: Lockpick Sound Quality



StevieT
12-02-11, 03:56 PM
Gen 6
installed October 2011
2007 Escalade EXT
iPod Touch Gen 4 (current)

Noticing a sounds quality issue when connected to the iPod. Most mp3s are tinny, sound like the speakers are blown especially when the treble hits on the song.

Now... I believe most has to do with the quality of the song, 128 kps. My podcasts sound better at 320 kbs but sometimes there is that tinny hit on the treble.

The iPod playing the 120 kbs songs does not sound like this on my hot tub, ear buds or on my AV dock in the warehouse. So....

Is it the Escalade's sound system and whatever equalizer it uses?
The lockpick itself?
Any one else notice this, maybe have a settings change somewhere on the iPod or on the vehicle stereo?

felixgun
12-02-11, 08:52 PM
I have the lock pick installed in two vehicles and the audio is terrible in both. The same song using the factory auxiliary port with a mini stereo (headphone jack) cable sounds super clear. I tried my iPod classic and iPhone 4 and it equally sucks on both. Glad I'm not the only one... Wish there was a way to fix this!!

quattrotman
12-03-11, 04:55 AM
Im not sure on this (gotta try it tomorrow) but doesn't every input ie. cd/fm/aux/xm etc have its own sound settings? I seem to remember going into config and setting bass/mid/treble seperately for cd/aux etc. ...or maybe sound sucks with the lockpick...I'll know soon enough...ordered one last week. Hope not or it's going back :(

hannity
12-03-11, 07:56 AM
How is the sound while just watching DVD's? Does it sound bad while doing that as well? If I keep this thing which I will decide in the coming months, the lock pick would be something I would get. Depending on how it works for actual owners.

StevieT
12-05-11, 03:44 PM
Playing a DVD with the vehicle's system is super clear. Same with radio, XM CD. Looks like the lockpick just sucks with sound quality which is a shame since the main reason for it's purchase was for the iPod jack. Let's see what coastal has to say about this...

quattrotman
12-06-11, 03:31 AM
Playing a DVD with the vehicle's system is super clear. Same with radio, XM CD. Looks like the lockpick just sucks with sound quality which is a shame since the main reason for it's purchase was for the iPod jack. Let's see what coastal has to say about this...

I'm really interested in what you find out too. I just bought the gmx550 and I'm having doubts based on what I have read lately about the ipod sound quality. If I knew, I wouldn't have bought it. I'm waiting for the lockpick in th email and may not even install it. Please post your findings.

cangolf
12-06-11, 08:02 AM
I have been debating the GMX550 and the Nav-tv and bouncing back and forth over which one to get. After reading the threads dealing with the Pros and Cons of each and the fact that the key feature I want is to enable Nav in motion, is there another option out there? I was leaning to Nav-Tv but it doesn't seem to have this Nav in motion, if that is the case any other ideas? thanks

krieghoff
12-06-11, 08:36 AM
I installed the GMX-550 in my 2008 ESV and it sound fine to me.

The only thing I don't like is the fact that everytime I start the ESV I have to do the mute button thing 4 times. I wish I could set it and it stayed that way.

ELUSIVE
12-06-11, 11:23 AM
krieghoff - I thought you could do that by setting up override option #4 in the Override Config menu.

This is what is written in the owners manual:

Override MODE 4 provides an automatic
DVD override without button presses
for Cadillac and early 2007 GM radios

Perhaps that's just for the DVD override and not the NAV and music parts though.

StevieT
12-06-11, 11:53 AM
Just received a call from Coastal after emailing yesterday.

Their rep states that it is the Bose system installed on the vehicle that is causing the audio interference. Songs should be played at 320 kps and 128 is just going to sound like junk. Bose is trying to split the audio to the speakers and fails at low quality. There apparently is an option in iTunes to up-convert songs. I up-converted one song with another software before my communication with them and the song sounded worse, so maybe iTunes is better at it? Personally I don't see how a song downloaded at 128 can be converted to a higher quality but will give it a try.

Will report any findings, I just started building a song library so it won't be too hard to start over. It does coincide with why my podcasts sound much better than downloaded music.

K9Caddy
12-06-11, 11:57 AM
Thats a bunch of BS. I have no issues with sound using the RSA RCA plugs in the rear.

krieghoff
12-06-11, 12:49 PM
krieghoff - I thought you could do that by setting up override option #4 in the Override Config menu.

