Audio Engineering Guide: Audio and Acoustic Founders and Gurus

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This section is the DNA of my ancestors, the giants who inspired and influenced my life. If you or a hundred other people wrote this section, your ancestors would be different. I hope you find reading the DNA of my ancestors worthwhile and that it will provoke you into learning more about them.

Interest in my audio and acoustic ancestors came about by starting the first independent Hi-Fi shop, The Golden Ear, in Lafayette, Indiana in early 1952. The great men of hi-fi came to our shop to meet with the audio enthusiasts from Purdue: Paul Klipsch, Frank McIntosh, Gordon Gow, H.H. Scott, Saul Marantz, Rudy Bozak, Avery Fisher-manufacturers who exhibited in the Hi-Fi shows at the Hollywood Roosevelt and the Hilton in New York City. We sold our shops in Indianapolis and Lafayette in 1955, and took an extended trip to Europe. In 1958 I went to work for Paul Klipsch as his "President in charge of Vice." Mr. Klipsch introduced me to Lord Kelvin, the Bell Labs West Street personnel, as well as his untrammeled genius.

Altec was the next stop, with my immediate manager being "the man who made the motion picture talk." At Altec I rubbed against and was rubbed against by the greats and those who knew the greats of the inception of the Art. This resulted in our awareness of the rich sense of history we have been a part of and we hope that sharing our remembrance will help you become alert to the richness of your own present era.

In 1972 we were privileged to work with the leaders in our industry who came forward to support the first independent attempt at audio education, Synergetic Audio Concepts (Syn-Aud-Con). These manufacturers represented the best of their era and they shared freely with us and our students without ever trying to "put strings on us." Genesis

The true history of audio consists of ideas, men who envisioned the ideas, and those rare products that represented the highest embodiment of those ideas. The men and women who first articulated new ideas are regarded as discoverers. Buckminster Fuller felt that the terms realization and realizer were more accurate.

Isaac Newton is credited with "We stand on the shoulders of giants" regarding the advancement of human thought. The word science was first coined in 1836 by Reverend William Hewell, the Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. He felt the term, natural philosopher, was too broad, and that physical science deserved a separate term. The interesting meaning of this word along with entrepreneur-tinkerer allows one a meaningful way to divide the pioneers whose work, stone by stone, built the edifice we call audio and acoustics.

Mathematics, once understood, is the simplest way to fully explore complex ideas but the tinkerer often was the one who found the "idea" first. In my youth I was aware of events such as Edwin Armstrong's construction of the entire FM transmitting and reception system on breadboard circuits. A successful demonstration then occurred followed by detailed mathematical analysis by the same men who earlier had used mathematics to prove its impossibility. In fact, one of the mathematician's papers on the impossibility of FM was directly followed at the same meeting by a working demonstration of an FM broadcast by Armstrong.

The other side of the coin is best illustrated by James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879), working from the non-mathematical seminal work of Michael Faraday.

Michael Faraday had a brilliant mind that worked without the encumbrance of a for mal education. His experiments were with an early Volta cell, given him by Volta when he traveled to Italy with Sir Humphry Davy as Davy's assistant. This led to his experiments with the electric field and com passes. Faraday envisioned fields of force around wires where others saw some kind of electric fluid flowing through wires. Faraday was the first to use the terms electrolyte, anode, cathode, and ion. His examination of inductance led to the electric motor. His observations led his good friend, James Clerk Maxwell, to his remarkable equations that defined electromagnetism for all time.

A conversation with William Thomson (later Lord Kelvin) when Thomson was 21 led Faraday to a series of experiments that showed that Thomson's question as to whether light was affected by passing through an electrolyte-it wasn't-led to Faraday's trying to pass polarized light past a powerful magnet to the discover the magneto-optical effect (the Faraday effect). Diamagnetism demonstrated that magnetism was a property of all matter.

Faraday was the perfect example of not knowing mathematics freed him from the prejudices of the day.

James Clerk Maxwell was a youthful friend of Faraday and a mathematical genius on a level with Newton. Maxwell took Faraday's theories of electricity and magnetic lines of force into a mathematical formulation. He showed that an oscillating electric charge produces an electromagnetic field.

The four partial differential equations were first published in 1873 and have since been thought of as the greatest achievement of the 19th century of physics.

Maxwell's equations are the perfect example of mathematics predicting a phenomenon that was unknown at that time. That two such differing mind-sets as Faraday and Maxwell were close friends bespeaks the largeness of both men.

These equations brought the realization that, because charges can oscillate with any frequency, visible light itself would form only a small part of the entire spectrum of possible electromagnetic radiation. Maxwell's equations predicted transmittable radiation which led Hertz to build apparatus to demonstrate electromagnetic transmission.

J. Willard Gibbs, America's greatest contributor to electromagnetic theory, so impressed Maxwell with his papers on thermodynamics that Maxwell constructed a three-dimensional model of Gibbs's thermodynamic surface and, shortly before his death, sent the model to Gibbs.

G.S. Ohm, Alessandro Volta, Michael Faraday, Joseph Henry, Andre Marie Ampere, and G.R. Kirchhoff grace every circuit analysis done today as resistance in ohms, potential difference in volts, current in amperes, inductance in henrys, and capacity in farads and viewed as a Kirchhoff diagram. Their predecessors and contemporaries such as Joule (work, energy, heat), Charles A. Coulomb (electric charge), Isaac Newton (force), Hertz (frequency), Watt (power), Weber (magnetic flux), Tesla (magnetic flux density), and Siemens (conductance) are immortalized as international S.I. derived units. Lord Kelvin alone has his name inscribed as an S.I. base unit.

As all of this worked its way into the organized thinking of humankind, the most important innovations were the technical societies formed around the time of Newton where ideas could be heard by a large receptive audience. Some of the world's best mathematicians struggled to quantify sound in air, in enclosures, and in all manner of confining pathways. Since the time of Euler (1707-1783), Lagrange (1736-1813), and d'Alembert (1717-1783), mathematical tools existed to analyze wave motion and develop field theory.

By the birth of the 20th century, workers in the telephone industry comprised the most talented mathematicians and experimenters. Oliver Heaviside's operational calculus had been superseded by Laplace transforms at MIT (giving them an enviable technical lead in education).

