

    I agree. Designed to fail.
     

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