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THE VOCABULARY OF SONIC EXCELLENCE

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 Wed, Oct 22, 2008

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

By Roy Nakano Who would have thought a company that got its start by making medical equipment is now responsible for creating some of the finest sound systems in consumer home and mobile applications. Lexicon, a name more closely associated with pro audio gear, does just that. Equally surprising is that the vehicle about to make the Lexicon name famous is not Rolls Royce, but Hyundai. Perhaps not coincidentally, Lexicon also makes the sound system for the Rolls Royce Phantom. And the Phantom owners are most-assuredly happy with their Lexicon audio systems. But only a few hundred people own Phantoms. Several tens of thousands will be owning the Hyundai Genesis - and this will serve to make Lexicon a lot more well-known among car shoppers that care about quality sound. The Lexicon-Hyundai partnership must have raised an eyebrow or two over at Rolls Royce, but that's another story. The story here is that one of the finest mobile sound systems that money can buy is found in a Hyundai. It's not the first time that a high end sound system is found in a vehicle not normally associated with the high end. Some Volkswagen models have an outstanding premium system designed around some very low distortion DynAudio components, but they don't come close to the multi-channel sophistication of the Lexicon system. Given the right source material (e.g., some very good DVDs), the Lexicon delivers a three-dimensionality that compares favorably to the best home theater systems.

I'm not talking about the ping-pong surround sound of the past, where noises come from all around in a spectacular but unrealistic fashion. The Lexicon uses its 11 channels to make the sound more life-like. You can hear the solo violinist, just to the left of the conductor - and it sounds like a solo violin, not like an instrument 10 feet tall. Similarly, movie sound is as life-like as being in a good theater. Even better than most theaters, the Lexicon uses its 17 speakers to keep the sound seamless as it moves from left to right, front to back, or a variation thereof. Lexicon uses what it calls Logic7 technology to create a very satisfying sound stage in all seating positions in the vehicle. It should be noted that there are two Lexicon systems available in the Genesis. The 'base' Lexicon is a helluva system (14 drivers instead of 17), retaining the Logic7 capability but lacking the discrete channel performance of the premium system that is part of the Technology package. Few people will be disappointed with the base system, but discerning audiophiles will want to opt for the discrete system in the Technology package. A few years back, LA Car did a comparison test of the best factory sound systems that money can buy. Some systems with very familiar brands were toppled in the process. The Lexicon Discrete-Surround Audio System in the Genesis blows away all of the systems that were tested at the time. This says a lot about the Lexicon and the commitment from Hyundai, but it also says a lot about progress. Time marches on, and premium factory sound systems as a whole just keep getting better-and-better. SUMMARY JUDGMENT An absolute knock-out performance from Lexicon and Hyundai. For more information, go to hyundaigenesis.com

ABOUT THE PRODUCT Name: Lexicon Discrete-Surround Audio System for the 2009 Hyundai Genesis Price - Part of the $7,000 Technology package, which includes the following: 18" Hyper Silver alloy wheels with chrome inserts, 235/50R18 tires, leather-wrapped dash and door trim inserts, power tilt-and-slide sunroof, power tilt and telescopic steering wheel, integrated memory system including driver's seat, outside mirrors, and steering column, rain-sensing wipers, power rear sunshade, auto-defogging windshield, 528-watt 17 speaker Lexicon Logic7 Discrete 7.1 Audio System with HD radio, one-year subscription to XM satellite radio and NavTraffic, navigation system, driver information system with large 8-inch display, 40G hard-drive, rear back-up camera, multimedia controller, AM/FM stereo, 6-disc in-dash CD/DVD changer, Bluetooth, text-to-speech feature, HID auto-leveling headlights, Adaptive Front Lighting System, front and rear parking assistance sensors, cooled driver seat and real aluminum trim accents. The Lexicon Discrete-Surround Audio System is designed with the following factors optimized: · Neutral, uncolored reproduction of audio material · Components that are not "voiced" to follow tonal preferences of the engineers · A flat frequency response through the entire audible spectrum and beyond · Industry-leading high signal-to-noise ratios · Products with very low distortion Features and benefits of the Lexicon Discrete-Surround Audio System include: · 11-channel DSP amplifier with 528 watts of total system power · Logic7 technology creates a satisfying sound stage in all seating positions · 17 transducers (speakers) in a 7.1 surround sound architecture · Five two-way systems yield the same sonic signatures across all channels · All mid- and high-frequency transducers use metal-cone technology · Extended frequency response · Dedicated eight-inch dual-voice-coil low-impedance subwoofer · Broad media compatibility. Playback sources include: CD, CDR, VCD, DVD-V, DVD-A, DVD-R, AM/FM, PCM, Dolby® Digital/AC3 5.1, DTS® 5.1, MLP, MP3, WMA, DMB, XM® Satellite Radio and HD Radioâ„¢ Lexicon is a unit of Harman International Industries, Inc.

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