From the archives: The amplifier designer hall of fame (part #3) – Mark Levinson, Antony Michaelson, Dr. Richard Bews, Bob Stuart, Roger Modeski.

Editor McCauley in conversation with Howard Popeck:

Yes. But can you expand on this a bit?

Okay. In my direct personal experience many of the finest amplifier designers are first and foremost gifted in their field and are not entrepreneurs through choice. They become entrepreneurs through force of circumstance i.e. there was no other intelligent choice.  They're visionaries when it comes to circuit design, component selection, PSU design and so on. But they aren’t axiomatically visionaries when it comes to sales and marketing.

That’s where the well-rounded industry visionary comes in. Thus in many but not all instances, the visionary designer needs a visionary sales and marketing person on the team. Every now and then though, those combined skills do reside in one skull. 

Such as?

Err. Well …. Bob Stuart immediately springs to mind. He’s demonstrated his design prowess and entrepreneur spirit with Lecson, Orpheus and of course Meridian. Dr Bews of LFD is another. (Long pause) Antony Michaelson too, but in a slightly different way. 

Any more?

Not that I know personally, no. But from a distance I guess you’d include the late Mr. Verreker of NAIM, Bill Johnson of ARC, Dan D'Agostino formerly of Krell. Roger Modeski (ex Beveridge) and a few others. Must be more out there that I’m unaware of or have forgotten.

You didn’t mention Mark Levinson

Nope. I didn’t did I? Mark’s kind of in a category all of his own. A rather rare and special category. He’s both a visionary in sales and marketing and I believe to some extent a design engineer too but with sufficient nous to get truly brilliant people to do the tough stuff. Some years ago that was John Curl – legendry in some circles.

Continued tomorrow

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