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Old 04-06-2009, 06:30 PM
05v10 05v10 is offline
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THX Sound in MKX

I have noticed and others I've read have been complaining about the poor quality of the sound system with this high end unit. We purchased a new '08 Limited Mkx and the sound system isn't up to par. You have to turn the bass as high as possible to even notice it's there. The dealer acknowledged that Lincoln knows there is a problem but they don't have an answer at this time. I've heard that the DVD units have a different amp and you don't have this problem. I not looking for a thumper but I would like to get what I thought I was paying for. Anyone having this problem or heard of this? Other than that the MKX has been flawless and wonderful to drive.
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Old 04-07-2009, 08:31 PM
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I'm actually quite surprised to hear owners complaining about the performance of the sound system considering CNET had nothing but positive things to say about the THX audio system.

Here's some quotes from CNET praising the the sound system.

" Sirius Travel Link, Sync, and a hard-drive-based navigation system combine to make a killer cabin tech package in the 2009 Lincoln MKX, and the THX audio system is aural icing on the cake."

"The MKX also boasts an audio system designed by THX, the best available for the money."

"The Lincolns get the addition of that very impressive THX audio system. "

"The THX audio system produces excellent audio quality through 14 speakers, with a full 600 watts of power."

You catching my drift? There's more praise where that came from.

I'm not doubting you but are you sure you have the optional THX sound system?
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:01 PM
05v10 05v10 is offline
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I'm quite sure that it is the THX. Not only the extensive research I did before I bought but the price sticker and the Big THX symbol that comes on every time the switch is cut on and the nice label on the dash speaker that you can't miss. I only asked the question because I'm not the only one having this issue because I've read about it on other forums. I was hoping that the gurus of Ford/Lincoln on this site would have an answer before I went any further at the dealership. If they tested a THX system with DVD it has a different amp system than a non DVD system. That is what I reading other places. I turned in a Mariner that would thump so bad it would rattle everything in the car on a country song. You couldn't even think about turning the bass more than half way because the rear seat passenger couldn't even hear you talk. I now have the THX turned with as much bass as possible and you'll do good to know if it has bass. I was hoping for a true feeling of surrond sound, but i've been sorely dissappointed. Nice car but the radio and sound system sucks!!!
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 05v10 View Post
I'm quite sure that it is the THX. Not only the extensive research I did before I bought but the price sticker and the Big THX symbol that comes on every time the switch is cut on and the nice label on the dash speaker that you can't miss. I only asked the question because I'm not the only one having this issue because I've read about it on other forums. I was hoping that the gurus of Ford/Lincoln on this site would have an answer before I went any further at the dealership. If they tested a THX system with DVD it has a different amp system than a non DVD system. That is what I reading other places. I turned in a Mariner that would thump so bad it would rattle everything in the car on a country song. You couldn't even think about turning the bass more than half way because the rear seat passenger couldn't even hear you talk. I now have the THX turned with as much bass as possible and you'll do good to know if it has bass. I was hoping for a true feeling of surrond sound, but i've been sorely dissappointed. Nice car but the radio and sound system sucks!!!

Is this the thread where you got your info about the different amp on post 6?
MKX sound system problems - CarSpace Automotive Forums

"I had A 2007 MKX that had A THX Sound System with A DVD player and the sound system was awsome. on Jan 3 2009 I leased another MKX 2008 with a THX
sound system and no dvd player this time my wife picked it up on the fifth of Jan 2009 and she told me when I got home that the sound system did not sound the same as the 2007 MKX well that night I took it for A test drive after dinner and with in the first minute on the road and A good song I put the volume at half and found that their was no bass or very little and for the rest of the sound was horrible I was useing the usb port I then tryed the line in and found the same thing I was not happy I brought it back home and found this Web Site then played some more with the settings and it made no differance next moring I brought it back to the lincoln dealer and explaned to them that the 2008 did not sound the same as the 2007 and also said that I wa not happy with the sound system at all I left the MKX with them and later that day they called me back and said that they tryed other MKX`s on their lot and come up with the same sound they then pulled my 2007 in and tryed it and indeed they to found that their was a differance in sound and this is what they found. with the THX sound system and the DVD player it had the propper amp to power the speakers but if you have A THX system with NO REPEAT NO DVD player ford put A cheap under powered amp in so to solve my MADDENESS Just take A guest what they did oh they did fix it and now my THX system ROCKS. "


