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Mark & Levinson Rear Woofer


akhawaja
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Hi. I'm new to this forum. I'm all the way residing in Saudi Arabia and has recently purchased 2007 ES 350. Didn't know where to come so joined you guys! so welcome me...everyone clap clap. thank you. Now, lets get started...

Sound quality of the car is decent. I gave my car fro service here and they gave a me a 2006 GS300 which also has M&L sound system and it rocks big time!! Is it becuase it's a GS? OR it doesn't give that bass punch in my '07 ES for some reason. I'm thinking of changing my sub woofer. any comments?

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Hi. I'm new to this forum. I'm all the way residing in Saudi Arabia and has recently purchased 2007 ES 350. Didn't know where to come so joined you guys! so welcome me...everyone clap clap. thank you. Now, lets get started...

Sound quality of the car is decent. I gave my car fro service here and they gave a me a 2006 GS300 which also has M&L sound system and it rocks big time!! Is it becuase it's a GS? OR it doesn't give that bass punch in my '07 ES for some reason. I'm thinking of changing my sub woofer. any comments?

I have the ML package and I can tell you it's the best automobile stereo experience I've ever had, including bass. I have a particular CD that has a pounding bass that I never heard on my home entertainment system but it absolutely vibrates through me in my ES 350. Perhaps a manual adjustment. BTW, does the NAV in your car display Saudi maps and location content? Just wondering.

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Hi. I'm new to this forum. I'm all the way residing in Saudi Arabia and has recently purchased 2007 ES 350. Didn't know where to come so joined you guys! so welcome me...everyone clap clap. thank you. Now, lets get started...

Sound quality of the car is decent. I gave my car fro service here and they gave a me a 2006 GS300 which also has M&L sound system and it rocks big time!! Is it becuase it's a GS? OR it doesn't give that bass punch in my '07 ES for some reason. I'm thinking of changing my sub woofer. any comments?

I have the ML package and I can tell you it's the best automobile stereo experience I've ever had, including bass. I have a particular CD that has a pounding bass that I never heard on my home entertainment system but it absolutely vibrates through me in my ES 350. Perhaps a manual adjustment. BTW, does the NAV in your car display Saudi maps and location content? Just wondering.

I seem to have the same problem!! My music sounds flat and dull, especially at lower sound levels. I was thinking I would try to compare my car with another ML system to see if there is a problem and then have the dealer run a diagnostic. I guess thats not so easy to do in Saudi Arabia?!? Would swapping out the subwoofer correct the problem? My Bose system in my old Maxima was much better.

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Give yourself some time to get used to it. Bose systems are much bassier, rock and roll kind of systems. The ML is refined and subtle and is designed for clarity and harmonics instead of loudness.

Yes. The GPS system in Saudi Arabia covers all Gulf countries i.e. Kuwait, Qatar, Dubai, Bahrain, Saudia and Oman. So when i hit the DEST button it actually asks me the country to goto :-) pretty neat!

People have lots of misconceptions about Saudi Arabia. We do have stores like Best buy, THE WIZ, circuit city. etc. So i can go and get my sub woofers tested, changed etc no problemo!

The volume when it reaches till ot upto 40 or 45, sounds the best! a little more than that... it does loose the bass and the treble and other mid range goes up. Elsewise the stereo is great but not exactly what i hear in 2006 GS MS thats for sure!

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Hi to AKHAWAJA and the group.

I agree that the ML system is not the Bose system that I had in my Nissan Maxima. The system is more neutral in terms of balance. If you really want bass check out the new Gwen Stefani CD and play it at about 40-45-50. I agree that the system sounds better at the louder settings; I like it loud and full. I have to set the level higher for the iPod (I use the VaisTech interface) than the CD/DVD or Radio.

Also, I know this sounds dumb but the ASL must be ON. I have the ASL on, Surround on, and tone controls in the middle settings. The bass appears richer and fuller. I also think that it takes 7500 miles for the system to break in fully and the speakers to loosen up (just my opinion). It could be me getting acclimated to the ML system.