1893-The Magic Year

At the April 18, 1893 meeting of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers in New York City, Arthur Edwin Kennelly (1861-1939) gave a paper entitled "Impedance." That same year General Electric, at the insistence of Edwin W. Rice, bought Rudolph Eickemeyer's company for his trans former patents. The genius Charles Proteus Steinmetz (1865-1923) worked for Eickemeyer. In the saga of great ideas, I have always been as intrigued by the managers of great men as much as the great men themselves. E.W. Rice of General Electric personified true leadership when he looked past the misshapened dwarf that was Steinmetz to the mind present in the man. General Electric's engineering preeminence proceeded directly from Rice's extraordinary hiring of Steinmetz.

Dr. Michael I. Pupin of Columbia University was present at the Kennelly paper.

Pupin mentioned Oliver Heaviside's use of the word impedance in 1887. This meeting established the correct definition of the word and established its use within the electric industry. Kennelly's paper, along with the ground-work laid by Oliver Heaviside in 1887, was instrumental in introducing the terms being established in the minds of Kennelly's peers.

The truly extraordinary Arthur Edwin Kennelly (1861-1939) left school at the age of thirteen and taught him self physics while working as a telegrapher. He is said to "have planned and used his time with great efficiency," which is evidenced by his becoming a member of the faculty at Harvard in 1902 while also holding a joint appointment at MIT from 1913-1924. He was the author of ten books and the co-author of eighteen more, as well as writing more than 350 technical papers.

Edison employed A.E. Kennelly to provide physics and mathematics to Edison's intuition and cut-and-try experimentation. His classic AIEE paper on impedance in 1893 is without parallel. The reflecting ionosphere theory is jointly credited to Kennelly and Heaviside and known as the Kennelly-Heaviside layer. One of Kennelly's Ph.D. students was Vannevar Bush, who ran American's WWII scientific endeavors.

In 1893 Kennelly proposed impedance for what had been called apparent resistance, and Steinmetz suggested reactance to replace inductance speed and watt less resistance. In the 1890 paper, Kennelly proposed the name henry for the unit of inductance. A paper in 1892 that provided solutions for RLC circuits brought out the need for agreement on the names of circuit elements. Steinmetz, in a paper on hysteresis, proposed the term reluctance to replace magnetic resistance. Thus, by the turn of the 20th century the elements were in place for scientific circuit analysis and practical realization in communication systems.

Arthur E. Kennelly's writings on impedance were meaningfully embellished by Charles Proteus Steinmetz's use of complex numbers. Michael Pupin, George A. Campbell, and their fellow engineers developed filter theory so thoroughly as to be worthwhile reading today.

Steinmetz was not at the April 18, 1893 meeting, but sent in a letter of comment which included. It is, however, the first instance here, so far as I know, that the attention is drawn by Mr. Kennelly to the correspondence between the electric term "impedance" and the complex numbers.

The importance hereof lies in the following:

The analysis of the complex plane is very well worked out, hence by reducing the technical problems to the analysis of complex quantities they are brought within the scope of a known and well understood science.

The fallout from this seminal paper, its instantaneous acceptance by the other authorities of the day, its coalescing of the earlier work of others, and its utilization by the communication industry within a decade, makes it easily one of the greatest papers on audio ever published, even though Kennelly's purpose was to aid the electric power industry in its transmission of energy.

The generation, transmission, and distribution of electromagnetic energy today has no meaning in itself, but only gains meaning if information is conveyed, thus the tragedy of the use of mankind's precious resources to convey trash.

Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) working with Westinghouse designed the AC generator that was chosen in 1893 to power the Chicago World's Fair Bell Laboratories and Western Electric

The University of Chicago, at the end of the turn of the 19th century into the 20th century, had Robert Millikan, America's foremost physicist. Frank Jewett, who had a doctorate in physics from MIT, and now worked for Western Electric, was able to recruit Millikan's top students.

George A. Campbell (1870-1954) of the Bell Telephone Laboratories, had by 1899 developed successful "loading coils" capable of extending the range and quality of the, at that time, unamplified telephone circuits. Unfortunately, Professor Michael Pupin had also conceived the idea and beat him to the patent office. Bell Tele phone paid Pupin $435,000 for the patent and by 1925 the Campbell-designed loading coils had saved Bell Telephone Co. $100,000,000 in the cost of copper wire alone.

To sense the ability of loading coils to extend the range of unamplified telephone circuits, Bell had reached New York to Denver by their means alone.

Until Thomas B. Doolittle evolved a method in 1877 for the manufacture of hard drawn copper, the metal had been unusable for telephony due to its inability to sup port its own weight over usable distances. Copper wire went from a tensile strength of 28,000 lbs/in2 with an elongation of 37% to a tensile strength of 65,000 lbs/in^2, an elongation of 1%. Campbell's paper in 1922, "Physical Theory of the Electric Wave Filter" is still worth while reading today. I remember asking Dr. Thomas Stockham, "Do digital filters ring under transient conditions?" Dr. Stockham, (his wife, Martha, said that she worshipped the air he walked on), replied "Yes" and pointed out that it's the math and not the hardware that determines what filters do. Papers like Campbell's are pertinent to Quantum filters, when they arrive, for the same reasons Dr. Stockham's answer to my question about digital filters was valid.

Bell Telephone Laboratories made an immense step when H.D. Arnold designed the first successful electronic repeater amplifier in 1913.

H.D. Arnold at Bell Laboratories had taken DeForest's vacuum tube, discarded DeForest's totally false understanding of it, and, by establishing a true vacuum, improved materials and a correct electrical analysis of its properties enabled the electronic amplification of voice signals. DeForest is credited with putting a "grid" into a Fleming value.

Sir Ambrose J. Fleming (1848-1945) is the English engineer who invented the two-electrode rectifier which he called the thermionic valve. It later achieved fame as the Fleming valve and was patented in 1904. DeForest used the Fleming valve to place a grid element in between the filament and the plate. DeForest didn't under stand how a triode operated, but fortunately Armstrong, Arnold, and Fleming did.

Another Fleming-Sir Arthur (1881-1960)--invented the demountable high power thermionic valves that helped make possible the installation of the first radar stations in Great Britain just before the outbreak of WWII.

The facts are that DeForest never understood what he had done, and this remained true till his death.

DeForest was never able, in court or out, to correctly describe how a triode operated. He did however; pro vide a way for large corporations to challenge in court the patents of men who did know.

With the advent of cop per wire, loading coils, and Harold D. Arnold's vacuum tube amplifier, transcontinental telephony was established in 1915 using 130,000 telephone poles, 2500 tons of copper wire, and three vacuum tube devices to strengthen the signal.

The Panama Pacific Exposition in San Francisco had originally been planned for 1914 to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal but the canal was not completed until 1915. Bell provided not only the first transcontinental telephony, but also a public address system at those ceremonies.