This is what is written in the owners manual:

Override MODE 4 provides an automatic
DVD override without button presses
for Cadillac and early 2007 GM radios

Perhaps that's just for the DVD override and not the NAV and music parts though.


How do I get to that place so I can change that?

Thanks!

hcvone
12-06-11, 01:13 PM
Just received a call from Coastal after emailing yesterday.

Their rep states that it is the Bose system installed on the vehicle that is causing the audio interference. Songs should be played at 320 kps and 128 is just going to sound like junk. Bose is trying to split the audio to the speakers and fails at low quality. There apparently is an option in iTunes to up-convert songs. I up-converted one song with another software before my communication with them and the song sounded worse, so maybe iTunes is better at it? Personally I don't see how a song downloaded at 128 can be converted to a higher quality but will give it a try.

Will report any findings, I just started building a song library so it won't be too hard to start over. It does coincide with why my podcasts sound much better than downloaded music.

Never heard of that, I know you can go down in kps but not up, you have to record everything at 320 to sound ok on home systems. Let us know what you find out, I could find nothing in my iTunes settings

jpatt49
12-06-11, 03:21 PM
Try the EQ on your ipod. I set mine to reduced bass or something similar to that. It made it sound OK, but the sound is still terrible. But no static and popping now.

StevieT
12-06-11, 06:05 PM
Try the EQ on your ipod. I set mine to reduced bass or something similar to that. It made it sound OK, but the sound is still terrible. But no static and popping now.

I tried a few weeks ago, no help. Will try that one.

This truck came with another iPod interface by Pac-Audio. I had a few iPods on it a while ago and do not remember the sound sucking. I took it out for the lockpick and now the audio is terrible. So the more I hear it is the Bose system the more it sounds like BS from Coastal.

The Bose system is not doing any more than my home stereo system which doesn't suck when connected
My hot tub doesn't sound like crap, it bumps pretty good
I've been around audio for a long time now and there should be no reason for static and blown like speaker sound by bose splitting signals to certain speakers.

StevieT
12-06-11, 10:24 PM
Sound Data from tonight's test:

iPod connected to GMX-550 No EQ control on iPod

Song One

128 kbs
OK quality, only small amounts of static

Song Two

64 kbs
Bad sound quality

Song Three

128 kbs
Bad sound quality

Song Four

Up-Converted per Coastal
320 from 128 kbs
Terrible sound quality

Song Five (all podcast series the same)

320 kbs
Good sound quality

iPod connected to 3.5mm jack into rear aux ports, white and red. No EQ control on iPod

Song One

128 kbs
Good sound quality

Song Two

64 kbs
Good sound quality

Song Three

128 kbs
Good sound quality

Song Four

Up-Converted per Coastal
320 from 128 kbs
Ok, sound quality. Can hear small amounts of static

Song Five (all podcast series the same)

320 kbs
Good sound quality

Conclusion:
It's not Bose. As the same signal goes through the system from two areas. The rear AUX is fine but through the GMX-550 is when you get the static.
While using the iPod EQ in the rear AUX it didn't matter what setting you had, good clear sound. Using the EQ on the GMX goes from one static to more static to slightly less.
You can not up-convert a song. It's like taking a Geo Metro, stretching it and expecting it to be a pick up truck. The original song file has it's max data and stretching it out makes it worse.

Possible Solutions:
Coastal improve their product, lol
Download only at 320kbs
Turn the EQ to Bass Reducer. main screen > settings > music > EQ > Bass Reducer
This will reduce the static dramatically. You will loose bass, not all but it will be noticed. It is also a pain because when you take the iPod out of the truck you will want to switch it back to your preference or to off.

ELUSIVE
12-07-11, 12:57 AM
How do I get to that place so I can change that?

Thanks!

Press the mute button 4 times to activate the GMX550. Press the down button until you get to the Override Config Menu
Then select Override Option #4.

I'm curious to hear if it works for you or not.

krieghoff
12-07-11, 01:28 AM
Thanks! I changed it and will let you know if it works.

In the directions it says it will change the DVD player but doen't say anything about the iPod.

Sure hope it works!

quattrotman
12-07-11, 01:51 AM
That's a total BS response they made up to lay blame on someone else and make you go away. That is crap. 2 of my cars have Bose and they play songs at 128 just fine...so does my sound dock and every other audio device I've ever used. If anything it will sound less clear and muffled but not tinny. There is an issue with the lockpick. If what coastal says is true then ripping 128 songs to CD would produce the same problem...not the case.

