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Sound System Comparison: 200W vs 580W

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by Todd Burch, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    For those of you who have had nice sound systems in your cars in the past (I have *not*), can you let me know what you think of the difference between the 200W (lower-tier) and 580W (upper-tier) sound system offerings?

    For someone who's trying to minimize cost, and is looking for good sound without going deaf, is the $950 upgrade really worth it?
     
  2. Tommy

    Tommy Member

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    #2 Tommy, Dec 20, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2011
    Besides the higher wattage, the upper-tier system has a dedicated sub-woofer (the .1 in the specs). It takes lots of watts to make good, tight sounding bass (in a small enclosure), so my guess is most of the additional watts are being used to power the sub. Also the speakers are probably of higher quality and have more headroom to play without strain. One thing I would be concerned about is if the head unit can only play mp3 quality files. To much information is lost, the system should be capable of at least CD quality 44khz/16 or better still 96khz/24 or higher capability.

    I plan on listening first, then deciding.

    To answer your question, if Tesla has done the sound system properly, you will notice the improvement and $950 is not unreasonable. It's not about just playing louder, but playing more faithfully i.e. fidelity. I have a high end home system and the same principles apply to car systems.
     
  3. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    On that note...

    "200 watt ... includes AM/FM/HD Radio ... storage for up to 500 songs"
    "580 watt ... over 3,000 songs"

    No mention of CD. :(
     
  4. Tommy

    Tommy Member

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    It's that over 3,000 songs that has me worried; I hope I can choose the file format quality (44khz/16 to 192khz/24) and not be stuck with just MP3 quality files. From other postings, my understanding is no physical CD slot; music will need to be downloaded into the Head unit.
     
  5. EVNow

    EVNow Active Member

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    I've to note, though, that the best systems I've listened to have had very low power ;-)
     
  6. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

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    Hi,

    I can't answer Todd's question whether the upgraded sound system is worth $950, but it should be noted that they are upgrading from two-channel stereo over 7 speakers to multi-channel 7.1 over 12 speakers. The upgraded system also has provisions for satellite radio if you go for the panoramic roof.

    Larr
     
  7. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Why does the getting satellite radio require the panoramic roof?
     
  8. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

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    Yeah, I spotted that too. Does the pano roof act as an antenna for sat radio or something (tongue firmly in cheek)?!! :smile:
     
  9. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    I don't see an antenna on the car, so maybe they do something with the glass roof? It's indeed a strange requirement though
     
  10. clea

    clea Member

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    they are installing the receiver in your skull and it requires line of sight to the satellites to function properly ... ;~)
     
  11. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    That's the best explanation I've seen so far:smile: It's probably the typical throw in a feature people want with the 'sunroof' bit that most car companies do. I certainly hope it's a technical reason.
     
  12. Andrew Wolfe

    Andrew Wolfe Roadster 472 - S 440

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    My guess is that the antenna is in the car and gets blocked by the steel roof.
     
  13. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    I assume that means the antenna is inside the car, and has to look through the glass to see the satellites. Microwaves won't go through aluminum.

    Edit: uh... what Andrew said. Posts crossed.
     
  14. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Thanks. All is right with the world now:smile:
    I'm glad it's probably some technical reason. I wasn't planning on getting the panoramic roof since I'm in Texas but guess I'll need to see how much I want satellite radio I guess. With pandora and the iPod, there's less of a need for it in my case.
     
  15. Andrew Wolfe

    Andrew Wolfe Roadster 472 - S 440

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    I'm in the same boat. I like having Sat. radio - but prefer the look of the solid-roof car. Hard choice.
     
  16. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    I for one am glad there's no CD slot. That's so 90s :).
     
  17. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Actually, I really like the CD slot in my Infiniti G37. Every time you put a CD in the slot it automatically rips it. We spent a few weeks stuffing a different CD into the slot every time we got in the car. Now there's quite a big library of songs on the drive, which is really handy. Negligible effort required.

    I really hope the Model S' tech package is as good as the G37's. Although it doesn't have the huge screen, Infiniti/Nissan has set a pretty high bar for functionality and usability.

    As for the satellite radio, I have no use for it. We either listen to local radio, or music on the hard drive. (In fact the XM feature in my Infiniti is about the only thing that I find slightly irritating. I don't subscribe to XM, yet there are three slots for it in the steering wheel's "Source" button rotation.)
     
  18. Odenator

    Odenator P2607

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    Todd - One thing to also check is the robustness of the amplifier. A sign of a very good amp is its ability to double the the wattage when the resistance is halved. Now it's debatable if a bullet-proof amp sounds better and a weaker amp, but most people usually associate a well built amp to quality hi-end sound.
     
  19. jkirkebo

    jkirkebo Model S P85+ VIN 14420 EU

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    Agree. Our Leaf has a CD slot, it has never been used. I always play music from my iPhone over bluetooth. I assume the Model S will have the same bluetooth capability.
     
  20. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    I'm in a similar situation, though I DO want the pano roof. I'm paying for Sirius on 3 cars right now (though technically one is still in trial mode), and use it on exactly none of them. I just pop my iPod or SD card in and go.

    I agree, though it does come in handy for ripping songs
     

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