KICKER Hosts Zoom Training for South Africa Distributor and Dealers

STILLWATER, OK (05.22.2020) – On Thursday morning, May 21st, KICKER hosted a Zoom training session designed to inform the 12volt community across South Africa about the company’s latest products. KICKER’S John Myers, a 41-year industry veteran, conducted the very informative session. KICKER’S distributor in South Africa, PlanetWorld, notified their dealer network about the training session that was well attended.

John Myers kicked off the session with F.I.T. to the rescue.

David Glasgow, KICKER International Sales Manager, organized the Zoom meeting that was the second in the Zoom series scheduled for PlanetWorld. “Overall the meeting was fantastic. It is so important to get important information out to our international distributors and dealers. John Myers does a great job and all now understand KICKER’S Failsafe Integration Technology. F.I.T. sets the standard in amplifier performance.”

Quewen Webb pictured in his PlanetWorld office in Johannesburg during the KICKER Zoom call training session.

PlanetWorld has 3 locations in South Africa… Johannesburg, Durbin and CapeTown. Quewen Webb, PlanetWorld National Sale Manager, participated in the session and reported that dealers attending the meeting had very positive feedback.

KICKER’S Kip Litsey, Brand Marketing, making a point during the presentation.

“During the COVID-19 down time we have redoubled our efforts to engage and deliver vital information to our distributors around the world. Preparing our distributors and their dealers will turnout to be a terrific investment for all in the long run. We have 3 more sessions scheduled with PlanetWorld. We have also completed sessions with Celsus_Uk and other international distributors. We want all to know the latest so they will all be Livin’Loud with KICKER” Glasgow concluded.

Glasgow and Myers traveled to South Africa earlier this year to work with PlanetWorld and their dealers.

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KICKER’s Evolution of the Smart Line-Output Converter Featuring KEY Technology Ships Worldwide

STILLWATER, OK (05.21.2020) – KICKER has solved a common amplifier integration challenge with a single, elegant solution. Now shipping worldwide, KICKER introduces the KEYLOC – the first frequency, speaker-lead identification system and fully functional line-output converter in one.  The KEYLOC Smart LOC is available at Authorized KICKER Dealers in-store and online, and retails for $129.95.

Emerging from KICKER’s cutting-edge line of KEY Technology, KEYLOC is a revolutionary, DSP (digital signal processor)-controlled line-output converter that automatically detects the frequency range of speaker leads and phase of a factory audio system to assist in hooking up any aftermarket amplifier for a more modern entertainment setup.

KEYLOC’s patent-pending KEY algorithm automatically detects and analyzes crossovers, EQ, time delay, and all-pass filters present, and then level-matches the left and right audio channels.  Once analyzed, it corrects these various filters for the smoothest frequency response possible and a clean, uncolored audio signal for all aftermarket gear.

Using KICKER’s FIT 2+ advanced input design, KEYLOC has the most versatile input sensitivity in the car-audio aftermarket. Ranging from 125mV to 10V (low) or 1V to 40V (high), KEYLOC is prepared to work with nearly every vehicle on the road today.

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Kicker Conducts Training Webinars in the International World

STILLWATER, OK (05.08.2020) – The Kicker Training Team was very busy on Wednesday morning, May 6th, at 10 Stillwater time with International Training webinars.

John Myers presenting the Kicker Celsus UK Training… a ZOOM call screenshot.

“We held trainings for both Spain and the UK. The presentation for Spain focusing on Kicker Marine was conducted in Spanish by Carlos Jimenez for Sport Nav in Barcelona. The presentation for the UK supported Kicker’s Distributor Celsus UK” David Glasgow, International Sales Manager stated.

Great graphics highlighted topics during the ZOOM training call.

John Myers, Global Trainer/Media Custom Projects Specialist, conducted the Celsus UK webinar that lasted over an hour and a half. During that time Myers covered virtually every facet of Kicker’s 2020 product lineup for car audio, powersports, motorcycles and marine audio. Very informative graphics enhanced each subject covered during the presentation.

The new Kicker Auto-Tuning Key SMART Amplifiers were covered in detail.

Mark Baker, Celsus UK Director, joined the webinar from the company’s office in Poole Dorest UK. During the webinar Baker snapped and sent images to the 12volt News. “Mike, Josh and I are the only ones in the office for the webinar. As a company we are social distancing like many companies around the world due to COVID-19. We had a program in place to inform dealers about the webinar and many were set to logon for the ZOOM call.”

