The Dope from Hope

From the desk of Paul W. Klipsch.


Vol. 1. No. 1, 16 August 1960

"Music relates to emotion, but its reproduction (including the emotion impact) is as coldly scientific as any other physical science."
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Vol. 1. No. 2, 7 November 1960

"Our measurements are no better than those of some other speaker builders, but our measurements plus our objectives are unique. Dedication to quality is more than merely running curves; it means rejecting some beautiful old-world craftsmanship along with some plain junk; accepting items less than glamorous; often disagreeing with consumer's magazines -- best and best-for-the-money are not synonomous."
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Vol. 1. No. 3, 22 November 1960

"This paper does not agree with some of the material that has been printed lately. Why should it, being factual, agree with the opinions of those trying to sell package stereo?"
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Vol. 1. No. 4, 16 December 1960

"One can tell if a room is good or bad by listening to someone talk in it. If natural voice sounds bad, its reproduction will be bad, too."
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Vol. 2. No. 1, 15 January 1961

"The MODEL H offers a welcome relief from the distorted performance of sound movie speakers used for club and public relations work."
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Vol. 2. No. 2, 20 February 1961

"Those opposed to corner speakers, or those proposing toe-out and other bizarre speaker geometrics, should be subject to scrutiny for motive, for certainly their views are the opposite of the scientists who have been mainly responsible for the creation of the art and of evaluation and advancing its features."
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Vol. 2. No. 3, 20 March 1961

"Many perfectionists in the art of sound reproduction feel that tape is a superior recording medium. The faults which exist remain small ones compared to other recording media. The remaining faults are subject to further minimisation." 
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Vol. 2. No. 4, 27 March 1961

"There is no hope of altering the semantics of the lay public, but it may be that the more receptive ones will find the term 'Polarity' more acceptable than the mis-used 'phase,' and you shouldn't feel reluctant to parade your superior knowledge."
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Vol. 2. No. 5, 17 April 1961

"The CORNWALL is the finest speaker system of its type I have ever tested. Its reproduction of human voice is second only to the KLIPSCHORN; its bass range is down 10 db at 30 cycles (relative to 200 cycles)."
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Vol. 2. No. 6, 1 May 1961

"The H in 'MODEL H' is short for 'Heresy,' it being the first non-corner speaker we made. We'd welcome suggestions for a new name."
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Vol. 2. No. 7, 1 June 1961

"In 1931 E.W. Kellogg proposed 1/16 inch diaphragm excursion as a limit for good quality. This seems prophetic in view of the fact that frequency modulation distortion did not become a subject in Audio literature until 1943."
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Vol. 2. No. 8, 17 July 1961

"Part of the theory is selling the woman on her home grounds. She usually has better ears than the breadwinner and finds it pretty hard to part with the KLIPSCHORNS to return to the boom boxes. The Dealer also realizes that its pretty nice to be able to listen without the salesman extolling virtues in the other ear. Shoes off, feet up, and glass in hand, the customer sells himself."
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Vol. 2. No. 9, 2 August 1961

"The new name for the MODEL H has not been forthcoming. The best suggestion came from Bill Bell with 'Hafiz,' a title of respect, specifically applied to a Mohammedan who knows the Koran by heart, and we are sending him a MODEL H, his choice of finish."
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Vol. 2. No. 10, 1 September 1961

"Our speakers not only afford superior transient output, but also superior response at all levels beacuse of the more nearly flat response and less loss due to the Fletcher-Munson effect."
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Vol. 2. No. 11, 27 September 1961

"These changes are all to your advantage: the pricing to allow for freight is simplified; the price is simpler without the extra price for veneer; the addition of the new wood should help you close the sale to the growing group of people who favor Early American furniture."
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Vol. 2. No. 12, 10 November 1961

"Bob Rorer of High Fidelity Unlimited, Portland, Oregon, must be given the credit for discovery of a response dip in the region of 250-500 cycles per second in the KLIPSCHORN woofer."
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Vol. 2. No. 13, 20 November 1961

