John Stockman (custom)
I am a humble speaker builder, always seeking more info on this addictive hobby from folks that are more knowledgeable than I. My main vocation was working for many years at an audio store in Olympia & Tacoma, WA called "The Stereo Shoppe". They were true mom 'n pop stores (a total of 4 stores in the Puget Sound area), owned and operated by an enthusiast of music who started his career as a teenager at a local Lafayette Electronics store; he opened his first audio store in 1970 in Tacoma. We offered many brands from inexpensive to 6-figure+ speakers and electronics. We took stuff apart, did our own measurements and constantly evaluated gear in the store and in our own homes. The owner did not believe the hyperbole and marketing-speak that many manufacturers spouted...especially speaker companies. We found through our measurements that a vast majority did not match the BS that the company would offer about the performance of their products; again, especially OEM speaker companies. We had an in-house service department that was certified by many of the high-end manufacturers. I now am retired and write about my many motorcycling adventures as a handicapped motorcyclist. I have a physical disability resulting from a rare and often-misdiagnosed gene defect (BLA-H27). It's official name is Ankylosing Spondylitis. It's an auto-immune condition and has destroyed all my joint cartilage. By the time I was 14, my spine and hips had fused. So I now have only about 10-20% of normal range-of-motion in all my joints. In 1980, I started a series of hip replacement surgeries and the tortuous physical therapy to get my atrophied leg muscles working again (I walked with crutches for 12 years after my hips and spine fused together). I went through all that so I could ride a motorcycle again. I started riding in 1968 when my dad and grandfather got me my first bike, a Honda dirt bike. Since my family were all accomplished motorcyclists, it was a huge blow to not be able to ride after my hips fused. Between 1980 and 1983, I had 3 hip replacement surgeries (the first one failed and had to be re-done), and in May 1983, I was strong enough to throw away those crutches and I got my first street bike. Up to 1993, I had to have 3 more hip replacement surgeries because the "cement" they used to hold the implant in place would deteriorate and had to be re-done. In 1989 and 1993 I had the new cement-less implants put in and haven't had any trouble since. Yes, a "handicapped motorcyclist" is an oxymoron of the highest order! But I love building nice speakers and riding my many motorcycles. In 2010 I had to make a very difficult decision to stop riding because my disability is degenerative and has just gotten worse enough to force me into this decision. Now I enjoy music and building stereo and home theater speakers. Which with my knowledge and experience from working where I did, I can build speakers that rival or exceed store-bought speakers by a wide margin. When I stopped riding, I added up all the mileage I had accumulated on the 7 motorcycles I've owned. Turns out it was 310,000 street miles; adding in all the off-road miles from dirt bikes brings it up to about 350,000 miles. So about 40,000 miles of dirt bike riding, starting with the miles I piled on from the day I got my firt Honda dirt bike in 1968. It's an estimate as the off-road bikes didn't have an odometer or the usual compliment of street-legal euipment like lights and instrumentation. The bulk of that figure was with my 1988 Gold Wing GL1500 with 172,000 miles.