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I'm like you, I can appreciate the quality of the ML when listening to something instrumental or something along the lines of Andrea Bochelli etc, but most of what I listen to is country, soft rock, etc and a Bose system just sounds a lot stronger to me. I drove an Infiniti M45 with a Bose surround system and it was SO much stronger than the ML for the music I like.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm like you, I can appreciate the quality of the ML when listening to something instrumental or something along the lines of Andrea Bochelli etc, but most of what I listen to is country, soft rock, etc and a Bose system just sounds a lot stronger to me. I drove an Infiniti M45 with a Bose surround system and it was SO much stronger than the ML for the music I like.

yes, i miss my Bose!!! would swapping out the subwoofer for a Bose subwoofer help at all? I've been contemplating looking into it. Or is it more dependent on the bass output from the receiver / amp?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Even with the Bass all the way up its still not nearly as bass-y as a Bose system, which its not designed to be.

True........The bass frequencies in the ML System are excellent! They are not boomy like some of the manufacturers installed premium systems. What some people think about bass is actually mid-bass which gives the sound a bass-y sound. In other words, the engineers chose an excellent crossover frequency between low bass and mid-bass. In my estimation this is much more natural sounding then the boom, boom sound of other systems. The ML system does NOT lack bass!! I have checked the frequency response with a calibrated test disc and sound level DB meter and found it to be flat from plus ot minus 2 DB from 25 hertz to 15,000 hertz. Pretty good I would say!! ;)

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I agree with you, but for most American tastes I'd venture a Bose system has more the sound people are used to, as did the old Nakamichi Lexus systems.

I just get the feeling the quality of the ML system is lost on me, and a lot of other people.

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I agree with you, but for most American tastes I'd venture a Bose system has more the sound people are used to, as did the old Nakamichi Lexus systems.

I just get the feeling the quality of the ML system is lost on me, and a lot of other people.

Maybe so, but accurate sound is what it's all about. This is the whole concept of why people spend large amounts of $$$ for the best quality sound. High quality doesn't come cheap in any areas. If it did, then there would be no need for a Rolls Royce, or a Bosch appliance, or Tiffany..........if you get my drift. LOL

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Maybe so, but accurate sound is what it's all about. This is the whole concept of why people spend large amounts of $$$ for the best quality sound. High quality doesn't come cheap in any areas. If it did, then there would be no need for a Rolls Royce, or a Bosch appliance, or Tiffany..........if you get my drift. LOL

I'm struggling a bit with the ML system. My issue is that it doesn't appear that the crossovers are set up properly on the system. If I put the bass at anywhere more than one-click to the right of flat and turn the volume up, the front speakers sound like they're going to explode. You shouldn't have to fade the sound to the rear for the system to compensate for bass getting to speakers where it doesn't belong, and i shouldn't be limited in the amount I turn up the bass in a system that is properly set up. We have an '03 FX35 with the Bose system and it takes a lot less tweaking to get good sound out of it, even when I'm listening to jazz and I've got the bass perfectly flat. I've never had any of those speakers complain about anything I put into them.

My 2 cents.

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Do not turn the bass up too much in the ML system - I played some hip hop tunes and it busted my rear woofer. Sound level 35, bass (2nd bar from right)...

Lexus were nice enough to replace it free of charge though.....but I had to wait some time for parts. BTW, if your rear woofer busts, it causes a rattle at the back as well....

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  • 1 year later...
Do not turn the bass up too much in the ML system - I played some hip hop tunes and it busted my rear woofer. Sound level 35, bass (2nd bar from right)...

Lexus were nice enough to replace it free of charge though.....but I had to wait some time for parts. BTW, if your rear woofer busts, it causes a rattle at the back as well....

I have been wondering that myself! I have the mark levinson stereo also and for a while now there has been a profound rattle in the back, not all the time but it has gotten worse over time. when I turn up the sub in the back and play hip hop tunes, the woofer sounds like it's going to explode, it's all distorted and stuff but idk if it's blown. I was going to take it by lexus also and see what they could do. Does anyone have any insight on this problem of mine? I also don't want to be putting aftermarket in!

also I am having a lot of problems with my driver and passenger door panels rattling to no end. the speakers sound amazing but now the doors are rattling every time strong bass is applied. I wouldn't expect a car that cost 44,000 dollars to be having so much rattling with the stereo.

