|My Competition Record|
Trophies won from 1995 thru 1998. Photo taken after the 1998 season.
Since this was the first large audio system project that I'd ever undertaken, my goals were simple: to create something that sounded great and do an installation job that was something to be proud of. After two patient years of design, construction, and fine tuning, I realized that the finished system turned out much better than I had expected. Upon urges of friends, I decided to enter my first car audio competition. If only I'd known then what I was in for.
Most people who aren't familiar with what goes on at a car audio competition believe that it's just a bunch of kids trying to see how loud they can play their systems in some parking lot. That may have been the case in the early days of car audio (mid 80s), but there isn't much truth to that belief today. Most competitors are dedicated hobbyists who love music and enjoy the challenge of creating an incredibly accurate and realistic audio experience inside a car. Sit in the driver's seat and close your eyes. The sound makes you believe that the band is directly in front of you, and the dynamics provide a realism that is very close to being at a live concert. A great system will make it quite convincing, using your hearing to fool your mind into believing that you are in a sound space that is physically larger than the vehicle itself.
Car audio competitions are usually conducted by representatives of several national organizations. The two most popular are USAC (United States Autosound Competition) and IASCA (International Autosound Challenge Association). These organizations provide training for the judges and officials as well as a standardized scoring system. Points are accumulated by competitors who do well, which may qualify them to advance to the finals. Rarely are there any type of cash prizes - most of the time it's just trophies and a bit of praise and recognition. Those who compete do so mostly out of a love for their hobby. It's about getting together to share ideas, shoot the bull with friends, see what others have done, show off your unique creation, and see how your system measures up.
After the 1998 season came to a close, I decided that I would be retiring from active competition. I continue to attend competitions held in my area and show my car, but I don't participate in vehicle judging. Competing with the same vehicle and system for as long as four years is very unusual, and I've grown a bit tired of the frequent question, "Have you changed anything???". I created something that has been consistently judged to sound and look great. I don't want to change a thing. With this system and installation, I've accomplished everything that I had set out to do and more. During the last several years, the thrill of winning has started to fade, but the enjoyment that I get from listening to my system continues to grow every day.
Some stats along the way
(1995 thru 1998):
On to my competition record...