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Blaujunk - Roadster audio/NAV options

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by tonybelding, Aug 28, 2007.

  1. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    As we've been told previously -- and it's been a while back, but I haven't heard about any changes -- the Roadster will come with a Blaupunkt stereo receiver. Blaupunkt also supplies receivers for the Lotus Elise. These are infamous for their poor audio quality, and Lotus owners often refer to them as "Blaujunk".

    From what I've read over on the Lotus forums, most owners either don't care about sound quality (the high-revving 4-cyl engine is what they want to hear), or they replace the Blaupunkt head unit pretty quickly. Replacing all the factory speakers is also a likely move. Tesla at least are offering a premium speaker option.

    A recent photo of the EP2's interior showed what appears to be a Blaupunkt "Key West" MP36 receiver, which is the lowest priced CD unit that Blaupunkt offers. A survey of owner reviews at the Crutchfield website turned up complaints that these units overheat and then "eat" CDs, FM radio reception is poor, and the iPod interface is plagued with electronic noise.

    Also noted. . . Blaupunkt does not offer any receiver units that play back AAC-encoded music from CDR discs. Sony, Pioneer, Alpine, Kenwood, Panasonic, Clarion and JVC offer receivers with this feature. Since Apple are now selling non-DRM-protected music through the iTunes Music Store in AAC format, this could be a useful ability.

    Now keep in mind that most car companies have a long tradition of putting in laughably bad stereo receivers at the factory. I'd hoped Tesla would go a different route, but. . . it doesn't look that way.
     
  2. DDB

    DDB Member

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    Tony,

    You've got experience with the Elise. How difficult is it to replace it with one from a big box retailer? Not that it's the first thing you want to do, you know, take the Roadster to Best Buy's Geeksquad to have them rip it out for an expensive replacement.

    You'd think with the silence from an EV sound quality would be a big deal to Tesla. Too bad if that's the case.
     
  3. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    I don't have personal experience with that, it's mostly what I've picked up from the Lotus forums. I haven't heard about any particular difficulty in replacing the units.

    For a full extended discussion of the Blaujunk problem, check here. . .

    http://www.elisetalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8958
     
  4. sabre

    sabre New Member

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    It's more complex than you might think

    Production Roadsters will ship with Blaupunkt Hamburg or Kingston radios, depending on whether or not the Bluetooth option was selected. I've heard that Blaupunkt was chosen because they were the only aftermarket supplier to offer a small navigation system (no room in a small car for a big screen) and radio which play together without extra black boxes and their associated cost and weight. Nav audio plays through the radio speakers automatically, muting the audio currently playing.

    Changing to another radio from Best Buy or wherever won't work because it won't be compatible with the nav system.

    Both Lotus and Tesla use aftermarket radios because their volumes aren't high enough to get a custom (i.e. OEM) radio solution designed -- engineering and tooling costs would be prohibitive, assuming any OEM radio supplier was even willing to entertain such a low-volume piece of business.

    Maybe WhiteStar volumes will be high enough to use an OEM solution.
     
  5. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    OK, that's good information. Thanks for explaining that!


    So. . . For those of us who have aren't getting a nav system and have no interest in one, there shouldn't be any obstacle to swapping out the receiver, I'd guess? I like my old folding maps just fine.

    BTW, I still don't understand what Bluetooth has to do with a car stereo. I gather it has something to do with using a cell phone with a headset. . . but I'm not sure where the car stereo fits into that picture.


    You make that sound like a bad thing. From where I sit, using off-the-shelf "aftermarket" radios makes perfect sense. I'm all for it, I just didn't understand the reason for choosing Blaupunkt in particular, knowing the disrepute they've already earned in the Lotus community.
     
  6. Brent

    Brent Member

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    Doesn't Pioneer make a nav screen that slides back into the stereo unit when not in use?

    Sometimes I wish car manufacturers would just provision space for such gadgets, rather than supply them. The tech behind stereos and NAV systems seems to change more quickly than the rest of the car, so it would be nice to be able replace them with the latest whenever the fancy strikes.
     
