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In the custom car audio business, we have the ’70’s and ’80’s to thank for the movement that now allows us to make a living and feed our children by improving peoples’ power and sound. This decade led to the emergence of after-market products that owners could then install in their own cars (or pay a little extra and have a professional do it 😉 wink, wink ). People were no longer satisfied with factory sound. With the rise of cassette tapes, the steady phase-out of bulky vacuum-based amplifiers, and the exchange of single-speaker, monophonic systems for in-car stereo setups, a revolution in car audio was underway. New casette receivers, speakers, and drivers were now on the market…and people were taking notice.
“In-car systems became comparable with in-home sound systems with companies like Alpine, Kenwood, and Pioneer, well, pioneering the way.”
For the first time, the amplifier was paid more attention to in-car. This led to more power and better quality sound. In-car systems became comparable with in-home sound systems with companies like Alpine, Kenwood, and Pioneer, well, pioneering the way. As the illusion of “surround sound” was created, the industry never looked back…and audio lovers rejoiced.
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Earl “Madman” Muntz, an engineer and entrepreneur, created the 4-track cartridge technology (called the Stereo-Pak). This was the pivotal moment for car audio during this time period. Using advanced engineering and new-aged marketing techniques, the tape player gave car audio enthusiasts more control than ever. This new technology could play entire albums without skipping and with minimal effort from the driver. This eventually gave way to the 8-track players in the late 1960’s. By the ’70’s, when Walkman came of the scene, personalized playlists became a reality and redefined music inside and out of the automobile.Read more →
The ’50’s and ’60’s brought an invention that freed car audio fanatics from the reliance on AM and FM radio signals. As records began to sweep the country, it was only a matter of time before they would be available for car lovers to enjoy while driving.
The “Highway Hi-Fi” was the first to market. It was available from Chrysler in the 1956 Chrysler, Desoto, Dodge, and Plymouth. The 7-inch size was perfect because the 12-inch were too big but the 45’s did not last long for long car rides.
In 1960, Chrysler released a much more affordable option: the RCA Victor auto “Victrola.” For $51.75 ($410.47 today) you could play 45s of your choice.
The RCA “Victrola” held 14 records and could play for 2½ hours. This allowed drivers to focus on the road instead of being distracted by constantly changing music.Read more →
The ’40’s and ’50’s were capitalized by a feature we have all become accustomed to and tend to overlook: the “seek” option. This option made it possible for drivers to find station without having to continuously turn the knob. Ford was one of the companies to make the “seek” option so popular with its “Town and Country” models.
The name came from the two buttons located on the radio “Town” and “Country.” When the Town button was pressed the tuning mechanism rotated as the sensitivity was decreased so that only local stations would be selected. In contrast, the Country button made the same mechanism rotate but with full sensitivity so that distant stations could be received.
For continuous seeking, rather than pressing the button, a petal was available for the driver to press with their foot. This petal was located on the far left where the “dead petal” can be found today. This convenient feature aided in travel and really helped car audio take off. The rest of the 1950’s brought an assortment of improvements to car audio and we will dive into those next week!Read more →
Due to the terrible weather conditions in our area we have taken a break from our current series to share with you some tips to keep you and your loved ones safe. These tips come form AAA and can be found at
Car audio gained its footing in the late 1920’s. This is when the first car radios hit the market. Although they are seen as a necessity today, the original car radio was met with a lot of resistance.
A large portion of the population feared that radios in cars would distract drivers and cause more automobile accidents. Some areas even went as far as to ban radios from use while driving (thank goodness that didn’t stick!) While commercial radios began selling in the late 1920’s, it wasn’t until the Galvin Manufacturing Company (now known as Motorola) released the first commercial popular in-car radio, the Motorola 5T71, that radios hit mainstream.
The car radio found a ton of success, especially with the emergence of the new brand, “Motorola.” As the market began demanding more and more radios, owners Paul Galvin and Elmer Wavering began traveling the country selling their new product and connecting drivers to another one of America’s pastimes- music
Citation: https://www.motorolasolutions.com/US-EN/About/Company+Overview/History/Explore+Motorola+Heritage/Sound+in+MotionRead more →
How much do you know about the history of car audio? In this series we are going to cover a different decade in car audio development. How did we go from simple AM car radio (hint: it would cost $1800 by today’s inflation standards) to our elaborate systems capable of creating the amazing sound we love today? We are going to cover a new decade each and every week. See how much you know about the first amp, radio, and more.
We would love to hear your feedback. If we miss something-Let us know!Read more →
To ring in the New Year, we are offering 3 monthly deals to cover everything you need in car audio. Need an amp? Speakers? Subs? Radio? Now, how would you like to get what you need an leave with a little extra jingle in your pocket?
Here’s what we’ve got for you:
<<<<<<$50 OFF Sub/Box combos
<<<<<<$25 OFF speakers w/radio
<<<<<<FREE amp kit with ANY amp
These deals won’t last long but your great sound will. Get hooked up today with great sound and even better value.Read more →
We have had an excellent year with our customers and friends. We look forward to 2015 being even better! Not only are we beginning the year with some sweet deals (we’ll release those after the 1st), but we are continuing our mission to bring the culture of car audio back by creating a local community of new and existing bass heads. This has been an excellent year and let’s celebrate a Happy New Year by cruising around blasting Jackson County with the best in car audio.
Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ as we promote our products as well as host discussions that bring audiophiles together. Join us!Read more →