Dealer Spotlight: Reference Audio Video of Great Falls, Montana

Shop Name: Reference Audio Video
Shop Location: Great Falls, Montana
Owner’s Name: Lee Secora

DD: How long have you been in business?
Lee: The shop first opened in late 2006. After working here since October of 2007, I purchased the business in May of 2014.

DD: How did you get started in car audio?
Lee: Growing up, my friends and I were always moving gaming systems from one house to another for all night benders or all day binges. With that, it seemed I was the one who was always hooking up the A/V cables, theater speakers, and so on. As I grew older my love for cars and music also grew, so I went from hooking up TV speakers to car speakers. In a small town there is not a lot of choices for who to go to when you want your amps or speakers installed, or any at all really. So many of my friends would bring their car over to my house or we would clear out their parents garage and we would put in old radios their parents had laying around, or an amp and sub that an uncle gave them, and everything just grew from there.

DD: What made you decide to do car audio for a living?
Lee: With high school coming to an end, like most kids I had no idea what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I had an absolute passion for music, and really enjoyed in our small town rock band we had at the time and knew I wanted something to do with music. But the odds of a career there was small, so we had to re-adjust the picture a little bit. The only other thing I really enjoyed was working on cars, so I started exploring my options in that field. I was putting in radio in an old Chevy pick-up I had one day and it just sort of hit me. I enjoy this, it’s the perfect combination of my two passions, music and cars, so what the hell, let’s give it a try. I knew college was not going to be a fit for me, so I checked into tech schools and found Mobile Dynamics in Phoenix, Arizona.

My cousin owned a body shop in the “big” city down the road and had mentioned to my Dad that his friend Dave was in the process of opening a new shop and that I should go talk to him. So I did and Dave told me that once I completed school he would have a job for me. Flash forward several months, I graduated Mobile Dynamics and started my first day at this new shop on the block, Reference Audio Video. The first few months were rough, very quickly I learned that I knew nothing, but Dave was patient with me and allowed me the time to learn. After the first year when things started to flow more naturally to me, I knew that this was my career path and something that I would enjoy doing for many years to come.

DD: Does your shop specialize in anything specific?
Lee: We don’t have any one real specialty that holds high rank over another, but we touch on a lot of things. In the market that we have, you don’t get the opportunity to do a lot of wild and crazy builds, or super high end speaker setups, so we put our focus on making sure our customers are getting exactly where their money goes. Understanding that the very cheap stuff that they can find online lacks in many ways to what quality equipment does for not very much more money, but not pushing them to products miles outside their budget. If we had to nail down our specialty, I would say it is making sure our customers leave with the knowledge and confidence that their money was well spent on quality equipment, and professional work.

DD: How long have you been a DD Audio Dealer?
Lee: Since January 2018! So we are pretty fresh still.

DD: Where did you first hear about DD and why did you decide to become a DD dealer?
Lee: I have heard rumblings through the years about DD, we would get customers in from time to time asking about what we knew about different products and lines after they did some online research into builds for their cars. Our answer was always the same, DD makes some really loud subs! That was all that we knew at the time, it was a name that came up a ton with bass competition guys hitting high dB levels.

After having a conversation with Douglas at DD, I was enlightened on how much more DD has to offer other than just competition level products. And of course, you have to love the company policies like no online sales, it shows they care about and support their brick and mortar stores. It also gave us the opportunity to consolidate some of our underperforming lines we had at the time. We let Douglas know we were 100% interested in DD, we just had to clear out some inventory first. Once December was coming to a close, we were ready to commit and are very excited to see where this journey takes us!

Staff photo Left to Right: Travis Ryan (Install Technician ), Lee Secora (Owner/Install Technician), Alvin Bartels (Sales).

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