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5.0

FEATURING -POLARIS RANGER-

DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS

DSO EYEWEAR ‘13 MUSTANG GT

SWIFT UPPER PUNCH AUSTRAILIAN SUZUKI SWIFT

‘96

CHEVY IMPALA SS

RG AUTO GROUP - TUCSON, AZ


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1. BRENT LEAVITT / IDAHO 2. BEN SPAULDING 3. KYLE BUCKNER / VIRGINIA 4. JEFF MACON 5. JOSH HARNACK 6. DILRAJ ROCKY SAMAI / TRINIDAD 7. MIGUEL CARILLO / UTAH 8. DALTON CARPENTER / LOUISIANA 9. ASHLEY WATSON 10. JUSTIN REXDALE / ONTARIO

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VOLUME 5.0


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ROCKFORD FANATICS Welcome to Volume 5.0! From all of us at Rockford Corporation, let me first say “thank you” for being a passionate supporter of the brand. Our drive, passion and commitment is focused on providing YOU the best performing, easiest to install and most reliable products on the market. As you enjoy Volume 5.0, make sure to read the articles about people like you, that have embraced the Rockford Fosgate brand and made it part of their lifestyle. This year, Rockford Fosgate is entering its 34th year in business. We are pleased to be announcing the new PUNCH series amplifiers. The original Punch amplifier started the car audio craze decades ago and now we are launching the best performing, easiest to install and MOST POWERFUL line of Punch amplifiers ever. These soon to become “icon’s” are smaller, have higher power density per square inch, top mounted controls for easy installation and a new feature called “CLEAN”. This patent pending circuitry allows you to set up the amplifier perfectly to ANY factory or aftermarket headunit/ radio in a matter of seconds. No more guessing, just perfect, distortion free performance every time. And, unlike our competitors, this amplifier lineup was designed and engineered in Tempe, AZ with full Rockford Fosgate DNA. We are also pleased to announce a completely re-designed line of PRIME amplifiers. This product line, like Punch, is smaller, easier to install and will set the benchmark for the first time amplifier buyer. No other value-oriented amplifier can match the PRIME amps level of performance or sophistication. Our remaining product line is the most extensive ever. We like to say if it floats, operates on wheels and is powered by a battery, we have a Rockford Fosgate audio solution for you. And finally, we are pleased to announce our second year of sponsorship and support of the Van’s Warp Tour concert series. This is a great way to stay in touch with today’s up and coming artists and get a chance to hear the infamous Rockford Fosgate Soundlab, which will be touring during the entire 41 city national concert tour.

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Thanks again for your passion and support of Rockford Fosgate. Enjoy Volume 5.0!

Bill Jackson President

ROCKFORDFOSGATE.COM

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TABLE OF

CONTENTS 2 5 11 12 16 18 21 23

2013

V5.0

TO THE FANATICS

25

MUSTANG GT

27

HOW TO

31

LETTER FROM PREZ

DSO EYEWEAR

C.L.E.A.N. SETUP

33

TEST & REVIEW

38

SWIFT

41

INSIDE LOOK

43

PUNCH PRO

AZ TRADING

PUNCH AMPS

POLARIS RANGER

AUDIO FORMZ

TEST & REVIEW P3 SUBWOOFER

‘64 Caddy

JOE MOLINA

HOW TO

PLC2

‘96 IMPALA SS

RG AUTO GROUP

HOW TO

SIGNAL INTEGRATION

INSIDE LOOK

miniSOUNDLAB

PUNCH WEAR

SPRING LINE

DEALER SPOTLIGHT MEECE CAR AUDIO

Follow us

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VOLUME 5.0


TURNING HEADS WITH

CHRIS MANGUM

Certain things just seem to go together – peanut butter & jelly, show cars & sound systems… even action sports & So Cal. Working nicely together for almost 10 years now is the relationship between Rockford Fosgate and Chris Mangum with DSO Eyewear/MAD Industries.

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VOLUME 5.0


ROCKFORDFOSGATE.COM

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Chris began to build show-quality vehicles as a way to promote his eyewear brand DSO(Dangerous Sports Optics). These one-off vehicles were turning heads on display at events and parties all over the country. What started as a side project for the DSO eyewear business, soon turned into a full-fledged enterprise, now with an allinclusive fabrication shop and development studio. MAD Industries, short for Mangum Automotive Design, now takes on OEM specialty builds for top dogs like GM, Honda, and Ford. Sharing in Chris’s success is early partner; Rockford Fosgate… aligning together to energize each vehicle Chris creates. “I thoroughly trust everything Rockford does, so I get excited to be one of the first to showcase some amazing new products.” Chris explains. “Like the new PUNCH PRO speaker family. They have 6”, 8” or 10” mid-range drivers with 1.5” horn-tweeters and passive crossovers. These are NOT your typical door speakers, providing high output at full range for exceptional Sound Quantity

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VOLUME 5.0

Levels. Also the PUNCH P3 shallow subs can drop in just about anywhere with roughly 3.5” of clearance necessary, while the PUNCH Boosted Rail amps can deliver a serious amount of power in a compact package comparable to that of a deck of cards. These two category re-inventions have kicked the door wide open to enhancing sound in mobile audio applications previously never thought imaginable.” As one of Fosgate’s tightest friends (and best guinea pigs), Chris and DSO utilize the same audacious spirit we embrace here at Rockford. Quality, Individuality and Style. From the racers of Baja, to the open road riders at Sturgis, to the madmen of Havasu and even the high rollers at


Barrett-Jackson… everyone can agree when they experience the effect of a performance audio system, it’s like magic; your eyes widen and your face just seems to smile uncontrollably. It’s infectious and contagious. That’s probably why after completing his first build, MAD Industries has continually gone into the speed-dial looking for the next project to fulfill the itch. Most recently Chris took home an impressive array of vehicle awards at SEMA, including Ford’s “Best of Show” for a Mustang they featured in their booth. This ride has it all, supercharged, custom pearl tri-coat with rich black accented paint, midnight Tuscany leather interior set off with perforated raven black suede inserts and a stance featuring Eibach coil-overs, Brembo brakes, and Niche 22” wheels, that make

“PUNCH Boosted Rail amps can deliver a serious amount of power in a compact package comparable to that of a deck of cards.”

