Educar regularly "sits down" virtually with industry veterans worth listening to, and asks questions about their careers and what they're working on now.
This month we're chatting with Steve Irby, a true industry pioneer.
Steve Irby is the founder and president of Stillwater Designs, the corporation behind KICKER. Over the years, KICKER has grown into one of the largest and best-known manufacturers of aftermarket subwoofers, speakers, and amplifiers in the world. Steve is also widely known as one of the nicest guys in our industry, and he very kindly agreed to do an interview with us over email.

How did you first get into car audio, and when?
I installed my first car stereo in 1968, when I was a freshman in college.  It was an Automatic Radio 8 track player, and I used two Stephens (an offshoot of JBL) 8” full-range speakers in the rear deck.  These were cast-frame drivers with edge wound voice coils and alnico magnets – very nice speakers for the day.  It sounded great, I thought!  But I had been building speakers for my rock and roll band since 1965.

What’s the biggest change you’ve seen from then to now?
With the advent of switching power supplies for amps, there was more than 18 watts to push systems, and especially subwoofers.  So the systems just kept getting bigger and bigger.  But the really big change that exploited all that power and subwoofers was the CD, with its exten...


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