Mercedes SL-Class
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Sound Revolution in the New SL

Frontbass – woofers integrated into the body in white

HARMAN and Mercedes-Benz are revolutionizing the roadster music experience with the exclusive Frontbass technology in the new SL combined with the Harman Kardon® surround sound system. The world-exclusive technology enables sound performance to a level never-before attained. The innovation is that, for the first time ever, the woofers have been incorporated into the footwell in front of the driver and passenger and fixed firmly to the bulkhead of the body in white instead of occupying the conventional location in the doors. This unique layout uses the space behind the Frontbass speakers formed by the body in white as a high-volume resonating chamber. The result is an extremely impressive, clear and outlined bass sound. Meanwhile, the area outside the car remains considerably quieter because unavoidable vibrations caused by the door speakers used by conventional sound systems do not arise.

The normal approach would be to match a sound system to the existing vehicle. In the case of the new-generation Mercedes-Benz SL, the body in white was adapted for the first time in the interests of sound optimization. The technology is the result of several years of cooperation between Mercedes-Benz, as the originator of the idea, and HARMAN, as the competent audio specialist and long-standing development partner.

With help from computer-aided analysis and simulation, HARMAN determined the optimum layout of the sound components in order to implement the Frontbass concept in the best possible way. Constant communication between the engineers led to an optimum solution without compromise. In this process the degree of trust is particularly notable because Mercedes-Benz sets extremely high standards when it comes to crash safety, body shell stiffness and weight optimization.

Harman Kardon Logic 7® surround sound system with Frontbass

The Harman Kardon Logic 7 surround sound system with Frontbass brings an impressive concert-hall quality into the new Mercedes-Benz SL. Its powerful heart is a class-D amplifier with 600-watt output. A digital signal processor (DSP) controls ten audio channels individually in accordance with the source material, vehicle speed and roof position (open or closed) and corrects differences in running times arising from the varying distances of the listeners to the speakers. Because Frontbass technology also offered the sound experts new freedom in the mounting positions of the other components, they were able to locate six 43 mm tweeters and six 100 mm midrange speakers on one level for the first time – in the instrument panel, doors and around the seats. The outcome is a powerful, balanced and crystal-clear sound that is focused precisely on the vehicle occupants more than any other sound system – even with the roof down.

For particular acoustic refinement, the Logic 7 surround sound algorithm converts two-channel stereo recordings into multi-channel surround sound. Moreover, the discrete Logic 7 technology optimizes 5.1 media for optimum 360-degree listening pleasure throughout the entire vehicle.

The SL is also equipped with speed-sensitive volume control (SSVC). Every change in speed is transmitted via a signal from the speedometer to the sound system, which adjusts the volume up or down in accordance. The icing on the cake is delivered by the tangible pressure wave emitted by the Frontbass system that reinforces the subjective bass perception and turns the new roadster into an open-air concert hall.

* Car models may be subject to availability in certain countries

Benefits at a Glance

WORLD FIRST: Frontbass system for an extremely impressive, clear and tangible bass.

CUSTOMIZED: Every detail of the Harman Kardon® audio system is precisely tuned to the interior of the SL-Class.

POWERFUL: Multi-channel DSP amplifier with 600 watt maximizes the fun factor.

DYNAMIC AND BALANCED: 14 high-performance speakers ensure precise dynamics and excellent sound balance.

360° MUSICAL PLEASURE: Leading-edge Logic 7® multi-channel surround sound technology transforms stereo and discrete 5.1 recordings into an exhilarating surround sound experience for all passengers, in both front and rear seats. Playback of DVD-Audio*, DVD-Video* and CD in the digital standards MLP 5.1*, DTS®5.1*, Dolby®Digital 5.1*, PCM and MP3** for maximum flexibility.

AUTHENTIC AND UNCOMPROMISING: Instruments and voices are reproduced with an impressive richness and precision delivering an unparalleled enjoyment – as atmospheric and faithful as a live performance.

* Only in conjunction with COMAND online

** Minimum 128 kbit/s



14 high-performance loudspeakers with optimum position in the car.
100mm 43mm 43mm 43mm 43mm 43mm 43mm 100mm 100mm 100mm 100mm 100mm 220mm 220mm 600 Watt

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