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Volume MAGAZINE ISSUE 3.0 rockfordfosgate.com

Skin Industries

al borda is wide open

dodge lowrider

paul Yaffe’s bagger nation

south africa’s p&p sound

rockford fosgate sound lab

not on the down low

ultimate carnival ride

buyer’s guide 2011

Nissan skyline gtr32 skyle gtr32

game over

How To: Woofer Box | How To: Wiring wizard | test & Review: t1 subwoofer | test & Review: brt amp


1

VOLUME 3.0

cameron dollar

josh grant

ryan sipes


Letter from the President and CEO People often ask me, “What makes Rockford Fosgate so special? Isn’t it just another car audio product?” My answer is simple. Rockford Fosgate is the “original seed” of car audio. In 1973, Jim Fosgate was a visionary in designing a high power amplifier for the automobile. From that point forward Rockford Fosgate has set the benchmark in mobile audio and defined the lifestyle. It’s about the music and the experience in the car. I recently drove home from the office and sat in the driveway listening to the end of an old Steely Dan album. Not only did it bring back some great memories, but I was immersed in the performance. Great car audio has the ability to insert you into the performance and the music. You feel it, you hear it, it becomes emotional, and it makes you respond. It’s this experience we have brought to the marketplace with our Sound LAB vehicles. People get to experience car audio the Rockford Fosgate way in the PRESSURE CHAMBER or demo our various products in their own vehicles via the LAB. The results are just like my ride home, WOW! It doesn’t matter whether you are listening to Lady Gaga, AC/DC or Robbie Williams, the performance becomes “personal”. The lifestyle that goes along with Rockford Fosgate is honest and straight forward. We are passionate, we like quality and we are proud of our rides. We take cars and car audio seriously. If you walk the halls of the corporate office in Tempe, you will find CAR AUDIO FANATICS. We live this business, Period! From each and every person at Rockford, thank you for your interest and support. We remain committed to developing class leading mobile electronic products. Enjoy the Rockford Fosgate experience and remember it’s all about the music in your car! Bill Jackson, President/CEO

ROCKFORDFOSGATE.COM

2


features

25

15

7 21

27 7 // rockford fosgate sound lab

25 // paul Yaffe’s bagger nation

15 // Skin Industries

27 // dodge lowrider

ultimate carnival ride

al borda is wide open

game over

not on the down low

21 // south africa’s p&p sound Nissan skyline gtr34

departments 9 // test & review - boosted rail amplifier

22 // how to - do it yourself box build

11 // how to - woofer wiring wizard

23 // inside look - power ad amplifier

13 // inside look - T5 components

29 // inside look - 3sixty.3 processor

17 // inside look - boosted rail amplifier

31 // rockford fosgate punch wear

19 // test & review - t1 subwoofers 3

VOLUME 3.0


P3

UNSURPASSED INTENSITY WITH A RELENTLESS PUNCH

INNOVATION & DESIGN E X CE E D I N G A L L E X P E C T A T I O N S PUNCH P3 Subwoofers Feature:

25 %

MORE

CONE AREA

• VAST provides up to a 25% increase in the speakers effective radiating cone area dramatically improving both nominal efficiency and maximum output capabilities. • Flex Fit is a slot mounted frame pattern which allows slight adjustment of the speaker when mounted. • 2.5” Copper Clad Aluminum Voice Coil • Thermal Anodized Aluminum Cone • 500-600 watts RMS/1000-1200 watts Peak AVAILABILE:

Vertical Attach Surround Technique U.S. Patent (Patent Pending)

Rockford Fosgate PUNCH® subwoofers, available at authorized retailers worldwide

- 10”, 12”, 15” Sizes - Dual 2 or 4 ohm rockfordfosgate.com • 800.366.2349


setting the standard

Power t1

RTTI(Rockford Technical Training Institute) is launched. Rockford Fosgate is born.

1973

1980

Jim Fosgate introduces PR7000 PowerPunch amplifier.

Rockford produces the first 12 Volt amplifiers to use MOSFET transistors.

5

VOLUME 3.0

The Punch 45 MOSFET amplifier is born.

1984

1986

1985

Symmetry is born.

1988

Power 1000 MOSFET is born. PVC “Birth Certificate”concept is launched.

introduces Hybrid 1990 Rockford Surface Mount technology.

1991

Patented Class D topology “BD” debuts.

1997

Rockford introduces the Power T30001 as the most powerful car amplifier ever.

2004

1995 TRANS•ana topology debuts. Fosgate 2000 Rockford partners with Nissan . ®


In 1973, Jim Fosgate changed the rules of the game when he designed an amplifier called the POWERPUNCH.  Fosgate had engineered and designed an amplifier that for the first time in history could drive low impedance loads and was able to run both stereo and mono simultaneously.   This dictated that the amplifier incorporated a MOSFET design, a small detail that was unknown in the world of audio.  With this unique amplifier design Fosgate then designed the Punch EQ, allowing the adjustability to the bass and treble, the sonic signature or “curves”. This allowed the perfect balance and Punch that was needed in a car audio system.  The dynamic sound of the Punch EQ would lead an industry for over three decades by a mastermind of engineering, design, innovation and technology.  Fosgate became an industry icon and commanded the authority of

power T1000-4ad

Power and Performance, a brand for a lifestyle that would bond those passionate about high performance car audio. Today Rockford Fosgate has manufactured, serviced and supported an industry worldwide and has come to define high performance car audio.  A long-standing reputation of exceptional products, reliability and assurance has earned Rockford Fosgate the prominent position in the audio industry.  Just as our products have evolved, so too has our company.  We continue to lead and are proud to design and engineer in the USA.  We pledge that every product that embraces the name Rockford Fosgate is backed by an extensive and dependable worldwide support network. With each new endeavor, our history of leadership is elevated even higher. We’ve pushed harder and had a commitment, a dedication and a desire to be the ambassador within the industry. We are proud that our past drives us today with passion and purpose. But the most exciting adventure is the one that continues to unfold each and every day, as we watch all of the diverse and imaginative ways of our future.

Punch 45

pr7000 powerpunch

2006 Patented 3Sixty interactive signal processor debuts. Rockford introduces the T15KW, 15000 watt amplifier. Rockford Fosgate partners with Mitsubishi®. introduces 2007 Rockford patented DTM circuit.

2005

Rockford Fosgate partners with Malibu® boats.

introduces Vertical Attach Surround Technique (VAST) 2009 Rockford for class leading loudspeaker line of products. Rockford Fosgate partners with Sea Ray® boats. Fosgate partners 2010 Rockford with Suzuki . ®

Patent pending Full-Range Class D topology “AD” debuts.

introduces patent 2011 Rockford pending Boosted Rail technology. Rockford’s 3Sixty awarded patent.


