12V Industry Great Passes

share on:
Larry Frederick Launches Cicada Audio

We deeply regret to announce the passing of a pioneer in our industry, Larry Frederick.

Frederick suffered an apparent heart attack late Thursday afternoon.

He once called himself “the Godfather of car audio,” and was undisputedly a member of a small group of pioneers who helped launch and nurture the car audio market. His enthusiasm and dedication to this industry never wavered to the point that he recently started a new company in his 70s (we believe, he seemed ageless), called Cicada Audio, a motorcycle audio company.

Frederick innovated in product development and/or led sales at such companies as Phoenix Gold, Alpine, Audiomobile, Elettromedia, Concept, and Cerwin Vega/Diamond Audio.

His friends said he was brilliant, and authentic and he wanted to help others in the industry to advance.

Dan Jeancola, former head of merchandising for Car Toys and Sound Advice said, “I knew him going back to the Audiomobile days.  He was just one of those guys when he did a training, the installers in the room would just follow him like a puppy….He could answer every question. He had more knowledge about the business than anyone could consume.”

His close friend Dennis Hopper EVP at VAIS said, “He was one of the most knowledgeable people that our industry ever had. He won instant respect from dealers.  He loved the business and loved the people. He was rough around the edges and had his famous”bull shit” card he would pull out when a dealer said something he thought was bull shit…anything in electronics and electrical theory, he wanted it to be correct.”

Another friend, Todd Ramsey of Ramsey Consulting said, “What can I say? He did so much for the industry when it was in its infancy. He was part of that whole process, a lot of where our industry is and what it evolved into, he’s part of that DNA all the way through.  I can’t think of a lot of milestones that didn’t trace back to something that Larry was involved in.”

The outpouring of tributes to Frederick on social media was immediate and heartfelt. Our deepest condolences to all who knew him.  May we add that we are very grateful for all he did for the industry in engineering, promotion and helping others to learn the technology and the trade.

We are privileged to have spoken to him over the years and to have benefited from his knowledge and commitment.

Frederick is survived by his wife Adrianna and two daughters Catherine and Ashley.


Want to receive industry news? Sign up here
share on:


  1. Just think of all of the knowledge and wisdom that Larry passed on to everyone he touched. He truly had a profound impact on the Mobile Electronics Industry. I met Larry in 1980 along with the 2 Johns and Paul Stary at Audiomobile where I learned what progressive ideas in car audio really were. I worked at Classic Car Sounds in Tucson, AZ at that time. We built a 528i that we took to WCES to be a part of an outdoor display where a little radio station was built so all vehicles were playing the same source. Brilliant! So far ahead of what everyone else was doing at that time. He had a hand in building the legendary 1KW VW. Larry, you were one of a kind. My sincere condolences to your family and the countless friends you made along the way. Until we meet again…

  2. RIP Larry. You were one of kind. So passionate about our industry and products. Condolences to his family. Bill Jackson

  3. Ooh this is such a sad news ! We knew Larry from the early nineties. Back then we represented Phoenix Gold’s wonderful products. Together with Keith Peterson, a rock solid tandem, they came down to Europe to teach the dealers their legendary high end seminars. In a very competent and at the same time humorous way. I can still see it like it was yesterday, Larry an imposing man with gingerbread heart, an inexhaustible source of technical knowledge, full of pride and passion in his striking Phoenix Gold leather jacket. He was one of those people you thought would be there for ever. Such a sad loss to his wife and daughters, family and friends around the world. We will miss you Larry! Always in our minds and hearts RIP best friend. Our truly condolences to his dear ones.
    Annick – Alain – Marc – Belgium

  4. I had the privilege of working with Larry while at Al & Ed’s. The A&E ownership group also owns Cerwin-Vega and Diamond Audio, so I had many opportunities to be part of trainings with Larry and to just chat with him off the clock.

    He was a genuinely caring and nice human being with a ton of knowledge packed away in his brain.

    RIP, Godfather…

  5. A huge influence. I remember attending an Alpine training he did in the 80s where he showed a vector analysis of the force inflicted on a 2 shaft radio in a dashboard when the car went over a speed bump – proving why every installation required a back strap. What a legend!

  6. Very sorry to hear about the loss of Larry. Know him for many years when I was both a dealer of his products and a vendor. His trainings were very informative and super entertaining. We all learned a lot from him. He will be very much missed.

  7. Larry legend! I will never forget the Phoenix Gold training I attended and Larry’s “No Bull Shit” card. He was the real deal! God speed.

