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How to Achieve Optimal Sound Without Overloading 12V Battery

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by Dickerns, Jan 24, 2017.

  1. Dickerns

    Dickerns Member

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    I have a Model S P100D with the UHFS package, but I'm looking to upgrade to an audiophile system. When I first listened to the UHFS, I was not impressed at all, but now, I feel that the sound has gotten better. I created another thread on this forum asking for advice on the best aftermarket system and I have also done some independent research.

    Just when I thought I was ready to move forward with a quote I had received, another audio expert mentioned to me yesterday that the recommended amps (2 ZERO4s and 1 ZERO3) are NOT practical for use in a Tesla because they simply draw too much power and they are also heavy!

    Below are the main components of the system that I'm considering.

    Qty Item Name Manufacturer Item Description
    1 Utopia No.7 Focal 6.5" 3-Way Component (no xover)
    1 C6 Illusion 6.5" Component Kit
    2 ZERO4 Mosconi 4-CHANNEL AUDIOPHILE AMPLIFIER: 2 X 100W, 2 X 200W
    1 ZERO3 Mosconi 2-CHANNEL AUDIOPHILE AMPLIFIER
    1 8to12 DSP Mosconi DSP/LOC (8in,12out) includes bluetooth programmer
    1 Carbon C10XL Illusion 10in Subwoofer

    Would these items above overload the 12V battery? I also plan to install a Thinkware 770 or Blackvue DR650S dashcam.
     
  2. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    Try to use class d amps. They are usually much more efficient.

    Love your speaker choices. Have you looked at trying the light harmonic system?
     
  3. Dickerns

    Dickerns Member

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    Yes, at first, I was considering the Light Harmonic system, but after reading through the 50+ - page thread and seeing all the complaints about the reliability of the amp and also the lack of customer support, I changed my mind. Perhaps. LM is great, but I want to have peace of mind.
     
  4. keyguru

    keyguru New Member

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    The easiest route into drastically improve your sound is to install the NVx subwoofer and simply update your front and rear speakers to Infinity Kappa. Both updates are easy to install and are somewhat inexpensive. For speakers, you would use your current speakers as the "frame" (simply cut the old speaker and the new one screws into the base). There is a thread somewhere on this forum with instructions. I did it with my car and cannot be happier with results. Of course, you can go as far as your budget allows you. The above upgrade is somewhere around $1500 before installation costs.
     
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  5. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    I understand. Mine sounds great and I believe the Beta phase is over for LH. They had some early chips that didn't do so well. My new amp is holding up well to the pounding my teens throw at it.
     
  6. Dickerns

    Dickerns Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. As for LH, I am still seeing complaints from folks on another thread as recently as yesterday. I'm concerned that folks are having to wait months to receive a new amp after a previous one goes bad. If it were not for the reliability and customer service issues that I saw raised in other threads by so many folks, the LH would have been a winner for me since it appears to be the least disruptive option and I'm sure the sound is very good, perhaps not audiophile quality, but much better than the stock.

    With respect to my original question, can anyone chime in to confirm whether the proposed aftermarket system above would overload the 12V battery? I would not want to make such a huge investment if it would create other headaches for me.
     
  7. onautopilot

    onautopilot Member

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    I don't think your concern is unreasonable. I don't have any numerical proof or anything, but the Tesla 12V battery is very small. I had a stereo setup in my twenties with a similar amount of wattage (okay maybe a bit more). It was necessary to install a deep cycle 12 volt battery in addition to the normal battery. Having said that I think you may be overestimating the amount of wattage that is desirable. What you mentioned is a fantastically excessive amount of power. I suspect that most guys who bought a model S will appreciate sound quality much more than SPL. I think you could be happy with a lower amount of total wattage and still work within the confines of the vehicle's electrical system. I wouldn't go class D for main speakers though. Class A/B sounds much better. Class D is suitable for a subwoofer.

    I also have the UHFS. I agree that it is a bit underwhelming. But I do find it good enough to not be tempted into aftermarket. Despite what I consider to be a fairly discerning appreciation for sound quality and an expensive home audio hobby.
     
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  8. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    Onautopilot,
    I agree with your assessment on LH and AB vs D Amps. Keep in mind that the human ear cannot detect the distortion. Additionally in a automotive environment the Class D Amp designs are ideal due to lower power consumption, smaller form factor, less wasted heat, lower current draw than an AB Amp. I have installed several different systems in the Tesla (now on my third Model S) and the LH System with the SoundQubed 8 inch sub is crushing everything else I have tried with a budget of $1200.

