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My Audio Upgrade- East Coast Style

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by silbenny, Sep 16, 2013.

  1. silbenny

    silbenny Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2012
    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    atlanta
    I figured it was about time to get this car's audio to match it's performance- therefore decided to get it's system upgraded last week. However, for us on the east coast- there didn't seem to be many options and couldn't find anyone locally that's had their audio upgraded. Jealous of you west coast guys! Given I took a risk with buying this car in the first place- why not be a first with getting the audio components replaced.

    So here's what I got done:
    3 front dash speakers replaced with HAT Legatia L3SE
    Front door speakers replaced with HAT Legatia L6SE carbons (had to use these given the depth restrictions)
    Subwoofer replaced with HAT Imagine 8 inch woofer
    Amplifier used was JL Audio 700/5
    Sound Processor was a Helix P-DSP unit
    Sound damping done around the speakers
    All controls are still managed by the touchscreen.

    Now I wasn't about to turn this car over to just anyone- believe me, they all offered. Decided to go with a company in Atlanta that makes the high end audio speakers- Hybrid Audio. They have an auto installation shop (Hybrid Auto Salon) and have worked with the audio for other high-end electric cars. They spent 50 man hours on this car to get everything done right. And yes, I can finally answer a big question that I've been asking this entire time- the DSP and crossovers are located in the dash behind the touchscreen- I don't think anyone was happy when they found this out. But in all honesty, given the location of Tesla's hidden audio components- I wouldn't dare touch any of this unless done by an expert with insurance.

    The sound is absolutely better- and will only get better once these speakers are broken in a bit. The soundstage has been pushed back beyond the windshield, the music surrounds you much better, you can make out certain instruments you couldn't before, and the music is more crisp. I can now hear the subwoofer bring the lows missing from the original Sound Studio package (my seats rumble finally). Although the 8 inch needs a little more time given that it sometimes has difficultly with some low frequencies (a 10 inch may be needed for this). All the audio equipment is hidden- the car looks exactly as it did before. All-in-all it was an excellent job for a very complicated car.
    I'll post some additional pics when I get the chance.

    tesla speaker1.jpg tesla speaker.jpg
     
  2. No Tailpipe

    No Tailpipe Member

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    Location:
    Eden Prairie, MN
    Ok, now the question. I guess if I have to ask I...well you know the rest. I'll just ask anyway.
    How much for the components and installation?
     
  3. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    Skaneateles, NY
    how did they tie in the amp to the battery? did they connect it to the puny lawnmower 12v?
     
  4. nkohlimd

    nkohlimd Member

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    Feb 10, 2013
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    Location:
    Natick, MA, United States
    Agree with finding out what it cost, met one of the Massachusetts owners recently, he had custom work done on his Tesla-looks great and sounds awesome but it was about 4x the cost of the Reus system and took 4 weeks rather than 4 hours. For the cost and experience with home installation, the Reus system is definitely a great value.....
     
  5. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    oh wow, and I thought Reus was absurdly expensive by several factors...
     
  6. Odenator

    Odenator P2607

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    silbenny, nice job! I'm also looking at upgrading my system with Hybrid Audio gear. Would you please be kind enough to list the sizes of the speakers you used and further comment on the depth restriction you encountered. Also, did you replace the tweeters? Any advice, pearls or warnings I could pass on to my installer before he tackles this project?

    Thanks
     
  7. silbenny

    silbenny Member

    Joined:
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    atlanta
    You are looking at roughly $3000 in equipment costs and another $3000 in labor costs. It's a lot obviously- costs should decrease substantially if you only wanted the subwoofer upgraded with an auxiliary amp powering it- minimally what I would recommend. I believe most of the costs go into accessing the head unit in the dash itself. For many audiophiles, it's worth the upgrade- for me it's definitely has been. If you love your current audio- I wouldn't change it. However, I'd hear the differences and then gauge if it's worth it. You'll start hearing some instruments you didn't realize were there before. Surprisingly slacker sounds great also. The music must be of decent quality- otherwise you'll amplify the poor quality even further. Given that I spend an hour driving to/from work- music is quite important for me and the costs over time will be worth it.

    @yobigd20
    amp was definitely tied into the 12v- powers it just fine.
     
  8. silbenny

    silbenny Member

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    I didn't do the install myself, so I can't comment adequately, but I'll try. The tweets weren't replaced- the L3SE's can provide much of what most needed for the higher end frequencies. If you're interested in amplifying the mid-range (the dash speakers)- don't skimp on the qualities of these speakers. Not too sure that replacing the 1" tweets would add too much to the system. They seem to be the easiest part to replace if you chose to do so. The soundstage was brought forward substantially by my setup (minimizing the 1" tweets). This really gave me a very open "airy" music setup. If you want the music coming straight at you, I'd concentrate more on the tweets. If you still want the open air feel with the soundstage brought forward- make sure those dash speakers can hit those high end notes- hence the reason for the L3SE's- been told these don't need separate tweets for some people's ears. As for the doors- not much depth here- that's why the L6SE carbons were needed for the swallow depth required. These were recessed a bit to prevent the cone from hitting the grill. These door speakers are gorgeous and the custom work was gorgeous- also, your average MDF wood wasn't used here to handle the power coming from these.
    Also, I have yet to tap into the DSP to customize the sound to my needs- although having Scott Buwalda do this for you isn't too shabby. It was nice to have the founder of Hybrid Audio doing the install himself :biggrin:.

    tesla speaker2.jpg
     
  9. TommyBoy

    TommyBoy Member

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    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Any guy whose arms look like that guy I'd trust doing my installation. Unless he's also a rock-climber, you only get arms like that from thousands of hours of ripping off panels, pulling speaker and amp wires, and replacing panels.

    I know because I did it for a summer back in college. Hard but rewarding work.
     
  10. Odenator

    Odenator P2607

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    That's awesome that Scott did your install. My installer will likely be able to call him up and get some advice. By the way, how did you get Scott to do the install?
     
  11. silbenny

    silbenny Member

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    Scott's shop and Hybrid Audio is located close to Atlanta in Cumming, GA. I live in Atlanta and lucked out! He seemed very excited to take on this challenge. Also have to give much credit to Dwayne Blackwood, he's the one who customized many of the speakers to fit properly.
     

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