"It’s the range and richness of the sound that really impresses" - S. Harper, VW Driver Magazine

January Driving

Welcome Driving Sounds Club Members. Many of you may be wondering what you did to deserve receipt of this newsletter. Distributor FOUR, sign you up automatically when your product is registered for their extended warranty - It is all detailed in their warranty confirmation email.  Membership is a bit of fun and hopefully, somewhat educational. Occasionally, we are offered product to promote to our members. This is by no means the primary purpose. As the UK's only dedicated Car Audio Magazine, we try to provide a platform on which we can share information on the next issue, some technical information and awareness of songs old and new that we enjoy listening to in our cars. This month's not-so-hidden tune is by Disclosure and despite the deliberately, heavily compressed production, makes for a great driving tune. Have a listen by clicking the image above or hitting this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OawqekA7bgk - Read on to find out what we have been up to with VW Driver Magazine and get a bit of science that this month features Total Harmonic Distortion - Yay!

S-Club 7

This month, we were present at an installation/photo shoot for an article that will appear in a forthcoming issue of VW Driver Magazine. Golf aficionado, Simon Harper, came along to make sure that FOUR MASTER Karl Ward of Ultimate Audio, Bromsgrove, treated his precious and rare Golf Clubsport S with the utmost respect while installing an Audison Golf 7 Prima Pack into it. Needless to say, Simon was completely blown away and we were allowed to ask him a few questions. Have a read here: https://www.drivingsounds.co.uk/driving-sounds-club/s-club-7/


Top Five Driving Sounds

This month's Top Five comes courtesy of Simon Harper (see Sneaky Peek above). As with most of our victims, Simon found this really difficult. I tried to explain that this list can change every day it is simply a snapshot of tracks he is currently enjoying in his car.

Vienna - Midge Ure (Orchestrated) 
Stay on These Roads - A-ha (Acoustic Hits) 
More Than This - Roxy Music 
Dakota - Stereophonics  
One - U2 

You can all take part in this bit by emailing me your list: editorial@drivingsounds.co.uk

Total Harmonic Distortion Explored

It is hard to find a specification list for a piece of audio equipment that does not contain a figure for Total Harmonic Distortion (THD). We explore what it is and its relevance in listening terms. Just how important is it to our enjoyment of music? Find out more here: https://www.fourmasterscaraudio.co.uk/caraudio/total-harmonic-distortion-in-car-audio-electronics/


Driving Sounds Magazine

Driving Sounds Magazine is the UK's only specialist car audio magazine. Born from frustration that all the coverage car audio gets elsewhere is either negative or just 100 meaningless words cut and pasted from a press release, a picture and a price. we set about creating a magazine that features real people who have had their cars upgraded in pursuit of audio excellence. They tell us their story because their experience has genuinely moved them and they want to share it with others.
Driving Sounds Magazine is available from our site: www.drivingsounds.co.uk and is delivered as either a hard copy through the post or as a PDF download. You can even buy individual articles or sample early content free of charge. 

Genre Specific Set-Ups

We have a slightly tricky dilemma looming. It relates to people's broadening listening habits and is in all, a very good thing despite potentially adding a set up headache for your local installer. There has been a definite swing toward better quality listening. Driven in part by the earbud generation but also improved speaker technology being employed by manufacturers of everything from kitchen radios to TVs. The availability of preference related and random playlists have also had an undeniable effect. All the way back in issue III of Driving Sounds Magazine we came across a Bentley with an upgrade that should have made my CD's sing but it didn't! (Ball Room Bentley) - However, it could have done had it not been set up to match the owners specific instruction. The owner had a vast collection of nostalgia-inducing club music on an iPod. In those days iTunes music files were heavily compressed and the compression algorithm was akin to MP3. The compensatory set up made them sound energetic, bright and bass-heavy, but it did not suit the Pink Floyd CD I tried to play on it.
The experience opened my eyes to what a FOUR MASTER was capable of and I have been very careful to ask car owners to bring some of their own preferred listening with them to an audition ever since. For years now, head unit manufacturers have allowed eq settings to be selected by genre - typically: Rock, Pop, Jazz, Classical, Speech. I never liked any of these settings mainly because they were often set by engineers and not musicians but also, because the equalisation available was a bit like a hammer is to a walnut!
These days we have Digital Signal Processors which are more like microscopy is to quantity surveying! The subtlety of adjustment available is truly astonishing enabling a good installer with the right equipment to create a setting that suits your listening as precisely as you want it to. The best processors like those from Audison, will offer a number of presets allowing users to have a choice which is a very good thing. I feel that there is no situation a good set up cannot deal with so please, if you are in the market for a car audio upgrade, take some of your favourite tracks along with you. Your installer will not mind in fact it can save a return trip at a later date!
That's all for another month folks so, take care and listen responsibly!