Thread: SLS
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      01-26-2013, 01:52 PM   #65
Palmnuts
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Drives: BMW M6 (F13) & M135i
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Location: Loughborough, UK

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I'm afraid not very good news today....in fact, I'm honestly mortified.

I dropped my car off at MB Milton Keynes who are fixing what I thought was my faulty subwoofer. If you remember, I noticed the B&O audio system sounded poor before I bought the car, with an inability to reproduce any decent levels of bass without distorting. Both the head technician and I agreed it sounded like a blown sub and a replacement was ordered, to be fitted next week.

However, whilst at the dealer today I listened to another SLS there which also had the B&O fitted. It sounded just the same as mine ; turn the bass up to more than 3 (out of 10!), turn the volume up so it's loud'ish (but not excessively so - I'd say still under 50% of what it would go to) and all you hear is the speaker vibrating. Note, this is not trim vibrating - it's like you can hear the cone moving rather than hearing the bass.

As I said, I'm mortified....mainly because it's now unlikely that a replacement subwoofer will fix a 'problem' that now doesn't seem to be a 'problem' - with two different cars sounding almost identical, it's seems thats how it's been designed and signed off. But this I can't understand....how can B&O and AMG sign off such a sound and how can there be no other complaints about it on any forum, even the US ones where they seem to have very high car-audio standards?

I appreciate sound quality is very personal and subjective but everyone that has heard it at the dealer has agreed - it sounds poor. My other half also thinks the same and she's not the fussy type. I could blame the fact I'm using a USB with MP3 files but they're recorded to 320kb and sound absolutely fine in every other car. The problem is song dependant, and if you're playing R&B or dance music with fast and deep bass requirements, it's at its worst. But the ability to produce nice deep bass without distortion is no problem in any other car and even my girlfriends fathers' new C220CDi, fitted with Mercedes' most basic, unbranded audio system doesn't have this problem. The HK in our E coupe is in another league (lovely car that and it's doing over 40mpg!!....expect a full write up soon!).

So, what to do? Many will think I'm crazy and flame me for owning an SLS and and just moaning about the audio system. And maybe they're right...but, right or wrong, the enjoyment of listening to my music through a good audio system is a very important part of car ownership to me (and one which, Maserati excepted, I've been able to do in every car I've had for the last 15 years). Some will say just get rid of the car if it makes me that unhappy but let's be honest, that option isn't really a sensible to do and neither do I want to do that....it's not often I walk away from an excuse to change a car but, this problem aside, there is no other car at any value that I'd rather own. Normally, owning a car that is such a dream would be an immensely lucky position to be in...for me currently, its the cause of considerable anxiousness

So, I'm faced with the situation of the problem being 'just how it is', which is something I just can't get my head around given the B&O brand, the well documented development and huge cost of the option. But if this is the case, I guess I'm looking for someone with expertise in this area to give reason for why it would sound like it does (I appreciate this may be difficult just from my description but hopefully you understand what it's doing), and if it's understood why it's demonstrating these characteristics, hopefully there is an (aftermarket?) fix for it?
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