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Lincoln’s THX Certified sound system

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Sat, Oct 20, 2012

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

Chris Mann (of NBC’s “The Voice”) and the THX Certified sound system equipped 2013 Lincoln MKZ

By John Grafman A few dozen of us are standing in the living room of the charismatic music producer of Faircraft Records, Ron Fair (producer of artists like the Black Eyed Peas, Christina Aguilera, former Chairman at Geffen Records, and previously President at A&M Records). This is supposed to be something akin to a pre-release party for the incredibly talented classic-crossover recording artist Chris Mann (of NBC’s “The Voice”) on his worldwide debut of “Roads”, available on October 30th. But this is so much more. Now, the reason as to why we are here is a little convoluted. The THX Certified sound system is the much-vaunted audio package in the new Lincolns. Furthermore, Lincoln is the exclusive automaker to utilize THX audio systems. Faircraft Records, is producing Chris Mann, and Ford’s luxury division is the brand partner with both Ron and Chris. And, in honor of this affair, the new 2013 MKZ is gracing the front yard of Ron Fair’s house. For us, any opportunity to check out a new model is reason enough attend. But, it gets deeper than that. Before Chris gets to perform a few songs, a little “housekeeping” unveils that this is hardly just some random situation of singer gets a lucky break and a recording contract. The truth of the matter is, besides years of dedication and practice; many parties are coming together to support Chris Mann in his ascension. A few of the supporting cast in this endeavor are seated directly in front of me. Included in this cast of icons are Irving Azoff (Executive Chairman and CEO of both Live Nation Entertainment - formerly known as Ticketmaster, and Front Line Management, which manages artists ranging from Neil Diamond to Van Halen), President and CEO of Universal Republic Records Monte Lipman, NBC Chairman Robert Greenblatt, Manager Susan Markheim, songwriter/composer Diane Warren, and legendary singer/songwriter Paul Anka. Given all of this backing, Chris Mann could very well be the next Harry Connick, Jr.

Chris Mann Listening Event
A THX Certified sound system-equipped 2013 Lincoln MKZ (Lester Cohen/Getty Images)

It’s worth noting that the music industry and the auto industry share a similar trait. The road to success isn’t due to one person or company (except in rare circumstances), but many working in harmony to create the very best results. Both industries try to forge strong relationships with talented professionals and supporting companies with the mutual goal of creating a hot new artist, or a groundbreaking automobile as the case may be. However, the outcome is never a foregone conclusion. It’s easy to see why Lincoln is involved with Chris. His album is comprised of many songs that would seemingly fit the taste of Lincoln owners. Chris is youthful, but retains much of the flavor we would expect from old school talent, like Frank Sinatra. In his brief trio of songs being performed live for our appreciation, it’s clearly evident that he’s not just going through the motions, he’s really into the songs. I’m sure that the common thread that both Lincoln and Chris share is that of passion. With that, one can do almost anything. Well, regardless of whether the public embraces the smooth, operatic voice of Mr. Mann or not, it’s hard not to fall in love with the THX-certified audio system in the all-new Lincoln products, like the 2013 MKZ. The purity of the music is hard to argue with. Even when the power cranks up on the 700-watt system in the display MKT, the sound doesn’t distort. It’s easy for us to be bowled over by the sound quality of the THX Certified system during the few minute demonstration inside the confines of the Lincoln. However, after years of abuse, I wouldn’t exactly say that my ears could discern what is a flawless and crystal clear sound reproduction, and what isn’t. So, we rely on those that know the difference. Ron Fair states, “The sound system in these cars are as good as what we hear in the studio”. And if anyone should know it would be Ron.

(L to R) THX VP of Technical Operations Peter Vasay, Chris Mann, Lincoln's Western Region Communications Leader Debra Hotaling, and Ron Fair

The 2013 Lincoln MKZ itself exceeds expectation on so many fronts. Max Wolff and his team are redefining design for the domestic manufacturer. The shape ever so slightly reminds us of an Audi, but the MKZ is taking fashionable to a whole new level, and if this is any indication it’s going to be invigorating for the whole brand. And, just for the record, this bears no resemblance to its Ford sibling, Fusion, as the prior generation did. The massive optional sunroof is the one of the world’s widest-opening retractable glass roofs available. It is very distinctive when opened, as the glass panel goes way back over the back window. The MKZ does have a wow factor that’s simply hard to ignore. The interior is also a big step up and it’s truly inviting. One of the special features is the automatic transmission that’s absent of a traditional shifter. Changing gears is accomplished with a simple touch of a button on the center console, which increases the openness of the front seating area. Not only is the target price starting in the mid-30 thousand dollar range on par with what the economy is demanding right now, but amazingly enough the hybrid and gas models will be priced the same, and offer the same range of features. Best of all, this clears up any misconception that Ford would let Lincoln suffer the same fate as Mercury. Now, we would certainly expect Mr. Paul Anka to approve of Ron’s assessment when it comes to the dynamic THX Certified audio system. What catches us by surprise is Paul Anka’s comment on the 2013 MKZ, “What do I have to do to get one of these…this is gorgeous!” We couldn’t agree more.

2013 Lincoln MKZ

From the looks of things, Chris Mann, Ron Fair and Lincoln will be making some sweet music together for the foreseeable future. For more information about Lincoln’s THX Certified products, click here.

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