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Old 04-22-13, 02:42 PM   #1
laundrylst
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Default Letter to 4th Generation RX Designers

I traded my 2004 RX 330 (Bamboo Pearl, Ivory with Premium Package) for a 2012 (Matador Red Mica with Comfort Package, Premium Package, 12 Speaker Premium Audio, Navigation System, Park Assist) because I wanted updated technology and grew tired of waiting for the fourth generation. My husband made me purchase off the lot instead of ordering from factory because our goal is to factory order a fourth generation. However, Lexus has some work to do to make me a three-peat buyer. I hope Lexus engineers monitor this board.

Here are my thoughts after trading up.

Improvements I Like in 2012 (not in any particular order)

1) Driver’s side water bottle holder (I don’t feel like I’m going to break it off at a moment’s notice)
2) Driver exit assist
3) Less intrusive rear-wheels in cargo hold
4) Added door cupholders on all four doors
5) AFS and Intelligent High Beams
6) Smart Key access
7) Parking assist
8) Ability to order paint protection film and door guards from factory
9) Smoother transmission
10) Back-up monitor


Items That Are Hugely Disappointing in 2012 (not in any particular order)

1) Inability to store rear cargo cover in the vehicle plus overall lack of hidden storage
2) Sound system – my non-ML 2004 audio was a million times better than the non-ML 12 speaker premium audio on my 2012. Satellite radio cuts out in downtown areas (my MB C-class and MB SLK satellite radios have no problem keeping a signal in downtown areas)
3) Lack of lighted door sills – my plain-Jane 2004 premium package had lighted sills on all four doors. I should not have to buy the Luxury package to get this feature
4) Seat comfort – my 2004 seats were far more comfortable (although I will admit that Lexus is still more comfortable than comparable MB and BMW)
5) Location of clock – I can barely see it when the gear shift is in drive. If temp can be displayed in the dash, I don’t see why the time can’t also be displayed there
6) Dash board color – I wanted parchment interior because I want the vehicle to feel bright even on cloudy days. So what’s with the dark dash on the premium package? My 2004 had ivory interior. Yes, the dash was darker than the seats, but it was nowhere near as dark as the one in the 2012.
7) Heated seats – honestly, I can barely tell the seats are warm on the hottest setting. My 2004 heated seats were fantastic and I miss them greatly.
8) Center console configuration – honestly, that small cubby hole under the gear shift is difficult to use and I practically have to crawl on the floor to use the outlet hidden in there. While I applaud the larger covered center storage bin, it is a bit like a cave (needs better lighting). I also don’t like having to lift the storage cover to retrieve my parking key.
9) Loss of captain chair arm rest. I used the arm rest in the 2004 EVERY SINGLE DAY. Now, I don’t have an arm rest because the center console lid height doesn’t adjust.
10) Loss of steering wheel angle – my 2004 gave me the ability to tilt the top of the wheel slightly back from the bottom of the wheel. 2012 doesn’t have the same angle.
11) Overall ride is much rougher than the 2004 (and yes, my tire pressure is correctly set)
12) The rear bumper protector is crap. On the 2004, the black bumper guard went all the way to the edge of the top of the bumper. The 2012 is half the size. I already have a small ding in the bumper that wouldn’t be there if the guard had extended to the spot where it is located on the 2004


Improvements I Want to See in Fourth Generation (not in any particular order)

1) More hidden cargo storage, including place to store cargo cover (the inability to store the cargo cover in the vehicle ranks high on my list of disappointments with the third generation).
2) Better navigation – make it more like a TomTom, which accurately provides arrival times. This “setting the speed” option is ridiculous. My dealer told me Lexus wants to eliminate navigation all together in favor of people using their smartphones. Not only is this dangerous on the distracted driving front, not everyone owns a smartphone and/or wants to use precious data for navigation. Don’t forget the age of your market segment.
3) Seat comfort – the early second generation seats were far more comfortable than those in the 2012.
4) Better heated seats – return to the heat levels of the 2004, PLEASE!
5) Heated rear seats – If Kia can make this an option, I don’t understand why this is so difficult for Lexus to accomplish
6) Massage option for front seats
7) Power plug for rear seat passengers (located under the center console vents, perhaps).
8) Lighted door sills integrated in all four doors in the PREMIUM package
9) Improved satellite radio antenna (see my comment above regarding reception)
10) Return of 6-disc in-dash CD player – don’t forget the age of your market segment (not everyone wants to stream from their phones). Further, CD audio is far superior to compressed MP3 audio. If the audio system refuses to play .wav files, then a 6 disc changer is still a must for anyone who cares about audio quality
11) Move the fuel door switch away from the rear door lift switch (can’t tell you how many times I have mixed these two up – they were far more separated on the 2004 model)
12) Return of Bamboo Pearl color option – I have Matador Red Mica because that’s what was on the lot at the end of the year. If I had ordered the 2012, I would have had a hard time picking a color. I hate plain silver and the gold option is too yellow. Bamboo Pearl was the perfect balance of silver and gold with a hint of green. Most of the second generation RX’s I see are Bamboo Pearl – so clearly it was a popular choice.
13) A place to store my phone that doesn’t require me to lift the center console storage door
14) Wider angle options for steering wheel placement
15) Better ride – the 2004 ride was far more comfortable. The 2012 feels a bit more like a truck (and no, my tire pressure isn’t set too high).
16) Go back to the 2004 rear bumper protector design that fully covers the top of the bumper when loading items!
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Old 04-22-13, 03:32 PM   #2
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+ 1 up for all of these very well observed article, and the car.

