Monday, December 2, 2013

1993 Rockford Fosgate 200 DSM vs SMD AD-1 Amp Dyno - Impressive!

1993 Rockford Fosgate Punch 200 DSM Amplifier

The 1993 Rockford Fosgate Punch 200 DSM was one of the most well regarded amps of it's time. Here's a quote from a May/June 1993 Car Stereo Review test of the Punch 200 DSM, "In terms of design, construction, aesthetics, and sonic purity, Rockford's Punch 200 easily stands among the best power amplifiers on the market today...If you're driving your system with something else, chances are you're listening to something inferior." (Ken C. Pohlmann)

We knew based on the previous tests of the Punch 200 this amp was powerful and dynamic, however we were unaware of the hidden "dynamic power" within this amp. Back in 1993, this amplifier retailed for around $600 US and replaced a legend, the Punch 150HD. It was no small feat for Rockford engineers to create a superior amp to the tried and true Punch 150, but trust me...they were successful! 

Watch the video and see the results obtained from this 20yr old car audio amplifier. Nothing short of spectacular!

Here are the results from my test with the SMD/D'Amore Engineering AD-1 Amp Dyno:

8 ohms mono = 4 ohms stereo x 2
8 ohms - Amp is rated at 200W at 12V (or 100W x 2 at 4 ohms)
8 ohms - Certified 1% THD - 258W at 12.85V
8 ohms - Uncertified - 262W at 12.87V
8 ohms - Dynamic RMS - 262W at 12.83V

4 ohms mono = 2 ohms stereo x 2
4 ohms - Amp is rated 400W at 12V (or 200W x 2 at 2 ohms)
4 ohms - Certified 1% THD - 421W at 12.53V
4 ohms - Uncertified - 423W at 12.51V
4 ohms - Dynamic RMS - 459W at 12.93V

2 ohms mono = 1 ohm stereo x 2
2 ohms - Amp is not rated at 2 ohms mono or 1 ohm stereo
2 ohms - Certified 1% THD - 573W at 13.06V
2 ohms - Uncertified - 856W at 11.87V
2 ohms - Dynamic RMS - 890W at 12.97V

All tests above were at 40Hz. We re-ran the tests at 1kHz and the only notable differentiation in results was the 2 ohms Dynamic RMS test where we obtained 920W at 12.79V. We have determined the difference was related to voltage and believe provided the proper voltage (14.4V), the amp would have measured over 1000W Dynamic RMS at 40Hz also. Not bad from a 200W amp!

Watch the video in full 1080P HD Here >>

Or embedded below:

More Amp Dyno AD-1 tests coming!

Make sure you are subscribed to my channel so you'll receive notifications when I upload the next exciting video! Thanks for your support and remember to keep it Old School!

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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Watch BigDWiz interview Mark @ CarAudioFabrication!

BigDWiz Interviews Mark at CarAudioFabrication
Watch the Archived video!

Check out this detailed interview of the man behind CarAudioFabrication! 

The video is over an hour and a half chocked full of interesting content and insight behind the man who tells the "secrets" of car audio. Be sure to check the information below the embedded'll be able to jump to a specific question in the interview. I wish everyone would, but doubt most people will watch the entire 1 hr and 38 minute interview, so to make it easier, I added links to the exact point of the video for each question I asked Mark.

We discuss everything from where to buy fiberglass material to what we think about Steve Meade's success! I had a great time interviewing Mark and think you guys will enjoy watching the archive.

Check out Mark's Website:
And the Car Audio Fabrication YouTube Channel

Watch the entire 1 hour and 38 minute video on YouTube
or embedded below:


Links to questions:
(click the YouTube link to be taken to this specific part of the video)

1st section is Car Audio Related:
1) Who or what got you started into car audio?
2) Describe your first system?

Side Comment (D'Amore Engineering University)
Learn Electronics at D'Amore University!
Part 1 -
Part 2 -

4) What was your first "real" system?
5) Any favorite amp from years past?
6) How much power are you running in your current system?
7) Any particular favorite sub you've used?
8) What type of subwoofer enclosure do you prefer?
9) How long have you been fabricating? Who was your inspiration?
Side comment for
10) What kind of music do you listen to?
11) What do you want to improve upon and learn more about in the future?

