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New sound system

New sound system

The old sound system had 11 speakers, this new one costs $1550 more and has 12; I was getting the system either way, but any thoughts from the audiophiles out there on the new design?

ddruz | August 11, 2013

This has been commented on elsewhere, but for those who may not have seen those threads: Source material is critical to best sound.

Lossless FLAC source material on USB stick (burned from CD for example) sounds quite good overall and better to many ears with Dolby On than Off.

Lossy source material (Slacker, Bluetooth, most sources in fact) does not sound nearly as good as lossless and is worse with Dolby On in the opinion of many who have A-B tested them. Keep Dolby Off with lossy source material.

Napisarn | August 11, 2013

I have the upgraded Sound Studio package. I think it sounds pretty good for a factory sound system. I've never really encountered any "upgraded" factory sound systems that I was that impressed with. That includes Mark Levinson and Nakamichi in Lexus, BOSE in Buicks and Porsches, and Hardon Karmon in BMW. Bang & Olufson's they put in Audi and MB are probably the best. The B&O system in MB is $5000!!!!! Every upgraded factory system runs around $2K+ in higher end cars. Tesla is just adjusting their prices to be on par with other highend car makers, or normallizing it so to speak. Such is the price of waiting on new technology vs being an early adopter. If you want a knock your socks off sound system, there is no substitute for aftermarket.

The internet radio is AMAZING. hundreds of channels for every music you like. You can even get radio feeds from other countries. I am a big fan of Sirius XM but don't feel like I need it in this car. Music options are near limitless.

agunloyefamily | August 12, 2013

Does the Sound studio really have the ability to store songs? I was told by a rep in Westchester that I can only play Music from My USB. So if my USB has 1000 songs, I can only play 500, does this sound right?

stevenmaifert | August 12, 2013

@agunloyefamily - No it does not sound right. If your USB can store 1000 songs, both the standard and premium sound system should be able to play all of them. For about two years, the Specs page advertised on board flash memory storage for music. That was never activated on Model S already delivered, and quietly went away a few weeks ago. It's unrelated to playing music from your USB.

Hodas | August 12, 2013

And if your USB only holds 1,000 songs, consider an upgrade. I bought this 64GB "stick" on amazon for $40 and it is ideal for the console. It will hold 10,000 songs easily and is virtually invisible once you plug it in. http://www.amazon.com/Kingston-Digital-64GB-DataTraveler-DTMCK/dp/B00C6G...

yodasminion | August 15, 2013

Follow up to earlier.

I brought a friend with me to the Santana Row store this afternoon. He has an M.S. in sound encoding, and is a professional audio engineer. It goes without saying, but there *might* be 50 people in the country who know as much about sound quality and production as he does.

We started with the normal car, sans Studio Sound. We both agreed that the system is quite nice. Not the nicest by far, but not at all bad. The fidelity, even with volume increases, was quite clear, even with a variety of high treble or higher base. Without a sub, the lack of lower base is noticeable, if you play that kind of music. We did notice that you had to turn the system up more to get it to play loud, but even when loud, the clarity was quite good.

We then moved to the High Fidelity system car. This was a noticeable upgrade. Whereas the low end car seemed to be "reaching" just a little to hit those high and low notes clearly, the high end system seemed effortless, and required far less volume to produce the same output. The sub made the bass lower, and the system itself had a slightly clearer high end.

Overall, my friend declared that both systems were "quite good," but that the HF system to be "extremely solid." He confirmed that if he were buying one he'd definitely go for the high end system, and thought it was worth the investment. Based on my own observations and his input I'll definitely have the high end system in my reservation when I make it...

I saw some folks complaining about the system being too "front-centric." This is as intended, but I agree that the system sounds better when moving the center towards the back. I found that moving the balance back about 11-12 units, which places the sound centered on the middle of the back seat, produced a very nice surround quality, where you were less bombarded with front orchestra. It made the system feel much more like it was all around you, rather than coming from the front.

simplesolarinc | August 15, 2013

@yodasminion

Did you guys play with the EQ?

yodasminion | August 16, 2013

Yes, my friend was less than impressed with the equalizer, though he was quite impressed with the balancing system. In his words "If you're going to bother putting knobs, then put in knobs. Putting in 3 knobs is almost as pointless as putting in zero. It is odd given they put in a superb balancing system that they would only have a three input equalizer."

My only hope is that they do a software upgrade to improve the equalizer. He was quite sure the input capability is there on the back end; they're just not opening that capability to owners.

