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Cadillac ATS Technical Discussion Forum Discussion, The sound ... in Cadillac ATS Discussion Forums; Video here: http://live.wsj.com/video/cadillac-a...0-D788533BEF00 Also read: http://blogs.wsj.com/drivers-seat/20...-3-6l-premium/ The ATS’s major flaw—and it’s practically a black hole that devours the rest of ...
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    blue_skies is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    The sound ...

    Video here: http://live.wsj.com/video/cadillac-a...0-D788533BEF00

    Also read: http://blogs.wsj.com/drivers-seat/20...-3-6l-premium/
    • The ATS’s major flaw—and it’s practically a black hole that devours the rest of the car—is the 3.6-liter’s low-speed, low-rpm powertrain noise. Wow. That sounds terrible! The injectors rattle like a sewing machine that’s lost a cog. As soon as you pick up the throttle and the revs rise above around four grand, the induction, valve-train and exhaust notes come together in a rising, melodic chirr, and at full throttle, shuffling up through the gears, the powertrain sounds amazing (0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds). But in a parking lot, it sounds like my old Chevette. Ai.

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    rustybear3's Avatar
    rustybear3 is online now Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: The sound ...

    Even though I'm getting the 2.0 turbo, I've test drove a few of the 3.6 engines.....didn't notice anything in terms of noise that they are talking about. Since you have the 3.6, what do you think blue skies....is it THAT bad?

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    blue_skies is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: The sound ...

    Quote Originally Posted by rustybear3 View Post
    Even though I'm getting the 2.0 turbo, I've test drove a few of the 3.6 engines.....didn't notice anything in terms of noise that they are talking about. Since you have the 3.6, what do you think blue skies....is it THAT bad?
    I don't think that the comments were aimed towards the driver, it doesn't bother me at all. I tend to drive with the windows closed, but this 'black hole' sound was probably observed by on-lookers, not the driver.

    In the 3.6L, torque is ample at higher rpms, unlike the turbo, where torque peaks at much lower rpm. Either setup does not sound like a good old large block V8. At low rpms, the engine exhaust is quiet, but (I guess) the engine parts are not.

    I think this is appropriate for an ATS, less so for an XTS.

    I do have the active sound cancellation as well, plus there seems to be plenty of sound insulation materials used.

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    rustybear3's Avatar
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    Re: The sound ...

    Quote Originally Posted by blue_skies View Post
    I don't think that the comments were aimed towards the driver, it doesn't bother me at all. I tend to drive with the windows closed, but this 'black hole' sound was probably observed by on-lookers, not the driver.

    In the 3.6L, torque is ample at higher rpms, unlike the turbo, where torque peaks at much lower rpm. Either setup does not sound like a good old large block V8. At low rpms, the engine exhaust is quiet, but (I guess) the engine parts are not.


    I think this is appropriate for an ATS, less so for an XTS.

    I do have the active sound cancellation as well, plus there seems to be plenty of sound insulation materials used.
    So that noise cancellation really works? Is it on all the time, adjustable, noticeable? I figured it had to be observers rather than the driver....seems to be nitpicking to me...

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    blue_skies is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: The sound ...

    Quote Originally Posted by rustybear3 View Post
    So that noise cancellation really works? Is it on all the time, adjustable, noticeable? I figured it had to be observers rather than the driver....seems to be nitpicking to me...
    I believe it does, but it is hard to tell, the cabin is fairly quiet, with the radio on or off. (Maybe the noise cancellation stays 'on' with the radio 'off'?) I would have to drive the same stretch of road under the same conditions to be able to tell the difference. There are no noise control buttons that I know off - the Auto-Pilot mode just gains the volume automatically. There is also no indication whether or not volume has an effect on this.

    It is not as extreme as the noise-cancelling headsets that you would use on planes, and that are geared to drowning out the background (constant) noise. But the measured graphs show a 10dB difference, and that is an enormous reduction (3dB being half-volume).