2nd Section YouTube Related Questions:

1) Why did you start a YouTube channel?
2) What's the secret of your channel growing so fast?
Shout out to Doug @SoundManCarAudio
3) What do you think about Steve Meade's success on YouTube?

Side comment: Mark's Challenge to Bassheads:

4) Have you ever considered joining a network on YouTube?

Side Comment: Patreon -

5) What's your goal with your YouTube Channel?
6) How much time do you invest in your average YouTube Video?
7) What misconceptions are there about your channel?
8) What's the biggest challenge in making YouTube videos?

Side Comment: BigDWiz shout's out to OldSchoolStereo Facebook group and 
hints of new channel from BigDWiz?:

Viewer questions:

1) How old were you when you started in car audio?
2) Recommended Fiberglass resources?
3) What is your day job?
4) How do you determine how much to charge for custom work?
5) If you were asked to make a SEMA car, would you?

Extra - Show some install pics from Mark and discuss

Extra - what type of vinyl NOT to buy

6) How do I donate to your channel / website?
7) What are your thoughts on MECP?
8) What's your worst experience while installing?
9) How did you solve a difficult challenge using an outside the box solution?
10) What brand of router bits do you use?
Mark also mentions

Extra - showing a few fabrication pics from Mark's build:

11) SQ or SPL?

Conclusion - Mark and I let you know how to find us on the Internet:

Make sure you are subscribed to my channel so you'll receive notifications when I upload the next exciting video! Thanks for your support and remember to keep it Old School!

Subscribe to my channel:
Visit My Website:
Follow me on Twitter:
See us on Facebook:

Check out these other cool car audio channels:

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Old School Mini Truck System Orion HCCA XTR Wow

1990 Mazda B2200 Custom Mini Truck "Fantastic Voyage"

Lowered mini trucks are the epitome of old school car audio. If you were into the car scene in the early to mid 1990's, you know these trucks. Lowered, crazy paint jobs, wire wheels and of course boomin' stereo systems! Here we have a demo of the 1990 Mazda B2200 nicknamed "Fantastic Voyage" owned by Jason Williams. What a true time machine! See the truck as it was created in the mid 1990's! Stereo is classic old school including:

  • Alpine CDM-7823 Head Unit
  • Alpine CHM-S600 6 disc CD Changer
  • Audio Control 3XS Electronic Crossover
  • (2) Orion 225 HCCA Digital Reference Amplifiers
  • (4) Orion XTR 15 DVC Ferrofluid Injected Subwoofers
  • (4) Soundstream SS 5.0 midranges
  • (2) Soundstream SS 1.0 tweeters
  • Sega Genesis Game system with optional CD-ROM drive
  • 4.3" Color TV

A very impressive facet of this truck is the fact the Orion 225 HCCA amplifiers are rated at 50 watts each. That's right, 25 watts per channel at 4 ohms. The 225 HCCA is an example of the classic "cheater" amp meaning it was capable of MUCH more power at lower ohm loads. The 225 sub amp for example, is loaded down to 1/2 ohm mono and putting out over 500 watts! I know, 500 watts is not much by today's standards, but watch to see what it can do with the ultra-efficient XTR 15 DVC subs!

100 Watt Old School System with Orion 225 HCCA Amps and (4) XTR 15" Subs

The 1990 Mazda B2200 sports a custom peach paint job that really makes is stand out in a crowd. The truck also has some original Dayton 15" wire wheels with the classic 195/50/15 Dunlop radials. The stance is lowered 3" via lowered control arms and sits nice and low, yet still able to traverse speed bumps without scraping. The rear has one leaf removed and air shocks.

1990's mini trucks often times used "themes" for their presentation. Another famous mini truck was "Ladie's Choice" which sported a convertible hard top and a bed full of PPI 2350DM amplifiers. These themes helped differentiate the trucks while also assisting in the displays. Jason's truck sports Care Bears as the interior theme and also displays a couple of his many magazine features. This 1990 Mazda had the center spread in the December 1995 Mini Truckin' magazine! The most impressive part is the truck is almost exactly as was back in 1995! A true time machine!!

Jason sends a personal thanks to William Wilson of Hickory, NC who actually built the truck back in 1994. He also did a great job of preserving the Mazda for 17 years until Jason decided he needed to put it back on the show scene! Great job with the truck, William!!

