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Poor Quality Sound from THX Sound System

Disappointing Infotainment sy

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41 replies to this topic

#41 jmcgliss


    New MKZ Member

  • Lincoln MKZ Member
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  • Region:U.S. Great Lakes
  • LocationChicago north burbs
  • My MKZ's Year:2015
  • My MKZ: mymkz
  • Current Vehicle:2015 MKZ 2.0L AWD Bronze Fire

Posted 11 September 2017 - 08:59 PM

TheRaven, I enjoyed reading your post.  My expectations are pretty low for car audio systems to the point I should probably just wear ear plugs that block road noise. When arriving at a gig, I find that my ears are fatigued from highway driving, even with the radio off.


Back to the topic, I agree that audio systems can sound "slow" (inadequately damped), or muddy. For 10 years, I have field tested pro-level bass guitar amplification gear for a well-known company that prove proper engineering and calibration is possible. In contrast, consumer grade amplifiers are voiced to sound "loud" which to my ears is bassy, boomy, or boxy.  Large concert venues bother me. I imagine auto interiors suffer from wave cancellation and such.


Our 2015 MKZ was just acquired so it will be a few days before we can play with the THX....or not :-D

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#42 TheRaven


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  • Region:U.S. Northeast
  • LocationReading, PA
  • My MKZ's Year:2013
  • My MKZ: mymkz
  • Current Vehicle:Lincoln MKZ Select

Posted 18 September 2017 - 07:46 AM



So i've been researching using everything I can find on this sound system.  Not surprisingly, complaints are plenty, so I knew that if I searched enough, I would find other audiophiles who chose to do something about this system.  I found a hint in one driver's evaluation where he said it sounded like the center channel level was just too high.  Then I evaluated same on my own system and realized that it did indeed seem as though the center channel was overpowering everything.  This was reinforced by the fact that as I faded the sound to the rear, it started to sound better. 


So I decided to take a look at what lays under that trapezoidal grille.  Turns out theres actually an array of speakers under there.  two 2.5" drivers and what appears to be a tactile transducer of sorts...all this covered by a heavy gauge steel plate?  Tough to wrap my mind around this design - take two low-quality, tiny speakers, cover them with a steel plate, and expect good sound?  Perhaps there is some magic here but it's tough for me to see.  I decided to test my hunch and simply disconnect the whole mess.  So after taking apart the entire center section of the dash, I was able to access the wire harness and disconnect the speaker.  Guess what?  MAJOR improvement.  I rebalanced the system (ended up with fader at -2) and re-tuned using the crappy EQ, and I now have passable sound!  It's still very meh for what is billed as a super-high-end system, but it's at least meeting modern standards.  I can live with this.


The next issue that I plan to tackle is the super-harsh metal-dome tweeters.  I'm not positive the issue lies completely with the tweeters themselves, but swapping them for fabric dome units with better range can only help.  Then I will find out if there is in fact an underlying crossover issue.  

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