“Go Overboard” with Kicker Marine Audio.

After the session Baker added “ John Myers did a great job of covering Kicker’s 2020 product lineup. Kicker is very proactive and helps us reach out to our customers in these strange times. These online trainings will help our customers understand the benefits of Kicker products and they get the best from them. Embracing these virtual training sessions is a way forward and we hope to do more.”

Mark Baker, Celsus UK Director, pictured in his office during the Kicker Training ZOOM call.
An over the shoulder look as Josh Baker watches the Kicker Training.

Glasgow added “We have been very busy during this COVID-19 timeframe and are working to provide as much Kicker training as we can. John Myers, Aaron Malin and Carlos Jimenez are really putting in the hours. We had training presentations for South Africa 2 weeks ago. And with the training on May 6th we finished the 4 marine webinars for Spain.”

Kicker has completed 4 training sessions in Spanish, with Carlos Jimenez,  for Marine Distributor SportNav in Barcelona Spain.
Those who attended the Kicker Training ZOOM Webinars received a very nice thank you email from the Kicker Tech Force.

Chet Weddle, Director of International Sales Stillwater Designs-Kicker, participated in the all encompassing Zoom Celsus UK presentation.

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KICKER Now Shipping Auto-Tuning KEY Smart Amplifiers to Dealers

STILLWATER, OK (04.29.2020) – One year ago KICKER engineers set the audio world on alert with its first auto-tuning, smart amp that literally repairs inferior factory or aftermarket audio.  This year KICKER introduced compact KEY amplifiers that improve both full-range and bass sound.  The KEY200.4 Smart 4-Channel Amp/Processor and the KEY500.1 Smart Mono Amp/Bass Revealer use AI-driven DSP (digital signal processing) to dramatically improve audio, and they are now shipping to Authorized KICKER Dealers nationwide, available for purchase online and in-store.

Built to improve the performance of door speakers and tweeters, the start/stop-compatible KEY200.4 four-channel amplifier comes with a microphone and integrated push-button remote. The remote is designed to start the automatic tuning and calibration process once amplifier installation is complete.

A simple press of the selector (attached to the microphone) sets the KEY’s test tones and proprietary algorithms in motion. The system detects each speakers’ size, applies a 24dB crossover and 40 channels of equalization, applies time alignment, and customizes the gain levels of each channel independently. The true potential of the vehicle’s full-range system is revealed in a matter of seconds, delivering dramatic improvements in realism and soundstage without the need for expensive external processors or professional tuning.

The KEY500.1 is a 500-watt subwoofer amplifier, built in the same compact footprint as its four-channel cousin but focusing on a single bass channel. Using KICKER’s supplied test tones downloadable from the company website, the KEY sub amp automatically analyzes the audio being fed directly into the amplifier. Once analyzed, the KEY500.1 automatically repairs peaks in that signal while revealing the low bass that is typically missing in mediocre systems. In a matter of moments, it reveals a clean, even bass response at all volume levels. The KEY500.1 comes with 24dB sub-sonic and low-pass crossovers, bass boost and gain controls, and matches perfectly with any KICKER subwoofer or loaded sub enclosure that’s 12 inches or smaller.

Both the KEY200.4 and KEY500.1 represent a completely revolutionary approach to achieving greatly improved sound quality in an affordable package that installs nearly anywhere, and works with even the most modern factory or aftermarket audio systems.  KICKER’s exclusive FIT2 (Fail-safe Integration Technology) allows KEY amps to work with nearly any radio.

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KICKER Marine Audio Adds ABYC- and USCG-Compliant Marine Power and Signal Accessories

STILLWATER, OK (04.28.2020) – KICKER Marine Audio delivers a higher standard to its Marine Power and Signal Accessories, engineered by boat owners, for boat owners. A complete wiring solution, a new family of interconnects, power wire, fusing, power distribution and amplifier kits are all built to the highest standards in the marine industry, meeting or exceeding U.S. Coast Guard and ABYC (American Boat and Yacht Council) testing standards. They will be available at Authorized KICKER Marine Dealers in-store and online. Complete marine power kits retail from $129.95 to $199.95.