It’s always better the first time! At least that’s how we remember it...first car, first girlfriend and the first encounter with a REAL car audio system. Fact or fiction you could debate for days but the reality is you’ll never forget the day you experience, for the first time, (12) 15” subwoofers in a bone crushing pressure chamber. And you’ll never forget that day the black and red pirate ship, technically known as the Sound Lab, delivered it. Beginning life on a blank sheet of paper, in Tempe’ Arizona, the Sound Lab was developed with no preconceived notions of what a demo vehicle should be. Just expectations on what it should accomplish. Should the focus be one-off wheels? Ice cream paint? Adjustable suspension? Or should it be 7

VOLUME 3.0

to deliver a world-class car audio experience the Rockford Fosgate way? RF chose the latter and began conceiving a plan that would not only provide the adrenaline rush of a theme park but also turn any vehicle into a platform for RF gear to be auditioned. The mission of turning concept to reality was handed over to Mark Lowe, industry icon and demo vehicle OG. Mark and his team set forth designing and fabricating a one-off, first of its kind, dual-functioning demo vehicle. Utilizing a Mercedes-Benz 3500 Sprinter van the crew produced two unique demonstration platforms, an unforgiving pressure chamber and a technical installation bay, giving consumers the ability to customize and maximize their RF experience.


Driven by an Apple® interface the PRESSURE CHAMBER features (12) PUNCH P3 series 15” subwoofers (P3D215) that are driven by (3) POWER 2500 Watt Class-bd Constant Power amplifiers (T2500-1bdcp) that produce over 7,500 watts of power.   The sound stage features (4) pairs of Rockford Fosgate’s POWER T1 series 6.5” 2-way component speakers (T1652-S). In conjunction with an LED light show and choreographed media the Pressure Chamber is designed for an all-out full throttle demonstration, and is not for the faint of heart. The Sound Lab delivers an experience like never before. There have been demo vehicles built to showcase manufactured products before, however they never gave the consumer the option to know what it would sound like in their own vehicle. This became one of the most important features of the Sound Lab; to have a complete mobile Lab on board. The Lab allows the technician to install a complete Rockford Fosgate sound system into a car in a matter of minutes, giving a live demonstration of a POWER, PUNCH or PRIME system. Pre-loaded sub enclosures with 10” or 12” subwoofers, and component full range speakers for the front built into satellite pods connected to a bank of amplifiers let you select between 800 to 2100 watts. The Lab gives customers a first hand experience with RF in their own vehicle. On tour, Rockford Fosgate’s Sound Labs are out and about 24/7 supporting dealers and their events. For more information log on to Rockfordfosgate.com to find out where you can experience a Sound Lab is today.


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up. It is finished in basic black brushed aluminum, with red end panels and a chrome Rockford Fosgate logo on the top. Mounting is accomplished via mounting tabs incorporated into the trim panels on each end. Because it is so small, the controls and connections are somewhat different from what one would expect from a Punch amplifier. The power, ground and remote leads are connected via a heavy duty 3 position Molex plug, that will accept 10 gauge Just wire. The wires are secured very well, and the plug when it has a positive feeling connection with the female seemed like connector on the amp. The pair of 12 gauge speaker everyone had a output wires are also connected via a Molex type, handle on the various 4 position plug. There are a pair of positive output types of amplifiers wires, and a matching pair of negative leads. On available for our rides, the my sample, the respective wire pairs were spliced engineering gurus at Rockford together and soldered, but if you wanted to connect Fosgate have thrown us a curve. For them individually to multiple woofers, the harness is the last 30 years or so, the vast majority of amplifiers long enough to cut off the spliced segment. Signal used in car audio have been basically one of two or input is also handled via a 4 position Molex type plug, three common topologies. Back in the 90’s, almost all which is terminated with RCA style connections, but amplifiers were typical Class A/B designs, albeit with if you want to connect speaker level inputs, simply variations on the theme. Then along came Class D, snip off the RCAs and wire your high level outputs which began with amplifiers designed for bass only, but directly to the remaining wires. as technology marches forward, Class D is now fast becoming the standard topology for any type of car With very limited space for controls and audio amplifier. There were a few Class T, G, H, and GH adjustments, the PBR300X1 still manages a gain designs sprinkled in the mix, but Class A/B and Class pot, a variable frequency crossover pot, a high/low D have always had the lion’s share of the market. level switch, and a pot for adjusting the sensitivity Well, now Rockford Fosgate has introduced a new, miniature sized amplifier design that they are calling Class BR. A mono model is available now, and by the time you read this, a 4 channel model will also be available. The concept behind these amplifiers is simple, small chassis, high efficiency, and good sound. For this review, Rockford Fosgate sent me a sample of the PBR300X1, which at only 1.5” x 4.25” x 6.75” is a tiny little amp, but it is rated at 300 watts into 1 ohm. Features As I mentioned, the PBR300X1 is a very small amplifier, and at first glance it reminds me of an average size passive crossover in terms of how much space it takes

of the automatic DC signal sensing turn-on circuit. The amp also incorporates protection circuitry for under voltage, short circuit, and thermal overload conditions. An RJ-45 style jack allows connection to an optional Punch EQ remote. Features and Tech The first thing I did with the tiny Punch amp was listen to it, and after being thoroughly impressed, the next thing I did was take it apart to find out what made it tick, or in this case, boom!


As it turns out, the topology used inside the PBR300X1 is a very clever adaptation of a circuit sometimes referred to as a “charge pump”. While still technically a Class A/B amplifier, the design allows higher than normally possible rail voltages without resorting to a typical switching power supply. This approach provides several benefits. It is inherently efficient and the removal of power supply devices, toroids, and so forth means the amplifiers size can be dramatically reduced. Second, because the amp is not switching huge currents at high speeds, the amount of radiated noise and interference can be virtually eliminated. Finally, through the use of high current capable MOSFET output devices, the design can easily drive 1 ohm loads with no problem. Rockford Fosgate’s design takes a typical charge pump idea several giant steps forward. However, the design allows the rail voltage to be dictated by the load and the output level, further enhancing power efficiency, and less power lost to heat. The PCB is typical Rockford Fosgate, with a densely populated double sided, plated through, glass epoxy 4 layer board covered in zero tolerance surface mount type devices, and there are three very large 15,000µF capacitors that are used to “charge” the rails to a higher voltage. The devices used to charge the capacitors and for the audio output are

