I'm having Reus Audio in LA upgrade my sound

I'm having Reus Audio in LA upgrade my sound

I've been unhappy with the quality of the premium sound in my Tesla S. I spoke with Rick Reus and feel comfortable they will satisfy my desires. He said they have upgraded about 20 S models so far and know the car well. They are putting a new design in my car. It will be a beta test for the original system the designed for the S. I'm antisipating sound quality equal to the rest of the car. There will be no visible changes so it will look normal and not aftermarket. For some the stock sound is fine and that's cool, I just want to hear a better quality.

taxdoc | 12. Mai 2013

What are they putting in and what is the estimated cost?

blubrd67 | 12. Mai 2013

Hi Rodney,
Very glad to hear someone modifying S. I'm seriously thinking of purchasing one, but have two main issues, one - the test car I drove appeared to me to noisy over 60 mph compared to Lexus and Benz S cars I drove (complaint for which I was viciously attacked by some zealots) and the second one was sound system. I would appreciate if you can give me some details which amp or speakers you plan to use.
If I can resolve the noise issue, and find installer to change sound system, that would be a huge green light to happily own one.
Would appreciate your updates!

This is the amp I was considering to use in my next car:

Tâm | 12. Mai 2013

Has anyone tried ButtKicker for your Model S?

It's designed for a couch at home to vibrate you up when it senses any low frequency from 5-200 Hz.

That way, you can feel the low bass and you don't have to compensate by cranking up the subwoofer volume.

It's used in theaters and theme parks and lasts for decades:

rodneynelson | 12. Mai 2013

blubrd67 The Reus systems are designed and manufactured with their name. I'm sure they could be designed by a mainline manufacture to the Reus specs. The system is designed by Reus for the specific car model. As far as the noise problem you mentioned when driving over 60 MPH, I don't have that problem with my MS. I currently own a Mercedes and used to have a Lexus. Maybe the problem you had was specific to the car you were driving.

Tam: I'm familier with butt kickers but I was unhappy with the over-all sound of the system, not just the bottom. I want more clarity, crisp, higher db"s. I want to feel like I'm on the front row of the concert. I believe Reus will deliver this.

kw1 | 13. Mai 2013

Hi Rodney,
After living with my standard sound system for awhile I was not satisfied so I too went to Reus. Rick is great to talk to and very passionate about quality. I have had their system for about 3 weeks now. The system they installed is fully integrated with all the MS functions, and from looking you cannot tell that there is anything but stock. However for me listening is a huge and noticeable improvement. Phenomenal bass response, crystal clear distinct sound stage, every note crisp and balanced. I listen to the music in the MS now and often get chills down my spine it is so good. I give friends/family rides and they spontaneously mention how fantastic the sound is. Driving the car has become truly a magic carpet experience.

The system is so good you will immediately notice when you input higher resolution music files. I use 96/24 FLAC(from HdTracks) or 44/16 FLAC (CD lossless rip), although Rick prefers WAV (also lossless but WAV does not include album art). Both FLAC and WAV play seamlessly in the MS. So I recommend, if you have not already done so, that you get a program like dBpoweramp or Exact Audio Copy and re-rip all of your CD's. Put the files on a USB stick in the MS and you will notice the difference. I have about 60 albums on a 64gb miniUSB stick and room for many more.

enjoy :)

EMDoc | 13. Mai 2013

I got in touch with la jolla audio in San Diego and they recommend an audison bitone and a jl 700 watt amp. they say I will immediately notice more clarity. This will run 3k. Changing rear door speakers to focal 6.5 inch will be 750 more.

Six | 13. Mai 2013

Could someone list cost of the Reus upgrade and the time it took?

I will be driving through LA in the summer and could spend a day for an upgrade if it is as good as people say.

adstein | 13. Mai 2013

I am signed up to have the upgrade done by Reus this summer when they are in Ny for installs. Fantastic system and great folks.

