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Any factory audio systems out there better than Mark Levinson?

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Old 01-14-13, 12:52 PM   #1
watch37
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Default Any factory audio systems out there better than Mark Levinson?

I've seen similar posts in Club Lexus under other models (including the LX 470), but I thought I'd raise it separately in the LX 570 forum. I have say, I absolutely love the Mark Levinson system in my LX. I understand that the ML "Reference" Surround System is only available in the LX and LS, the two flagship models. The other Lexus models have the non-Reference system. Anyway, the system is amazing. Having just gone on a 27 hour road trip over Christmas break, I spent plenty of time listening to all types of music in my LX, mostly satellite radio and streaming through Pandora on my iPhone. Not the loudest or the bass-iest, but the sound quality is rich and oh-so-clear

Which made me wonder - is there a better factory system out there? The Harman Kardon Logic 7 system in my Mercedes E320 is only decent, at best. I've read reviews from various websites that say that Audi's Bang & OIufsen system and Jaguar's Bowers & Wilkins are awesome, but I've never had a chance to try them first hand.
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Old 01-14-13, 02:15 PM   #2
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I think the ML system in the LS is probably the best I have experienced (in the Lexus family). While I like the ML system in the 570 - I thought the system in the LS sounded better. For an SUV, I suspect the 570 is one of the top systems I have heard.

That said - I had a 2013 RX 350 loaner car over this past weekend and the sound system was wonderful.
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Old 01-14-13, 02:31 PM   #3
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I got in a 2009 Audi S8 the other day. It had their Bang & Olufsen sounds system with the motorized tweeters that raise out of the dash. I was kind of disappointed. I would say it was slightly better than the mid grade Pioneer Elite system out of an LS, but not as good as the Levinson. The owner said that stereo was around a $7000.00 option, MUUUCH more than the ML. I really don't think you can beat ML in an LS460
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Old 01-14-13, 07:47 PM   #4
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perhaps the acoustics in the LS, with its smaller cabin and quieter ride, is what makes the LS stereo superior to the LX. I imagine that the larger cavernous space in the LX poses problems from an acoustics standpoint.
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Old 01-15-13, 01:40 AM   #5
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I am not a true audiophile, but I believe the ML system in the LS is more or less equal to the top stereo systems as OEM in other makes - Bang and Olufson in the Audi A8/S8, Harmen Kohden in the MB S-Series, Logic 7 in the BMW 7-series, Bowers and Wilkins in the Jaguar XJ and Burmeister in the Porsche Panamera.
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Old 01-15-13, 04:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by watch37 View Post
perhaps the acoustics in the LS, with its smaller cabin and quieter ride, is what makes the LS stereo superior to the LX. I imagine that the larger cavernous space in the LX poses problems from an acoustics standpoint.
Certainly a factor
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Old 03-08-13, 06:20 AM   #7
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While the ML system in the LX is great, I do find it's not loud enough with the windows down and sunroof open. If traveling on the highway, its hardly audible at speed. With the windows up and sunroof closed, its fine. I haven't tried listening to CD's on the system, as I use the bluetooth feature and play music off my iPhone, so perhaps there is a limitation with BT. I'll have to try it to see if there's any difference.

Somehow though I feel there won't be. My instincts tell me the system is crystal clear because they limit the volume level and so there isn't much distortion. Just a hunch.

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Old 03-08-13, 06:47 AM   #8
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As nice as the ML is in a LS,the Bang & OIufsen system is a Audi A8 is the best.
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Old 03-08-13, 01:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LXdude View Post
While the ML system in the LX is great, I do find it's not loud enough with the windows down and sunroof open. If traveling on the highway, its hardly audible at speed. With the windows up and sunroof closed, its fine. I haven't tried listening to CD's on the system, as I use the bluetooth feature and play music off my iPhone, so perhaps there is a limitation with BT. I'll have to try it to see if there's any difference.

Somehow though I feel there won't be. My instincts tell me the system is crystal clear because they limit the volume level and so there isn't much distortion. Just a hunch.

cheers

Wael
I agree with you that the sound does not get super loud. I sometimes will play it at max level (I think it reaches 60), and although it's loud, it's not deafening-I-can't-stay-in-the-car-because-it's-too-loud, kind of loud. I haven't had a problem with this before, because I usually don't turn it way up.
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Old 03-09-13, 05:13 AM   #10
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"Volume at 60". Wow!

I thought I was wild at 45! But then that was with the windows rolled up! I can not remember even driving my LX with all the windows down and sunroof open, but I will today just to have the experience.

I have owned Benz, Range Rover and many Lexus and the ML system in the LX is still my favorite. Not just for the sheer volume and base but for it's "crystal clear" mid and high ranges which reproduces sounds that I can not even hear on other systems. I do not fully understand the electronics of the ML system but they have done a pretty good job in my opinion. I suspect the speakers are it's limiting factor.
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Old 03-11-13, 03:01 PM   #11
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I have an LX with the ML sound system and my dad has a 2012 A8 L with the B&O system. While the ML system is one of the best. The B&O system beats it with less distortion at higher volumes and clearer highs. They are pretty even with the lows.
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Old 05-08-13, 01:32 PM   #12
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I totally agree with all above but after i installed an Infinity Basslink, it made a huge change. Now there's some depth to the bass intensity.
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Old 06-12-13, 12:54 AM   #13
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I was in a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit that comes standard with a 19 speaker 825 watt HK system and I have to say it sounded better than any other manufacturers to date.
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Old 11-17-13, 08:44 PM   #14
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Default Jbl ms8

Thinking about installing this on my LX570 (to crank up a volume a bit) and keep factory sound alive, ML.

http://www.jbl.com/estore/jbl/us/pro...-8/MS-8_JBL_US

Is anyone had it installed?
Tx to all replied.
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Old 06-24-14, 08:34 PM   #15
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Today I returned my BMW 3 series w/ premium sound system and got into my RX with ML. The clarity on ML is indeed better however base is not as strong - it feels the music is missing something...

I was expecting a fuller concert room experience in RX but so far that's not the case. Then again this comment is based on bluetooth streaming and radio music. hopefully it would be different with USB or CD or else i'd be disappointed.

the radio sound quality of bmw is superior.
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Old 06-24-14, 08:34 PM
 
 
 
 
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