I am in the same boat here, no distortion even with volume cranked in the mid 50s, at +3 bass. It's possible that, like the tires, Lexus would have multiple source manufacturers for speakers/subs and you maybe onto something with the prevalence of this issue among the 300h owners.
I believe this could be the luck of the draw to an extent, based on the quality of the components used. I don't believe they use very strict manufacturing tolerances in any of the stuff in this system -- could explain why distortion occurs in the 40s for some and in the 50s for others.
I had my subwoofer replaced in 2010, and I was appalled when they showed me the one they took out -- it had to be the flimsiest, cheapest-looking speaker I've ever seen in a car! The car environment is certainly hard on components, and virtually all high-end aftermarket car speakers are visibly more robust than drivers meant for indoor use. It was obvious to me that corners were cut to deliver this sound system at a particular price point.
The same goes for the electronics. This is not top-shelf audiophile stuff! If you search the Audio, Video, Security & Electronics subforum, you'll learn that the ML has always had issues.
This ad is not displayed to registered members. Register your free account today and become a member on Club Lexus!
Sorry Elliot, unfortunately not to be able to listen to the ML to its fullest is not good enough for me. I like my music and I like it to sound good in any volume setting. I had an Audi and I could crank it to the fullest volume setting and it sounded amazing. That is what I expected from Mark Levinson system high end system should sound that way no limitation to the volume setting...Sorry that is my opinion.
[I]While the ML system is certainly not perfect or the best one out there in a vehicle, I would never trade it for the standard system.
Lexus stock audio systems started to nose dive around 2000 - 2001. The stock system in my '99 ES was simply perfect, if just a bit underpowered. I still miss it, except when I play my re-equalized DTS-CDs on my ML.
Every time I get a loaner at my Lexus dealer, I can't believe how bad the stock system is. I think it's an embarrassment for a purported luxury brand.
But I suppose the bar isn't set as high as it once was -- most people have demonstrated that they're more than happy with the compressed swill of MP3s and satellite radio, so why should Lexus put any more resources into something that the market has largely demonstrated that it doesn't want?
Music4ever, I don't disagree with you, but the vehicle comes with two choices, the standard system or the ML. Given those two choices, the ML is the obvious choice for someone who wants the best sound possible from what's available. Just like some people choose to change the wheels on their car, we can choose to change the speakers and amplifier. Or not.
Again, as I mentioned previously, how the audio's system is set up with regard to treble, mid tones, and bass as well as the balance can have a dramatic effect on the systems performance. I have had the car since January and have only now come up with a set up that I am comfortable with. Would I prefer the system work 100% the way you describe? Absolutely! I have considered upgrading the amplifier and subwoofer at my expense. Frankly, I don't expect Lexus to correct this other than to lower the power output to the subwoofer through the amplifier.
Elliot, I respect your comment, at the end of the day my expectation were high for a premium system and I always heard great thing about ML system. I guess the other thing Lexus customer service has been really bad on this concern, I am not use to that from a luxury car company. It is going on the forth week and I got one phone call back and a promise to call back and I am still waiting and when I call; I get the usual this is an isolated issue and they are looking into it. By the threads on this site their is a quite a bit of people complaining cannot be that isolated.
By the threads on this site their is a quite a bit of people complaining cannot be that isolated.
I'm sure this is extremely isolated. Judging by my area's stock, I would say about only 1 in 10 even come with the ML system. The majority of those people that buy, probably don't play it over conversation levels, if even that. Then there are the ones, like me, that don't have the issue. That leaves a very small number of people that have it, or know they do. You can't use sites like this to base the number of complains there are. Heck, if that were the case, I would think Lexus was at the bottom of the reliability list, and not at the top. Just look around at all the various threads.
Mike, you are right not everyone will listen to music loud or even with a lot of base, I am one of the people or customers that do like their music loud and with lots of base. I do not think a radio system is going to effect the reliability of a vehicle not sure why you lump that in. But at the end of the day if 1 in 10 have an issue with the ML system or I should say the 2013 Lexus ES sold with the ML system that should be an alert to Lexus. As for complaining on these sites that is why they are here for to see if other people are having the same issue and to try to see if their is a resolution or get together to find one. Look through every forum there and you will see good comments and bad ones. I understand you are sticking up for Lexus and that is your prority to do so, just like the rest of us if we chose to complain to get something resolved then that is our prerogative. I have google different sites and have seen other people complaining about this issue and they are not on this site. Here is an example. My biggest beef right now is Lexus plays stupid that they know nothing, and having my dearship telling me yes we hear the problem but not put the volume over 39 and it will sound okay. what...really... that is like going to get a pizza and saying you want extra cheese and they say no it will not taste good, .http://www.edmunds.com/lexus/es-300h...r-reviews.html
Absolutely not, but who really gets these surveys, I change vehicle every two to three years and I have never gotten one of the JD power surveys and who is to say it is accurate. It must depend on how many people fill it out and are they having issues. Don't get me wrong I do like the vehicle I think Lexus did a good job, but in my case I love to listen to music and this is the worst sound I have ever had from all my vehicles. At the end of the day yes, I will be pissed when Lexus as a corporation gives me bull crap they know nothing. The worst part when I told my dealership I would change the speaker, they said there goes your warranty and if you have electrical problem I am S.O.L.
Like they say, you learn from your mistakes. But don't get me wrong I will continue to try to get a hold of Lexus for some kind of improvement on the system and i do think everyone else should as well.I think Lexus has to go back to their roots and not cheap out on certain things. I had a 1992 SC 400 when it first came out it was a great car and the system was really good.
I also have been calling Lexus ever second day and finally they called yesterday, and want me to take the vehicle to a dealership so the whole system can be looked at. I made it very clear that it is unacceptable and their i would not compromise or give up on this. They said they would keep the vehicle for a few days to diagnose and for me to provide the music cd's that are causing the issue. Now I just have to wait for Lexus to setup the appointment with the dealership. I will update if anything.
As a wiseman once said
A compromise is a deal in which two people get what neither of them wanted.
So why Settle for what you do not want..........