"All Klipsch speakers are nominally 16 ohms. Three such speakers present a load on each of 2 amplifiers of eleven ohms. It is good practice to choose the next lower transformer tap, such as 8 ohms. It is usually permissible to mismatch a higher impedance load to a lower amplifier tap,  but usaully not good practice to mismatch a lower impedance load to a higher output impedance tap."
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Vol. 3. No. 1, 26 March 1962

"Tape stands as the potentially best medium for sound reproduction. As the prime recording medium from which other media are derived, it is less removed from the original source. Tape life far exceeds that of other media."
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Vol. 4. No. 1, 24 April 1963

"It is not known whether acceptance by the Professional Group on Audio was by way of silencing the author, or an unawareness of the 'controversial' aspects, or a genuinely professional attitude of letting the facts be known. I'd like to fee it is the latter, and if so, that elevates the PGA of the IEEE to just a little higher stature than the other 2 Societies."
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Vol. 4. No. 2, 15 May 1963

"The Dope From Hope is published occasionally, when something new comes from our Lab or when for other reasons something needs saying. In 1961 there wre 13 releases, in 1962 only one."
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Vol. 4. No. 3, 21 August 1963

"So if the customer likes some particular faulty sound better than 'the real thing,' point out to him that a good speaker can be made to imitate this fault, but if he ever develops to the point of liking the real thing, an inferior speaker of his choice will not upgrade to his future taste. For any state of development of the listener's taste and capability of discernment, the cheapest speaker in teh long run will be the one that is most nearly perfect."
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Vol. 4. No. 4, 12 September 1963

"In practice it is well to start a system with everything as near 'flat' as possible and use this quality as a reference or a point of departure if tone compensation is to be the subject of experiement. Thus the 'Loudness Control' should be disable and a simple "Volume Control" used for at least preliminary installation adjustment and intial evaluation of system components."
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Vol. 4. No. 5, 26 September 1963

"The CORNWALL was a superior loudspeaker in its class. Adoption of the K-600 midrange horn was more than a marginal improvement."
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Vol. 4. No. 6, 26 Septembr 1963

"It should be pointed out that the KLIPSCHORN has afforded suprior performance characterists since about 1948. 'The Hard Way' may have been the way it was done; 'The Hard Way' is not necessarily 'The Right Way', but where the question arose, 'The Right Way' was the choice. Perhaps the new horn will offer an easier means to maintain 'The Right Way'."
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Vol. 5. No. 1, 24 February 1964

"Since the room is perhaps the second most important or critical entity in achieving good audio, music listeners would do well to expend as much effort on the room as on the slection of the dynamic acoustic elements like loudspeakers."
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Vol. 5. No. 2, 4 March 1964

"The ideas herein are directed to to the Dealer who would like to render a reel service, achieve the status and respect of a true expert, and build sales on referrals of previous sales. Such a Dealer would scorn the 'easy' way; rather they would point out that a speaker which is merely "pleasing" may be far from an accurate reproduction of sound. A good speaker can be made to imitate a 'pleasing one' by twirling a few 'tone control knobs' but a poor speaker can never be made to imitate a good one."
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Vol. 5. No. 3, 27 September 1964

"Among papers of landmark significance, that of William B. Snow 'basic Principles of stereophonic Sound,' Jour. Soc. Mot. Picture and Television Engineers, Vol. 61, pp 567-589, is of primary importance. without any intended sacrilege, this would be the 'new testament' of audio, since the 'Symposium on Auditory Perspective' has become regarded as the 'old testament'."
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Vol. 6. No. 1, 15 August 1965

"As an Engineer I like efficiency, and adhere to the principle that an engineer can do for $2 what anybody could for for $200."
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Vol. 7. No. 1, 4 January 1966

"I learned my 'Transmission Lines and Wave Filters' from Dr. F.E. Terman at Stanford back in 1933 but graduation was commencement, not the end."
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Vol. 7. No. 2, 26 February 1966

