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audio system oem...?

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by dtich, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. dtich

    dtich #P708

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    don't know if this info is out there, or if any current owner is willing to snoop and do a little teardown behind their door panels, etc.. but,

    what are the oem parts for the studio sound system?

    i am a music and audio fan and a bit dismayed at the reports that even the $1k more expensive 'studio sound' system is less than impressive. lack of bass, funky high-end noises and all sorts of talk about dolby multi-channel (seriously???) makes me more than a little nervous about the system. couple this to my test drive experience, which, while it wasn't bad per se, audio wise, i did not come away impressed. my memory is that the sound was very diffuse, lacking decent staging (amp and speaker selection and placement) and somewhat lacking in power.. (not volume, but amp push, distorting at top levels) i played classical from the on board library they had loaded i believe, but listen to all kinds of music.

    also, not happy there isn't native support for apple lossless.. bit of an oversight imo, unless it's a licensing thing.. and, why can't we play from small platter drives like the perfectly sized western digital my passport...?? only needs standard usb bus power, (5V i believe... can't remember).

    the thought of going to al and eds and installing new amp and speakers in this expensive car is plaguing me.. but, i want beautiful sound in this thing. way back in 1995 i put an alpine amp and mb quart speakers, (split tweeters my custom placements), and sub in my then ford explorer for about $1100 ... haven't had better sound since. not in bmw 5 series, not in lexus with levinson... kind of a drag. why oh why can't it be a great sound system.. ??

    current owner thoughts, rebuttals, confirmations, all... welcome.. please.

    and thanks.
     
  2. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I wasn't impressed with the audio either, and the car I listened too had the upgraded audio system. I would also like to know this info because I'd rather install my own aftermarket speakers and amp instead of paying $950 for something that sounds like its worth $150.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Now here's an iteresting idea ... I wonder what 2 12's or a 15 would sound like in the frunk hahah
     
  3. Laumb

    Laumb smrtass.

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    I think the upgrades system is more than enough. Tried it In-store, even went to 11 - but my testdrive might tell me elsewise, when you get all the ambient Sound added?


    _____
    Tapatalkin' from iTalatut.
     
  4. dtich

    dtich #P708

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    was this a real comment..? not much helpful there..
     
  5. josh

    josh Member

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    Having had my car with the upgraded package, I'd say it's ok but not great. have the had mb quarts, etc, too -- agree hard to match. primary complaint for me is weak bass, even on upgraded

    on pickup tour of factory I got to see the dash being assembled, and my friend noticed the small speakers firing up in the dash has a tesla logo printed on them -- my friend asked and the tour guide said they indeed made their own speakers, though maybe they were actually just third party with that put on, don't know, also don't know which speakers in the system they were (they were small, so maybe tweeters, or part of some surround thing), and don't know if that was basic or premium package. but, it was not inspiring for sure!
     
  6. dtich

    dtich #P708

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    yeah.. was afraid of that... and lots of comments about lack of bass, and i can't imagine many of us on these boards are street gang thumpers, so we're talking lack of real appropriate full bass, not overblown unnecessary crazy bass... wonder if there are plans to fix this. $1k for upgraded audio isn't nothing... ought to get really good bass for that. and like i said... who cares about multichannel audio in a car??? i mean really. can't be too many people for whom that's important.. unless i missed something.....

    anyway. thanks for thoughts... bummed.
     
  7. josh

    josh Member

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    embarrassingly, when I was 16 I had a lowered minitruck with 2 x 12" redline subs and who knows how many watts of amps, but that was a few years ago and my taste is somewhat refined.

    my opinion so far is the sound is not bad for everyday listening but if I really crank and focus on it, a bit disappointing.

    the shame is just that it would be so easy (read: cheap) to put in really great speakers when the thing is in pieces, but much harder now!
     
