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Audio System Questions

Discussion in 'Model S' started by habanero69, Sep 16, 2016.

  1. habanero69

    habanero69 I Dont Need Cialis. I Drive an EV.

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    I've done some searches before posting but other than a couple of mentions, my questions are not fully answered. So here goes... I have a new MS60 that I took delivery last Friday. I have just started to utilize the audio/sound system and I have a few questions and/or issues. I have the upgraded system...

    1) When I have the option to turn on the expanded sound field (I forgot the exact term; dolby or sound expansion...something like that), the overall sound is thin/weak; I need to turn the volume up, and even then it seems less than high fidelity. I have little bass, even with the EQ set nearly max for bass. If I disable the expanded sound thingy, I get much more fuller sound, lots more base, and overall a much improved sound experience. Also, with the sound expansion OFF, the center sweet spot is odd in the fact I have to have the front/back fader set to almost be tottaly on the rear speakers to achieve a nuetral front to back. If I turn ON the expanded sound it is almost centered front to back in the nuatral (0) fade position. Is this what others are experiecing?

    2) I have an Apple iPod plugged into the USB port. It sees the device, but I have no control over it. I must do all music starting and selection from the device itself, and not from anything on the Tesla UI. Is this normal? Seems odd since my BMW would control the same iPOD as if is was part of the music library in the car; I never touched the iPOD but did all music selection and playing from the BMW controls.

    Thanks,

    Mike
     
  2. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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    #2 msnow, Sep 17, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2016
    I used to keep Dolby off but since the last update (2.34.115) it sounds much better and I've been leaving it on.

    I wasn't aware iPods worked at all in Tesla's except perhaps Bluetooth which isn't the best sound quality. Most people convert to FLAC and use USB drives.
     
  3. STbreaker

    STbreaker Member

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    1) the general consensus is that Dolby makes most things sound worse since they are designed for 2 channel output. Maybe works better if you're working with lossless audio or other really high quality stuff. Maybe better for classical or other orchestral music. Probably never good for electronic music, hip-hop, etc.

    2) the USB connection only charges iPhones and iPods from what I've seen. You have to use Bluetooth to actually play stuff from it. I bought a mini USB drive and have that permanently plugged in for a local music library

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01BGTG2A0/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_ijv3xbNZZCYD8
     
  4. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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    Regarding #1, I don't think that's the general consensus anymore. At least not in the past few weeks on this forum. However, best to update to the latest release and test it out with your own music as well as Slacker and see what you like.
     
  5. ArtInCT

    ArtInCT Always Learning

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    Tesla has made some tweaks to the UHF system via firmware. I am on 2.32.23 and I can tell you that the bass from the subwoofer is dramatically improved with Dolby on or off. In fact this AM while listening to some tunes on the CHILL Slacker station, the whole car was vibrating with low bass notes. This NEVER happened back in March thru July, then someone(s) at Tesla said.... "let's get down with the Bass!".... and we are HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY....

    Please Tesla... DO NOT BREAK THIS WITH 8.0....
     
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  6. Mike K

    Mike K Member

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    I like the UHFS and I haven't had the issues with surround that you're having but it's been pretty widely accepted that the rear sound field is weak at best. If you move the fader all the way to the back you'll realize just how weak it is. For instance, the speakers in the hatch, while cute, are essentially useless.
     
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  7. Tdriver

    Tdriver Member

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    You need to put high quality music on a memory stick to really enjoy the system. Keep the sound stage up front.......this is only stereo music and the Dolby Surround button does little to change that. If you want more take a look at the Reus upgrade.
     
  8. hmmm

    hmmm Member

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    I've had my car for a couple of weeks and struggled with the same issues at first. I have now found a set-up that works for me:

    - I am keeping dolby off
    - Fading way back (i think -13). It's a trade-off because you're loosing some of the "depth" of the sound but the soundstage is too forward for my taste.
    - The thing I am struggling with is that my tone settings vary dramatically from one music source to another...it would be nice to have ways to save different settings for different music sources. Better yet, it would be great to also be able to save these as part of your drivers' profiles.
    - I haven't moved my music to a USB drive yet, but the sound is so inferior (read: crappy) via BT that I feel like I will have to do this sooner rather than later.

