Expert System For A Tenor!

Sub-Post Master turned Tree Surgeon inherited a dream

Expert Hi-fi for a Tenor!


Sub-Post Master turned Tree Surgeon, Drew Patterson inherited a dream. Opera singing father travelled all over the UK and Europe performing opera. It always seems odd to think that one of music’s highest art forms has traditionally carried some of the poorest wages which is why Andrew Patterson Senior never achieved his lifelong ambition of owning a Mercedes CLK. On his passing, Drew determined to carry that dream through by working all hours and saving everything he earned in order to get the car of his father’s dreams.

It took quite a few years with many diversions along route, but finally Drew visited his local Mercedes dealership in 2005 and purchased a shiny new CLK in Silver. Initially, spending a significant amount of money on Hi-fi was not on Drew’s radar, as he told us; “I was quite happy with factory fitted stuff, or so I thought, it sounded OK for a car, which I now think is the problem. People don’t expect much of factory fit car stereo. They listen to some drive time chat, news and traffic information on medium wave radio and that’s it. But, when you start to play music you love in a car, most of it fails to deliver the same emotion as it does on even a modest system at home.

Drew had a protracted route into car Hi-fi; “My first son and I had done everything together, from partaking in and watching sport to films and sorts of other bonding activities, however my youngest son, Ryan, was a little more reserved and as a teenager began to drift away into a virtual world of computer games and MSN etc. I felt that perhaps I hadn’t got as much involved in his life as I had with my eldest and set-out to find some common interest we could pursue together.

We attended a modified car show called ISTS at Castle Donington in 2008 and met an extraordinary FOUR MASTER called Paul Ellis. He spent a lot of time with us explaining what he does and what makes good Hi-fi. He demonstrated a couple of cars to us and both my son and I were so impressed we decide there and then that car Hi-fi was what we needed in our lives! I immediately booked Ryan’s car in for a system build and within days of its completion, booked my beloved CLK in for an even better one! I put a budget limit of £6K on the system which ended up costing £8K. I found that once the process began, I wanted as much input as possible, listening to equipment and adding my own personal touches to the system. One thing I would have never thought possible, was sprung on me by Paul. When I went to finally collect the car the boot install had been finished in the identical Napa Leather used by Mercedes for the interior of the car! It was this sort of attention to detail which convinced me that I had been lucky to find one of a group of the finest installers in the country, prepared to go that extra yard to deliver customer satisfaction.

I have very broad musical tastes, which developed through hearing dad singing around the hose and listening to some of the most emotive singers that have ever recorded and it was during this time that I discovered that the better the performer, the more detail was missed by inferior reproduction. I have now come to the conclusion that the attention to detail shown during the installation process, coupled with good quality equipment helps to bring out the detail within the music and particularly virtuoso performances such as that of Placido Domingo’s “Nessun Dorma”. I can now only play this track when the road is clear in front of me in case my vision becomes impaired by tears of sheer joy!”

Due in part to the way Drew discovered Car Hi-fi, his install maybe less discreet than many would want. This was deliberate as Drew intends to show his car to as many people as possible and has already attended car sound competitions in order to share his pride and joy with the general public. Although not built to compete, Drew has already taken silver wear in the European Mobile Media Association’s (EMMA) sound-off format. This enables him to expose the car to other competitors and followers of the format who appreciate more than most, the achievement of home Hi-fi quality sound in a car. Drew is keen to point out that it took some persuasion to have the installers carry out this kind of an install into such a classic car as it is far more common for customers of such vehicles to want everything hidden away. This was suggested and Drew was shown examples of Hi-fi installs of similar equipment installed behind existing trim panels.

We asked Drew if he was tempted to change any other aspect of the vehicle; “Not really, I did consider a DTM body kit, but frankly, that seemed a little bit young for me and it also involves carving away some of the existing body work and I really don’t want anything done which would affect the car’s resell value and this is the other point that escapes most car owners, all of the work that has gone into improving my vehicle can be reversed if I ever wish to sell the vehicle. I suppose it is true that I would never realise the full value of the system as part of the car, but I can remove it and have it all installed in my next one”

Top Five Tracks

Somebody to Love – Queen

Adagio for Strings – Testio

Nessun Dorma – Placido Domingo

Gangster’s Paradise – Coolio

Tonight - Genesis

Car Audio Upgrades Made Easy

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