MARINE WIRE (retail range $99.95 [20 ft. 8 AWG] to $549.95 [50 ft. 1/0 AWG])

To ensure maximum power transfer and reliability, KICKER takes pure, full-spec OFC (oxygen-free copper) and tins it to prevent corrosion. Compliant with USCG and ABYC standards, the power cable features soft, flexible jacketing that makes installation easy, even when running cable around corners. The power and ground wire are offered in eight, four and 1/0 AWG. The speaker wire is 16 AWG.  A spool with 150 feet of combo speaker/RGB wire is also available.

MARINE INTERCONNECTS (retail range $19.95 to $49.95)

KICKER Marine interconnects feature split-pin connections and OFC wire for superior bass response and signal clarity. Specific to the marine line, the PVC jacketing is extended to completely cover the ground ring, providing a superior seal between the elements and your amplifier. All marine RCA cables feature an ultra-slim union for snag-free cable routing in tight places. It is offered in one, three, seven and 10-meter lengths, and a male-to-dual-female Y adapter is also available.

MARINE POWER DISTRIBUTION (retail range $19.95 to $79.95)

KICKER is the only 12-volt aftermarket brand to offer a power-distribution system that meets USCG and ABYC standards, therefore safe enough to be used in new boat construction. 

KICKER’s MRBF fuses also meet SAE-J1171 standards for ignition protection and are IP66 rated. Sizes ranging from 40 to 300 amps are available.

The RT series of easy-crimp ring terminals (available in eight, four and 1/0 AWG), KMFMF Master Fuse Holder, KMFDB3 Fused Distribution Block and KMDB3 Ground Distribution Block are all nickel-coated to prevent corrosion, and all meet the same stringent standards of the rest of the new marine accessory line.

The KMFMF is engineered to fit directly on a marine battery, while the power distribution block is designed to conveniently fit an MRBF fuse on each of the three threaded posts, with an RT ring terminal securely fastened to each.

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KICKER Quietly Makes Community Contributions Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

STILLWATER, OK (04.27.2020) – Stillwater Designs, the parent company of KICKER Audio, is actively supporting the regional community during the international Coronavirus pandemic.

While KICKER’s management team has sent employees home to work remotely and to care for families and kids, the organization has also flexed its resources and manpower to support regional health-services providers.

Kyle Ambrose assembles the 3-D printed headbands & shield.

KICKER, with support from several component suppliers, recently stepped up to the plate to offer 10,000 facemasks in support of community efforts to fight COVID-19. Believing that “charity begins at home,” 8,300 masks were donated to Stillwater (Okla.) Medical Center to accommodate hospital patients and the staff caring for them. 

Another 1,200 face masks have been sent to Hillcrest Medical Center, a 620-bed hospital in Tulsa, Okla., through a KICKER staff connection.

Another 500 masks were contributed to a group of New York City hospitals through KICKER brand and sports marketing director Roger Demaree, whose nephew is a surgeon currently working at a NYC hospital.

6-year-old Noah demonstrates the protection of the face shield.

Additionally, the company was pleased to offer a supply of clear face shields to area first-responders.

Besides distributing the vendor-supplied face masks, a 15-year KICKER team member and his family have also found a way to make a positive impact in the local community.

Kyle Ambrose, who works in research and development, began experimenting with the company’s 3-D printer, normally used for creating prototype parts. Ambrose consulted with a healthcare professional about local needs and learned that beyond face masks, face shields were in great demand. Ambrose subsequently researched and discovered approved patterns online and created a headband that could be used to secure a clear face shield. He reached out to Stillwater Christian School where his children are enrolled to inquire about the availability of clear safety film used for overhead projectors. He enlisted the school’s participation in donating needed materials and also secured additional film donations from Fenton Office Mart (Stillwater). 

While 3-D printing is a slow process, Ambrose is able to produce three bands simultaneously in under three hours. To date, he has hand-crafted over 100 shields which were initially slated for Stillwater Medical Center and then redirected on the hospital’s recommendation to the area’s senior-assisted living homes that were experiencing shortages. Ambrose personally delivered the shields to each home where they were gratefully received.

“We are pleased to be able to share our resources with our community,” says KICKER founder Steve Irby.  “Stillwater is our home and we appreciate the opportunity to support those who care for us.”

