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mannye

Stereo Upgrade Guide?

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Hello everybody! I own a 2004 LS "Sport Suspension" (It's like an Ultra without the suede headliner and massage) I've seen all the sub repair threads but I'm surprised there isn't a general upgrade guide for the LS 04-06.

Many of you will say that's because the ML system is so good it needs no upgrades, and I would agree unless you like to listen to rock, rap or top 40 or even Vivaldi's 4 seasons!

Heaven forbid you should open a window! (ok.. maybe that's asking too much of a stock system)

I find that when I want to crank it up the system can sound strained and "shouty" and that certain songs could use a little more "punch" in the bass and clarity in the mids. Let's say I'm in the mood for some rap (which happens from time to time) or want to crank up the Rammstien, is there a certain combo of amp/speaker/sub that can be used to upgrade the stockers as a unit?

I know that ML spent hundreds of hours designing the system, but I bet most of that was placement. Plus I would also bet that if you asked the designers, they would have plenty to say about the compromises a mass-production stereo has to make to be cost effective.

Ideas? I'm willing to be a guinea pig for design!

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I would try asking the question on Clublexus.com as they seem to me more into over boosting the volume so you can hear it even if

you're going 80 + mph with all the windows down and yet you feel you are center stage.

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There is not a great deal of audio chatter here and the suggestion re; Club Lexus might be helpful, I don't know-I haven't hung around there much.

Designing and tuning a system for a car is one of the most difficult jobs there is for portable audio. The challenges of the car cabin environment are legion and vary from one model to another within a car line. I have not been a fan of the ML and felt for a long time that it was spec-ed. for pretty much middle of the road listening and did not respond well to overly demanding programing such as your hip-hop, metal, etc. I have had long conversations with the audio expert at my Lexus dealer about this subject and he points out that one of the major weakness of the system is the lack of a multi-channel equalizer. To have only a treble, mid, and bass EQ is crazy.

The problem with trying to tweak or upgrade the system is the complex crossover network and balance that connects everything and the matched speakers.

I would like to hear what you come up with.

Paul

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There is not a great deal of audio chatter here and the suggestion re; Club Lexus might be helpful, I don't know-I haven't hung around there much.

Designing and tuning a system for a car is one of the most difficult jobs there is for portable audio. The challenges of the car cabin environment are legion and vary from one model to another within a car line. I have not been a fan of the ML and felt for a long time that it was spec-ed. for pretty much middle of the road listening and did not respond well to overly demanding programing such as your hip-hop, metal, etc. I have had long conversations with the audio expert at my Lexus dealer about this subject and he points out that one of the major weakness of the system is the lack of a multi-channel equalizer. To have only a treble, mid, and bass EQ is crazy.

The problem with trying to tweak or upgrade the system is the complex crossover network and balance that connects everything and the matched speakers.

I would like to hear what you come up with.

Paul

Thanks for the response! Don't get me wrong, the system does sound good at low to moderate levels, but only with certain music like classic rock and folk music. With metal and hio hop it falls flat a most any level, and with classical it just BLOWS IMHO. I feel that just adding better amps would go a long way to improving things, but that complicated crossover network and what I am sure are proprietary specs on the OEM amps would make that difficult unless one spent a lot of money to research and build a system that would integrate itself.

As a crazy audiophile with an extensive HT setup and seperate analog stereo rig, I tend to go a little overboard but I really think that even a regular listener can pick up on the limitations of the ML system. I will report back when (if?) I find a way to improve the sound without resorting to tearing the whole thing out.

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I would try asking the question on Clublexus.com as they seem to me more into over boosting the volume so you can hear it even if

you're going 80 + mph with all the windows down and yet you feel you are center stage.

It's not about that (ok maybe a little) :) It's about getting the system to sound good at ALL levels. I think the system, while really well designed in speaker placement, imaging and matching, is lacking the clarity needed to be called exceptional at any volume. As I said in the previous post, it's OK with folk and classic rock (60's and 70's) I was hoping to modify whatever the weak link might be (my money is on the amps) without having to tear out the entire system and go through the Herculian task of installing something new.

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