Chuck Lusin | 14. Mai 2013

I found a tube amp that could also double as the center screen, no XM support.

Notice the curb appeal.

Brian H | 14. Mai 2013

Wow! Looks like it includes a stereo turntable, even. What will they think of next?

Jolanda | 14. Mai 2013

Wow, can it play 3D video?

blubrd67 | 15. Mai 2013

Thanks Rodney! How long did you need to leave the car for sound system upgrade? Does Tesla play high resolution files natively, or they had to upgrade that too? And of course if you can comment on cost, that would be appreciated. | 15. Mai 2013

@blubrd67 - I'm not quite sure what you mean by high-resolution. Audio is encoded using a number of samples over time, and each sample has a number of bits, and lastly many formats discard both samples and bits to compress the sound and make the storage files smaller (i.e. MP3, ACC, etc.).

Tesla in the MS does support lossless WAV and FLAC formats from USB files. I've used FLAC encoded at 44.1 kbps, 16-bits per sample (same as CDs) and will deliver the best sound of the various formats supported. I wrote up this comparison which you may find helpful:

This only works if your original source is loss-less and/or a CD you rip. Converting a MP3 or other lossy formats to FLAC will not improve the sound.

FLAC can support higher bit-rates, but I don't know if the MS supports these - I suspect not. For very high-resolution, studio masters may record up to 196 Kbps at 24 bits per sample - of course this takes a huge amount of digital space. Even standard FLAC 44/16 are a bit large. A quick look shows some of my recordings songs taking around 20-40 MB per song.

christurbeville | 15. Mai 2013

Would one of yall please describe specifically what was replaced and done? Are there new drivers? Amps? Did they just use the digital feed from the Tesla with their own DACs? I have been very suspicious of the amps in the premium sound as the muddy painful effect is usually due to high amp distortion. I was considering replacing just the amp as from what I can see the drivers seem to be pretty good.

Brian H | 15. Mai 2013

News flash: Google is going to offer music subscription to compete with iTunes, Spotify, etc.

Brian H | 15. Mai 2013

$9.99/mo for full access. "PLAY" is the service name.

kw1 | 15. Mai 2013

blubrd67; - I have played FLACs at both 96/24 and 192/24 in the MS. They both play OK but the 192/24 seemed to be a little thin which indicates to me that the algorithm in use in the MS may be downsampling in a way that loses some info, or somewhere in the translation process something is being lost. It may also be that the USB standard may not support 192/24 as many DACS I have looked at for my home computer limit the USB interface to 96/24 and want some type of higher bandwidth connection (firewire or optical output) to process 192/24. However the previous sentence is at (or slightly beyond) the limits of my technical knowledge, and I may have not done something with the system for the 192/24 that was needed to play it properly.

As a comparison I bought an HD 192/24 album from hdTracks and also ripped the same album from a CD at 44/16 and the 44/16 sounds much better in the MS (fuller more depth to the sound). I have a 96/24 album (Crosby, Stills, Nash) downloaded from hdTracks and it plays flawlessly and sounds great. I have also listened to both WAV and FLAC of the same albums ripped to the same bit-rate and I cannot tell the difference - but I am not a skilled audiophile - and I know there are passions on both sides of the WAV vs FLAC debate.

I have not tried either 176/24 or 88/24 (these rates are often seen on British titles such as the Rolling Stones HiDef).

So after that level of experimentation I use 44/16 FLAC ripped lossless from CD's as the standard in my MS USB drive and the music sounds superb. I currently have 68 albums ripped to 44/16 lossless FLAC taking up 23gb on a 64gb USB memory stick. So given that the MS has 2 USB inputs I could probably eventually put upwards of 700 albums just on memory sticks (2 - 128gb sticks).

six; - To my knowledge Reus is preparing a standardized "kit" type installation that they hope to be able to do in less than a day. My MS was the first MS they did without the factory Premium Sound package so they spent almost a week with the car as they measured, prodded, and tried various combinations to get a level of sound reproduction for a system they were happy with.