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KICKER Marine Audio Joins Reef Runner Boats to “GO Overboard!” in Boat Donation Campaign

MIAMI, FL (04.06.2020) – Just before the Coronavirus changed all of our lives, Omar Fakhri and his son Laithe drove to South Florida from their home outside Dallas, Texas to pick up the 230 Reef Runner center console that they won in the Battle Breast Cancer Giveaway at February’s Miami International Boat Show. It couldn’t have been a better Spring Break and birthday gift for Laithe, who just turned 12, and his father, who with the Reef Runner Boat, is beginning his “fleet,” adding to his current 26’ center console fishing boat.

Omar Fakhri the Reef Runner winner, along with his son Laithe,  and Patrick Farres-Reef Runner during the sea trial of his new 230 Center Console won in the Battle Breast Cancer Giveaway at the Miami International Boat Show 2020.

Fakhri learned of the Reef Runner campaign, its third annual boat giveaway campaign to fight breast cancer, through an online forum where he has been active for 10 years. Like most who have had a family or social circle brush with breast cancer, Fakhri was eager to support a good cause, but never dreamed of actually winning the boat. His wife even told him, “No one wins a fishing boat!” So when Reef Runner’s owner, Donna Milo, called Fakhri on February 17 and told him he won, he was in an airport, traveling internationally and laughed, “Yeah, right, I know you’re screwing with me!” It took a moment for reality to set in, as the group of sponsors and fans at the Miami Boat Show had gathered at the Reef Runner booth and were listening eagerly to the speaker-broadcasted phone call.

Omar and his son Laithe pictured with their new 230 Reef Runner. They drove from outside Dallas to pick up the Reef Runner prize from the Battle Breast Cancer Boat Donation at the Miami International Boat Show 2020.

At delivery a few weeks later, grins were broad and spirits were high as the father and son team joined with Patrick Farris, VP and Donna Milo, owner of Reef Runner Boats for a sea trial and the twin 230 center consoles hit Biscayne Bay. Fakhri connected his phone by Bluetooth to the KICKER Marine Audio system, tuning in his son’s favorite Sirius Radio channels.

The donated KICKER system, valued at just under $5,000, included bow and T-top mounted speakers, lighted coaxial covers, a subwoofer, amplifier, source unit and remote and was installed by Reef Runner as a weather proof system to all KICKER certified and marine compliant standards.

These Kicker Speakers, just part of the $5,000 Kicker system, will be Livin’Loud as Kicker Marine Audio ‘Goes Overboard’ with the system on the prize 230 Reef Runner.

“KICKER did a great job on this system!” said Fakhri, “It was easy to connect, and we cranked it up—WOW!  It was really loud!” They adjusted it a bit to enjoy their favorite tunes and the duo set out with a mild chop and wind on Biscayne Bay.

Laithe named the boat “Trident” as a nod to Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea’s spear, since he saw the 23’ Reef Runner piercing the sea. He and his father were setting out to get the feel of the boat–and its sound system—while heading to a local beach to go for a swim, explore the area for the afternoon and plan the rest of their trip before heading back to Texas. The experience provided some family bonding–a real plus to a perfect South Florida boating day! Fakhri intends to use the Reef Runner as the family’s “reef” boat for shallow red and snapper fishing.

“This hull holds really well—she’ll lean in the turns but holds!” said Fakhri. Milo explained that Reef Runner’s keel strake enables that handling—“She loves the waves and just wants to jump over them! There’s no pounding,” Milo added.  

The Battle Breast Cancer boat giveaway enjoyed sponsorships not just from KICKER Marine Audio, but also from Evinrude, Edson, TACO Marine, Ocean Tamer, SeaDek by Castaway Customs and Center Consoles Only, but KICKER was pleased to add to the prize package, plans to continue its support, and as a result, became Reef Runner’s sound system of choice for its boats. “We love the system!” says Milo, “It was easy to install and the quality and sound is impeccable!”

“We are pleased to support the effort of Reef Runner Boat as so  many of us have had our lives touched by cancer. We see this as a great opportunity to add our expertise and products to this effort—boats built for a great cause!” says Jeremy Bale, KICKER Marine Audio’s National Brand Manager for Lifestyle and Marine Products. “KICKER Marine Audio delivers a trustworthy experience,” he adds, “We deliver total confidence in our product as proven in over 40 years of manufacturing top-quality mobile sound systems, with the goal to continually grow our brand and reputation in the recreational marine marketplace.”

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