Especially 15) Better ride – the 2004 ride was far more comfortable. The 2012 feels a bit more like a truck (and no, my tire pressure isn’t set too high)

I hear people gave different feedbacks from the ride improvements of the new RX. But my wife noticed the more Bumpy Ride in it. In fact, I am thinking about having the dealer install the Older 2007 RX Springs into my 2013 RX (I think this will be possible)

And better Navigation for sure. I opted out of Nav system because I have a better Tom Tom on my Iphone LOL
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Old 04-22-13, 03:57 PM   #3
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Wow I had a 2005 RX too and none of the problems you have are bugging me at all. My seats heat up fine. As for the ride, there is no longer any jellowobble which is a comprimise. Also, navigation on mine is spot on.

I can honestly say that most of the things you have mentioned will never appear in the next generation RX. The goal for Lexus at the moment is to create something striking, make their cars less boring and more interesting to drive. Basically, we are talking about a balance between ride and handling, and therefore, the ride will get rougher to deal with that.

Lexus is selling more than ever, the GS was an instant success, as well as the RX F Sport in europe. Consumers are realising the potential that Lexus has and Lexus is definitely trying to deliver something with much more character than before.

Furthermore, Lexus already has massive amounts of standard equipment. Kia and Hyundai offer more in terms of money, but the materials used are of a cheap quality and feel unpleasant to use. Lexus in my opinion strikes the balance between equipment and price, especially considering Audi charges £1000 for options which come standard on the RX. Lexus goes by the way "if it aint broke, dont fix it" and thats why they are doing very well at the moment.

A Lexus designer has to think about everything, especially since they are becoming much more interested in the design of the car. They need to think about the appearance as well as the practicality of the vehicle and both cannot be achieved. One is sacrificed for the other and the best interior is usually the one which strikes the best balance between materials, usability, appearance and practicality. The Lexus RX already achieves this and that is why it is a huge success all over the world.
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Old 04-22-13, 05:52 PM   #4
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Nice post to OP...
All valid points.... but, can't argue with success, the RX put Lexus on the map and is responsible for making Lexus a huge Premium brand with a ton of dealerships vs. similar brands like Infinity who missed that "home run" vehicle. Competitors still playing catch-up. OTOH, it doesn't mean the RX doesn't have room for improvement. AS many have stated in these posts, Lexus often way behind on many features. But we forgive Lexus, cause in the macro view, they build the most reliable and practical vehicles at a fair price. How fast Lexus implements sensible improvements will prob. depends on their competition, unfortunately, not our wishes.

Now, some of my "notes to 14 RX designer" ....which we all know will just get buried in the archives....as it seems Lexus rarely interacts with its customer base... a common Asian business practice. It amazes me a Lexus rep does not visit these forums and contribute. Here, dedicated and intelligent users / customers can spoon feed them the ingredients for future success.