ATX | August 16, 2013

I don't know which I'm more excited about, my new S (and new sound system - to stay on topic) or my fake passport!

kickgas | August 16, 2013

I'm not an audiophile, but music is the second most important thing to me after the quality of the ride as I travel quite a bit. I got the Sound Studio package, but found that the sound stage was not as broad and enveloping as I'd like. Certainly not up to the quality of the rest of the car. I heard about an aftermarket system on the forums and decided to give it a try.
Cliff from Reus Audio in Ca. installed the upgraded stereo system yesterday. The parts were shipped ahead of time so all he had to bring was his toolbox. The two tweeters in the front pillars were replaced & an additional tweeter was installed in the rear view mirror facing towards tghe windshield. Also I had a 10" woofer placed in the footwell in the back. This takes up about a third of the space. An amplifier was placed in the other compartment were I store the plugs. I have an adjustment knob in the side of my drivers seat in front of the seat controls to fine tune the bass response. Overall, the installation is invisible. All prior controls are still functional.The system sounds awesome. The car now has a stereo consistant with the rest of the car. The total cost, including travel expenses was around $4K. With the upgraded system now running $2500, for a bit more you can have a system truelly worthy of the car. I'd be happy to demo it for anyone interested here in No. Va.

GeekEV | August 16, 2013

@yodasminion - Thanks for posting that. It's nice to get a true professional's opinion... Yeah, the 3 band EQ kinda smacks of "we have to have EQ, don't we?"

San Diego Tesla | August 16, 2013

I have the Sound Studio package and have played with the equalizer to find the optimal sound. I'm not sure that I've found it. What settings are people using for treble, mid and bass on the upgraded sound system?

Amped | August 20, 2013

I'll ask about a sound profile next time I'm at service.
S/b within a month with the parts on order for me.

I have the Sound Studio package with pano roof and had two software updates now with no change.
In May I took a Usb to the showroom and found the same, sounds better with Dolby off.

The three band EQ needs improvement!

rodneynelson | August 21, 2013

I would recommend you save your money and get a Rues Audio system upgrade. http://www.reusaudio.com is the only way to take advantage of the HD capabilities of controller. The stock processing and speakers are just too low quality. Believe me, I purchased the premium with all the bells and whistles. It just did not have the clarity and processing to justify even upgrading. The Rues audio cost a bit more then the stock upgrade but is absolutely the best. The Rues system is designed specifically for the Tesla S. Looks absolutely stock. It's invisible.

GeekEV | August 21, 2013

Is it just me or is anyone else getting tired of all the Reus Audio pimping going on here? If it's real fans promoting it, that's one thing (kinda like with me and others promoting the AlloyGator rim protectors). But every time I see one of these Reus Audio posts they read like corporate plugs. If the people posting them are associated with Reus Audio (I can't tell), I'd appreciate it if you were to dial it back a bit...

AmpedRealtor | August 21, 2013

I recently listened to the studio sound package in a P85. The HD radio sounded absolutely fabulous. I don't understand all of the complaints about the upgraded Tesla sound package, it sounds amazing to me! :)

EclecticCitizen | August 21, 2013

@AmpedRealtor... back to the question about roof type, yes my app and on-board images of my car are accurate; they show my panoramic roof. Interesting thought that it might be tuned for a solid roof. If local service gets back to me about a loose bumper panel, I"ll have them sit in it with me so I can demonstrate the difference between Dolby off and on. Sounds great with it off, anemic with Dolby on.

kickgas | August 21, 2013

@GeekEV It's just you. I got the Reus system and it's all what's stated in the threads.

GaryREM.va.us | August 21, 2013

@kickgas
May have to take you up on that demo. I'm in Fairfax around Twinbrook. No MS yet, but heading out to Tysons Thursday so the wife can have a look. I'm sold, but would like her to actually see one.

Gary

rodneynelson | August 22, 2013

Hey Geek, I'm a real. If you aren't a audiophile, then the manufactured sound is fine. But if you need more, we are very excited that someone has actually done the research and development to blow our mind. The Rues system is legit. I evangelize Tesla and Rues. No strings attached other then they are just simply better then everything offered in the marketplace.

AmpedRealtor | August 22, 2013

@ rodneynelson - Did you ever resolve your tire wear issues?

chrisdl | August 22, 2013

Did somebody mention the Reus system already? Or is it Rues?
They did?
Oh good.
...
Reus Reus Reus Reus
...
Do I get money now?
No?
Bummer.

AmpedRealtor | August 22, 2013

Doesn't look like Reus has made many friends online... Check out the reviews:

http://www.yelp.com/biz/reus-systems-orange

http://forums.corvetteforum.com/c3-general/2546115-reus-audio-reviews.html

http://mbworld.org/forums/w211-amg/207021-problem-reus-audio-oc.html

And that is just what I found in a couple of minutes... I would be afraid.

chrisdl | August 22, 2013

Jeez, Amped... that's scary stuff to read.
Reus? No thank you. I'll stick with Tesla.

kickgas | August 22, 2013

@GaryREM Be happy to. Let me know how to contact you.

michael1800 | August 22, 2013

Same thing happens on most audio threads. Magically turns into a Reus 'let's talk/demo and do a group buy' discussion. I've accepted the product is real and not a complete scam, but the convos in each thread are oddly similar and recur again and again. Also, 3 posters you've never heard of before magically post and go on the offensive if anyone mentions 'scam.'