TO-220 case MOSFETs. A hand adjusted bias pot ensures proper output transistor biasing, and low distortion. Listening As I mentioned, the first thing I did with this amp was listen to it. Connected into my reference system and driving a 12” 2 ohm woofer, I was very impressed not only with the amount of authority the amplifier had, but also with the quality of the sound. Bass notes were well defined, and there was no evidence of any rolloff in the lowest registers. Several tracks with sub 30Hz notes came through loud and clear. This thing is the real deal. Bass definition was quite good, complex pipe organ passages sounded natural and plucked strings on acoustic bass, as well as tympani drums were reproduced with the natural resonance and overtones they produce. Only when I pushed the amplifier really hard did I start to notice a bit less control and loss of definition, but to be fair that happened at volumes my ears would never sustain anyway. Performance/Bench Measurements After re-assembling the amp, I got it on the unforgiving Cogent Audio Labs test bench for a closer look, and the test results confirmed my listening opinions. The amplifier met all advertised power numbers, and proved to have a ruler flat frequency response from below 10Hz to over 200Hz. Signal to Noise measured well, although my numbers were a dB or two off from the published spec. The amp has low output impedance, which helps to control the back EMF of a woofer load, and keeps the bass sounding tight. Thermal performance was good, in any normal installation with adequate ventilation the amp should seldom if ever overheat. I listened for any turn-on or off pops and there were none, and I even dead shorted the amp at full power, and it simply protected, and then began working again when the fault was corrected. Conclusion In a world full of marketing hype and overstated performance claims, the Rockford Fosgate PBR300X1 stands out and delivers. The amp combines clever technical innovations with real high performance audio in a package smaller than you’d expect. Whether you need an amplifier for a motorcycle, all terrain vehicle, boat, or a full blown Cadillac, the PBR300X1 is up to the task. And if you’re skeptical, just ask Rockford Fosgate’s Quality Control Manager Mark Lieber, who uses one of these little amps to drive six 15” woofers! ROCKFORDFOSGATE.COM

10


HOWto

optimize your subwoofer wiring

Ω law

If you need to know how to wire woofers to your amplifier or determine what amplifier is compatible with your woofer system, then this tutorial will help. Based off our popular RFTECH:Woofer WiringWizard, it utilizes “Ohms Law” to calculate the total impedance an amplifier will “see” and optimize power delivery to your subwoofers. When matching products always use the corresponding subwoofer “RMS Power Handling” with the amplifier “RMS Power Output”, this will insure you don’t exceed the subwoofer’s thermal power rating.

Understanding Ohm’s Law is important because you can calculate the relationship (power) between an amplifier’s speaker output (voltage) and the impedance load (resistance) of a subwoofer system.

20V x 20V = 50W 8Ω

20V x 20V = 100W 4Ω

8Ω

4Ω

The above examples show an amplifier producing 20V AC at the speaker outputs. If we connect an 8-Ohm woofer, it produces 50 Watts of power. However, if we connect a 4-Ohm woofer, it produces 100 Watts of power. The lower the impedance, the more power an amp can produce. The higher the impedance, the less power. NOTE: Refer to your amp owner’s manual for impedance stability.

svc vs. dvc

Q: What are the differences between Single Voice Coil and Dual Voice Coil subwoofers? (2) 8Ω SVC Speakers = 4Ω Load

4Ω

8Ω

(2) 4Ω SVC Speakers = 2Ω Load

2Ω

8Ω

4Ω

Svc

Single Voice Coil (SVC) SVC subwoofers utilize a single length of copper wire wound on a circular voice coil “former”. They utilize one Positive (+) and one Negative (-) wiring terminal. When wired in parallel, the above pair of 8Ω subwoofers can only present the amplifier with a 4Ω load.

(2) 4Ω DVC Speakers = 4Ω Load 4Ω

You must switch to a pair of 4Ω SVC subwoofers to present the amplifier with a final load of 2Ω.

(2) 4Ω DVC Speakers = 1Ω Load

4Ω

4Ω

4Ω

4Ω

4Ω

4Ω

1Ω 4Ω

4Ω

dvc

Dual Voice Coil (DVC) DVC subwoofers utilize two separate lengths of copper wire, both wound on the same voice coil “former.” A DVC subwoofer has two Positive (+) and two Negative (-) wiring terminals, one for each coil. The above pair of 4Ω DVC subwoofers can be wired in series/parallel to present the amplifier with a 4Ω load.

11 VOLUME 3.0

4Ω

By simply re-wiring the subwoofers in parallel, you can present the amplifier with a 1Ω load. Consult your amplifier owner’s manual to determine the minimum impedance load it can handle.

DVC subwoofers offer the same performance whether wired in series or parallel. Power handling, frequency response, and other specifications do not change — the only difference is the impedance presented to the amplifier.


Rt =

wiRING methods

Parallel Wiring - The more woofers connected, the lower the impedance.

1 1 1 1 1 + + + R2 R3 R1 R4

8Ω

8Ω

8Ω

8Ω

Rt = Total Resistance R1, R2, R3, R4 = Resistance of Each Woofer

The above formula will help you determine the total resistance when wiring woofers in parallel. A parallel circuit joins all woofers into a single amplifier load.

Parallel wiring combines all (+) positive leads together, and all (-) negative leads together. The result provides one (+) positive terminal and one (-) negative terminal for connection to the amplifier.

series Wiring - The more woofers connected, the higher the impedance.

Rt = R1 + R2 + R3 + R4

16Ω

4Ω

4Ω

4Ω

4Ω

Rt = Total Resistance R1, R2, R3, R4 = Resistance of Each Woofer The above formula will help you determine the total resistance when wiring woofers in series. A series circuit also joins all woofers into a single amplifier load.

Series wiring is a method of connecting woofers end to end on a single string. The result provides one (+) positive terminal and one (-) negative terminal for connection to the amplifier.

series/parallel Wiring - A combination of both series & parallel wiring.

4Ω

4Ω

4Ω

4Ω

Svc

4Ω

4Ω

4Ω

4Ω

4Ω

4Ω

4Ω

4Ω

dvc

A sample diagram for Series/Parallel Wiring using 4Ω Single Voice Coil (SVC) subwoofers

A sample diagram for Series/Parallel wiring using 4Ω Dual Voice Coil (DVC) subwoofers.

Our RFTECH: Woofer WiringWizard is an online configuration tool that uses diagrams to illustrate how to properly wire subwoofers, all without needing to learn Ohms Law or Series / Parallel wiring formulas. Simply select the quantity of subwoofers and voice coil type used, and the WiringWizard will display wiring options possible with your selected configuration. There’s also a reverse lookup to determine what subwoofers are compatible with your amplifier. Simply select the minimum amplifier impedance and the WiringWizard will display what voice coil options are required to optimize the amplifier’s power output. Regardless of using SVC or DVC subwoofers in your car audio system, use the recommended enclosure as specified by the manufacturer.


