My new SLS

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I'm still going to say it's due to using mp3 media.

I have a mix that I really like but is only available as download...but think it sounds really flat and dull due to being mp3.

I hate mp3...
Seems to suggest that B&O are just paid a fee by Mercedes and have sold out their @ss to allow Mercedes to brand up any old tat at B&O and charge a hefty premium.

Keep it in context though, may move from your usual jungle music to some classical - might improve your mpg too!!!


Interestingly, when I had the door trims off to remove the residual glue and tints on the side windows, the speakers in the door (behind silver B&O covers) were totally unbranded. Saying this, the doors only contain a small 3 inch (ish) speaker - the larger (mid-bass?) is down in the passenger footwell and tweeters atop the dash.

Lol at the Jungle music :D Maybe the system hasn't been designed and tested with hip hop and R&B music ;)

Andy, no car is perfect mate. Try not to let this get in the way of a car you've wanted for so long.

Sorry but I don't buy into this theory.

When spending well over £100k on anything (or nearly double if I was the first owner), I expect ALL aspects of it to work at least as well as I'd get in a similar product costing many times less. I do largely expect this car to be perfect, because that is what I'm paying for. My expectations are reasonably set by what is achievable at a much lower price.

Personally, I find turning up the bass on any audio equipment just makes it soft and muddies the overall sound.

Turn it down and keep it tight.

And thats where personal taste and opinion differs - on the contrary, I like to actually 'feel' the bass.

You would probably love this B&O system as you'll probably have little desire to add the bass that causes the distortion, and the mids and highs are admittedly very good.

Problem with most audio systems is when you boost or cut bass frequencies they are often very far up the frequency range. I have seen "bass" controls that tweak the 250hz range. When most people are referring to bass they normally mean the sub 100hz range.
If your have a good high pass filter on your full range speakers and a decent sub to take all the hard work away from the door speakers then it can sound very good, without spending too much.
Lots of mb sound systems have too much bass going to the door speakers as standard imo.

Out of all the problems there could possibly be with this car, sorting a sound system is one of the easiest!

Lets hope so!

I'd suggest by the lack of punch from the rest of the speakers (various little ones dotted around the car with mid-bass (or is it mid-range?) down in the footwells, they all have some kind of high pass filter applied to them.

However, from Palmball's description it sounds as though the sub's motor assembly is reaching the end of its travel with the combination of bass boost and overall volume he's using. Only solution is to use a more capable driver, and possibly a more capable amp too if that's being driven too hard.

It's definitely a sound typical of a cone moving too much, and out of control....which I think is what you're saying here?

I'm still going to say it's due to using mp3 media.

I have a mix that I really like but is only available as download...but think it sounds really flat and dull due to being mp3.

I hate mp3...

Maybe...we'll see when I get it back.

But, if so then it's still unacceptable to me because as I've said, this source works just fine in everything else. Indeed, in the Jaguar's Bowers and Wilkins system, this same source sounded, to me, sensational. It had such a powerful, deep, and punchy sound right up to some silly ear bleeding volumes (if you so wanted....I didn't). This meant you could (as I suugested I rather like above) really feel the music - huge power and absolutely no perceptible distortion.

HK in the E-class, whilst not up to the Bowers and Wilkins standard is also very good.

Given what you've said so far, I'd suggest you wouldn't like the sound in the Jag, or at least you'd have it set up significantly differently to how I had it. Saying this, type of music plays a big part - the type of music you like may not lend itself well to having significant bass whereas what I listen to, mainly R&B, dance and even some commercial pop, bass is a highly desirable feature of it (and without it, can have a flat sound).

If the B&O in the SLS is unable to perform similarly to these systems, yet costs at a minimum 700% more, then it's just not good enough. IMO, no £5k factory-fit system should be engineered to allow any distortion at any volume at any setting dialled into the head unit.

New subs goes in tomorrow (I think) so lets see what the dealer comes back with :crazy:
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I hate mp3...
I'm not a great lover of mp3 - especially at low bitrates - but at 320kbps many recordings are difficult to distinguish from the CD or lossless formats. There are exceptions of course, with some recordings that "trip up" the encoder leading to audible artifacts, but it generally doesn't alter the overall tonal characteristics or dynamic range, rather the subtle detail that gives a sense of soundstage.
I have a mix that I really like but is only available as download...but think it sounds really flat and dull due to being mp3.
More likely it's a badly eq'd transfer than it being mp3, imo (unless it's at a low bitrate, of course).
In-car, 320kps or VBR mp3 would probably suffice as you really should be paying more attention to your driving than the music.

