Living in NYC I hear my fair share of massive bass rumble from ghettoed out automobiles. I guess it’s fair considering I tortured the suburbs in the 80s blasting Nitzer Ebb on my hand me down Cadillac Sedan DeVille’s Alpine stereo. The young rule the earth.
“Bass describes tones of low frequency or range. Played in an ensemble/orchestra, such notes are frequently used to provide a counterpoint or counter-melody, in a harmonic context either to outline or juxtapose the progression of the chords, or with percussion to underline the rhythm. In popular music the bass part most often provides harmonic and rhythmic support, usually playing the root or fifth of the chord and stressing the strong beats.” – WIkipedia
Honestly I did not think you could recently have purchased a new car in the USA with a stock cassette deck. Apparently in 2010 the Lexus SC430 still had that option. The NYTimes has a story titled For Car Cassette Decks, Play Time Is Over in it today about the end of the wait to rewind or fast forward era in cars. Of course you can still get after market cassette decks.
“That nostalgic affection for tape holds no sway with automakers, though. For the 2011 model year, no manufacturer selling cars in the United States offers a tape player either as standard equipment or as an option on a new vehicle. The most recent choice for a factory cassette deck was the 2010 Lexus SC 430.” – NYTimes.com
Here’s a list of all the cars I owned in my life: 1966 Chevy Nova, 1986 Nissan 300ZX, 1982 Cadillac Sedan Deville, 1985 Volkswagen Golf, 1996 Mazda 626 and a 1999 Saturn SC1. Most were hand me downs or bought used off a lot. Each car had something I loved and hated about it. The 66 Chevy had a V8 and no brakes. It had brakes but they rarely stopped the car. I remember flying through entire intersections with my brakes pegged to the floor. True I was usually going 80MPH+ but hey I was 17 years old (sorry). The Nissan had a digital display, beige leather and an awesome T-Top. Unfortunately, if there was one drop of water on the road the car would go flying off the street into the surrounding woods. It happened to me 3 times before the last instance of slippy fun when the car was totaled. Once I reached my 20s I gained an incredible sense of respect (fear!) of crashing so I rarely go more than 5 miles over the speed limit these days. I put a high powered amp and Alpine stereo into the Cadillac and whenever it would rain the lights would dim whenever the bass drum kicked. The VW handled great but everyday it took all my strength to squeeze the rusted door handle open. The Mazda was the best car of the bunch. It was fast, handled incredibly and never needed a repair. The only problem with it was it the color burgundy (maroon?). Not just the outside paint but the seats and every bit of plastic inside the car. I refuse to buy anything with that color on it to this day.
If your a musician there is a good reason to own a car which I appropriately call the “car test”. Car speakers range from suck badly to sick bass and testing your tunes in a range of cars will without doubt help you find the perfect mix. The following is six songs I like about cars. I wonder do you think the members of Kraftwerk took their song Autobahn and played it in a few Bimmers or VWs to check it’s mix?
My favorite online spot for car news is Autoblog. If you want to see something crazy take a look at Steve Green’s AMC collection: click here