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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
For those of you attending the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, I’m pleased to announce that, for the first time ever, the world-famous “Magic Bus”, will be available for you to see and hear! I cordially invite you to experience the ONLY mobile audio system in the world to appear on the cover of the abso!ute sound® magazine as “The World’s Best Car Stereo”. The Magic Bus will be exhibited at The Home Entertainment Show, or "T.H.E. Show" for short, at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas, NV, on January 10-13, inclusive (www.theshowlasvegas.com), and will be located near the “Red Rock” rooms, out-of-doors, conveniently near T.H.E. Show’s Main Exhibit Floor. There will be plenty of signs and personnel available to direct you to the Magic Bus. The Flamingo is just a short distance from the Las Vegas Convention Center, conveniently accessible using the Las Vegas Monorail (www.lvmonorail.com).

For those unfamiliar with my work, the Magic Bus is my lifetime masterpiece, and considered by many to be a mobile audio system without rival (please refer to the publications and endorsements at www.whitledgedesigns.com). The Magic Bus' audio system, installed in an unconventional, but acoustically favorable, Mercedes Sprinter van, was designed purely for sound quality and comprises of nine Dynaudio loudspeaker transducers, powered by six Genesis amplifiers capable of producing 4,620 Watts! Each of the six loudspeaker transducers (two Esotar tweeters, two MW150 midranges, and two MW180 woofers) in the two-channel, three-way, stereo front sound stage are powered by a dedicated monoblock amplifier and actively controlled by a dedicated channel of the 96 kHz - 24 bit digital signal processor (Alpine’s F#1 Status PXI-H990). The mono subwoofer, comprises of three large Dynaudio Esotar subwoofer transducers powered by three Genesis amplifiers capable of producing 3,300 Watts! The 300-pound subwoofer enclosure was laminated from multiple layers of Baltic birch, and resides on properly tuned military-grade generator mounts. A seventh channel of the digital signal processor actively controls the subwoofer system, which has full, proportional output down to 10 Hz!

As most audiophiles know, audio systems are only as good as the room in which they are installed. The scientifically designed, and computer-optimized, acoustics inside the Magic Bus takes mobile audio listening to a new height with an unprecedented balance of studio quality reverberation times. This remarkable achievement was made possible by an industry-first use of 54 acoustically functional panels, consisting of 34 Helmholtz absorbers and 20 binary amplitude diffusers, resulting in what surely must be the highest performance mobile listening room ever built. To combine functionality with aesthetics, a prominent interior designer coordinated the colors and fabrics for the Magic Bus’ interior, which includes suede-covered headliners, custom carpeting, and acoustically functional draperies and window valances. The entire audio system, its supporting infrastructure, and the acoustical treatments weigh over 3,000 pounds! Although the interior of the Magic Bus, and its audio system, were meticulously tuned using state-of-the-art computer-based measurement systems, Steve McCormack (www.smcaudio.com), legendary audio component designer, performed the final system voicing by ear. The audio system took more than 9,800 hours to build and tune over the course of 6-1/2 years.

Robert Harley, Editor-in-Chief of the abso!ute sound® magazine, heard the newly completed Magic Bus at T.H.E. Show Newport Beach (June 2011) and wrote in his show highlights,

“Jon Whitledge showed the latest incarnation of his ‘Magic Bus’, a van that houses what I called ‘The world’s best car stereo’ when I heard it five years ago. Since then, Whitledge has taken the system to an entirely new level of performance. The design, construction, passion, and dedication that went into the Magic Bus are unprecedented, and it showed in the sound quality. The system had effortless dynamics, very high resolution of low-level detail, and tremendous timbral fidelity, throwing a soundstage that rivaled that of a well-set-up home system.”

Other prominent audio industry veterans have also heard the Magic Bus and commented on its performance ...