PHILOSOPHY The fundamental philosophy in the design of our new high-end speaker system was simple, create the best sounding speakers optimized for car audio, and by the way, don’t worry about expense.

by:

STRATEGY We had to focus on how to make improvements to the core of what contributes to a speaker system’s acoustic performance. First, we didn’t settle for small refinements, rather we tackled a completely new design from the ground up that yields unmatched performance. Second, we had to have ideal implementation and optimization functionality. This is probably the most commonly overlooked aspect of any speaker system, especially at the high-end.

INSPIRATION Several years ago Rockford Fosgate set out to re-calibrate and re-design our full-range speaker line-up. It started with entry level products with compelling incremental refinements that could be developed at each price point. However, it was the prospect of a “no compromise” system that initiated the T5 dream.

MILESTONE At Rockford Fosgate, we have many phases of development. We start with a concept designed on paper. From there, we start creating hand-made samples and work through prototypes to eventually get to production. Probably the most encouraging milestone we had achieved was getting a chance to audition the first “off-tool” engineering sample. All the hard work done in the early engineering and prototype phases really paid off. We could truly hear the difference.

CHALLENGES From the very beginning, our challenges were quite daunting, but the engineering team was ready to take them head on! We were looking to use materials and processes not previously used in the audio industry. We worked closely with our raw material suppliers to develop techniques necessary to achieve our goals. In particular, the LCPF™ (Liquid Crystal Polymer Fiber) material engineered into our cone design was not available to our industry. We invested a substantial amount of time and money into these raw materials to make the design goals possible. We also had to create the best method for insuring that each and every T5 Component System could truly be optimized during installation. We stepped out of the box and came up with the world’s first “active-passive” intelligent crossover network. Housed in a single chassis, both left and right channels of the filter network are isolated and use only the finest grade capacitors, resistors, and inductors. For full functionality, the crossover network requires a 12VDC connection. This is a low power connection for driving the embedded microcontrollers that allow for fine tuning the attenuation, polarity, crossover frequency, crossover slope,


and intelligent tweeter protection. The numerous adjustments give installers the ability to compensate for virtually any tweeter and woofer placement inside the vehicle.

WHAT MAKES IT DIFFERENT There are many unique elements in the T5 component system, but it’s the combination of elements that truly make the difference. However, the most significant and most unique aspect of the T5 component system is best represented in the proprietary LCPF™ cone. It is actually a three layer composite design comprised of two LCPF™ outer skins laminated around a paper/pulp core, yielding a very light and stiff cone with excellent damping qualities. Weight, stiffness, and damping are all principal factors that contribute to the sonic qualities of a loudspeaker. Historically, at least one of these three factors have been compromised in the design of the loudspeaker cones. The T5 woofer is the first loudspeaker to truly have no significant compromise in all three critical elements of an “ideal” cone.

The solid copper phase plug and multi-pole motor heat sink effectively “short-out”this back EMF and act as the ideal heat sink.

WHAT SETS IT APART

TIMELINE

Many high end speaker systems can sound very good at low to moderate listening levels. However, they often break up and struggle to reproduce very dynamic music signals. Today’s power amplifier are by design more efficient and powerful in an effort to play louder and cleaner. It’s at these high power levels where the T5 component system distinguishes itself. The linear excursion of the T5 woofer is nearly 7mm which is comparable to many subwoofers. This directly translates into greater dynamic capabilities while keeping distortion levels at a minimum. Loudspeakers must be able to handle ever increasing power levels, and high excursion alone does not increase a speaker’s linear output capability. To play loud with minimal distortion requires a solution for not only reducing the amount of heat generated by the loudspeaker, but a means to quickly dissipate it. Natural induction of the speaker’s voice coil movement in its magnetic field generates, what is often referred to as back EMF (Electro Motive Force), whereby currents flow in opposition to the alternating current being applied by the music signal. Unless these currents are counter-acted in some way, significant additional unwanted heat is generated.

is structural analys 3D magnetic and

In recent history at Rockford Fosgate, much enhancement has been made to our full-range speaker line-up. Development began over 5 years ago and the first new full-range product released was the 2008 M2 Series – a true marine grade product - followed shortly by the new 2009 Punch P1 and Power T1 series. In 2010, the T2 series of full-range products was introduced. Now in 2011, the culmination of years of development has yielded the T3 and T5 high performance series of speakers, a sonic accomplishment we’re very proud of.

ROCKFORDFOSGATE.COM

14


a d r o b al is

n e p o e wid

Al Borda, CEO of Skin Industries, not only has a closet full of progressive garb, but also a matching exotic filled garage to compliment his flow. Never settling for average, Borda’s daily drive through Temecula Valley is like his music and his lifestyle-driven-brand...personal and fast! Inspired by life’s ride, Al relies on Rockford Fosgate to reproduce his wideopen soundtrack. Ruben Valloza of Audio Evolution, Temecula CA’s premier authorized RF dealer, is on speed dial for Borda. When it comes to his exotics and their 12-volt needs, Ruben is the “Skin” specialist. So when it came time for the Ferrari F430s to get its Rockford Fosgate I.C.E. Ruben and Al collaborated on the space challenged ride.

Having to get creative on the Ferrari, Audio Evolution crafted enclosure pods behind the seats, housing (2) RF Punch P2 subwoofers managed by a Power series T1500-1bdCP amplifier. Creating the sonic signature for the front stage Ruben and Al went with Power Series T1 components by a Power T600-4 amplifier, 5.25” in the center compartment and 6.5” components in the doors. This delivered one hell of an experience for the 120 MPH concerts. 15 VOLUME 3.0


With his F430 covering the performance side of life, Borda went red-carpet meets freestyle MX with the Mercedes Benz CL 600. Wanting to incorporate a piece of the business into the stereo installation, Ruben “tagged” the interior of the subwoofer enclosure with a customized Skin Industries logo print...which is visible through the edge lit crystal plexiglass baffle board. The dual Power T1 subwoofers are the ultimate compliment to the T1500-1bdCP amplifier which ignites the CL’s trunk. As creator of one of this decades most influential brands Al Borda and Skin Industries embody the fanatical lifestyle that has come to define Rockford Fosgate...setting the trends with the volume full-tilt 24/7!

d an es i a r d or dust atical B Al n In fan e i h t Sk ody t ha t ne i e b l f m y e e te st o d a e t g f e li om Fos has

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ROCKFORDFOSGATE.COM

16


PHILOSOPHY

by:

Electrical capacity and physical space are at a premium in most vehicles. With that in mind, we set off to design a linear amplifier topology that is more efficient than a conventional Class A/B topology which carries low EMI (Electro-Magnetic Interference). The technology needed to be housed in a chassis that is significantly smaller than other products in the market with equal performance. High efficiency is a staple ingredient for high performance amplifiers. The higher the efficiency, the lower the current draw on a vehicle’s electrical system. Lower current consumption creates less heat in the product, which allows for a smaller heat-sink when compared to conventional linear amplifiers. The smaller chassis size allows the product to be installed in locations that other amplifiers at these power levels simply would not fit. EMI is an important element when considering installation locations. Other vehicle components could potentially be


adversely affected by radiated noise. Because boosted rail technology is a linear topology, the switching noise is relatively low. This early p rototyp makes choosing the e installation location with regard to EMI and other vehicle components less of an issue. Installation flexibility is greatly increased when using the Punch BR series amplifiers.