1) In the RX350, ah where is the Volt Meter and Oil meter? After 80 years, gone in a modern car? Can't flip through dash display to see it, ya know, like a Chevy?
2) Can we read our tire pressure please? you know what it is, let us access it.
3) Lets get a real ML offering, at whatever price tag, seems sound system getting worse every few years.
4) Can we turn on the rear view monitor with a switch, at any time???
5) Offer the F Sport with Radar Cruise?
6) Thicker and more comfortable seat bottoms.
7) brake upgrade with towing package?
8) 7 pin rear connector vs. 4 pin with tow package?
9) LED lighting upgrade option, for interior and exterior lights (simple when building the car, PITA after car is built)
10) Allow RES+ to TEXT your smart phone for alarm alert, vs. lost in cyberspace email?? Its an alarm situation, right? arggggg
11) real AC seats, vs. blowing cabin air through the seats?
12) Lets see the dual temp setting without touching anything, safety and convenience issue. (stole from OP, but deserves repeating)
13) Make Enform, and specifically e-destinations a level above Nissan offerings, vs. a step below it. In 2013, e-destinations and RES+ still can NOT be used on a tablet??? I buy $5 apps with better UI's and they can be used for nearly any end device.
14) Fuel economy engine option on RX350 like Ford and Benz, way behind the times here.
15) A slightly longer version of the RX, (RX+?) like Highlander with NO 3rd row seats, just a few extra feet of storage makes a HUGE difference. RX is too limited for storage when 2nd row in use for some users. Pushes many into Full Size SUV.
16) As mentioned above... bottom console storage area, much appreciated, nice size, but not very accessible, make it slide left / right a bit, for access to contents and 12V.

well, that's my short list.....
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Old 04-23-13, 02:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laundrylst View Post
I traded my 2004 RX 330 (Bamboo Pearl, Ivory with Premium Package) for a 2012 (Matador Red Mica with Comfort Package, Premium Package, 12 Speaker Premium Audio, Navigation System, Park Assist) because I wanted updated technology and grew tired of waiting for the fourth generation. My husband made me purchase off the lot instead of ordering from factory because our goal is to factory order a fourth generation. However, Lexus has some work to do to make me a three-peat buyer. I hope Lexus engineers monitor this board.

Here are my thoughts after trading up.

Improvements I Like in 2012 (not in any particular order)

1) Driver’s side water bottle holder (I don’t feel like I’m going to break it off at a moment’s notice)
2) Driver exit assist
3) Less intrusive rear-wheels in cargo hold
4) Added door cupholders on all four doors
5) AFS and Intelligent High Beams
6) Smart Key access
7) Parking assist
8) Ability to order paint protection film and door guards from factory
9) Smoother transmission
10) Back-up monitor


Items That Are Hugely Disappointing in 2012 (not in any particular order)

1) Inability to store rear cargo cover in the vehicle plus overall lack of hidden storage
2) Sound system – my non-ML 2004 audio was a million times better than the non-ML 12 speaker premium audio on my 2012. Satellite radio cuts out in downtown areas (my MB C-class and MB SLK satellite radios have no problem keeping a signal in downtown areas)
3) Lack of lighted door sills – my plain-Jane 2004 premium package had lighted sills on all four doors. I should not have to buy the Luxury package to get this feature
4) Seat comfort – my 2004 seats were far more comfortable (although I will admit that Lexus is still more comfortable than comparable MB and BMW)
5) Location of clock – I can barely see it when the gear shift is in drive. If temp can be displayed in the dash, I don’t see why the time can’t also be displayed there
6) Dash board color – I wanted parchment interior because I want the vehicle to feel bright even on cloudy days. So what’s with the dark dash on the premium package? My 2004 had ivory interior. Yes, the dash was darker than the seats, but it was nowhere near as dark as the one in the 2012.
7) Heated seats – honestly, I can barely tell the seats are warm on the hottest setting. My 2004 heated seats were fantastic and I miss them greatly.
8) Center console configuration – honestly, that small cubby hole under the gear shift is difficult to use and I practically have to crawl on the floor to use the outlet hidden in there. While I applaud the larger covered center storage bin, it is a bit like a cave (needs better lighting). I also don’t like having to lift the storage cover to retrieve my parking key.
9) Loss of captain chair arm rest. I used the arm rest in the 2004 EVERY SINGLE DAY. Now, I don’t have an arm rest because the center console lid height doesn’t adjust.
10) Loss of steering wheel angle – my 2004 gave me the ability to tilt the top of the wheel slightly back from the bottom of the wheel. 2012 doesn’t have the same angle.
11) Overall ride is much rougher than the 2004 (and yes, my tire pressure is correctly set)
12) The rear bumper protector is crap. On the 2004, the black bumper guard went all the way to the edge of the top of the bumper. The 2012 is half the size. I already have a small ding in the bumper that wouldn’t be there if the guard had extended to the spot where it is located on the 2004


Improvements I Want to See in Fourth Generation (not in any particular order)