“The Magic Bus by Jon Whitledge defines a new standard for mobile audio. I had the pleasure, via my company Straight Wire, of being involved with many of the top sound quality competition and demonstration vehicles since the mid 90’s. The Magic Bus is a testament to Jon Whitledge’s vision and great efforts to produce a moveable high end aural experience that will captivate all who have the pleasure to listen.”
-- Steven Hill / President / Straight Wire

“Sound like none other - ‘music from the inside’ - the goal of those with ears and hearts that care for what is left on earth as truth and beauty!”
-- Jim Merod / Writer & Reviewer / Positive Feedback & Enjoy The Music

“Absolutely phenomenal - both in terms of the result, and also the fantastic amount of work he has put into it. His ‘Magic Bus’ audio van is far and away the highest-performance audio system I have ever heard on wheels, but more importantly, it rivals the best home systems in many ways.”
-- Steve McCormack / Designer / SMc Audio and McCormack

“Audio References for me are based on tonal quality, stage height, width and depth and install quality. And until recently, there was not one vehicle that encompassed all of these characteristics. So I guess you could say I had many references. Jon’s van encompasses all of these, and even raises the stakes by smacking around many of the high-end home systems I’ve heard. Jon has worked, and will continue to work, very hard to achieve unparalleled excellence in his designs. This vehicle has been regarded as the best sounding vehicle many of the home and pro audio guys have ever heard, and they are a hard bunch to convince.”
-- Paul Messett / Sales and Marketing Manager / Cascade Audio Engineering

“It is always a pleasure when you discover someone focused on following his or her passion. As a musician & producer, I have learned to gravitate towards people like this, for there is where you find the single-mindedness necessary to create the very special things in life ... Jon Whitledge loves musical performance. He has devoted himself to creating the ultimate automobile audio system. Armed with his extensive knowledge, ingenuity and attention to detail, along with the dedication of countless hours, he has produced a mobile listening environment that rivals the experience of being present when the music was created… In these days of minimization, compression and dithering, it is a pleasure to come across someone interested in bringing out all the fullness and nuances of musical performance. On his system, my own recordings sounded as I remembered them in the studio.”
-- Chuck Perrin / Musician / Producer

Notably, the Magic Bus is the only audio system in the world (to my knowledge) that is extensively autographed by Grammy award-winning, and otherwise famous and talented musicians. To date, I've acquired over 200 musicians' autographs, and continue to acquire more. I consider the Magic Bus a “rolling shrine” and a tribute to the musicians who light up our lives with harmony and sound.

Because most of you will have traveled from all over the world to see and hear the Magic Bus, I feel you deserve the best listening experience possible. Therefore, I'll be conducting one-on-one listening sessions at approximately 5-minute intervals. That means only about 80 lucky people per day will get to experience the Magic Bus. Feel free to bring your favorite audiophile recordings on CD (44.1 kHz - 16 bit) or DVD-Audio (96 kHz - 24 bit). As a special treat, I'll be playing selected, recently recorded, ultra high-resolution (192 kHz - 24 bit) BluePort Jazz (www.blueportjazz.com) recordings. The realism of these recordings is simply jaw dropping! Once you hear these, you won't want to listen to CDs anymore!

As an added bonus, Larry Mitchell, Grammy Award winning producer, and guitar virtuoso (www.larrymitchell.com), will be performing periodically at my exhibit. Larry, a sponsored representative for Ibanez guitars, is a world-famous guitarist who toured with Rick Ocasek, Tracey Chapman, Billy Squire, and many others. Larry tours all over the world conducting guitar clinics, and took time from his busy schedule to support the Magic Bus! Because of this, we will attempt something that may never have been done before - we will attempt to play Larry’s live guitar feed directly into the Magic Bus’ audio system! For the first time ever, you’ll be able to experience live, uncompressed, electric guitar like you’ve never heard before! And wait until you see Larry play – simply incredible!

As a lover of music, I’ve attempted to build an audio system that re-creates that special moment in time when the music itself was created. With live music as my benchmark, I’ve engaged faithfully in the challenging and virtually impossible task of re-creating it. Larry and I cordially invite you to experience the sonic thrill of the Magic Bus and hear for yourself what others have said. We’d be honored to share it with you.

