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Mercedes-Benz S-Class



  • paulchiupaulchiu Posts: 378
    No problem. I have a lot of time here....

    Trading stocks at home. Enjoying the view from my home office. Watching HDTV movies. Playing with my 3 year old son! Driving the S with my son. Life is good!
  • mrman_3k1mrman_3k1 Posts: 52
    paulchiu, you are one lucky man.
  • pfiorentinopfiorentino Posts: 26

    Off topic, but what display device are you using to watch your HDTV movies?

    I have a Sony 34HD1 direct view TV for standard defintion and high defintition satellite broadcasts, and I use a Seleco HT200 front projector and Stewart screen for DVDs, HD movies, and HD sports.

    I can't say I'm surprised that another M-B customer is an early adopter of HD, as I am.
  • paulchiupaulchiu Posts: 378

    I have the Zenith 64" rear projection set since Jan 2000 now. It has it's own tuner. I also have 2 Panasonic STB for OTA and cable reception. I record movies using the Panasonic PV-HD1000 D-VHS. The copies are like film, sometimes even better than what I remember from the theater.... I have over 150 films now in my HD library! Includes Matrix, Titanic, 61*, etc....

    How are you receiving your HD signals?
  • mrman_3k1mrman_3k1 Posts: 52
    I am planning on a building a home theater, any suggestions on good places to look in the Bay Area for premium systems?

    Also, I saw that you can have your S-class outfitted with TV's and DVD's. Does MB do that or a 3rd party?
  • pfiorentinopfiorentino Posts: 26

    I get my HD via satellite (Dish Network), cable (Time Warner -- I use the RCA DTC100 and Dish 6000 as set top boxes for cable HD), and OTA (again via the DTC100 and Dish 6000, and the Sony HD tuner that comes with the 34HD1). I have not tried HD recording yet, but I have a friend who's super into it, and has set up all of these custom DV recording devices. When I'm ready (which may not be until TIVO releases an HD recorder!), I'll have him set me up.


    Look up home theater installers and high fidelity audio in the yellow pages. The high end video projector brands to look for are Sony (the G90 and D50 models are what you're looking for), Runco, Vidikron, Seleco/SIM2, Dwin, and now, Madrigal. Most of the custom installers are sources for a tremendous amount of misinformation, unfortunately, so feel free to email me privately to review the accuracy of what they're telling you once you start this process.
  • paulchiupaulchiu Posts: 378
    I agree totally with you (Paul) on mis-information by installers..

    I must have spend 6 months choosing my HDTV set. I ended up viewing practically all the sets available in late 1999; including the $35,000 Runco. I came down to the 65" Sony and my Zenith 64". Found a shop with both side by side, and decided that way.
    (BTW PaulF, The 34" Sony is magnificent!, But I already have 2 Sony Wega's, so I was looking for something considerab;y larger.....)

    Next I found a great video engineer named Gary Merson here in New York, who tuned my Zenith such that the DVD images were almost 60% of HD images and the HD images were like movie film. Some really good DVD disks were almost 80% of HD! I also got this professsional demo D-VHS tape from Pansonic, the images were like a moving slide film show! Completely 3-dimensional with vivid colors.

    I have heard that by next year, the flat panels will be as large as 50" and the images will reach 85% of rear projection sets. I'll wait!
  • benznutbenznut Posts: 104
    Great stuf guys, I do not complain at all. But you might want to add a sentence or two about the S-class, or another automobile, for that matter, so that the host won't delete the posts. I saw this happen to a couple of guys on anothes Benz board who started talking Stock Market.
  • pfiorentinopfiorentino Posts: 26

    Thanks for the tip. Hardly seems cricket to me, though.


    I know Merson, too. I've met him in person and spoken on the phone to him a couple of times. He's very good. By the way, if you haven't seen the new $15,999 Runco plasma, you're in for a surprise. It's utterly incredible -- by far the best Plasma image I've seen, and I've seen everything. It's only 42 inches, though, but that's still plenty big if you're replacing a direct view set like the Wega, rather than a rear projection TV.