ROCKFORDFOSGATE.COM

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“I thoroughly trust everything Rockford does, so I get excited to be one of the first to showcase some amazing new products.” Chris explains. “Like the new PUNCH PRO speaker family.” -CHRIS MANGUM this GT look fast even standing still. Add another two awards with Chevrolet for his design and execution on their Cruze and Spark projects. All vehicles were flavored with an array of Fosgate products, pushing the unique impression of MAD designs to the top of the field. Far better than any award or trophy is to be paid a compliment from fellow designer/builder and automotive legend, Chip Foose. He made it a special point to stop by and congratulate Chris for his work and style. The next cycle of car builds is currently underway, and the public seems to be anxiously anticipating what is going to come next from Chris and MAD industries, and especially what it will sound like! Keep an eye open for the next MAD/DSO vehicle heading down the road or showcased front and center at next weekend’s event... although odds are you’ll probably hear it first! 9

VOLUME 5.0


CASEYCURRIE PROFESSIONAL OFF-ROAD RACER

ROCKFORD FOSGATE FANATIC

IMPEDANCE CHANGE

T1 subwoofers available at your local authorized Rockford Fosgate retailer.

rockfordfosgate.com • 800.366.2349


HOWto PUNCH C.L.E.A.N. SET-UP

Rockford Fosgate’s new integrated level setting technology called C.L.E.A.N. (Clipping Calibrated Level Eliminates Audible Noise) is a simple LED indicator system now available on new Punch amplifiers designed to help eliminate speaker damage. An input LED indicator helps match your source unit to the amplifier by identifing signal clipping from the audio source, while another LED monitors the output level to detect clipping sent to speakers. Using C.L.E.A.N., you can precisly set-up your input and output levels to eliminate clipping, which can ultimately cause speaker damage and/or failure.

Included Level Setting Disc

INPUT clip SETUP STEP 1. Disconnect all speakers from the amplifier. STEP 2. Turn on the source unit and set volume to zero.

Optional PLC2

STEP 3. Adjust Bass & Treble levels on the source unit to flat. STEP 4. Insert test tone or music CD to play for setup. NOTE: Use 40Hz @ 0dB (Track 5) for subwoofer amplifiers or 1kHz @ 0dB (Track 7) for full-range amplifiers. Be sure x-over is set to appropriate setting. STEP 5. Increase source unit volume until Input Clip Indicator illuminates red. NOTE: Input Clip can be viewed remotely with optional PLC2. STEP 6. Decrease source unit volume slightly until LED turns off. This establishes your maximum source unit volume for adjusting the Output Clip Indicator. NOTE: Some source units will not clip.

clipped signal

clean signal Input Clip LED

OUTPUT clip SETUP STEP 7. Be sure to disconnect PLC2 Punch Level Control (if equipped) from the amplifier.

clean signal

clipped signal

STEP 8. Adjust Input Level knob until Output Clip LED illuminates to appropriate color. Repeat for all channel levels of input. STEP 9. Turn the source unit volume down.

0% THD

1% THD

5% THD

No LED

Blue LED

Red/Blue LED

STEP 10. Reconnect all speakers and PLC2 Punch Level Control (if equipped) to amplifier. Be sure to maintain proper speaker polarity.

Online Guide

*Above photos show output clip feature configured to a clean signal (0% THD), the treshold of clipping (1% THD), and full clipping (5% THD) using 1kHz @ 0dB. 11 VOLUME 5.0

Download our convenient checklist using C.L.E.A.N. to set-up gains. You can also download the level setting disc test tones supplied with the amplifier.


ROCKFORDFOSGATE.COM

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I don’t care who you are or where you’re from, everyone loves a Cadillac. The long beautiful lines, the quality craftsmanship and the overall sense of class separates Cadillac from the rest of the pack. The same rings true for Rockford Fosgate…so it was only natural for Joe Molina to select RF to compliment what would become his beautiful baby “Ruby”. Now this man is truly a ‘working Joe’, spending his hard earned dollars on a project that took nearly eight months to complete. No big financial backers…no ‘A’ list celebrities swiping black Amex cards for parts, just the endless support of his family and friends, but most importantly girlfriend, Morgan Bailey. Morgan ultimately became the inspiration for this build. The ’64 Caddy 13 VOLUME 5.0

was a present he surprised her with one night. The two spent a year driving it around “as is” sorting out a game plan. Trusting his career experience working in the automotive industry, Joe got to work along with his Severed Ties car club homeboys to bring Ruby to life. It basically boiled down to three items for Joe- Paint, Interior and the Sound System. With such a classic body, the color would have to be a knockout. ‘Ruby Slippers’ was a clear stand out from the Vibrance Collection of PPG paints. When the light hits it just right, the color transforms creating a steady stream of whiplashed necks as this ‘64 slides down the road. The interior is a one of a kind, keeping some classic lines


yet infusing a modern look with a sense of style any car enthusiast would be proud to show off!

“Joe dropped a set of POWER

T2652-S 6.5” component speakers in each of the front kick panels, with a matching set for the rear deck, all run off of a POWER T800-4ad 800 watt 4-ch amplifier.” The custom mesh grill work seen on the front and spread throughout the car, didn’t come easy, as his first choice in water-jet guys decided hunting season was his priority! Joe stayed cool and shifted gears to work with a club referral and ended up getting the amazing look he was after. When the audio system transformation time came, a fellow club member Garret Cobbs insisted Joe run Rockford. “Garret wouldn’t let me even think of using anything else. He knew this build was a special one for Morgan and I, and that we would probably be holding onto this car for life. Man, I’m glad we listened to him.” Joe dropped a set of POWER T2652-S 6.5” component speakers in each of the front ROCKFORDFOSGATE.COM

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kick panels, with a matching set for the rear deck, all run off of a POWER T800-4ad 800 watt 4-ch amplifier. The trunk houses three POWER T0D212 12” subwoofers running on a POWER T1500-1bdCP 1500 watt mono amplifier, that is vented thru the rear deck to get all that heart pounding bass up front. Notice the iconic Rockford ‘diamond R’ logo set into the trunk lid interior?... good friend JR from Coast to Coast Trophies was able to lend a helping hand with this epic detail. Being this was Joe’s first build with Rockford, he was blown away by the power output he was getting from these POWER amplifiers. “It’s just amazing.. I’m used to dealing with a way larger amount of gear to get this kind of sound.” Joe said, “The whole team at Rockford has been great and made me feel real comfortable. I’m sticking with Rockford for life.” Now that Ruby is all buttoned up, she’s starting to rack up the show wins. Joe loves talking with the kids that come up to him to freakin’ out about how Ruby’s color shifts. He takes time to reminisce with the older crowd, talking about ‘how they drove one of those Cadillacs back when it was new off the line’. Most importantly Joe and Morgan just love to go for a weekend cruise, showing off their love for cars and all the hard work that came to make ‘Ruby’. Maybe one day, Morgan will even let Joe take a turn and drive!

