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How important is the upgraded stereo option?

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by Kate S, Jun 29, 2014.

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  1. Kate S

    Kate S Member

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    I'm a newbie and this is my first post, so apologies if this is posted in the wrong forum section.

    I ordered my Model S yesterday. Tech package, pano roof, leather seats were the only options I chose since I'm trying to keep price manageable. I didn't get the upgraded stereo but am kind of second-guessing that. How important is it? If it were cheaper, I'd definitely spring for it. At $2,500 it's just such a pricey addition.

    It would help to know how good the standard stereo is. I heard it on the test drive, but didn't turn it up very loud. I'm not a hard-core audiophile or anything, but I do like to crank up the music sometimes and I want it to sound good.

    Am I making a mistake to go with the standard stereo or is that sufficient for most people?

    Any input would be a big help!
     
  2. pete8314

    pete8314 Vendor

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    I think you'll be happy with the standard system. There's a lot of us on here (me included) that are not happy with it, and others have paid $4-5k to have it upgraded to something reasonable. If I were to buy again, I'd skip the audio upgrade (it was 'just' $995 when I reserved), live with it a few months, and if I wasn't happy, pay a local shop to upgrade it - unless you go crazy, it still wouldn't cost $2.5k for a decent upgrade. Obviously, the Model S is still a relatively niche car, so many of the after-market audio accessory makers don't have anything for the Model S, but that picture will begin to change. Right now, Reus Audio has an option, and AL & Ed's have something. Here's some useful links, there's a lot to read through!

    My Reus sound system install: Photos and comments

    Audio: Sound System Quality?

    Tesla Model S Audio Upgrade Solution

    PS - Welcome to TMC!
     
  3. joer00

    joer00 Member

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    There are lots of threads with this topic. I disagree with the many opinions that even the upgraded sound system is mediocre. I did upgrade and it is the best sound system I ever had in a car. The important point is to tweak your settings and crank it up to at least 9 :) I recently test drove a Maserati Ghilbly and a Porsche Macan both with upgraded sound systems ad BOTH where worse then the upgraded Tesla system, with the Maserati upgraded system about as bad as the Tesla Standard system

    HOWEVER, when I ordered the car in 2012 the upgrade was 1500 $. Today being it 2500$ I would most likely not order it and go with an after market upgrade. I looking very much forward to hear the REUSS system on TMC.

    Just staying with the standard system and not upgrade in any way is a bad choice. You will spend about 100k for a car, I won't sacrifice a few bucks on sounds. In my Audi I almost never had the music on, in my MS its on 95 % between volume 9 and 11 :) The quietness of the car makes for a difference sound experience !
     
  4. MoeMistry

    MoeMistry Local Vendor - SoCal

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    Well said...if you enjoy music, the standard system is mediocre at best. Fine at low volumes, but terrible when you crank it up. Take your music with you and listen to a system w/ and w/o upgraded sound...the same track in both cars. See if your ears tell a difference. Crank it up....you'll hear the difference.
     
  5. Merrill

    Merrill Active Member

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    When I ordered my Model S I had read on this forum that both systems were not very good. Like you I'm not an audiophile so said to myself how bad can it be. I tried all compression methods to transfer my music and after 6 months decided that it just sounded weak. My wife Mercedes has a standard Bose system which was much better than the standard Tesla system. I do not know if the current systems are better than a year ago, but decided to do the Reus and am very happy.
     
  6. SBerg

    SBerg Member

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    Welcome to the forum and the world of Tesla.
    Not sound related, but I notice you did not order supercharger capability. Do you plan on any trips in your Model S? If so, seriously consider SC instead of the upgraded sound.
     
  7. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Using the upgraded sound system with lossless compression (FLAC) from a thumb drive works great. I'm very happy with mine. However, I purchased mine before the price upgrade so it was really cost competitive. I'm not sure I would have at the new inflated prices.

    If you really care about how the music sounds, put the money into a good aftermarket system like Reus (many threads on this).

    On the other hand, if what you do is listen to podcasts or audio books, it won't matter a bit.

    If you are using AM/FM radio or internet radio (slacker, tune-in, sirius etc.) it's garbage in garbage out. No system can make those sources sound good.
     
  8. Kate S

    Kate S Member

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    Hmm, okay, not quite the response I was hoping for - was looking to hear that the standard stereo sounds great. :) Thanks very much for all the input though, it's really helpful. I will make an appointment this week to go hear both systems.

    I'm not too keen on an after market solution so that narrows down the options. Would certainly be an easier decision if the premium sound wasn't such a big ticket add.

    Regarding the Super Charger feature: I thought about that but am guessing we wouldn't use it much or at all. We've got a Honda Odyssey that we use to take road trips with the family. So the Model S will pretty much be my 'get to and from work and around town' car.
     
  9. russman

    russman Member

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    I'm in a loaner car and it has the upgraded sound system. I felt my standard was fine, but wow the upgrade is impressive, HOWEVER, I wouldn't pay that much to get it. It's just way too much to get the upgrade. If it were maybe $500-$1000 more, I'd do it, but it's way more than that. I'll see if I miss it significantly when I get my car back, but I've been playing Slacker with the Dolby Surround from it and it's been pretty darn nice and I'm not an audiophile.
     
  10. Kate S

    Kate S Member

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    Ugh, I'm with you russman. I really wish the stereo upgrade were cheaper so I could just spring for it and stop thinking about it. I'm one of those people for whom buying a Model S is already a big jump price-wise from other cars I would have looked at. So I need to be cost-conscious with the extras. Either that or win the lottery so money is no object. :)
     
  11. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    Has the sound upgrade itself changed? It used to be under $1K - now it's over $2.5K. Has anything in it changed except the price?

    I've only heard the Sigs, and even with that mandatory upgrade, the sound wasn't so good. I would seriously consider not getting the upgrade and going aftermarket instead.
     
  12. iadbound

    iadbound Member

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    I just listened again to both system yesterday (moved immediately from one car to the next). The standard system is not very impressive. It's even worse with high quality source material like Dark Side of the Moon in a FLAC format. The upgraded system definitely sounds better, and it's the only way to get XM if that matters, which it does to me, but many people don't care. I don't think the upgraded system as good as the Mark Levinson system in my Lexus, but the Model S, as an overall package, is soooooo much better than the Lexus that I don't care.

    One note, I'm not obsessed with huge bass as some people are. I like a super clean sound that brings out the little details -- this is an area where the Levinson systems are top notch. The upgraded system did pretty well with the detail.
     
  13. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    If you are like most forum members, you'll end up taking the Model S even though the plan was to take the ICE :)
     

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