TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Guts of the sound system?

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by Raven, May 8, 2013.

  1. Raven

    Raven Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    Messages:
    258
    Location:
    US
    I know there are a few on here who have been brave enough to open panels and dig around in their MS. My question is this:

    For the stereo, where are the guts of it and how is it interfaced with the screen? e.g., can an average car audio dealer increase wattage and quality by just unplugging the old and adding the new? I have the standard audio system. I'd like to improve the audio but I'm pretty certain I'd need more than 200W and I also need to add in a sub somewhere I believe. I just don't want the dealer to be cutting new holes all over and splicing wires to make his system fit. Moral of the story, maybe I should have gotten the upgraded system to begin with....
     
  2. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,538
    Location:
    Ithaca, NY, USA
    I've seen the little cables which attach to the speakers. They appear to me to be digital, implying that the speakers have their own logic. Not sure where the guts are.
     
  3. Raven

    Raven Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    Messages:
    258
    Location:
    US
    For the standard system, I understand locations like the lift gate have no speakers. Does anyone know if it's pre-wired? As in can I pop that open and add a couple speakers? Also, is there a suggested technique to pop of the speaker grilles? I'm not home and haven't looked into it yet.
     
  4. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,538
    Location:
    Ithaca, NY, USA
    Don't know about the liftgate, but most of the speaker grilles appear to be "integrated" bits of the headliner. You have to take off an entire piece of headliner since it goes "over" the speaker grille structure.
     
  5. spatterso911

    spatterso911 MSP#7577 **--** MX#1891

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2012
    Messages:
    1,213
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA
    Huh??!

    Not even remotely sure what you are referring to...

    The door grills are attached by clips. Give a gentle pull from the bottom and work your way around and the whole grill comes off. The rear hatch is the same. The A-pillars and front grill along the bottom of the dash is unknown...will ask my installer how they accessed those areas, but they did, replacing speakers in those areas. The sub (if you have the sound studio upgrade) is on the passenger side, rear hatch area, behind the rear wheel well. Also accessible as the sub was replaced in mine, too.
     
  6. vcor

    vcor Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    Messages:
    115
    Location:
    California
    I've pulled apart the passenger door. The 6.5" speaker (not sound studio) is a molded assembly that includes the speaker and a tube mounting all in one, all made to Tesla specs (and Tesla is molded into the plastic). It's a 2 ohm speaker. I've been considering replacing it, but it's not going to be easy. The 8" speaker for sound studio is separate from a different plastic mounting bracket (I was quoted $53 for the bracket from Tesla). It's a 1 ohm speaker, and should be easier to use an alternative speaker if using the 8" Tesla bracket (except I've not found any 1 or 2 ohm 8" speakers). Using a 4 or 8 ohm speaker would technically work fine, but will have lower volume (not good).

    There is no speaker amp in the door. It would be costly to put an amp at each speaker, and I've found no signs this was done. I've not been able to confirm if the wiring for the rear sub, hatch speakers are in place without sound studio and what they might be connected too (if anything).

    I was told by Tesla the amp is integrated into the 17" display, and there are two display-amp module versions - basic and sound studio. My understanding that installers that are adding an amp are connecting to the speaker outputs. I'm not aware of any line-level outputs. This should not be a big issue (except for getting to the connections, buried in the dash somewhere).

    Another concern is drawing too much power. The current amp (basic) is fused for 15A, and Sound Studio has an extra 15A fuse. I'm sure you could draw a bit more power, but it's not like an ICE car with a huge 12V battery. There are no public specs on how much you can draw, and I'd be very concerned about adding an amp that draws a lot of power. Many larger amps are fused for 80+ amps (often two 40 amp circuits), which seems like too much to me. If you overload the 12 V circuit, besides stopping your car, you risk blowing the DC to DC charger, which could be costly. This is conjecture on my part, as I don't know what the design limits are on the 12 V system and how well it is fused up-stream.
     
  7. spatterso911

    spatterso911 MSP#7577 **--** MX#1891

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2012
    Messages:
    1,213
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA
    Did you happen to take any pictures of the interior of the door or the inside of the door trim panel? If so, can you please post??
     