The advances in telephony led into recording technologies and by 1926-1928 talking motion pictures.

Almost in parallel was the development of radio. J.P. Maxfield, H.C. Harrrison, A.C. Keller, D.G. Blattner were the Western Electric Electrical recording pioneers.

Edward Wente's 640A condenser microphone made that component as uniform as the amplifiers, thus insuring speech intelligibility and musical integrity.

Harvey Fletcher (1884-1981)

In 1933, Harvey Fletcher, Steinberg and Snow, Wente and Thuras and a host of other Bell Lab engineers gave birth to "Audio Perspective" demonstrations of three-channel stereophonic sound capable of exceeding the dynamic range of the live orchestra. In the late 60s, William Snow was working with John Hilliard at Ling Research, just down the street from Altec. It was a thrill to talk with him. He told me that hearing the orchestra level raised several dB was more astounding to him than the stereophonic part of the demonstration.

Edward C. Wente and Albert L. Thuras were responsible for full range, low distortion, high-powered sound reproduction using condenser micro phones, compression drivers, multicellular exponential horns, heavy duty loaded low-frequency enclosures, the bass reflex enclosures, and both amplifiers and transmission lines, built to standards still challenging today. The Fletcher loudspeaker was a three-way unit consisting of an 18 inch low-frequency driver, horn loaded woofer, the incomparable W.E. 555 as a midrange, and the W.E. 597A high-frequency unit.

In 1959, I went with Paul W. Klipsch to Bell Labs where we jointly presented our redo of their 1933 Audio Perspective geometry tests.

The demo was held in the Arnold Auditorium and afterward we were shown one of the original Fletcher loudspeakers. Western Electric components like the 555 and 597 are to be found today in Japan where originals sell for up to five figures. It is estimated that 99% of the existing units are in Japan. (As a side note, I genuinely earned a "Distinguished Fear of Flying Cross" with Paul Klipsch in his Cessna 180, the results of which entertained many Syn-Aud-Con classes.

The Western Electric 640A was superseded by the 640AA condenser microphone in 1942, still used today as a measurement standard by those fortunate enough to own one. The 640A was a key component in the reproduction of the full orchestra in 1933. When redesigned in 1942 as the 640AA, Bell Labs turned over the manufacturing of the capsule to Bruel and Kjaer as the B&K 4160.

Rice and Kellogg's seminal 1925 paper and Edward Wente's 1925 patent #1,333,744 (done without knowledge of Rice and Kellogg's work) established the basic principle of the direct-radiator loudspeaker with a small coil-driven mass controlled diaphragm in a baffle possessing a broad mid-frequency range of uniform response.

Rice and Kellogg also contributed a more powerful amplifier design and the comment that for reproduced music the level should be that of the original intensity.

Negative Feedback-1927 In 1927

Harold S. Black, while watching a Hudson River ferry use reverse propellers to dock, conceived negative feedback for power amplifiers. With associates of the caliber of Harry Nyquist and Hendrik Bode, amplifier gain, phase, and stability, became a mathematical theory of immense use in remarkably diverse technical fields. Black's patent took nine years to issue because the U.S. Navy felt it revealed too much about how they adjusted their big guns and asked that its publication be delayed.

The output signal of an amplifier is fed back and com pared with the input signal, developing a "difference signal" if the two signals are not alike.

This signal, a measure of the error in amplification, is applied as additional input to correct the functioning of the amplifier, so as to reduce the error signal to zero. When the error signal is reduced to zero, the output corresponds to the input and no distortion has been introduced. Nyquist wrote the mathematics for allowable limits of gain and internal phase shift in negative feed back amplifiers, insuring their stability.

Harry Nyquist (1889-1976)

Harry Nyquist worked at AT&T's Department of Development and Research from 1917 to 1934 and continued when it became Bell Telephone Laboratories in that year, until his retirement in 1954.

The word inspired means "to have been touched by the hand of God." Harry Nyquist's 37 years and 138 U.S. patents while at Bell Telephone Laboratories personifies "inspired." In acoustics the Nyquist plot is by far my favorite for first look at an environment driven by a known source. The men privileged to work with Harry Nyquist in thermal noise, data transmission, and negative feedback all became giants in their own right through that association.

Nyquist worked out the mathematics that allowed amplifier stability to be calculated leaving us the Nyquist plot as one of the most useful audio and acoustic analysis tools ever developed. His cohort, Hendrik Bode, gave us the frequency and phase plots as separate measurements.

Karl Kupfmuller (1897-1977) was a German engineer who paralleled Nyquist's work independently, deriving fundamental results in information transmission and closed-loop modeling, including a stability criterion. Kupfmuller as early as 1928 used block diagrams to represent closed-loop linear circuits. He is believed to be the first to do so. As early as 1924 he had published papers on the dynamic response of linear filters. For those wishing to share the depth of understanding these men achieved, Ernst Guillemin's book, Introductory Circuit Theory, contains clear steps to that goal.

Today's computers as well as digital audio devices were first envisioned in the mid-1800s by Charles Babbage and the mathematics discussed by Lady Lovelace, the only legitimate daughter of Lord Byron. Lady Love lace even predicted the use of a computer to generate musical tones. Harry Nyquist later defined the necessity for the sampling rate for a digital system to be at least twice that of the highest frequency desired to be reproduced.

Nyquist and Shannon went from Nyquist's paper on the subject to develop "Information Theory." Today's audio still uses and requires Nyquist plotting, Nyquist frequency, the Nyquist-Shannon sampling theorem, the Nyquist stability criterion, and attention to the John son-Nyquist noise. In acoustics the Nyquist plot is by far my favorite for first look at an environment driven by a known source.

The dB, dBm and the VI

The development of the dB from the mile of standard cable by Bell Labs, their development and sharing of the decibel, dB, the dBm, and the VU via the design of VI devices changed system design into engineering design.

Of note here to this generation, the label VU is just that, VU, and has no other name, just as the instrument is called a volume indicator, or VI. In today's world, a majority of technicians do not understand the dBm and its remarkable usefulness in system design. An engineer must know this parameter to be taken seriously.

Bell Labs and Talking Motion Pictures

Bell Telephone Laboratories by the mid to late 1930s had from the inception of talking motion pictures in 1927-1928 brought forth the condenser microphone, exponential high frequency horns, exponential low frequency loudspeakers, compression drivers, the concepts of gain and loss, the dBm, the VU, in cooperation with the broadcasting industry, and installed sound in 80% of the existing theater market.

