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Old 09-29-2012, 01:53 PM   #41
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Once you open the sun roof and windows all bets are off. It takes massive watts and audio sophistication to get good sound in an open environment because the sound waves disperse in every direction and for the most part just keep going. In a closed environment you get reflected sound. Audio engineers can design for closed environments because constraints are known that is until you start opening things to the exterior. Do you have a lot money? I mean a lot of money, because you're going to need it.

Yeah. And I'm not interested in spending money on it. At this stage of my life I'll take sounds good and integrated over "front row concert volume"

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Old 09-29-2012, 08:03 PM   #42
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Those who think the center speaker should be disconnected probably have fried hearing. Mid range is usually the first band to go. Keep cranking the volume and it won't matter because soon you won't hear much of anything.
Linchpin, another former rock drummer here, (amateur admittedly) with pretty decent ears still. I honestly believe the center channel is there because of market expectations and customer appeasement but has little function for music and in fact is a distraction due to the low quality of the driver and the preponderance of mid range content which would seem to support the inverse of your claim. Mine is disconnected and will remain so. Just my opinion of course....
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Old 09-29-2012, 09:10 PM   #43
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Linchpin, another former rock drummer here, (amateur admittedly) with pretty decent ears still. I honestly believe the center channel is there because of market expectations and customer appeasement but has little function for music and in fact is a distraction due to the low quality of the driver and the preponderance of mid range content which would seem to support the inverse of your claim. Mine is disconnected and will remain so. Just my opinion of course....
Music is a very personal thing especially today when many sounds, in particular very low frequencies, are synthesized. This includes many drum sounds which are fired by triggers.

My first options are to experiment with more sophisticated EQs and signal processors which can do wonders for crappy sound. At the end of the day the best sound is what works for you. If the system sounds better with the centre speaker disconnected then pull the plug. There is no right or wrong. The issue is what you like.

Sony is just OK with me. If Ford had a super premium audio system as an option I would have gone for it. Ford Service.......are you listening?
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Old 10-01-2012, 01:00 PM   #44
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... If Ford had a super premium audio system as an option I would have gone for it. Ford Service.......are you listening?
What was that? Sorry, I was distracted by listening to some 80's metal bands on max volume.

Great idea, Linchpin. I'd suggest that you post your idea on http://social.ford.com/your-ideas/te.../infotainment/ and then share the link so we can all vote on it.

Rock on!
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:57 PM   #45
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Does the center channel grill pop off from the top?

As an ex-audio industry guy (13 years in the stereo biz) I think the system is a little too bright in the midrange - so I'm hoping that disconnecting the center speaker might tone it down a little. Having a midrange speaker that close to angled glass tends to do screwy things to the sound anyway.

I really wish it had a better built-in eq. For a stock system, I still think its pretty impressive. It really just needs a little tweaking. Better quality tweeters might help.
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Old 10-13-2012, 12:46 AM   #46
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Hearing loss is at epidemic levels in society today. This especially true among the younger generation who grew up with personal players and smartphones. And when companies put limiters on volume idiots quickly found ways to defeat them. The problem is that as hearing loss sets in those so affected keep cranking up the volume. Sound systems in some cars are so loud I can hear them coming blocks away.
Need some cheese with that whine grandpa? ;-)
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Old 10-13-2012, 01:32 AM   #47
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Does the center channel grill pop off from the top?

As an ex-audio industry guy (13 years in the stereo biz) I think the system is a little too bright in the midrange - so I'm hoping that disconnecting the center speaker might tone it down a little. Having a midrange speaker that close to angled glass tends to do screwy things to the sound anyway.

I really wish it had a better built-in eq. For a stock system, I still think its pretty impressive. It really just needs a little tweaking. Better quality tweeters might help.
Speaker placement is a challenge in any automobile because the audio engineer doesn't have a carte blanche on interior territory. There are limited choices for speaker placement. In the Sony system in the Focus tweeters face across the cockpit at dash level with mids down under the dash also facing across the cockpit. A lot of the sound waves that would normally be reflected in a better audio environment are absorbed except for the mid under the windshield. The hard live glass surface reflects and disperses mid frequency sound waves straight back at the occupants. This can make the system sound harsh and excessively bright. One way to suppress this is to shift the audio centre slightly behind the front seats.

I agree that the built-in eq is not very effective. You can make the system sound a lot better with either the eq built into the iPad or iPhone or through the use of an eq app. My favourite is EQu. It has a number of presets that allow the user to quickly compare a number of choices then fine tune the one they like by manipulating the eq curve with their finger.

Since eqs are digital it would not be hard for Ford to add an eq like EQu and 4 off centre audio imaging presets to help users figure out which direction to adjust the centre.
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Old 10-13-2012, 09:32 AM   #48
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"WizardSkills said: After years of replacing decks, speakers and adding subs to previous cars with dubious, albeit loud, results I have finally laid that nonsense to rest........"

Yeah that is a very tiring routine. I have done that several times, then gotten rid of the car(s) two years later. Then comes the headache trade in time. Do you "uninstall" the extra stuff or leave it in the car and lose over $1000. I've done it both ways.

Who wants to remove door panels on an old car while trying to take delivery of a new one ?

I have the factory 6 speaker AM/FM/CD/SIRIUS/SYNC crap in mine > works fine.
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Old 10-13-2012, 11:04 AM   #49
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"WizardSkills said: After years of replacing decks, speakers and adding subs to previous cars with dubious, albeit loud, results I have finally laid that nonsense to rest........"

Yeah that is a very tiring routine. I have done that several times, then gotten rid of the car(s) two years later. Then comes the headache trade in time. Do you "uninstall" the extra stuff or leave it in the car and lose over $1000. I've done it both ways.

Who wants to remove door panels on an old car while trying to take delivery of a new one ?

I have the factory 6 speaker AM/FM/CD/SIRIUS/SYNC crap in mine > works fine.
Adding an amplifier and a sub is one thing because low frequencies are non directional. So sub placement is not a big deal. But getting really decent sound in a car interior takes a skilled audio engineer who is able to place speakers in the optimal location. This is why as far as I am concerned the best option is for Ford to either offer a high end option with Sony or partner with a company like Bose or B&O. This would mean trading up to a 2014 or 2015 Focus. But if Ford offers some of the options I wanted but couldn't get in my 2012 Ti I would trade up. Switching is easier than retrofitting a sound system into my present Focus then ripping it out when I trade or sell it.
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Old 10-13-2012, 12:31 PM   #50
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Does the center channel grill pop off from the top?

As an ex-audio industry guy (13 years in the stereo biz) I think the system is a little too bright in the midrange - so I'm hoping that disconnecting the center speaker might tone it down a little. Having a midrange speaker that close to angled glass tends to do screwy things to the sound anyway.

I really wish it had a better built-in eq. For a stock system, I still think its pretty impressive. It really just needs a little tweaking. Better quality tweeters might help.
If the center channel had level control it might serve a function, lack of DSP being a curious oversight given minimal cost, ease, and prevalence throughout industry, so disconnecting it is the easy solution, much better in my opinion. This will keep the stage in front of you where it belongs while ridding yourself of the midrangey harshness. Let us know your opinion after you try this.
Lot's of suggestions on how to do it but mine came up very easy just using fingernails to pry it up starting at the window and working toward you. Don't forget to use the convenient dummy plug for the speaker terminal after you disconnect it.
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