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Thread: Who is MASQ?

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    Who is MASQ?

    I thought I'd take a minute and explain who MASQ is, why it was created and what we hope to accomplish. So MASQ (MobileAudioSQ.com) is the culmination of several years of talks, discussions (some happened on this forum actually, thanks Al!) between several competitors who wanted a format and set of rules that wasn't overly complicated and yet was detailed enough in the scoresheet so as to reduce interpretation on what a given score value means. It had a few starts that fizzled out, but ultimately came together when Howard (many know as chefhow on forums) came to Texas and picked up the show hosting scene when Jeremy Clutts moved away. For those that don't know, in addition to winning his MECA class in 2011, Howard hosted and judged quite a few shows in the NE before moving to Texas and has competed in IASCA and MECA for several years.

    For the first year it was primarily IASCA with some MECA. After a while and lots of discussions we put together a special scoresheet for a season finale, under the Red River Shootout banner. Most of it was put together by Todd Luliak (for those that remember, meca modex champ in 2011 I think and has hosted a few GTG's at his place) with some feedback from others and he along with Adam Holland judged that scoresheet at that finale. The detail in the scoresheet along with their feedback helped people to really know how their car performed beyond what any previous scoresheet could do. It was well received.

    With that as a starting point, we worked on classes, refined the scoresheet here and there, spent a LOT of time on the wording of scoring the guideline and started MASQ in the Texas region and offered that along with IASCA. We had a good season last year even though Howard had to move back to the NE about half way through the summer. We spent a lot of time talking about this year, with things we wanted to change and then of course covid happened and this year pretty much went in the dumpster as it did for everyone, show wise. However, 2021 is shaping up to be a really good year for us. Howard is picking up in the NE where he left off and I am continuing the south central region, primarily centered around the Dallas area, since that is where most of the competitors are in this area.

    So what does all that mean? Why another org? As mentioned, we wanted a scoresheet that did two things primarily.

    First: Have enough detail in the judging criteria so a competitor and a judge know what a given score really means. This was a big thing for us, and quite frankly is not easy. We all know SQ is subjective, so to try to make it as objective as possible is a big task. What does a score of X mean vs a score of Y in a given section? Sometimes this is left to wild interpretation, sometimes it isn't. We wanted to make it as defined as we possibly could.

    Second: Have enough room on the scoresheet for the cars that truly stood out from the pack. There are those very few cars that in one way or another are just on another level. Cars like Mark Eldridge's NASCAR, Kirk Proffitt's cars, Steve Head's blazer, Chris Lewis' impala, etc. I'll use the NASCAR as an example because I know it pretty well, living close to Mark and having heard it many times. The NASCAR could produce a stage that was remarkable. Width, depth and distance to stage like no other. No other car could touch it in that regard. Many people had a hard time with it because it was just so different. The downside to that was there wan't enough room on the scoresheet to judge that car where it should have been.

    Steve Head's blazer is another example. Now, it has been a couple years since I've heard it but one thing that stands out is the stage height and the image size in that stage in that vehicle. Again, the scoresheets don't have room for that to be judged "correctly".

    Chris Lewis's impala (may the bastards that stole rot in hell) had focus like I've never heard. Kirk's cars have tonality that is so real it is unreal (if that makes sense).

    Anyway, you get the idea. We felt that there are a lot of really good cars out there and some stand out, but not on the scoresheet. We also felt like too many cars were getting so close that there wasn't enough room on the scoresheets to separate them. We are attempting to do just that.

    A word of warning here. The scoresheet is designed such that the typical good car today will not score really high. This is very much unlike the current scene where most vehicles end up scoring very close to each other and high in relation to the available points. This is by design. There are sections on the scoresheet where most vehicles that compete today will score right in the middle, say a 3 out of 5. The '3' was meant to be the typical car. Where the 4 and 5 are for those cars that truly excel in that particular category. It gives them room on the scoresheet to shine.

    Classes. For the most part this is fairly easy and our classes fall in line, more or less, with those of IASCA and MECA. We like the simplicity of IASCA and yet also like some of the details of MECA. The issue we wanted to address was not what the rules say you can do, but what they don't say. To clarify, the very first rule is "If a class does not explicitly allow something, then it is NOT allowed.". For me personally this is a big deal. I tend to be a stickler for what the rules say. So if a person asks about some given item and you say "what does the rule say" and they reply with "well, it doesn't really cover that", then that is a problem, in my opinion.

    It also eliminates almost all of the grey areas, all of the "well it doesn't say I can't do it, so why not" or other misinterpretation (innocently or otherwise) of the rule that then later gets overruled and you are up shit creek. There was an incident of this several years ago that happened at finals because of this. Those that know, know what I am talking about.

    Install judging. Install competition is a bit of love/hate thing for most. Those that love it say it should be part of every car. Install has a big impact on how the car can sound. Those that hate it usually have the complaint that it is too focused on cosmetics or other non-sq related categories. I can relate to both arguments.