  7. donauker

    donauker Member

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    Yes, the Pioneer AVIC-N3 and now the just announced AVIC-N4. It was actually a Tesla rep that recommended that I not buy the factory NAV system because of the small screen size and less then optimal location for NAV functions. He recommended changing the radio unit to an all in one unit.

    The Pioneer has a 7" slide out display and looks like the same NAV software as my Lexus factory unit, which is one of the best NAV systems I have ever had. It also has something known as the Vehicle Dynamics Display, which sounds like great fun in a Tesla roadster!

    I plan on having one of these units installed in my roadster as soon as it arrives.
     
  8. sabre

    sabre New Member

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    Responses to various posts

    To Tony:

    If you don't get the nav option, you could swap radios, though you'd have to deal with the differences in rear connectors and such.

    Bluetooth in a car radio bonds to your cell phone (assuming the two are compatible, not a certainty) and uses in-car microphone(s) and the car's speakers to allow for two-way hands-free calling.

    Some of the BP disrepute may be due to the Elise radio antenna, not the radio. You'd have to do an A-B test with another brand of radio to be sure.


    To Brent and donauker: a pop-out nav screen like the Pioneer has is in the head-impact area, making crash testing difficult to pass if it's factory-installed. I don't see why you couldn't install it as a customer, though. In the Roadster it will block the two center heating/cooling vents when the screen is deployed, however. Like I said, it's a small car, not much room for "stuff"!
     
  9. donauker

    donauker Member

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    Sabre:

    Yes, I should have worded me statement a bit better. The Tesla individual did explain to me the limitation of what could be factory installed due to the crash testing requirements. His recomemdation was more in the line of "What I would do is install ...". I appreciated his prompt in this direction and when I found the information on the Pioneer unit it quickly made my must have list. Also I realized it would block the center vents when the screen was in use but that is something I will live with.
     
  10. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Tony and I could not be more different on these items.

    Here in LA my job takes me to new places every week all over the Southland and the Bay Area. I literally carried 9 Thomas Brothers map books in a full shopping bag. This was probably 20 pounds in my back seat and once or twice a year I still would not have one to cover the area I needed. My new Nav system is the best invention for the car since rubber tires! Next one will have some type of traffic reporting function.

    As for bluetooth, California has a new law that say you cannot be on a cell phone while driving. A hands free system is now mandatory if you hope to get away with it.
     
  11. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    With Roadsters being delivered, any update on the audio/NAV systems Tesla is offering?

    254332514_9c0764a2d3.jpg
    2389421110_3a143cff51_o.jpg
     
  12. graham

    graham Active Member

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  13. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Ok, that looks like what's in the latest pictures.

    22598.JPG
     
  14. Laurent

    Laurent Member

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    According to the TM website, the $2,000 premium audio package gives you the following:

    • satellite radio
    • navigation
    • 7 speaker system — includes subwoofer

    Does anyone know what the basic audio package is like ? I personally don't need sat. radio, nav or fancy speakers, so I'm wondering if I should skip the premium package. I do have an iPhone so it'd be nice to have Bluetooth.
     
  15. chimpanzee

    chimpanzee Member

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    #15 chimpanzee, Aug 21, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2008
    Check out the multiple receivers in this $300K desert pre-runner (you can buy 3 Tesla Roadsters, for what this thing is worth):

    CORR Racing: media-demo ride [ CORR '07 AV 4/21-22 ]

    joyride5.jpg

    There is a Lowrance GPS unit, satellite radio, satellite phone, stereo receiver, xxx?

    You can be out in wilds of Baja pre-running the Baja 1000, & have a full communications/entertainment package. BTW, the builder of this $300K pre-runner, runs a Pro 2 with Xtrac. I.e., not only are they race car chassis builders..they are racers themselves. I'm really good friends with them.

    The above driver is a descendant of Lucky Baldwin, 1 of the founding forefathers of S. California. They are wealthy S. California real-estate developers, as in Baldwin Av/Arcadia & Santa Anita race track (Martin's Sierra Madre house is near Baldwin Av) & Baldwin Park.