When listening at home, I refuse to play anything digital other than original CDs or FLAC/ALAC files (if streaming). The only exception to this would be a 'sample' to determine if I like the music prior to purchasing it.

... and 24-bit, high-res master files can sound better than CD as many, many CDs are compressed in order to fit onto the CD.
Surely we have a new sub by now?

Things like this take time Dave but....we do now :bannana: And an update on other things AMG.....

After a recommendation from a chap on e90post, I took my car to Lee at Platinum In Car in Coventry who also happened to be relatively convenient for me location-wise. Lee impressed me from the start as he was knowledgeable on the phone, he was good when I went to see him and not once did he try to sell me anything that I didn't need to just fix the problem. He appeared to know what he was talking about and as such I booked the car in with him last week. Now he has done the work on sorting my distorting subwoofer, it seems he is also outrageously good in practice.

His attention to detail was really impressive - as an example, he even painted the top of the subs black to ensure the logo on them couldn't be spotted behind the grills! He's going to send me the pics of the work which I'll pop up on here shortly.

OK, so the audio system in my car still probably won't whet the appetite of a proper audiophile because, when Lee was demonstrating his work to me and I was jumping up and down with excitement that he'd made it sound awesome, he was less than impressed. Whilst he was happy that he'd eradicated the distortion, he still wasn't impressed with the overall sound and just wanted to rip out the whole system and start again :bulge:

Apparently there are too many speakers, most are in the wrong place, they create phasing issues etc etc.....honestly, I can't tell and reckon I now have the best sounding audio system in any car I've owned. It always had potential with nice mids and highs (with the ability to go very loud without too much brightness) - all it needed was solid, punchy and undistorted bass that you can 'feel'. I now have this just as I always wanted it, and to my ears all distortion has gone - Flo Rida and JayZ have never sounded so good :lol:

Finally, hats off to Mercedes who paid a large chunk of the cost to have this aftermarket upgrade - it may well have been just to get rid of me (I agreed to relieve them of all responsibility), but as there was no actual fault, this wasn't somehting they had to do yet they genuinely seemed to want me to be happy.

More AMG updates.....

We've just come back from a weeks tour of Switzerland (my favourite Eurpean country and my first home :love:). As we took the outlaws who are also very interested in cars and take genuine interest in my antics, I arranged to stop off in Stuttgart on the way home where I booked us all in for a factory and AMG Design Studio tour (the department that did the customisation work on my C63). They loved it and although I'd done it previously three years ago, they've added some new features to their tour. An example is the ability to hold various engine components so you can feel the differences between the forged parts in an SLS (and C63 PPP) engine, compared to the parts in a standard '63 engine. I also met and shook hands with my engine builder who, bless him, didn't really know what to do with himself :eek: Seeing them crank up an engine on their hot test bench until the components glow orange (they even dim the lights to enhance the effect) is always good fun too!

We didn't only go there for the tour though. Before we left the UK, I tried to arrange a meeting with someone at AMG who would talk to me about my audio system. Whilst I knew I was sorting the issue myself, I wanted someone there to justify to me why such an expensive audio system could be so poor.

I was expecting to have some customer service person plonked in front of me so, imagine my surprise and delight when they wheeled out the two actual engineers who are responsible for all B&O audio systems in Benz's! Yes, the actual guys responsible were prepared to speak directly to a customer who was unhappy with their product. This deserves special credit as how many businesses, never mind ones the size of Mercedes, would entertain accountability to this level??

The guys spent a good hour with me talking about how they developed the system, how it works, what makes it special and different to other factory-fit in-car systems and they were also really open and honest with the limitations they faced. These were mainly around two areas - firstly, they had such a tight space in which to fit the system and, secondly, they were apparently very tightly constrained on the weight they could add to the car (so no big heavy subs or enclosures then!). They freely admitted that in their other cars with the B&O system (S-class, SL, CLS etc), they don't have these weight constraints so don't have to compromise, hence they sound a lot better. Although they wouldn't specifically admit that the system was compromised, in the end I felt a little sorry for the chaps as they came across very genuine and a bit frustrated, a bit like they knew it could be better.