    Dickerns I am in DC too, if you ever want to hear the LH system - I would be happy to let you check it out. Yes their customer service is the weak link, but they have always come through for me if you use their ticketing system and email them direct. (I had a two bad AMPS when I was a BETA tester), but the new chip they are using has been bulletproof. They ship the same day you call if you ask them too and will let you return the core AMP later - the only hassle is the 1 hour AMPendectomy.

    Class D amplifiers use output transistors as switches to control power distribution — the transistors rapidly switch on and off at least twice during every signal cycle. Class D amps boast higher efficiency, produce less heat, and draw less current than traditional Class AB designs. Class D amplifiers produce higher distortion than AB designs due to the high-speed switching on and off of the transistors, but this distortion occurs at frequencies above hearing, and is easily removed by a low-pass filter.

    Source: Car amplifiers glossary
     
  9. Dickerns

    Dickerns Member

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    Which LH package did you get? Model S.12P without the sub? If so, it is now $1,450.00. If you are happy with the system and it hasn't caused any issues, I'll reconsider my options. Have you had the new amp long enough to say it is reliable?

    I'm wondering if Tesla might have recently upgraded their sub because the bass in my car is very deep and clean. The sound system overall is not too bad. It's just the door and rear speakers that are crappy.

    Since I spend a little bit of time in my car on a daily basis, I want better sound so I can enjoy the ride.
     
  10. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    They must have raised their prices - I got the Model S.12P without the sub (returned the sub for a $350 credit). I haven't had the AMP in that long - so you have a good point on reliability.

    Tesla upgraded the equalizer and it has a made an improvement to the UHFS sound. My wife's car is has the stock UHFS and I noticed the sound improvement after the EQ upgrade.

    Offer still stands - I'm in Chantilly every day - so let me know if you want to check it out.
     
  11. headcase

    headcase Member

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    Btw, I recall you having to replace your LH amp at least once. As I'm not very familiar with audio gear, do you think its possible that installing the Soundqubed HDS208-D2 with a 2 ohm to 1 ohm wiring config is causing failure issues for the LH 2 ohm amp?
     
  12. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    I don't think the 1 Ohm load was the issue. I have this exact config and it is working great in my setup and in others.
     
  13. Dickerns

    Dickerns Member

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    Xenoilphobe, with your permission, I am now sharing our conversation on February 4, 2017. Here is what you wrote:


    As far as the low amperage 12 volt 32 Amp Hour battery in the Tesla, even when the car is sleeping it pulls about 50 watts, which = 4.5 amps per hour.
    Source: Why Tesla's lead acid 12V battery needs to be lithium-ion based

    It looks like the Mosconi ZERO4 pulls 150AMPS (max fused capacity), the Mosconi ZERO3 is also fused at 150AMPS, The Mosconi (Gladen) 8 to 12 DSP is only 1 AMP, and the Mosconi AMAS2 has its own power supply which is under 1 AMP as well.

    So at maximum volume and load, the Mosconi setup could potentially pull 302 AMPS, in addition to the sleep mode of 4.5AMPS. Once the car is started, expect this to jump to approximately 20AMPS, (lighting, computer, fans, etc) from your 32 Amp Hour rated 12 volt battery. This would force to the High Voltage (HV) 400 volts DC Battery (also called the traction battery or drive battery) through the DC to DC converter to the Low Voltage (LV) 12 Volt DC Accessory Battery, converter to kick on constantly and power cycle the 12 volt battery reducing its life rapidly (approximately 600 cycles and its dead).

    Option 1: One possible work around would be to get a Batt Mobile Lithium battery (approximately 100 Amps for $400 vs the OEM 32 Amp rating) to replace the Tesla stock battery. Link to the battery here:
    BattMobile Batteries, Custom Lithium Batteries
    and the install video here:

    The specs on these batteries are great (I may replace mine with this when the Telsa OEM AGM 12 volt battery dies) Here is why: The Tesla OEM C&D DCS-33RIT battery is rated for an (AGM) cycle life of 600 cycles at 80% Depth of Discharge (with a 5A load). The Batt Mobile batteries are rated for >2000 cycles in the same scenario! and with the amperage pull you are doing, you will need more charge cycles from the High Voltage (HV) 400 volts DC Battery (also called the traction battery or drive battery) through the DC to DC converter to the Low Voltage (LV) 12 Volt DC Accessory Battery.

    Let me know what your installer thinks, I would give Chris a call over at Driven in Chantilly, he has done all my builds for over 20 years.

    Option two is more detailed and would require dual batteries (one in the trunk - to give you the load bearing capability you need for the Mosconi system) and this is what I had Chris do to my FJ Cruiser due to the heavy loads- get your wallet out, just the batteries will cost you $1000, then heavy 2 gauge wiring and brackets and labor, adds up quickly.

    Option three - go with a more efficient class D amp setup to conserve the Amperage available on the LV DC side of the Tesla.



