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DND Services Ltd :: Sound Off`s and Competition Systems

Sound Off`s and Competition Systems


Back in the Mid Nineties, we started to play around with some seriously big Car Audio systems and it wasn`t long before we all started to compete against each other to see who had the loudest car stereo. Various clubs started to appear, and one of largest, the "LOUD! Association" was set up by none other than our own Sid Jervis, after he had started to make a bit of a name for himself on the world stage, winning countless trophies and a long running feature on Channel 4`s Big Breakfast.

To understand how the competitions work, you need to have a little understanding of the sounds that we are playing about with here. As a very basic explanation, the more air that your speakers can physically move, the more pressure they can create inside a car, and this sound pressure level (SPL) is measured in Decibels or dB for short. From here on in, it can get a little complicated, but as a basic guide, every increase of 3dB is roughly double the volume. So a sound that is 10dB is twice as loud as 7dB which is twice as loud as 4dB - You can get very technical, very quickly, but if you can understand these basics, then you may appreciate the rest of this a little more.

Here are a few examples of some common sounds that may help explain a little:

70dBLoudAverage Radio, Ambient Street Noise
80dBLoudNoisy office, Electric shaver, Alarm clock, Police whistle
90dBVery LoudNoisy factory, Trucks without Silencers - and at 90dB we are starting to get into sound levels that can cause ear damage.
100dBVery LoudPassing Trucks, Petrol Lawn Mowers, Car Horns
110dBDeafeningPassing Trains
120dBDeafeningThunder, Fireworks Displays
130dBDeafeningPneumatic Drills - decibels at or above 130 will cause immediate ear damage
140dBDeafeningArtillery Fire
150dBDeafeningAircraft Jet Engine

If you remember I said that every increase of 3dB is roughly double the volume, you should be able to see that even a small increase in dB number can lead to a significant increase in sound, and if you compare the figures shown above to some of the numbers shown below, then you may start to appreciate just how loud some of these cars can get.

But let me first dispell a little myth here and seperate some of the Men (and Women) from the boys. Think of the classic Boy Racer, baseball hat on backwards, drags his knuckles along the floor and drives outside your house with a huge car stereo going "Boom Boom Boom", and you can all instantly identify with the characters I am describing. Well, these guys are running stereos of around 125~130dB, which is more than enough to shake your windows and rattle some of your fillings - but they don`t even come close to some of the competitors on here. The guys on here are professionals, they generally drive around with their windows closed, whilst quietly listening to their music and you will seldom hear them at the traffic lights - they don`t need to show off here, they have nothing to prove.

Actually thats not strictly true - these guys will take any opportunity that they can to show off, and we spent many years holding competition events around the country, and quite a few test and tune days back at the workshop - where the atmosphere was simply electric !


Loud Association: Test & Tune Days


You will notice the numbers on the displays in decibels are quite a lot more than some of those quoted in the table above, and you should now realise just how powerfull some of these systems are. But numbers are sometimes not enough to describe the power of a car stereo, so let me show you a picture of a large system below that was undergoing some tests. During the tests, a faulty speaker was diagnosed and it stopped working, but such was the air pressure inside the car at the time from the rest of the speakers, that the metallic front of the speaker cone was literally crushed like a bit of tin foil. Can you see it?


Broadwater Day 2000: Shephalbury Park, Stevenage


Word soon got around about our Sound Off Competitions, and I was asked by the local neighbourhood fundraising committee if we could put something together to hold at their local fete, as they had never seen anything like this before. We were more than happy to oblidge, and even managed to blag one of the Kenwood demo cars to show off to the crowds.


Mini Show 2001: Langleybury Childrens Farm


We were asked by a couple of our good customers if we would hold a Sound Off competition at their Mini Show at a Childrens Farm, and we were only too happy to oblidge. It was a cracking good day, we were made to feel very welcome and we had a hell of a lot of fun with our new friends.


Broadwater Day 2001: Shephalbury Park, Stevenage


Our Sound-Offs were becoming very well known, and it wasn`t long before everyone was asking to be a part of them. We even had a couple of guys attend who were also trying to make their own mark on the scene, and needed a little bit of help and publicity, which we were more than happy to assist with. Especially as we knew from the start that they would go on to be a great success. Back then, we knew them as our friends with a Cool Mini and a great sounding Golf - and today, you will probably have heard of their very successfull Car Audio Company - its called VIBE.


CruzinCarz.com: Sound Off - 2002


A while back, we were approached by a young lad who was still at school at the time, and so professional was his approach to us, that within minutes, he managed to blag my own car for a photo shoot he wanted to do. He even had his own cool website and a serious following of enthusiasts, and when he asked if we would host a mini sound off for him, well, we just had to oblige. Not long afterwards, he joined our team of top fitters, and you will see him on here under the name of Kilmo.


Broadwater Day 2002: Shephalbury Park, Stevenage


This was our third and final year of holding a Sound Off at Shephalbury Park.



 
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1st May 2019
Services Resumed

Following some essential communications work behind the scenes, we are now back up and running again. Apologies for any inconvenience.


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