Performance & Hotrod Business May '14

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58 n Performance & Hotrod Business n May 2014 A nd we thought remote-control door poppers were cool. Using wireless technology borrowed from the burgeoning cell phone industry, an entire in-vehicle sound system can be operated remotely— while conveniently hidden, thanks to the smaller individual components developed for today's smaller OEM cars. This may well be the best technology borrowed from the new-car showroom since the overhead- valve V-8. Bluetooth is huge. In fact, the capabilities of wireless communication loom larger ev- ery day, while electronic components shrink down to micro-circuit scale. For a hot rod consumer or professional installing an up- to-date sound system, these two phenom- ena combine into one extraordinary gift— heck, it's Christmas, your birthday, and the circus is in town! Because it's never been easier to pack more OEM modern sound into a vintage roadster, pickup, or muscle car with less conspicuously modern hard- ware left visible to the observer. "In the past two years we've seen a tech- nology boom," exclaims Ryan P. McDonald of Custom Autosound Mfg. in Fullerton, Calif. "More and more people are becom- ing accustomed to using their handheld de- vices, and they expect to be able to integrate these devices with their car audio systems." While at the same time, noted Manville Smith, VP of marketing at JL Audio in Mi- ramar, Fla., "Modern compact products now duplicate the performance of yester- day's giant subwoofers and amplifiers"— making it easier than ever to install big sound in restored vehicles of all sizes. "You can get tremendous performance from compact subwoofers that can be hidden under or behind seats, or even inside cus- tom consoles. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the audio system needs to be a part of the overall design, and not an afterthought." "Today's equipment has the ability to make better sound with smaller, lighter components that are easier to hide," agrees Dan Jobin, rod and custom product plan- ning manager for Stillwater Designs/ KICKER in Stillwater, Okla. "Aftermarket car stereo equipment has traditionally been meant to be showy and in-your-face. Like a Roots blower sticking up through the hood, the sound system was installed in a manner that attracted attention." To be sure, some hot rodders embrace such ostentatious style—but we'd venture a guess that most prefer something more subtle. Any rodder/restorer striving for an authentic or nostalgic look, or a machined- from-billet race-car look, or a modernized clean-and-sanitary look will prefer an audio system that's at most inconspicuous and at best hidden completely. Yet they all want modern, OEM sound quality. We urge builders and end-users to ex- ercise judgment, however, about using a HOTROD GettinG in tune Cool, Creative Custom audio solutions for hip, happy Cruising. B y J o h n F. K a t z KnuKonceptz's UBT-840P and UBT-840N battery terminals, designed to provide additional ports for 0-, 4-, and 8-gauge cable. (Courtesy KnuKonceptz) PHBMAYp58-91.indd 58 4/2/14 12:01 PM

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