What should I do??? Please help!

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  • 2 weeks later...
Do not turn the bass up too much in the ML system - I played some hip hop tunes and it busted my rear woofer. Sound level 35, bass (2nd bar from right)...

Lexus were nice enough to replace it free of charge though.....but I had to wait some time for parts. BTW, if your rear woofer busts, it causes a rattle at the back as well....

I have been wondering that myself! I have the mark levinson stereo also and for a while now there has been a profound rattle in the back, not all the time but it has gotten worse over time. when I turn up the sub in the back and play hip hop tunes, the woofer sounds like it's going to explode, it's all distorted and stuff but idk if it's blown. I was going to take it by lexus also and see what they could do. Does anyone have any insight on this problem of mine? I also don't want to be putting aftermarket in!

also I am having a lot of problems with my driver and passenger door panels rattling to no end. the speakers sound amazing but now the doors are rattling every time strong bass is applied. I wouldn't expect a car that cost 44,000 dollars to be having so much rattling with the stereo.

What should I do??? Please help!

saabkyle04

I just posted a new topic on the same thing. I'm seriously considering replacing my sub with aftermarket

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  • 2 weeks later...

My 2008 ES is a week old. I can't imagine anyone wanting deeper cleaner bass than one gets with the ML. I usually run bass at -2 bars. It sounds incredible set to flat but I fear blowing the sub at high volume. If the Bose has any more rich bass than the ML I think I would find it very annoying and artificial. I absolutely love the ML, and I spend much of my work day in high-end recoding studios and sound design stages.

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Sound quality is one of the most subjective issues you can discuss. If it sounds good to you, then leave it alone. I've listened to a good number of the audio systems in the ES models, and strangely enough, have always found the stock sytem to sound better than the ML. With the 350 (07-08), the ML will play louder without distorting than stock, but at the sweet spot of each (clearest sound, best dynamic range and stereo separation), the stock system noses it out. That being said, they are both sub-par to what I would expect to hear in a lexus. The bass is almost non-existent in both (even discounting my preference for louder bass), and their sweet spot is in a very narrow range of volume. My 97 ES sounds much better than either of these newer offerings, (also with a narrow sweet spot, but wider than these two), and it's the stock radio. The new stock radio gets ok around half volume with a strong dr disc, and peters out around 2/3 volume, at which point the upper mids 3-5khz start screeching (not distorting, just too loud). The ML also gets better around half volume, and can crank up louder before the mid-highs 9-12khz begin doing the same. The problem could be somewhat related to the actual drivers and placements, but a much bigger problem lies in the head units themselves. Lexus engineers (as is the case with most car manufacturers) designed these head units to appeal to a very large target group, and built a sound system that is more unlikely to aggravate many, while less likely to please most audiophiles, (a much smaller target crowd). To that end, stereo separation is sacrificed at the lower volumes in favor of lower noise levels when playing the radio or tape, and dynamic range is cut at those same levels to promote a 'smoother sound'. Anybody claiming a flat frequency response across the volume spectrum in any stock radio needs to fix their RTA, scope, or whatever other piece of equipment they used to measure. None of them are flat, not one.

There are a few pieces of aftermarket equipment that deal specifically with this issue, while allowing you to retain your stock head unit, but be warned. Most require aftermarket amplifiers, and most require a decent understanding of audiophile equipment if you plan to self-install.

To get back to the original question posed in this thread, yes you should replace the sub if you aren't getting enough bass. You can try replacing the driver itself, but that will only give you an incremental improvement at best since you are dealing with an infinite baffle behind a rather small driver. A more convincing solution will involve a box with a pair of 10 or 12 inch subs and an amp to drive them. Hope this helps.

