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Ideal Aftermarket Audio System for Model S

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by Dickerns, Nov 27, 2016.

  1. Dickerns

    Dickerns Member

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    I'm currently awaiting delivery of my Model S P100D with the UHFS option. Unfortunately, after hearing complaints about the sound quality of the UHFS package from so many owners, I want to explore alternatives. I would like all audiophiles out there to chime in and provide the best aftermarket system for the model S for a budget under $5K. I recently listened to the Burmester High-End 3D Surround Sound system in a Mercedes Benz S class and I was blown away.

    I must confess that I came very close to ordering the Light Harmonics S.12P yesterday, but I after reading through 59 pages of this thread Vendor - Premium Audio System for Tesla Model S by Light Harmonic, I had some serious concerns due to the following reasons:
    1. Unreliable amplifier - The amplifier kept failing for some people and they had to send it back. This is a deal breaker for me as I would not want to go through the pain of removing the amp every time it fails.
    2. Mediocre Sub included in bundle - There were complaints that the LM sub is worse than the stock sub. However, this is not a deal breaker because some folks reported great success with the SOUNDQUBED HDS-208 sub which I could also get.
    3. Lack of customer service - Light Harmonics appears to be very unresponsive to customers' inquiries. This is not a deal breaker provided that the product is very reliable.
    I also heard great things about Reus, but I did not see any details about what they would install. Since they're not based in the DC metro area, the wait time for their engineer to fly to DC can be quite long i.e. it can take months.

    To all audiophiles, please weigh in and provide your recommendation.
     
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  2. davidc18

    davidc18 Active Member

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    I would wait until you can spend some time in the new car. You might be okay with it.
     
  3. houstonian

    houstonian ಠ_ಠ

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    Good thread! In the same boat myself. Confirmed my order with UHFS earlier today and am curious to see what aftermarket options others recommend.

    Planning on following @davidc18 suggestion and giving myself sometime with the system to see how I like it (from my reading of UHFS threads the largest issue seemed to be poor audio input - streaming, low quality sound files, Bluetooth, etc - so curious to hear how the system performs with high quality sources).

    I know of the @LightHarmonic system and the Reus one, but both seem to struggle with customer service and support after purchase giving me pause to go with one of their systems. That said, the Light Harmonic speaker replacement interest me the most. See myself being able to install it and like the plug and play aspect to replacing the door speakers. Somewhat curious in their amp but only want to fool with replacing it once and based on others comments, it still looks like Light Harmonic is perfecting their amp design (?)

    Alternatively, one can always source their own drivers (if I went this route I'd probably replace the four speakers in the door and maybe the sub) and maybe that's the easiest first step in aftermarket audio modifications?
     
  4. theslimshadyist

    theslimshadyist NashVegas!

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  5. Alex D

    Alex D Member

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    When I ordered my car with the UHFS I originally planned on putting an aftermarket system in, once I get the car.
    But the UHFS started to be surprisingly good and has now plenty of bass after a few software updates in June/July (can't remember which release brought this improvement). So I never had the need to upgrade after that.
    The sound is great now, plenty of bass and very pleasant to my ears. You might not need to upgrade to an aftermarket system at all.
     
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  6. Alex D

    Alex D Member

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    Just checked my EQ settings: +10 bass, +3.0 mids and +3.5 highs. Try these when you get the car and see how you like it. If you're not happy, you can still consider an aftermarket system.
     
    • Informative x 1
  7. Dickerns

    Dickerns Member

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    Folks, it turns out there are a lot of options out there for those who are willing to spend a bit. On December 2, user Xenoiphobe, on another thread, posted some information about a company named Safe and Sound Mobile Electronics which specializes in custom car audio system design and installation. Just as Xenoiphobe mentioned on the thread, I gave them a call and asked for Matt Schaeffer who has installed high-end audio in several Teslas. We spent about 20 - 30 minutes on the call where he went into details on high-end speakers such as the Focal Utopia series, high-end amps, DSPs, custom fabrication etc... I called him again the following day and he spent his time to answer all my questions and per my request, he also prepared a quote for an mind-blowing audiophile system. I have not yet decided what I'm going to do, but I am thinking about it. With the proposed setup, I would replace all the speakers with audiophile grade speakers and 10" sub which would all be powered by 3 AB class amplifiers and a super wicked DSP.

    I highly recommend that you call Matt for your specific questions.
     
    • Like x 1
  8. fpb600

    fpb600 Member

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  9. dpodoll

    dpodoll Member

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    I went with REUS. Very Very nice. No issues. They came to Hawaii for install. Give them a call and see when they might be in DC area next. They travel all over the place.
     
