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2019 S Caesium Blue
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!

I'm new here, car is amazing for a million reasons I won't go into and that you all already know.

tl:dr - On my car, S22A update makes music played through CarPlay sound terrible

I've had my CPO 2019 S for a few months and I'm now a veteran of the low-voltage-system-bricks-the-car problem, which was handled expertly by the dealer here in LA. The dealer did some software updates as part of the repair. A short while after picking the car up, I accepted a SOTA update prompt and got the infotainment set to version S22A. it took a few hours and a few starts for the CarPlay navigation to work right, and I had to toggle between 12hr and 24hr clock a few times before the center display caught on, but the big problem is sound processing, especially using Apple Music over CarPlay.

What I'm hearing (and didn't hear before the update) is a massive amount of dynamic compression. Source material that's already brick walled (in the audio mastering sense) sounds a little more crushed than it should, but older stuff with more dynamic range in the mastering is almost unlistenable. Everything is super pumpy, with guitar fret squeaks and cymbals flying all over the place and then entire mixes being swallowed up in black holes of bass when the limiters really kick in. It's a mess.

I don't notice the problem as much over radio (including Sirius), but those signals are usually compressed (dynamically) anyway.

I haven't spoken to the shop or to Jaguar about this yet, so when I do I may be a lot more knowledgable. But here are my theories:

1. There's a mismatch between the software running in my car and the system. I don't have access to any surround parameters, just EQ and balance. Maybe the software is trying to run some gimmicky surround stuff on a system where the hardware doesn't support it, and it's in error.

2. There's no mismatch, and Jaguar/Meridian decided to include a new, poorly-considered DSP module beyond the reach of the consumer, and are waiting for me to thank them.

3. There's some deep-level menu that I'm too dumb to find where I can turn this "feature" off. It smacks of something I found in the literature known as Dynamic Volume Control, but I don't think my car has that. And if it does, I wish it didn't.

I don't think this is some golden-ears problem, and I don't have especially high expectations for this audio system. I found it to be acceptably clean and straightforward before, and reasonably responsive to my mild EQ adjustments.

If anybody else is hearing what I'm hearing on their own systems, let me know. Meanwhile, I'll keep the group posted when I talk to the techs about it.

Okay bye!

Paul

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I assume that you checked the audio setting like the meridian surround sound?

I haven’t seen this reported elsewhere. Is it with all formats, like even songs you have downloaded on your device? I’m wondering if it could be an internet bandwidth streaming issue?

Another option would be some malfunctioning speakers.

Just throwing out ideas. You sound like you know 100x more about car audio than I do!
 

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2019 S Caesium Blue
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ha! Not really a car audio guy, just a lot of years recording music. The Meridian surround stuff is exactly the kind of thing I would expect to cause this if it weren't quite working right, but my system has never shown me any settings for this. Mine's an S and I don't think it has the fancy system.

It doesn't sound like a data bandwidth issue to me, although it's more noticeable with my phone as the source than it is with either terrestrial or satellite radio...I think it's because with my own music collection, I'm more aware of what the material is supposed to sound like, and I also expect a certain amount of dynamic flattening with radio broadcasts. On the other hand, I'm not hearing the problem when I use my phone through CarPlay in my wife's car.

Malfunctioning speakers...maybe the system has a limiter designed to protect the speakers, and it's kicking in way before it should (I should add that the problem exists at all listening levels).

Any thoughts are welcome! Thank you!

P
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
UPDATE

Spoiler alert: Not much to report.

The dealer in Los Angeles (excellent service by the way) found an update to the amplifier control software, which is separate from the SOTA software for the infotainment system overall, and installed it. Unfortunately, that failed to correct the problem. The dealer is going to to more research before I take the car back in. Next step for me is to see if I can open a channel to Jaguar or Meridian.

Stay tuned!

P
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
UPDATE

Nothing technical to report. I filled out a web form at Meridian, though, and got a reply along with a referral of the issue to Jaguar UK and then to the executive office of Jaguar Land Rover North America, all within a couple of days. There's a case number now. This is pretty exceptional responsiveness, in my experience, so I wanted to post it here to give credit where credit is due.

More to come.

P
 
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