“It’s just amazing.. I’m used to dealing with a way larger amount of gear to get this kind of sound.” I’m sticking with Rockford for life.” -JOE MOLINA

15 VOLUME 5.0


Text and Measurements by Garry

Springgay; originally published onli

As an amateur musician, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the saying, “If you can’t play good, play loud!” Well, a recent trend that began in Columbia and has spread to other parts of Latin America as well as pockets of urban areas on the east coast of the U.S., fully subscribes to this theory. The trend involves what is commonly known as “Open Air SPL.” To participate, you basically mount as many very loud speakers as possible on the outside of your vehicle and see how loud you can go! So far no one has gotten too high-tech in the actual measurement or development of rules, but two cars line go head-to-head to see which one is loudest, mostly for the applause and adoration of the on-looking fans. Not wanting to miss out on a segment of the market for which the brand is widely recognized, Rockford Fosgate has introduced a series of speakers designed and engineered specifically for this new SPL activity. Called “Punch Pro” speakers, Rockford has created six and eight-inch midrange drivers and 1.5-inch bullet-style tweeters. All Punch Pro speakers are available in either four- or eight-ohm versions to accommodate designs that use as many as you can fit onto the exterior of a vehicle. All models also come with a full one-year warranty. Rockford Fosgate sent me an example of its new eight-inch Punch Pro midrange/midbass driver known as the PPS4-8 as well as the four-ohm version of its SPL targeted tweeter, the PP4-T. The driver is rated for 125 Wrms and is constructed using a stamped frame, a high-temperature rated two-inch low-mass aluminum voice coil and a special fatigue-resistant poly-cotton spider. And, because these speakers are all about playing loud, special attention has been paid to keep the moving mass as lightweight as possible – they employ fiberreinforced paper cones and corrugated treated cloth surrounds. SPL contests are hard on speakers and to make sure areas of high stress are addressed, the PPS4-8 uses an oversized motor structure, periodic stitched lead wires and an aluminum phase plug manufactured from billet aluminum stock. Although the PPS4-8 is an eightinch driver, it has a shallow mounting depth under under three inches. The PPS4-8 retails for $99.99 in the U.S.

ne 2012 by PAS Magazine

and this sucker is hu ge! (I can’t remember the last time I picked up a tweeter with a mounting hole diameter of 4.5 inche s and mounting depth of ov er 2.5 inches.) Built aro und an ultra-rugged cast alu minum housing, the PP4-T has a continuous power rat ing of 50 watts and uti lizes a magnet assembly the envy of most 6x9s and employs a field-replaceable diaph ragm. An Integrated Co ncealed Crossover (ICC), which is basically a first order network with a -3 dB point of 4.5 kHz, is incorporated directly into the PPT-4 tweeter , which also has a su ggested retail price of $99.99. From a sonic perspec tive, these speakers are probably not going to win any golden Tonearm award s, but they are certainly going to play very loud with a minimum of power for hours on end. If you think “Ope n Air SPL” might be for you, chec k out the entire series of Rockford Fosgate “Punch Pro” drivers at www.rockfo rdfosgate. com and remember to “Practice Safe Sound!”

TECHNICAL SPECIF

ICATIONS

Power Handling (PPS48) 125 watts RMS / 250 watts peak Power Handling (PPT-4) 50 watts RMS / 100 wat ts peak Fs (Woofer) 80 Hz Fs (Tweeter) 3 kHz Crossover w -6 dB per octave, @ 3,50 0 Hz Frequency Range (Wo ofer) 80–5,000 Hz Frequency Range (Tw eeter) 4,000 Hz–20 kHz Sensitivity (Woofer) 94.5 dB / SPL @ 1.0 W /1M Sensitivity (Tweeter) 105 dB / SPL @ 1.0 W /1M Nominal Impedance 4 ohm

The matching PP4-T tweeter is also very ruggedly constructed ROCKFORDFOSGATE.COM

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17 VOLUME 5.0


Rockford Fosgate is proud to present a new booming demo vehicle used to showcase PUNCH audio systems in Australia. AZ Trading, our distributor, chose a 2012 Suzuki Swift because of its funky styling. According to Queensland Sales Manager, Russell Lovell, “It’s a very reliable and comfortable car to drive, which is very important with the amount of travel that’s required.” Russell commissioned specialty dealer Autobarn in Cairns, Queensland to handle the 3-killowatt installation of 4 amplifiers and 18 speakers. The front doors handle three pair of P1675-S Punch 6.75” component systems, with the tweeters residing in a custom molded A-pillar and the midrange sitting at the

bottom of a custom fabricated door panel. Two more pair of P1675-S reside in the rear doors using a similar configuration, and a single pair of P1675-S are built into the hatch to bring vocals to onlookers when the car is open during shows. A pair of Punch P500-4 multi-channel 500 Watt amplifiers power the speakers, with each amp driving three sets of speakers.

“A Suzuki Swift with a booming sound system that oozes class as well as quality decibels.” A Rockford Fosgate RF-BLD Balanced Line Driver connects seamlessly to the factory

INTERNATIONAL / SWIFT ROCKFORDFOSGATE.COM

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Suzuki source unit and sends signal back to the amp rack. The car had to pound, so the rear seat was knocked out to make room for an array of 12� dual voice coil subwoofers. Six Punch P2D2-12 are housed in a custom fiber-glassed enclosure, all powered by a pair of Punch P1000-1bd mono block 1,000 watt amplifiers, with a trio of woofers dedicated to each amp.

