I am also curious about this and I saw the car at the chicago auto show but have not heard the system. It is their new convertible two door, but i don't think it is available just yet. They are taking orders but I don't think delivery is until later in the spring.
I believe that AudioRevolution.com or Stereotimes.com had a review of this system a couple of months ago. You might check there.
My neighbor bought this car with the ML system. If you haven't been in a Lexus it is quiet and very well insulated--but it's still a car and there's still a certain amount of road noise. I also have a Lexus with the Nakamichi premium system in it. The Nakamichi is an excellent auto system. Good tonal balance, tight bass, clear midrange, and good separation. What separates the ML from the Nakamichi is soundstage. It actual develops a bit of a soundstage in front of the front windshield--like you are driving into the orchestra (or whatever you are listening to). Everything else: clarity, tight bass, dynamics, etc are about the same. For $4000 (which is the price of the ML option) you can buy a really nice piece of Mark Levinson gear for your home system that will really make a difference in critical listening session. I think you would have to be an audiophile that spends most of your listening time in the car to justify the $$--which many people do have to do--much of my listening time is travelling--but on planes (headroom is a great company in my opinion). I also understand the the ML auto system is made by Harmon Kardon--not at Madrigal--I don't have proof of that, but perhaps someone else can verify if that is or is not fact.
hey guys, there was a thread on this very topic, "levinson in lexus" , begun on 7/26/00.
I recently bought a Lexus LX470 with the Nav/Levinson system. Most of the cost of the system is in the superb Nav system. The Levinson portion is only about 30% of the cost. This is the first car I have owned in years that has a sound system and equalization package good enough to satisfy my picky ears and tastes. Not perfect, but far better than any other mfg offers. A SUV is a very difficult environment. Like a box with large areas of reflective glass. I heard the Toyota Land Cruiser sound system and it has problems and mediocre sound quality. I understand the equalization of Lexus sound systems was done by Madrigal. By the way, You can also watch DVD's with good sound on Nav system when the vehicle is not moving. However, I don't like the ASL mode because it boosts the bass level out of proportion when the cars speed is high.
Some Subaru Outback Spacial has mcintosh?
I think Levinson is a Harmon company, isn't it?? I know Toyota stereo's are basically HK / JBL combos (more Harmon Companies), so the Levinson / Lexus tie-in makes sense. How much do they actually charge for them?
The latest issue of TAS has a little review of the ML system in different Lexus models.
I have since had a ride in one, and I must say that for car audio it is not bad at all! I was pleasantly surprised by the low level of road noise that was evident in the car, and the sound system really did sound very decent.
Of course, it is still a car, not a listening room. I still do not care for trying to do any 'listening' in a car.
Since I have been thinking about buying this car, I have been doing some research. Here is a URL specifically about the sound system.
You can go to the pages for specs, performance, etc. It is quite impressive. regards-
One note, the TAS review thought the system in the SC430 sounded ok, but were amazed in the LS430. So if someone is seriously considering the Lexus for this system, keep this in mind. Also, if someone tells you they have heard it, ask which model they were in.
i commute 90 miles a day, & my main drive has *no* radio - i like to listen to the sweet sounds of that alfa v6 winding out. i enjoy my stereo at home, when in the car, i enjoy *driving*.
doug *tired of suv's/fones/trucks/stereos, instead of attentive drivers* sedon
Would that be a GTV6, then???