The Master Cruisers

An early project was the design of audio systems for 20 vans sold to MasterCard. They wanted deeper penetration into the youth market. The vans were GIVEN to the 20 stations, in exchange for a years worth of remotes. Because the year started the moment the stations took delivery, the vans had to be set up ready to do remotes the day they were delivered.

The sound systems were assembled as kits and shipped to Elkhart, Indiana, where the vans were being built. The assemblers had never done audio before, so the challenge was to get the equipment installed, working, and tested without any extra help. I set up the first PA system on a desktop at the factory, and it was used as a model for the subsequent installations, Finally, when the last van was ready, the model went into it.

The equipment included a HME wireless mike, a 600 watt receiver, a cassette deck, and a B/E 6 input stereo console. The tuner could feed the PA directly, or the mike could talk over the feed, A cassette deck could record the show in progress, or be mixed over the tuner output. It was an extremely versatile, and easy to use way of reaching a large audience.


KROQ got the van for Los Angeles, and used it until it met an unfortunate demise; it was totalled in an accident on the freeway.

The audio equipment was all made by Carver, supplied through Rogersound Labs, in Los Angeles. When Rogersound went out of business, I was left holding the balance of the warranty. But out of the 20 vans delivered, only one had a problem, and that was simply a heat problem caused by running the PA wide open all day long. A whisper fan fixed that, and most of the vans are still in use today, many years later.


Copyright 2005 by Vital Sounds - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED