Case In Point: THX on Wheels - HotHardware

Case In Point: THX on Wheels

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The Center Channel Challenge
Unlike high end sound systems in other vehicles, you may never know what components are actually behind the speaker grille or under the rear deck, where the DSP unit and 12-channel, 600W amplifier live. Instead, THX assists in the design process, supplying a set of specifications, then helps Ford test the system to make sure the specs are met. These specs include frequency response, audio output at reference levels, measured distortion at reference levels and more. The end result is an overall clean sound that’s fairly neutral, though you can tweak bass, treble and other settings.


Some Audio Configuration Controls

The audio system is available in two different configurations: stereo and full 5.1 channel surround sound with built in DVD player. If you opt for the surround sound system, you can enable DTS Neural Surround, which takes a stereo music signal and synthesizes a 5.1 channel mix.

One of the big challenges when building 5.1 system into a car is the center channel speaker. THX wanted a real center channel, not a virtualized one. Ford balked, believing that a true center channel would be too bulky for the space available in the center of the dashboard.

Thus, the slot speaker was born. PC users with refined audio tastes may know about THX designed slot speakers – the THX certified Razer Mako speakers use them in the satellites. But the slot speaker was originally designed for automotive use. That low profile design allowed THX and Ford to embed an actual center channel speaker in the dash.


THX Certified--The Badge Says So

One of the other aspects of a 5.1 system is the “.1” – a true subwoofer that can handle LFE (low frequcney extension) effects. The MKT has an 8-inch, long throw subwoofer in the back of the vehicle near the rear door. Tweeters are built into the right and left windshield columns, and the midrange drivers are built into the doors.

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THX on Wheels.... That's a song by My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, right? :)

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What, no 0-60 m.p.h. or 1/4-mile times!!!Big Smile



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dude is all about the noise, not the speed :p

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Cool review, but if you can afford this car, you can afford to put a kickass sound system in your Corolla.

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gibbersome:

Cool review, but if you can afford this car, you can afford to put a kickass sound system in your Corolla.

I'm just the opposite. I'd settle for an AM radio as long as it came installed in a kick-ass car!

 

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I like the slot style dashboard speaker.

I would have liked pics of the subwoofer and the other speakers they used though.

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Me too, the kick ass car is the way to go.

The Subaru he started with is a good start. They're built real nice and sturdy,......I had a Subaru Forester a few years back and it was a Turbocharged car. It hauled ass and left most other cars out there looking stupidly at your tailpipe as you left them behind. Wheee!

What a bunch of fun it was to drive! It had tons of traction and the stereo was quite nice as well. Big Smile

Yeah, kick ass car for sure,...........

 

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I prefer to listen to the car tunes.

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Looks cool, I will say that however it sorta screams gimmick all the same, I could see a THX qaudrophonic setup, but the center chan isn't gonna work unless its mimicked in the back seat, seat distance is unequal, and driver pos'n is less then ideal for speaker separation.

 

That said depending on implementation it could sort of work to create a sound envelope that could be convincing.  But I mean multi-channel soundtracks normally require (near)perfect situations to create an accurate soundstage.  This why '4 stereo' DSPs work so well with current indash decks

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