As most of us, after Uni, I got a job, married, bought a house, had my first boy, and basically speaker design was still there, but in the background. There was a venture into making special solid state preamps for the film industry, but that was not very successful, to say the least...
I worked for a while for the importer of Stellavox, the only competitor to Nagra, and got quite a kick out of selling these beautiful machines, eventually buying one for myself, and going places to record live music with it.
Eventually, I joined Hewlett-Packard in their Test & Measurement Division, and that changed my life, as suddenly, I was making good money, was exposed to the most up-to-date technology, and had access to some very sophisticated gear, including impedance meters and FFT analysers.
And I met a friend, Pierre, who would be the trigger for my next commercial project.
It was the time when the MIDI systems were introduced, still based on turntables, and most of the time, supplied with speakers in plastic boxes that were not doing justice to these miniaturised Japanese electronics that were quite decent.
So, an idea started to germinate in my mind: there probably was a market for a small speaker of the highest quality, at a decent price, to replace these speakers supplied with these MIDI systems...
Our next post will take through the genesis of these little marvels.
One of the first pair of speakers that really got me thinking and thought were beyond anything I had heard before were the Elipson 4040, made out of plaster and of two separate elements, one sphere for the medium and treble and one column for the subwoofer. It ended up being used as a monitor for the French National Radio, ORTF.
The clip below encapsulates the technical prowesses of Joseph Leon, its founder and chief engineer, as well as his "form follows function" phylosophy.
I was to try to duplicate this concept in the 80s in a much smaller package, intended as an upgrade to the basic loudspeakers supplied with the MIDI systems, all the rage at the time, because of the smaller size of most modern appartments, but also because they incorporated the new CD technology in a compact system.
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.