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Pioneer, Sparkomatic, Bazooka, Pyle, Collins hail cylindrical autosound speakers
Heavy sales of tube subwoofers in the latter half of this year have led companies as divergent as Pioneer, Sparkomatic, Bazooka, Pyle and Collins to herald these cylindrical speakers as major home runs for the autosound category.
Tube subwoofers range in price from about $100 a pair, up to the $400 range per pair. Some can be dropped into a car with minimal installation, others need considerable tweaking. Regardless of the price range, there is under way a growing fascination with tube subwoofers as an effective add-on to improve the bass quality of any car stereo system.
See Also: 2 way vs 3 way speakers
"Sparkomatic's Bass Cannon provides [sound] enhancement for every system out there," said Edward Anchel, president of Sparkomatic, who showed off his line at the Automotive Parts & Accessories Show in Chicago earlier this month. "And the installation is a real no-brainer."
Designed to retail for less than $100, the Sparkomatic Bass Cannon provides 100 watts of maximum bass power and can be added to the sound system of any car, pickup truck, boat or sport utility vehicle, Anchel said.
Bazooka, the granddaddy of the category, plans to introduce in the near future a low-priced amplified tube to compete with the Sparkomatic unit, according to a retailer.
The name Bazooka, the brand of Southern Audio Services, Baton Rouge, La., has become synonymous with tube subwoofers, much like Kleenex or Band Aid, which, through usage, became generic terms for those products. One executive of a Japanese car stereo maker reported that employees must pay $1 every time they accidentally refer to a tube subwoofer as a "bazooka."
What Bazooka did is make bass reproduction--which can cost thousands of dollars of custom installation--an easy and affordable add-on, according to Paul Papadeas, owner of three Sound Crafters stores in the Daytona/Orlando, Fla. market.
"The [tube subwoofer] category has grown considerably over the last year," said Papadeas. "With the advent of the amplified tube, it's expanded the demographics and we are selling to the over-35-year-old buyer who wants to plug a subwoofer into a factory system.
"We see the category attracting two different kinds of buyers: the middle-aged customer who wants to upgrade a factory system and the younger customer who needs to be cost-effective because he doesn't have the money to go all out."
In the past, Papadeas did a lot of custom cabinet work. "When that started to get expensive and lower our profit, we took on Bazooka and our customers are very satisfied." Much of the custom box business has "gone a level up to the esoteric customer."
Ed Infald, vice president and general manager of Harrick's Radio Inc, a mobile electronics specialist in Norwalk, Conn., agrees with Papadeas.