I was driving my wife's new 2008 Acura RDX

and seem to dislike her "Elliot Scheiner ELS" fancy system. My Bose in the Acura 3.2 TL S (2002) is more natural in the mid range at least on redbook. At least less fatiguing.

My impression is that either the cdp section or the speakers have waay excessive high frequency energy presence peaks (intentional?) and it can be fatiguing fast. And the highs and lows are not extended.

Any comments from other owners of the ELS system?
Is it broken in yet?
Perhaps the room acoustics aren't the best. Have you considered adding sound-absorbing materials throughout the car's hard surfaces, such as the windows? :~)
Have you made sure the treble adjustment isn't cranked all the way up? Every time I turn on a stereo in a test drive or a rental car, the treble and bass are maxed out. I guess some people like it like that.
It's the 'Turbo' effect.....
Have you tried re-cabling the interconnects in the car? I recently took my BMW to a high end car audio shop and had them install Nordost Silver Mobile Mk 2 cables throughout. This dramatically lowered the noise floor and improved detail and focus. They also tried to sell me Purist Audio power cables (their top of the line car audio PCs: Dominus Mobilus), but at $900/ft I will stick with the stock BMW power cables at the expense of some resolution.
Has the system been cryo'd?

Have you considered placing your car on brass cones or a wall shelf?

Good luck.
Get Machina dynamica Teleportation Tweak. You can be driving, while on the phone, and your system will be upgraded. YMMV.
Tvad- If he's up north the car will be cryoed by weeks end :)
While you are at it stick a clever little clock on the dash
I'd replace the battery and the power cord in the cable nest. Then give it 200 hours minimum.
All good suggestions... no, really.

Have to agree with Drubin though, the system may not have settled in yet. Try leaving the radio running at a healthy volume on several successive weekend or other days that you are around the house but not using the car. You can go out and start and run the engine occasionally to make sure the battery isn't running down. See if that loosens up the drivers and cooks the wires a bit. If not, maybe it is just a crappy design.

My Eclipse and Focal system took nearly a year of city driving and listening to relax. And that is with teenagers using.
This is a funny thread. You funny (and clever) guys...
I have a feeling it’s a vibration issue that's distorting the sound (especially prominent with V8 HEMI's). The good news is there are several great isolation devices that could help mitigate the vibration effect and produce a better quality sound. I would recommend that you rest your Wife's radio on a Sistrum SP1 Isolation stand. You may need to re-configure your entire vehicle to accommodate the device which in turn may upset your wife ...but the hell its all about the music right? I also agree with the other member suggestions as well (clever lock, footers, etc...) the culmination of all these devices may take you where you want to go.

Best of luck!
I also heard that Koni shocks beat the Hell out of Bilsteins for controlling vibration induced distortion. Some people say that low air pressure helps, but I say you need a tight connection with the road...
I like the hula girl and nodding head dog on the dash to help with window reflections. Ohh and don’t forget the fuzzy dice to dampen the sound a little more. Some people prefer air fresheners. But that is going a little too crazy. ;-)
Hey folks, some of you are mocking.

Acura is selling this off as serious audio. Elliott Scheiner talks like he really knows. I auditioned the DVD-A that came with the vehicle, and it's absolute trash. Tchaikovsky in a 5 channel barrel for the last of 21 cuts on the disc. Wow, was it bad. Sounded like AM radio with added efx echo.

I drove my TL - S 2002 with the old Bose. MUCH better, particular in the mid to upper bass frequencies. I think that's where the problem exists, and there is no graphic equalizer, just bass and treble and relative loudness of the speaks.

Thanks to some of you--keep the responses coming.
Why not try adjusting the bass and treble controls? Seems to me this is the first step.

My Bose system in my Corvette sucked. The Harmon Kardon systems in our BMWs are infinitely better.

They all have bass and treble controls, BTW. I'd imagine a fancy pants Elliot Scheiner system probably has even more advanced DSP controls.
In all seriousness, while I don't like Bose systems, they do sound pleasing in the midrange and their philosophies of sound reproduction probably work decently in a car system (though I turned it down as an option in my wife's Audi). Does this new sound system allow for treble and bass adjustments? Have you played with those controls? Part of the problem in a lot of these systems is trying to figure out all the adjustments; maybe something is out of whack? Or is this one that purports to adjust itself with no ability to change the sound?
Who the hell is Elliot Scheiner?
Guys and gals, I did all the things you suggest, turning the treble up, down, flat and the bass the same way. It's got a tipped up high frequency but no extended high frequency. Everything sounds sharp and it sounds brightly cool on pop, rock, etc. Their demo DVD-A used a multichannel mix of jazz with the classic guitar in back of you, keyboard back on the other side, bass in your head, etc. Sounded like my old pingpong stereo Command LP's of yesteryear, which admittedly, can be fun. Not realistic.