    Maybe the most telling fact is that speaker phone conversations in the car are much clearer (to the recipients) now?

    Video here: http://cnettv.cnet.com/active-noise-..._53-19885.html

    Bose reference here: http://www.bose.com/controller?url=/...ations/asm.jsp
    • Active Sound Management: different technologies to meet different challenges
    • Cancel undesirable noise
    • Bose Engine Harmonic Cancellation (EHC) uses information from the engine along with microphones in the cabin to continuously analyze engine noise. The system then uses the vehicle's audio system to produce a signal acoustically opposite to the undesirable sound and effectively reduce it. EHC allows for a high level of customization and control for the NVH engineer, while providing effective and efficient noise cancellation.
    • Provide desirable, linear sound
    • Bose Engine Harmonic Enhancement (EHE) also works with the vehicle's audio system. Using information from the engine and vehicle, it generates a complementary signal to enhance or modify the spectrum of select powertrain sounds, to provide refined and desirable—smooth or sporty—powertrain sound inside the cabin. EHE can help create more linear sound while mitigating or masking sound anomalies. It offers broader sound control than traditional methods and enables more precise control.


    And journalist reference here: http://editorial.autos.msn.com/blogs...1-2f2210a7403b

    00100065-0000-0000-0000-000000000000_00000065-06d9-0000-0000-000000000000_20120502235009_Bose-so.jpg
    • Noise cancellation , a feature Bose helped to pioneer for commercial pilots in the late 1980s, is now entering the car interior. Cadillac will offer Bose active noise cancellation on the upcoming ATS and XTS sedans, as will Buick on the compact Encore. The idea is to place microphones throughout the cabin, listen for offending frequencies and then play back those unwanted sounds – inverted – through the stereo speakers. The graph, pictured above from Bose, shows decibels over an rpm range of 1,000 to 5,000; noise cancellation, when switched on, is shown in blue.
    • While I’m not convinced until I hear a “before and after” test on the same car, active noise cancellation looks to be the easiest shortcut to improve NVH (industry-speak for noise, vibration and harshness). It’ll become a cheaper way to develop quieter, potentially more fuel-efficient cars -- sound-deadening material and acoustic glass add considerable weight and cost -- that can be added at any point in development without requiring a total redesign. Plus, as more automakers shift to direct injection (a noisier, high-pressure fuel line), auto start/stop (which tends to cause low-frequency shuddering) and even diesel engines (which clatter at idle), noise cancellation will be sorely needed.
    • ,,,
    • Then again, trusty, old-fashioned piping seems to do the trick quite well. Porsche built a “sound symposer” for the new 911, which channels engine music through the interior with an actual pipe connected to the intakes.

    ... or, in the Porsche case, you can drive a convertible ...

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    Re: The sound ...

    I drive my wife's '12 SRX quite often, and the 3.6 isn't loud at all. I think these guys are unconsciously biased and need to do a double blind test.

    Show me a proper analysis of audible sound amplitudes at various frequencies instead of this guy's subjective assessment, and I'll believe him. All he should REALLY be saying is that the two motors sound differently to him, and that's all he should be saying until he instruments both vehicles and shows his audience a chart summarizing the results.
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    Re: The sound ...

    Wow, that is some extension information that you have there. Thanks so much. You're obviously happy with the ATS so far.... I can hardly wait... I should be getting mine in at the end of the month and when I do I'll let everybody know my impressions as well.

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    blue_skies is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: The sound ...

    Quote Originally Posted by rustybear3 View Post
    Wow, that is some extension information that you have there. Thanks so much. You're obviously happy with the ATS so far.... I can hardly wait... I should be getting mine in at the end of the month and when I do I'll let everybody know my impressions as well.
    I probably should post this in another section, but yes, I am impressed with the ATS, so far. (sounds ominous?)