EMI all played a part in that goal. We definitely feel that the Punch BR amplifier series will be used in many new and unique applications, such as hybrid electric vehicles, watercraft, motorcycles, and all terrain vehicles.

Milestone

We were pretty excited when we fired up the first prototype and confirmed the theory of operation. Seeing it on paper is one thing, but seeing it on the engineering bench is something completely different.

boosted rail action

Strategy

We can condense the new topology into a remarkably small chassis size without sacrificing performance. The technology itself is electrically efficient, but that efficiency isn’t the only factor related to the size reduction. A look at the physical construction of a Punch BR amp tells the rest of the story. The chassis itself is very thermally efficient. One trait of a good heat sink design is low thermal impedance. The lower the thermal impedance is, the higher the thermal conductivity. The higher the thermal conductivity, the faster the heat can travel through the sink and out to the air. The Punch BR resides in an anodized extruded aluminum chassis. Extruded anodized aluminum achieves a higher thermal conductivity when compared to powder coated die cast. This extruded heat sink coupled with our MESHA technology yields very low thermal impedance from power device to the exterior of the heat-sink. You may notice that the Punch BR amplifiers get warm. No worries, this is by design. Our goal is to get the heat out of the devices, into the heat sink, and into the air as fast as possible. This strategy insures the power devices doing the work are always at a safe and reliable operating temperature. The PCBA (Printed Circuit Board Assembly) is really what drives the size of the mechanical chassis. If you look inside a Punch BR amplifier, you will see an excellent example of maximizing PCB real estate. The input/output interconnect system also plays a role in size reduction. The connectors were chosen based on capability and size. The quick disconnect feature is an advantage when the product is installed in tight locations. Having the ability to make your connections away from the product makes the install process easier.

Inspiration

There is a level of satisfaction when you can develop something new that fits a need. We wanted to design a product with appreciable output power that could be installed in locations that weren’t previously accessible due to space constraints. The efficiency, chassis, interconnects, and Low

The most rewarding milestone is when the engineering team releases a product from the “design stage” to the “production stage”. Releasing to production is the culmination of hard work from the team at Rockford Fosgate.

Challenges

One thing to consider when introducing a new technology is whether or not it is scalable and can be used in multiple applications. Introducing a technology platform that is expandable and has growth potential is a good practice. The Punch BR amplifier series certainly has the potential to expand and evolve.

What Makes it different

The size and power of the Punch Boosted Rail amplifiers are what make them different; they are truly amazing in so many ways; from the unique design and engineering of the smaller chassis to the PCBA layout that is brought to the forefront in such a compact platform. The BR amplifiers will be the benchmark of the industry setting a standard of excellence.

ROCKFORDFOSGATE.COM

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ents by G

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excursion maximize the woofer’s reason is to not only a. cone are After all, ockford capabilities, but also to maximize R e th , d rl wo re bass you’ll have. car audio lf as the the more air you move, the mo e e c s n it a r fo rm o e rf pe s (patent pending) nam ch 45, Rockford Fosgate calls this ingeniou In the high n inly made a u a P rt e e c th s a s h nd ts a rround Technique). oofers surround “VAST” (Vertical Attach Su ary produc Fosgate bra d w n C e V g D le t h rs c fi tually moves air is f su try’s roduct The “cone” that you see and that ac originator o d the indus p n a in y, r tr e e d a m le a Sym , which provides a Power 650, tinue to be to think actually a large aluminum dustcap n d o n c te y e s h u T f 89. dissipate heat from ost o back in 19 ompany smooth concave look, and helps gy. While m c lo e o n th , h c d e te s ap/cone assembly re u and innovation ose terms a ers and the voice coil assembly. The dustc k th a n e e p h s w h it s onic pe w nforced paper cone about electr gical envelo g about is actually driven by a Kevlar rei lo in o lk n h ta c m te I’ e ough the die-cast s th what also pushe woofer. which can be seen by looking thr xample of b e u t s c 2 e 1 rf 4 e p D .A es T1 st of maximum heat subwoofers Power Seri basket. In the intere m te nu a mi g alu s o for the F ford ized aluminum is used is the Rock dissipation, black anod d with un wo coils are ed with 3-inch former, on which dual voice d a lo is ology r hn tec fe other trick bwoo Features T1D412 su fer easier copper-clad aluminum wire. An o te o a w g nds s sta e o ich F th rd HS” wh ke The Rockfo t thing dissipates even more heat called “ID ns that ma o rs ti fi a v e to o h tly n T ec in . dir e l d oo tache anc trick and c box is for Inductive Damping Heat Sink. At its perform e e v th f , ro o tor p t mo c im u eti o nd fer d magn to install, a ke the woo shaped the top surface of the nearly 8 poun ta lly u a o u y the s m u n fro n e at u he wh an The the copper heat sink is finned to disspate you notice that it has surround. F (ElectroEM ck ba d an n tio tor magnet and reduces dis better ds woofer, which lea to motive Force) from the iability. sound and improved rel gths s gone to great len Rockford Fosgate ha of rt so the ofers tolerate to ensure the T1 wo ct du pro the stomer will put abuse their typical cu ial ec sp ed l leads have receiv through. Even the tinse multiple them to the spider in attention by stitching uced red ve ch tinsel lead to ha points. This allows ea ger lar ch stress over a mu mass, and spreads the the to th pa l re robust electrica area, resulting in a mo voice coils. series gle with remembering Those of you who strug very the te thods will apprecia and parallel wiring me nce da pe Im lectable Woofer handy “SWIFT” (Se ls na mi ter minals. The SWIFT Fused Termination) ter m oh 8 or 2 lection of either allow almost instant se ice u connect both the vo yo wiring, and best of all ply Sim re. ive and negative wi coils with a single posit for d rke ma plug that’s clearly rotate a special center es vid pro o nce. The plug als the intended impeda . ds oa erl ov m accidental fused protection fro

