Amplifiers Essay, Research Paper

U.S. Amps was founded in 1986. The company began as a dream in the back of a car stereo store in Gainesville Florida. The two principle partners, Jack Matheney and Dirk Ecker, had been friends and co-workers for years. Jack owned the store and did the owner thing. Dirk was president of the largest electronic warranty station in the Southeast. To stay sane, the two would spend evenings tinkering with the idea of manufacturing a product of their own. As you may guess, Dirk’s extensive technical background, combined with Jack being ate up to the gills with car audio, resulted in the first U.S. Amps.

For a couple of years the two worked on the product, at first building one-of-a-kind amplifiers for customers at the store. Even then they were the most powerful and durable amplifiers in the world. No two were the same. The customers were tickled pink. Eventually, an assembly line was set up in a make-shift warehouse, and hundreds of conspicuously hand-built “U.S. Amps” began to wind up in people’s cars. (Be sure to check out the photos of a few of the original U.S. Amps on our Photo Archives page.)

About this time, 1987 or so, car audio contests were making their way down to Florida. U.S. Amps made itself known, and began to attract attention. A very well known company got in touch with Dirk and Jack to explore the possibility of making amps for them under their name. Right away it was obvious the “Warehouse Warriors” needed a face lift.

As is common in this situation, there was only one book at the library on “How to Design and Build a Socially Acceptable Car Amp”, but it was always checked out.

So, the boys plunged into the seedy world of CAD, aluminum extrusions, anodizing, plating, scrubbing, rubbing, packing, shipping, wheedling, cajoling, and marketing. The deal with the other company never went down, but U.S. Amps had made a quantum jump from a small cult product to a slightly larger cult product that was built the same way every time.

By then it was 1989. U.S. Amps took to the trenches, one Dealer at a time. A show every weekend, road trips in between. The word spread: There is a better amp out there, you just had to look for it.

Now, U.S. Amps has spread to all 50 States and across the globe, almost exclusively by word of mouth. The success of U.S. Amps can easily be measured by it’s improbable role as the industry leader in performance and innovation.

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