Located in Stony Point, New York, Apicella Auto Sound isn’t your typical car stereo shop and has a unique backstory. Owner Nick Apicella told us that he had never really done the same job for more than six months at a time. In most cases, he spent his winters snowboarding or working somewhere and wishing he could do things his way. In the spring of 2017, as winter was coming to an end, he realized he didn’t have a plan for a job. He decided to announce that he would be installing car audio systems in his parents’ driveway.
Later, as October approached, he had a choice: He had an offer to work with a local snowboarding magazine to film a movie, or he could find a retail location and turn his driveway enterprise into a business. Much to the happiness of his parents, he rented half of a 2,000-square-foot warehouse and started Apicella Auto Sound.
Brands and Solutions
The first company to partner with Nick was Audiofrog. Andy Wehmeyer took a leap of faith and made Nick a dealer while he was still operating out of his parents’ driveway. It was an unconventional move on the part of a manufacturer, but Nick feels that it’s part of what drove him to keep going. Nick had been using Audiofrog speakers in his personal vehicle, and their unmatched performance and flexibility make them a natural choice for his clients.
Apicella Auto Sound uses the Helix, Brax and Match lines of amplifiers and signal processors. Nick tells us that he loves the features and intuitive interface of their DSP solutions. Apicella Auto Sound also carries Audible Physics and Audio Development speakers and has recently added Focal, Mosconi, Gladen, Illusion Audio and Blackhole to its product offerings.
You’ll note that Nick and his team aren’t installing remote car starters, radar detectors or backup cameras. They focus exclusively on premium audio system upgrades.
The Apicella Auto Sound Team
Nick is the owner and is in charge of system sales and fabrication. Damian (aka Kevin) is a full-time installation technician and fabricator, and Matei works with the guys part-time to help with whatever needs to be done to keep things on schedule.
As Apicella Auto Sound caters to a unique and selective clientele, most of its marketing is done by word of mouth and through the online mobile electronics community. Nick hosts car audio get-togethers every year as well as MECA and IASCA car audio competitions. He posts extensive build logs of his work on social media and industry-specific forums.
Nick points out that his sales approach is based on being 100 percent honest and open with his clients. He helps them understand why he suggests specific solutions so that they’re comfortable with the plan for their project.
Showroom and Installation Facility
The entire shop is 24 feet wide and 80 feet long. There’s a small office where Nick handles paperwork, but no dedicated showroom. The shop isn’t designed for walk-in customers, and Nick takes care of scheduling all the work, often months in advance.
At the back of the shop is the general fabrication area. At the front of the shop is where the router lifts, table saw and a soon-to-be-ready CNC machine are located.
What Makes Apicella Auto Sound Different?
Nick prides himself on balancing his creative skills with an advanced understanding of how and why things work the way they do. He also focuses on what he calls Extreme Customer Service: If he has to be at the shop at 2 a.m. to deliver a car, or a client needs a ride to the airport after driving 10 hours to drop off a vehicle, he does it.
The Future of Apicella Auto Sound
Nick is working on his own brand of sound deadening material called Resonix Sound Solutions. He plans to keep following the same recipe that got him to where he is and keep building no-nonsense mobile audio systems that sound amazing. If you are in eastern New York and are looking for an amazing audio system for your vehicle, you can reach Apicella Auto Sound at their website, on Facebook or on Instagram.