Yes, there were earlier dabblers thinking of such ideas but their ideas remained unfulfilled. What generated the explosive growth of motion picture sound-even through the deepest depression-was that only (1) entertainment, (2) tobacco, and (3) alcohol were affordable to the many and solaced their mental depression.

For physicists, motion picture sound was that age's "space race" and little boys followed the sound engineers down the street saying, "He made the movie talk." Dr. Eugene Patronis sent me a picture of the W.E. loudspeaker system installed in the late 1930s in which the engineer had actually aligned the H.F. and L.F. drivers. Dr. Patronis had worked in the projector booth as a teenager. He later designed an outstanding loudspeaker system for the AMC theater chain that was aligned and installed above rather than behind the screen, thereby allowing much brighter images. The system maintained complete spatial location screen-center for the audio.

Motion Pictures-Visual versus Auditory

The first motion pictures were silent. Fortunes were made by actors who could convey visual emotion.

When motion pictures acquired sound in 1928, a large number of these well-known personalities failed to make the transition from silent to sound. The faces and figures failed to match the voices the minds of the silent movie viewers had assigned them. Later, when radio became television, almost all the radio talent was able to make a transition because the familiar voices predominated over any mental visual image the radio listener had assigned to that performer.

Often, at the opera, the great voices will not look the part but, just a few notes nullify any negative visual impression for the true lover of opera, whereas appearance will not compensate for a really bad voice.

The Transition from Western Electric to Private Companies

A remarkable number of the giants in the explosion in precision audio products after WWII were alumni of Western Electric-Bell Labs, MIT, and General Radio, and in some cases, all three.

In 1928, a group of Western Electric engineers became the Electrical Research Products, Inc. (ERPI), to service the theaters. Finally a consent decree came down, as a result of litigation with RCA, for W.E. to divest itself of ERPI. At this point the engineers formed All Technical Services or Altec. That is why it is pronounced all-tech, not al-tech. They lived like kings in a depressed economy. As one of these pioneer engineers told me, "Those days were the equivalent of one ohm across Fort Knox." They bought the W.E. Theater inventory for pennies on the dollar.

The motion picture company MGM had assembled, via Douglas Shearer, head of the sound department, John Hilliard, Dr. John Black burn, along with Jim Lansing, a machinist, and Robert Stephens, a draftsman. A proprietary theater loud speaker was named the Shearer horn. Dr. Blackburn and Jim Lansing did the high frequency units with Stephens, adapting the W.E. multi cell to their use. It was this system that led to John Hilliard's correction of the blurred tapping of Eleanor Powell's very rapid tap dancing by signal aligning the high and low frequency horns. They found that a 3 inch misalignment was small enough to not smear the tap ping. (Late in the 1980s, I demonstrated that from 0 to 3 inch misalignment resulted in a shift in the polar response.) Hilliard had previously found that there was on the order of 1500q in phase shift in the early studio amplification systems. He corrected the problem and published his results in the 1930s.

After WWII, Hilliard and Blackburn, who both were at MIT doing radar work during the war, went their separate ways, with Hilliard joining Altec Lansing. Hilliard received an honorary Ph.D. with a degree from the Hollywood University run by Howard Termaine, the author of the original Audio Encyclopedia, the forerunner to this present volume, The Handbook for Sound Engineers.

Robert Lee Stephens left MGM in 1938 to found his own company. In the early 1950s I witnessed demonstrations of the Altec 604, the Stephens TruSonic co-axial and the Jensen Triaxial, side by side in my hi-fi shop, The Golden Ear. The Tru-Sonics was exception ally clean and efficient. Stephens also made special 15 inch low-frequency drivers for the early Klipschorns.

Hilliard, Stephens, Lansing and Shearer defined the theater loudspeaker for their era with much of the design of the Shearer multicells manufactured by Stephens.

When James Lansing (aka James Martinella) first came west he adopted the Hollywood technique of a name change. His brother, who worked for Altec through his entire career, shortened his name to Bill Martin, a truly skilled machinist who could tool any thing. In 1941, Altec bought Lansing Manufacturing Company and changed the Altec name to Altec Lansing Corp. James Lansing was enjoined by Altec to the use of JBL rather than Lansing for product names. He committed suicide in 1949, and JBL would have vanished except Edmond May, considered the most valuable engineer ever at JBL, stepped into the design breach with a complete series of high quality products.

In 1947, Altec purchased Peerless Electrical Products Co. This brought in not only the first designers of 20-20,000 Hz output transformer, Ercel Harrison and his talented right-hand man, Bob Wolpert, but also the ability to manufacture what they designed. Ercel Harrison's Peerless transformers are still without peer even today.

In 1949, Altec acquired the Western Electric Sound Products Division and began producing the W.E. product lines of microphones and loudspeakers. It was said that all the mechanical product tooling, such as turntables and camera items were dumped in the channel between Los Angeles and Catalina.

Jim Noble, H.S. Morris, Ercel Harrison, John Hillard, Jim Lansing, Bob Stevens and Alex Badmieff (my co-author for How to Build Speaker Enclosures) were among the giants who populated Altec and provided a glimpse into the late 1920s, the fabulous 1930s, and the final integration of W.E. Broadcasting and Recording technologies into Altec in the 1950s.

Paul Klipsch in 1959 introduced me to Art Craw ford, the owner of a Hollywood FM station, who developed the original duplex speaker. The Hollywood scene has always had many clever original designers whose ideas were for "one only" after which their ideas migrated to manufacturers on the West coast.

Running parallel through the 20s and 30s with the dramatic developments by Western Electric, Bell Labs, and RCA were the entrepreneurial start-ups by men like Sidney N. Shure of Shure Brothers, Lou Burroughs and Al Kahn of what became Electro-Voice, and E. Norman Rauland who from his early Chicago radio station WENR went on to become an innovator in cathode ray tubes for radar and early television.

When I first encountered these in men in the 50s, they sold their products largely through parts distributors. Starting the 1960s they sold to sound contractors.

Stromberg-Carlson, DuKane, RCA, and Altec were all active in the rapidly expanding professional sound con tractor market.

A nearly totally overlooked engineer in Altec Lansing history is Paul Veneklasen, famous in his own right for the Western Electro Acoustic Laboratory, WEAL.

During WWII, Paul Veneklasen researched and designed, through extensive outdoor tests with elaborate towers, what became the Altec Voice of the Theater in postwar America. Veneklasen left Altec when this and other important work (the famed "wand" condenser microphone) were presented as Hilliard's work in Hilliard's role as a figurehead. Similar tactics were used at RCA with Harry Olson as the presenter of new technology. Peter Goldmark of the CBS Laboratories was given credit for the 331/3 long playing record. Al Grundy was the engineer in charge of developing it, but was swept aside inasmuch as CBS used Goldmark as an icon for their introductions. Such practices were not uncommon when large companies attempted to put an "aura" around personnel who introduced their new products, to the chagrin and disgust of the actual engineers who had done the work.

