Guys, thanks so much for all the recommendations and comments - it's far to say that I do feel a little silly moaning about the stereo in an SLS, but the reality is that it's an important aspect for me.
It's particularly jarring because I've been here before...the Maserati
. Not the standard Bose sound system - that was just shit. Hardly any bass at all! But, what bass it did have categorically did not distort. Then, I spend upwards of 3k replacing the system with what were supposed to be very expensive components. And on the whole, the quality of sound was awesome....until such point that I added a bit of bass and
turned up the volume. At that point, the JL 10W3 sub would make exactly the same vibrating noise that the subs are doing in this SLS! I took it back to the installer (The Sound Gallery, High Wycombe) who checked everything was wired correctly, listened to my music and how well the bass sounded in the Mini we had at the time and basically just told me to turn the bass down.
Now, I'm not being funny but I'm hardly asking too much when the Mini's HK system could chuck out harder hitting lows without distorting and this system couldn't! I was unhappy but they came up with some sort of excuse that the enclosure on the rear shelf wasn't the best place for a sub (but yet it seems no problem locating the sub in our E-class in this place and that sounds perfectly nice).
So, quick question for Mega (or any other expert)....with such a quality sub fitted in the same location of the factory sub, why would it distort like that? What I can say is that it was a tight fit - they had to bolt a 1-inch thick piece of wood to the panel and mount the sub on that, not only for strength but to give clearance for the depth of the sub (It still fitted comfortably below the shelf). Yet despite all that, the cone would vibrate like it was being overpowered, yet couldn't deliver a hard enough hitting low for my liking. And I'm comparing this to relatively standard factory-fit systems!!
Anyway, the distortion in the SLS is almost identical to that and makes me think that maybe the location does have something to do with it? Whilst this has clearly distressed me this weekend, I'll have to wait and see what it's like when the dealer have replaced the sub....but let's be honest, with another SLS sounding identical, it's unlikely to be any better.
But I won't let that put me off the car (not just yet anyway); it's too fine a machine in every other respect for that! So, the next step is a high-end installer (thanks Mega for the recommendation in Coventry - they will be my first port of call)....although it's fair to say my confidence in the aftermarket (both installers and product) is severely dented after the Maserati experience described above.
I am prepared to chuck whatever is required to make this work...as long as I can utilise the existing space and retain the (very, very good) tweeters atop the dash. I don't want anything adding outside of the factory spaces or anything modified visually so, my hope is that there'll be products that will allow me to retain most of the good bits of the existing system and just replace the two subs (yes, it has two in the rear shelf) for ones that work to my satisfaction (hell, they only need to reach the standard of a typical factory-fit HK system for me to be delighted!).
The funny thing is, I nearly didn't check the audio system before I bought the car as I honestly thought the B&O (especially at £5k+!) would be the very best and would deliver all I could ever ask for!
Finally, in answer to a few of your helpful responses, a couple of you have mentioned whether the speaker polarity is correct. However, given factory-fit systems all utilise one-way connectors, I'd be surprised if these could be fitted the wrong way round
. Also, with another SLS sounding exactly the same, whats the chances of them both having been wired incorrectly?
Also, Mega....this is 100% a factory-fit option, and one that is a well documented as being integral to the car right from the development stage! B&O reckon they were involved in the development of the car to get the right speaker positions and did thousands of km's of tests to ensure they got it just right. This is why I'm so confused as to why both examples I've heard are so shit. Also, I've searched and searched...and searched again and, apart from just ONE other post from 2 years ago from a guy in the US, there is nothing anywhere online from anyone else complaining about this. Really very odd....but then I've sat in two cars which sound shit and I guess the previous owners of these just spec'd the option because it was 'the best' and probably didn't know what they were hearing (if indeed they used it at all).
When I get my car back, if it's no better I will try and make a recording so you can all hear this and see what you think!