    I have good friends that come from the old school IASCA and USACi world where installs were not only crazy but the presentation of those installs were far crazier. If you've never talked to one of those competitors or happened to listen in on a presentation you'd be amazed at the, uh, "stuff" that was presented as unique, clever, custom, etc. I'll be the first to say that some of it is truly bs. However, some of it is very valid and worthwhile. The gifted competitors know all of these tricks and play the game, so to speak. While I appreciate it for what it is, I also recognize that, well, it turns off a LOT of people because of that "game" and the stigma that you have to have an almost 6 figure install to be competitive. There was a time when that was very much the case.

    Our install section is not yet complete as of this writing, mostly because we wanted to focus more on how the install relates to the actual system's ability to perform well. It seemed easy at first, but it hasn't been. Like the SQ section we want to provide a means of allowing cars to separate themselves in different ways. In doing so we also don't want to completely eliminate aesthetics. It is hard to find a good balance, but we are trying to get there.

    Having said that the SQ scoresheet does have a small install section. This is very basic and should be easy to max. Like IASCA we have basic fusing and also include basic scoring for equipment security (as in it isn't just laying in its location, it is secured down), does it look finished and do you know how to operate it. All pretty simple. No big presentation or anything like that and can be judged in about 2 minutes or less.

    So, that is what we are trying to accomplish with MASQ itself. With that in mind, we are track to having 10-14 shows this coming season. Our initial show is Oct 30th in Dallas and we already have 3 shows lined up for spring. I am currently working with shops in Texas that already want to participate and we should have a show every month from April to September in region 1 and pretty close to that in region 2. All we need to do is finalize dates.

    That does leave a bit of a gap in some areas of the competitor base and we will work to fill them as we can.

    With that all said, please have a look at the rules and classes and if there are any questions, feedback, etc. feel free to reach out on FB messenger or here publicly or privately. Being competitors ourselves, we do actually listen to feedback. We had one recent question presented to us on a class ruling that we had completely missed and promptly made the clarification and updated the rules.

    One final note, while most won't care about this, it is worth saying. We aren't looking to make a living off these shows. When we have extra judges we pay them. We pay IASCA's sanctioning fees, and if we can we put some gas in car for the travel (I'm 5 hours from most of the shows I host. Howard is several hours from many of the spots he is going to be doing). The rest goes back into the org, primary to cover awards for the season finale. The first year we had some nice CNC'd wooden awards. Last year we had some acrylic awards, etc. We actually looked into becoming an official non-profit, but there are pretty strict rules on how money is collected to be recognized as such at the federal level and while I'm not a CPA, it didn't look like we would qualify.

    Hope to see you at a show
    MASQ partner and judge
    MobileAudioSQ.com

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    Owner BigAl205's Avatar
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    Re: Who is MASQ?

    I'm glad we could be of assistance, and good luck with the new endeavor

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    Senior Member chefhow's Avatar
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    Re: Who is MASQ?

    Thanks Robert, over the years I never thought to explain what we were doing or even who the faces behind the curtain were. Well said my friend...

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    Noob JCsAudio's Avatar
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    Re: Who is MASQ?

    Looking forward to this. We have a growing presence in the NE of interested enthusiasts.
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    Re: Who is MASQ?

    Quote Originally Posted by JCsAudio View Post
    Looking forward to this. We have a growing presence in the NE of interested enthusiasts.
    That's great news! In the north Texas region we had a couple die hard competitors (with one multiple IASCA triple crown car), but this year several cars have been rebuilt full tilt or have fresh builds just to compete with. Last count I think at least a dozen serious cars have been stepped up or are brand new. Looking forward to seeing them all come out.

    Howard used to get really good turn outs last time he was in the NE, so we are hoping to see that continue in 2021 and beyond.
    MASQ partner and judge
    MobileAudioSQ.com

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    Noob JCsAudio's Avatar
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    Re: Who is MASQ?

    Quote Originally Posted by pocket5s View Post
    That's great news! In the north Texas region we had a couple die hard competitors (with one multiple IASCA triple crown car), but this year several cars have been rebuilt full tilt or have fresh builds just to compete with. Last count I think at least a dozen serious cars have been stepped up or are brand new. Looking forward to seeing them all come out.

    Howard used to get really good turn outs last time he was in the NE, so we are hoping to see that continue in 2021 and beyond.
    I’ll stay tuned and help out with trying to get a bigger turnout.
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    Re: Who is MASQ?

    I’m definitely looking forward to this

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    Re: Who is MASQ?

    Sounds interesting!
    Measure with mics, mark with chalk, cut with torch, grind to fit, sand to finish, paint to match.
    Do it for them.

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    Senior Member chefhow's Avatar
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    Re: Who is MASQ?

    We've had some great feedback and a lot of input from competitors, both new and long time. They have really helped drive the direction of the rules, the class structure, the scoring structure and how we give feedback on the score sheet. We are always asking COMPETITORS for feedback, we are always changing and refining the rules and growing with how the industry and hobby has grown.

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