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How can I tell if I got Ultra High Fidelity Sound?

Ulmo

Active Member
Jan 19, 2016
4,329
4,905
Vienna Woods, Aptos, California
I ordered Ultra High Fidelity Sound, but I only hear 4 low quality speakers, and that is even more evident panning around to them. The sound says 12 speakers. Where are they? When do they come on? How can I confirm that I have them? How can I activate the Ultra High Fidelity Sound in my car?

I am very baffled. I've never heard my classical music sound this bad in any non-cheap car. It's as if they didn't even install the Ultra High Fidelity Sound option, even though it's listed in my delivery papers.
 
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brkaus

Well-Known Member
Jul 8, 2014
8,085
6,645
Austin, TX
I believe the UHF had a speaker in the hatchback on the passenger side.

In a non-uhf car, both sides look symmetrical. The uhf car has a lump in the passenger side.
 
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Blu Zap

Grinning member
Oct 1, 2014
1,094
739
San Rafael, CA.
@brkaus is on to it. The key way to tell is to look into the trunk. Note to the left there is an open compartment. That is usually where the charging cable bag is kept. On the opposite side, if it is enclosed and you cannot access that space, that is the woofer for the UHF. If it is an open compartment you can put stuff in, then no UHF.
 

DarkMatter

Active Member
Jul 13, 2016
1,157
926
Olympia, WA
Do you have the 'surround' option turned on? I believe it's on by default and it sounds dreadful. During my test drive I thought the UHFS was a no-go until I turned that option off. After turning it off the thing sounded so good I considered it a must-have.
 
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DIL

Member
Sep 13, 2013
853
485
Danville, CA
Do you have the 'surround' option turned on? I believe it's on by default and it sounds dreadful. During my test drive I thought the UHFS was a no-go until I turned that option off. After turning it off the thing sounded so good I considered it a must-have.
This. Surround seriously deteriorates sound quality
 

thecloud

As rhythm raced inside, the ship came alive
Nov 24, 2014
1,774
1,646
Sunnyvale, CA
This. Surround seriously deteriorates sound quality
While that may have been the case in the past, it actually sounds much better now in 8.0. (Tesla fixed some issue with the sound codec toward the end of the 7.1 releases.) If you haven't tried Dolby Surround in a while and you are on 8.0, you might want to give it another shot.

It's important to realize that Surround treats your rear speakers as satellites, in order to produce a sound stage that's mostly in the front of the car, with some sound appearing to reflect from behind you. You can pull this sound stage back slightly with the slider controls in the equalizer pane. Most people are disappointed because they expect the volume level to be identical in the front and rear speakers, and that's not how Surround works.

In any case, try flipping Surround on and off to compare, and see which sounds better to you.
 
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Akikiki

A'-Lo-HA ! y'all
Nov 26, 2012
6,511
4,867
Kaneohe, HI
I believe the UHF had a speaker in the hatchback on the passenger side.

In a non-uhf car, both sides look symmetrical. The uhf car has a lump in the passenger side.
You are correct. The subwoofer takes up space on the right side and when you open the footwell and look inside and to the right. As you open the lift gate, it looks like a squared box sitting inside the trunk well. And if you open the footwall where the kids feet go, the subwoofer extends down into it and takes up space there too.
 
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Chrisizzle

Member
Nov 25, 2014
313
236
Toronto, Ontario, canada
I have this same question but in a Model X. I got an inventory car with the sound package included. It doesn't sound any better than my two year old Model S with basic stereo.

I show the surround option but no XM. Is XM supposed to be present in a Model X with sound upgrade?
 

Ulmo

Active Member
Jan 19, 2016
4,329
4,905
Vienna Woods, Aptos, California
Thank you so much! My volume goes to 11, and there's a lump on the right side of the trunk. After work I'll open it up and see what's there if I have time.

I was almost hoping that they just neglected to install it, and they had to just put in a piece or two to get it working.

I tried the Dolby Surround, and absolutely nothing happens either way. I tried this with multiple sources at multiple times per day.

I'm on firmware "v8.0 (2.46.30)". I suspect something odd with the configuration in some way.

But, the 4 speakers that are working (out of the ordered 12 + woofer) sound tinny and cheap, so perhaps there's something intrinsically wrong with the system, or perhaps there are actually inferior speakers installed in my car.