    Mind you, I was considering the XTS and was not planning on doing anything until some time next year - as my old STS was still going strong, or so I thought. Well, it ended up getting some more (expensive) problems, so I did take a good look at the XTS. Also, a friend of mine was driving a 740i, but added a BMW-3 as another car. Guess what? He ended up driving the BMW-3 more, easier and more fun, he said.

    My decision to go with the ATS is purely based on the first hand experience of the performance and handling. It is a fun car to drive. I would have gone for the premium if it isn't for the fact that I will likely trade up within 3 years anyways, so I used restraint to not overspend. Like I said, HID and MRC are neat options.

    MRC or not, it doesn't make up for the fact that the ATS is 800lbs heavier than my (stick-shift) Boxster, and could never be pushed to the same limits. Driving the ATS in non-MRC, (or MRC in touring mode), feels busier than the STS - I guess because it is lighter, and faster. But, as a commuter car, the ATS is a lot more fun than the STS was, it is so much easier to keep up with traffic now I am not impressed with the suspension yet, but my friends all say that it is fine. The car bounces at times, but so would the MRC setup have done - their words.

    I did not test-drive the comparable '13 Audi/BMW/Mercedes models - they all have 8-speeds whereas the ATS must make do with a 6-speed. It gives them both higher gas mileage and faster acceleration times than a similar-trim ATS. Like I said, customer loyalty came into play for me, as I am quite impressed with the Cadillac customer service, and have been with the same dealership for a very long time now. (BMW and Mercedes dealerships do not have this same reputation around here). Besides, buying American is a good thing nowadays.

    Where the ATS impresses is not 0-60 -which everyone refers to- it is the pickup and go in traffic, in sports mode, at any speed. I expect the lighter 2.0L to behave similarly, but the 3.6L is just plain fast. The linkage between throttle position and engine rpm/upshift moments feels so precise that you can make the car do what you want it to - in automatic mode. This is the thing that sold me on the ATS. I have never seen an automatic that showed that level of intelligence, it always required paddle-shifters override (or manual transmission). It also made me realizes that the premium does not add much, if anything at all (as I am getting the HID and discounting the MRC).

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    Re: The sound ...

    I don't know why the XTS didn't do anything for me....I too was coming from an STS. I think it was the combination of styling (didn't care for chrome grill versus ATS dark grill, plus didn't care for small fin design), handling (felt dumpy and less responsive than my STS), and interior layout. I did like the Skyroof though (very expansive). The ride, handling, and the look of the ATS really won me over! As much as I liked the CUE system, I did NOT like the LCD driver cockpit of the XTS; way over the top gimmicky to me. Premium grill on XTS Premium model, downright tacky and ugly to me.

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    hood101010 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: The sound ...

    Fuel injectors are going to make noise, big deal. You could hear the same noise on my last 2 Lexus vehicles.

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    danscrim is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: The sound ...

    Quote Originally Posted by blue_skies View Post
    I probably should post this in another section, but yes, I am impressed with the ATS, so far. (sounds ominous?)

    Mind you, I was considering the XTS and was not planning on doing anything until some time next year - as my old STS was still going strong, or so I thought. Well, it ended up getting some more (expensive) problems, so I did take a good look at the XTS. Also, a friend of mine was driving a 740i, but added a BMW-3 as another car. Guess what? He ended up driving the BMW-3 more, easier and more fun, he said.

    My decision to go with the ATS is purely based on the first hand experience of the performance and handling. It is a fun car to drive. I would have gone for the premium if it isn't for the fact that I will likely trade up within 3 years anyways, so I used restraint to not overspend. Like I said, HID and MRC are neat options.

    MRC or not, it doesn't make up for the fact that the ATS is 800lbs heavier than my (stick-shift) Boxster, and could never be pushed to the same limits. Driving the ATS in non-MRC, (or MRC in touring mode), feels busier than the STS - I guess because it is lighter, and faster. But, as a commuter car, the ATS is a lot more fun than the STS was, it is so much easier to keep up with traffic now I am not impressed with the suspension yet, but my friends all say that it is fine. The car bounces at times, but so would the MRC setup have done - their words.