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Ok, so I don't get a lot of time in this car since it's my wife's, but I finally managed to find the sweet spot in the sound system tonight. I'd been having issues with what seemed to be a bad crossover setup - the speakers sounding like they were going to explode at higher volumes, having to fade the sound to the rear and turn down the bass. So I was fooling around with it tonight, turned off both the surround and the ASL, set the treble one click from max and both mid and bass two clicks from max, and suddenly I had great sound. Still not comparable to the Bose in our FX, but definitely enjoyable. I think the main culprit was the Surround setting. I'll never push that button again, at least not for straight stereo sources.

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Ok, so I don't get a lot of time in this car since it's my wife's, but I finally managed to find the sweet spot in the sound system tonight. I'd been having issues with what seemed to be a bad crossover setup - the speakers sounding like they were going to explode at higher volumes, having to fade the sound to the rear and turn down the bass. So I was fooling around with it tonight, turned off both the surround and the ASL, set the treble one click from max and both mid and bass two clicks from max, and suddenly I had great sound. Still not comparable to the Bose in our FX, but definitely enjoyable. I think the main culprit was the Surround setting. I'll never push that button again, at least not for straight stereo sources.

I am not an expert in this by any means, but what you say makes a lot of sense. In my home theater, which is set for surround sound for the TV, if I want to play music, it is not very good. I have to turn the Surround Sound off. Then it will direct the music to the left and right speakers as opposed to trying to process signals that were not meant to be in surround sound and mainly playing in the center channel. So, turn surround sound off unless you are watching a movie...

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You make a great point. The ES comes with surround sound enabled by default. This is equivalent to home theater mode, but for regular stereo sources there is no DD audio stream. So, the system (in surround mode) defaults to a Dolby Pro logic-style algorithm. It will find any of the normal out of phase audio on the standard music CD and send it to the rear speakers. This gives a reasonable ambiance to the music. The bad part is that it also sends all of the bass to the subwoofer. In theater mode it's expecting lots of sub-bass effects at high volume and the crossover is enabled to save the smaller speakers from being damaged by the extended bass range.

The result is that subwoofers are not particularly good for music. Usually the kick drum is the only instrument that makes it fully to the subwoofer, but bass guitar and acoustic bass isn't low enough in frequency (except for the very lowest pedal tones) to make it to the subwoofer so it tends to "fall between the cracks." Most of it is not going to the subwoofer, and the smaller speakers are filtered to not pass the bass.

So your solution is correct. Turn off surround when listening to standard music CDs. The bass will suddenly tighten up and sound much more musical and accurate as the mid-bass is now making it to the rest of the speaker system (other than the tweeters of course) and the subwoofer will still be active for any very low frequencies like the kick drum.

I made the same mistake when I first got my ES. Tons of very low kick drum, but a complete lack of definition in the bass guitar. Switching off surround made all the difference, and now I love the ML system.

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Ok, so I don't get a lot of time in this car since it's my wife's, but I finally managed to find the sweet spot in the sound system tonight. I'd been having issues with what seemed to be a bad crossover setup - the speakers sounding like they were going to explode at higher volumes, having to fade the sound to the rear and turn down the bass. So I was fooling around with it tonight, turned off both the surround and the ASL, set the treble one click from max and both mid and bass two clicks from max, and suddenly I had great sound. Still not comparable to the Bose in our FX, but definitely enjoyable. I think the main culprit was the Surround setting. I'll never push that button again, at least not for straight stereo sources.

I am not an expert in this by any means, but what you say makes a lot of sense. In my home theater, which is set for surround sound for the TV, if I want to play music, it is not very good. I have to turn the Surround Sound off. Then it will direct the music to the left and right speakers as opposed to trying to process signals that were not meant to be in surround sound and mainly playing in the center channel. So, turn surround sound off unless you are watching a movie...

The settings for surround sound and asl are confusing to me. Is "surround" on when the "Off" is white and the "On" (with blue outline) is set - or - is it the reverse

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The settings for surround sound and asl are confusing to me. Is "surround" on when the "Off" is white and the "On" (with blue outline) is set - or - is it the reverse

Don't have the car with me now, but if I recall the buttons are white when they're selected. And since it's touchsreen, it's whichever state it has when you touch it, they don't toggle.

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