The Swift has an enormous amount of custom fiberglass that represents around $8,000 worth of craftsmanship. The ultra wet looking paint-job and plexiglass design added another $4,000 to the system. With labor thrown into the ring, this rolling sound studio cost about $20,000 to build, but it’s sure to Punch anyone in the gut when the bass hits.

INTERNATIONAL / SWIFT 19 VOLUME 5.0


WAKETOWER SPEAKERS

CLAYTONUNDERWOOD Marine Grade amplifiers, speakers and subwoofers available at your local authorized Rockford Fosgate retailer.

rockfordfosgate.com • 800.366.2349


PHILOSOPHY At Rockford Fosgate, Car Audio For Fanatics® is more than a slogan, it’s a fact! After more than twenty-five years of innovation and tireless dedication to improving the way audio products are designed and made, RF amplifiers are the ‘standard’ by which all others are measured. To achieve this, it takes more than knowledge of acoustics or electronics or a few good ideas; it takes a true passion for designing and manufacturing the very best.

by:

STRATEGY Rockford’s New Product Development team or “NPD” is comprised of a diverse mix of people specializing in electrical, acoustical and mechanical engineering, along with testing and validation specialist that focus on all aspects of the consumer experience. One of our largest projects has been the launch of the new Punch amplifiers. We wanted to introduce a line of product that was more flexible, reliable and offered different configurations.

INSPIRATION

For many years Rockford has provided our dealers and consumers with an “Inside Look” of our brand through facility tours, local shows, even this editorial you’re reading now, Volume, and now all of our social media outlets let us further connect. With this insight what people usually realize is that unlike many companies, the magic lies within our ‘fanatics’, our customers and employees, and their shared passion for a very specialized industry. You’re talking and we’re listening…honest.

CHALLENGES Realizing that many audio products, especially amplifiers, in our industry were not very reliable or were overpriced and hard to install, our team invested time and money in the research and development of proprietary materials and manufacturing techniques that in different ways improved the audio experience. We deliberated for hours during and after work about our ideas for creating better products. Before we knew it, we were systematically improving the heart of the RF line, the PUNCH amplifier. Out of those many brainstorms


emerged the C.L.E.A.N. (Calibrated Level Eliminates Audible Noise) feature: A new proprietary Rockford technology designed to optimize the set up between the radio/source unit and the amplifier, known as gain or level matching…the set-up portion on PUNCH amplifiers that is often the most misunderstood. This single feature has allowed an installer of any skill level to get a quick, accurate, consistent, and reliable set-up that may not have been achieved before. After taking years to develop products, it can be very frustrating to see installations done incorrectly QUICK SETUP GUIDE and even more upsetting to see the negative impact on the customer’s experience. With the edition of C.L.E.A.N. we met one of the many challenges in redefining the ‘standard’ in mobile amplifiers.

MILESTONES The problem with 5 channel amps historically is the lack of power on the sub channel and flexibility of the crossover section. This limited system designs and ultimately killed multi-channel amps in past years. In 2011 we began the development of the 5 channel P1000X5. This model is set to be the all-in-one solution for the customer or installation that requires a single amplifier system. Our perfected bd technology offered us the ability to add a true 500 watts RMS on the sub channel while still providing 125 watts per channel to the full range speakers. After testing hundreds of iterations, the Punch P1000X5 has launched as one of the best sounding amplifiers we have ever produced. Hours of thermal research, layout refinements and critical listening were the foundation of what would become the pinnacle of 25 years in the audio business.

WHAT SETS IT APART First, the product, you can feel it the minute you pick it up. Our product is genuine, real and authentic. Next, C.L.E.A.N. (Calibrated Level Eliminates Audible Noise). With the use of L.E.D. visual indicators on the amplifier, the user can determine the input level and set the output level in 10 seconds or less by matching the displayed L.E.D. color to the corresponding media content used (test tone or music). Clipping or improper set-up is what causes your music to sound unnatural and can damage speakers in the long run. This single amplifier technology has allowed us to address the single most confusing step in the installation process.

TIMELINE Four stage product development.

STAGE 2

STAGE 1

STAGE 3

STAGE 4 (FINAL)

YOUTUBE.COM/ROCKFOR WATCH DETAILED VIDEOS DFOSGATE ON OUR PUNCH

AMPLIFIERS.


DEALER T H G I L T SPO Alright…We’re just going to come right out and say it; Jeff Meece is an audio N.E.R.D. (Never Enough Rockford Doom). You know the guy we all cheated off of in science class, we were thinking about lunch and he was thinking about how to get the most out of his car audio system. Or even like the ‘nerd’ astronauts from the early NASA days that were pretty much the smartest and most fearless guys in America, many of which ended up getting to walk on a different planet. Yeah, everyone wishes they were one of those types of nerds. Well, to date there have been 540 different people that can say they have been to space, but less than half that amount can call themselves a Mobile Electronics Certified Professional, MECP, ‘Master Installer’ and Jeff is one of those lucky few. After 15 years in the install bay, Jeff opened his own shop, Meece Car Audio, with a focus on two business philosophies; attention to detail and giving back to the community.

“It’s basically a bread and butter shop” Jeff explains. “From Bentleys to Bugs… boats, Harleys, side by sides…we do it all. Bring it in and we’ll get it done.”

23 VOLUME 5.0

MEECE CAR AUDIO 169 W. Avenue J-5 Ste F, Lancaster, CA 93534

CONTACT: (661) 948-2266 WEBSITE: Meececaraudio.com YEARS IN BUSINESS: 20+ SOCIAL MEDIA:

At the shop Jeff is flanked by his two henchmen, Brian (installer) and Jeremy (sales guru). “We’re going to make sure you get exactly what you need when you walk through the door,” says Jeremy, “not something we’re trying to sell you on.” Jeff prides himself on his technical knowledge and quality of work. That’s maybe why he still does the majority of installs himself! Some come to his shop because of his high ranking in Mobile Electronics Magazine, or maybe it’s that he is a representative for the Mobile Electronic Retailers Association, MERA. Possibly they even want him to autograph their copy of the MECP study guide with his photo on the cover. Or it just might be the ground trembling from one of the shop’s parking lot shows featuring one of his latest installs loaded with Rockford gear. You see, people trust a man with these kinds of accolades, industry recognition and knowledge, and he puts his trust in Rockford Fosgate. “Rockford is my preference not just because of the performance of their products, but for the amazing family-like service I receive and our shared technical passion for quality sound,” explains Meece. “RF is there for me, whether it’s an in-store display, a technical question for one of their engineers, or just coming out to support one of my parking lot parties with the Sound Lab…I can always trust they’ll be there for me.” With the increasing success at the store, Jeff’s desire to ‘pay it forward’ lead him to start