"This is the west, sir, and when a legend and the facts conflict, go print the legend." From Who Shot Liberty Valance Audio Publications.

Prior to WWII, the IRE, Institute of Radio Engineers, and the AIEE, American Institute of Electrical Engineers, were the premier sources of technology applicable to audio. The Acoustical Society of America filled the role in matters of acoustics. I am one year older than the JASA, which was first published in 1929. In 1963, the IRE and AIEE merged to become the IEEE, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.

In 1947, C.G. McProud published Audio Engineering that featured construction articles relevant to Audio.

Charles Fowler and Milton Sleeper started High Fidelity in 1954. Sleeper later published Hi Fi Music at Home.

These magazines were important harbingers of the explosive growth of component sound equipment in the 1950s.

The Audio Engineering Society, AES, began publication of their journal in January 1953. The first issue contained an article written by Arthur C. Davis entitled, "Grounding, Shielding and Isolation." Readers need to make a clear distinction in their minds between magazines designed as advertising media for "fashion design" sound products and magazines that have the necessary market information requiring the least reader screening of foolish claims. The right journals are splendid values and careful perusal of them can bring the disciplined student to the front of the envelope rapidly.

The "High" Fidelity Equipment Designers

By the beginning of WWII, Lincoln Walsh had designed what is still today considered the lowest distortion power amplifier using all triode 2A3s.

Solid state devices, even today, have yet to match the perfection of amplifiers such as Lincoln Walsh's Brook with its all triode 2A3s or Marantz's EL34 all triode amplifier. The Walsh amplifiers, with the linearity and harmonic structure achieved by these seminal tube amplifiers, are still being constructed by devotees of fidelity who also know how to design reasonable efficiency loudspeakers. One engineer that I have a high regard for tells the story. It wasn't that long ago I was sitting with the editor of a national audio magazine as his $15,000 transistor amplifier expired in a puff of smoke and took his $22,000 speakers along for the ride. I actually saw the tiny flash of light as the woofer voice coil vaporized from 30 A of dc offset-true story folks.

In the 1950s, a group of Purdue University engineers and I compared the Brook 10 W amplifier to the then very exciting and unconventional 50 W McIntosh. The majority preferred the 10 W unit. Ralph Townsley, chief engineer at WBAA, loaned us his peak reading meter.

This was an electronic marvel that weighed about 30 lbs but could read the true full peak side-by-side with the VU reading on two beautiful VI instruments. We found that the ticks on a vinyl record caused clipping on both amplifiers but the Brook handled these transients with far more grace than the McIntosh.

We later acquired a 200W tube-type McIntosh and found that it had sufficient headroom to avoid clipping over the Klipschorns, Altec 820s, etc.

When Dr. R.A. Greiner of the University of Wisconsin published his measurements of just such effects, our little group were appreciative admirers of his extremely detailed measurements. Dr. Greiner could always be counted on for accurate, timely, and when necessary, myth-busting corrections. He was an impeccable source of truth. The home entertainment section of audio blithely ignored his devastating examination of their magical cables and went on to fortunes made on fables.

Music reproduction went through a phase of, to this writer, backward development, with the advent of extremely low efficiency book shelf loudspeaker pack ages with efficiencies of 20-40 dB below the figures which were common for the horn loudspeakers that dominated the home market after WWII. Interestingly, power amplifiers today are only 10-20 dB more powerful than a typical 1930s triode amplifier.

I had the good fortune to join Altec just as the fidelity home market did its best to self-destruct via totally unreliable transistor amplifiers trying to drive "sink holes" for power loudspeakers in a marketing environment of spiffs, department store products, and the introduction of source material not attractive to trained music listeners.

I say "good fortune" as the professional sound was, in the years of the consumer hiatus, to expand and develop in remarkable ways. Here high efficiency was coupled to high power, dynamic growth in directional control of loudspeaker signals, and the growing awareness of the acoustic environment interface.

Sound System Equalization

Harry Olson and John Volkmann at RCA made many advances with dynamical analogies, equalized loudspeakers, and an array of microphone designs.

Dr. Wayne Rudmose was the earliest researcher to perform meaningful sound system equalization. Dr. Rudmose published a truly remarkable paper in Noise Control (a supplementary journal of the Acoustical Society of America) in July 1958. At the AES session in the fall of 1967, I gave the first paper on the octave contiguous equalizer. Wayne Rudmose was the chairman of the session.

In 1969, a thorough discussion of acoustic feedback that possessed absolute relevance to real-life equalization appeared in the Australian Proceedings of the IREE. "A Feedback-Mode Analyzer/Suppressor Unit for Auditorium Sound System Stabilization" by J.E. Benson and D.F. Craig, illustrating the step-function behavior of the onset and decay of regeneration in sound systems.

These four sources constitute the genesis of modern system equalization. Fixed equalization was employed by many early experimenters including Kellogg and Rice in the early 1920s, Volkmann of RCA in the 1930s, and Dr. Charles Boner in the 1960s.

Dr. Boner is shown here in the midst of installing filters hard wired one at a time "until the customer ran out of money"- was a famous quote. His demonstrations of major improvements in sound systems installed in difficult environments encouraged many to further investigate sound system design and installation practices, followed by custom octave equalization. His view of himself was "that the sound system was the heart patient and he was the Dr. DeBakey of sound." The equalization system developed at Altec in 1967 by Art Davis (of Langevin fame), Jim Noble, chief electronics engineer, and myself was named Acousta-Voicing.

This program, coupled precision measurement equipment and specially trained sound contractors, resulted in larger more powerful sound systems once acoustic feedback was tamed via band rejection filters spaced at octave centers.

Equalization dramatically affected quality in recording studios and motion picture studios. I introduced variable system equalization in special sessions at the screening facilities in August 1969 to the sound heads of MGM-Fred Wilson, Disney--Herb Taylor, and Al Green-Warner Bros/7 Arts.

Sound system equalization, room treatment such as Manfred Schroeder's Residue Diffusers designed and manufactured by Peter D'Antonio, and the signal alignment of massive arrays led to previously unheard of live sound levels in large venues.


