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ROLL CALL: Who has surround sound in their car(s)?

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JonUrban

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Not sure if you Acura RDX 2019-2020 owners are aware of the simple fix for the initialization problem. If you turn the audio system off before exiting the car, then turn it on after you start the car, no initialization delay occurs. I assumed the system was going through some type database build each time the car started. However, I followed the same procedure and removed the USB drive after the system was turned off. Then I added new titles to the drive. I plugged the USB drive back in and started the car. Then I turned on the audio system. Viola! No initialization. Sorry to go off topic for all you that don’t have this system, but thought I should pass it on.
Good tip. I will try that out soon. THANKS
 

JonUrban

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No problem Jon. Let me know if it doesn’t work for you.
You know, I have noticed that if I disconnect my HD before I turn the car off, then add an album or two to it, but then don't plug it into the port until I am on the road and rolling, it just loads right up and it actually finds the new albums without delay or issue.

So maybe that's another instance of the start up causing a re-index by default, even if it's not necessary.
 

Steve Schoultz

300 Club - QQ All-Star
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Oct 4, 2008
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San Antonio, TX
We got a lot though, so I’m extremely happy to have this capability for years to come in car. I was listening to Gaucho the other day and it was awesome. Definitely appreciate you finding out the correct way to format the flac files to play on the system. Thanks Jon!
 

par4ken

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May 28, 2011
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583
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NW Ontario
This drove me crazy at first back in my Acura DVD-A days. I thought I was authoring DVD-A's wrong. I ended up creating a test disc ("Front Left Channel", "Front Right Channel", ...etc) You know, like the old quad demo discs. I then looped it and put my ear to all of the speakers one at a time. And yes, the fronts were in fact playing in the rear door speakers. It appears that they wanted the rear seat passengers to hear what the front passengers heard. Really wacky.

I don't think the ELS 3D system does this, although I haven't specifically tried it. I will do that once it gets over 20 degrees out here! :)
This is exactly what I was asking about in another post. In many vehicles the rear speakers are mounted low in the back doors, meant to provide stereo to rear seated passengers, as such they are not very audible in the front. In my pathfinder I built taller than normal 6x9 enclosures so that the rear channels would be audible over back the seat. I also connected the rear door speakers to the front channels. How are the rear channels handled in vehicles supplied with surround sound? Any thought to make the rear speakers more audible in the front? Surround sound is not much good if you can't hear the back speakers! We didn't have the same problem in the old days with a large rear deck for mounting a couple of 6x9's.
 

mlrocker

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I'm thinking mobile bluetooth car speakers and a routing app should get surround in every car. I wonder if such a thing exists yet.
 

sjcorne

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Southern NY
How are the rear channels handled in vehicles supplied with surround sound? Any thought to make the rear speakers more audible in the front? Surround sound is not much good if you can't hear the back speakers! We didn't have the same problem in the old days with a large rear deck for mounting a couple of 6x9's.
The rear speakers are located behind the back seat headrests and believe me, you don't have to strain yourself to hear them. I daresay they're a tad overpowering in my TLX, especially on the old CBS quad mixes.
 

JonUrban

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I think you’re probably right about the re-index by default. Is there somewhere to suggest changes to address this issue in the next update?
Here's another clue for you all (ELS 3D folks). I took my 500Gb HD out, brought it to the PC and added EWF/TTWOTW and Spirit, and a couple more 5.1/4.0 albums I had tested on USB sticks and now wanted to get onto my big drive.

So I let the car warm up, boot up, and when I was about a mile from the house, I plugged the HD into the port. It did NOT re-index, and immediately started playing the first song on the HD in alphabetical order. (I created a track called 'A A A RDX Test Tones' that by default is the first song in alphabetical order, and just runs through channel identification - which every now I then I like to hear to verify everything is working properly) So I went to 'MUSIC LIBRARY' and scrolled through the album titles, and all of the new albums that I had added to the disc were there - without a long re-index!

So, for those with this system, the key is to let the car boot and get the car systems started and working, and then the cpu can deal with the USB drive and not re-index!
 

vindaloo

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I have an 18 Audi Allroad wagon with the factory Bang & Olufsen surround system. Listening in the enclosed environment, I enjoy a whole new immersive listening experience. Getting reacquainted with my collection while picking up re-engineered releases has been awesome; I'm happy to get stuck in traffic.