Warmest Regards,
Jon R. Whitledge
 

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Jon what happened to the sub enclosure? Were you not running an ISOBARIC setup?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
dear AVIDEDTR,
i used the same enclosure! luckily, one Esotar sub "liked" the same volume as a pair of isobaric MW190s. the old design was what i called "the sugar ray leonard approach to bass", while the new design is what i call "the george foreman approach to bass". either design was/is excellent, but the new design is UNSTOPPABLE - you can throw ANYTHING at it - 1812 cannon shots, pipe organ - anything! i've had some of the greatest bassists hear my van and say they never heard reproduced bass that good. a great part of it is due to the phenomenal acoustical treatments.
yeah, i know my website is not current. i'm simply too busy to update it. maybe soon. i you are at CES, please come to see and hear my Magic Bus.
- jon
 

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awesome!
 

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Jon,
Can you talk some more about your helmholtz absorbers and diffusers? specifically, where were they placed and how did you come to decide to place them where they are?

Thanks,
Erin
 

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X4 :p
 

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Jon,
Can you talk some more about your helmholtz absorbers and diffusers? specifically, where were they placed and how did you come to decide to place them where they are?

Thanks,
Erin
for 250k I think Jon will apply the treatments for you...other than that, I believe it is pro-pry-ah-tear-e :) I say this in fun. You have to admire the time and thought that went into his install :)
 

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This is so cool. I am most definitely going to make a point to go by the Flamingo to hear this masterpiece. Maybe I can dig up my Car Audio mags from '08 where this build was chronicled.
 

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so is it a first come, first demo to the 80 people or do you have to sign up to take a listen? I would love to listen to this masterpiece.
 

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Magic Bus 2.0 - The best mobile audio system.

Now with 5 listening rooms, and a sammich with every audition!

or

"The Competition"


or

“The World’s Bestest Car Stereo”*​







*Frank​
 

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Magic Bus 2.0 - The best mobile audio system.

Now with 5 listening rooms, and a sammich with every audition!

or

"The Competition"


or

“The World’s Bestest Car Stereo”*​







*Frank​
Isn't that a bit of an unfair advantage? That's not really a vehicle that can be driven around town on a Sunday afternoon. :rimshot:
 

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Damn too bad there is nothing like that in IL. I would love to go and see what real sq is all about. The only sq that i see or hear is in my car with Morel setup and missing processor which was just sold ;(. Does anyone know about any events in IL?


Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Dear El Chupo, OSN, and other detractors,

You are aware that I don’t post very much on this forum. Generally, I post things that I believe are significant and helpful to those who care to read my posts and links. And although topics about my Magic Bus and I have appeared in more than 45 threads on this forum, I have only posted one rebuttal, to the negative comments directed toward me or my work.

Now I feel compelled to post a second rebuttal, similar to my first, to you who feel compelled to criticize or make a mockery of my work. At the very least, I feel your personal attacks against me are uninformed, unfair, inappropriate, and unprofessional.

I believe that we should conduct ourselves with the utmost professionalism and enthusiasm for our industry. That means remaining silent when you don’t have anything positive to say. It means only giving advice if asked. It means supporting the success of others with the realization that their success ultimately leads to the success of the entire industry. And although everyone seems to feel “entitled” to his or her own opinion, we must remember that Plato said, “Opinion is the medium between ignorance and knowledge”. Furthermore, Voltaire said, “The history of human opinion is scarcely anything more than the history of human errors”. I hope you’ll consider these quotations the next time you wish to express your opinion.