StevieT
12-07-11, 02:21 AM
It ended the phone call but did not make the issue go away :)
It is in their hardware, the data from tonight backs that up.

quattrotman
12-07-11, 03:35 AM
Sound Data from tonight's test:

iPod connected to GMX-550 No EQ control on iPod

Song One

128 kbs
OK quality, only small amounts of static

Song Two

64 kbs
Bad sound quality

Song Three

128 kbs
Bad sound quality

Song Four

Up-Converted per Coastal
320 from 128 kbs
Terrible sound quality

Song Five (all podcast series the same)

320 kbs
Good sound quality

iPod connected to 3.5mm jack into rear aux ports, white and red. No EQ control on iPod

Song One

128 kbs
Good sound quality

Song Two

64 kbs
Good sound quality

Song Three

128 kbs
Good sound quality

Song Four

Up-Converted per Coastal
320 from 128 kbs
Ok, sound quality. Can hear small amounts of static

Song Five (all podcast series the same)

320 kbs
Good sound quality

Conclusion:
It's not Bose. As the same signal goes through the system from two areas. The rear AUX is fine but through the GMX-550 is when you get the static.
While using the iPod EQ in the rear AUX it didn't matter what setting you had, good clear sound. Using the EQ on the GMX goes from one static to more static to slightly less.
You can not up-convert a song. It's like taking a Geo Metro, stretching it and expecting it to be a pick up truck. The original song file has it's max data and stretching it out makes it worse.

Possible Solutions:
Coastal improve their product, lol
Download only at 320kbs
Turn the EQ to Bass Reducer. main screen > settings > music > EQ > Bass Reducer
This will reduce the static dramatically. You will loose bass, not all but it will be noticed. It is also a pain because when you take the iPod out of the truck you will want to switch it back to your preference or to off.

Are Tahoes and Denalis etc equipped with Bose stereos? When you go on their forums they have the same complaints about the sound with the lockpick. If that's the case then coastal is really full of $hit.

Kory Watson
12-08-11, 09:37 AM
Sound Data from tonight's test:

iPod connected to GMX-550 No EQ control on iPod

Song One

128 kbs
OK quality, only small amounts of static

Song Two

64 kbs
Bad sound quality

Song Three

128 kbs
Bad sound quality

Song Four

Up-Converted per Coastal
320 from 128 kbs
Terrible sound quality

Song Five (all podcast series the same)

320 kbs
Good sound quality

iPod connected to 3.5mm jack into rear aux ports, white and red. No EQ control on iPod

Song One

128 kbs
Good sound quality

Song Two

64 kbs
Good sound quality

Song Three

128 kbs
Good sound quality

Song Four

Up-Converted per Coastal
320 from 128 kbs
Ok, sound quality. Can hear small amounts of static

Song Five (all podcast series the same)

320 kbs
Good sound quality

Conclusion:
It's not Bose. As the same signal goes through the system from two areas. The rear AUX is fine but through the GMX-550 is when you get the static.
While using the iPod EQ in the rear AUX it didn't matter what setting you had, good clear sound. Using the EQ on the GMX goes from one static to more static to slightly less.
You can not up-convert a song. It's like taking a Geo Metro, stretching it and expecting it to be a pick up truck. The original song file has it's max data and stretching it out makes it worse.

Possible Solutions:
Coastal improve their product, lol
Download only at 320kbs
Turn the EQ to Bass Reducer. main screen > settings > music > EQ > Bass Reducer
This will reduce the static dramatically. You will loose bass, not all but it will be noticed. It is also a pain because when you take the iPod out of the truck you will want to switch it back to your preference or to off.

This may seem like a stupid suggestion, but I haven't read above whether you have tried it. Try turning the volume down on the iPod. Do not use it at full volume try about 2-3 clicks down from full volume, then turn the car stereo volume up. I had a similar problem with a FM transmitter and my iPhone. When I had the iPhone volume all the way up it sounded awful. If I used an aux cord, it was fine. I turned the volume down on the iPhone and voila, it sounded better.

quattrotman
12-09-11, 01:44 AM
This may seem like a stupid suggestion, but I haven't read above whether you have tried it. Try turning the volume down on the iPod. Do not use it at full volume try about 2-3 clicks down from full volume, then turn the car stereo volume up. I had a similar problem with a FM transmitter and my iPhone. When I had the iPhone volume all the way up it sounded awful. If I used an aux cord, it was fine. I turned the volume down on the iPhone and voila, it sounded better.