    Someone on tmc mentioned that the key thing is to modify your expectation of a truly "enveloping" sound throughout the cabin like most of us are used to and think of the experience as listening to music sitting in front of a pair of high-quality speakers when driving since the sound stage is so forward. I think there is some truth to that, but it's taking me time to get fully used to this approach.
     
  9. RobW2428

    RobW2428 Member

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    1) I've been driving a 4 year-old Lexus lately and it's sound system is wonderful even through Bluetooth (I realize that might sound silly to some audiophiles).
    2) I've pretty much stopped buying music (CD's & iTunes) over the past 10 years. Instead I pay monthly for Spotify and love it.
    3) I enjoy spoken word stuff too (podcasts & in the future audible books).

    So with those three things in mind, is Lexus's Bluetooth somehow better? Certainly the speakers sound better than the Model S I test drove (it was UHFS, but I didn't test bass, balance, etc.).
     
  10. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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    I have both a MS with UHFS and an RX450h with the upgraded Mark Levinson. My Tesla sounds much better.
     
  11. habanero69

    habanero69 I Dont Need Cialis. I Drive an EV.

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    Thanks for your input. I think you and I are in the same situation. Dolby OFF for me as I'm on the latest software, and with Dolby on, bass seems almost non-existent. I am faded at about -13 too... and as you said, the sound stage is TOO forward for my taste set anything less than that. The rears just aren't able to keep up with fronts for my taste. Same issue with EQ. Varies so much from station to station, I might just give up with internet music and do USB only. The iPOD on BT is decent, but maybe USB drive is way to go... :(
     
  12. RobW2428

    RobW2428 Member

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    Are you using Bluetooth with your Lexus? Or USB? Or something else? And what input are you using with your Tesla?
    Thanks,
    Rob
     
  13. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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    Rarely use BT but I have an iPod loaded with 256 BPS MP3's plus regular FM. It's my wife's car so we're usually listening to FM rock stations (dealers choice if you know what I mean ;)).
     
  14. Hota

    Hota Member

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    I'm probably the only one in this forum that thinks this but I actually think the default F-R sound stage is quite good and pretty accurate with Dolby off. In almost every car, save for the Model S UHFS, I have to crank the fader almost all the way forward because cars are generally balanced to the listening needs of both the front and rear passengers.

    When you're at a live venue, the soundstage is to the front of you with only reflected sound coming from the rear. You should be experiencing someone singing at you rather than you sitting in the middle of the orchestra or band. You shouldn't really be able to hear the rear speakers except to provide a bit of ambiance or to emulate the reflection off a far back wall.

    This is an audio system, not a theater surround sound system, and audiophile systems only have front speakers for a reason.
     
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  15. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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    I agree with your comments. Recently, however, I've come to like the newly fixed Dolby for most media particularly well coded FLAC.
     
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  16. habanero69

    habanero69 I Dont Need Cialis. I Drive an EV.

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    You've made some good points. I guess over the years, and having a string of BMW's with fairly heavy rear speakers, I've gotten accustom to more of a balanced midpoint between front to back. You make a good point that is NOT how a concert really is. I guess if I got a bit more bass and possibly better quality media (USB/FLAC) I might be OK with it. I probably will retry Dolby, but so far I find it just makes the entire sound stage very thin sounding. I like all types of music (well almost all), but I do have an ear and affection for acoustical guitar, and that usually helps point out shortcomings (not including bass).
     
  17. marcysx9

    marcysx9 Member

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    Same experience here, the USB connection only charges the iPods, no music is played. I am using a Bluetooth receiver/transmitter, works well, battery drains a bit fast but you can control the music from your iPod directly.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00P20TFWM

    Has anyone had any luck in finding a way around the USB thing? I'm really hope Tesla will fix this someday. Having the ability to control my iPod library from inside the Tesla would be the cherry on top of the cake :)
     
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