    Now that I have my S500, I can tell people here that I made a couple of mistakes in ordering the car which they may wish to avoid. First, I definitely should have ordered the ventilated comfort seats -- this is expecially important if you get the charcoal interior. All of my previous Benz's had perforated leather, as I now realize, but if you get a new S class without the comfort seats, the leather isn't perforated. It looks terrific that way, but your back will sweat in very hot weather, an annoyance that's definitely inconsistent with the Lear jet-like sensation one has when sitting in the cockpit piloting one of these magnificent S class machines.

    Second, for only $450 more, not getting the electric trunk closer was another big mistake. The trunk is stiff to close, and there is no natural place to grab it and shut it, especilly when the car is coated with road grime. It's especially difficult in my garage which isn't much longer than the car itself so the garage door is only about a foot or so away from the trunk. The electric trunk closer would definitely come in handy in my situation. The funny thing is, I had originally specified it, but a salesman talked me out of it because I have an 8 year old who might get his hand caught in the closing mechanism. My 8 year old is so into cars and their technology, however, I now realize that the likelihood of an accident occurring is remote.

    A couple of options I did get are a bit overrated, as well. Parktronic is helpful when backing up, but the thing goes crazy every time a pedestrian walks in front of the car. It certainly would be more useful if it could detect high curbs to protect the AMG Sports Package front spoiler, too.

    And the Tire Pressure Monitor turns out to provide perhaps more information than I should have. Everytime I check it and see that one tire is off by just a pound, my obsession with perfection kicks in and I'm seized by the overwhelming urge to pull into a gas station and precisely fill the offending tire. Perhaps it would have been better to skip this feature and just do it the old fashioned way by checking the air pressure with a $3.99 tire pressure gauge once per month. I also don't like the annoyance of the dashboard monitor informing me that I have to "Reset" the tire pressure monitor every single time I get in the car. Anyone know why that is? Perhaps I've got the settings wrong somewhere. I'll have to spend some time with the weighty manual this weekend to see if I can figure it out.

    One last thing I should mention. I'm definitely torn by ABC. On the highway at high speeds, and through fast turns and exit ramps, it's incredible. The car has a stability and precision to it that is truly awe inspiring. But I'm ambivalent because the penalty it extracts in terms of ride harshness in potholed cities such as New York is enormous. It certainly doesn't help that the structural integrity of this new S class series is not nearly as good as previous M-B cars. Even my SL500 felt less rattly and loose at almost 80,000 miles than this new car when it hits pockmarked thoroughfares. Don't get me wrong, the S class feels far more sophisticated than my old SL and E500, and it's not that there are noisy rattles and squeaks per se. But the seats and doors definitely vibrate and shudder, and the entire car sometimes skips sideways from road impacts. That's disconcerting to say the least. Some of it has to do with the low profile tires and their stiff sidewalls, I'm sure.

    If I were to do it again, though, I might skip the ABC, and settle for the nicely adjustable standard suspension which in it's firmest setting feels even more sports car-like than an ABC equiped car. It's even more harsh riding at the firmest setting than a car with ABC, but you can switch it to the soft setting at any time. Switching off ABC has almost no effect on the ride from what I've observed so far. Perhaps I need to switch it off when I'm in the city, AND raise the ride height, too, to get a suitable amount of suppleness.
  • paulchiupaulchiu Posts: 378
    Great post!

    I cannot agree with you more on most of your points concerning the minor noise and rattles inside my S500. I do get frame rattles over rough roads here in New York city. Unseemly for a near 100K vehicle. But, the drive compensates for this. The Lexus top line, with it's much quieter ride, seems almost lifeless when driven hard. The S500 (mine has ABC too) is a Porsche with 4 doors. I do not think ABC is the cause of the minor rattles and noises, as I heard and felt them while driving plain S500's in the past. Contrary to common sense, a tighter and more rigid structure; one that would protect us better in crashes, will make more noise. So, as far as I am concern, while the noise is bothersome over uneven roads, the joy in driving an S500 is over countryside winding roads in higher elevation. Driving on route 66 or route 95 forever is also the modus operandi for the Benz flagship.

