Rockford Fosgate, the famed maker of Car Audio amplifiers and speakers based in Arizona, USA typifies the approach of American Car Audio. The heavy weight, sledgehammer approach towards the car audio install. And heavy weight is indeed the case with the overall winner of the ‘Best of Showcar’ competition held in Putra Jaya, Malaysia which pits the skills of all Rockford’s installers in Singapore and Malaysia.
Andrew, the owner of the Toyota Corolla, is one hunk of a body builder and likes his music ‘Solid’. He needs to be as the installation in his car comes in a heavy weight 25 Gees. Lifting up the bootlid requires two hands and a hefty shove. You know why when you see the Rambo speakers mounted on the bootlid. What take the cake is the 2 units Rockford 200 amp that drives the pair of Rambos is also mounted on the lid! Gaze further down the boot and the whole works unfold before you. A 500.2 drives the pair of 15 inch subwoofers beautifully customised into an acrylic cabinet. 2 units 60 drives the front speakers and a unit of 60 1X drives the rear fill.
Now I must make it distinctly clear, there are actually two speaker systems at work. When the bootlid is closed, only the subs comes in and the speakers in the bootlid is ‘silenced’. Essentially what you hear is the front and rear Dynaudio and Helix component speakers plus the 15 in subs. When the bootlid is opened, you get the additional Rambos mentioned earlier playing as well.
To get the miserly 12 volt car battery able to power up the 6 amplifiers, you need some decent current storage capacity. Nah, not just your usual 1 Farad capacitor. Here is a total of 3 Farad capacitance from two capacitors. They are the pretty expensive Brax capacitors as well. They are mounted on the left side of the boot while a Pioneer DAB (digital tuner) sits on the right side. Up front, Pioneer’s top of the line DEX-P1 sits in the 1 Din slot. This unit offers plenty to talk about. It has this built in DSP with a digital 13 band graphic equaliser as well as spectrum analyser, Time Alignment (more of this later), Pioneer’s famed Legato Link DAC for superior sound quality.
First the Legato Link, found only on Pioneer’s top models which the DEH-P946 is the other; this digital to analogue conversion offers tranquility in the digital grunge. Legato Link has been successful in Pioneer’s home audio equipment as not only myself but also the Audio fraternity has lauded the D to A conversion as a Reference Standard. Now they have applied this technology to car audio and all the better for it. It is a pity that the DAC is not used in Pioneer’s lesser headunits.
The star of the system must be the Time Alignment feature in the DEX-P1. This feature is extremely useful but it needs a bit of explaining. In a home audio system, you have the privilege of sitting in the sweet spot, somewhere between the speakers at equi-distance from each speaker. Sorry dude, no such luck in a car. You are either in the driver’s seat or front passenger. The speaker closer to you will dominate. It is almost impossible to get a proper sound stage spread out in front of your windscreen and beyond. Now comes the neat trick. This time alignment device will, at a touch of the button, be able to offer a centralised image of the singer for instance, when you are either seated left or right. Its’ kind of eerie when you can sense the voice hovering just below your inside rear view mirror! Darn, the only thing they cannot do is to time align for both the driver and the front seat passenger. Still, if your are driving alone, this is a good feature that you will love to bits.
This is one that deserves the honour. Really. Top marks for the install and I was told the tuning took many weeks to get right. The results pay off handsomely when this car took top spot in the Rockford Fosgate sponsored competition in Malaysia. This is definitely not a ‘with screwdriver and pliers can do lah!’ car installer at work. The professionalism of the job is just incredible. From the way the amplifiers are customised, the subs cabinets, the sound proofing job and the final sound tuning. There is a lot of pride in this install. Andrew’s money no object attitude for getting things right is laudable. It goes to prove that good components in the hands of a skilled installer, given enough time and incentive, can do magic. Do I need to go into the sound? Guess not, it is pointless to heap superlatives when everything comes together so well. This install, in my books, is a perfect 10/10.
Installer: New Generation Auto Sound Enterprises.