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Standard sound system - my only disappointment

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by dckiwi, Sep 27, 2016.

  1. dckiwi

    dckiwi Member

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    I picked up my Model S75D (white, pano roof, black next gen seats, AP) last Thursday.

    I love everything about the car, except the sound system. I'm annoyed with myself because my original config included UHFS, but I removed it right before finalizing the order to save a few bucks.

    I'm not an audiophile - far from it. But I like my sound systems to be loud. I don't blast music all the time, but every now and then a song comes on and I just want to blow my ear drums out.

    I was able to do this in my 2009 Acura TSX. Again, the sound quality was probably crappy, but it was loud enough.

    The Tesla sound system, on the other hand, falls just a little short. It's powerful enough - almost, but not quite. I can turn the sound up to 11 and still want a little more. I've found that if I do this *and* set the bass/mid/treble all the way up, it's almost enough. My rule of thumb for any sound system is that you should never have to turn it all the way up.

    Is there anything else I can do to improve the performance of the base system? My sources now are bluetooth streaming and Slacker - would lossless files on a USB stick sound any better/more substantial?

    I guess this is just a PSA to anyone who is on the fence about the premium sound - just get it. $2,500 is a rounding error for a car this expensive.
     
    • Informative x 1
  2. DJung

    DJung Member

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  3. Blu Zap

    Blu Zap Grinning member

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    check out EVANNEX. The also have an audio upgrade. Some good aftermarket options are out there for you. I did get the premium sound. But I plan on keeping the MS for over 8 years, so that was my cost "justification" Yup, love the Tesla system. 11 is crazy obnoxious.
     
  4. Vitaman

    Vitaman Member

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    Curious....Are the Standard and Premium systems the same in 2016 as they were 3-4 years ago or have they altered amplification or speakers?
     
  5. davidc18

    davidc18 Member

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    The premium sound on the new 2016 MS is shockingly better than the standard sound on our 2015 MS,
     
    • Like x 1
  6. sammyfan711

    sammyfan711 Member

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    I didn't get the UHFS on my XP100DL since I have it on the 90D already and find myself listening to podcasts more than anything else. I regret this for sure - the premium sound is so much fun (X Gon Give it to Ya by DMX was a mild let down).

    Anyone upgrade their X sound system?
     
    • Like x 1
  7. Chopr147

    Chopr147 Active Member

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    I went with the standard system which is "good enough". It really does need improvement in comparison to other automakers. Maybe this is another point Tesla will improve over time.
     
    • Like x 1
  8. Xenius

    Xenius Member

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    That's it, I'm adding X Gon Give it to Ya right now to my "driving fun" list. Meant for good bassy stuff I wanted to try once I got mine.
     
    • Like x 1
  9. habanero69

    habanero69 I Dont Need Cialis. I Drive an EV.

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    I must say I have the premium sound system on my new MS and I am disappointed. I came from several years leasing of BMW 3/4 series with their upgraded system (for only $800 I might add) and it was immensely better. It had full 10 band EQ and the surround sound feature really made a huge difference. I have the Dolby off in my MS as I find it thins the sound out too much. I also have to have the front to back fader far too back on the MS as the rear speakers do not keep up with the fronts. I will admit the bass in the MS is equal or better in the very low range as to the BMW, but this does not make up for the left/right rears being seemingly so weak. I cannot understand why Tesla cannot put in at least an 8 band EQ? This is software I would think since I can get a 10 band EQ for my iPhone from apps store that works well enough. I'm not going to bother with an aftermarket since I'm only leasing the S for 2 years. Maybe by then they will have improved, or I would order with the standard system and do a 3rd party upgrade. My ears/hearing may not be Beethoven quality, but I do know a solid sound system when I hear one. I've had audiophile equipment in my house since high school and although car audio is a challenge due to road noise and speaker placement, we should have immensely better in our cars, especially for the asking price. :(
     
    • Like x 1
  10. dckiwi

    dckiwi Member

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    Thanks for the links. The LH upgrade is tempting because it is DIY (just remove door panels and replace existing speakers). Anyone who has done the LH speaker upgrade of a standard (non-UHFS) system have thoughts on it? Will it give me some of the additional oomph/volume I'm looking for?
     
  11. No2DinosaurFuel

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    No worries, just get aftermarket sound. I hear people are getting better sounds out of aftermarket than the premium sound from tesla. All you get from the Premium sound from tesla is integration. So you don't have to mess with putting aftermarket stuff. But usually aftermarket stuff are better compared to the standard stuff albeit some fitting issues if any.
     
  12. davidc18

    davidc18 Member

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    Be careful on getting the standard system thinking it is easy to upgrade later. The premium system has an external amp driving the sub and extra speakers. I agree that for the price paid the premium system should be much better, but having lived with the standard system I would not get it again.
     
