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Ron de Vries demo dag

The combination of a good car and a big mouth put me in the position of judging. Ron de Vries car hifi asked me to judge sound quality and installation during the car audio show off day. Because of excellent advertisement the show drew crowds from Holland, Belgium and Germany. StereoDrive had two sexy ladies trying to convince the male population of the visitors to buy the magazine (see first two pictures). National newspaper Trouw came to interview me and published an interesting and well written article. SBS6 television interviewed me as well. When broadcast I appeared to be a boomcar freak with a three month old drivers license, driving with one hand on the volume knob and one on the steering wheel. Somehow I don't approve.

About 25 cars registered, 12 of which went for quality the others only participated in SPL. We had a team of four judges:

We tried to give the contestants advice and comments. Quality of the cars varied, from pure rear staging boom cars to perfect hifi systems capable of getting many trophies home. Most contestants proved to be beginners making classic mistakes: only speakers in the rear and loud dominating subwoofers. The solution for most of these people is to start by putting speakers in the dash or front doors. Another (less preferred) option is to utilize the stock speakers giving them a filter so they won't get any frequencies they cannot handle. Three out of the 12 cars switched left and right channel and simply didn't pass the stereo test.

Best sound quality was achieved by EsRij's FT Bonito driven by Christina de Zoete. The car is based on mids in the doors and kickpanels, and tweeters in the mirror-triangle of the doors. Thanks to very conservative filtering the huge subwoofers in the back only helped the other speakers a little, never being audible themselves. Second prize was for Hans Romijn's Golf GTi using a similar setup. First prize in installation went to Peter "Boomy" Imminkhuizen for his Ford Escort Van. This car has built in spectrum analyzer in the roof and so many custom backlight buttons it makes the starship Enterprise look like kid's play. One of the most striking entries was Dennis van de Pol's Fiat Panda. His car has top quality sound but full rear staging, if he'd turned the seats facing the rear window he might have been a sound quality winner.

Organizer Ron de Vries sold more car audio equipment than ever before on a single day. Even my friend Flump bought her first car stereo, whilst only intending to attend the show to say "hi!". The contestants found the score forms helpful and the visitors had a blast. See you at Ron de Vries 1999!

RankNameCarSound QualityInstallation qualityTotal score
1Peter ImminkhuizenFord Escort Van34.023.057.0
2Christina de ZoeteFT Bonito40.513.554.0
3Dirk LubPeugeot 205 GTi36.514.551.0
4Edwin KuipersVolkswagen Golf Cabrio31.515.046.5
5BidjaiBMW 318IS22.519.542.0
6Pascal van VlietPeugeot 40525.513.539.0
7John HoogdorpVolkswagen Golf TDi25.013.038.0
8Dennis van de PolFiat Panda25.510.035.5
9Theo de MoorFord Escort28.06.534.5
10Eric BruynVolkswagen Scirocco17.019.032.0
11Michel E. NaberOpel Omega19.57.026.5
n/aHans RomijnVolkswagen Golf GTi41.0*17.558.5
*Late entry, judged very quickly, had "demo settings"

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