“Rockford is my preference not just because of the performance of their products, but for the amazing familylike service I receive and our shared technical passion for quality sound”

a high school program teaching kids in shop class about 12 volt circuitry and mobile audio. This took place in the same classroom with the same teacher he had during his high school years. That first eager group back in 2007 has now grown to over 500 kids to date, most of which stop by the shop regularly. “Jeff puts on a great seminar for students because he explains technical concepts in a way that everyone understands. He uses many visuals and demonstrations that really enhance his presentation,” explains Rick, Quartz Hill High School shop class teacher. “What started as a way to give back to my old high school and help a few interested kids has become one of the most anticipated portions of shop class during the semester. We have special projects and cool RF giveaways the kids get excited about, all while staying after school to participate in the program on their own time. I’ve been approached about helping to start satellite programs in different states and I really

think the concept is growing,” adds Jeff. Unlike most shops, Jeff invites all their customers to come back and check out ‘where the magic happens’, the install bay. It’s also probably the best way to get to speak to him as he’s usually intertwined with wiring working on his next job. That, or enroll at Quartz Hill High School! Thanks for looking out for the kids Jeff!

ROCKFORDFOSGATE.COM

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HOWto

REMOTE PUNCH LEVEL CONTROL Vehicle INTEGRATION

DISASSEMBLY

The PLC2 & PEQ were designed to have the most robust mounting capabilities ever designed into a Rockford remote controller. Their basic mounting system utilizes a slide mount, which only requires the two provided screws to attach under a dash or inside a pocket. If you are looking for a more customized look these remotes can be disassembled and surface mounted.

1

Insert a small flat-blade screwdriver in the slot at the top of the remote and pry the remote assembly from the housing.

4

3

Pull the knob straight off to remove.

Use a paper clip or the flat side of a small drill bit from the back side through the hole to push the cover plate off the housing. NOTE: Be sure not to set the cover plate adhesive side down on your workbench.

Remove the nut and washer and remove the remote assembly from the housing cover.

2

3A

3B

Using the cover plate as a template take a center punch to mark the center of the LED and knob shaft holes on the selected panel. Set aside the cover plate, then use a unit or step bit to drill a 3/32” hole for the LED and a 9/32” hole for the knob shaft.

Place the cover plate back into position on the front of the panel, carefully realigning both the LED and control knob holes.Thread the extra jam nut all the way to the base of the control knob.

From the back side of panel insert the LED into the 1/8” hole just far enough that the LED is flush with the front of the panel. Use a drop of thick super glue on the backside of the panel to hold the LED in place.

PANEL

1

2

Check that the panel thickness is less that 1/8”and there is enough room behind the panel for the knob and cable connector. NOTE: Knock out panels are usually an ideal location for a PLC2; they are thin and easily replaceable.

BASIC

1

Using the screws supplied, install the slide mounting clip. Then slide the PLC2 into the mounting bracket until it snaps in place. NOTE: Verify there is enough depth behind the mounting clip to allow for the extra depth the cable adds once inserted into the PLC2.

ROCKFORD REMOTE CHART PLC2

PEQ

PUNCH

PLC

PRIME PUNCH BR & POWER

3SIXTY.3 REMOTE

3SIXTY.3


D

In The

EEP HEART of S A X E

T

B AC KC OU N T RY S OU T H E R N S T Y L E AU D I O F O R M Z - W i l l s P o i n t, T E X A S

27 VOLUME 5.0


What’s black and red and loud all-over? You’re right! A “Cherry Bomb” loaded with Rockford Fosgate gear. This is the creation of Audio Formz owner and master fiberglass fabricator Ronnie Cherry. Get it now?...“Cherry Bomb”. Early experience from car audio competitions gave Ronnie the drive to open ‘Audio Formz’. Quickly establishing themselves as an industry leader specializing in marine and mobile audio installs with a long list of prefabricated custom moldings for a wide array of motorcycles, boats and side-byside vehicles. Ronnie truly has found a great way to combine his construction fiberglass skills with his passion for mobile audio and fun! Looking for a system for your personal watercraft?? Yeah, they do that. How ‘bout a plug and play option for your ATV? Yes-sir. Ten years experience producing enclosures and forms for marine and powersports audio have given Ronnie a catalog of internationally sought products, made right in the heartland of the U.S.A. Many of these top-tier bolton accessories come equipped with pre-installed high end Rockford equipment, making the transition from ‘stock’ to ‘Rock’ that much easier!


IT’S AN OVERALL GOOD TIME WITH MUSIC, MUD PITS FOR RACING (OR SWIMMING), BIKINI CONTESTS, DRINKING AND OF COURSE YOU GOTTA SHOW OFF YOUR TOYS! -RONNIE CHERRY

“We feel Rockford Fosgate is THE premium name in mobile audio, and it adds value to our final products,” Ronnie states. “Our rooftop systems, available through the side-by-side dealership network, showcase an added sense of quality and trust to the customer when they recognize the Rockford name.” The boys at Audio Formz like to get out with the customers at some of the ‘Mud-n-Fun’ events across our region, “It’s an overall good time with music, mud pits for racing (or swimming), bikini contests, drinking and of course you gotta show off your toys!” Ronnie adds. To support his branding, Ronnie had to

go a little off the deep end and put together a jaw-dropping vehicle showcasing his newest products and top-notch customizing skills. You know what they say; everything‘s bigger in Texas! First off, he took an already pretty damn impressive 2011 Polaris Ranger Crew and developed his red and black ‘Rockford-esque’ paint scheme. Next came the Audio Formz rooftop stereo system that houses three sets of RF PRIME R1693 6”x9” full-range speakers and two RF PRIME R2SD4-10 10” shallow subwoofers. This top deck gets its drive from three PUNCH Boosted Rail amplifiers; PBR300X4, PBR300X2 and PBR300X1. If that wasn’t enough