    By the way, the quote I received included 2 ZERO4s and 1 ZERO3 and thus, it would be 450 Amps!
     
  14. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    Did you decide which way to go? Also I loved the 100 AMP battery you found!

    BTW just got back from a driving session with my son - got him listening to symphony music - the soundtrack to Battlefield 1 is amazing!!! link to artist here:

    Johan Söderqvist
     
  15. Dickerns

    Dickerns Member

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    A couple of weeks ago, I went to Safe & Sound and I got to meet Matt whose work is absolutely immaculate. I had hoped to make it to Driven Mobile Electronics to see Chris and to Kartunes to see Mike, but by the time I got out of Safe & Sound, it was after 5:00 PM and these two shops were already closed. All the quotes are great and all three guys are very knowledgeable. I don't think I can go wrong with any of them, but I want to have absolute peace of mind. I came very close to making a decision, but I thought it was best to go see Chris to check out his fabrication work and listen to one of his demo systems. I also want to do the same for Mike at Kartunes. My plan is to do that next weekend and then make my decision.
     
  16. Dickerns

    Dickerns Member

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    Xenoilphobe, I'll definitely replace the stock battery. If I go with the three ZERO amplifiers i.e. 450 Amps, I will install another battery in the trunk.
     
  17. headcase

    headcase Member

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    Ok, good to know. What was the wiring diagram that you used again? I recall briefly seeing that in the discontinued LH vendor thread...
     
  18. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    wire + to + and then - to - You should have a Y shaped wire going terminating into the cars connection..

    Subwoofer Wiring and this 1x21.jpg
     
  19. Dickerns

    Dickerns Member

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    I have decided to go with Safe and Sound, but it was not an easy decision because all three shops are great. If you are considering an aftermarket market solution, you cannot go wrong any of these three shops. They all know their stuff and they do not bash one another.
    There could be other shops out there that are very good, but Safe & Sound, Driven Mobile Electronics and Kartunes are the three that I considered.

    I was never able to make it to Kartunes, but I spent a lot of time on the phone with Mike and I also exchanged a lot of emails with him. I wish I could have made it to the shop, but I simply did not have the time. From what I understand, they do a lot of Teslas.

    As for Driven Mobile Electronics, you cannot go wrong with them either because Chris is a very knowledgeable guy who's been doing this for over 25 years. He gives very detailed explanations and never gets tired of answering questions. When I went there yesterday, he was working on a McLaren and that car was looking SICK!!! He had one of his clients come by so I could listen to the AudioFrog speakers with a class D Arc Audio amplifier and the sound was amazing, but the system he was going to install for me would have the top AudioFrog speakers which would sound even better. Chris was hesitant to use a class A in the model S, but he said he would use it if I absolutely wanted him to, but range could be compromised i.e. I could lose 10, 20 miles or even more depending on the specific amps used. One thing that is remarkable about Chris is that he won't try to sell you his very high-end speakers and amplifiers which may cost several thousand dollars if the thinks he can build a system that is 95% as good for half the price. I would say the same is true for Kartunes.
    Also, someone told me when it comes to tuning, Chris is among the very best.

    I also went to Safe and Sound yesterday where Matt who is the installer of the year had a couple of cars waiting for me. For those of you who don't know, his fabrication work is out of this world. I also heard that he has good tuning skills as well. The systems that I listened to yesterday were excellent. Perhaps, it was the class A amplifiers that made the difference or the Focal Utopia speakers, but I definitely preferred that sound to what I had heard earlier in the afternoon. Matt is also very patient just like Chris and Mike and takes his time to provide detailed explanation so you have a clear picture. Even though, we've spoken several times, we have also exchanged about 90 emails. What I like about Mike is that he likes to push the boundaries of what is possible. It's taboo to install class A amplifiers in a Tesla, but he wanted to take on the challenge. He reassured me that it was possible and I had nothing to worry about. Among his circle of friends, he was able to find out that someone in Texas had installed three Mosconi ZEROs in an 85D two years ago with two lithium batteries where one replaced the factory battery. The 85D owner has not experienced any issues. Do I believe Matt? I do not question what he said.

    My Tesla is going to be among the best sounding Teslas out there. I still have another month to go before I drop it off since Matt is booked until early April.
     

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  20. Dickerns

    Dickerns Member

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    The quote had a lighted front T which I am no longer going with since one is not available for the new Tesla Model S. However, I'm still going with the rear T and I am also adding the lighted emblem:

    As for the camera, I'm leaning toward the Thinkware 770, but Safe & Sound has installed mostly the Blackvue, but it won't be a problem to install the Thinkware if that is what I want to do, but I would I have to purchase it and give it to them since they don't carry that brand.
     

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