Wherever the Road Leads

The Woman I’m in Love With, Lord, She’s Memphis Bound

Or, one of these days, I might grow up.

One of the things about driving a pickup, is that it’s hard to put in a good sound system. My truck configuration is known as an “Super Cab”, which means it has a full back seat, but the rear “doors” are only half-doors that swing out backwards.

After Best Buy upgraded my door speakers from the cheap-and-dirty factory ones, I did a lot of research before buying what I thought were the perfect group of components. I had made sure the upgraded door speakers could handle 150 watts each.

On the internet, I found a sub-woofer box that fit under the back seat and would house a 10″ sub-woofer. My power was a 600 watt Rockford-Fosgate amplifier, as best I could figure, the best on the market, within reason. After dragging all these components and the multitude of wires into the driveway one Saturday, I quickly realized that this was a job for an automotive stereo shop, not a rank amateur.

The stereo shop told me that I figured my main component wrongly. I had bought a 4-channel amplifier, and I needed a 5-channel amp: one channel for each of the door speakers and an additional channel for the sub woofer. I bought theirs, also 600 watts, they installed everything and I was very happy. Sort of. I had hoped that there might be a little bit deeper bass.

My sub woofer was a 10″ Rockford-Fosgate speaker that lasted about two years before I blew it. I took it back to the stereo shop and they put in a Memphis 10″, but told me that one of my channels was not working. They could re-configure it a little and it would still go, “Boom Boom, Out Go the Lights”, and I would have left/right balance control, but I would lose the front-to-back “fade” control. Well, that was fine with me, as I hadn’t adjusted it once since the new power system had been put in.


The amplifier is mounted to the firewall behind the back seat. The back seat is a beast that only Ford mechanics and stereo-shop installers know how to remove. I asked the installer to adjust the amp to maximum bass, as I had been a little disappointed in the performance of the old sub. He did, and I drove off happy.

Recently, whether the stereo worked or not was hit-and-miss. If I turned on the ignition and ther was a “pop” from the sub, then I had no sound. No “pop”, it worked great, for a little while, maybe.

I had half-heartedly tried to sell the original 600 watt, 4-channel Rockford-Fosgate amp on Ebay, with no takers. Bought and paid for, I took it to the stereo shop and asked them to switch out the amps, and “yes” being only 4-channel, I knew I would have no front-to-back “fade”. After two hours, lunch with a former co-worker who I hadn’t seen in a few years and $80, I drove off with dependable sound.

In theory, the stereo shop guys had been right. I needed five channels. In quality, I had been right. The Rockford-Fosgate amp that I bought smokes. The stereo shop amp was great for violin concertos, Swan Lake and children’s songs, music where you can easily turn the volume knob, even with limp wrists.

I like loud music. I like a LOT of bass. Driving in my truck can feel a lot like sitting on your washing machine while it’s washing clothes. And I don’t mean due to the suspension. When it’s a really good song, the experience is like sitting on your washing machine during the spin cycle. This new, old amp is like the spin cycle, wobbling like it has lost one of its legs.

Every so often, Sirius/XM forgets that I am no longer a subscriber. For a while, I get all the Sirius/XM channels, free. It was free for a while this past week. As I channel-surfed, I heard bands like Maroon Five, Green Day and Smashing Pumpkins. Gag a maggot. No wonder I don’t subscribe to Sirius/XM. I used to have a 2GB USB stick that my stereo pulled from. I ran out of room, so I now have an 8GB. No Linkin Park, no Blind Melon, no Swan Lake, no Limp Wrists.

Here’s some of my favorites:

“Train, train, Lord, take me on out of this town
Well, that woman I’m in love with, Lord, she’s Memphis bound.”


“Smokin’, Smokin’
I feel alright, mamma I’m not jokin’.”


“Shoot to thrill, play to kill
Too many women with too many pills”


“Boom, boom, out go the lights”


“To keep her lookin’ pretty
Buy her dresses that shine”

And the Ultimate Southern Anthem…
Sweet Home, Alabama

Which I thought was where I was headed after a few months in Canada. But the Faith Baptist Church Angel might have changed the lyrics to Sweet Home, Munroe. (sic)

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Comments

  1. Mike G  December 7, 2013

    Gordon, i used to have the big amp, subwoofer and all that, even an electronic eq built in the dashboard. After I bought my house, I havent replaced that system. After reading this, i really want to upgrade my speakers, put in an amp and a nice 12″ somewhere in my Element. So, I want to say thanks. Because now, I have to sell someting to fund this new project. 🙂

    reply
  2. Rebecca  December 16, 2013

    I wonder what the effect on your bones would be if you also got a massaging seat cushion?

    reply

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