From our archives: The amplifier designer hall of fame (part #2) – “They were the ones that saw the market niches …”

Editor McCauley in conversation with Howard Popeck:

So there are more figureheads than gifted designers. Is that what you’re saying?

Not quite like that. In my direct personal experience I’ve met more figureheads than gifted designers. But that’s not to say that my experiences are representative of the entire industry.

One has to take into account the chemistry between people inasmuch as one’s ‘reputation’ proceeds you. For example, I never got to meet the flat-earth designers because my loathing of what they represented and how they manipulated the media was well known which meant that we’d never met. However re the ‘mavericks’ though ... well they and I gravitated towards each other. So my experiences and comments are illustrative rather than exhaustive.

Okay then; shall we use the term designer-heroes. You okay with that?

Yup. I’ll go with that.

So, let's get down to work; a few of your design heroes please.

Okay. Will do. But I want to introduce another facet first; lest you and the readers get the wrong idea. These bullshitting figureheads I mentioned earlier on are not without value. They are inappropriately valued. That’s a different matter entirely. Understand?

How’s that?

They may indeed claim that it was their design brilliance that led to the terrific sound or whatever. However their true value, and this must not be underestimated, is that in the main and in my direct experience they are visionaries. They were the ones that saw the market niches, borrowed initially at least from friends and families, took the risks and conceptualized the products.

Continued tomorrow