I grew up playing with Lego (yes, it’s always singular, never an S at the end), then working on bicycles. I excelled at the technical courses in high school – electrical, wood shop, drafting and auto mechanics. My ability to visualize an end-product before I begin creating is a skill I learned from my father, and one that my youngest son shares as well.
Like Joey, my car audio career began with a catalog. I picked up a Lamborghini embossed Alpine brochure in about 1987 when I was 14. I bought and installed an Alpine radio, speakers and a powered 6×9 subwoofer in my father’s car a year later. Thinking “Well, this seems easy enough,” I got into the industry in my last year of high school. I volunteered at a local car audio shop here in Burlington, ONT, for half a day every other day as an installer. From day one, I made it my goal to learn as much as I could about everything in this industry. I used to read Car Stereo Review, Car Audio and Electronics, CarSound and Autosound & Security religiously. As this was long before the Internet was popular, those were the only sources of information.
Since then, I’ve been a salesperson, sales representative, product specialist, product manager and director of product development. I have been a writer since 1999, specializing in the automotive and mobile electronics industry. I was also responsible for all the car audio product reviews for Performance Auto & Sound magazine from 1999 to 2009. In total, I was fortunate enough to get to audition more than 450 products from 100 different brands in that time.
My car audio career has also been one of my hobbies. I used to judge IASCA Sound Quality competitions. I was honored to have judged prestigious events like the Spring Break Nationals and the World Finals on several occasions.
My other pastime is hobby-quality radio-controlled cars and boats. Between my two sons and me, we have about a dozen vehicles. In terms of couch-racing for top speed, yes, I have a radar gun.
As I said, I love knowing how everything works. My formal education as an electronics technician has helped a great deal in my quest for knowledge about and understanding of how things in our industry work. Being a writer has helped give me the skills to share what I have learned with others in the industry.