A Grammy-Winning Producer Is Trying To Take Car Stereo Systems To The Next Level

Pop Music Critic

Christopher Wilson

As soon as a new album I love makes its way into the world, there’s one place I immediately want to listen to it — in my car. And this isn’t just because I live in LA, one of the most driving-centric cities in the world. There’s something about blasting music through your speakers, the wall of sound surrounding you in an enclosed environment, that makes for the ideal, private listening experience.

And yes, as a music journalist I’m a bit more obsessive about my listening experience than most people, but even I’m not alone in this love of the car session; plenty of producers and musicians have the same ritual, hearing the mix on the car stereo for the first time. Of course, a car stereo is going to have a different sound than the recording experience, but for one producer, making sure it didn’t became a passion project.

Ever since he got into music, Elliot Scheiner has been obsessed with the studio. Hearing him speak recently about the importance of getting the slightest flourish right during an event at Capitol Studios drove this point home. Decades into his career as an award-winning producer (he’s been nominated twenty-five times and won eight Grammys, along with four Emmy noms and two wins) Scheiner explained how he was determined to get the studio quality sound — the one he experienced while working with bands behind the boards — out into the world.

Namely, he wanted to get it inside a car stereo.

Because of his vast, high-profile experience working with bands like Steely Dan, Van Morrison, Fleetwood Mac, and The Eagles, Scheiner knew the hidden gems that lesser audio systems miss or diminish, and after casting about for a bit to find the right partner for the project, the producer paired up with Acura to begin serious work on a stereo system that would duplicate what he heard in a professional recording studio.

That project began ten years ago, and is finally reaching fruition in a new model, the 2019 RDX, which comes with the option for a Panasonic ELS studio system, attuned to the specifications of a recording studio. At the launch event for the system at Capitol, Scheiner first had the journalists and other folks gathered to listen to recordings he was working on with the alt-country band Dawes in that legendary studio, then took the same songs out into the RDX to compare listening experiences.

As promised, the two listening experiences were virtually identical. So, for the audiophiles out there who want to replicate studio quality in their car, that’s now an option thanks to Scheiner. Whether you’re debuting a brand new project or listening to your old favorites, hearing every studio detail while you’re trawling traffic on the freeway could be the game changer you need to survive rush hour.

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