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Lexus LS 400/LS 430

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Comments

  • nealm1nealm1 Posts: 154
    vcheng obviously knows a great deal more about the technology than I do. Here is what I see as the problem. When you donwload a song from a pristine, store-bought CD to the hard drive of your computer, it converts it into an mpeg (MP3) file. When you then burn that song onto a compilation CD, the data lost during the store-bought-CD-to-hard-drive process is gone for ever and cannot be restored. Therefore, the compilation CD, ripped on a computer, will never sound as good as the store-bought CD. The difference is noticeable.

    I always use the 196 bit rate for downloads on my Mac, and even at this higher rate, the difference is noticeable. But since I listen to the downloaded music primarily on airlpanes, or while weazing on treadmills, excercycles, etc., the difference is not that significant.

    The Mac can read all of the current MP3-like formats "on the fly," but converts them (I think) to the AAD format for use, which, I am told, is superior. Sort of like the betamax experience all over again, though Mac has been aggressive in implementing cross-platform transparancy (a lesson Sony never learned).

    Now, if Lexus/ML add (a) and XM/Sirius receiver or preamp-level inputs; AND (b) an SACD reader, that would BY ITSELF motivate me to trade early.
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    <<When you donwload a song from a pristine, store-bought CD to the hard drive of your computer, it converts it into an mpeg (MP3) file. >> NOT NECESSARILY.
     
    You can store songs from a store-bought CD digitally as .wav files at a 44.1 KHz sampling rate, and not convert them to MP3 format at all. This way, there is no compression and absolutely no loss of quality. Trust me, I have done this, and with the proper software, there is no difference at all because it is a true digital copy.

    You are right in that if you convert to MP3s at any point, you are likely to lose quality, especailly at lower bitrates.
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    My experience is that music downloaded and burned at a bit rate of 320 sounds about as good as a store-bought CD. Even at 256 there is a noticeable loss of clarity and dynamic range. I cannot tell the difference between WAV files and those stored at 320. I don't bother with anything at 192 or less.
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    ...the MP3 files tend to be a lot bigger, in which case I just went back to plain old .wav files, which offers greater flexibility from a software point of view.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    CAUTION !!

    Some inks will penetrate the substrate and damage the material, personal experience.
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    ..usually work best with the cap taken off and using the tip with ink. Its use as an engraving tool is highly dangerous to the integrity of the data especially if used on the data side of the CD.

    In any case, I will surely spin out and crash in a front wheel drive car due to adverse vehicle dynamics, or crash from an intantaneously fogged windshield due to a poorly designed AC system, before losing the data on my CDs!

    ;)
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I assumed the particular marker pen my friend used had a high acidic content in the ink and it actually did penetrate the substrate and damaged the recorded material.

    Speaking of fogged windows...
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Nobody volunteered to let me experiment with their 92 LS...

    Located an early delivery (11/92) private sale LS400 black/ivory, with 153,000 miles in Tucson via autotrader.

    Bought it Wednesday afternoon for $6600.00.

    Owner had just installed new timing belt and water pump, and cautioned that the A/C needed work and the security system was intermittent. Climate control LCD was obviously in failure mode.

    A/C shop added 6 oz. of freon and no leaks detected, security system was due to a loose #5 fuse socket holder, neither of the electric radiator cooling fans are operative.

    Drove 741 miles yesterday on ~30 gallons of premium, AZ speed limit is 75MPH but traffic was moving above that.

    Haven't yet had a chance to explore the climate control functionality in detail but seemed to be fully functional otherwise.

    Lexus records indicated an "in-service" date of 11/92, about the same time I bought my first new one. Records also indicate the car had been to Lexus service only rarely, almost never considering the mileage, but appears to be in excellent shape.

    To be continued.....
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    ..my post was in jest, and I must say that I do enjoy your posts all over Edmunds. I did put in a smiley at the end of my post.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    But I wanted to be sure ALL readers took the acidic ink issue seriously.
  • oac3oac3 Posts: 373
    I was at the dealer today changing my oil and getting the front brakes replaced. Asked a service writer AND a sales guy what's in store for '04. Here are what I gathered:

    1) RX330 hybrid will debut as an '05 release, but come out about mid-year 2004.

    2) The GS 3/4 redesign is due out this fall. Interesting that the two gentlemen could not agree on this issue - one said Lexus will push back on the release to '05 in order to generate more sales for the GS line, sales that are lagging quite badly. The other was emphatic that the redesign is on its way for '04. I guess we shall see.

    3) The LS will definitely get a facelift for '04. Trouble is neither of these guys could agree on the magnitude of the change. None wanted to comment on a possible AWD option for '04. Hmmmm...

    On a different note: I had an '03 Camry loaner, and I was appalled at the butt-ugly dashboard and especially the speedo+tach display. Just simply cheap and terrible. Whatever happened to the wonderful display and dashboard in the mid-90 versions ??? Toyota may skimp, but it is simply ludicrous to see the poor designs they are turning out in their bread-and-butter Camry's.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I'd imagine that coming out of any Lexus, even the IS, the Camry dash/instrumentation wouldnt begin to compare. That said, there are many who like the new instrumentation, including myself. The dash itself is perhaps too American, but the instrumentation is much improved, at least over the last generation Camry- it isnt so cookie cutter looking, and benefits from white-blue lighting at night (as opposed to the dreadful swamp green that afflicted the Camry for years).

    I would love for the electroluminescent gauges to trickle down eventually.... perhaps if Lexus can come with something even more astonishing for their product.