  13. chillaban

    chillaban Member

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    I've talked pretty extensively about the sound system in the firmware 7.1 threads, but my experience too was that the standard sound system in the Model S is quite disappointing, and barely competes with a pair of bluetooth speakers that you bring to the pool. The upgraded sound system is good but not great, matching most luxury cars' standard audio systems.

    The later 7.1 updates (and now 8.0) finally makes Dolby surround mode slightly better on some audio sources compared to surround off (my previous advice was to always leave surround off, or crank up the bass by 3dB or more if you're turning on surround).

    Overall though, I found the $2500 worth it but not exactly a bargain, mostly because I don't like doing aftermarket work on my cars.
     
    • Like x 1
  14. cgiGuy

    cgiGuy Member

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    I added just a subwoofer and amp to my 2015 with standard audio and it sounds great (to me). Of course, how an audio system sounds is a very personal thing. I listen to everything from solo piano, news, classic rock, to.. well, let's just say the genres my kids like--and they all sound great to me. As an added bonus to this config, I installed the included bass volume right under the center screen cubby and I can quickly adjust the bass, based on what I'm listening to, without even looking away from the road.

    I probably went with a little larger sub than I needed, but didn't want to install an 8" and then feel like I should have gone bigger. So, I but a single 12" in a narrow enclosure and it sits in the lower trunk area, covered. I installed the amp in the cubby to the right of the sub (opposite of the charge port).

    These were not high end parts. I want to say less than $500 total and about 4 hours of my time.

    Rockford Fosgate Prime 750 Watt Class D 1 channel Amplifier
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004T166L8/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Lightning Audio by Rockford Fosgate 4 Gauge Ga Awg Amplifier Installation Wiring Amp Install Kit
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PB4BEE6/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Metra - 12" Single Ported Subwoofer Enclosure
    Metra - 12" Single Ported Subwoofer Enclosure for Most Trucks and SUVs - Charcoal

    JBL - CX Series 12" Single-Voice-Coil 4-Ohm Subwoofer - Black
    JBL - CX Series 12" Single-Voice-Coil 4-Ohm Subwoofer - Black
     
  15. dckiwi

    dckiwi Member

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    Interesting! Dumb question - did you have to run any new wiring in the car when you did this upgrade? Specifically, is there already wiring from the front of the car to the rear for powering the subwoofer?
     
  16. Paul Carter

    Paul Carter Active Member

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    Are you playing over Bluetooth? I found that in my previous Model S (without UHFS/pano) the volume was also lacking on Bluetooth, but ok with USB/Slacker). My standard system experience was way better than my current Model S (with UHFS/pano). At least in my prior Model S I could actually listen to USB/Slacker without issue (a rare reboot now and then). Right now if I could rip it out of my car! My experience with the UHFS is full of hiccups and skips through a song in seconds many times daily and I end up rebooting often. Attempts at having it logged with Service has basically come back with a yes there is a memory leak, reset your trip counters and reboot more as the answer. Very frustrating and my only real complaint about the S to date. Oh, and if I'm showing or discussing the car to someone for the first time, this is a near guarantee to happen right as I talk up the system. LOL. I think it hates me.
     
  17. cgiGuy

    cgiGuy Member

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    Yes, it did require running power, audio (from front speakers), and sub control wires to the rear. I've also heard of people mounting the amp in the frunk near the power, or under a seat near the center screen to reduce the long runs to the back to just a single speaker wire.

    I would recommend contacting Tesla Service if you're going to do it yourself and verify the color of the speaker wires in the bundles coming from the doors. There are many "guides" that all say different colors, due to the changing wiring harnesses over the years.
     
  18. cgiGuy

    cgiGuy Member

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    Are you experiencing any other connectivity issues (maps, Tesla app, 3G/LTE switching to "Edge" network)? If so, you could have a bad cell module. They replaced mine and it was a different car afterwards.
     
    • Informative x 2
  19. Paul Carter

    Paul Carter Active Member

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    Thanks, interestingly, yes! I do notice LTE downgrading to 3G a lot in the city, but chocked it up to dead zone areas (as this happens regularly). Ironically it also happens near Kingsway/Boundary which has a large cellular / microwave building. I recall mentioning that to service as well, but nothing was found in the logs. I'll mention that at my next service visit.
     
  20. ERP

    ERP Ludicrous Member

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    I also agree that the base system lacks quality in the mid and low range. I just upgraded my speakers and i'm much happier with the mid quality, but I feel a powered subwoofer is still needed. Upgrading the speakers is a DIY project, and not very difficulty. It just requires some literal cut and paste. Below is my full write-up on the install.

    DIY Standard Audio Speaker Upgrade and Enlarging the Fronts to 8"

    Stock 6" speaker
    [​IMG]

    Upgraded 6" speaker
    [​IMG]
     

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