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A bit of an ML rant

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Old 05-04-12, 09:06 PM   #16
Red112fl
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I have a 2006 GS 300 with the Lexus "premium" base system. Switched out the stock front door speakers with 6.5" Infinity Kappa 6.29i's and put Dynamat (12" x 12") behind each speaker. Although the Kappas offer one of the highest Signal/Noise Ratio and frequency range available in "affordable" speakers, I still need to bring the volume up to 40+ to drive the speakers to my satisfaction, but there is now a very decent sound system in my car without having to spend $$$$ in upgrading the factory amp to something more powerful. I also bought speaker adapters on Ebay ($18) so that the installer didn't have to fabricate an attachment aparatus that might eventually rattle.

Overall, the switch provided a very significant improvement over the harsh, overly-sharp and distorted stock speakers. I've been upgrading stock speakers in every car I've owned since 1985. The Lexus premium system is the best stock system I've heard (provided once you replace the 6.5"'s in the front door.) I haven't done the rear doors or the dash tweeters yet, but I'm tempted just to see what further sound improvement, if any, I can create.

Pick your "speaker of choice" based on your musical tastes, add some vibration deadening sound material and you'll hear a noticeable difference. I did.
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Old 05-04-12, 09:52 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Red112fl View Post
I have a 2006 GS 300 with the Lexus "premium" base system. Switched out the stock front door speakers with 6.5" Infinity Kappa 6.29i's and put Dynamat (12" x 12") behind each speaker. Although the Kappas offer one of the highest Signal/Noise Ratio and frequency range available in "affordable" speakers, I still need to bring the volume up to 40+ to drive the speakers to my satisfaction, but there is now a very decent sound system in my car without having to spend $$$$ in upgrading the factory amp to something more powerful. I also bought speaker adapters on Ebay ($18) so that the installer didn't have to fabricate an attachment aparatus that might eventually rattle.

Overall, the switch provided a very significant improvement over the harsh, overly-sharp and distorted stock speakers. I've been upgrading stock speakers in every car I've owned since 1985. The Lexus premium system is the best stock system I've heard (provided once you replace the 6.5"'s in the front door.) I haven't done the rear doors or the dash tweeters yet, but I'm tempted just to see what further sound improvement, if any, I can create.

Pick your "speaker of choice" based on your musical tastes, add some vibration deadening sound material and you'll hear a noticeable difference. I did.
Interesting. Was it difficult to do?

I believe the amp with the ML system is more powerful than the stock amp. Does that make a difference in terms of whether you would see a noticeable improvement by upgrading the speakers?
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Old 05-04-12, 11:39 PM   #18
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I'm not a snob, really, and I agree it could be worse, however, the Nakamichi in my 99 was so perfectly balanced for my purposes (prilmarily FM radio). I guess I was spoiled.



Believe it or not, I actually think the base system sounds better than ML for my purposes. I think the base system lacks the power tha tthe ML system has, but so what, if the power is not usable, then I'd take the base system any day and just not turn it up so loud. The only reason I got ML is because I wanted a 430/460 and virtually all of these cars come with ML. I believe I saw one 430/460 in the 6 or so months I was looking that didn't have ML. I would happily swap out my speakers for the stock speakers if it would make a difference.



My thoughts exactly. And I'll take it a step further and say that it can't handle the mids either. I have my midrange turned down to the very bottom (-5) and it's bearable. If I turn it up to the middle setting (0), it sounds terrible.

e
Yeah, I agree that the O.E. system truly sounds better, in my ears, than the ML system.... My current setup (MB Quart components & 12in Sundown SD-12) takes a huge dump on my uncle's ML system.

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Interesting. Was it difficult to do?

I believe the amp with the ML system is more powerful than the stock amp. Does that make a difference in terms of whether you would see a noticeable improvement by upgrading the speakers?
It isn't difficult to install, you just need speaker adapters, or speaker baffles for your lexus. (I believe it's $50 for the fronts and the rears).

330 watt-ML system from my research, I believe the O.E. system is 350w? (correct me if i'm wrong here someone).

To further answer your question, a stronger amp doesn't necessarily make SQ sound better. It just makes the speakers have the ability to get louder.

To further make a comparison, Let's compare a Pyle (low end) 4-ch amplifier @ 350w RMS to say, a Tubed amp (very rare) rated @ 35w x 4 RMS. The tube amp would take a giant dump all over the pyle system, especially with the fact that it doesn't distort like a regular amp. So in other words, no, wattage does not give a better output but the components and THD, along with other factors in the ML amp gives it a better SQ than O.E. (or supposedly it does).

Also, if you DO plan to upgrade speakers, to get the PERFECT quality out of your system, you may need to buy something (SIMILAR) to a JL Cleansweep, it takes the signal in from the amplifier, and gives you the ability to RETUNE the system to the way your ears listen. All in all you're looking at possibly $1k-2k for a sub-par SQ system (this includes some sub-par midrange speakers, tweeters and the likes, along with amplifier, cleansweep and wiring...)

Hope this answered your questions and helped you!

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Old 05-05-12, 07:14 AM   #19
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I originally upgraded the front door speakers and tweeters in the dash on my stock non ML system. I had to do some minor re-wiring because the door speakers and tweeters are wired in parallel and how Lexus wired the system since my new components utilize crossover networks and the stock system does not. Also, as mentioned by others, you will need speaker adapters for the doors. The tweeters in the das are also a little work to install so if you are not very mechanically inclined or understand 12 volt electronics you should take your car to an audio shop.

The speakers and amplifier in the stock and ML systems are completely different. The key differences in the two are the ML system has a mid-range and a tweeter in the dash left and right, an additional mid in the rear for surround sound and the amplifier has two more channels and slightly cleaner. The speakers are also quite different in construction and nominal impedances.