1) More hidden cargo storage, including place to store cargo cover (the inability to store the cargo cover in the vehicle ranks high on my list of disappointments with the third generation).
2) Better navigation – make it more like a TomTom, which accurately provides arrival times. This “setting the speed” option is ridiculous. My dealer told me Lexus wants to eliminate navigation all together in favor of people using their smartphones. Not only is this dangerous on the distracted driving front, not everyone owns a smartphone and/or wants to use precious data for navigation. Don’t forget the age of your market segment.
3) Seat comfort – the early second generation seats were far more comfortable than those in the 2012.
4) Better heated seats – return to the heat levels of the 2004, PLEASE!
5) Heated rear seats – If Kia can make this an option, I don’t understand why this is so difficult for Lexus to accomplish
6) Massage option for front seats
7) Power plug for rear seat passengers (located under the center console vents, perhaps).
8) Lighted door sills integrated in all four doors in the PREMIUM package
9) Improved satellite radio antenna (see my comment above regarding reception)
10) Return of 6-disc in-dash CD player – don’t forget the age of your market segment (not everyone wants to stream from their phones). Further, CD audio is far superior to compressed MP3 audio. If the audio system refuses to play .wav files, then a 6 disc changer is still a must for anyone who cares about audio quality
11) Move the fuel door switch away from the rear door lift switch (can’t tell you how many times I have mixed these two up – they were far more separated on the 2004 model)
12) Return of Bamboo Pearl color option – I have Matador Red Mica because that’s what was on the lot at the end of the year. If I had ordered the 2012, I would have had a hard time picking a color. I hate plain silver and the gold option is too yellow. Bamboo Pearl was the perfect balance of silver and gold with a hint of green. Most of the second generation RX’s I see are Bamboo Pearl – so clearly it was a popular choice.
13) A place to store my phone that doesn’t require me to lift the center console storage door
14) Wider angle options for steering wheel placement
15) Better ride – the 2004 ride was far more comfortable. The 2012 feels a bit more like a truck (and no, my tire pressure isn’t set too high).
16) Go back to the 2004 rear bumper protector design that fully covers the top of the bumper when loading items!
Terrific post, excellent ideas ! Hope the engineers take the time to re-think many of your ideas!
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Old 04-23-13, 01:21 PM   #6
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About the ride being rougher compared to the OP's 2004, let's not forget that it's on an ES Platform.
So there's no chance we'll see thAt again, even with a smaller RX in the future ( which will be based on a RAV4).
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Old 04-23-13, 01:56 PM   #7
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and how about adding direct injection and tweaking to maybe 310-330 Hp, along with an 8 speed transmission and better mileage ratings. This is achievable and due now.
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Old 04-23-13, 04:41 PM   #8
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> This is achievable and due now

You are being too kind.... LONG OVERDUE! :-)
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Old 04-23-13, 05:46 PM   #9
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What I liked in the 2013 RX:

1) Hour glass font end (spindle grille) actually looks nice in the non F-sport front end. Good job making the front end more interesting in the refresh.
2) The clear tail lights was a real RX trademark, but that really screams early 2000 era styling. The half red/half clear taillight is a nice touch and makes the rear end classier.
3) Redesigned wheels are very nice looking and modern, and adds sportiness.
4) Horizontal front grille is a nice refresh.
5) Front daytime running LED is beautiful and attractive, and following the trend of luxury (and mainstream) cars

Here is the room for improvement:

1) Better sound system. I have heard better sound systems than this in cars that cost less (and in older Lexus'). What is currently in as standard the does not sound "Lexus quality" and the ML version as some people have mentioned isn't' ML quality.
2) Better performance. Brakes do not feel strong in this car . Some might disagree with me and want to have softer ride, but I think the stiffer handling of the RX is going in the right direction.
3) Better center console. The space us not really usable below the shifter.
4) better interior lighting. The single LED that is so weak that it's not noticeable. The Exterior is nice though
5) Front grill quality. Instead of chrome plastic, it's now painted plastic . That feels like a step down in the quality of material. Painted front grille usually shows wear and age faster than chrome grilles.
6) Halogen headlights on the 450h? For a $50k+ it's a shame it's still offered as a standard equipment.. It's either bi-xenon or go home.
7) Parking assist, as the car is all electric steering this should implemented.
8) The glovebox is not usable as it is taken up by the massive manual. That is the bulkiest manual I have ever seen in a car.
9) more rear seat amenities, as others have mentioned, outlets, cupholders, and also controls for the HVAC. Better middle seat comfort for long hauls.
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Old 04-24-13, 09:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claretmica View Post
What I liked in the 2013 RX:

1) Hour glass font end (spindle grille) actually looks nice in the non F-sport front end. Good job making the front end more interesting in the refresh.
2) The clear tail lights was a real RX trademark, but that really screams early 2000 era styling. The half red/half clear taillight is a nice touch and makes the rear end classier.
3) Redesigned wheels are very nice looking and modern, and adds sportiness.
4) Horizontal front grille is a nice refresh.
5) Front daytime running LED is beautiful and attractive, and following the trend of luxury (and mainstream) cars

