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Lincoln Gets Lucas THX Sound



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Ford's Lincoln luxury division has inked an agreement with THX, the spin-off of director George Lucas's film empire. Developed to enhance the realism of movie theater sound systems, THX has become a hot feature on high-end home audio systems. And starting with the redesigned 2003 LS sedan, Lincoln will begin rolling out THX-certified sound systems in its cars, a first for mobile sound. Audio systems have become increasingly important to U.S. car buyers trying to differentiate between otherwise similar vehicles, and carmakers like Lincoln, Cadillac, and Lexus have been rushing to partner with top-end audio brands. As part of the Lincoln deal, THX will certify other audio manufacturers, rather than supply the hardware itself. The company's top executive, Monica Dashwood, cautioned that while Lincoln is its first automotive client, THX did not grant the carmaker an exclusive contract.


Volvo is the first (1997) and only company right now that I know of who has Dolby Labs certified sound systems. I wonder if we will be seeing THX certified systems in future Volvo cars as well. That would seem like the next logical evolution in sound, from Dolby Digital AC3. I think it would be good competition for the Lexus LS430 Mark Levinson sound system.


-Drew

[This message has been edited by InDy (edited 01-05-2002).]
 

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quote:

Originally posted by InDy:
Lincoln Gets Lucas THX Sound





Volvo is the first (1997) and only company right now that I know of who has Dolby Labs certified sound systems. I wonder if we will be seeing THX certified systems in future Volvo cars as well. That would seem like the next logical evolution in sound, from Dolby Digital AC3. I think it would be good competition for the Lexus LS430 Mark Levinson sound system.


-Drew

[This message has been edited by InDy (edited 01-05-2002).]
THX?? sweet!!
 

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Blah, its a gimick. They never put the speakers in the right place, apply enough sound deadening, or use high enough quality parts. Even the Levinson system is not Mark levinson, as far as quality is concerned. The subwoofer would rattle plastic parts, distored easily, etc. The tweeters did not have a smooth grain free sound. The Dynaudio stuff in the C70 is not the same as My Dynaudio speakers, def. an OEM version. The speakers are yet to be placed corectly in a volvo. Im thinking the Lexicon system to be used in volvos hold some promise, BMW has been placing the speakers in the right place since the eighties, so lets see if they can do it again.
 

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quote:

Originally posted by pj's 850:
Blah, its a gimick. They never put the speakers in the right place, apply enough sound deadening, or use high enough quality parts. Even the Levinson system is not Mark levinson, as far as quality is concerned. The subwoofer would rattle plastic parts, distored easily, etc. The tweeters did not have a smooth grain free sound. The Dynaudio stuff in the C70 is not the same as My Dynaudio speakers, def. an OEM version. The speakers are yet to be placed corectly in a volvo. Im thinking the Lexicon system to be used in volvos hold some promise, BMW has been placing the speakers in the right place since the eighties, so lets see if they can do it again.
Actually, the Dynaudio speakers ARE real Dynaudio units but as every speaker engineer knows each unit has to be adapted to the specific installation and application it is intended for. It is rather logical that the unit in a home speaker box will be different than a unit intended for installation in a car door or hatshelf. In the C70 case each unit is adapted for its unique location in the car. Each magnet, spider, voice coil etc hasbeen selected to get the most optimal performance in the car. That's why you don't have the same driver in your home stereo boxes.

The C70 speaker locations are very close to optimal with the tweeters and midranges close together and high up in the door/dash and the woofers close to the cars corners to get good coupling to the cabin modes. The Lexicon Logic 7 system in the new BMW 7-series is also quite good but not as good as the C70. If you compare the system performance, especially in the bass, head-to-head you will find that the C70 will kick BMW butt big time.

There is no plan of introducing the Lexicon Logic 7 in Volvo, instead the Dolby Pro Logic II will be used from the XC90 and on. The decoder performance of the Dolby PLII is better than the Lexicon L7 in many aspects, especially when it comes to dynamics.
 

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quote:

Originally posted by Audioguy:
Actually, the Dynaudio speakers ARE real Dynaudio units but as every speaker engineer knows each unit has to be adapted to the specific installation and application it is intended for....
Yeah, I knew that much. Therefore, only thing I changed out on that is the crossovers. It was the advice from another audio guru. I've changed to the version of the crossovers that the normal Dynaudio uses for their car audio speakers. What do you think of that? Was that a good move? I do find the female vocal became much more realistic and have better depth after doing that. Then again, I have different amp to power these components speakers now, too.

Thanks for the help....still have hard time accepting I'm actually talking to the guru who has designed this system.
 