    I am interested- how do current generation LS owners feel their instrumentation/dashboard appeareance, ergonmics, and quality are compared to previous models, and competing models from MB and BMW?
    ~alpha
  • sploguesplogue Posts: 53
    I recently took a look at the redesigned owners area on the corporate Lexus site, and I see that it recommends that I take my 2002 LS430 in to the dealer to have the Lexus Link reflashed for a programming change. Apparently this includes an update to the users manual.

    Does anyone know what this is for, and what it entails?

    On an unrelated topic, my car seems to have developed the infamous steering wheel groan on extension now that the weather is hot. If anyone knows what the TSB number is and where I can get the text for it, that will help me when I bring the car in for the fix.

    I guess I'll have them do both fixes at the same time.

    Sean
  • paulchiupaulchiu Posts: 378
    Is it just me, or are we missing messages here?
    4135-4136 ?
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    They are missing as well.
  • flint350flint350 Posts: 250
    I just replaced my front a/c filter after getting the warning light (it was actually dirty, but I think the light is timed/miles not a real "dirt" indicator). In case you do this, I discovered the way to "reset" the warning light - you replace filter, turn key on, hold climate control "OFF" button down for about 8 seconds and you will see "A/C filter reset" appear in the warning message window. Just FYI.
  • sploguesplogue Posts: 53
    Where did you buy the filter -- the dealer? Just curious. I know there are several air filters in this car, and I'm hoping there is some magic online source that has them for less.

    Off the top of my head, I can think of two under each front seat, one for the front AC, and one for the rear AC. There may be more that I'm not thinking of. I'll have to check my books to see how often they are supposed to be replaced. (Of course the number of filters varies depending on which options the car has.)

    Sean
  • paulchiupaulchiu Posts: 378
    Test drove the 2003 LS430 ultra edition with the air and the soft aniline leather seats. The color combo was black/black, with the darker wood. It is stunning, but the misses want white.

    As for the ride, the normal setting was perhaps a little less soft than the regular LS430, without the air suspension. I test drove 2 back to back. The sport mode in the ultra edition was very close to my 2001 S500's ride. The normal was noticeably better than my Mercedes, and it is close to total isolation, without having the engine closed.

    I played my favorite Jazz CD on the ML for a considerable period of time, and I have to say it wasn't that much bette than the stock radio/cd.

    But, the softer aniline leather in the deluxe is worth the extra bucks. 70,333 was the MSRP on this edition with everything. But it seems I could have walk out at close to 6K off. I am now unsure if I should get it now, or wait for the 2004's and take the chance that some comparable discount could be had during September. Any ideas?
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Chances are that the 2004's with the body style change will be hot so I wouldn't expect much, if any discounting. It wasn't easy getting this car in our area in 2001 and it took until February to get $1-2k off. If you have the patience wait it out as the redesign looks nice. But if you want the bargain - now thru September is the best time.

    Bu the way - just my 2 cents - but I like the car in black. Maybe your wife will like it with the brighter ecru interior. The black on black is too dark for me. I had it in 98 and got tired of the dark interior quickly.
  • paulchiupaulchiu Posts: 378
    It was another rainy miserable day in the northeast when we tested 3 Lexus vehicles. The Black onyx with black seats was nice even under these awful conditions. But since I am already tired of my silver/dark grey interiors of my S500, I can understand why you and my wife hates the black/black.

    One thing that had me considering the black/black was that you cannot get (order) the softer aniline leather in a lighter color for the ultra edition with a white exterior. So I was told.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Go across the canadian border and order...
  • tdo123tdo123 Posts: 102
    flint350- I was a week late reading your post. I just took my car in for the 15k and mentioned that my a/c filter light had been on. They told me that in the midwest they should be changed 2 times a year, but I think it has got to be based on miles. I paid an additional $70 for the new filter and reset. Had I seen this, I would have reset for one more round and then had it changed. If the warning returned right away, I would know it was the filter and not based on miles.
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    I am curious as to how many of us with this option on the LS have activated it? Of those who haven't, how many, like me, are annoyed at the stupid message every time I start the car?

    I do not believe the line that there is no way to shut the message off. Any ideas?
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    I attended the Lexus SUV driving event this weekend. While there, I had a chance to talk with a guy from the Lexus Midwest Regional Office. He confirmed the changes we've all heard about (front, back, bigger wheels, new features, etc.) to the LS this fall, but said the engine will not change. It may get a bump in horsepower, but it will remain a 4.3.

    Three other interesting comments: The new GS coming next year will most likely have 4WD standard (that's what my dealer has been saying also), the GS will be the first car with the new Lexus "corporate" styling theme and the HPX concept will become a production car within the next year.
  • paulchiupaulchiu Posts: 378
    Rick,

    Did you get the date when the 2004 LS will hit the dealers?

    Thanks
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Any word on whether AWD will be on the LS this fall?
  • rennyboschrennybosch Posts: 329
    vcheng, I too am annoyed at the stupid LexusLink message, but have become convinced that there is not yet a way to turn it off. You can however greatly reduce its volume.

    I have received a notice from Lexus that "An update to the voice prompt software is now available which will more accurately reflect the subscription status of your vehicle as well as provide the ability to control the voice prompt in the near future."

    I take this to mean that at present I will still not be able to turn the stupid message off, but it will be a much longer message telling me that the hardware is OK but my subscription status is blah blah blah. So I intend to wait until the "near future" update comes out that will allow me to actually turn the message off.
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