New Ulm man sets world record

Dan Horner poses with the readout screen showing his record breaking score. Horner actually achieved a sound pressure level of 167.2 dB, but to receive the record, a vehicle must hit a certain level twice.

NEW ULM — A week ago, as Brown County residents prepared for the demolition derby at the Brown County Fair, another loud car competition was taking place in the New Ulm area with world record results.

A dB Drag Racing competition was held at Mike Kral Construction. The dB Drag Racing is a car stereo competition. Individuals and teams compete to reach the highest decibel (dB) with their vehicle’s sound system. These contests are held across the globe with millions participating.

During Saturday’s local competition Dan Horner of New Ulm broke a world record in the Super Street No Wall division. With his van sound system he achieved a sound pressure level (SPL) of 166.8 dB. For comparison, Horner said the space shuttle has a SPL of 150 dB.

This record is a major achievement for Horner. He owns and operates the PROformance Auto Start & Security business located at 1800 S. Valley St. Horner installs security systems and audio equipment into vehicles. A world record is a great feather in his cap in terms of attracting new customers.

Horner explained that dB Drag Racing keeps records in 13 sound divisions. The Super Street No Wall division is unique in that eligible sound systems cannot be designed around a “Wall System.” A wall system is when a vehicle is filled from floor to ceiling with speakers creating a wall of sound. Wall systems have a tendency to be louder because they trap in the sound, but in the No Wall division teams need to leave space between the speakers and the vehicle interior.

By breaking this record Horner managed to put the United States back on the leader boards. In the 13 division the United States is the record holder in only two classes. Brazil holds the most sound records in six classes and Russia holds two.

The Super Street No Wall division record was previously held by Canada and Sweden. Teams in both countries manage a SPL of 166.0 but thanks to Horner the record now belongs to the U.S.

Horner said the secret to achieve a record-breaking sound was to do lots of testing and tuning. He experimented with different configurations to achieve this top sound. Horner said he and his team will continue to improve upon their system to defend the record.

“I don’t know if it will hold,” he said. “Records are meant to be broken. We’re going to keep trying to improve.”