  8. Rarely in any industry are there individuals who are as much of an influence and a moving force as Larry has been for mobile electronics! His Phoenix Gold trainings back in the 80’s were then and still are a lesson on how it should be done. Thanks for the great products and the lessons taught!

  9. Larry was the “Real Deal”. A person who could tell you how something worked, and why a cigar was or wasn’t worth what you paid for it.

    Our condolences to his family and everyone who loved him..

  10. I’ve known Larry for at least 25 years. His knowledge dwarfed mine technically, but when I wanted/needed to know something, he never hesitated to help. His “no bull” attitude was a breath of fresh air. I wish I had spent more time with him when I could have. His impact on the industry and the people in it will go on for a very long time.

  11. What can I say that hasn’t been said about him already. There are so many stories with you! I remember first meeting you when I was 16 at Action Auto. I didn’t know a thing about 12 volt, your words of “you’ll get it” has carried me for over 2 decades in a industry I love. You were right my friend, I did get it. I will miss you more then you know. Rip my brother Larry “TheGodFather” Frederick

  12. Larry was a dear friend. We met laughing over a “newsletter” that was published by a rep in the St. Louis area. Old timers know what I mean! We quickly became friends as we both love Aliens Ate My Buick by Thomas Dolby. Later Larry moved to the Phoenix area and we worked together for a bit. This only strengthened our friendship. He was a dear friend and I have no words to even put meaning to this loss. I will miss the birthday parties, the happy hours and the Arizona Rattlers games we attended together. Larry, love you like a brother, Godspeed

  13. Larry was a true original. A one of kind type of guy. They broke the mold when they Made Larry. I could come up with hundreds of ways to say that there will never be a another one like him. It’s obvious to me from all the posts I’ve seen that Larry is loved by so many and will be missed immensely. And I’ll be one of them. Rest in Peace, Larry. Our industry is and will always be better off because of your numerous contributions. NO BULLSHIT, intended!

    1. Larry was very unique and had unbelievable knowledge of 12 volt. I remember in the early 90’s when he was with Keith Peterson at Phoenix Gold , he did a training at our stores on the new PG amplifiers and the staff was in awe. He taught us so much and I loved when the techs that “knew everything” would answer a question wrong and he would take them to school. He was awesome!

  14. A giant in the industry. Definitely one of the founding fathers. He lived his “No BS” creed everyday.
    He will be missed. Deepest condolences to his family. His enduring passion for the industry was felt by all who met him. Rest in Peace Larry.

  15. Sad to hear of Larry’s passing. I remember working the IASCA Finals in AZ with him back in the late 80’s. Our path’s crossed a few times over the years as well. Great guy, very knowledgeable. The industry lost a pioneer.

  16. I had known and worked with Larry for almost 30 years. He was a remarkable individual that knew both product and the industry like very few others in our industry. Both he and his personality will be greatly missed. If there is a 12-volt company in heaven you can bet that Larry will be running it. My heart and prayers go out to his family. May God bless.

  17. WOW, I first met Larry in 1981. He made a definite impression. To me Larry seemed to stay the same throughout all of the iterations and adjustments that the mobile electronics business experienced over time. Very predictable guy. FOR SURE Larry could not/ would not be “dazzled by fancy technical foot work” from people who tried to pretend to keep up with him. I believe many industries have a few iconic folks like Larry and these industries are better because of these people. The mobile electronics business is certainly better for Larry’s participation, guidance and leadership. I certainly feel lucky to have known Larry and will truly lament his passing. Condolences to his family and friends… with great admiration, Ray Windsor

  18. Larry truly was a legend in the 12 volt industry. Yes,as mentioned he could be a little “rough around the edges” but his heart regarding real knowledge of a product was always spot on. Although we only worked together for a few brief years, I loved listening to his seminars and even an “old dog learned a lot from him!” RIP Larry and prayers to his family

  19. I first met Larry in the early 80’s. I’m saddened, actually shocked to hear of his passing. The industry is in a better place today because of Larry Fredrick. Rest easy my friend, blessings and prayers for you and your family are in place. Until we meet again.

  20. He’s truly an icon within our industry, I will so miss our discussions and annual cigars in Vegas. RIP my friend, until the day we get to smoke again!!

  21. RIP to an industry legend. Although I didn’t know him personally, I have a ton of respect and admiration for Larry and what he did for 12 volt.

Comments are closed.