    My last large sedan was a Lexus, so I know the difference in the environments. The S500 is also a much more beautiful car. I am happy just brushing and waxing it every other weekend.

    Love the cool sucking seats, cannot do without them here in NYC. I too, worry about the auto closing trunk, since there are no emergency stop mechanisms. I push down on the license plate to help close the trunk anyway.

    PS I will check out the Runco....
  • mrman_3k1mrman_3k1 Posts: 52
    I was talking with a fellow that has has MB's, BMW's, Lexus, etc. He said that out of all of the cars that the Lexus LS has probably the smoothest ride. I can believe it because with the ABC it is not a super smooth ride, but I like that connected and tight gripping feeling.

    Can anybody that has had a Lexus confirm this or compare it to a S with ABC and Airmatic. Which was the smoothest? Maybe I will go down to Lexus dealer and test the LS430.
  • taisontaison Posts: 71
    We also have an S500 and did not get the electronic trunk closer. However, the license plate trunk handle that Mercedes sells should help you close the trunk. We bought an E430 before this and purchased it separately so when we got our S500, we asked the dealer to throw it in. It makes closing the trunk MUCH easier.

    It's available on the website or you can get it from any dealer. It costs $19.00.


  • paulchiupaulchiu Posts: 378
    Yes, the Lexus suspension is dead quiet, like the Rolls'. But so is my sofa!

    As for isolation. There is still some chassis noise in the Ls430. The wind brushing the side windows is louder vs. my S500. Rattles and creaks are less in the LS. Japanese engineers use a softer and quieter form of plastic /rubber for their interiors. But then again, those Lincoln Town Cars are quiet too. My point is this. A BMW 7 series or the S Class will be more exciting to drive, maybe a little more loud, a little more rough, but it'll give you more pleasure driving, makes you want to get into it, and 100+ years of German engineering is packed neatly in some of the most beautiful packages around. Maybe the only better all around sports sedan is the new Audi S8L and then you'll have to get the Bentleys.
  • benznutbenznut Posts: 104
    So, are you saying that the airmatic's sport mode, being stiffer, can also delete 95% of body roll during high G cornering? The fact that ABC has undul ride harshness has had me thinking also that the air sspension would be the better way to go.
  • mlbarnesmlbarnes Posts: 48
    Thanks for the tip about the Mequiar's Car wax. It is better than the show room wax. I would strongly encourage everyone to try this wax. It is very inexpensive.

  • paulchiupaulchiu Posts: 378
    Found my first ding on my S500 tonight! The twilight ran unevenly on the tip of my hood and revealed a hairline ding. Wondering what caused it, as no paint was missing...

    oh well!
  • mrman_3k1mrman_3k1 Posts: 52
    That is funny, when I went out to dinner tonight with my parents their car got a nice big swipe on the bumper. Nobody left a note, so they will have to call the insurance people to replace the bumper. Darn.
  • paulchiupaulchiu Posts: 378
    Nothing stays perfect! We all get old. Things break. Relationships can part. Then everyone dies.

    Sorry for such bleak news on a sunday morning.

    Have a nice day anyway!

    PS. Guess I'll have to get a new car
  • pfiorentinopfiorentino Posts: 26

    Thanks for the tip. I'll definitely pick one up. That will help.


    I do not think the standard suspension on its stiffest setting will have the same very limited amount of body roll, dive, and squat that the ABC suspension has at high speeds, but it will FEEL even more sports car-like. ABC was specifically designed to combat body motions and it works well. Among other things, it allows one to corner faster while keeping your passengers from having the sensation that you're going to keel over! It's a neat trick, often surprising other drivers trailing me who don't see any body roll from the giant S class sedan in front of them on the exit ramp and think they can keep up.

    So, the standard suspension set to the firmest setting won't be quite as wonderful in that regard, but if I recall correctly from my test drive, it still feels absolutely razor sharp and quick even if there is a bit more lean. But be warned: It's meant only for the smoothest roads at that setting. Encountering any kind of frost heave or medium sized bump will induce significant axle hop and a corresponding loud bang inside the car.

