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heat up in Plano, Texas: compe- tition. On Oct. 6, Soundscape Car Audio hosted its second Sound-Off event as part of the MECA (Mobile Electronics Competition Association) state finals for Texas. 43 competitors entered the


competition in such categories as Sound Quality, Show and Shine and SPL (Sound Pressure Level), which measure the amount of bass a car puts out. The event also featured a number of local live bands on a stage, a bounce house obstacle course for the kids and rescued pet adoption. The need to set themselves

apart as a retailer is one of the reasons why Soundscape hosts events like this, said store own- er Dan Ungaro. “We’re located right next to

Car Toyz, which is the largest car audio retailer in the United States,” said Ungaro. “We find that doing high end audio integration and cus- tom fabrication is a strong niche for us. Our philosophy on it is the vehicle manu- facturer is getting better at putting in factory radios, the one thing we can do that they won’t do is make it


s the smoldering heat of Summer began to fade, something other than the sun began to

sound amazing.” Considering the stiff competi- tion, the need for more niche business and the high expense of advertising, hosting events and doing self-promotion through social media sites like Facebook, have been the most effective ways to remain com- petitive, Ungaro added. Another helpful tool for in- creasing store traffic was their presence at KnowledgeFest this year. During KnowledgeFest the store hosted an open house and had a huge turn-out, re- ceiving positive feedback from customers. “We got a lot of good ideas about our store from going to KnowledgeFest,” Ungaro said. “We opened this location about a year-and-a-half ago and a lot were interested in how we did that. We felt that doing events like this and reaching out into the community would help get our name known.”

» Among the event attendees at Sound-off was industry veteran, Mark Eldridge of Mobile Soundstage Engineering (MSE). Eldridge was on-hand as a compet- itor and won awards in several categories, including SQL Best of Show and first place for Extreme Install.

JOEY KNAPP Simplicity In Sound Milpitas, CA Years of industry experience: 20 Hobbies: Car audio, surfing, photography What you’re really good at: Anything I’m passionate about, like car audio.

HOWARD HAMISH Howard’s Electronics Glenwood, Iowa Years of industry experience: 30 Hobbies: Electronics, guns

What you’re really good at: Computer repair (napping is a close second)

TJ “BUBBLES” LAFFERTY Ocala Car Audio Ocala, Fla. Year of industry experience: 5 Hobbies: Shoe collect- ing, video games, keep- ing the family happy What you’re really good at: Vehicle restyling and design

ROBERT FLOOD WWJ Customs Glasgow, Ky. Years of industry experience: 7 Hobbies: Cars and weight lifting What you’re really good at: Educating people on car audio

JOHN HAYNES Al & Ed’s Autosound Van Nuys, CA Years of industry experience: 25 Hobbies: Woodworking, guitar, motorcycling What you’re really good at: Giving long answers to short questions 35

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