"We sell quality. Even if a person bought our drives he would not get our quality: quality control of the box (either horn or enclosure) is necessary before, during and after manufacture."
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Vol. 7. No. 3, 1 March 1966

"This Doppler's Effect is present in loudspeakers. If the diaphragm is vibrating through a large bass amplitude while radiating a higher frequency, the pitch of the higher frequency is alternately raised and lowered so that a flutter results."
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Vol. 7. No. 4, 30 May 1966

"So be not surprised if you see 2 things that look like transformers in some future crossover networks. And don't complain; the improvement is real but it would take about 3 more improvements of like magnitude to achieve a liminal gain."
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Vol. 7. No. 5, June 1966

"This is the day of 100 watt amplifiers. The popular low-priced loudspeakers are of low efficiency, but most of thse I have tested go from fine to gross distortion at about 25 watts amplifier power. The lowest efficiency speaker I have tested is about 0.1%."
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Vol. 8. No. 1, 11 July 1967

"Back in the Good Old Days of 10 and 20 watt amplifiers it was uncommon to experience loudspeaker failures. When 75 watts became common, occasional tweeter failures began to occur. Then with the advent of large solid-state amplifiers with their 240 instantaneous power peaks, tweeter failures became epidemic and woofers began to come apart at the compliance rings and voice coils began to tear loose from cones."
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 Vol. 9. No. 1, 1 February 1968

"My personal feeling is that if a person is building a home and expects music to be a part of his joy of living, he could do well to get his architect to study Bolt's paper."
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Vol. 9. No. 2, June 1973

"Sometimes we (all of us) are guilty of throwing words and phrases around when we are not sure of their meanings. Paul and I started on such a tack the other day when we both discovered I didn't know how to define an acoustic watt."
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Vol. 10. No. 1, Reprinted April 1971

"My memory, such as it is, indicated to me that sound from one rehearsal room to another had to pass 2 walls. There was a hallway between rooms. But sound was coming 'over the top.'"
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Vol. 11. No. 1, 17 March 1971

"If your amplifier does not have an output transformer and therefore does not offer an impedance choice, it probably 'likes' 4 to 8 ohm loads and should get alone fine with KLIPSCH speakers."
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Vol. 11. No. 2, July 1971

"Every so often this subject of crossover networks has to crop up. The latest syndrome has been the rash of blown tweeters. My own earliest break with tradition was in 1942 when reducing the crossover slope improved performance."
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Vol. 11. No. 3, 6 July 1971

"With the advent of solid state power amplifiers, and particularly those of the 'DC' type, it is usually bad practice to 'derive' a bridged central signal from the outputs of 2 power amplifiers. If a polarity reversing transformer is used it tends to upset the feedback loops and has been known to cause 'thumping' transients in the amplifier."
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Vol. 11. No. 4, 3 December 1971

"Meanwhile your sales potential is limited by our production potential. But we are swimming hard and breathing deep and if you can endure the strain with us we'll all come up with sheckles. To mix the metaphor, the growing pains exist but we just have to bear them. When this building addition is done we may have to start on another."
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Vol. 12. No. 1, February 1972

"Therefore we will do our own reviewing. Accuse us if you will of 'conflict of interest,' but I feel we honestly and accurately evaluate loudspeakers. Admittedly we like to see our speakers reviewed in a favorable light. But to be honest with ourselves, we have to test the speakers of other makes as fairly as we do our own -- else how could we improve our own products?"
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Vol. 12. No. 2, March 1972

"Now lets look at the actual disadvantages. In the hands of the user who doesn't have access to acoustic measuring instruments, it is a certainty that he will apply wrong slope, wrong crossover points, wrong polarities, wrong component levels (wrong level control settings) plus of course more than trebling the cost and service problems of his electronics."
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Vol. 12. No. 3, 26 July 1972

"This brings up a point of philosophy or politics. Amplifier makers are offering preamps with a 'center speaker' output, but few offer a monophonic amplifier for the third speaker. If customers and dealers would inundate amplifier manufcaturers with demands for single amplifiers to use with stereo pairs, or stereo amplifiers with 3 'channels' instead of 2, the feed for a bridged center speaker would become a simple procedure instead of a problem."
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Vol. 12. No. 4, 17 October 1972