Back Side View of the 1990 Mazda B2200 Custom Mini Truck

Big thanks to Jason for the demo! If you are at a car show in the NC/SC/VA/TN area and see Jason's Mazda, make sure to stop by and chat with him and get a demo of this amazing system. It is impossible to capture the full experience via video, but we try our best here at OldSchoolStereo!!

See the full 10 minute plus video of Jason's truck and even get a demo of the 100 watt (yeah, right) sound system:

Watch on YouTube in full 1080P HD or embedded below:


Thanks to Jason for taking the time to show and demo his truck! If you'd like to write and article or make a video of your old school install, contact me through Facebook and let me know.

Make sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel to stay updated of my latest videos. You can also follow me on Twitter @oldschoolstereo. Also be sure to like us on Facebook.  Keep it Old School!!


Monday, June 17, 2013

Old School Rockford Fosgate Punch Pro SPP-184 18" Subwoofers

What's up guys? I know there are some of you die hard Rockford Fosgate collectors out there and I'm hoping someone has a pair of the infamous "Punch Pro 18's" from the late 80's /early 90's. The model was SPP-184 and at the time, they were some of the biggest and baddest subs money could buy. I have a friend who's working on an old school install and these subs are essential pieces he's missing. 

Please contact me via Facebook if you have a MINT/NIB/VGC set of these subs. I'll make sure to get you some stickers for your trouble and hopefully we can work out a reasonable price. 

Here are the specs of the SPP-184 as provided by Rockford Fosgate:

  • 18" Pro Subwoofer
  • 159oz Magnet
  • 3" Vented Voice Coil
  • Power Handling 200W continuous average
  • 4 ohms (SPP-184) single voice coil
  • Mounting Depth: 7 3/4"
  • Sensitivity: 94.5dB 1W/1M
  • Approx. years of mfg: 1987-1992
Rockford Fosgate Punch Pro SPP-124 12" subwoofers - same style as the needed SPP-184's

Make sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel to stay updated of my latest videos. You can also follow me on Twitter @oldschoolstereo. Also, make sure you like us on Facebook and join our private group for the inside scoop of old school car audio! Keep it Old School!!


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Tommy Clark's "Rockit Science" Ford Econoline Van 1989 IASCA Finals - Speaker Warehouse JL Audio PPI

Wow, I'm sure some of your old school guys recall this install in Car Audio & Electronics magazine back in the late 1980's...but thanks to YouTube user Manville Smith (not confirmed if this is THE Manville Smith, but once we have it confirmed, we'll update the page). It's something to see the install as pictures in a magazine, but the video just takes it to another level! The dedication to the details and the fine craftsmanship are second to none in this install! Enjoy the video!!

Watch it on YouTube Here or embedded below:

Make sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel to stay updated of my latest videos. You can also follow me on Twitter @oldschoolstereo. Also be sure to like us on Facebook.  Keep it Old School!!


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Old School HiFonics Earthquake and Orion Installs - Jason's Review

Submitted article by Jason R

I'll show you a few different iterations of the MINI as well as the final install. I'm not as well versed or as tech savvy as some, so my reviews of the equipment might not be as in depth as one would like.

First we have the Hifonics Series VIII Zeus and Olympus. The Zeus powered a number of 10" subs until I settled on the Treo SSi 10.22. The Olympus ran a set of Genesis Profile 16's (2-way comps).

HiFonics Olympus and Zeus VIII Ampliifiers

Pics of the amps in the Mini

I have better pictures, I just can't find them. 

I had never run Hifonics before, so I didn't know what to expect. I am an Orion person, but my Orion amps are all too big for this car without having a rack of some sort. A plan for an Orion system was in the works, but until then I used the MINI as a rolling test bench. Normally, when I was impressed with something it would stay in for a month or so. Such as my smaller Orions or a few of the PPI's I had. There were others, but we'd be here all day. Anyways, I picked the Zeus up from a friend of mine in Houston, and as soon as I hooked it up (4 ohms bridged) I was taken aback by the brute force of this amp. I'd run other 2x300 amps before, but not like this. Whatever I was running to my comps at the time was made negligible. And being a sucker for sets like I am, I bought an Olympus. This amp reminded me of my Orion 2150 SX. I only used two channels of this four channel amp. 110+ watts per channel was more than sufficient for my 80 to 100 rms mids. Bridging was out of the question. Anyhow, I ran these two amps for close to a year. I was thoroughly impressed with the control and detail provided. I ran no outboard processors, other than a crossover, although I wish I had a Hifonics Vesta to control the Zeus. Also bear in mind that I never turn my gains up. They are not volume knobs. I'm a firm believer in big amps and high voltage head units. And yes, I understand the concept of level matching.