I transfer my surround disc tracks into FLAC files onto a single 512GB SDXC card that I dedicate for surround. The B&O surround effect is OFF when I playback from that card.

I had wondered if I would need to mix the 7.1 SL and SR channels with RL and RR when I got around to ripping Kraftwerk's 3-D Der Katalog Blu-ray. I tested the system with a 7.1 channel identification file and was amazed when I heard 8 discrete channels on playback.

DVD-A.png
 

Instant Karma

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Jan 4, 2019
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Location
New jersey
This is my first post on this forum and am very excited. I'm a big fan of surround discs and probably have over 75. I drive an Audi A5 with the B&O surround system and love it. It really sounds great, and like Vindaloo said in the above post, I don't mind getting stuck in traffic anymore. However, strangely it does not play all of my DVD-A discs. For instance, it will not play my Yes-Fragile, John Hiatt-Bring The Family and Chicago II discs but plays Eagles- Hotel California, Elton Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Doobies -Captain and Me and Chicago V. Anyone else with an Audi experience this and know why this is happening?
 

Quadrifoglio

Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
Messages
25
Location
Helsinki, Finland
What year, make and model of car: 1975 Audiovox Q8 Surround Stereo 8-track deck with FM radio in a 1975 Jaguar XJ6C 4.2 (That is a two-door XJ coupe with the 4.2L IL6 and a stick shift 4-sp plus overdrive gearbox, Euro spec car sold new in Milan, Italy (1975-2007 in Milan)

Did you install it yourself
(if not factory installed): Yes myself, a very challenging fit

What surround formats can you play: Q8, apparently it also does some "surround effect" on FM broadcasts

How would you rate the system, and would you recommend it to others: I love it, warmly recommended if you want a "period sound" in your classic car, but with "Surround Stereo". :)


1970's Blaupunkt "satellite" speakers in the back, 5.75" Blaupunkt early 1980's speakers in the doors.

I am using a modern SONY amp, 4-channel, hidden and automatically switched on/off by the automatic antenna feed form the radio/Q8-unit, to keep the load off the original 4-ch amp in the vintage unit.

Works like a charm for my liking, but my critical and talented 16 yr old son says it's playing slightly slow (he used to sing in the National Opera's children's choir and now plays the cello ) but I can't really hear the difference. Just to be safe, I sped up the tapes I recorded myself with the Akai CR80-SS Q8 deck by a couple % for car use. :)

AFAIK only Rolls-Royce and Bentley and Ferrari offered a Surround Stereo Q8 deck as an option in Europe.
(I have seen the brochures, Ferrari had for the 400 and 400i an Italian Voxson Q8 with four speakers)
I have never seen one fitted.

In the US I believe that Ford offered Q8 for many of their cars and had a sampler tape that can frequently be seen offered on e-bay. Anybody know if some other cars in the US were fitted with a Q8 at the factory as an option? (optional extra?) I would imagine Ford had this for some Lincolns but what about other cars?

When I bought my Audiovox Q8 unit on e-bay a few years ago, I was told by the seller (from Texas) they had removed it from a mid-1970's Buick long time ago.

This one:

Of course it needed a complete service and replacing all the caps etc. but I think it was definitely worth it as it is from 1975 and so is that car. And in my other vintage cars you could not hear it anyways, as they are convertibles. ;-) (one has an original mono Blaupunkt Frankfurt from 1972 and one is from 1950 and never had a radio fitted)
 

mrcond

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177
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Vernon, CT
To those with Acuras with surround capabilities... If I were searching ads for used Acuras, say 2016-2019, how would I be able to identify those with these capabilities? What are the keywords I should look for? Is there some identifying feature I could spot in photos of the dash that would clue me in? Just looking for a little help here in the event I seriously go down this path. Thanks!
 

JonUrban

Forum Curmudgeon
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Since 2002/2003
Joined
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Messages
15,796
Location
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To those with Acuras with surround capabilities... If I were searching ads for used Acuras, say 2016-2019, how would I be able to identify those with these capabilities? What are the keywords I should look for? Is there some identifying feature I could spot in photos of the dash that would clue me in? Just looking for a little help here in the event I seriously go down this path. Thanks!
You need an Acura with the "Technology Package". Also, if it does have DVD-A capability, there will be a DVD-Audio icon near the disc player. If there is no DVD-Audio logo, then it will probably still have 5.1, but only DTS CD capability.