As Kelvin was to electrical theory so was John William Strutt, Third Baron Rayleigh, to acoustics. He was known to later generations as Lord Rayleigh (1842-1919). I was employed by Paul W. Klipsch, a designer and manufacturer of high quality loudspeaker systems in the late 1950s. He told me to obtain and read Lord Rayleigh's The Theory of Sound. I did so to my immense long term benefit. This remarkable three-volume tome remains the ultimate example of what a gentleman researcher can achieve in a home laboratory.

Lord Rayleigh wrote, The knowledge of external things which we derive from the indications of our senses is for the most part the result of inference.

The illusionary nature of reproduced sound, the paper cone moving back and forth being inferred to be a musical instrument, a voice, or other auditory stimuli, was vividly reinforced by the famous Section 1.

In terms of room acoustics, Wallace Clement Sabine was the founder of the science of architectural acoustics. He was the acoustician for Boston Symphony Hall, which is considered to be one of the three finest concert halls in the world. He was the mountain surrounded by men like Hermann, L.F. von Helmholtz, Lord Rayleigh, and others-early insights into how we listen and perceive.

As one both researches and recalls from experience the movers and shakers of the audio-acoustic industry, the necessity to publish ideas is paramount.

Modern communication theory has revealed to us a little of the complexity of the human listener. The human brain has from 10^15 to 10^17 bits of storage and we are told an operating rate of 100,000 Teraflops per second. No wonder some "sensitives" found difficulties in early digital recordings and even today attendance at a live unamplified concert quickly dispels the notion that reproduced sound has successfully modeled live sound.

We have arrived in the 21st century with not only fraudulent claims for products (an ancient art) but deliberately fraudulent technical society papers hoping to deceive the reader. I once witnessed a faulty technical article in a popular audio magazine that caused Mel Sprinkle (authority on the gain and loss of audio circuits) to write a Letter to the Editor. The Editor wrote saying Mel must be the one in error as a majority of the Letters to the Editor sided with the original author-a case of engineering democracy. We pray that no river bridges will be designed by this democratic method.

Frederick Vinton Hunt of Harvard was one of the intellectual offspring of men like Wallace Clement Sabine. As Leo Beranek wrote, At Harvard, Hunt worked amid a spectacular array of physicists and engineers. There was George Washington Pierce, inventor of the crystal oscillator and of magnetostriction transducers for underwater sound; Edwin H. Hall of the Hall effect; Percy Bridgeman, Nobel Laureate, whose wife had been secretary to Wallace Sabine; A.E. Kennelly of the Kennelly-Heaviside layer; W.F. Osgood, the mathematician; O.D. Kellog of potential theory; and F.A. Saunders, who was the technical heir at Harvard to Sabine.

Hunt's success in 1938 of producing a wide range 5 gram phonograph pickup that replaced the 5 oz units then in use led to Hunt and Beranek building large exponentially folded horns, a very high power amplifier and the introduction of much higher fidelity than had previously been available.

Dr. Hunt attended the technical session at the Los Angeles AES meeting in 1970 when I demonstrated the computation of acoustic gain for the sound system at hand, followed by Acousta-Voicing equalization in real time on the first H.P. Real Time Analyzer, all in 20 minutes. Dr. Hunt's remark to the audience following the demonstration insured the immediate acceptance of what we had achieved without any questions from the previous doubters. Dr. Hunt took genuine interest in the technology and was generous in his praise of our application of it. He said, "I don't fully understand how you have done it, but it certainly works."

Professional-Level Audio Equipment Scaled to Home Use

World War II had two major consequences in my life (I just missed it by one year). The first was going to college with the returning G.I.s and discovering the difference in maturity between a gung-ho kid and a real veteran only one or two years older. The chasm was unbridgeable and left a lifelong respect for anyone who has served their country in the armed services.

As a young ham operator, I had obtained a very small oscilloscope, McMillan, for use as a modulation monitor. I had seen the General Radio type 525A at Purdue University, without realizing until many years later, the genius it embodied by Professor Bedell of Cornell, inventor of the linear sweep circuit, and H.H. Scott while working on it as a student at MIT with a job at General Radio as well.

The second was the pent-up explosion of talent in the audio industry especially that part misnamed hi-fidelity.

Precision high quality it was, fidelity we have yet to achieve.

Directly after WWII a demand arose for professional level sound equipment scaled to "in the home use." Innovators such as Paul Klipsch, Lincoln Walsh, Frank McIntosh, Herman Hosmer Scott, Rudy Bozak, Avery Fisher, Saul Marantz, Alex Badmieff, Bob Stevens, and James B. Lansing met the needs of those desiring quality sound capable of reproducing the FM broadcasts and the fuller range that the advent of 331/3 vinyl records brought about.

During the early 50s, Lafayette and West Lafayette were two small towns across from each other on the banks of the Wabash River. Our clientele, Indiana's first hi-fi shop, the Golden Ear, was drawn from Purdue University and men like those named above could draw audiences equipped to appreciate their uniqueness. At that period Purdue had one of the finest minds in audio in charge of its broadcast station WBAA, Indiana's first broadcasting station and consequently a "clear channel" that Ralph Townsley utilized to modulate 20-20,000 Hz low distortion AM signals. Those of us who had Sargent Rayment TRF tuners had AM signals undistinguishable from FM, except during electrical storms. Any graduating Electrical engineer who could pass Townsley's basic audio networks test, for a job at WBAA, was indeed an engineer who could think for himself or herself about audio signals.

Great audio over AM radio in the late 1920s and early 1930s ran from the really well-engineered Atwater Kent tuned radio frequency receiver (still the best way to receive AM signals via such classics as the Sargent Rayment TRF tuner) to the absolutely remarkable, for its time, E.H. Scott's Quaranta (not to be confused with the equally famous H.H. Scott of postwar years).

This was a 48 tube super heterodyne receiver built on six chrome chassis weighing 620 lbs with five loudspeakers (two woofers, midrange, and high frequency units) bi-amped with 50 W for the low frequencies and 40 W for the high frequencies. My first view of one of these in the late 1930s revealed that wealth could pro vide a cultural life.

Edwin Armstrong (1890-1954)--The Invention of Radio and Fidelity

The technical history of radio is best realized by the inventor/engineer Edwin Howard Armstrong. Other prominent figures were political and other engineers were dwarfed by comparison to Armstrong.

In the summer of 1912, Armstrong, using the new tri ode vacuum tube, devised a new regenerative circuit in which part of the signal at the plate was fed back to the grid to strengthen incoming signals. In spite of his youth, Armstrong had his own pass to the famous West Street Bell Labs because of his regenerative circuit work. The regenerative circuit allowed great amplification of the received signal and also was an oscillator, if desired, making continuous wave transmission possible. This single circuit became not only the first radio amplifier, but also the first continuous wave transmitter that is still the heart of all radio operations.

