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Jan 9, 2012

Mercedes-Benz And Harman Kardon Present Frontbass Audio System

HARMAN and Mercedes-Benz  introduced the new audio system, taking sound performance to a level never-before attained. For the first time, the Frontbass system places woofers in the footwell in front of the driver and passenger, fixed firmly to the front bulkhead of the car's steel frame. This unique design uses the space between the Frontbass speakers and the vehicle chassis as a large resonating chamber.

Frontbass is the result of many years of cooperation between Mercedes-Benz and HARMAN, the audio specialist and Daimler's long-standing development partner. "This collaboration was unique because it brought the best of engineering and audio acoustics together very early in the design phase. Harman was deeply involved very early in the process, even while the frame of the new SL was being designed," says Sachin Lawande, Chief Technology Officer and Co-President, HARMAN Lifestyle and Infotainment Divisions. "Six years of joint development work and the courage to make a structural change to the vehicle went into the new Frontbass system. And the result is outstanding."

Harman Kardon on the Mercedes-Benz SL

Harman Kardon on the Mercedes-Benz SL

Compared to traditional door mounted speakers, Frontbass offers an extremely clear and stable bass tone across the entire frequency band. The other components of the Harman Kardon sound system also benefit from optimum positioning — tweeters and midrange speakers are placed on one height around the driver and passenger. The sound is focused more than any other sound system precisely on the vehicle occupants, even when the top is down: Due to the location low down in the acoustically protected footwell, the acoustic elements that impact the sound remain inside the vehicle. Furthermore, when the roof is closed, the area outside the car remains peaceful because unavoidable vibrations caused by the door speakers used by conventional sound systems do not arise.

Featured as standard equipment in the new Mercedes Benz SL Roadster, Frontbass will make its premiere during the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. In combination with the Harman Kardon Logic 7 surround sound system with six 50-watt, 100mm midrange speakers, six 50-watt 43mm tweeters, a digital signal processor and a 600 watt Class-D amplifier, the new roadster is transformed into an open-air concert hall.

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