If you find a car you're interested in, post the year, model and option package and me or someone else here will help to verify what you might have. Of course, the best way to test it is to bring a DVD-A and DTS CD with you for the test drive.

Just be aware that from 2016-2019, that range of Acura's is more likely to have DTS CD only, as DVD-A started to disappear from the lines around 2016. If you find a 2019 RDX, that will have the 5.1 .flac file playback only. No disc player in those.
 

HomerJAU

Moderator: MCH Media Players
Staff member
Joined
Jun 13, 2013
Messages
2,963
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Anyone else with an Audi experience this and know why this is happening?
I have a 2009 A5 with a B&O surround system. Mine only plays Surround from DVDV discs. Its possible your DVDAs that play have both DVDA and DVDV files as that’s reasonably common on DVDA discs. The discs that don’t play are pure DVDA discs, and won’t play.

You can check on a PC. Folder VIDEO_TS means it’s DVDV, AUDIO_TS is DVDA.
 

LennonCobain

300 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Feb 24, 2014
Messages
388
Location
New England
Not sure if you Acura RDX 2019-2020 owners are aware of the simple fix for the initialization problem. If you turn the audio system off before exiting the car, then turn it on after you start the car, no initialization delay occurs. I assumed the system was going through some type database build each time the car started. However, I followed the same procedure and removed the USB drive after the system was turned off. Then I added new titles to the drive. I plugged the USB drive back in and started the car. Then I turned on the audio system. Viola! No initialization. Sorry to go off topic for all you that don’t have this system, but thought I should pass it on.
I hadn’t thought of this specifically but will try it. My workaround had been to change the audio source to FM Stereo before turning off the vehicle. Often I start my commute with a brief listen to sports talk radio anyway so it wasn’t a total waste of time to do this.
 

Instant Karma

New member
Joined
Jan 4, 2019
Messages
3
Location
New jersey
I have a 2009 A5 with a B&O surround system. Mine only plays Surround from DVDV discs. Its possible your DVDAs that play have both DVDA and DVDV files as that’s reasonably common on DVDA discs. The discs that don’t play are pure DVDA discs, and won’t play.

You can check on a PC. Folder VIDEO_TS means it’s DVDV, AUDIO_TS is DVDA.
That sounds like a possibility. I'll have to check. I do know that DVDV play as I have listened to several concerts that I have in that format. Thanks for your input.
 

sobi

New member
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
4
I've been an on-and-off lurker here for nearly ten years, and since it appears the Lexus Mark Levinson system hasn't gotten much play here, I decided to get off the sidelines.

The ML you get depends on the model line, and the model year. The ML in my 2009 ES UL certainly didn't get the attention Harman put into the one that lives in the 2009 LS, and the system's overall capabilities change almost year-to-year.

Unfortunately for 2009 buyers, the ML had a major deficiency that Harman couldn't avoid at the price-point Lexus' budget dictated, as it was explained to me by a company engineer at that time. There was a bitstream throughput limit issue in the processor/amp where hi-res 5.1 audio from the head was downmixed to all-channel stereo. This problem vanished with the 2010 ML.

However, the 2009 ML does to discrete 5.1 DD and DTS.

That's not the end of the story, however. The ES ML certainly didn't get the benefit of the "1000s of man-hours" (the Lexus ad copy at the time) of tuning that the flagship model may have gotten. During my months-long odyssey with the Lexus dealer, I got the opportunity to audition MLs in the LS and LX -- both sounded much better than mine. The worst flaw was a huge hump in the frequency response centered at 250Hz. There was no way to neutralize it -- no equalizer, just tone controls which didn't do squat.

I ultimately raised such a ruckus Lexus gave me $500 service credit for the tubby sound and a $1600 check for the absence of discrete hi-res 5.1 audio.

Later, once I tried a DTS-CD in it, I realized that with a little fiddling I might get some decent tunes out of it anyway. (Turns out regular CDs sound fine, as long as the surround processing is engaged.) I measured each channel's frequency response at the driver's seat, and it turned out that everything was close to flat except the FL & FR. I started processing the front channels of my DVD-A rips with a parametric EQ plugin and converted them to DTS-CDs. Sounds pretty good now. Not perfect, but WAY better than Lexus' stock "Premium" system! And surround!
 
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