Here is the room for improvement:

1) Better sound system. I have heard better sound systems than this in cars that cost less (and in older Lexus'). What is currently in as standard the does not sound "Lexus quality" and the ML version as some people have mentioned isn't' ML quality.
2) Better performance. Brakes do not feel strong in this car . Some might disagree with me and want to have softer ride, but I think the stiffer handling of the RX is going in the right direction.
3) Better center console. The space us not really usable below the shifter.
4) better interior lighting. The single LED that is so weak that it's not noticeable. The Exterior is nice though
5) Front grill quality. Instead of chrome plastic, it's now painted plastic . That feels like a step down in the quality of material. Painted front grille usually shows wear and age faster than chrome grilles.
6) Halogen headlights on the 450h? For a $50k+ it's a shame it's still offered as a standard equipment.. It's either bi-xenon or go home.
7) Parking assist, as the car is all electric steering this should implemented.
8) The glovebox is not usable as it is taken up by the massive manual. That is the bulkiest manual I have ever seen in a car.
9) more rear seat amenities, as others have mentioned, outlets, cupholders, and also controls for the HVAC. Better middle seat comfort for long hauls.
Simple solution, take the manual out of the car if you want more glovebox space. If I put my mercedes manual in my mercedes glovebox, i wouldnt be able to use it either. Also, the middle seat is the most comfortable out of all the SUV's, especially considering there is no tunnel for the transmission.

As for the sound system, the ML settings have to be tweaked to get the best out of it. Standard setup is disappointing, the treble, bass and midrange need to be calibrated. Its one of the best systems ive ever heard for the money and the Bose in my Audi was pretty awesome. Volume needs to be turned up to 45 though or the detail doesnt get through. High volumes is where the sound system shines.
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Old 04-24-13, 09:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rayaans View Post
Simple solution, take the manual out of the car if you want more glovebox space. If I put my mercedes manual in my mercedes glovebox, i wouldnt be able to use it either. Also, the middle seat is the most comfortable out of all the SUV's, especially considering there is no tunnel for the transmission.

As for the sound system, the ML settings have to be tweaked to get the best out of it. Standard setup is disappointing, the treble, bass and midrange need to be calibrated. Its one of the best systems ive ever heard for the money and the Bose in my Audi was pretty awesome. Volume needs to be turned up to 45 though or the detail doesnt get through. High volumes is where the sound system shines.
OR put the manuals in the trunk. There's plenty of compartment there.
I haven't used the printed manual for months. I'd rather bring out my ipad and open a pdf version.

Another thing to consider about the ML or any premium sound system is the SOURCE of the music.
You can't expect anyting good from a poorly converted mp3. Same goes for the satellite stations on SiriusXM.

To truly test and tweak he system. Use an old fashioned CD. And use at least 3 genre of music to test the bass, mids and treble.
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Old 04-25-13, 06:52 AM   #12
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Quote:
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OR put the manuals in the trunk. There's plenty of compartment there.
I haven't used the printed manual for months. I'd rather bring out my ipad and open a pdf version.

Another thing to consider about the ML or any premium sound system is the SOURCE of the music.
You can't expect anyting good from a poorly converted mp3. Same goes for the satellite stations on SiriusXM.

To truly test and tweak he system. Use an old fashioned CD. And use at least 3 genre of music to test the bass, mids and treble.
Ive just left them in my house so I can look at them if need be. Source of music is a very good point. Ive noticed that there is a slight difference in detail using 320kbps compared to lower byte rates.
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Old 04-25-13, 09:09 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claretmica View Post
8) The glovebox is not usable as it is taken up by the massive manual. That is the bulkiest manual I have ever seen in a car.
I can't help with the size of the manuals, but in the 2013 RX there is a GREAT place to put them without taking up space you need for something else.

Go get your 2013 manuals (if you can find them ) and look on page 677. You will find hidden storage IN THE CONSOLE that I bet you didn't know was there. It's a great spot, big enough to hold all of the manuals.

Basically, remove the folding plastic false floor in the console and ALSO flip sideways the extra door on the left side. You will find another space much larger than your armrest storage, where your manuals fit standing up. Like on a bookshelf.
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Old 04-25-13, 09:18 AM   #14
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13 ML.... all my mp3's are 320k, I run new cd's (cause they were recorded digitaly vs. pre 90's cd's.... and can rarely notice any differences. I listen to rock, alt., pop...
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Old 04-25-13, 05:26 PM   #15
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Design a way to shut the dinging when you have the doors open and the radio on without the radio running.
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Old 04-25-13, 05:26 PM
 
 
 
 
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