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I didnt mean to say they are or arent real Dynaudio, but they dont follow the design technology of any other Dynaudio line and its for obvious cost saving reasons, so in that sense they arent real Dynaudio drivers. I took out the Dynaudios of a car and compared them with mine and some from some Dynaudio raw drivers. They had smaller Voice coils. Dynaiodo uses 2 3/4"-4" voice coils, with most being 3" coils. The midbass drivers I pulled out def. didnt have this. The cast frames were nice cast frames, but not the nice Dynaudio frames. They weight much less. They used a totaly different magnet structure than I have ever seen on a Dynaudio driver. They didnt use the Neodmium and ferrire system recognizable by a small silver metal can and venting on the frame and speaker dustcap. No gold contacts, thinner Tinsel leads, etc. Then I got to the tweeters, I couldnt believe it. One car had domes, but not the nice dynaudio fabric domes that I have always recalled and not with the same motor structure either. The other still had cones. Now almost no body is makeing car with quality speakers in them, and Volvo is among the best with the "real" dynaudio drivers, but they arent my Dynaudio drivers. You can say that I am saying this cuz of sour grapes, but Im not. I have been involved in Audio for a long time, I own many pairs of components, more tweeters than I need, amps galore, etc. My dynaudios are made of seperate components I got using there finest tweeters for car use. They cost me in excess of 800 dollars for the complete setup, that was dealer cost. well ok, I made custom crossovers which adds up a bit, so say 600 for just the drivers. 600 got me two tweeters, two mids, and two midbass drivers. I compared to see, as the upgrade is expensive, but I dont believe they would charge that small an amount fot the premium dynaudio upgrade if it used these same speakers or even the model below them. OEM volvo Dynaudio is definitaly a more economicly designed Dynaudio than the standard aftermarket Dynaudio car drivers.
 

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quote:

Originally posted by The_one_n_only:
I've changed to the version of the crossovers that the normal Dynaudio uses for their car audio speakers. What do you think of that? Was that a good move?
The original C70 crossovers are also designed by Dynaudio together with Harman in Motala, Sweden. Harman also manufatures these crossovers. They are optimised on space, weight, reliability and cost so I'm sure the Dynaudio labeled crossovers will have more exclusive components but will also weigh more and might have a hard time lasting as long as the car which is the requirement for factory fitted equipment. Also, the matching to the intended driver might also differ since the Dynaudio crossover is intended for other Dynaudio drivers than the ones in the C70. But, hey, if you're pleased with the result of your modification you should keep it. Probably the matching issue isn't that problematic, the magnet systems are very similar. Bear in mind though, that the crossover also dictates the power handling of the speaker system. Feeding one range more energy might hurt the driver long term even if the sound is better short term.
 

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Hopefully the system will last....it does sound awefully good now. Maybe just me...

quote:

Originally posted by Audioguy:
The original C70 crossovers are also designed by Dynaudio together with Harman in Motala, Sweden. Harman also manufatures these crossovers. They are optimised on space, weight, reliability and cost so I'm sure the Dynaudio labeled crossovers will have more exclusive components but will also weigh more and might have a hard time lasting as long as the car which is the requirement for factory fitted equipment. Also, the matching to the intended driver might also differ since the Dynaudio crossover is intended for other Dynaudio drivers than the ones in the C70. But, hey, if you're pleased with the result of your modification you should keep it. Probably the matching issue isn't that problematic, the magnet systems are very similar. Bear in mind though, that the crossover also dictates the power handling of the speaker system. Feeding one range more energy might hurt the driver long term even if the sound is better short term.
 

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quote:

Originally posted by Audioguy:
The original C70 crossovers are also designed by Dynaudio together with Harman in Motala, Sweden. Harman also manufatures these crossovers. They are optimised on space, weight, reliability and cost so I'm sure the Dynaudio labeled crossovers will have more exclusive components but will also weigh more and might have a hard time lasting as long as the car which is the requirement for factory fitted equipment. Also, the matching to the intended driver might also differ since the Dynaudio crossover is intended for other Dynaudio drivers than the ones in the C70. But, hey, if you're pleased with the result of your modification you should keep it. Probably the matching issue isn't that problematic, the magnet systems are very similar. Bear in mind though, that the crossover also dictates the power handling of the speaker system. Feeding one range more energy might hurt the driver long term even if the sound is better short term.
Just thought I'd throw my rusty two cents in on this one:
As a long term Dynaudio Mobile Fidelity retailer, and also a proud C70 owner, I have had many detailed conversations with Dynaudio N.A. about using the Mobile Fidelity Series passive crossover networks with the OEM Dyn drivers in the C70 system.
They are actually quite well matched.
I have done this "mod" many times now for quite a few C70 owners and have yet to have a failure that could be attributed to the filter change.
On the contrary, the reaction to this "upgrade" has been universally enthusiastic! Most owners feeling that this provided the most cost effective, "invisable" and most importantly AUDIBLE upgrade to their C70's already good audio system!
It is the first upgrade that I recommend for any serious audiophile who is looking to audibly improve their C70's audio system.
The next step after that is to replace some of the components, which many C70 owners are understandably reluctant to do, and one must be a VERY serious, and critical listener to justify........
 

