As I've toured and exhibited with the Magic Bus, a number of common questions have emerged. I've attempted to summarize those questions with answers here.
What do you do with the Magic Bus? The Magic Bus is the official demonstration vehicle for Whitledge Designs. It is a world-renowned, one-of-a-kind lifetime masterpiece, which has garnered unprecedented critical acclaim by both home and mobile audio industry experts. It is the only audio system in the world that is extensively autographed by famous and talented musicians, and as such, it is considered priceless and collectible. It is exhibited at important audio and music industry events. It is my rolling curiculum vitae and proof that Whitledge Designs can offer potential customers unprecedented design, fabrication, and tuning services.
Why did you build the Magic Bus? We live in a society today where almost everything is about the money. Most everything is governed by market potential, sales volume, profit margin, and return on investment. Almost everything today is commoditized and de-valued, and globalization seems to be exacerbating this downward spiral. Because of this, there is little incentive for passion and innovation, and our lives are predominantly dictated by the oppressive need to make money. Because of this, few of us take time to enjoy the simpler, and more meaningful things in life. In my career as a scientist and engineer, I felt that life's daily limitations and restrictions were unrewarding - I longed for a project where I could "run free" and express my full creativity. I dreamed of finding a way to combine my love for music and science, two of the purest and most rewarding endeavors of which I knew. I'd always enjoyed mobile audio, and believed that my talents could be best expressed in that realm. Hence, concept for the Magic Bus was born.
Is the Magic Bus really finished, or do you have plans for improving it? After nearly seven years of unimaginable effort, I can confidently say the Magic Bus is finished. Because every step of the design, fabrication, and tuning was taken to the limit of what was possible, using the finest components and craftsmanship in accordance with my goals, I know of nothing left to improve. I could imagine, however, a new Magic Bus, entirely designed from scratch, based on a different set of design input requirements.
What kind of gas mileage does Magic Bus get? The Magic Bus is powered by a state-of-the-art, five-cylinder, turbocharged diesel engine made by Mercedes-Benz. Despite its large size, the fuel consumption of the Magic Bus is surprisingly efficient at about 19 miles per gallon.
What kind of alarm do you have? The Magic Bus is protected by a multitude of sophisticated sensors and custom alarm products, rendering it virtually theft-proof.
Do you record in the Magic Bus? No. The Magic Bus is a two channel stereo listening experience, designed to be enjoyed from the driver's seat.
What are your future plans for the Magic Bus? I'd like to take the Magic Bus on a national and international tour, sharing the joy of music and science. It would be particularly fulfilling to visit schools and show students how rewarding, fun, and relevant, a career in science and engineering can be. I'd also like to visit mobile audio retailers across the country, and the world, teaching advanced audio system design principals and inspiring their customers to invest in sophisticated mobile audio systems. I'd also like to continue exhibiting at prestigious audio shows and musical events, expanding to shows like NAMM and the Monterey Jazz Festival. The Magic Bus may soon appear in a music video, and there's also interest in making a short documentary film about the Magic Bus. I'd also like to appear as a guest on Jay Leno's Garage and Car Talk. Finally, someday, I hope the Magic Bus will reside in a museum, preferably the Smithsonian.