According to this guy, his dealership simply replaced the bad amp with the better amp so maybe you should just push your dealership to install the better amp.
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  #5  
Old 04-08-2009, 06:25 PM
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i worked at a lincoln dealership and i noticed that the low end THX sound systems didnt have that thump, the MKZ had by far the most bass in their system

the ones with the dvd player seemed to have better thump, but my biggest complaint is the MKS there is no bass in that

but back onto the subject, i would try to find out the difference in the amps and if at all possible just swap one out

even know your gunna be payin through the ***
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Old 06-10-2009, 07:26 AM
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I have an 07 MKX with the THX and DVD. The sound quality is excellent, plenty of bass, and very well balanced. I am running all bass and treble controls flat (no boost) and have no complaints at all.
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:18 AM
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Came here to revive this old thread and see if anyone is still familiar with this problem.

I recently bought a pre-owned 2008 MKX and found the exact issue described here. The vehicle has every option except for the DVD player and at first I thought the subwoofer was blown. After a little bit of nosing around I can hear that the sub is indeed working it's just that the volume is super low -- to the point that it's almost useless. I've been searching the web for an answer and oddly enough there really isn't much information about this problem.

What I did find is the following: If you hold the preset buttons 3 and 6 on the radio for a few seconds you will enter a diagnostic screen. It will first do a speaker test which plays a tone in each of the speakers, including the sub, in sequence. The sub does have a tone when it's supposed to so it is connected. After the test you are given other menu choices one of which is a status screen. It is in this screen where I think the problem may lie. Among the various parameters are "5.1" and "Subwoofer". On my vehicle they are both listed as "Not Enabled". I have THX and a subwoofer so I imagine they should both be enabled. The problem is that you need the Ford diagnostic tools to enable these options.

Originally I assumed that the head unit in my vehicle was not the original and when it was replaced it was not programmed for this vehicle. Apparently the dealerships can reset or program the radios according to your VIN. These radios can be found in various Ford/Lincoln/Mercury cars and trucks and not all of them have the same options such as subwoofers so it is important for the radio to be programmed for the configuration of the vehicle. There are posts on the web from people who previously did not have a factory sub, bought one off of ebay, installed it and it would not work until they sent the radio out to some guys who have the tools to program them.

Now I'm thinking that my radio is in fact the original and maybe because I don't have the DVD player option Ford leaves those options disabled. I was able to contact someone who used to program the radios and he told me that if you have THX they both should be enabled and that the 5.1 setting will override the subwoofer setting so that if 5.1 is enabled, the sub would also automatically be enabled. I wonder if Lincoln somehow overlooked this and left those options disabled if you don't have the DVD player even though you have THX. (Why would you 'need' THX if you don't have a DVD player anyways?)

The problem now is that I can't find anyone who is able to program these radios anymore. I also don't really believe the amplifier swap 'fix' that was mentioned and think maybe the dealer programmed that guy's radio with a VIN from a vehicle on the lot that had the DVD player -- essentially enabling those options.

Sorry for the long winded first post but I've been going crazy trying to find a solution. If anyone has any more information I would love to hear about it. Thanks!
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:43 PM
05v10 05v10 is offline
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Thanks for the info. If I find out anything I'll let you know.
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:59 PM
rpoitras rpoitras is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 05v10 View Post
Thanks for the info. If I find out anything I'll let you know.
Could you do me a favor and check the diagnostic screen on your vehicle and post what the settings are for 5.1 and Subwoofer? Just turn on the radio and hold the 3 and 6 preset hard buttons until the screen pops up then enter the status menu. You cannot alter any settings so its safe to do. I think I am on to something and I am about to send out my radio for programming but this would help us and others in our situation. If yours shows disabled as well then I think that is the problem and programming should fix it.
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Old 01-25-2011, 12:30 PM
rpoitras rpoitras is offline
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I called my local dealership parts department today to check if there were more than one amplifier available for the MKX -- one for the vehicle with the DVD player and one without. I explained why and he gave me a number to call to get more information. I explained what was happening to this other guy and he confirmed that 5.1 and Subwoofer should definitely be enabled on the radio if you have those options. I told him about the other post/theory that some dealership had replaced the amp (no-DVD option to DVD option) for someone and that supposedly fixed the issue and he didn't believe it at all. He said that a) the amps are the same with or without the DVD player, and b) the subwoofer is pass-through anyway meaning the radio amp does not power the sub, the separate subwoofer amp does, so why would a different radio amp make any difference since the signal for the sub is simply being passed through to the rear subwoofer amp. This makes sense to me since apparently there are two amps: one behind the radio that powers the regular speakers and the other that is attached to the housing of the subwoofer box itself that powers it.