easurem Text and M


Connection is minals rated spring loaded ter handled by slickly integ s. to 8 gauge cable that accommodate up removable a special trim ring and Included in the box is rific and ter ks sh grille that loo heavy-duty steel me goes ate sg Fo d ofer. Rockfor the really trims out the wo ed ce ex cts sure the produ rs. to great lengths to en me sto cu c sti the most enthusia 31 expectations of even 20 ACE t en ly meet the string The T1 woofers not on ur fullto pass a brutal 24-ho ve standards, but also ha . on cti du pro e approved for power torture test befor Listening d the ak-in procedure, I rea After the normal bre sgate Fo d for visited the Rock owner’s manual and re. I su clo en regarding the website for direction ed us be n ca the T1 woofers quickly learned that t no are t bu , nted enclosures in either sealed or ve A . ns tio ca pli nite baffle ap recommended for infi ile pport revealed that wh su h quick call to RF tec d ale se a s ns slightly toward the T1 woofer really lea er aft are m mers buying the enclosure, most custo rules. the vented enclosure t, loud bass, and for tha nted ve the ople use them in So, because most pe first. h ac pro to try that ap application, I decided 5 1.7 ed nd ve the recomme I just happened to ha o int 12 D4 I loaded the T1 cubic foot enclosure so ofer to my reference wo it and connected the rvice d Fosgate customer se system. Man, Rockfor the In il! ng hauls the ma wasn’t kidding, this thi r fie pli am th an 800 watt vented enclosure wi m ste sy n the rest of my I had more output tha ling back the power to Dia could keep up with. re me to concentrate mo the sub a bit allowed y pla to is woofer loves on how it sounded. Th cy en qu fre with very low low and loud. Songs Avril Lavigne’s “Sk8ter information, such as evable” really showed Boi” or Yello’s “Unbeli in a vented application, the woofer’s capability

people rstood why so many and I immediately unde nted ve a of the faster roll-off choose it. Even with and rity tho had tremendous au box, the deep bass ed, fin de ll tes were clean and we realism. Kick drum no al and warm sounding. and the bass was natur I changed to a 1.5 t the better of me, and go y sit rio cu l, ua us As ep bass was even closure. Now, the de en d ale se t foo bic cu to 20Hz. But what I d easily audible down an e, for be n tha er ep de fer could actually how good this subwoo s wa ted cia pre ap lly rea lism and definition closure the woofer’s rea en d ale se the In d. un so ofer in my vehicle, if I were to use this wo d an ly, tab no d ve pro im part is, you can d enclosure. The cool ale se the se oo ch I’d by changing the a single woofer, simply th wi ys wa th bo it ve ha vented box is the proud is your thing, the d an d lou If re. su clo en aching audiophile late, deep bass appro icu art if t bu ; go to y wa for you. the sealed method is quality appeals to you, Conclusion n check out the fer is a subwoofer the If you think a subwoo ile they certainly ckford Fosgate. Wh T1 woofers from Ro ks, the T1D412 features and great loo incorporate high tech at made them has not forgotten wh shows the company g out the kinds ce, and is still turnin famous in the first pla the case of the customers expect. In of products that their you the envy tive bass that will make T1D412, that’s authorita n that ensures th a torture-tested desig of the neighborhood, wi ting performance. reliability and long las

ROCKFORDFOSGATE.COM

20


H T U SO

T H G I R S

S í A C I R F A

Y A W L A

a

h Afric , Sout d n u o Car S TR34 : P&P line G y er k l S a De issan cle: N

Vehi

For over a decade, P&P Car Sound has designed some of the coolest and best sounding car audio systems in South Africa. Located in Boksburg, this elite Rockford Fosgate dealer has applied their talent to some very unique and very fast cars. So when a long-time fanatic drifted in the parking lot with his Nissan Skyline GTR34, the installers knew what he wanted - another Rockford Fosgate system - but this time it wasn’t just performance he was looking for. The system needed to follow some guidelines as not to affect the vehicle’s responsive handling. The stock Skyline, already legendary in the motoring world, underwent a total transformation. After outlining requirements to Shawn of P&P, it was decided that the installation should complement the character of the vehicle. As with the case when installing custom audio systems in ANY high performance super car, the two main restrictions are space and weight. The installation included an electrical and battery system upgrade, with the entire system using Rockford Fosgate cables, stabilized with an RFC10HB 10 Farad Digital Hybrid Capacitor. The stock source unit was swapped out for a DVD player fitted into a custom dash trim. A single Punch P3 12” subwoofer (P3D412) was mounted in the trunk and provides strong, tight bass. The subwoofer was inverted in a ported enclosure highlighting the beautiful motor assembly. 21 VOLUME 3.0

A set of Power component systems (T152-S) are located in custom molded door pods trimmed in grey Alcantara® to provide a crisp clean front stage. The subwoofer and splits are powered by a Power T600-4 amplifier with a Rockford Fosgate 360.2 Interactive Signal Processor taking care of all crossover and equalization settings. The installation was trimmed in a combination of black carbon foil, Alcantara®, smoked glass and blue LED accent lighting. Additionally, a custom built center console and roof mounted cluster house an engine management control unit and digital gauges. Practically no part on the Skyline is stock, and the attention to detail and customization is truly outstanding. P&P Car Sound definitely exceeded the required targets and the Rockford Fosgate system performs well - like a rocket.


HOWto

build a subwoofer enclosure dO-IT-YOURSELF style We had several inquires from readers that don’t have access to a fully stocked RTTI facility, looking to build an enclosure tailored to their vehicle. With a few hand tools that are common in most households or easily borrowed from a friend, this box build is for the weekend warrior that isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty.

1

Since a ‘table saw’ is not a common tool in most garages, we took a trip to the local hardware store where we purchased a sheet of MDF and they were happy to cut it to the pieces needed.

2

3

Supplies: wood glue, caulk, coarse thread countersunk head screws Tools Needed: drill, 1/8” drill bit, countersink bit, phillips screw bit and a jigsaw

With the back of the enclosure flat on your work surface, begin by laying a bead of glue on the first piece to be attached.

4

5

Since we are using the recommended 3/4” material in our enclosure, we measured 3/8” from the edge, then using a 1/8” bit to pre-drill the hole.

For a better finished product, we used a countersink bit to recess the screw heads.

7

8

With the front still remaining to be attached, apply the caulk to all the joints for an airtight seal. Now the front can be attached.

Measure the vertical center and draw a line, then determine your subwoofer spacing and draw an intersecting line. Draw your woofer opening. Cut your woofer opening(s) using a jigsaw. Reach inside through the woofer openings and caulk the front.

TIP: The inside diameter of a Rockford subwoofer trim ring can be used to draw a guide for the woofer cut-out.

6

Changing bits one last time, switch to the phillips screw bit to insert the screw to join the pieces. REPEAT: steps 3-6 until all sides are attached, then proceed to step 7 prior to repeating for the front/baffle.

