Dan Arndt

Location: Pennsylvania
Certification: SQL Judge
Contact Info: danearndt@roadrunner.com
Facebook link:

BIO:

What got me into this hobby:
  • I’ve been involved with car audio since I was twelve years old when I helped my older brother, Dale, install a system into his 1983 Chevy Camaro. Car audio was huge here in Erie, PA. PJs Auto Sound and Custom Audio consistently held competitions at their stores each year. I remember attending as a spectator and in awe of the amazing builds. In addition, every Friday and Saturday night we cruised the dock like all teenagers did just to check out the cool cars and sweet systems. I knew from that time I’d always have a car audio system in my vehicle.
Car Audio Vehicles:
  • (1995) Vehicle: 1985 Chevy Chevette
    • System: Alpine tape deck head unit, MTX 8” subwoofers, Jensen amplifier
    • Install: on my own
  • (1996) Vehicle: 1996 Chevy Cavalier
    • System: Alpine cd deck, JVC 6-disc changer in trunk, MTX 8” subwoofers, Jensen amplifier, (later switched out the subs for 12” Pro-Techs)
    • Install: Custom Audio
  • (1998) Vehicle: 1998 Ford Escort ZX2 Sport
    • System: JVC deck, Crossfire 10” subwoofers, Crossfire amplifiers, Rockford Fosgate front speakers
    • Install: Enormis Car Audio
  • (2001) Vehicle: 2002 Pontiac Grand Am
    • System: JVC deck, Crossfire 10” subwoofers, Crossfire amplifiers, JVC front and rear speakers
    • Install: Elite Car Audio
  • (2004) Vehicle: 2002 Ford Escort
    • System: reinstall from Grand Am
    • Install: Elite Car Audio
  • (2007) Vehicle: 2006 Ford Escape XLT
    • System: Pioneer Premier deck, 3 JL Audio 8w3 subwoofers, Boston Acoustics Pro component fronts, JL Audio C1 coaxial in rear, JL Audio Slash amplifiers
    • Install: Custom Audio – this was the first install that was customized. The speakers and amps were built in the trunk area so that I was able to haul DJ equipment without having to take out the system for each job
  • (2015) Vehicle: 2014 Ford Focus SE
    • System: Pioneer DEH 80prs, Focal K2 Power component set, Focal coaxial rear speakers, JL Audio 8w3 subwoofers, JL Audio Slash amplifiers (high end amp was later switched to an HD600/4)
    • Install: Custom Audio – this was the first “competition” level car built
  • (2016) Vehicle: 2017 KIA Forte LXS
    • System: Pioneer DEH 80prs, Addictive Audio PURE Series components, JL Audio 8w3 subwoofers, JL Audio HD amplifiers
    • Install: Custom Audio
  • (2020) Vehicle: 2020 KIA Forte GT-Line
    • System: Pioneer DMH-WT76NEX head unit, JL Audio C7 3-way component set, JL Audio VX800/8i front stage amplifier/DSP, JL Audio HD750/1 subwoofer amplifier, 3 JL Audio 8w3 subwoofers
    • Install: Custom Audio
What Got Me Into MECA:
  • For years, I always wanted to enter a competition but felt I didn’t have the system to do well. I was scared. At the urging of Sondralee at Custom Audio, I attended my first MECA competition at the PA State Finals in 2015. I was in awe of how supportive the competitors were to each other and to new people coming into the sport. I’ve competed in many things throughout my life, and this blew me away. I saw competitors loan tools and subwoofers to another that had a blow-out during his first run. Anyway, I competed in the install competition and met Mr. Chris Zenner who was judging the sound quality competitions. He was amazing. He guided me through the process and gave me some advice that I hold dear to my heart to this day. He told me: (1) always listen to what the judges have to say because they have your best interest at heart, (2) don’t get mad when the score doesn’t go in your favor – learn from it and grow to be better, (3) find a mentor or mentors that know this sport and learn from them, and (4) have fun because if it becomes like a job, you’ll dread going to the events. After that, I was hooked.
MECA Achievements:
  • 2016 – numerous BOBOS wins, PA State Champion for Stock SQ and Stock Install, 2nd Place World Finals for Stock SQ, 2nd Place World Finals for Stock Install
  • 2017 – numerous BOBOS wins, PA State Champion for Stock SQ and Stock Install, 3rd Place World Finals for Stock SQ, World Champion for Stock Install
  • 2018 – numerous wins for Stock SQ and Stock Install, PA State Champion for Stock SQ and Stock Install, 3rd Place World Finals for Stock SQ, World Champion for Stock Install
  • 2019 – numerous wins for Stock SQ, PA State Champion for Stock SQ
  • 2020 – only competed at one event due to COVID restrictions
  • 2021 – numerous wins for Modified SQ, PA State Champion for Modified SQ
Future Goals:
  • Continue to learn, grow, and do well in Modified SQ at all levels with the overall target to win a World Championship for Modified SQ.
  • Become a respected, well-qualified Sound Quality judge so that I can give back and help new competitors just like my mentors Tony Horton and Sondralee Orengia have done for me as well as do what Zenner did to help me when I first started out in this sport.
Background:
  • I’ve been a part of my family’s DJ business with my brother, Brad since 1993. My older brother, Dale, was the founder and primary DJ until his death in 2020. Our business provides DJ, sound, and video services across Northwestern Pennsylvania. We have run sound for bands, events, and more.
  • I was self-taught how to play flute and guitar.
  • I used to sing in the church choir.
  • I am a Mold Design Engineer as well as an Adjunct Professor for Gannon University. In addition, I have degrees in English Education, Reading, School Administration, and Special Education.
  • I am married with one child who is now in college (she is a bass head and loves this sport).

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