    I don't think ABC would be as noticeably harsh to you if you are never in urban areas. If you live in an upscale suburb, and that and highways are where you do the vast majority of your driving, I suspect you'd think my criticisms are excessive and that the trade off is more than worthwhile for the high speed stability that ABC imparts. But to me, I want and need a car that's ready for anything, because I go everywhere with it. So a supple suspension is a must. My ABC equipped car only fulfills that requirement two-thirds of the time, unfortunately.

    So, now I wonder if the standard suspension would have met my needs better (and saved me $2900). I'm especially annoyed that when I called M-Benz technical support in Montvale prior to ordering the car (and prior to some of these magazine reviews), the rep said that ABC was MORE necessary for urban driving. At the time I remember thinking that the guy was an idiot, and I probably should have called back and tried to get another tech. In hindsight, I've concluded that the reps are probably instructed not to discourage buyers from adding profitable options to the car.

    Of course, the low profile tires with their very stiff sidewalls that come with the AMG package on my car don't help at all -- though I note that Car & Driver also made mention of the ABC suspension's harshness in their drive of the CL600 w/o the AMG package.
  • mrman_3k1mrman_3k1 Posts: 52
    I would agree that ABC is not the best when it comes to smoothness, but I for some strange reason, get a naushaus feeling when I am in a very very smooth riding car like the Town car. I usually keep my car in Sport mode for the even tougher ride. I would recommend ABC for people that like that harsher ride and that more "connected" feeling. If you want the smooth ride, I would not recommend it.
  • rexualrexual Posts: 17
    Are you related to mrman_3K2? If so, help me out with the Keyless-Go situation. How were you/he able to get Smythe to put it on for you? My dealer can't even enter the option into the ordering system even though there is a part # and price listed in their option sheet. Thanks.
  • mrman_3k1mrman_3k1 Posts: 52
    The other merman alias was my other account on a temporary computer which had a problem and I lost the password. Anyway, the story is a long one to how I got the Key less go. I will not say it all now, but basically it was luck, I had a friend in Germany that has some "connections" with MB, and somehow they were able to get my car much much ahead of the rest. I like the system, but it would be neat if it had a screen with more options. If you want the whole story, just tell me and I can email you.
  • rexualrexual Posts: 17
    mrman, I got a build date from my dealer so any info you can get me would be useful. Please email me your story. Love to hear all about it. Thanks.
  • blehrlichblehrlich Posts: 92
    I must be one of the few without the ABC option on an S500. The adjustable settings are great, and I find that I am using the softest setting now that I have the summer (18" AMG wheels) wheels and tires on. During the winter, with 16" winter tires, I tended to keep the suspension ion the middle setting so that the ride was less "mushy".
  • paulchiupaulchiu Posts: 378
    Anyone knows anything on this? my hood ding is very minute, near the rounded top portion to the right of the 3 star logo.
  • Yes, I've done this before on a volvo I owned and the results were very impressive. For about $100 you can make it like new again. Look in the yellow pages under automotive, and then dent removal. Dealerships also provide this service, and so do bodyshops, but at a markup to what you would pay by going direct. They will often travel to your location as well.
  • Has anyone else had the irritating rattle from the "sliding drawer" underneath the LCD display? Apparently there is special grease that Mercedes uses to help the drawer move so smoothly. That is the only rattle, so I hate to take the car in just for that. I guess it becomes a question of what is most irritating, the rattle, or the trip down to the dealer
  • paulchiupaulchiu Posts: 378
    the noise on my S600 is not from the drawer door, it's from the wood panel circling the auto-shift stick. Next time you hear noise, press down on the wood panel near the edge area where the drawer door strikes. Let me know if the noise goes away by that.

    I found that the dealer has no solution for this problem. Drives me crazy too... maybe I'll look into the LS430 after all....
  • mrman_3k1mrman_3k1 Posts: 52
    So far with my S600, I have been very luck and not had any problems with noises and rattles. I hope it stays that way, but sooner or later I know it will begin the noises.
This discussion has been closed.