Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Back to MDX

Just thirteen months after we got the 2006 Acura RL, I've traded it in for a 2007 Acura MDX. Chuck Rouse at Nalley Acura made it very easy; they made an incredibly aggressive offer (an offer that was even better than the proposal I had made to Jackson Acura... a proposal that seemed so offensive to them that they never responded to followup e-mails, although I blame the Jackson Acura sales manager Dmitri for that more than I blame the Jackson Acura salesperson Vladimir, who tried to make the deal work), then did everything necessary to close the deal in less than 48 hours, even though a computer glitch meant that he had to truck the car in from North Carolina when it turned out they didn't have the color I wanted, no matter what the computer said.
I ended up getting a Nimbus Gray/Black Interior sport/entertainment model, and it's simply amazing. I was told that the ELS sound system in this vehicle was far more sophisticated and nuanced than the system in the RL... and remember, I thought the RL system was incredible. Well, this one is better than I ever imagined an automotive sound system could be. Remember when I complained that the Lexus Mark Levinson sound system was mushy and indistinct compared to the RL? Well, this is as much better than the RL's system as the RL was better than the Lexus. What's really amazing is what the unit does to MP3's... the Dolby sound processing really makes them seem like they're surround sound mixes, complete with crisp treble and rich bass. Plus, the MDX sport/entertainment will handle 5.1 DVDs as well as DVD-Audio, offering more listening options--and it also plays MP3s from a DVD-R, which means that if I don't want to use my iPod, I can burn 4.7 gigs of my favorites as MP3 files for more targeted listening.
The vehicle drives like a fine luxury car; it's powerful, smooth, and hedonistically comfortable. It also sits higher than a car, which is something I've missed ever since I got rid of the MDX a few years ago.   This vehicle's suspension sounds like something from Stark Enterprises: it uses a ferrous fluid that responds to electromagnetic impulses by becoming thicker or thinner, offering more or less resistance to road impact, roll, etc. 
Storage space/cargo space? No comparison; the RL was a little bit short on storage space, unfortunately (it was the only vehicle I've ever owned in which the glove compartment was too small to hold the owner's manual, which I had to slide under the passenger's seat to keep it out of the way).

The only thing that the RL had that is missing in the MDX is a proximity sensor for keyless entry and the starter. I actually have to hold the keyfob in my hand to unlock the key, and I have to insert the key in the ignition to start the car... very 20th century, but I'm more than willing to make that tradeoff in exchange for improved handling and a top-of-the-line sound system.


Anonymous said...

Hi, I stumbled on your blog while doing a Google search for 2007 Acura MDX and iPhone.
I too just bought a 2007 MDX and am curious if you are going to do a custom iPod mount in it that taps into the audio system as well as the ceiling mounted video screen in the back seat.

I read that you didn't buy an iPhone, but if you ever do, I'd like to chat, because I want to do a custom mount with AV for my iPhone in the MDX.

I will check back with your comments. I was going to email you directly, but for some reason couldn't find a link to your email anywhere. Am I just clueless? Or is it not here?


cliff said...

I hadn't thought about it until you posted, but you're right--I don't have my e-mail address listed anywhere on the site. I considered backing up and adding it, but my worry is that e-mail address harvesters will latch onto the address and suddenly I'll be awash in spam.

(I will mention that I'm easily findable on a search by looking for an e-mail address that contains cliffbig followed by one of a variety of domain names.)

As for the MDX and a custom iPod mount... I'm afraid that I'm nowhere nearly technically adept enough to pull this one off. Right now, I'm using the DLO Music Remote with the Acura; since the sport/entertainment model has a standard two-prong power outlet in the console rather than a 12v outlet, I was able to simply plug in the DLO Music Remote base and use the OLED remote to access the music on my iPod, which is connnected to the stereo system via a miniplug-to-phono-plug adapter cable that was included. I played with it some yesterday, and (except for some kludginess caused by DLO's slightly buggy intereface) it worked just great!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reply.
You gave me a good idea here. I could put the brand new "DLO HomeDock Music Remote"

See it here:

in the center console/driver's armrest and then try to run the composite red, white and yellow cables to the jacks somehow from within to avoid any visable messy cords.

The very cool remote that comes with it even has a little digital screen for displaying song, artist and playlist info on it. But best of all, that remote is RF, not IR, so the dock could be hidden inside the console and the remote's signal would still reach it.

Tapping into the jacks from the inside will be the toughest part I think. Finally, I have to see if that dock is iPhone compatible. I know that Apple sells a little shape adaptor for the iPhone to fit into most docks, but I have read that not all accessories wor with the iPhone due to interference from the iPhone's wireless signals.

So I'll have to see.
Let me know if you have any additional ideas.
Nice chatting with you.

cliff said...

Yep, the HomeDock Music Remote with the OLED screen--that's the one I'm using in the Acura right now. Like I said, the remote is a little wonky, and every now and then I have to turn off the remote, unplug the base, remove the iPod, then reconnect everything so it can "rediscover" my music, but other than that it seems to work quite well. Today I made my first hour-long drive in the Acura, and I used the iPod for a part of the time with no glitches.

I do have to say, however, that the same mp3 files seem to sound much brighter and more full when they're playing back from a DVD-R. I burned three full DVD-R's of various playlists just to test it out, and I was surprised at how much more vibrant the music seemed. I don't know if the ProLogic II processing is truly more successful from the disc than from the RCA auxiliary inputs, but even my nephew and his wife noticed the richer, fuller sound. (And yes, you can play back DVD-R's full of mp3 files, and each one of them wlll hold as much music as an iPod nano... or a 4gb iPhone!