to tip over half the cattle in Texas, now it’s time to really ‘Cowboy-UP’! Ronnie took a design idea he used in the audio system in his own house, utilizing three authentic Jack Daniels whiskey barrels for sub enclosures. Normally custom fiberglass is Ronnie’s thing, but how can anyone say no to Jack Daniels? Packed in each of the three barrels is an RF POWER T2D215 15” subwoofer, each powered by a RF POWER T1500-1bdCP 1500 watt Constant Power mono amplifier. When the 15’s start rumbling, Ronnie swears up and down you can smell the whiskey in the air! As if that couldn’t do the trick, also under the seat sit three RF POWER T1000-4ad 1000 watt 4-channel amplifiers

for some added compression driver cans that hang off the back of this vehicle. To handle the extra 1000 lbs or so of additional audio fun the crew had to upgrade the wheels, tires and suspension. Now the name makes even more sense, “Cherry-BOMB!!” Finally, Ronnie wanted to thank his toy building partner and VP of Sales at Audio Formz, Loren Fredieu, for his countless hours of work. So, whether you’re looking for a completely custom one-off for your yacht, or you just wanna rock what you got, Ronnie and Audio Formz got you and your side-by-side covered…quite literally. ROCKFORDFOSGATE.COM

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31 VOLUME 5.0


optimal than quality. sound The bass is everso-slightly on the “tubby” side and has some ring to it of – this can be typical – res su clo en r ge some lar oofer so, I reduce the subw ency to 50 amp crossover frequ ge the whole Hz rather than chan rld of difference enclosure. What a wo ooth r now sounds more sm that makes! The woofe erall ov ed with slightly reduc and more musical albeit tter, be ly the bass is decided output. The quality of be d ee ind s the P3 woofer can however, and it prove to g kin ea th a bit of simple tw a very musical driver wi really make it shine. stem woofer in my own sy If I were to use this out ab s les sound quality and (where it’s all about ger lar y htl ght opt for a slig maximum output) I mi In t. fee bic ybe 1.75 to two cu sealed enclosure – ma t, Bu g! sin ofer will indeed a a box that size, this wo ing nd me d Fosgate for recom I can not fault Rockfor and many of its customers a smaller enclosure as t tpu ou tra reader, prefer the ex maybe even you, dear lly rea u yo If ate sound quality. at the expense of ultim can er though, the P3D412 want the thing to hamm nt lle ce ex nted enclosure with also be used in a ve th wi h ug rease in output, tho results and the usual inc offs. some associated trade

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ROCKFORDFOSGATE.COM

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33 VOLUME 5.0


TUCSON

A RIZ ONA

‘96 CHEVY IMPALA - TUCSON, ARIZONA There is no “I” in team….but there is in Tim. That’s why Tim Randall took it upon himself to pull together a team to create a high-end ‘one-stop-shop’ for all your automotive wishes. The RG Automotive Group has got you covered-from collision repair, to engine enhancement & performance upgrades, to interior & upholstery and especially our personal favorite – mobile audio! Sure they can knock out a tint job or wrap your whip in vinyl, but give them some creative freedom and you just might get yourself a very low flying spaceship!

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Tim started out in automotive back in 1973 in Southern California then moved out to Tucson ten years ago to begin the multi-faceted operation running today, Randallz Garage. When you walk through the front doors at RG, the showroom is setup as a ‘design center’ where the customers are greeted by one of the friendly staff members and a plan is developed to address their needs and goals. This level of service combined with quality work has allowed business to steadily grow from happy repeat customers and the referrals they give to friends. It’s this kind of word-of-mouth that brought car owner Marcell Felton to Tim and Scott Schultz, longtime friend and master installer at RG, with a pristine ’96 Impala ready for some work. Like a creative mad scientist, Scott got to work refusing to follow traditional build guidelines, and in this case, cultivated a plan to take this Impala – where no Impala had gone before! From the outside one could be fooled into thinking minimal modifications had gone into this build. Obvious upgrades to wheels, tires and brakes are a sure fire tell that somebody might be up to something. Pop the hood and what appears to look like an OEM bolt on accessory, is actually a custombuilt twin turbo system with perfectly shaped headers built to match. Scott says, “If I’ve done my job right, nobody will notice a thing.” Most of this car’s personality comes through as soon as you open the door

...refusing to follow traditional build guidelines, and in this case, cultivated a plan to take this Impala – where no Impala had gone before! with a modern, but yet futuristic look throughout the interior. The Fosgate red and black flavor shows everywhere from the leather seats, ceiling, and dash to the doors. Special details include a hidden head unit stashed behind an in-dash iPad that motorizes out once the touch sensitive Impala decal is activated…Straight out of a James Bond movie. A central control unit sits near your natural hand position in the center console, laid out like the cockpit of an F-15. The ridged console continues through the center of the car to the back housing this audio rocket’s fuel, two POWER T800-4ad 800 watt 4 channels plus a POWER T400-4 400 watt 4 channel amplifier running the mids and highs and two POWER T2500-1bdCP 2500 watt Constant Power mono amplifiers pushing the subs. The front doors are laced with a set of POWER T3652-S 6.5” component speakers in each door, while the back of the car runs the same sets of T3652-S’s for the doors and deck. This along with the dash set of POWER T3652-S speakers for the center channel and add a single PUNCH P2D2-8 8” subwoofer nestled mid-car in the center console for a complete balance of mid to highs.


Most of this car’s personality comes through as soon as you open the door with a modern, but yet futuristic look throughout the interior.


Do the math- we’re now up to 21 speakers including tweeters! That just leaves us with the highlight of this build. Scott not only thought outside the box for this next part, you can say he was coming from a different planet! Four custompainted POWER T2D412 12” subwoofers are inline mounted in a completely unique cylindrical enclosure giving 5.5 cubic foot of space per sub. This set-up basically uses the airflow from the subwoofers to cool amps as they run! Open the trunk and you’ll see how this jet engine inspired set-up looks like the only thing missing might be the flux capacitor! Oh wait, there it is! I forgot to mention the Rockford 3Sixty.3 digital signal processor, keeping the sound state-of-the-art. Not sure what will happen when this Impala hits 88mph, but with a twin turbo strapped to the engine, it can get there pretty quick!

