The T3002 Challenge


In 2004, Rockford introduced the most powerful amplifiers they had ever offered under the Rockford Fosgate name (to that point in time).  Dealers welcomed these all new platforms, but many had difficulty overcoming the size of the Power Series amplifiers in typical installations.  Combined with a late delivery into the market, this dramatically reduced sales potential for these amplifiers. 

By the beginning of 2005, it became increasingly clear that Rockford’s competitors were building better amplifiers and aiming to capitalize at Rockford’s expense.  In addition, Rockford was coming off of one of the most difficult years in their history. 


For 2005, Rockford’s product development team delivered three new Power Series amplifiers, all with a smaller footprint which offered more installation flexibility – the T3002 was one of those amplifiers. From the beginning, the T3002 was a shining star.  Many die-hard fans remembered days of old, when RF amplifiers delivered multiple times their rated power . . . the T3002 was just such an amplifier.  Rated at 50 watts per channel into 4 ohms, this little amplifier would make in excess of 800 watts RMS when bridged into a 2 ohm load!  Rockford Fosgate Brand Manager Ron Trout contracted with a Phoneix area retailer to build a fleet of demo vans (Scion XBs) based around two of these amplifiers. They systems in these Scion XBs would be designed to demonstrate that $399 could not buy a more powerful car audio amplifier. To supplement his efforts, Tony Candela came up with an idea – let’s put our money where our mouth is!

the concept

The idea was to prove that no other amplifier that sold for $399 MAP or less would outperform the T3002.  To do this, Candela proposed a challenge that would:

T3002 t-shirt

In addition, to further demonstrate the superiority of the T3002, Candela added a couple of demonstrations that could be easily performed (or even replicated):

These demos showed the incredible power capability, ruggedness, and versatility of this “300 watt” amplifier.  As the T3002 was the smallest Power Series amplifier, the event was designed to give credence to the entire amp line.

After the guidelines were written, Candela decided that the perfect place to host the very first event would be at the Pioneer Music (then the RF rep in the MINK states) show in Kansas City, MO in the summer of 2005.  Garry Springgay of Cogent Audio Labs was hired to do all of the testing, and Anthony D’Amore of Rockford’s engineering department was on hand to oversee the testing process.

The announcement of the first ever T3002 Challenge caused quite a stir within the industry.  During the event, some 30 different amplifiers were tested against the T3002, but none could best its performance!  No dealer claimed the bounty, but all left with the T-shirt - now a collector's item. Look closely in the pictures . . . this was the first event that this stack of Punch loaded enclosures would appear – which soon became the Wall-O-Bass.

challenge 1challenge 2challenge 3challenge 4

related links

The Power Challenge

The Wall-O-Bass

Special thanks to Ron Trout, Anthony D'Amore, Garry Springgay, Pioneer Music, and the incredible marketing department at Rockford Fosgate for their assistance in making this a reality!