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Ailing Nakamichi


Bob helms
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I'm new to this forum. I tied posting this elsewhere but I think I should have started a new topic so here is my second attempt. I own a 96 LS400, bought it new. I'm hearing distortion from the Lexus/Nakamichi audio system. I plan on keeping this car for the foreseeable future. I don't have a clue where to start on fixing this distortion other than take it to the dealer. I'm thinking that there are aftermarket systems and that I should investigate them before spending money at the Lexus store. Anyone else been down this road before? TIA for any and all advice / opinions.

Bob Helms

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I'm new to this forum. I tied posting this elsewhere but I think I should have started a new topic so here is my second attempt. I own a 96 LS400, bought it new. I'm hearing distortion from the Lexus/Nakamichi audio system. I plan on keeping this car for the foreseeable future. I don't have a clue where to start on fixing this distortion other than take it to the dealer. I'm thinking that there are aftermarket systems and that I should investigate them before spending money at the Lexus store. Anyone else been down this road before? TIA for any and all advice / opinions.

Bob Helms

I'm not very familar with the Nakamichi units, but there is a great deal of information available on this site. It's a very common question and I would suggest doing a search to find some information to get you started. I bet there will be others who will chime in here.

Another resource is a member named "dcfish". He often has whole units and parts for Nakamichi and Pioneer. PM him for help. Aftermarket is also a popular way to go as long as you don't mind loosing the stock look.

Paul

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Some years ago I dealt with Car Stereo Repair in Florida - at least I think that's their name. Very good people. They'll fix the stock unit at low price. Phone them up anyways and tell them the problem.

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Bob, the first thing to rule out in a distortion situation is the speakers. With heat, moisture and age, the cone material can degrade significantly. You might try to further troubleshoot by selecting the balance to the rear/right/left and front/right/left, tremble/bass, hi/lo volume, etc....all combinations thereof. It is very common to have low frequency distortion(bass) in the rear speakers. It might be the stereo amp itself but first rule out the speakers and bad connection(s).

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I'll put my $ on the amp, Common issue. The location of the amp isn't the greatest, It is in the rear lower quarter on the passenger side where it usually gets wet because of bad trunk seal, Antenna seal is going south or the drain tube isn't lined up. All leading to a wet/moist conditions. Sooner or later something has to give.

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I'll put my $ on the amp, Common issue. The location of the amp isn't the greatest, It is in the rear lower quarter on the passenger side where it usually gets wet because of bad trunk seal, Antenna seal is going south or the drain tube isn't lined up. All leading to a wet/moist conditions. Sooner or later something has to give.

The amplifier for both the Nakamichi and Pioneer audio systems are under the front passenger seat in the 95-00 LS400. dcfish must have been thinking about his GS.

By all means follow Landar's advice and maybe contact "Bob" at Car Stereo Repair in Florida; http://www.carstereohelp.com/lexus.htm They fixed the Nak in my 00 LS a few years ago but I think they no longer repair most Nak issues due to a lack of available parts.

When the right channel of my Nak became distorted and finally quit working entirely, I assumed it was an amplifier problem. But when I plugged my Nak amplifier into the Nak system of a friend's 99 LS400, my amp worked perfectly. I can't remember if I sent the amp with the head unit, but Car Stereo Repair found that the problem was a loose connection at the balance control in the head unit. They resoldered the balance control and my Nak system has worked fine ever since.

Ideally, it would be great if you could test your amplifier in another 95-97 LS400 with Nakamichi. The 98-00 LS400 amplifier can be easily removed without removing the passenger seat but I don't know if that is possible in a 95-97 LS400. When I tested my 00 LS Nak amp in my friends 99 LS, it was a matter of removing the amp cover in his car, unplugging the connectors from his amp, and then plugging the connectors into my amp which I laid on the back floor. There was plenty of cable length, so I did not have to unbolt/remove my friend's amp to test mine.

But, of course, it could be something else like the speakers ... but all the speakers aren't going to fail at once.

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