Back on topic, I've got the sound studio and set my eq to +7/7/5 and have dolby on and it sounds great. I should probably test with dolby off and with flac and slacker to confirm if that's ideal or not. I will say that without bumping the EQ, it initially didn't sound as good.

GaryREM.va.us | August 22, 2013

@kickgas
Wish this forum had a way of messaging people. You an reach me at garyrem@icloud.com and we'll see about meeting.

GaryREM.va.us | August 22, 2013

@kickgas
Wish this forum had a way of messaging people. You can reach me at garyrem@icloud.com and we'll see about meeting.

Brian H | August 22, 2013

Say again? No, don't!
<;)

WATTAGE | October 20, 2013

Because of all the postings in here, I was prepared to hate my Studio Sound. 99.9% of folks will love it as I do. Tweak the 3 setting equalizer (gasp) and the fader/balance and enjoy. Sorry, Reus.

AmpedRealtor | October 20, 2013

@ WATTAGE - Agreed!

A recent house guest commented that the Ultra/Studio Sound was the best sounding car audio system they'd ever heard. It helps if you play good source material and avoid online sources such as Slacker and TuneIn. Both of those compress their content to fit over the 3G bandwidth, so that means poor or non-existent bass response, anemic mid range, shrill highs and narrow dynamic range. The easiest way to experience good sound is to switch your FM source to HD Radio. Wow!

Spend the money for Ultra Sound and forget the after market upgrades.

eweinberg1 | January 26, 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 for $100 more 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.

eweinberg1 | January 26, 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 for $100 more 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.

Bob | April 8, 2014

I've had my Model S for a year now and still believe it is by far the finest vehicle on the road. I absolutely love it! Really nothing else comes close, and it's made in America! What bugs me is the audio system that is being hawked as a "7.1 Surround" system. Yeah, RIGHT! I'm a music mixer and I do 5.1 surround mixes every day and this car will not play my 5.1 mixes. Tesla has somehow been conned into believing that Dolby ProLogic is actually real surround which couldn't be further from the truth. All it does is take a normal stereo signal and attempt to create a totally phony surround "effect" by extracting some ambience and sticking it in the back speakers and everything else pretty much in mono in the center, which really sounds like crap! The system doesn't sound too bad as long as you turn the Dolby Pro Logic OFF! (Other than the fact that the front tweeters are directed not at the passengers but at the front windshield, pretty much destroying the stereo image.)

When I tried to play a 5.1 .wav file it merely played the front left & right channels (no center left rear, right rear or sub) and ProLogic threw some ambience in the back. The 5.1 AAC file wouldn't even show up in the file browser.

IMHO if you're going to put a surround system in a $100K car why not do it right? At least make it so it can play an actual discreet 5.1 .wav file in actual 5.1 SURROUND? Some high-quality Apogee converters wouldn't hurt, either. Tesla is making a major statement with this wonderful vehicle—why not take it a step further?

And I'd also love to know who the "well known record producers" that consulted on this system were? Are they too embarrassed to let Tesla mention their names?

Mine is Bob Clearmountain

TSLAholic | April 8, 2014

Some people report that update 5.8 turns off Dolby Surround. Have you rechecked your settings after the update?

wkcalder | May 4, 2014

Just picked up my Model S two days ago. The only noticeable thing about my sound system is the fluctuation in volume which is sever. Seems like when slowing down or just taking foot off pedal the volume decreases noticeably. Then picks back up once accelerating. Anyone else have this issue? I have not seen any setting that would indicate that option (if one even wanted that option).

Bighorn | May 4, 2014

@wkcalder
Other cars have speed sensitive volume--Model S is not one of them as far as I know.

Lycanthrope P85 | May 8, 2014

Hey Bob - I imagine everyone on this forum has some music in their collection that you've either produced or mixed!

I've also tried to get surround working - mostly Steven Wilson mixes as 'mI a Prog Rock lover, but I had no luck. I put that down to ignorance on my part.

Given that the surround part is a myth, can you share your thoughts on the general aspects of the system and the settings you would recommend? I assume it's the upgrade that you've got? Personally I think it sounds pretty good, although the imaging and sound stage aren't great.

Cheers, Dave

AmpedRealtor | May 9, 2014

@ wkcalder,

Model S does not have speed sensitive volume. I'll bet you were listening to Slacker or another internet source, and the volume levels differed between songs. This is a common problem with Slacker and other services. I find that volume levels vary widely between songs, which is annoying.

Captain_Zap | May 9, 2014

@Lycanthrope

I'm a Steven Wilson fanatic. I have my 5.1 mixes in the car and I try them out with every update. Gosh, I wish I could get that dynamic music to play to its full potential in the car!

Lycanthrope P85 | May 28, 2014

Hey Cap - anyone who isn't a Steven Wilson fanatic, just hasn't heard him yet :-)

I had the pleasure to interview Steven on the Grace for Drowning tour: http://www.dprp.net/wp/interviews/?page_id=2502

He's a lovely bloke, but likes to talk a fair bit!

Eagerly looking forward to all his Yes remixes too - will be the nth time I buy those albums...

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