    I did not test-drive the comparable '13 Audi/BMW/Mercedes models - they all have 8-speeds whereas the ATS must make do with a 6-speed. It gives them both higher gas mileage and faster acceleration times than a similar-trim ATS. Like I said, customer loyalty came into play for me, as I am quite impressed with the Cadillac customer service, and have been with the same dealership for a very long time now. (BMW and Mercedes dealerships do not have this same reputation around here). Besides, buying American is a good thing nowadays.

    Where the ATS impresses is not 0-60 -which everyone refers to- it is the pickup and go in traffic, in sports mode, at any speed. I expect the lighter 2.0L to behave similarly, but the 3.6L is just plain fast. The linkage between throttle position and engine rpm/upshift moments feels so precise that you can make the car do what you want it to - in automatic mode. This is the thing that sold me on the ATS. I have never seen an automatic that showed that level of intelligence, it always required paddle-shifters override (or manual transmission). It also made me realizes that the premium does not add much, if anything at all (as I am getting the HID and discounting the MRC).
    Blue Skies,

    I picked up my 3.6L last Tuesday and absolutely love it. I completely agree with you about the suspension though. It's very firm and absorbs bumps softly but I do feel myself bouncing every once in a while. I'm not sure if this is common or not because this is my first sports sedan.

    My question for you is this: does the sport mode make a noticeable difference in shifting? How about steering? I think the manual says it affects shifting, steering, and suspension (if equipped with MRC, which I don't have either). I haven't played around with it too much but it sounds like you're a believer in it? I'm curious if you see any reduction in MPG when using it? Not that the difference would really matter when you're talking about a 40-50K car... but I'm curious if it affects it much.

    Congrats on the purchase!

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    blue_skies is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: The sound ...

    Quote Originally Posted by danscrim View Post
    Blue Skies,

    I picked up my 3.6L last Tuesday and absolutely love it. I completely agree with you about the suspension though. It's very firm and absorbs bumps softly but I do feel myself bouncing every once in a while. I'm not sure if this is common or not because this is my first sports sedan.

    My question for you is this: does the sport mode make a noticeable difference in shifting? How about steering? I think the manual says it affects shifting, steering, and suspension (if equipped with MRC, which I don't have either). I haven't played around with it too much but it sounds like you're a believer in it? I'm curious if you see any reduction in MPG when using it? Not that the difference would really matter when you're talking about a 40-50K car... but I'm curious if it affects it much.

    Congrats on the purchase!
    Hi Dan, and congrats with your purchase.

    Believe it or not, the bouncing is what comes with a light sport sedan. The alternative is a very stiff ride.

    The stiff mode in MRC equipped cars is tuned for handling, but is too stiff for the street.

    I believe that the suspension is set for four adults, or 600lbs heavier than when driving alone. On the heavier car, this same 600lbs makes for a smaller increment.

    Fwiw, most BMWs are tuned the same way, ride comfort versus road handling.

    As tuned, MRC is not worth it, plus you cannot get sports mode in the Premium with Touring suspension, like in the Luxury. The Luxury seems the better way to go, until the Cadillac Engineers update the FW.

    Lower your seat position, it worked for me.

    I am not sure about steering adjustments in sports mode. I have not driven much touring mode to be able to compare. The suspension remains the same, but the transmission changes, a lot. In sports mode, I find that the throttle response is superb. you can get 3000rpm, 4000rpm, 5000rpm, by just thinking with your foot, it is a very impressive setup, and foregoes the need for paddle shifters.

    My mileage just hit 19mpg, but I am still under 1,000 miles.

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    JimmyH is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Re: The sound ...

    With all the hardware on modern engines, I don't think any car really sounds good in a parking lot. Most current 4 and 6 cylinders have so much going on under the hood, they all sound like industrial machines you'd find in a factory. DI has added a diesel-like clatter that is not very appealing. But like others said, at least you don't hear it inside the car.

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