Do the math- we’re now up to 21 speakers including tweeters! So much attention to detail was put in on this car that you’ll never find anything quite like it. We encourage you to pay a visit to Tim, Scott and the hard-working crew at Randallz Garage on your next visit through Arizona and come experience the rockin’ Impala rocket for yourself!

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HOWto

AUDIO SIGNAL IntegratioN When installing a Rockford Fosgate amplified system in your vehicle, on your motorcycle, boat, ATV (All Terrain Vehicle), or UTV (Utility Task Vehicle), integration is usually the first task to handle. Whether using a factory or aftermarket radio, you may encounter a wide range of signal types used to derive the source audio. Learning how to implement these various configurations will make the difference between a good sounding system and a FANATIC sounding system. In order to optimize integrity of the audio signal, you will need to determine the best method to acquire it. In a typical audio system, you may encounter a Low Level, an Internally Amplified High Level, or an Externally Amplified High Level signal.

NOTE: The topics discussed in this article require advanced installation knowledge and is intended to explain how Rockford Fosgate products “manage” these conditions through various feature implementations. Therefore, we suggest having a local Authorized Rockford Fosgate Dealer perform your installation.

LOW LEVEL (RCA) Low-level audio is typically classified as an “un-amplified” signal – usually 4 Volts and lower – transmitted through RCA cables (Fig. 1). There are premium source units on the market capable of higher output voltages on its RCA output jacks than specified above, but these are a special class of radio. A good quality RCA audio source should have a voltage rating around 1-2 Volts and a low impedance. The voltage is the “strength” of the signal and the “impedance” relates to signal integrity once the RCA is plugged into the amplifier. Low source impedance allows more than one amplifier to be connected to the source unit. SPL systems having a large amplifier array should use a line driver or choose a source unit with the lowest impedance possible. If the source unit has a low quality RCA audio source (less than 100mV and/or higher than 500-Ohms impedance), it may be beneficial to use a line driver like the RF-BLD to boost the signal. Many radios having RCA outputs utilize a remote turn-on (switched +12V) wire used to trigger an amplifier. This wire should be extended to your Rockford Fosgate amp to turn it on/off.

Fig. 1 - Radios with RCA jacks provide a low level signal for amplifiers.

high LEVEL (speaker line) High-level audio is typically classified as an “amplified” signal – usually 4 Volts and higher – transmitted through a factory harness or speaker line outputs (Fig. 2). This type of signal uses a “built-in” amplifier housed within the source unit and is usually boosted up to 12 Volts. The most common implementation uses a high-to-low converter that transforms the High Level (speaker line) outputs into RCA jacks. Current Prime, Punch and Punch “Class-BR” (boosted rail) amplifiers have this type of converter built-in and can directly handle high-level inputs. If adding only a subwoofer amplifier to the system, your installer will “tap” into the front speakers, enabling constant bass regardless of rear fader position. If adding a multi-channel amp, both front and speaker lines should be tapped to retain full fader control.

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If no switched +12V wire can be found to turn the amplifier on/off, installers can probe the speaker line output for a “DC Offset” signal. This can be verified by using a Digital Voltmeter set to “DC” (clamp the red lead to the “+” output and the black lead to the “-” ouput) and monitor for +6 Volts. If using a newer Punch amplifier (with C.L.E.A.N. technology) or Punch “Class-BR” amplifier, it can be turned on/off automatically using this DC Offset trigger using high level inputs. The RF-BLD and 3SIXTY.3 are also good candidates because they can accept high-level inputs and turn-on/off by sensing a DC Offset signal. In this mode, the RF-BLD and 3SIXTY.3 have a special “remote out” function allowing additional amplifiers to be automatically turned on/off.

HIGH LEVEL (OEM AMPLIFIED) OEM Amplified High-level audio is typically classified as an “externally amplified” signal – usually 8 Volts to 20 Volts – transmitted through a factory harness. This type of signal uses an “external” amplifier housed behind the dash, kick panel, door panel, rear deck, or under a seat (Fig. 3).

Fig. 2 - Radios with highlevel outputs have speaker wires or run through a factory wiring harness.

Sometimes this type of system is configured using discrete channels, where each channel has a dedicated frequency bandwidth sent from the radio to the amplifier/ speaker. For example, a radio could pass only 4kHz-20kHz down the line to the tweeter/amp, another could pass 400Hz-4kHz to the midrange/amp, and a third could pass 20Hz-400Hz to the subwoofer/amp. Systems having a discrete configuration require multiple “tap-in” sources in order to regenerate a full bandwidth spectrum. This can be a cumbersome task while trying to maintain front/rear fader control. However, using a summing device - like the Rockford Fosgate 3SIXTY.3 - is perfect for collecting multiple sources and summing them to create a full-range output with fader control. Keep in mind, you must be able to “assemble” a full-range signal for both front and rear channels independently to maintain fader control. For installers, deciding whether to “tap” into the factory harness before or after the amplifier is challenging. Fig. 4 illustrates the possible locations of external amplifiers in various autos (location varies by year/make/model). Obtaining a signal prior to the OEM amplifier is typically easier, but often there is no +6V DC Offset signal needed to turn on/off an external amplifier with auto turn-on functionality. Obtaining the signal after an OEM amplifier usually provides best results, but a consequence is excessively high signal voltage that can clip the input circuit of an amp. The solution is using an RF-BLD, the direct high-level input of a newer Punch amplifier (with C.L.E.A.N.), or a Punch Class-BR amplifier. Front Door

Rear Side

Rear Door

39 VOLUME 5.0

Rear Door

Rear Deck

Rear Seats

Front Seats

Center Console

Dash

Glove Box

Kick Panel Front Door

Fig. 4 - Possible locations of factory amplifiers. Rear Quarter Panels

Kick Panel

Fig. 3 - Premium factory installed systems use small external amplifiers.


ROCKFORD FOSGATE SOLUTIONS There are a variety of Rockford Fosgate solutions designed to specifically address installation conditions. These products may share features, and can be used to address multiple applications.

The RF-HLC2 is a 2-channel high-to-low converter that transforms speaker line outputs into RCA jacks.