  8. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    Hahaha - true that. I'm 32 now, so 15 years ago I was 17yrs old in a brand new camaro. I guess I was a spoiled punk in high school. I taught myself about audio systems back then and installed these (attaching pics) into my camaro. Ever since I heard what REAL bass sounded like I was hooked. Even now every TV in my house has 7.1 THX and my computer even has DD/DTS 5.1 surround lol. I would be very interested in installing an aftermarket system into the Model S - but I'm a little apprehensive to do so as I don't want to mess around with the electronics too much (would this void the warranty too??). I would think there is a 12V battery somewhere to run some basic electronics off of? How would that get 'recharged' in the model s? As there is no engine and no belt, I would assume there's no alternator to keep the 12V battery charged. In an ICE car that alternator would supply the battery with way more than enough juice to run a powerful audio system (heh - well ok, maybe not, as you can see from my pics I have 3 1-farad caps because the 1500watt rockford fosgate would instantly drain the battery on one huge bass hit - lol. They served as a buffer to store charge for the amps and worked like a charm.) Anywho, I'm dying to find out more audio info on the model S. I've read that Tesla had used new speakers they made (or did they just OEM parts from other audio speaker manufacturers?) . I can't imagine that Tesla is into the manufacturing audio speakers too.

    system_full.jpg

    cam_lowfrontleft.jpg
     
  9. mcornwell

    mcornwell Active Member

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    I can forgive the speaker box, but the neon front license plate frame? :tongue:

     
  10. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah...stupid idea. I thought it was cool when I was 17. I also had neon blue undercarriage lights, haha. People used to say it looked like a UFO was hovering down the road.

    As for the speaker box, I never got into custom fiberglass molding enclosures to make it look nicer. I always wondered how difficult that was to do, something like this http://www.benlevy.com/auto/show/dub08/img_0075.jpg, that but never looked into it.
     
  11. contaygious

    contaygious Member

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    I was one of those complaining about lack of bass, but after putting 150 miles on my s with the stereo on I can honestly say I love this system and the sharp clean bass is fine for me for all types of music. I keep the eq flat even with Dolby off.
     
  12. tomanik

    tomanik Member

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    Would love to see a picture of the Tesla speakers if anyone happens to be upgrading them in the near future. I replaced the speakers in our Lexus CT200h and was shocked at how cheap they were. Below is a picture of some 3.5", left was stock, right was aftermarket, the Lexus speakers felt like a toy.

    photo 2.jpg

    I'm by no means an audiophile but the improvement in sound was easily noticed. Has made me question the value of premium audio systems.
     
  13. Amped

    Amped Member

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    The MS sub is not on a dedicated amp. Boo!
    & on my last test drive I noticed that the EQ was only 3 bands!
     
  14. nrcooled

    nrcooled P#8946 VIN 03225

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    I sprung for the upgraded audio and while I think it sounds fine for most of my listening but it is not an audiophile's setup. Having more adujustment in the EQ (more then 3 bands) would be a great first step.

    Pros: The sound from the SS configuration is very clean. No rattles, muddiness, pops, breaks, etc. when listening to demanding music. The bass hits are very clean and not boomy at all. The highs are crisp and overall the system performs well. Another big PRO for me is that I have so many music listening options in the car. Internet radio, HD radio, USB drive, bluetooth streaming, Sirius, etc. Album artwork for every input is just sweet. It pulls the artwork for all songs on my internet radio, USB drive, streaming bluetooth, and HD radio.
    Cons: There could definitely be better sound imaging in the SS setup. While the highs are crisp they could be a bit clearer. It sounds like the amp could be a bit more powerful to deliver a bigger sound. As it stands there isn't much depth of sound in the setup (Dolby Digital on makes it worse).

    I like a system that has enough adjustable bands to overcompensate within the configuration. What I mean here is that I like to have enough settings to adjust to come to the conclusion of "wow, that is too much!". Then I will dial back the settings to get to my happy place. The MS doesn't seem to have that point of "too much" and I kinda want more when listening.

    It is the best system in a car that I've ever owned but that isn't saying much. My friend's '12 E550 coupe has a harmon kardon setup that just sounds amazing. We both agreed that it could be better in the MS but, again, very adequate and it has a ton of features that he drools over when in my car.

    I would be interested in hearing the Sound Studio side-by-side with a non-Sound Studio setup and checking out the difference.
     
  15. vcor

    vcor Member

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    I bought the basic sound, and now wish I'd sprung for Sound Studio. Basic is not at all bad, but the bass is really weak. Most of the Sound studio features were marginal to me (Dolby 7.1, XM radio, 4 extra 3" speakers in the front and rear), except for the subwoofer (7.9"). Also Sound studio is supposed to upgrade the driver/passenger door speakers from 6" to 7.9", but I've not been able to verify this. Mine has the 6" speakers and I don't see how they can cram a larger one into the space. You can pull the cover off (they snap on/off fairly easily) and see the door speakers. I'd love to hear from any Sound Studio owners a confirmation of the door speaker size!