Sarah Brightman Webber EMI, Szell Philips 50th Beethoven 5/Sibelius 2, Van Cliburn Tchaikovsky pc 1 and Rachmaninoff pc 2 RCA hybrid, and others, no go.

I ended up with bass 1-2 up, treble 3 notches down and most of the sound away from the center (terrible speaker), with a bit more sound from the back than the front speakers and left right equal.
Seems as though it's either a badly designed and engineered system, or something isn't working properly. Hard to tell from this end.

Fortunately for you it's not in your daily driver. Is your wife unhappy with the sound as well?

Good luck.

I think that's where the problem exists, and there is no graphic equalizer, just bass and treble and relative loudness of the speaks.

Throw a Behringer DEQ2496 in the front seat of that bad boy, and you're good to go.
jeff bowman, good idea :)

I am asking for folks who experienced the same and maybe solved it without ripping out this fake high end system. If one looks at the website for ELS audio Acura, they rave like swooning teens about how great it is.
I'm no Bose fan but had one in a Maxima. This had the 4" drivers in front,6X9 in the rear. No tweeters, just full range drivers. Each speaker had its own amp that included an EQ circuit specifically designed for the car. I added a sub and it was quite nice considering what it was. Good mids and very coherent. I think this has to do with just a single driver. Nothing is more offensive to my ears than a driver down on the door on one "plane" and a tweeter up high on a different one.


The tweeters on the A pillars are probably your problem.

My 2005 Accord has the tweeters in the dash corners pointed at the windshield, a terrible location that causes a horn effect between the windshield and the dash. A 15 minute ride at moderate volume would give me a headache.

My temporary solution was fast food napkins over them, a vast improvement. A thick hat worn over the ears is also effective. I do have a screwdriver gouge in the dash near one where I tried to pry one out in a fit of frustration.

Leaving the stereo on overnight a few times and turning the treble way down until they were broken in seems to have worked.

At present the treble and bass are at -2 and 0, and the sound is quite good for a factory stereo. Not in a detailed or accurate way, but fairly balanced and a slightly plump midbass to add some thump to my dance music. I also noticed that the audio system seems to be equalized differently for different sources, when listening to FM, there is an intolerable bass boost that sounds so unnatural that it is unpleasant. Perhaps you could check different sources and see if yours is similar.

I think you should stick some black felt over the tweeters for a while until they break in.
I only listen to talk radio so I don't even know what our cars systems sound like!! I run only 1 channel in the front cause its easier to hear a talking voice out of one channel opposed to 4 channels with the driver not balanced and getting the right ear hammered.

It probably drives my with nuts but she always leaves it on the one channel when she listens to her music. I sound like my old man now! Car factory systems are a disapointment anyways compared to the home.
trucker, my system is 5.1 system. No tweets. I had those kind of things on our old car, the Lexus RX 300 (1998 1/2), which had a boomy softer sound, but at least wasn't sharp sounding.
Found the answer to my own problem and question.

doesn't go through, but here's the text, an answer in 10.07 to "Weak ELS sound?" on the acura forum:

Originally Posted by pdphill
The image processing of the ELS makes up for less than stellar speakers and amps. When I got my TL, the quality of the sound was amazing, but it certainly lacked the punch and clarity of my medium-priced aftermarket system in my Legend (still using the factory audio unit). Same for the RDX. For those of you who also notice this, keep in mind that the watt rating is not RMS but peak and is at 10% distortion at that rating. The 5 channel amp is about 6 X 8 X 2, so you can imagine the lack of quality. As for the stock speakers, the MSRP prices from Acura are $24.73 for the 4 door speakers, $21.28 for the 2 tweeters, $22.10 for the center, $25.48 for the 2 satellites and $236.62 for the sub unit which includes the 8" sub, plastic box and separate amp. In the base RDX, the sub and box costs $68.50 since there is no amp. I have pulled one of the door speakers and it is lightweight junk. I'm amazed it gets the sound it does. Imagine what some decent speakers and amps could do for this system. I am planning an upgrade and my first decision for the front door, tweeter and rear doors is between Boston Acoustics Pro60 or Focal 165V2. Any thoughts?
I would make sure you like the Focal metal tweeter, I had some reference MB Quart with a metal tweeter and even with McIntosh equipment and good wire I hated them. It does seem people give both good reviews but remember most are car audio idiots that can't hear.