Bass HitsIf your car seems kinda light without speaker cabinets where a backseat should be; if 10s, 12s and 16s mean more to you than 20s or 50s; if you can rattle off the names of high-end audio-equipment manufacturers faster than most people can get through the nine digits of their Social Security number, then the place you want to be Aug. 6 is the Sound Room in Chesterfield for the U.S. Audiosound Competition (USAC).
Yep, it's time to roll the tarp off that "other" car, the one with the low miles on it 'cause it's "just for cruisin'." In addition to a Rams cheerleader or two, kids of all ages with a passion for power-amp punch and a desire to see and be blown away by some of the best in the world will join you at the largest USAC-sponsored event in the area.
And the competition's not just about sheer volume. Oh no. Those days are as far gone as that out-of-print Nemesis album Munchies for Your Bass. Sure, there's a Sound Pressure Level, or SPL, event that "outlaws" -- non-USAC members -- can enter, and there the judging is "bassed" on raw volume. But most of the competition showcases "legal" autos and systems, in which the stereo sometimes costs more than the car.
In one event, dubbed SQ (for "Sound Quality"), the criteria are more technical and the audiophile measurements of clarity, imaging and staging are just as important as the low-end. USAC contestants compete in three main classes: novice, consumer and professional. Scoring judges award entries zero to 10 points in areas such as frequency response, channel separation and proper fusing.
So, test your neon lamps, check the switches and prepare your "baby" for the show. Tune those subs and reseal the soundproofing in the trunk. (Remember: rattle is not cool.)
Come prepared. Kids nowadays might have all the boomin' bounce music of Nelly, Swizz Beatz or Manny Fresh. But you need DJ Magic Mike's "Bass Check" to start and then your special "battle mix" featuring Ron C.'s "Trend Setter," LL Cool J's "Boomin' System," Dead Prez's "Hip-Hop" and, of course, the essential Rodney O. and Joe Cooley "Everlastin' Bass!"