There was a day when we all used to be sound engineers. I don't know what your sound innovations were when you were growing up, but mine consisted of trying to get my pickup truck's Walmart purchased stereo system to play my treasured AC/DC cassette tape as loud as possible while driving into the high school parking lot. Probably the only thing cooler than the sound coming out of my pickup truck was the mullet behind the steering wheel.
I have a feeling that the world of sound engineering has perhaps passed me by. A new Lawrence business is betting there are lots of folks in my category. Sound Innovations has opened its doors at 1501 W. Sixth St. in the space that used to house offices for Treanor Architects. If you are still confused about where they are, it is next door to the Advance Auto Parts store near Sixth and Florida streets.
That makes sense because while many electronics places focus on home stereo and entertainment systems, Sound Innovations focuses on sound systems for your vehicles. That means trucks and cars, certainly, but it also means boats, ATVs, RVs and even tractors. (Fair warning: If you ask me to plow a field while AC/DC's "Back in Black" is on, it is going to be a funny looking field.)
Tonganoxie resident Dean Allen owns the business, but it is run by his son-in-law Pat Hinrichsen, who was a longtime installer of vehicle sound systems for Lawrence's Kief's Audio/Video.
Allen said that as more and more audio places focus on the home theater and sound systems, he and Hinrichsen feel like there is an opportunity for a business that focuses just on sound systems for vehicles. Allen said that might be particularly true as more people keep their vehicles longer.
"You have people who buy a used car or maybe theirs is just 10 or 15 years old, and the sound system doesn't sound very good anymore," Allen said. "For not a lot of money, there are a lot of options out there anymore."
Allen said he spent about $1,000 to get a high-end system in his Mustang, but he said people realistically can make significant upgrades to their systems for $300 to $500.
Sound Innovations, which also sells and installs car alarms, remote starting systems and Bluetooth integration devices, handles many of the major audio brands such as Alpine, JL Audio, Sony, Stinger and several others.
I remember growing up, the kids with the really long mullets had the Alpine stereo systems. But I never quite got there. You know, I still have the truck. For that matter, I still have the AC/DC cassette tape. It's a definite thought.
I bet my wife would grow to love the mullet.