The Ethics of Loud
I've been in the car audio industry for a good 25 years, but my obsession with loud came well before that. We all know the symptoms. We don't run from fireworks. Loud bumps in the night made us run in anticipation. And a loud car or motorcycle brought a smile to our face. But, there is always a moment, one that stands out above all others, when you can pinpoint how the obsession began and then how it festered into the desire to make a loud car audio system.
For me, the moment for LOUD began when a friend of my father fired up his big block drag car in a garage. Then the moment for MUSIC was in a night club seeing a world-class rock band warming up for a tour. Finally, the car audio part all came together in Drew William's competition Chevy Astro Van. Listening to the impact of midbass and subbass in that van on the way to a show in Pittsburgh changed my life. The smile that it put on my face reappears every time I fire up a properly tuned system. It has done the same for countless people I've been able to share the experience with as well.
My father taught me a phrase early on in life that I've found to hold true for just about everything, but especially for LOUD: "First you learn how to use something, then you learn how to abuse it, and then you learn to respect it." The key is to avoid as much trouble as possible in the 'abuse' phase. Trust me, it always exists. For loud, trouble exists in two of three phases (keep in mind this is true for most of your customers)—first in the 'learning' phase when vibrating panels and external venting can cause major annoyances. Then it appears, obviously, in the abuse phase, when showing off is just the thing. Unfortunately, this never changes the pattern, but it can help in the shortening of the path to the final step. The anticipation of the first two steps can also help maintain the balance within your community.