Zeus VIII, Olympus VIII, Treo SSi 10.22

HiFonics Olympus VIII power and speaker connections

HiFonics Olympus VIII inputs and level controls

HiFonics Zeus VIII power and speaker connectors

HiFonics Zeus VIII inputs and gain control

How about some guts?

HiFonics VIII Amps - Zeus and Olympus

Olympus VIII Internals

Olympus VIII Internals alternate angle

Olympus VIII Transformer

Zeus VIII Internals

Another angle of the Zeus VIII's Internals

The Zeus VIII's Transformer

I need to make this shorter or I'll be here all day. So I listened to the Hifonics and myself and everyone else who heard it was duly impressed. But I got bitten by a Mantz bug and started buying Earthquake amps. But Mantz didn't make Earthquake, you say? I was actually in the middle of paying one off when I learned that. The seller even thought I would change my mind about buying it. I didn't. Mostly because I don't back out of stuff, and also because I had just spoken with someone who spoke very highly of them. 

So onto the next phase; Earthquake MINI. I left all of the rest of the equipment untouched and switched out my Zeus for a PA-2300, and my Olympus for a PA-4050. However, I did one thing different. I bridged the 4050 into two channels.

Earthquake PA-2300 in immaculate condition

This gut shot was taken before the amp was overhauled.

Earthquake PA-2300 Guts

Earthquake PA-4050c Exterior

Earthquake PA-4050c Internals

 Sadly, the only pictures of the install (if you want to call it that) were on my old phone. I can give a quick review though. The difference between the Earthquakes and the Hifonics was negligible. The front amps shouldn't be a very fair comparison because they are two different class ratings. And I will say that even bridged, the Earthquake however marvelous, still did not quite keep up with the Hifonics Olympus. Normal folks wouldn't be able to tell. And the only real difference I noted between the 2300's was that the Earthquake didn't come with the same violent tendencies as the Zeus. But it did offer wonderful control over my sub and all four amps were simply amazing. I use the word "amazing" a lot when I talk about some of this stuff.

Current install: Orion MINI. This is what I've been working on over the last few months. You will note that the amps are mounted to the box. Please pay this no mind as every precaution has been taken with both enclosure and mounting procedure. Normally I wouldn't do this, but for this install, my amps are very well protected.

Custom Enclosure by Solid Sounds Designs also chrome Orion XTR-2250 and "the" Orion NT 200 

Front door speakers CDT ES-620 Golds and PPI EPX-205

Pioneer DEH-P80RS head unit and PPI EPX-205 Crossover

I'm still building. So this is where it's "supposed" to go. And the reason I chose to run this crossover is because I needed control over my 2250, and I wanted to supply the correct voltage to my Orions. Not just 5 volts sometimes. And anybody that has one of these Pioneers knows what I mean when I say the menus are nonsense. The configuration now is my 2250 bridged to my Treo SSi 10.22. I changed my comps out to CDT ES-620 Golds. I had to do a bit of fabbing and cutting to get these in. I was going to go active, but 1; I didn't have the time to mess with it, and 2; I like the 4th order elliptical passives just fine. I think CDT did a wonderful job on these comps. They sound darn good with no tuning and in stock speaker location. I have the Upstage kit for them. Maybe one day I'll add them.

CDT ES-620's in the door

Here are the amps:

Orion XTR-2250 (chrome plated) and Orion NT 200

Rear view of the MINI with the Orion amps

Orion NT 200 Internals

Orion NT 200 and NT 200 BIX

I didn't use my NT crossover because it requires XLR cables which I don't have. Maybe in a future install. And since I can't seem to find a picture of my chrome 2250's guts, I'll post something similar.

Orion Concept 97.3 and 2100 HCCA Competition Internals

^^Seen one, seen em' all!

So far the sound is truly breathtaking. I'll give a more in depth review once I get it dialed in and have listened to it for awhile. Thanks for looking!



And yes, if you were wondering, the Orion NT 200 you see in Jason's pictures is the one you may have seen before on this website and in my YouTube videos. Thanks to Jason for taking the time to do the review! If you'd like to write and article or make a video of your old school install, contact me through Facebook and let me know.

