Originally Posted by Joeb427
It may sound better but wattage isn't everything when it comes to a great sound system.If that was the case the A8's 1400 watt Bang and Olufsen would blow away the 450 watt ML in a '13 LS 460.Why doesn't the flagship LS have a 835 watt unit?
Sure, commonsense tells that Wattage isn't everything in a hi-fi system, just like horsepower isn't everything in a car.
However, like horsepower in a car - the Wattage plays a major role in the hi-fi system.
Just ask 4GS owners how their 835 Watt system sounds better than their old 300 Watt system in the 3GS?
The current aging flagship LS was first released in 2007, so it's really long in the tooth with its 450 Watt system.
It's best to compare the current flagship 2007-14 4LS's 450 Watt system with the 2005-12 3GS's 300 Watt system.
With a model cycle of roughly 7 years, the next generation 5LS is roughly due some time next year in 2014, and it will usually have an even more powerful amplifier than the 4GS's current 835 Watt unit.
I wouldn't be surprised if the 5LS matched or exceeded the A8's 1400 Watt unit; you know how these manufacturers are?
Also remember that in the world of audio, Bang & Olufsen is more famous for its styling, than its fidelity.
Mark Levinson is famous for fidelity.
Mark Levinson is actually famous for the amplifier, and not the original source, like the digital radio and DVD player, nor the output speakers.
The source eg the digital radio and DVD player could possibly be from some Japanese supplier, especially Sony and Pioneer etc.
It was the Sony and Pioneer joint venture that brought us the DVD back in the 1990's.
Toyota typically uses Pioneer.
The speakers are possibly from some other company famous for speakers like Bowers and Wilkins, JBL etc, or could even be plain Pioneer?
Actually, the speakers used in Lexus cars are probably just basic speakers, because if they were really famous B&W speakers, or Kef speakers etc, Lexus would promote their hi fi as being amplified by Mark Levinson, and speakers by Bowers & Wilkins etc etc.
The Japanese are famous for producing a very clean signal, but the Japanese are not famous for the amplifier, nor the speakers.
Amps belong to Mark Levinson and a number of other companies including: Electrocompaniet, Krell, Classe, Denon, NAD, and Marantz etc.
Speakers belong to B&W, Kef, and dozens of other famous brands.
Mark Levinson is actually not famous for speakers.
Both Mark Levinson and Harmon Kardon are actually owned by the same owner - Harman Industries; ML specializes in hi end exotic audio, while HK specializes in lower end consumer audio.
British Bowers and Wilkins - famous for speakers, actually owns both Canadian Classe and Japanese Rotel; Classe is for hi end amps, while Rotel is for middle of the range amps.
Benz use Harman Kardon.
BM 5 Series base hi fi 205 Watts; while a Bang & Olufsen 1200 Watt system is optional.
Also with that Audi A8's massive 1400 Watt of power; is it a traditional Class AB analog amplifier that is large and heavyweight with a warm sound?
With 1400 Watts, the traditional Class AB analog amp would be massive in size and weight!
Or is that 1400 Watts the more recent digital switching Class D type amp, which is compact and lightweight, very power efficient and runs very cool, but it sounds "colder" and harsher etc?
I suspect the A8 has a digital switching Class D type amp, unless there is quite a huge box in the boot?
I haven't dealt with audio for a while, but if my memory is correct - Bang & Olufsen is one of the leading pioneers of the latest generation of digital switching Class D type compact efficient amplifiers?
Class D amplifiers do have their pros and cons.
Thus, there's power, and like you say, there's also fidelity to consider too, esp in the Audi A8's case.
Audiophiles often prefer the cleanest amplifiers, which are the old Class A [valve type] amps, which require 100% of the signal as the input.
The Class A amps are the largest, heaviest, most inefficient, hence run the warmest, but they give the very best sound.
Because Class A amps are so inefficient and run hot, they cannot produce much power at all.
Apparently they are great for Classical Music, but not for pop music like Beyonce singing the National Anthem.
However, the purest of audiophiles use them...