So, although I'm finding out more information I'm still not positive about the solution. It will cost $100 to reprogram the radio, plus shipping, plus I'll be out of a radio during that time. And this is to simply enable one or two options on a radio that should have already been enabled and I'm not even sure if that will fix it.

05v10, if you (or anyone else with the MKX reading this) could do a quick check of that screen and post up the results it would help greatly. If your options are disabled as well then I will definitely send my radio out for programming and see if that fixes it. If yours are enabled then it points to one of the amps as the likely culprit. This is pretty frustrating.
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Old 01-26-2011, 07:25 PM
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Checked my radio and the subwoofer nor the 5.1 is enabled. My car is still under warranty and I'll see if I can get it reprogramed by the dealer because I'm on record twice about the suck a.. radio that cost a chunk of money.
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:03 PM
rpoitras rpoitras is offline
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A little more info and a little farther from a solution...

I received my shop manuals for the MKX today and read through the sound system portion and have some new information which contradicts what I was told previously.

If you have the THX system, which I know we both do, there is ONE amplifier located in the rear behind the subwoofer. The amp is also referred as the DSP module and receives all the channel signals from the radio, amplifies the signals, and sends them out to all speakers (12?) including the subwoofer. This differs from what I was told previously that there was a separate amplifier for the subwoofer itself or that may be the Premium sound system (no THX, less speakers). With the Premium sound system the amplifier looks like it's in front near the radio.

Originally I was thinking that I just needed it programmed but now I'm not so sure because of that one guy who said they swapped amplifiers in his vehicle and that fixed it. Since I just found there is NOT a separate amp with the whole pass-through thing for the subwoofer then it could be the one main amp afterall. SO FRUSTRATING!!!

Once again I'm going to call some dealerships and try to get more info. I'm really trying here but it's been an uphill battle so far.

05v10, if your dealer figures it out please post back here as will I.
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Old 02-06-2011, 12:16 AM
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This may not help you at all but just for the record, my 1999 Navigator did in fact have two amps, one for the regular speakers and one for the sub. The sub amp was attached to the same housing as the subwoofer. So we do know that Lincoln did in fact use two amps at one time at least.

PS. It was the Alpine premium system.

I do have a 2009 MKX with the THX that sounds great. Let me know if there is anything I can check for you.
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Old 02-10-2011, 07:33 AM
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rbsample, I think Ford stopped using the Pioneer head unit in 2009 so I imagine it's a bit different than what I have but thank you for offering.

Well, I sent my radio out for programming and $150 later (shipping back/forth added up) it's exactly the same. I asked them to enable 5.1 and the Subwoofer which now both show Enabled in the 3+6 diagnostic menu but the sound hasn't changed at all. The sub is still very wimpy. The guy did ask if I wanted the DVD/Rear Entertainment System enabled and I said I didn't think so because I wasn't sure if that would mess anything up since I don't have the DVD option (he didn't know either) so that's pretty much it. I can't keep throwing money at this so I'm done unless someone else finds a fix. I imagine the only thing left is the amp, which goes along with that one guy's story where the dealership replaced it, etc. but my calls to the parts department trying to find out amp versions and/or part numbers were futile. Also, it's an $800 item new so it's not like I can just get one and try it out. This sucks.
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Old 02-13-2011, 09:39 AM
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Perhaps I can't help much...but a thought.

I have a Zephyr/MKZ with the THX system. It's a great system. Obviously, mine does not have the rear DVD setting.

However, I also have a 05 Excursion that has a rear seat set of controls for different sources to be played for the rear seat. (I do not have rear DVD) In the Ex, if one turns on the rear seat separate controls, the audio to the front speakers changes dramatically. I am wondering if indeed your unit has enabled the rear playback feature?
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Old 02-13-2011, 09:39 AM
 
 
 
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