christurbeville; - I am not an audio or electronics guy, but my limited understanding is that there is some type of relatively standard interface in most cars between the receiver head end and the preamp/amp (initial digital feed??). Rues used this feed which means that all the automation works great and will continue to work seamlessly even with MS updates. They did put in their own amps and there is no distortion that I can hear at all. Everything is clear and balanced, even when the volume is turned up. I do not know about the DACS. I do not know what additional electronics were put in, but I believe that Reus does design some of their own electronics custom to each model of car. I can only suggest that you call Reus for more detailed info.

rodneynelson | 18. Mai 2013

Here is my report
I wilI give the sustem Reus Systems installed a 5 Star rating. Upgraded the speakers, power and some more goodies. They made everything look totally stock. Now my car sounds HiFi. They clarity is at least twice as good. The top is much much more crisp. The bottom is shaking!. Clean, clean, clean... The additional sub with the power boost nob built in on the seat is the bomb! It is so clean and I'm able to be control the boost by reaching down next to the seat adjestment control with no effort.

I wil try upload sme pictures of the nob and sub that they installed in the bottom of the trunk. The sub took up about 30% of the lower trunk compartment. It is clean and I still have more storage in my MS then my Mercedes ML 350.

Vawlkus | 19. Mai 2013

Can you do some power comparisons? I'm curious if the sound upgrades will have any noticeable effect on your range.

rodneynelson | 19. Mai 2013

Vawlkus: I'm told there is no change in the power comsuption. They connected everything in the the same spots as the stock system with just much higher quality gear. The sound is comparable to watching standard-def tv and then gong to high-def

celtrog | 19. Mai 2013

What was the bill?

Brian H | 20. Mai 2013

If you have to ask ...


christurbeville | 20. Mai 2013

The reason I'm so curious what they do is I don't live in CA. Perhaps if this kit is produced it could be purchased and installed by local competent installers. But before I'd buy something like that I'd love a detailed description of what's involved.
I've seen some mention of a new sub in the foot well and this discussion of interface leads me to believe they take a digital output from the stock system and convert and amplify it. I suspect new cross-overs and some driver replacement from my judgment of the stock premium system's weaknesses. When I get closer to wanting to do this I'll contact Reus directly.

Brian H | 20. Mai 2013

Why would they give you their trade secrets?

celtrog | 20. Mai 2013

Not sure why Rodney won't reveal te cost....
Seems like a reasonable thing to ask

kilimats | 20. Mai 2013


makemeupkc | 20. Mai 2013

Maybe Rodney work for them? So what is the cost? Rodney the lead sales rep.

Brian H | 21. Mai 2013

It may vary depending on how Full Monte you want to go.

christurbeville | 21. Mai 2013

@Brian H trade secrets would be the brands and models of the replacement bits. A basic description is what I'd think anyone would want before buying something. However the audiophile world never ceases to amaze me in the lengths it goes to mystify simple technology so yes perhaps I am asking them to reveal their magic.
Also what I wear or do not wear while driving is immaterial;)

christurbeville | 21. Mai 2013

"goes to to mystify" darnit

Brian H | 21. Mai 2013

Oog. Just got a 'flash' of you driving along wearing only your Speedo, and as you pull up beside women drivers, pointing down at your lap vigorously a few times, then speeding off! Then going home to await the PC Police.


celtrog | 21. Mai 2013

Vendors have been known to masquerade as consumers....
Looks like this just might be another case..

Anthony | 21. Mai 2013

Rick from Rues Audio has installed 4 systems in my cars over the past 4 years and now he will do my 5th in my new Tesla i should get in June. Hands down his system is better then any after market or factory direct sound system on the planet. I am in the industry of audio for large touring acts and own some of the most suffocated line arrays on the market. What his company can do with audio in a vehicle reminds me of being in staples center listening to my favorite band. It truly comes alive and i hope you all have the chance to meet Rick and purchase one of his systems, you will not be disappointed.


celtrog | 21. Mai 2013

What was the cost?
Not sure why this hasn't been discussed

adstein | 22. Mai 2013

He is absolutely for real. My 2001 Boxster has a Reus system and to this day it is the best car stereo by far that I have owned. Blows away my Lexus Mark Levinson system.

