A service was held for industry pioneer and mentor, Larry Frederick on March 13 in Mesa, AZ.
Larry VanSickel, CEO of Cicada, Frederick’s new company, honored Frederick with the following accounting of his career and his vital role to the car audio industry. He talked of Frederick’s 50-year history in audio.
“Larry’s early career included working at Altec Lansing Professional, and Audiomobile. A few years later, Larry joined Coustic, and drove the mix to include the famous XM3, AMP190 and AMP380 among many other products.
“He joined Keith Peterson at Phoenix Gold in 1989 when they were only an audio accessory company. In a short amount of time Larry and Keith introduced the MS-250 and MS-2125 with 24 karat gold plated PCB’s that placed Phoenix Gold with a reputation for high quality products. Larry went on to develop many amps including the “Frank AMP’n stein.”
“A large portion of Larry’s career was training, he trained 1000’s of enthusiasts and installers all over the world. He was famous for a flowerful tongue and his nerf gun, shooting students who were not paying attention or answering with a wrong answer.
“Also, in the early 90’s Larry was also instrumental in the rules committee and judging of 1000’s of vehicles that competed in ISACA events nationwide. He was very passionate about the fact that the only seat in the car that mattered was the driver’s seat and would only judge a car from that seat.
“His career path then took him to Electrromedia where he was instrumental in the introduction and training of the industry’s first serious aftermarket DSP, the Bit One. Larry helped to tune over 250 cars and could make any one of them sound good.
“Followed by 10 years at Diamond Audio where he reintroduced the brand as a leader in Harley Davidson Audio.
Finally, he was presented with the opportunity to form his own company. His daughter, Catherine, came up with naming it Cicada, after the loudest bug on earth. Cicada Audio was formed during the pandemic and started selling to the Motorcycle market just over a year ago….”
VanSickel added,”Larry was a brilliant and passionate man who had a knack for making things work. He was a master of his craft and had a deep understanding of the inner workings of a wide variety of electronics, digital processing, speakers, and woofers. I am sure he, at one point in his life, helped many of you to diagnose and repair a complex system with a speed and skill that amazed everyone who had the privilege of working with him. He was a trusted mentor and teacher who was always willing to share his knowledge with others. He was generous with his time and often took on the role of a teacher, passing on his expertise to all who sought it. One of his only requirements was that you owned a voltmeter and knew how to use it. Of course, if you didn’t, he would, send you to the store to buy one and do his best to train you how to use it.”
We lost an Icon… Larry and Rich Coe helped move the 12V sales floor to the install bay during the early 80’s. A massive move that helped add years to the aftermarket run for car audio.
Larry possessed an absolutely stone-headed commitment to getting things right when considering high end car audio. He was a “one of a kind” communicator, and made the term “high-end audio” something that car audio enthusiasts really wanted to pay attention to.
From my perspective, Larry and Rich truly set the benchmark for up-scale Car Audio. It was quite a rewarding challenge to have Larry and Rich under the same roof while he was working at Alpine.
Rock on my friend, we’re all going to miss those training antics, your spirited leadership and your total commitment to achieving common sense perfection.
Executive VP, Alpine Electronics 1978-1996
Larry was a true ‘one-off’ — his incredible passion for car audio, and his track-record for success, at every stop, from Audiomobile, where he worked with Rich Coe, to the breakout success at PG, EM and more recently at Diamond, are testament to his unique blend of expertise and knowledge of ‘whats what,’ and more often, ‘whats NOT!’ He did not “suffer fools well,” and that led to virtually everyone he interacted with, having a ‘Larry story’ — usually very memorable and typically highly amusing.
While we never worked together, we did enjoy a camaraderie of mutual respect, in having had rather parallel paths, over the past few decades. He will no doubt be missed, and I can say without any question, every company he ever worked at, he made an impact, and were ‘in a better place,’ then when he joined them — and that represents a remarkable legacy, that is indicative of his truly exceptional career…
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