The RF-HLC4 is a 4-channel high-to-low converter that transforms speaker line outputs into RCA jacks and can retain fader control. The RFI2SW (male) and RFIF2SW (female) are 2-channel interfaces that can directly feed speaker line outputs into amplifiers that can accept a high-level input signal on their RCA jacks. The RF-BLD, newer Punch (with C.L.E.A.N.) and Punch Class-BR amplifiers suport this function. The RF-BLD is a balanced line driver that can boost low audio signals, drive a large array of amplifiers, and convert single ended into balanced signals to eliminate noise. If you want to run an entire system using just a portable MP3 player (no source unit), the BLD is a great solution that can boost low signals (many MP3 players produce less than 1.5V on the 1/8” headphone jack) enough to properly drive any amplifier.

The 3SIXTY.3 interactive signal processor is a line-driver, 248 band parametric equalizer, crossover and source selector built into one unit. This unit is great when summing multiple sources to create a full-range signal while retaining fader control as shown in Fig. 5. The 3SIXTY.3 also has an AUX input to connect an iPod®, iPhone® or other media player directly to the audio system.

putting it all together As you can see, there are several options for obtaining an audio signal for proper integration of your premium Rockford Fosgate system. However, it isn’t always straight forward, and an installer may incorporate any one of the additional Rockford Fosgate products shown above to optimize signal integrity. As vehicle electrical systems increase in complexity, you’ll be certain Rockford Fosgate’s engineering team continues its research and development to keep up with the pace of technology. Whether your goal is building an SPL monster, or simply adding an amp and subwoofer to an OEM system, a solid signal will make it sound good enough for any Car Audio Fanatic to be proud!

Fig. 5 - 3SIXTY.3 can sum multiple sources to create a full bandwidth output complete with fader control.

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PHILOSOPHY When The concept of Rockford Fosgate’s SoundLab is to expose a new generation to car audio by allowing them to experience it first hand. This is accomplished by sitting participants inside a “Pressure Chamber” for a 1 minute, 50 second bonerattling sound and light show. Two vehicles were built, and the popularity of “SoundLab West” and “SoundLab East” grew so much, both vehicles were booked solid for nearly the entire season. In 2013 a plan was developed to build several “mini SoundLab” demo vehicles in order to fulfill regional demand and reach even more car audio fanatics.

STRATEGY A new Rockford Fosgate “mini SoundLab” needed to be built on an industrial chassis, smaller in scale compared to its big brothers. The build team used a 2012 Ford Transit Connect wheelbase because its windowless design enabled a floor-to-ceiling approach without the worry of air leakage or broken glass, resulting in higher SPL (Sound Pressure Level). The transit is configured from the factory as a light-duty delivery vehicle, so it’s intended to be on the road for long durations.

INSPIRATION

The easiest way to experience a high performance audio system is with crystal clear highs and impactful lows. For the high-end, the obvious choice is to use Punch Pro speakers. Their light cone weight makes them extremely responsive to various music types and the high sensitivity allows them to play really freaking loud! Many participants want to attain a similar level of sound in their own ride, so the low end needed to employ the popular Punch series of subwoofers. The combination of both high-end clarity and low-end impact gives participants the opportunity to experience the full PUNCH of Rockford Fosgate car audio equipment.

MILESTONEs The mini SoundLab started construction in November of 2012 and was finished in January 2013 where it made its debut at the annual Rockford Fosgate New Product Showcase in Las Vegas, Nevada. Several more mini SoundLabs are currently in construction, scheduled to be on the road by summer.


CHALLENGES

With so much SPL generated, occupant safety is a priority. A pair of sounddeadening ear phones provide each occupant with hearing protection. We also have [Punch Out] or “Panic Buttons” on each side of the Pressure Chamber to immediately stop the interactive sound and light show for those not tough enough to handle it.

WHAT MAKES IT DIFFERENT The mini SoundLab features a 3,600 Watt “Pressure Chamber” featuring 12 speakers. Three Punch P1000X1bd amplifiers generate 3,000 watts to six Punch P3 15” subwoofers, firing into your back as you rest on a low profile bench that comfortably seats two adults. Once the doors are closed, you’re faced with two Punch Pro 1.5” tweeters and four Punch Pro 8” midrange powered by one Punch P600X4 multi-channel amplifier generating 600 watts. Driving the mini SoundLab doesn’t need to be a drag, so the fabrication team also created a “Sound Quality” system for the front occupants. A Power T600-2 amplifier drives a pair of Power T3 6.5” component systems, while a Power T1000-1bdCP amplifier drives two Power T0 10” subwoofers.

WHAT SETS IT APART What’s unique about the mini SoundLab is the use of an iPad controller instead of a source unit. This allows automated show control through one of seven pre-programmed audio & light shows such as Alternative, Classic Rock, Country, Hip-Hop, Pop, R&B or Rock, all accessible at the touch of a finger.

TIMELINE Fabrication for the mini SoundLab took 2 months. The crew of three led by Mark Lowe, worked days and most nights over the extensive 60 day period. “This isn’t a typical demo vehicle”, states Mark. “We designed the mini SoundLab so it could provide hundreds of demonstrations, drive to the next event, and still run strong!” To experience the SoundLab or mini SoundLab demo vehicle near you, stay tuned to the Rockford Fosgate Event Calendar at www.rockfordfosgate.com or www.facebook. com/rockfordfosgate.

REAR PESSURE CHAMBER 1 ea. Apple iPad Mini (rear controller) 1 ea. Punch P600X4 amplifier (mids/highs) 3 ea. Punch P1000X1bd amplifiers (subs) 2 ea. Punch Pro 1.5” tweeters 4 ea. Punch Pro 8” midrange 6 ea. Punch P3 15” subwoofers

FRONT SOUND QUALITY DEMO 1 ea. Apple iPad Mini (front controller) 1 ea. Power T600-2 amplifier (highs) 1 pr. Power T3 component speakers 1 ea. Power T1000-1bdCP amplifier (subs) 2 ea. Power T0 10” subwoofers

YOUTUBE.COM/ROCKFOR WATCH DETAILED VIDEOS DFOSGATE ON OUR MINISOUNDLAB .


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43 VOLUME 5.0


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Volume 5.0