Whilst they couldn't offer any 'official' solution, I was just delighted to be able to have my say, to be able to understand the reasons for its performance from their perspective and, most interestingly, they actually suggested a very similar solution to what I've ended up having done and even offered their contact details for my audio installer to contact them for any further information / assistance! Again, full kudos to AMG for allowing this to happen :thumb:

That wasn't the end of my trip to AMG though! You don't think I could go there and not see what trinkets they have available do you?

With the imminent release of the new SLS GT, which has ride control suspension, a few extra BHP and, most importantly, revised gearbox software to rid the car of it's one dynamic flaw (a super-fast gearchange spoilt by lethargic electronics), I really wanted AMG to offer the 'box upgrades to owners of the lowly standard SLS. It's the same 'box as in the Ferrari 458 but it's well documented how Mercs electronic programming creates a noticeable lag, for whatever reason. It's also been well documented in recent road tests of the GT that they have now 100% fixed the issue and I fully expected a request to have the new software in my car politely declined (after all, they would want me to buy the GT wouldn't they?).

So, surprise number two of the day was that they will fit the new software to my car :D Also, they would do this for little more than the cost of an aftermarket remap so, price-wise, it's extremely reasonable. All I have to do is take the car to them as a dealer could not do this (it requires a new ECU and updating of Mercedes systems to ensure that it forms part of the official specification of the car for future updates).

Of course, whilst the car is there it'd be rude not to have my door kick-plates in leather/carbon fibre which will match my centre console nicely or the new design of (AMG-embossed) gear lever. All of the above is absolutely necessary and I'm now planning when I can take it over there :D
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One of these passed me going in the opposite direction in Worsley Manchester on Sunday apart from being quite eye catching the standout feature was without doubt the exhaust sound and car was hardly moving - awesome.
Excellent post an top marks to MB/AMG
Palmball, have you ever driven an SLR? Interested to hear comparisons. :)
As always Andy a great write up and a brilliant piece of diagnostic work on your part and sticking to your guns when you knew there was something not right with the Audio system. Just really pleased fyou got it sirted out and it is now what it should be, a system that sounds 5k's worth....

Its going to be interesting as the R8 has the same system in it and comes as standard the B&O system which I am sure will be similar to the SLS one. I am the same as you mate in that I will expect a top notch sound from again a 5k option in the R8 V8 so if it sounds not how it should... I maybe popping up to see you mate and get him to work on mine. Talking of which I still havent managed to find a car that suits yet and am still on the hunt. I thouhgt I had one a few weeks back but the guy pulled out and decided he wanted more money after I had done the deal with him and gave him a deposit... You can imagine my response. So that one never came off.... I am hoping that the new facelift that comes out next weeke will mean there will be a few part ex's going in and may give me a better choice of car, but seriosuly as soon as I get mine, we will have to meet up with the boys.
Very interesting. Thanks for sharing :thumb:

Seeing them crank up an engine on their hot test bench until the components glow orange (they even dim the lights to enhance the effect) is always good fun too!

Fantastic to see, isn't it! Having seen this before, it always amuses me when people discuss the extremely careful running-in of their new engines. Can't take it above 4000rpm etc as it's never been there before...:D
Minor thread hijack - any specific spec you are looking for? My neighbour is in sales for Audi.

Ar thanks Seven thats really kind,

I am on the hunt for an R8 V10 FSI Coupe between a low milege 2009 to a 2011. Has to be an RTronic gearbox, would like the extended leaather, carbon pack if poss and my order of colours preference is 1. Sepang Blue, 2. Red, 3. Black, 4. Silver.

I have scaled the country on all the websites and currently there is nothing out there to match this spec. A lot of manual gearbox ones but RTronic is pretty rare and my number one priority. If he has any iodeas or if he hears of any part ex's coming in I would be very grateful if they can pass the details my way.

Thanks again buddy.....

R tronic is supposed to be a terrible clunky transmission .. not that I have driven one.
lovely upgrade Palmy, cant believe its taken me this long to read your post! TRAX this year?
C240Sport97 said:
R tronic is supposed to be a terrible clunky transmission .. not that I have driven one.

Driven quite a few now and they are fine
Great write up, only to be expected. Congratulations to MB for there customer relations. Maybe MB UK should take note. ?

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