That is a good point. I have had the same experience. The AUX input doesn't care what volume my ipod is at but my sound dock does.

felixgun
12-09-11, 03:49 AM
Thats a bunch of BS. I have no issues with sound using the RSA RCA plugs in the rear.

My thoughts exactly. I hate my lockpick bc of this. And it happens in my avalanche and escalade. Both do have Bose though but coastal tech should have fixed that issue before releasing this product.

felixgun
12-09-11, 03:52 AM
Are Tahoes and Denalis etc equipped with Bose stereos? When you go on their forums they have the same complaints about the sound with the lockpick. If that's the case then coastal is really full of $hit.

I had a Tahoe and currently have an avalanche. Yes they all have the Bose option and every vehicle I've had has had Bose. The lockpick makes all my iPod music sound like shit in my avalanche and escalade. It's not Bose. It's coastal tech's issue.

StevieT
12-09-11, 04:28 PM
This may seem like a stupid suggestion, but I haven't read above whether you have tried it. Try turning the volume down on the iPod. Do not use it at full volume try about 2-3 clicks down from full volume, then turn the car stereo volume up. I had a similar problem with a FM transmitter and my iPhone. When I had the iPhone volume all the way up it sounded awful. If I used an aux cord, it was fine. I turned the volume down on the iPhone and voila, it sounded better.

It's a good idea, definitely works with other similar docks. Tried this today and there was no positive effect. You can not adjust the volume on the iPod when hooked to the lockpick, it overrides it. Adjusting it low before docking had no effect.

I sent my results and questions to Coastal two days ago, no response.......

CStradling24
02-26-12, 12:48 AM
Well I decided to take the plunge and get the GMX550 for my 2008 Escalade EXT. At first I was very excited to have it, and I loved the iPod interface, however after listening to music played with my iPhone 4S, or my iPod nano, the sound quality is unbearable, LITERALLY. It sounds like my two front speakers are blown. I would be embarrassed to play music through it with friends in the car. It makes the Bose sound system sound worthless. I will be trying to come up with a solution here in the next week or will return it and try something else.

quattrotman
02-26-12, 03:24 AM
Well I decided to take the plunge and get the GMX550 for my 2008 Escalade EXT. At first I was very excited to have it, and I loved the iPod interface, however after listening to music played with my iPhone 4S, or my iPod nano, the sound quality is unbearable, LITERALLY. It sounds like my two front speakers are blown. I would be embarrassed to play music through it with friends in the car. It makes the Bose sound system sound worthless. I will be trying to come up with a solution here in the next week or will return it and try something else.

Call up Coastal and complain. When I talked to them about another Ipod issue and I brought up the sound quality, the tech said that he's never heard of a problem. I mentioned that it has been brought up on forums and is pretty well known. He asked me to send him the threads (I did) but I never heard back from them. He said that if no one complains about it, they can't fix it. You should call and let them know. I think there is only one tech there who answers support inquiries, I beleive his name is Carlos. If everyone called them about it, maybe they'll do something. It is a noticable problem.

kf9yr
02-27-12, 02:19 AM
I have a 2011 Escalade EXT with the GMX550 and my iPhone 4 / my son's iPhone 4 / ipad2 music sounds great through the lock pick.

I haven't found any songs that have horrible sound quality yet (well some of my son's rap music sounds horrible but I don't believe it's a lock pick problem, just music that sounds terrible atmo).

I do have a couple of issues with the lockpick though (or maybe just my interpretation of what it is supposed to do...). When I play a video from my iPad the video plays on the rear headrest speakers but not on the front touch screen. If I play the audio the iPhone menu/album art screens do show up front and rear.

When I play a video from the headrest dvd player (aftermarket) the video is transmitted to the 2nd headrest and front touch screen well but the volume of the audio is very low and if I turn it up loud enough to hear it has a high pitched whine (like alternator noise but engine is not running).

My unit says software version 1.4

What software version are those of you with audio issues running?

CStradling24
02-27-12, 02:45 AM
I have version 1.4 on mine as well. I went into the EQ in my iPhone and messed with some of those. In all honesty "treble booster" has very very little audio distortion and sounds very similar to the stock RCA input in the back with the EQ off at the same volume and same song.

It's as if the Lock pick is trying to over amplify the signal. I bought it from a seller on Amazon. Some I am thinking about returning it I am debating seeing if he will work with me and send me another main unit and I will see if there's a difference. It may just be hit or miss in the build quality, not sure.