In 1912-1913 Armstrong received his engineering degree from Columbia University, filed for a patent, and then returned to the university as assistant to professor and inventor Michael Pupin.

Dr. Pupin was a mentor to Armstrong and a great teacher to generations at Columbia University.

World War I intervened and Armstrong was commissioned as an officer in the U.S.

Army Signal Corps and sent to Paris. While there and in the pursuit of weak enemy wireless signals, he designed a complex eight tube receiver called the superheterodyne circuit, the circuit still used in 98% of all radio and television receivers.

In 1933 Armstrong invented and demonstrated wide-band frequency modulation that in field tests gave clear reception through the most violent storms and the greatest fidelity yet witnessed. The carrier was constant power while the frequency was modulated over the bandpass chosen.

He had built the entire FM transmitter and receiver on breadboard circuits of Columbia University. After the fact of physical construction, he did the mathematics.

Armstrong, in developing FM, got beyond the equations of the period which in turn laid the foundations for information theory, which quantifies how bandwidth can be exchanged for noise immunity.

In 1922, John R. Carson of AT&T had written an IRE paper that discussed modulation mathematically.

He showed that FM could not reduce the station band- width to less than twice the frequency range of the audio signal, "Since FM could not be used to narrow the transmitted band, it was not useful." Edwin Armstrong ignored narrowband FM and moved his experiments to 41 MHz and used a 200 kHz channel for wideband, noiseless reproduction. FM broadcasting allowed the transmitter to operate at full power all the time and used a limiter to strip off all amplitude noise in the receiver. A detector was designed to convert frequency variations into amplitude variations.

Paul Klipsch was a personal friend of Edwin Arm strong: Mr. Klipsch had supplied Klipschorns for the early FM demonstration just after WWII. This was when Armstrong, through Sarnoff's political manipulation, had been forced to move FM from 44-50 MHz to 88-108 MHz, requiring a complete redesign of all equipment. It was a stark lesson on how the courts, the media, and really big money can destroy genuine genius. Armstrong had literally created radio: the transmitters, the receivers for AM-FM-microwave in their most efficient forms. David Sarnoff made billions out of Armstrong's inventions, as well as an economic-political empire via the AM radio networks. No court or any politician should ever be allowed to make a technical judgment. Those judgments should be left to the technical societies as the "least worst" choice.

The history of audio is not the forum for discussing the violent political consequences-Sarnoff of RCA totally controlled the powerful AM networks of the time. In 1954 attorneys for RCA and AT&T led to Arm strong's death by suicide. The current AM programming quality put on FM leaves quality FM radio a rare luxury in some limited areas.

The few, my self included, who heard the live broadcasts of the Boston Symphony Orchestra over the FM transmitter given them by Arm strong and received on the unparalleled, even today, precedent FM receivers know what remarkable transparency can be achieved between art and technology.

Acoustic Measurements-Richard C. Heyser (1931-1987)

Plato said, "God ever geometrizes." Richard Heyser, the geometer, should feel at ease with God. To those whose minds res pond to the visual, Heyser's measurements shed a bright light on difficult mathematical concepts. The Heyser Spiral displays the concepts of the complex plane in a single visual flash.

Heyser was a scientist in the purest sense of the word, employed by NASA, and audio was his hobby. I am quite sure that the great scientists of the past were waiting at the door for him when he past through. His trans form has yet to be fully understood. As with Maxwell, we may have to wait a hundred years.

When I first met Richard C. Heyser in the mid-1960s, Richard worked for Jet Propulsion Labs as a senior scientist. He invited me to go to his basement at his home to see his personal laboratory. The first thing he showed me on his Time Delay Spectrometry equipment was the Nyquist plot of a crossover network he was examining. I gave the display a quick look and said,

"That looks like a Nyquist plot!" He replied, "It is."

"But," I said, "No one makes a Nyquist analyzer."

"That's right," he replied.

At this point I entered the modern age of audio analysis. Watching Dick tune in the signal delay between his microphone and the loudspeaker he was testing until the correct bandpass filter Nyquist display appeared on the screen was a revelation. Seeing the epicycles caused by resonances in the loudspeaker and the passage of non-minimum phase responses back through all quad rants opened a million questions.

Dick then showed me the Bode plots of both frequency and phase for the same loudspeaker but I was to remain a fan of seeing everything at once via the Nyquist plot.

To put all this in perspective (I worked at Altec at the time) I knew of no manufacturer in audio capable of making any of these measurements. We all had Bruel and Kjaer or General Radio frequency analyzers and good Tektronics oscilloscopes, but zero true acoustic phase measurement capabilities. I do not mean to imply that the technology didn't exist because Wente calculated the phase response of 555A in the 1920s, but rather that commercial instruments available in audio did not exist until Richard Heyser demonstrated the usefulness of the measurements and Gerald Stanley of Crown Inter national actually built a commercially available device.

Heyser's remarkable work became the Time, Envelope, Frequency (TEF) system, first in the hands of Crown International, and later as a Gold Line instrument.

The early giants of audio computed theoretical phase responses for minimum phase devices. A few pure scientists actually measured phase-Weiner, Ewask, Marivardi and Stroh, but their results had failed to go beyond their laboratories.

From 1966 until today, 42 years later, such analysis can now be embodied in software in fast, large memory computers. Dennis Gabor's (1900- 1979) analytic signal theory appeared in Heyser's work as amplitude response, phase response, and Envelope Time Curves (ETC). One glance at the Heyser Spiral for impedance reveals Gabor's analytic signal and the complex numbers as real, imaginary, and Nyquist plot. The correlation of what seems first to be separate components into one component is a revelation to the first time viewer of this display. The unwinding of the Nyquist plot along the frequency axis provides a defining perspective.

Heyser's work led to loudspeakers with vastly improved spatial response, something totally unrecognized in the amplitude-only days. Arrays became predictable and coherent. Signal alignment entered the thought of designers. The ETC technology resulted in the chance to meaningfully study loudspeaker-room interactions.

Because the most widely taught mathematical tools proceed from impulse responses, Heyser's transform is perceived "through a glass darkly." It is left in the hands of practitioners to further the research into the transient behavior of loudspeakers. The decades-long lag of academia will eventually apply the lessons of the Heyser transform to transducer signal delay and signal delay interaction.

