Just a Phase?

Phase Linear Employees 1973. Courtesy Nissen Collection

Phase Linear Employees 1973. Courtesy Nissen Collection

I received a charming letter from Gene, admin for theCarversite.com. This site is basically an equipment resource for all things Phase Linear/ Carver Corp/ Sunfire.  They also do the Carverfest. They truly celebrate Bob Carver and the equipment produced by companies he started.

At first I thought – some of my friends have pristine samples and unusual prototypes and this might be a good way for them to find someone to truly love and appreciate their old equipment. (more…)

William Shatner in Audio History?

Shatner photo 72dpiThe closest I have ever gotten to William Shatner was at a trade show.  Someone who worked for him bought me a cab ride and promised to put it on his expense account so I could truthfully say “William Shatner bought me a cab ride.” (And yes, I have a communicator pin.)

Doesn’t hold a candle to the awesome personal thank you from William Shatner to Dan Kiefer from the Phase Linear Service Department. Color me impressed (and maybe a teeny bit jealous.) My latest connection to Shatner? We both owned the same preamp. Thank you to Dean Nissen for picture and info.

 

Thanks, Bill

Bill Skinner at TAPCO . Audio designer/Mentor designed for TAPCO, Phase Linear

Bill Skinner at TAPCO. Audio designer/Mentor designed for TAPCO, Phase Linear

In the process of begging for photos of the old days from my friends, Bob Gudgel let me have this picture of our friend Bill Skinner. I hadn’t seen him since before a terrible motorcycle accident took his life in the mid eighties.  He was a great guy and a technical mentor to many people in the audio world. He designed for companies including Phase Linear and TAPCO, where this shot was taken.  (more…)

Been to an Employee Reunion lately?

This was a very interesting weekend for those curious about Audio Industry History in the NW. On one coast, folks in North Carolina celebrated CarverFest . This is an annual celebration (since 2007) of all things Bob Carver: his patents, his products, his companies, and his willingness to mix and answer questions from his fans.  You can check it out yourself the Carver fan site  www.theCarversite.com or maybe Bob’s Facebook page.

At the same time, back on our coast, forty people came together to celebrate working at Carver Corporation during its twenty-year run.  It was a Carver Corporation Employees Reunion Picnic. I had never heard of such a thing. Have you been to a reunion of a company that is no longer viable?  It showed a lot of people loved working at Carver, were passionate about their jobs, and enjoyed their co-workers. I think this level of care by all employees helped make the products the long-lived things they were.

The picnic  was quite fun (although I got there late and missed lots of people that I hope to see next time) – Carver alums should check out the Carver Employee Group on Facebook for word of future events!

The Employees didn’t seem to know about CarverFest, and certainly CarverFest doesn’t know much about the Employees.  There are a lot of clever and triumphant stories hidden to history of techs, engineers, designers,  assemblers, QC, purchasing, and products, and I believe some of these stories should be out there!

I love that we were building things, fixing things, making things happen. A small factory is a wonderful place to work; every department is important and predictable rivalries make the plant go round ( Engineers vs Sales – anyone?)

The fact that people worldwide still buy, sell, trade, and celebrate audio equipment from 1975-1995 is partly a reflection of how much went in to those products in the first place. And as this week of celebration has shown us, the pride of the internal teams live on, just like the consumers love of the gear.