  8. vcor

    vcor Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    Messages:
    115
    Location:
    California
    I took only a few photos as I was expecting to go through it again with a speaker replacement and document it in more detail. Here's one image that came out ok. It's the passenger side door, with the panel partly removed (I didn't fully remove it, as I was only interested in the speaker). The speaker is fully removed. You can see part of the window slider right behind the speaker hole. The speaker has a 2" round tube to extend it out to the speaker grill (not shown). Four screws hold the tube in place (see the white plastic inserts around the hole.

    P3052733a.JPG
     
  9. Raven

    Raven Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    Messages:
    258
    Location:
    US
    So I tried to pull the liftgate grille and even the door grilles but I'm very uneasy about pulling any harder. I feel like I'm going to break something, especially on the liftgate. Does anyone have a pic of these clips? I tend to break things first and then realize how they work. Not exactly what I want to do with this car.

    I'm certainly no expert on how to set up stereos nor the limits a unit has. Would it be a waste of time to simply replace the existing speakers with improved aftermarket ones(I'm talking the standard Tesla sound system) or would quality speakers overwork the standard's amp?
     
  10. jcadman22

    jcadman22 MD: DRK NRG

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2012
    Messages:
    317
    I was able to pry mine off with a stiff plastic bodywork tool. Much to my surprise, the holes were empty; I ordered the Studio Sound package, but it was not configured at the factory. I have a message into the Rockville SC to see if this is something that can be retro-fitted. Here's a pic of the empty space showing the clip:

    Photo 2013-05-19 06.18.24 PM.jpg

    Does anyone have a pic of the sub woofer? My car has an open well on the passenger side (like the driver's side) where I assume there should be a speaker box.
     
  11. Raven

    Raven Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    Messages:
    258
    Location:
    US
    #11 Raven, May 19, 2013
    Last edited: May 19, 2013
    Yours definitely doesn't have the Studio Sound package if the liftgate is empty and no Sub on pax side wheel well. So there are no wires there?

    I gave a little more tug on the rear pax grille and it came off easy. Driver's door is much tighter for some reason. So clearly the whole door panel has to come off to swap out speakers and even then it likely won't work like I envisioned. Here's my pics of door speaker and grille clip:
    IMG_1350.jpg IMG_1348.jpg
     
  12. jcadman22

    jcadman22 MD: DRK NRG

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2012
    Messages:
    317
    I didn't fish around in the lift gate for wires mainly because it was a pretty awkward work space. I poked around the carpeted area on the passenger side but couldn't find any obvious way to pull it back easily.
     
  13. HansJL

    HansJL New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2013
    Messages:
    1

    To simply answer your question, no the average car audio dealer can not just unplug the old and plug in the new. If it was that easy companies like Circuit City, Best Buy, etc. wouldn't have so many screw ups. Only true audio specialists have the experts to properly upgrade your audio system. The key to enhancing any audio system starts by determining what it is that you want to change. Once you know what aspects of the sound you want to improve, now comes the fun part. To get directions to where you want to go you have to know where you are starting from. An audio specialist has the tools and the knowledge to properly diagnose how your factory OEM audio system performs. Once you see what you have to work with, you can then design the system to achieve your audio goal. Tools to measure the maximum output voltage of your screen before clipping ( distortion ), EQ built in the system that prevent you from having a flat frequency response, crossovers that prevent full range of audio, etc. For instance if you want to add a subwoofer for bass, if your OEM system does not play that bass frequency, guess what...neither will that subwoofer you just purchased. Amplifiers and speakers will only play the music it is given and many OEM head units do not play a full range of audio. Should you go to a car audio dealer, no. You should seek an car audio specialist that can take any and every system to the next level. If you contact a car audio shop and they don't even talk to you about scoping outputs, using an RTA to see frequency range, noise sniffers to determine areas of the vehicle that will induce noise to your audio, etc. THEY ARE NOT A SPECIALIST. Also you can never properly choose your go to audio facility by the phone. You want to know who will be working on your car and how they will be working on your car because you can't trust just anyone with your vehicle.
     
  14. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2013
    Messages:
    4,222
    Location:
    Denali Highway, Alaska
    #14 AudubonB, Jun 4, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2013
    Nice answer for a first post. Hello, Hans! :)

    (Here goes the neighborhood, folks. Seems they'll let anybody on this forum...:biggrin:
     
  15. Hank42

    Hank42 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2012
    Messages:
    188
    Location:
    United States - NY

    Whatever happpened? Did the SC give you the upgrade? Was it a PITA?
     

Share This Page