For those of you who freely offer your mostly negative opinions, judgment, and criticism, I believe it is important to exercise restraint and respect. Nobody likes to be the victim of judgment and criticism. I believe a good rule to live by is not to criticize unless you have done, or can do, better than that which you are criticizing. Therefore, I would ask each of you to consider the Magic Bus (and my credentials which contributed to its design and fabrication) relative to your own car and your own credentials, and ask yourself if you surpass ALL of the following criteria:

1. Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering
2. Master’s degree in Polymer Science
3. 25 years of industrial experience in materials science, biomaterials, textiles, and valves and fittings
4. Advanced skills in woodworking
5. Advanced skills in composites fabrication
6. Advanced composites research
7. Automotive, motorcycle, and small engine mechanics
8. CNC programming
9. Advanced knowledge and experience with machine tools technologies
10. Technical writing
11. Certified IASCA judge
12. Ten 1st-place trophies in sound quality (Rookie Class)
13. Over 40 pages of publications in the absolute sound®, Car Audio and Electronics magazine, Entertainment Engineering, San Diego Reader, San Diego City Beat, and counting ...
14. $240,000 overall project budget for the Magic Bus (not counting labor!)
15. $63,000 dedicated directly to audio system (yes, $177,000 went into things besides the actual audio system such as the Sprinter van, tools, shelving computing equipment, business meals, postage and delivery, rent, utilities, office supplies, travel and lodging, advertising, and so on ...)
16. $50,200 in sponsorships (yes, that’s $113,200 into the audio system alone!)
17. 9,880 hours of labor
18. 4,620 Watts of audio system RMS power into 4 Ohms
19. 3,120 pounds of audio equipment and acoustical treatments
20. Over 200 autographs of Grammy award-winning, or Grammy nominated, or otherwise famous and/or important musicians, and counting ...
21. 34 scientifically-designed and tuned Helmholtz absorbers
22. 20 binary amplitude diffuser panels
23. Studio quality acoustics, validated by objective measurements
24 Two reviews by Robert Harley, Editor-in-Chief, the absolute sound®
25. Frequency response down to 10 Hz, validated by a calibrated Earthworks microphone
26. Special invitee to Alpine’s 30th anniversary celebration
27. Special invitee to the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest
28. Special invitee to T.H.E. Show in Newport Beach
29. Over 1,000 hours dedicated to listening to live music over the course of 6-1/2 years. Perhaps another thousand more, over a span of 15 years.
30. Member of AES (“Audio Engineering Society”)
31. Read dozens of books and papers on acoustics, loudspeaker design, crossover design, head-related transfer function (“HRTF”), acoustical measurement systems and techniques, and so on.

Of course any one of these criteria may not mean much, but if taken collectively, they represent a significant body of experience. If your car and your credentials do not surpass ALL the above criteria, AND you haven’t heard the Magic Bus on or After April 23, 2011, I suggest you refrain from criticizing my work. Instead, I suggest you do more research, work harder, listen to more live music, and create your own masterpiece worthy of high praise. I’ll be there to support you. And if you haven’t heard the Magic Bus since its completion, make an appointment with me to hear it. I’d be delighted to share it with you.

In conclusion, I would like to thank all of those who appreciate and understand what I’ve done with the Magic Bus. I’ve put my heart and soul into this project and much of my lifetime savings. The sacrifices I’ve made to design and build the Magic Bus go beyond what most would be willing to do. It is undeniably true that there are many things about the Magic Bus that put it in a class of its own. Furthermore, I appreciate those who have contacted me seeking advice on ways to improve their own system. It is rewarding to meet like-minded individuals who love mobile audio, and to know that I’ve helped a number of people achieve better sound quality. I wish that those who do not know me, and have not seen or heard the Magic Bus on or after April 23, 2011, would stop passing harsh judgment against my hard work. In addition, I wish that many of you would change your mindset from blogging about what someone else’s system lacks to blogging about what someone else’s system does well. Being able to identify weaknesses in another’s person system does not elevate your own stature within the industry – but leading by example does. I would like to receive more support and respect from the members of this forum, so we can work together to get the mobile electronics industry out of its “death spiral” and growing again, like gangbusters, in this admittedly rough economy.

Warmest regards,
Jon Whitledge
December 31, 2011
 
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