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 Posted:   Nov 19, 2011 - 11:48 AM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

The name may be unfamiliar to young people, but everyone who listens to high-fidelity at home is in his debt. Edgar Villchur was the inventor of the acoustic suspension woofer in the mid-1950s. Before that, full-range sound could be reproduced only by giant horns like the Altec-Lansing Voice of the Theater or the famous corner-placed Klipschorns. Few could afford those dinosaurs and fewer still had space to install them. Villchur developed the concept of "acoustic suspension," whereby the air in a tightly sealed and well-damped box could be used to reinforce the low-frequency energy. With Henry Kloss and Roy Allison, he created Acoustic Research (AR) to develop the classic AR-1 woofer and then the AR-3 full-range loudspeaker. The "bookshelf" speaker was born, and within a few years it dominated the market. The concept required more amplifier power than was common in the vacuum tube era, but AR's timing was perfect. The solid-state revolution soon made high wattage affordable. AR went on to develop a classic amplifier and turntable as well. But it was the speakers that opened the way to high fidelity for the 98 percent of us. In the old days one went to the movies (at least the roadshow houses) to hear the finest music reproduction. That was part of what made those "epic" films and scores so exciting. By 1970 most of us could experience better sound at home than in the theater. Edgar Villchur was the one who made it possible.


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/18/business/edgar-m-villchur-hi-fi-innovator-dies-at-94.html

 
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