SonomaDriver | 22. Mai 2013

The fact no one is willing to discuss price or what components were used points to a vendor troll thread.

amirm | 22. Mai 2013

I talked to Rick last week about pricing. The early guys paid more than $4k as they covered some of the initial development costs but the more they do the lower their cost gets. He said that by yet end he hopes to get to below $3k. Also, if a few of us in a given location do a group deal he can get a break from his suppliers. I did a separate post looking for Silicon Valley interested parties to see if we can have Reus come up to do our cars here at below $3k each. I got no interest...

Brian H | 22. Mai 2013

As more MSes hit the roads, interest will increase. Whether linearly or exponentially, I don't know.

Kauai | 22. Mai 2013


I missed your earlier post. I am in Silicon Valley and would be part of a group buy. Thanks

amirm | 22. Mai 2013

Call me at 650 269 4667 to strategize..

dhooker | 25. August 2013

I have a porsche was (upgraded) by Reus through the car dealer when I bought it although it sounded decent it always had an intermittent audio issue with a channel cutting out. After returning to the dealer a few times and the problem was never fixed I stopped by my local audio specialist for a look... It turns out the $5.00 rca's were the issue... I decided to have them go through the whole system and let me know what the thought as I was about to put 5k miles on the car... I was very suprised to find out the the $5.00 rcas went along with the no name brand $5.00 cone tweeters and the $5.00 mids and the d-badged mtx amplifiers. I figure @ $300.00 worth of equiptment for $5,000.00 not such a great deal... I ended up having it all replaced and now the system sounds 2 to 3 times better and I only spent $3500.00
Beware of the no name brand products he uses and if you have a good local shop they can do better without all the hype.... Just my 2 cents...I am about to by an S and I will not be going to Reus...

eweinberg1 | 24. Januar 2014

Just thought I'd throw in my two cents. I got the standard audio package on my Model S, and actually was pleasantly surprised at the overall sound quality; it wasn't super-impressive, but it was fine. Still, after driving the car for almost a year, I was curious to see how much it would cost to do an aftermarket upgrade. I got quotes of around $3400 to $4000 from places like Al & Ed's and Reus, and while I'm sure they do excellent work, I simply wasn't going to spend that kind of money.

After checking Yelp, I called International Auto Radio in North Hollywood and spoke to Alex. He told me he could make a significant improvement with just an amp and a subwoofer, and it would cost me around $750. When I got to his shop, we picked out a different sub and I also let them talk me into an AudioControl processor, but still the total bill was $1100. I have to say, Alex promised a "night and day" difference, and he was right; suddenly, I have volume, I have tight but prominent bass, I have clear highs... it's a completely different musical experience. Also, the amp and the processor are completely hidden behind the front trunk, and the sub is hidden in the footwell where the rear-facing seats would be stored if I had them.

It's also worth mentioning, and I swear I have no affiliation with this shop, that the other employees there were all professional and knowledgeable; just talking to them gave me confidence in what they were gonna do, and one of them sat with me while we tweaked the levels after they finished the install. (They got me in and out in one day, incidentally, and yet I had no sense at all that they hurried the job.) They pointed out that I could always do a further upgrade by replacing a front speaker system for about $350, but they advised driving the car for another six months before making any decisions, which is exactly what I'm gonna do.

I really just want to point out that you don't need to spend $3000 - $4000 to make a huge leap in sound quality in the Model S. About $1000 will do wonders.

Pontus.forsman | 02. Dezember 2014

Hi eweinberg1, I live in Sweden so I can't visit any shop that you talk about here. Could you please tell me what they put in to your car and maybe I can get someone to do the same here? If you can help me please send a mail.