    If my idea of an Interdisciplinary R&D Program goes through, then the empirically-based auto racing test program would involve CORR (who has 2 Pro 2 trucks, using Xtrac). I could invite Martin over as honorary guest, & set him up with a sample ride around the race-track in the above $300K pre-runner. They ride like Cadillacs, the shock absorber technology is so good you hardly feel the huge bumps or landings off berms.

    This would open the door to Offroad EVs, now THAT's something I would be interested in.
     
  16. juk

    juk Member

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  17. chimpanzee

    chimpanzee Member

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    Alpine has always been a leader in car stereo. I was shopping 3 yrs ago, & picked up a cool Sony deck ($150). I do remember Alpine having been pointed out to me as a leading candidate.

    YouTube - America - Ventura Highway

    "I'm from Australia and I have every intention before I die of going to America and driving down a long 'no where' road listening to this song... Just love it.."
    -- LadyZMStardust

    I do remember reading somewhere, that Martin likes to drive mountain roads..chasing the sunset. He needs a bitchin' car stereo to complement this activity. I personally have a Sony deck, with 3 power amps (Optimus 400W, Hifonics 200W, Kenwood 200W) outputting to 3 pairs of speakers (!! 1 pair is Alpine speakers. I have a fullsize 4x4 van) & Kenwood subwoofer. I have 4 batteries in my van (1 starter, 3 marine-battery auxiliary), since I have a mobile satellite-DSL dish on top.

    http://www.jumplive.com/TA/bitd1000day2/imageserver4.textamerica.com/user.images.x/81/IMG_465681/Big/_0708/T520050708111758145.jpg

    BTW, I have an brand new Alpine subwoofer (circa '85), BNIB/Brand New In Box. Martin, if you want it I can sell it to you. This would make your stereo system totally kick-ass.
     
  18. graham

    graham Active Member

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    Last Christmas we searched for a Single DIN replacement for my wife's car stereo - but we looked with an eye for what could live in the Roadster when it came available. We looked at Blaupunkt (the old solution) JVC (the new solution) Pioneer and Alpine.

    Our needs are different than others. We wanted very good iPod/iPhone integration, and something easy to use (most after market stereos have horrible UI). Most car stereos which can connect to an iPod have very very slow connections which make it slow to scroll through music. They often treat iPods just as a very large CD changer. They show only title and song. You are forced to scroll through music one song at a time by punching a button -- awful for large collections. We mostly listen to iPod in the car these days and we wanted something that we could easily figure out how to use while driving at highway speeds. We settled on this:
    Alpine iDA-X001

    The good: Single DIN. Excellent iPod integration. This one has a very bright screen which shows album art, and a very fast connection with a big jog wheel that allows you to quickly scroll through music. Fairly good interface.

    The bad: No CD player. Most of our CDs are ripped onto the iPhone, but we no longer have a choice to use a physical disc. No GPS navigation (which seems to be a big desire for people on here). The iPhone has a GPS so this is not that huge a deal, but the iPhone doesn't really do turn-by-turn navigation yet. The biggest drawback with this stereo: The bluetooth module for this radio could not pair with the iPhone.

    Alpine last Christmas claimed they were a few months away from releasing a new Bluetooth module (which is just a USB dongle that plugs in... easy to swap) and that this would better pair with the iPhone. We have not gone back to check to see if this has happened. We put together a different solution which works well for her but probably wouldn't work well for the Roadster.

    If they have indeed come out with a bluetooth module which pairs with the iPhone, I will probably want this radio for the Roadster instead of the JVC. I don't know if I can just tell Tesla that I want the premium speakers, but I will install the radio myself, or if I can get them to install it for me. But perhaps by the time my Roadster is available, there will be something better on the market.
     
  19. jsnable

    jsnable Member

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    This was something I meant to ask about at the Menlo Park dealership on Saturday. I'd like to know more about what the "premium" stereo upgrade entails and what the standard package is, especially speaker-wise (how many and where). I'm not interested in the JVC unit and will just upgrade the Blaupunkt unit with something like the Alpine you mentioned. I bet I could do a lot better on the speakers too...

    I'll follow up the next time I'm there.

    Jay
     
  20. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    When all the "radio" discussion started this was my first thought. Will they make customers buy the whole sound system if they want the speakers in place?
     

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