To be asked by a major mobile electronics manufacturer to provide the vehicle to represent their company at an international industry event is an honor any car audio retailer would fully enjoy. And to be honest, when Bay Area Audio Visions was asked by JL Audio to provide the “booth car” for the 2012 MERA Knowledgefest show, we felt we didn’t deserve it, but we knew we would completely welcome the chance.
MERA Knowledgefest is probably the biggest show the mobile electronics industry puts together every year. It is a “meeting of the minds” of everyone who is anyone in this business. The event takes place over the course of several days and includes comprehensive trainings, exhibitions, demonstrations, as well as good old networking.
So when we were offered the opportunity, we responded with a resounding ABSOLUTELY! And we even had the perfect car that was just finished to be a great blend of fabulous products offered by JL Audio as well as highlight our skills and abilities on a project of this size.
The vehicle of choice was a 1957 Chevy Bel Air. This vehicle’s engine and exterior was fully customized by the owner. All of the interior elements, including the door panels, dash, center console, kick panels, rear deck, and trunk area were designed and fabricated by Bay Area Audio Visions. While the car was far from stock in its appearance and power plant, we didn’t want to take away from the car’s classic lines and reputation. Whatever we were going to do to enhance the vehicle’s sound system, we wanted the car to remain the star.
We knew the engine was loud so we wanted a stereo system that could keep up no matter the situation. It had to be loud, clear, and most of all just kick ass! The system starts with a Pioneer PRS 800 CD receiver with an Apple iPad as the main music source. The signal continues to 3 JL Audio amplifiers prominently displayed in the trunk floor. 2 HD 600/4 amps power all the mid and high speakers. There is a set of C5-653 3 way component speakers in the front of each side of the vehicle. The 4″ midranges and tweeters are installed in custom kick panels while the 6 1/2″ mid bass live in each door in the fully fabricated panels. Rear speakers consist of 2 pairs of JL Audio C3 5 1/4″ speakers run in a coaxial configuration on the rear deck. For the low end frequencies, 3 JL Audio 10W6v2 subwoofers are installed in a bandpass enclosure with a clear acrylic window for viewing. All the the output is directed through the rear deck.
Plenty of the hand cut and hand polished aluminum trim pieces accent the vehicle’s interior throughout the installation. More clear acrylic accents illuminated with purple LED lighting, gives the 57’s interior some “flash”.
But shiny metal and flashy lights will only get you so far when showing off a car audio installation. The first question is always…”How does it sound?”
Well the common answer to that question is simply AWESOME! The balance is fantastic and the tonality is everything you could hope for. The system is very musical whether listening to demanding jazz and rock selections but can also “rip your head off” when you get on it with some bass heavy tracks. The output is very impressive, especially when you get no break up at higher volumes.
Overall, this car did a perfect job of showing product that is second to none in an installation that can certainly hold its own with the “big boys”.