9

Assembly is now complete! Proceed to finishing which can be a wide range from vinyl/carpet or a sprayed on finish to a trim panel. Check out rockfordfosgate.com/rftech for the Woofer BoxWizard and other tech tools. ROCKFORDFOSGATE.COM

22


PHILOSOPHY

Engineers must constantly remind ourselves that we all “stand on the shoulders of giants.” The more you study the history of great scientists and drill deep into the US Patents, you realize how rare it is to come up with an original idea that advances your field of study. There is much to learn from what has been abandoned or neglected by the forgotten inventors of the past.

by:

STRATEGY

‘Value Added’ analysis of every decision made during product development assures us that each component that goes into a product, every feature added, and every operation performed will add genuine value for our customer.

INSPIRATION

Acoustat founder Jim Strickland has been my mentor for over 20 years here at Rockford. Jim is a true inventor, and is the intellectual impetus behind Rockford’s enviable history of innovative technical leadership in amplifier design.


MILESTONEs

2006: high-sound quality global feedback circuit for Class-D Amplifier stage. 2009: Constant Power concept, Class bdCP Amplifiers, “Dynamic Constant Power Amplifier” Patent Application. 2010: full-range audio Class AD Constant Power Amplifier.

CHALLENGES

Getting the message out about why Class AD Amplifiers are better than the rest. In the greater scheme of things, amplifiers are pretty boring stuff. Fortunately, there are Rockford Fosgate fanatics all over the world who appreciate the effort we put into our amplifiers.

WHAT MAKES IT DIFFERENT

Speaker impedance does not matter to the T10004ad. As long as it is within the rated impedance range, it will deliver full rated output power. For example the T1000-4ad is rated at 250W over 1-4 ohms. You can wire different nominal impedances on each of the four channels – 4/3/2/1 ohms – and they will each get 250W rated power when the signal demands it. The Constant Power feature is even more beneficial when the impedance of the speaker load changes with frequency due to 1) enclosure resonances, or 2) coaxial speaker systems with various nominal impedances for sub/mid/tweeter drivers. A speaker driven with music will change impedance dynamically up and down with music as the signal frequency changes. The Constant Power technology instantly adapts to this dynamically changing speaker impedance and automatically delivers rated power at any frequency when the signal demands.

AB, we struggled to justify its value to our customers. This attitude endured and no Class D type projects were planned until we formed the concept of Constant Power. If this new invention could be made to work at a reasonable cost, we could engineer an amplifier that would efficiently deliver the maximum power to a speaker that a power supply could deliver. Best of all, it would deliver it automatically by instantaneously adapting to changing impedances in the speaker. The Constant Power technology was first developed in the summer of 2009 for Class BD Mono Amplifiers. Simultaneously, we were preparing documents to apply for a patent. In December 2009, Rockford filed an application with the US Patent Office for a ‘Dynamic Constant Power Amplifier’. Soon after, the T1000-4ad project was started. The Constant Power circuits for a full-range Class D amplifier proved more difficult than our earlier circuit developed for Class BD. At this time we started referring to this new amplifier topology by the proper academic classification ‘Class AD’, to distinguish it from our Class BD amplifiers (there are two types of Class D: BD and AD). Only after extensive product development and field testing, we introduced the T1000-4ad in January, 2011.

WHAT SETS IT APART

It sounds louder and cleaner than you would guess just by looking at specifications. Class AD amplifiers typically have a much higher 4Ω power rating than other amplifiers in the same power class. The 4Ω power rating of an amplifier indicates how much peak output voltage capability it has, which in turn defines its dynamic headroom potential. It makes Class AD amplifiers extremely dynamic, and able to deliver very clean high voltage transients.

TIMELINE

The first goal of the Class AD design process was to create an amplifier stage with transparent sound quality. We were able to produce a listenable prototype at the end of 2006. We performed a series of A-to-B listening tests comparing the Rockford Fosgate designed discrete 4-Channel Class-D to our reference Hafler 9505 Transnova studio amplifier. After accomplishing an acceptable sonic signature, we proceeded with a meticulous cost engineering study of every functional block of the Class-D schematic, trying to match the cost of a comparable Class-AB amplifier stage. After scrutinizing every expense down to the last penny, and finding that the Class-D would never cost less than a Class

ROCKFORDFOSGATE.COM

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Paul Yaffe’s Bagger Nation has the final say

So what does a kid from SoCal, influenced by the skateboard and BMX culture of the 70’s, grow up to be? How does an eclectic kid off of Van Nuys Boulevard become an industry tastemaker for a global American motorcycle company and the conductor of a motor sports revolution? If you ask Paul Yaffe he’d say drive, passion and style...if you ask Rockford Fosgate they’d agree! Growing up in his father’s garage, Paul’s 2-wheel obsession began. He pushed the limits with every project he embarked on, taking each one further than the other with performance and styling. Yaffe rapidly became part of an elite bike culture and recognized that it was time to evolve into another realm, to set an industry on its heels and to serve notice that the Bagger Nation had arrived. Extending from his chopper roots, Paul began the Bagger Nation, a faction of customized big twins fully loaded, not only with accessories and paint but big

25 VOLUME 3.0

boy sound systems. Identifying that big beats were not just for the “cage” Paul used the brand he grew up with, the brand he could take on his revolutionary ride, the brand that shared his innovative approach to custom...Rockford Fosgate. So when it came time to build a bike for the 2010 Easy Rider Tour Paul knew he had to once again take it to the next level. Yaffe knew that along with his PYO (Paul Yaffe Originals) accessories he’d have to one-up anything he’d ever done with a 2-wheel sound system. Paul would yet again set the stage and have the final say. He would take the builds RF system over the top and make it not only a part of the project but one of “Game Over’s” focal points. Keeping the system on par with the Road Glide’s aggressive theme Paul set out to not only equip the bike, but also arm a customized Bushtec trailer with RF munitions. Game Over is the first project to receive RF’s continued on pg.27


AD WITH EXCESSIVE POWER

SUPERIOR SOUND QUALITY

INNOVATION & DESIGN T1000-4ad

POWER AD Amplifiers Feature:

T1000-4

350

• The Rockford Fosgate Patent Pending ad topology brings a high efficiency class d amplifier design to a full range application.

330

Output Power

310 290

• DTM (Dynamic Thermal Management) seamlessly manages the output and power supply temperatures, distributing the excess heat across the entire amplifier for extended thermal time.

270 250 230

• The Constant Power circuit design actively monitors and increases voltage/current with the speaker impedance rise to optimize power output.