Make sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel to stay updated of my latest videos. You can also follow me on Twitter @oldschoolstereo. Also be sure to like us on Facebook.  Keep it Old School!!


Thursday, April 4, 2013

OldSchoolStereo News and 8" Old School Subwoofer Demos

OldSchoolStereo fans and apologies for the delay in posting new articles. I've been extremely busy with my day job and family the past few months. I just wanted to let everyone know I'm still an excited and enthusiastic member of the old school car audio scene and hope to be back with lots of more content soon. I'm just trying to set expectations that the articles and videos may not come as often as they have in the past for many more months. I truly hope you guys will stick with me and be patient as I have some big things planned for the future.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot to post some recent acquisitions...see below, and also enjoy my recent videos.

Early 90's Rockford Fosgate Power 1000c Mosfet and Kicker F12-4 Subwoofers

See the recent old school 8" subwoofer demo's below!

Watch the video on YouTube in 1080P or embedded below:

Rockford Fosgate Punch SP-88 8" Subwoofer Demo:

MTX Blue Thunder 8" Sub BTW-834 Demo:

JL Audio 8W1 Old School 8" Subwoofer Demo:

More coming in the near future...stay tuned!

Make sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel to stay updated of my latest videos. You can also follow me on Twitter @oldschoolstereo. Also be sure to like us on Facebook.  Keep it Old School!!


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Orion NT200 Special Edition SQ Amplifier

Special edition amps are always cool. You know, the ones with the unique colors, fancy designs, hand-picked components? Many amplifier manufacturers made these types of amps  in the 1990's, as a way of differentiating themselves not only from other amps on the market, but even from their own product line. The amplifier we are going to discuss today was available in 1996 from Orion with an MSRP of $1200 US. The NT200 has one of the most unique paint schemes I've ever seen on a car audio amplifier...even to this day. It's a marbled purple and must be seen in person to be appreciated.

The NT200 and brother NT100 were designed as no compromise, no excuse sound quality (SQ) amplifiers. See the ratings below for the NT200:

  • Two Channel Amp rated at 100 watts x 2 channels at 4 ohms
  • Dual Mono Design - Two separate power supplies
  • Bridgeable to 400 watts at 4 ohms
  • No built-in crossovers
  • Balanced inputs via mini XLR connectors
  • 2 ohm stereo / 4 ohm mono stable (rated)
  • Dual 30A internal fuses for power
  • Optional NT200BIX balanced crossover

1996 Orion NT 200 "Dual Mono Block" Special-Edition Amplifier

The NT200's balanced audio inputs served two main keep the audio signal as clean as possible and to minimize unwanted noise. The only issue with these types of inputs is they are incompatible with the standard RCA wires used in most aftermarket installs (without adapters). However, Orion's decision to use balanced inputs on these amps showed they were serious about these amps and their dedication to sound quality. Alternatively, you could also use the standard Orion DIN plug connection with an Orion (or PPI) crossover or signal processor. 

Orion NT200's Balanced and DIN inputs

Before I received the NT200 at the labs, I thought this amp was going to be an Orion 250 HCCA all packaged up into a fancier heat sink. Boy, was I wrong! Just check out the internals of these amps and you can see there is a BIG difference in them! You can easily see the NT200's larger capacitors and dual power supplies. It really makes the 250 HCCA look rather anemic!

Top: Orion 250 HCCA "Digital Reference" Bottom: Orion NT200

Orion NT200's Internals or "Guts"

Here's another picture of the 250 HCCA vs. NT200. Both amps are gorgeous in their own way, but if you're ever forced to choose one or the other...go with the NT. Not that the HCCA is a bad amp, it's actually pretty fantastic in it's own way (and a high-current version of the 2150SX). More about the HCCA's on another day.

Orion 250 HCCA vs. Orion NT200

See the video's about the NT200 below!

Watch the video on YouTube in 1080P or embedded below:

Photo and Video Montage of the Orion NT 200:

Power Output Video of the Orion NT 200:

Other Videos about the Orion NT200 and related gear:

- Orion NT200 Power Output Teaser Video
- Orion NT200 Unboxing
- Orion NT200BIX Balanced Crossover Overview

Make sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel to stay updated of my latest videos. You can also follow me on Twitter @oldschoolstereo. Keep it Old School!!