  10. Muzzman1

    Muzzman1 Member

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    I'm one of those who went the @LightHarmonic route. If you're in the LA area and you want to hear it message me.
    Here's the deal (for me): LH customer service is a pain in the a$$, but the amp is great. I'm one of the lucky ones whos amp has no issues, but I bought a spare just in case. The amp in conjunction with the SQ sub sounds better than any aftermarket system I've had in any previous car.
    That might have to do with the inherent low ambient noise in the Tesla.
    Either way, it might be worth the gamble getting the LH amp.
    If you plan to go all out, then I'm certain the Reus and @Dickerns suggested would probably be best, but for the $ I don't think you can do better than the LH, especially considering there's no wiring modifications when you do the LH option.
    BTW I'm not affiliated with them in any way (as you can see on the 59 page thread, I'm constantly lambasting them)
     
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  11. andrewket

    andrewket Well-Known Member

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    Cliff @ Reus is coming to the DC metro area in January. Call him, or PM me and I'll put you in touch with him. Cliff goes over and beyond for his customers.
     
  12. Dickerns

    Dickerns Member

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    TestlaP100D.jpg
     
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  13. Dickerns

    Dickerns Member

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    After chatting with Matt Schaeffer two weeks ago, it appears that the system he discussed with me is light years ahead of anything that I was previously considering. The only problem is it would cost me a big fortune. Of course, he will work with any budget, but after hearing about the system I mentioned in my previous post, it's hard for me to downgrade.

    I would like to hear a little bit more about the Reus system. Would anyone out there share some specific details about their system?
    As for LH, I am hesitant now due to the number of negative posts I saw reported on this forum. Hopefully, things will get better for them.

    By the way, I finally took delivery yesterday even though the car had been ready since early December. I was waiting for some electrical work to be done in my garage. It is parked in the garage covered with the Evannex indoor/outdoor cover and I won't drive it much until after I take it to paint protection specialist next week to apply the film to it. Soon after that, it will be the audio system UNLESS I'm satisfied with the stock audio. As I was driving the car home yesterday afternoon, I heard a lot of bass!!!
     
  14. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    Dickens if you want to check out my system, we can link up - I live and work in the Centreville/Chantilly area right near both Safe and Sound and Driven Mobile Electronics. Both have very good techs who can pretty much provide your its whatever your budget can bear.
     
  15. Tsportline

    Tsportline Vendor

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    While we're not under 5,000.00, we do offer a Sound System Upgrade for the audiophile:

    A Rockford Fosgate 3sixty.3 EQ Processor has been integrated into the factory system so that each of the following 13 component speakers can be individually tuned to create the perfect sound stage for all types of music. The front door speakers have been replaced with Rockford Fosgate 8” mid bass woofers. The dash speakers and rear door speakers have been replaced with Focal K2 Power series mid range and tweeters. One Alpine PDX-V9 amplifier and one Rockford Fosgate T400X4ad have been installed for a total of over 1,300 watts of power. Installed in a custom carbon fiber trimmed enclosure in the rear is an Alpine shallow 10” subwoofer. This sound system does not harm or draw additional power from the Tesla range battery system. $10,500 installed.


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Dickerns

    Dickerns Member

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    Those red seats are NICE!!! I am sure the sound is significantly better than the stock audio. Now that I've done some research on car audio systems, spending $10K seems quite reasonable.

    How much is too much? I know it depends on the individual, but really, how much would you spend on an audiophile car system without feeling guilty? I recently heard that some folks have spent $55K. To me, that is extreme. I think even $30K is a bit much for a car system. What I recently learned is that an entry-level audiophile system will start at roughly about $10K, but if you want extremely high-end audio components, you'll spend well over $25K.

    Why doesn't a car that costs over $160K come with a built-in audiophile system? Come on Tesla! Do something about this. Once Tesla has more competition, they'll give us better quality. The Lucid Motors Air that premiered last week will include a 29-speaker system and will cost just as much as a fully-loaded model S AND with what seems to be a far superior interior. I don't think Lucid will be much of a threat and people will flock to them, but I hope that will cause Tesla to offer their customers better options in the Model S.

    After the paint protection work is completed, I plan to do a lot of driving for a month so I can get to listen to the stock audio to see if it is good enough for my taste. If it is not, then I'll go the custom route and agonize over how much I will spend for an audiophile sound.
     
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  17. Dickerns

    Dickerns Member

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    That sounds good, but I want to listen to the stock audio for a while so the difference will be discernible to me.
     
  18. Dickerns

    Dickerns Member

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    What system did they install for you? I've heard people rave about Reus, but I have yet to see the specific details about their systems.
     
  19. cryptyk

    cryptyk Member

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    I have an aftermarket system in my 85D:
    Focal 165 flax, 6.5 and tweeters
    Addison bit 10 d processor
    JL xd700 amp
    Nvx sub

    I'm about to install something similar in my new p100d, but probably with a second sub and a distinct amp for the subs.

    I just can't get comfortable with the LH and reus systems being custom manufactured by those companies. I'd rather have something built by the companies above.
     
  20. Dickerns

    Dickerns Member

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    I have concluded that I'm going to go custom and I'll probably let Safe and Sound Mobile Electronics install an audiophile system for me. I'm really not too happy with the stock audio.
     
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