I feel that the main issue with both systems are that the amps are not very good from a power stand point. I solved this by adding an AudioControl LCQ-1 to the factory amps front right, left and sub woofer channels and some aftermarket amps. I experimented with several configurations of amplifying all of the front channels, including the center and rears before realizing that amplifying the center and rear channels was not necessary to achieve well balanced sound with solid mid-bass, a strong center image with good left and right separation. I reconnected the center and rears back to the stock amplifier. I always felt that the stock system had too much center channel bias and putting good power to the sides solved this. I am running 95 watts rms to the front components and about 300 watts rms to the factory sub. Bear in mind that I am running very high end amplifiers and their total harmonic distortion at the rated wattage is .004, whereas the stock amps power is most likely at 10%. Power ratings mean nothing unless you are comparing apples to apples. The stock systems usable power ratings are much less than advertised, probably more like 20-30 watts per channel.

I am getting ready to remove the stock sub and build a box for my aftermarket sub because another thing that neither system is capable of is providing solid sub-bass from their 10" IB woofer. I think that Lexus geared the design of both systems to favor jazz or classical music. When I was in college I designed and built high-end competition systems and it has somehow remained a hobby of mine because every car I have ever purchased always seemed to be lacking something.

One last thing that I reccomend is Dynamatting the doors, door panels, trunk and rear deck. It made a nice difference to an already very quiet car. I also removed the vapor barriers in the doors and fabricated sheet metal in it's place because when I added the amplifiers the plastic vapor barriers would buzz on some music.
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Old 05-05-12, 09:04 AM   #20
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Thanks to both of the previous two posters for taking the time to write such detailed responses. I have to say, though, that this is so far beyond my understanding of how these things work. I'm really not asking for much. When I listen to the radio at a normal volume, I don't want to cringe. I don't want my passengers to cringe. I just want it to sound decent. It doesn't need to be incredible, just decent. It's strange because sometimes the ML does satisfy my ears according to this standard, but other times, depending on the type of song that's playing, it sounds just plain terrible (usually songs with busy midrange stuff).
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Old 05-05-12, 09:24 AM   #21
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If you're looking for just average, and nothing crazy?

Amazon Amazon

Buy two sets of that, that's about ....$260? Order speaker adapters (or get an audio guru to fabricate one for you). After that you just change out the whole system (front and rear).

I'd honestly get a professional installer to do all this as it's a bit of a PITA like a few members have said. That should be enough tweeter power and midbass power to ring your ears. I have the lower end version of the Premium series (discus) and it's more than enough SQ for me, I'm running off stock amplifier at the moment.
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Old 05-05-12, 09:26 AM   #22
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To bigblack06 -- how many times have you been to the dealer on this issue? What did they say? Did they replace anything to try to fix the problem? Just curious.

e
I have been to the dealer on this issue about four times, they replaced my door speakers and they replaced my subwoofer. They finally told me last month that my bass is set to loud so end result it’s probably the paper surrounding the subwoofer as to why I get that bad sound.
also I must say those who have not experienced these problems probably haven’t had an older GS with the ML system cause that system is a huge difference in the sound and quality.
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Old 05-11-12, 10:02 PM   #23
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I own a 06 GS and can say i love it considering it came stock. Only con is Sub rattles on certain songs that have TOO much bass. Other than that, it does its job.
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Old 05-12-12, 01:19 AM   #24
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This may be a little off topic but does any of your rearview mirrors shake / vibrate when listening to music that's is a little heavier on the base on a stock ML system? (treble: 0, mid: 0, base: +3). Volume is at around 23, just normal volume, nothing crazy. I just noticed it today, may be the warmer weather I'm not sure.
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Old 05-12-12, 02:55 AM   #25
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it's normal, our mirrors are not that strong for one. And two, the arch build of our roofs lets the bass notes move from the back to the front, if that makes any sense to you. With an aftermarket system, my rearview mirror looks like a massager.
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Old 09-06-12, 03:50 PM   #26
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In that case I feel better knowing that I have the non-ML 10 speaker system!
10 speakers???? The non ML has more speakers than the ML system?
On a side note, I think the BOSE in my 1997 Nissan Maxima was PHENOMINAL. It had awesome deep bass. Everyone always thought it was an aftermarket system with two 10 inches in the back. Sadly after 1998, the Bose in the newer Maxima's didn't sound as good.
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Old 09-06-12, 04:28 PM   #27
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I just bought my 06 GS430 and it has the ML system. I dont listen to the radio but use my Ipod instead. I'm extremely impressed with the sound quality. It by far is the best factory sound system i have heard. I wouldnt feel the same if i had bought the car new and paid 4k for that and the navi though
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Old 09-06-12, 06:28 PM   #28
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My ML sounds outstanding. It has some limits on songs with extremely deep bass when the system is blasting, but that is the exception, not the norm. I am very pleased with the ML system. Perhaps something is wrong with yours? I always get compliments on my stereo.
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Old 09-06-12, 10:10 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by bigblack06 View Post
The system can't handle the bass, and at times it seems as though its not made for the big boys. It does however sometimes deliver what you want good sound, the radio is always the worst I think I use MP3 player or CD and the quality is better not excellent but better than the radio. The subwoofer is paper and actually they are all paper, and there are speakers just that some rattle and some dont. I feel your pain as I have been to the dealer many times for this issue.
exactly.. no matter what name is on the system paper speakers wont deliver like aftermarket speakers will
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Old 09-07-12, 05:19 AM   #30
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I agree on the bass. I don't ever expect a factory system to compare to aftermarket when it comes to that. The ML has excellent midrange and highs making it very crisp. I listen to mostly
Electronic and techno with vocals and this system delivers for me
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Old 09-07-12, 05:19 AM
 
 
 
 
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