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quote:

Originally posted by autofile:

and one must be a VERY serious, and critical listener to justify........
Interest debate btwn you two, I'm not even going to bother to jump in to side with either one....but I'm just curious about these components changes that Peter has mentioned....what are those?

Hehehe..can't wait to see the info and ideas two of you will come out in this discussion.
 

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quote:

Originally posted by The_one_n_only:
Interest debate btwn you two, I'm not even going to bother to jump in to side with either one....but I'm just curious about these components changes that Peter has mentioned....what are those?

Hehehe..can't wait to see the info and ideas two of you will come out in this discussion.
Kai,

But you already know what my system consists of!

And I am not trying to debate Audioguy in the least, in fact I agree with what he has said. I am just sharing my experiences with changing out the OEM crossovers. There is nothing wrong with the OEM filters, but they ARE designed with priorities other than strictly audio performance in mind, as they must be from the factory........
 

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quote:

Originally posted by autofile:
Kai,But you already know what my system consists of!
Hmm...I know about the cross overs, subs, and the amps...and also the HU. But don't remember if you have changed out other parts.


quote:

Originally posted by autofile:
There is nothing wrong with the OEM filters, but they ARE designed with priorities other than strictly audio performance in mind, as they must be from the factory........
I know what you mean...I did find the cross overs helped the SQ to be more refined. It was good, now is better.
 

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quote:

Originally posted by autofile:

...using the Mobile Fidelity Series passive crossover networks with the OEM Dyn drivers in the C70 system.
They are actually quite well matched.

...It is the first upgrade that I recommend for any serious audiophile who is looking to audibly improve their C70's audio system.
The next step after that is to replace some of the components, which many C70 owners are understandably reluctant to do, and one must be a VERY serious, and critical listener to justify........

Peter

I'm only too happy to hear that there are that many car audiophiles out there. This actually helps me in my work to convince financially restrictive project managers to realise that you can actually enhance a cars attractiveness by giving it a decent audio system. And, as you said, even if the C70 has an exceptional system we couldn't go all the way in all aspects so your mod seems sensible if you are very demanding. From a manufacturers point of view it wasn't possible to fit this filter due to space, weight and cost.
 

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quote:

Originally posted by The_one_n_only:
Hmm...I know about the cross overs, subs, and the amps...and also the HU. But don't remember if you have changed out other parts.
Yeah, I really do not have anything left of the OEM system, except for the antenna.

The system has 4 DIN chassis units in the dash after relocating the climate controls:

Alpine F1 motorized 7" widescreen, DVD transport, AM/FM/CD, and signal processor controller.
The speaker system now consists of our Brax Pro 6 1/2" 2-way component systems in the front and rear, with a hybrid 5 1/4" 2-way system in the center.
One major improvement came from fabricating a sealed enclosure for the center speaker system. center channel performance is CRITICAL for good DTS and DD 5.1 reproduction.
And then the subwoofer section now consists of a 12" woofer on each side of the rear seat in sealed enclosures.
Amplification comes from our Brax amplifiers......

The install will be finished (finally) in about 10 days, so I will be posting pictures on our site then. There are several magazine features beiong done on the car and system as well, so I am hoping to pick up some sponsors for the performance mods I want to do foe the car too :^)

quote:

Originally posted by The_one_n_only:
I know what you mean...I did find the cross overs helped the SQ to be more refined. It was good, now is better.
This is what I mean. For a serious listener, the already very good OEM system can be substantially improved by using superior passive crossovers, without adding substantially to the weight of the system, or dramatically altering the componentry......
 

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quote:

Originally posted by Audioguy:
Peter

I'm only too happy to hear that there are that many car audiophiles out there. This actually helps me in my work to convince financially restrictive project managers to realise that you can actually enhance a cars attractiveness by giving it a decent audio system. And, as you said, even if the C70 has an exceptional system we couldn't go all the way in all aspects so your mod seems sensible if you are very demanding. From a manufacturers point of view it wasn't possible to fit this filter due to space, weight and cost.
And I certainly appreciate your sharing your inside knowledge with us, allowing us to "pick your brain"! You are quite a resource!

I would love to have you audition my demo system some day!
 
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