Sound Pressure Level or Sonically Progressing Liability?
For many of the industry's oldest and most experienced veterans, the hook that brought them into the 12-volt industry was, on some level, related to sound pressure level (SPL) in a car audio system. Making bass impressive in a car was and is in our industry's DNA. In the early days, getting the OVR readout on the first Audio Control 3050 RTAs before the high SPL versions came along was quite a bragging right. Oh, how things have changed.
Consumer-focused SPL services were once a singular segment of the industry that relied heavily on the expertise of a specialist installation professional to get the intended results. Those professionals in 12-volt retail shops sold the equipment, designed the systems and completed the installation work. And, not an insignificant detail was that the cars in which these systems existed (for the most part) were cars that drove on the street, safely and legally.
That whole SPL paradigm is now widely spread out among both DIY enthusiasts and select professional 12-volt installers, both of whom pursue that goal of an ever-increasing SPL number and often do so with cars having installations of questionable safety and integrity, many of which do not even drive on the road.