    I've been looking into what can be done to improve it, but not having a lot of success. The Tesla sub-woofer is 7.9", and I've been told the wiring for the sub is NOT installed for the basic sound configuration (I had hoped they might use a single wiring harness for all cars). I've also checked into buying theTesla speaker/amp and add it in (so far they've said no way), or add in my own amp and sub, which appears the only way to do it.
     
  16. Getting Amped So

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    One of the major failings seems to be that the Dolby setting, which by all accounts makes things worse, seems to be designed to decode audio sources that have been encoded for Dolby 5.1 or 7.1, which AFAIK are generally movie sound tracks. What we need is generic "Surround", which uses the DSP to create a simulated surround environment from plain old stereo sources like HD FM, digital music files, streaming music services, etc. My last car did a great job doing this, and I really liked how it made music seem to come from all around you.

    Unless I'm wrong, TM is paying needless license fees to Dolby Laboratories for Dolby 7.1 decoding, when what we really need is "Surround". If they want to pay fees to Dolby Labs so they don't have to develop this technology themselves, fine, but give us ProLogicII so we get surround sound from stereo sources. (Dolby Pro Logic II
    ) Right now the Model S Sound Studio system is basically a decent audio setup for a 2001 automobile.
     
  17. stealthnhawk

    stealthnhawk Member

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    Satisfied with Basic Audio?

    Anyone satisfied with basic audio? I test drive the lexus CT 200h with basic audio 6 speakers and it sounds decent.. I tested the Tesla upgraded 12 speaker and sounds okay. I haven't tried the Model S basic audio.. anyone opinion.. I am not looking for top of the line speakers but just decent to enjoy.. (by the way, a little off topic.. when sitting in the back, the audio sound was very soft and the road noise from the rear was pretty pronounced.. anyone experienced the same?)
     
  18. Amped

    Amped Member

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    @vcor, thanks for posting sub size. My guess was ~8 for the space TM utilized.
    @gettin Amped, I fully agree with you should be PrologII
    @stealhawk, I sat in the rear when my wife test drove. Slightly muted but overall the 12 was still decent.
     
  19. Jason

    Jason Member

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    Looks like we will need to get little more info before we 'AMP' up our stereo (sorry for that, just couldn't resist).

    Probably adding a small amp and subwoofer would be fine, but unlike ICE, we can't just swap out alternator for a 200amp one.

    With the factory battery being small, and not knowing what size charger that battery has, we could easily mess things up in a hurry. By adding a couple of Amps and subwoofers we could easily draw more out of the battery/charging system than it could handle.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. Walnut

    Walnut New Member

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    Notes from an actual (basic) audio teardown

    I did some Tesla audio archaeology today. A bit unnerving, but turned out fine. Here's what I learned, and may actually address some of the questions in this thread.

    I have the basic audio. I find it... adequate, but just barely. So I wanted to see if simple aftermarket speaker upgrades were possible.

    First thing I did was remove the speaker grille in the rear hatch. The long skinny one with a pair of round perforations on each end. Empty. No speakers, no cables. I assume it's only connected/filled when the upgraded audio is optioned. So be it.

    On to the rear door speakers. I figured out how to pop off the door speaker grilles, and it's quite safe/simple. Grab the grille at the lower inside corner, and pull firmly straight out from the door. That releases the first clip, and the rest can be removed from there. What's inside is mixed news. There are very basic (cheap) round paper-cone single speakers. First, disappointment that this is what passes as standard equipment at this price point. But, hope, because the options for improvement are huge! With some mid-quality mid-priced speaker upgrades the sound could be improved many fold!

    However, the speaker's mounting screws aren't exposed to allow you to lift the speakers right out. In order to remove/replace the speakers, it appears the entire door panel must be removed. That's a bit too much for me to take on with my new beautiful car. :eek: But, perhaps a practiced car audio installer has the tools and experience to figure out how to tackle this.

    No pics, but with the instructions I've provided, you can just go look for yourself on your own Tesla. If anyone does so and has more daring and confidence to successfully deconstruct the door panel, I hope you'll follow-up. Or spend the money at an audio shop -- how'd it go?
     

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