We often report on tales of woe when it comes to car audio. Mostly these are related to DIY attempts at installation (MIUY or Muck It Up Yourself is what we call it in the trade) - Just because your mate studied computer science at college doesn't mean he knows what gauge power cable to use on a 4 X 100 Watt amplifier. Ultimately, having a go yourself at something requiring the skills and knowledge of a professional will generally end up costing you more effort and money and if the result does not sound good then who is to blame?
This story covers a different but very similar scenario. Our car owner researched a system for his VW Sirocco. Having taken on board the fact that professionals can install much better and safer systems than MIUYers, he always intended to go to a professional for this. He was however, convinced by reading about equipment on enthusiast forums, that he could save £000's if he were to source second-hand equipment on the internet.
He assembled a collection of equipment using the sage advice that often proliferates enthusiast forums and took it along with his car to FOUR MASTER, Soundwerks in Glasgow. Top man there Iain Struthers has many years experience and is a true professional. His equipment knowledge is vast which is why he is able to charge for his work rather than having to sit up late at night recommending systems online anonymously and for free. He looked over the equipment and was not too put off. In fact the selection of products had the potential on paper to make a nice sounding system. He duly installed the equipment to the car, which is where the fun started. Unfortunately, it turns out that not everyone selling second hand equipment on forums can be entirely trusted and some of the equipment showed signs of water ingress while some didn't work at all. Water in electronics is an insidious infection. Corrosion never stops and what looks like a slight watermark on a circuit board will eventually dissolve away the necessary linking tracks between components and this is what had happened with some of the equipment here. Iain used his skill and knowledge to repair the damaged equipment as best he could and managed to get the system up and running. The customer meanwhile, had been very impressed by hearing other cars Iain was working on which featured Hertz equipment. He soon became dissatisfied with his system when referenced against other systems he had heard and resolved to save up to have a proper job done.
The result was a system comprising performance-matched equipment that carries a three-year warranty and in comparison, sounds way better. I can't wait to see this car and meet the proud owner face-to-face to complete this story - watch out for Driving Sounds Magazine issue 4 due out early next year for the full article.
In the meantime, find out what a FOUR MASTER could do for you by visiting FOUR MASTERS CAR AUDIO