210 190 170

Rockford Fosgate POWER® amplifiers, available at authorized retailers worldwide

20000

15000

10000

8000

7000

6000

90000

Frequency

5000

4000

3000

2000

900

1000

800

700

600

500

400

300

200

100

150

• Available in 1000 and 800 Watt 4 channel models. (T1000-4ad) and (T800-4ad)

rockfordfosgate.com • 800.366.2349


Punch boosted rail amplifiers, (1) PBR300x4 and (2) PBR 300x1‘s pour-it-on the baggers (4) pair of Punch speakers. Keeping it true, and in an attempt to not ignore the haters, the tag along trailer highlights (2) Punch P3 10’s, (4) pair of Marine M262 6.5” speakers and enough Punch power to rival the stroked out V-twin. Once again Paul Yaffe’s Bagger Nation has set the bar and “tilted”, not only the motorcycle world, but the 12-volt one as well... G4MEOVR!

27 VOLUME 3.0


WE ARE

a er w i n n n T a l av e r i t s u J

ROCKFORDFOSGATE.COM

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High octane gasoline pumps through some people’s veins, Tim Ferguson realized almost immediately in life that he was one of them. As an adrenalin junkie Tim’s love for mini trucks, downhill mountain bike racing and big Rockford

29 VOLUME 3.0

Fosgate systems was instinctive, personifying the “go big or go home” mentality. Tim’s win at all costs approach has given him iconic status not only on the hill but on the car show circuit as well. Like everything Tim’s involved with he bypassed mild and went straight to wild on his larger than life 2000 Dodge Dakota R/T mini truck! After countless body, suspension and performance mods it was time to design the truck’s interior and sound system. Ferguson, along with his local Arizona mod-squad, went all-out fabricating custom door panels, center console and subwoofer enclosure. Creating a 12-volt gallery which showcases the heart and soul of the build...the Rockford Fosgate hardware. Staying true to Tim’s “go big” philosophy he entrusted his one-off build with RF’s finest...Power Series. Tim packed the cab with (2) sets of 6.5” Power series speakers and brought them to life with a Power T-6004 amplifier, injecting over 600 watts


of power to the front stage. Keeping the Dakota’s cab on par with the vocals the R/T’s low-end received (2) ground pounding Power T1 15‘s harnessing over 2000 watts of Rockford Fosgate venom. This delivered full-size sound in a compact environment. Not being content with just an audio arsenal in the cab, Ferguson wanted to guarantee the Dakota’s “car show”

audience was entertained as well. Stacking the bed with an additional (3) Power Series T1 15’s, (1) T1500-1bdCP and (2) sets of Power 6.5” components. Fully equipped, the oneman show is not hard to find, whether it’s being a feature truck at SEMA, winning truck of the year or just draggin’ the local streets with the volume WFO Tim Ferguson’s R/T proves that he who dies with the biggest Rockford Fosgate system and the fastest downhill time wins!

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PHILOSOPHY

The 3Sixty family was created to solve the potential issues of installing aftermarket systems in vehicles with factory or aftermarket source units. Designed as an OEM integration piece, the 3Sixty.3 upgrades the performance of factory sound systems. The 3Sixty.3 also is designed to customize and provide the ability to tune the system equalization to your personal preference.

by:

INSPIRATION

The 3Sixty.3 comes from the success of our previous 3Sixty.1 & 3Sixty.2 models. The 3Sixty.1/.2 models have had very good acceptance from our avid customers. These same customers have been very passionate about expressing what features they would like to see in a next generation 3Sixty model. I’m happy to say we evaluated and incorporated just about every request received through our website “Bright Idea” feedback form. Our customers are what will make the next generation 3Sixty.3 an outstanding product that will exceed all their expectations.

CHALLENGES

There are many challenges involving the design of the 3Sixty.3. The main challenge was to incorporate over 50 new features as well as many performance improvements over the current 3Sixty models. The 3Sixty.3 is a completely re-engineered product involving new electrical, mechanical, firmware and software design. One of the main challenges was to incorporate more intelligence into the device to perform such functions as auto-gain, auto-normalization and auto-tuning. These automated routines substantially reduce the time and effort to set up a 3Sixty.3. The challenge was that these automated routines require extensive algorithm development, testing and more robust processor power.

WHAT MAKES IT DIFFERENT

The 3Sixty.3 offers many more features compared to competing devices, which make it the most customizable processor in car audio. Most products have moved to EZ-setup type methodologies with a “take-it or leave-it” approach to equalization. There are advantages to this method in terms of ease of setup, but the big disadvantage is being stuck (in most cases) with what the processor determines as your listening preference. A majority of our customers are “fanatics” and all have different equalization preferences in their system. For this reason, we offer an automated auto-tune process, while still allowing the user to adjust every single control in the 3Sixty.3. There are over 100 independent controls per channel that can


be adjusted to fully customize your equalization taking auto-tune to the next step. This allows the 3Sixty.3 to be installed by anyone ranging from novice to professional. These features are possible through the use of a 32bit High Performance DSP with Dual MACS, and 72-bit accumulator, an Analog to Digital Converter featuring 24bit precision using Advanced Delta Sigma Architecture, and a Digital to Analog Converter featuring 24-bit precision with 108dB Dynamic Range.

were identified and removed from the system. This stage typically takes a couple of prototype runs for a product of this complexity. Firmware and software development also progresses during the prototype phase to identify and correct any early issues. Software and firmware at the prototype phase was designated “Alpha” code.

WHAT SETS IT APART

The next phase was design validation testing that involved a stable hardware platform as well as stable firmware and software codebase which was designated ”Beta” code. The design validation phase was where extensive in-vehicle testing was performed to identify installation issues, hardware issues, firmware, and software issues. All of these needed to be isolated, fixed, and verified before moving on to the next phase, which was a preproduction or “Pilot Run”. After a successful pilot run, the Rockford Fosgate 3Sixty.3 was finally cleared for production, making it one of the intuitive signal processors in car audio history.

No doubt that the main feature setting the 3Sixty family apart is the ability to control and tune wirelessly via mobile devices. This was accomplished in the 3Sixty.1 and 3Sixty.2 via Palm and Windows Mobile devices. The 3Sixty.3 will go one step further and communicate with Apple iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad devices over an optional wireless Bluetooth link as well as an optional wired interface. Another unique feature is the ability to stream wireless music from any Bluetooth A2DP mobile device directly to the 3Sixty.3 via the optional Bluetooth link. The 3Sixty line of products also incorporate a patented frequency normalization process, which involves denormalization of OEM sources as well as channel summing to create full-range channels.

TIMELINE

The 3Sixty.3 has been a work in progress since the release of 3Sixty.2. We have carefully evaluated user feedback, both good and bad. We used this feedback to carefully conceptualize new hardware, firmware, and software architecture. This was the first and most critical step in the process since it impacted all other development tasks. Once each component was individually tested for compatibility, the next step was to integrate the components. This step involved creating prototypes of the complete system. The prototype phase was where many “bugs”

ROCKFORDFOSGATE.COM

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Volume 3.0