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Audio: Sound System Quality?

I am very interested in the quality of music coming out of a vehicle's sound system.
I once owned a Hyundai Genesis...and bought the car because of it's outstanding sound system.
One of the selling points of the car was that the sound system was the same as that used in the
Rolls Royce Phantom.

With all that said....how does the upgraded sound system rate in the Model S?

I just reserved a Signature Series S today after being on the waiting list for some time. I will test
drive the Model S in Houston in August...but was wondering what people are thinking about
the music quality.
 

Mogwai

Member
Jul 6, 2012
45
0
Canada
I am very interested in the quality of music coming out of a vehicle's sound system.
I once owned a Hyundai Genesis...and bought the car because of it's outstanding sound system.
One of the selling points of the car was that the sound system was the same as that used in the
Rolls Royce Phantom.

With all that said....how does the upgraded sound system rate in the Model S?

I just reserved a Signature Series S today after being on the waiting list for some time. I will test
drive the Model S in Houston in August...but was wondering what people are thinking about
the music quality.

Could you post some pictures? I've been dying to see some user pictures/reviews.
 

Lyon

2016 S P100DL, 2016 X P90D
Supporting Member
Dec 26, 2011
2,004
216
Eugene, Oregon
I'm not a hardcore audiophile or anything but I do appreciate a high-end stereo. I was pleasantly surprised by the upgraded system in the Signature vehicle I drove. I would recommend loading a USB stick with some of your favorite music because the selection that they have in the car for the test drive is pretty lame, IMO.
 

SCW-Greg

Active Member
Jun 13, 2012
1,847
223
Beaverton, OR
I was in the store tonight, to listen more closely to it. At Washington Square we have production #50, which does have the Sound Studio package. Interesting thing, if you center the sound to just the driver's position, not center of the car, a significant amount of subwoofer bass is dropped out in the process. If you center the sound back to the center of the car, the audio quality achieves its peak "tuned" performance. I think this needs more tuning to have a broader range of quality performance, IMO.
 

DrComputer

TeslaClubLA President
Jan 29, 2009
1,190
673
Sherman Oaks, CA
One thing the is really wrong with the sound system on the S is that it only has volume levels from 1-11. This is way to narrow of a gradient scale to adjust the volume level where you want it. My Lexus LS600hL with it's Mark Levinson Reference sound system goes from 1-40. Since I've only been able to spend a few minutes in the car and haven't had any high quality music to test with it is really hard to say if the upgraded system really can compare to other high-end systems.
 
One thing the is really wrong with the sound system on the S is that it only has volume levels from 1-11. This is way to narrow of a gradient scale to adjust the volume level where you want it. My Lexus LS600hL with it's Mark Levinson Reference sound system goes from 1-40. Since I've only been able to spend a few minutes in the car and haven't had any high quality music to test with it is really hard to say if the upgraded system really can compare to other high-end systems.

An alternative to this would to still have the "1 to 11" thing but have a dial in between the numbers, so you have gradient between them.
 
I would really like more feedback on this. in our test drive the guy wouldn't let us plug in an ipod and we could only listen to satalite radio, which is too tin can ish for me... just couldn't tell how good the stereo was. sound quality is a big deal to me and I find it's not always about spending more, there are just some sound systems that sound better to me than others. the JBL in our highlander has just the right balance for me and it holds well when turned up. I also have had some epic music listening moments on our Altec Lancing computer speakers at home, so go figure!
 

Todd Burch

12-Year Member
Nov 3, 2009
8,322
35,124
Smithfield, VA
As I recall the sound was a little weak on the low end, but it could have been the equalizer, the song being played, or just that the sound system wasn't yet complete or tuned. We know the test drive cars were rushed out the door so I'm not making any final decision based on that.
 

SCW-Greg

Active Member
Jun 13, 2012
1,847
223
Beaverton, OR
Yeah, I spent some time last night tuning their music to the way I like to listen to it; EQ, volume, and then experimenting with the centering of the sound. As you experiment with it, you'll discover where it sounds good, and where it gets weak in a hurry.

I'd like to bring in some of my test songs that I tune my sound system with here at home (for clean bass response, high-end, etc). Ultimately, we're all waiting for the opportunity to compare the two sound systems, if possible, side-by-side.
 

Kipernicus

Model S Res#P1440
Dec 2, 2009
1,256
138
Belmont, CA
One thing the is really wrong with the sound system on the S is that it only has volume levels from 1-11. This is way to narrow of a gradient scale to adjust the volume level where you want it.

I share your concern about the volume control. Hopefully it is logarithmic, so that you can really fine tune the soft volume but at louder volumes you don't need that many gradients.
 

Mogwai

Member
Jul 6, 2012
45
0
Canada
Anyone know how easy it will be to install aftermarket subwoofers to the model s? I'd really like to put 2 nice 12" or 15" subs in the back where the child seats would go.
Specifically speaking, will we need to get an amp, or will they run off the car battery? Would it be better to get an amp anyway?
 

MikeK

R#129, TSLA shareholder
Jun 29, 2012
1,133
1
San Francisco Bay Area
I'm also concerned by the "it goes to 11" factor. I do appreciate the Spinal Tap reference, but as someone who wrote the software for a couple of music players, I can tell you that we used 100 steps in our volume curve (on a logarithmic scale), and that was about right. Granted, that was for an indoor product, so a car may not need quite so much fine adjustment, but 11 steps still seems very limited.

I'm interested to hear how the balance/fader control affected the sub, and I'm actually sort of glad to hear that there was a configuration that made the sub sound good, because that means there can be a software tweak to make the sound "fatter" if needed. The other thing I learned from working on music players is that it's all in the fine tuning.
 

TEG

Teslafanatic
Moderator
Aug 20, 2006
21,992
9,263
Anyone know how easy it will be to install aftermarket subwoofers to the model s? I'd really like to put 2 nice 12" or 15" subs in the back where the child seats would go....

To me that extra space at the back of the "Frunk" seems ideal for a subwoofer. I wonder how easy it would be to make a cutout going into the passenger compartment?
 

TEG

Teslafanatic
Moderator
Aug 20, 2006
21,992
9,263
A recent review said they make their own speakers in-house. (!)

Really?! I am surprised by this. It seems like there are so many makers of speakers, and it is nothing EV specific, so it seems like there would be low margins and lots of competition... Plus decades of experience learning how to do it right. Does Tesla think they can do it better and/or cheaper than all the other options?
 

TEG

Teslafanatic
Moderator
Aug 20, 2006
21,992
9,263
Related threads from official Tesla forums:
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Sound System, is it final and has anyone played with it? | Forums | Tesla Motors
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murraypetera said:
...The reps told me that the stereo was designed and built by Tesla. This is a first that have heard of an auto manufacturer building their own radio and amp. They told me is was part of the info console I assume this outsource and is not built at the CA Factory or am I wrong? I would love to be wrong.
The reps were unable to tell me the brand of speaker that was used...

7 Seats? In A Sedan? Tesla Model S (TCTV) | TechCrunch
...rocking out to the Model S’s home brewed sound system. I swore it was a Bose at first, but Tesla built it in-house, and it’s got some serious thud. The entertainment system, along with car controls, navigation, and a new application platform are all housed in the 17-inch touchscreen in the center of the dashboard...
 

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