I have always held Harry Olson of RCA in high regard because, as editor of the Audio Engineering Society Journal in 1969, he found Richard C. Heyser's original paper in the waste basket-it had been rejected by means of the idiot system of non-peer review used by the AES Journal.

Calculators and Computers

In the late 1960s, I was invited to Hewlett Packard to view a new calculator they were planning to market. I was working at this time with Arthur C. Davis (not a relative) at Altec, and Art was a friend of William Hewlett.

Art had purchased one of the very first RC oscillators made in the fabled HP garage. He had used them for the audio gear that he had designed for the movie Fantasia.

The 9100 calculator-computer was the first brain child that Tom Osborne took to HP, after having been turned down by SCM, IBM, Friden and Monroe. (I purchased one; it cost me $5100. I used it to program the first acoustic design programs.) In 1966, a friend introduced Osborne to Barney Oliver at HP. After reviewing the design he asked Osborne to come back the next day to meet Dave and Bill, to which Osborne said, "Who?" After one meeting with "Dave & Bill," Osborne knew he had found a home for his 9100. Soon Bill Hewlett turned to Tom Osborne, Dave Cochran, and Tom Whitney, who worked under the direction of Barney Oliver, and said, "I want one in a tenth the volume (the 9100 was IBM type writer size), ten times as fast, and at a tenth of the price." Later he added that he "wanted it to be a shirt pocket machine." The first HP 35 cost $395, was 3.2 × 5.8 × 1.3 inches and weighed 9 oz with batteries. It also fit into Bill Hewlett's shirt pocket. (Bill Hewlett named the calculator the HP 35 because it had 35 keys.) Art Davis took me to lunch one day with Mr. Hewlett. Because I had been an ardent user of the HP 9100 units, I was selected to preview the HP 35 during its initial tests in Palo Alto.

In my mind, these calculators revolutionized audio education, especially for those without advanced university educations. The ability to quickly and accurately work with logarithm, trigonometric functions, complex numbers, etc., freed us from the tyranny of books of tables, slide rules, and carefully hoarded volumes such as Massa's acoustic design charts and Vegas's ten place log tables.

For the multitude of us who had experienced difficulty in engineering courses with misplaced decimal points and slide rule manipulation and extrapolation, the HP 35 released inherent talents we didn't realize we possessed. The x^y key allowed instant K numbers. The ten-place log tables became historical artifacts.

When I suggested to the then president of Altec that we should negotiate being the one to sell the HP 35s to the electronics industry (Altec then owned Allied Radio,) his reply stunned me, "We are not in the calculator business." I thought as he said it, "Neither is Hewlett Packard." His decision made it easy for me to consider leaving Altec.

I soon left Altec and started Synergetic Audio Concepts, teaching seminars in audio education. I gave each person attending a seminar an HP 35 to use during the 3-day seminar. I know that many of those attending immediately purchased an HP calculator, which changed their whole approach to audio system design.

As Tom Osborne wrote, "The HP 35 and HP 65 changed the world we live in." Since the political demise of the Soviet Union, "Mozarts-without-a-piano" have been freed to express their brilliance. Dr. Wolfgang Ahnert, from former East Germany, was enabled to use his mathematical skills with matching computer tools to dominate the audio-acoustic design market place.

The Meaning of Communication

The future of audio and acoustics stands on the shoulders of the giants we have discussed, and numerous ones that we have inadvertently overlooked. The discoverers of new and better ways to generate, distribute, and control sound will be measured consciously or unconsciously by their predecessor's standards. Fad and fundamentals will be judged eventually. Age councils that "the ancients are stealing our inventions." The uncovering of an idea new to you is as thrilling as it was to the first person to do so.

The history of audio and acoustics is the saga of the mathematical understanding of fundamental physical laws. Hearing and seeing are illusionary, restricted by the inadequacy of our physical senses. The science and art of audio and acoustics are essential to our under standing of history inasmuch as art is metaphysical (above the physical). Also art precedes science.

That the human brain processes music and art in a different hemisphere from speech and mathematics suggests the difference between information, that can be mathematically defined and communication that cannot.

A message is the flawless transmission of a text. Drama, music, and great oratory cannot be flawlessly transmitted by known physical systems. For example, the spatial integrity of a great orchestra in a remarkable acoustic space is today even with our astounding technological strides only realizable by attending the live performance.

The complexity of the auditory senses defies efforts to record or transmit it faithfully.

The perception of good audio will often flow from the listener's past experience, i.e., wow and flutter really annoys musicians whereas harmonic distortion, clipping, etc., grate on an engineer's ear-mind system.

I have not written about today's highly hyped products as their history belongs to the survivors of the early 21st century. It can be hoped that someday physicists and top engineers will for some magic reason return to the development of holographic audio systems that approach fidelity.

Telecommunication technology, fiber optics, lasers, satellites, etc. have obtained worldwide audiences for both trash and treasure.

The devilish power that telecommunications has provided demagogues is frightening, but shared communication has revealed to a much larger audience the prosperity of certain ideas over others, and one can hope that the metaphysics behind progress will penetrate a majority of the minds out there.

That the audio industry's history has barely begun is evidenced every time one attends a live performance.

We will, one day, look back on the neglect of the metaphysical element, perhaps after we have uncovered the parameters at present easily heard but unmeasurable by our present sciences. History awaits the ability to generate the sound field rather than a sound field. When a computer is finally offered to us that is capable of such generation, the question it must answer is, "How does it feel?"


Lynn Olson, The Soul of Sound, revised and updated in 2005-a superb, accurate, and insightful picture of the greats and ingrates of consumer audio.

American Institute of Electrical Engineers, April 18, 1893. Ms. Mary Ann Hoffman of the IEEE History Center at Rutgers University is in the process of rescuing these seminar papers and getting them to restorers. She graciously provided me with a copy of the original.

Eugene Patronis, pictures of 1930s Western Electric theater loudspeaker.

William T. McQuaide, Audio Engineering Society, picture of Lincoln Walsh.

36 years of Syn-Aud-Con Newsletters for pictures, dates, and equipment.

Michael P. Frank, Physical Limits of Computing, University of Florida.

The ownership of some 750 audio and acoustic technical volumes now owned and preserved by Mary Gruska, who sensed their metaphysical value and purchased "the infinite with the finite." Lawrence Lessing, Man of High Fidelity, Edwin Howard Armstong, Lippincott, 1956.

Tom Osborne, Tom Osborne's Story in His Own Words, a letter to Dave Packard explaining his development of the HP 9100 and the HP 35.

The vast resource of the Internet.

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Updated: Wednesday, 2020-04-29 16:50 PST