So far, I've found 5 speakers:
  • Two symmetrical on the front columns where it meets the dash
  • Two symmetrical rear doors at the bottom of the doors under the handles
  • The lump in the right of trunk. I have not yet confirmed sound out of this woofer.
Ok, I've heard enough from KDFC to know that I think this sound is "messy" without any of the fantastic sounds that classical delivers, the same as if I were listening to a compressed audio stream (which I never do). Is there compression being added that I do not know of? I turned off "HD Radio", of course.
 
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SW2Fiddler

We Are Cognitive Dissidents
Mar 19, 2014
2,362
3,270
Houston TX
There might be an issue with the amp that powers the hi-fi speakers, or the connection feeding it. Relatively easy fix/swap (compared to not actually having the extra speakers LOL).
Interesting video:
premium amp
 
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houstonian

ಠ_ಠ
Sep 2, 2013
225
194
Houston. Duh.
I am very baffled. I've never heard my classical music sound this bad in any non-cheap car. It's as if they didn't even install the Ultra High Fidelity Sound option, even though it's listed in my delivery papers.
@Ulmo - timely thread. Was mulling over starting one along the lines of "getting the most out of the UHFS system".

Still doing my homework on that thread but everything I have read suggests the sound input is critical. Bluetooth, Slacker, and other low bandwidth sources lack the detail to allow the sound system to shine. Conversely, lossless audio files on a USB (e.g. FLAC) seem to let the system shine.

Moreover, Tesla (still?) lacks a good codec to smooth out the audio distortions on low quaility audio inputs. Thus if you're using your iphone to play music via bluetooth the UHFS sound system dutifully reproduces the sound - including the distortions from the low quaility source - meaning it sounds worse.

Suggest you grab a high copy of your audio files (think FLAC), put them on a USB drive, plug the USB drive directly into the car and see if that sounds any better.
 
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Ulmo

Active Member
Jan 19, 2016
4,329
4,905
Vienna Woods, Aptos, California
@Ulmo - timely thread. Was mulling over starting one along the lines of "getting the most out of the UHFS system".

Still doing my homework on that thread but everything I have read suggests the sound input is critical. Bluetooth, Slacker, and other low bandwidth sources lack the detail to allow the sound system to shine. Conversely, lossless audio files on a USB (e.g. FLAC) seem to let the system shine.

Moreover, Tesla (still?) lacks a good codec to smooth out the audio distortions on low quaility audio inputs. Thus if you're using your iphone to play music via bluetooth the UHFS sound system dutifully reproduces the sound - including the distortions from the low quaility source - meaning it sounds worse.

Suggest you grab a high copy of your audio files (think FLAC), put them on a USB drive, plug the USB drive directly into the car and see if that sounds any better.
That might be consistent with the one thing that didn't make sense: that previously high quality FM reproductions are getting massacred now.

I already bought a USB drive for my car months ago in anticipation, and now that I'm home for the first time since picking it up, I'll get to work making directory trees and stuff to put my music into. I'll have an answer within a few days.
Mention it to service. If some of the speakers are not working I would suspect the amplifier.
I already have a service appointment to cover this. Inputs that I considered OK in other vehicles cause extreme choppiness (extreme clipping) in my Tesla; I do suspect something faulty or mismatched (wrong item?). The service center that is otherwise best for me (I think) is small and very booked up, so I won't even take it in until 3 weeks from now. Meanwhile, I'm going to try to learn about noninvasive testing (location of speakers, ways to measure output).
There might be an issue with the amp that powers the hi-fi speakers, or the connection feeding it. Relatively easy fix/swap (compared to not actually having the extra speakers LOL).
Interesting video:
premium amp
Once again, great information, and all of this is making me more optimistic. I am concerned that I experienced fogging above and wet floor mat below that area (which I told the service center about and is on the list for repair). The problem could be as simple as a hole allowing rain water into the amp, which fried it. I wonder how much other water damage the factory might have caused with such an error. I literally took it to service first chance I got; I will have to discuss this again before the 3 week appointment to see if I ought to do a particular action to avoid damage or violation of warranty.
 
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idealsol

Member
Oct 8, 2016
360
225
Orange County, Ca
Do you have the 'surround' option turned on? I believe it's on by default and it sounds dreadful. During my test drive I thought the UHFS was a no-go until I turned that option off. After turning it off the thing sounded so good I considered it a must-have.
+1
I just took delivery of a model S this week that has the premium sound
I toggled surround on/off and felt off was much cleaner
My son came over and I had him listen to a blind a/b test
He too liked the surround off
 

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