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I have recently got myself a RX400 on a 08 plate,it comes with Mark Levison audio but it’s old.

Cassette and no DAB. Is there a simply Lexus upgrade that will simply fit from a newer model?

Or will I need to upgrade to DAB at an independent audio specialist as I’ve done previously with other cars.

Thanks for any advice.

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I've been wondering this myself.  It is worth noting that there are many posts along these lines with various recommendations about non-Lexus solutions.  For this reason, I doubt that there is a simple plug and play upgrade from Lexus, though I'd love to be proven wrong.  

My rx400h is a bit older than yours, so I believe that yours has different controls and displays, but with the same underlying functionality.  

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There's no direct replacement/upgrade as far as I'm aware. You could look into one of the modules that plugs into the external CD changer socket on the original ML head unit and gives you Bluetooth.

The main bugbear with closed systems like the ML one is that the line levels and speaker impedances used in the system are completely different than standard systems. So you can't just go out and buy a head unit and expect it to plug straight into the Mark Levinson wiring and have it work.

The ML head unit drives and amp under the rear seats, which then drives the completely non-standard speakers.

So if you fit a head unit from any of the usual makers like Panasonic, Sony, JVC, etc, then you may need a line level convertor between it and the Mark Levinson amp. You may also need a 12v feed from the head unit to the amp when the head unit is switched on, to switch to amp on and off. Otherwise you either don't switch the amp on and get no audio, or if you feed it permanent 12v, you risk draining the Battery.

With closed systems like the Mark Levinson one, I always recommend taking the car to a car audio specialist. They can advise on what would be required to interface a new aftermarket head unit into the existing system. That way you drive the components at the correct level and get decent audio.



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If you only want DAB then it's simple. There are a number of units available that transmit DAB signals over FM which your radio will pick up. There are posts on here and there is one in particular which is highly recommended. Can't remember which thread it is but take a look as it also states how to Introduce Bluetooth streaming. 

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  • 303 Hybrid Reliability

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