"I personally take offense at the opinions and errors allowed to get printed in the hi-fi magazines with, and I hold the editors responsible. I'd urge readers of THE DOPE FROM HOPE to read hi-fi magazines tongue-in-cheek, and even the "manufacturer's specifications" could well be questioned in view of the embellishments of our listings.""
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Vol. 12. No. 5, 25 October 1972

"Considering the fact that the 1949 KLIPSCHORN price (custom finish) was $590.00 and the current price for custom finish is $1551.00, the upgrading with G board and top end for $364 indicates somewhat less than zero obsolescence."

"Don't you wish you could do that with your 1948 Cadilliac?"
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Vol. 13. No. 1, January 1973

"Finally, remember that sound pressure levels in excess of 120dB over considerable periods of time will injure your hearing. Better keep your programs at enjoyable levels and enjoy them longer."
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Vol. 13. No. 2, June 1973

"We can offer a choice: the supreme quality of our present products, with the admonition to use less than 100 watts per channel, or a degraded response with (literally) ear-destructive power output."
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Vol. 13. No. 3, 13 October 1973

"The question of improved "phase shift" and "transient response" by means of an electronic crossover can best by answered by our DOPE FROM HOPE on Electronic Crossover. The experimental evidence should suffice. It you want "theory" to explain effect, it would take a book."
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Vol. 14. No. 1, April 1974

"After all, bragging about how much power your speaker can absorb is like bragging about how much fuel your vehicle can burn."
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Vol. 14. No. 2, May 1974

"I once thought that the instantaneous peaks destroyed voice coils by sheer mechanical force, but some work here by R.R. Moore using short "tone bursts" shows that peaks of up to 150 watts can be tolerated by rather delicate tweeter component speakers if the duration of the pulse is short and the heating is not excessive."
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Vol. 14. No. 3, June 1974

"The woofer system in our HERESY loudspeaker has undergone extended research and development over the past several years. Efficiency has improved to the point that the overall response has developed a broad "hump" centered about 100 Hertz."
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Vol. 14. No. 4, July 1974

"The bridged center speaker is needed just as much in "4-channel" as it is in stereo. The principles drawn from "Stereo Geometry Tests" tell us that center stage events can be prevented from wandering only by this means. You still need 3 speakers in front regardless of the total number of speakers. And to repeat: for good tonality you need good speakers, and clean program material."
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Vol. 15. No. 1, 1 May 1975

"We are in the process of making a change in the HERESY Loudspeaker System. After considerable listening tests and a large number of response curves, we have concluded that there is a marginal but realizable and audible improvement that we can make by reversing the polarity of the midrange and tweeter relative to the woofer driver."
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Vol. 15. No. 2, 1 August 1975

"My own experiments in the late 50's showed that good stereo goemetry, or the ability on the part of the listener to localize individual sounds, was optimized by the use of 3 loudspeakers, and with the flanking speakers toed-in 45°."
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Vol. 15. No. 3, 1 11 August 1975

"What I'm trying to get across is that the quality of the product of a company may be on par with the company's research facilities, quality control, qualifications, and integrity. Merely copying a product should be easy, but the copies so far witnessed fall far short of really being copies. What bugs me is the high price of such a loosely approximate copy."
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Vol. 15. No. 4, 5 January 1976

"Spend your money on better speakers, or having achieved the best, buy discs or tapes, or even (ugh!) a new car."
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Vol. 15. No. 5

"All speakers perform better in a corner."
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Vol. 15. No. 6, June 1976

"More and more people are calling and writing us about a three speaker array. We recommend our BELLE KLIPSCH or LA SCALA as a center speaker between our KLIPSCHHORN, LA SCALA or BELLE KLIPSCH as flanking speakers. We do not like to use our HERESY or CORNWALL speakers between totally horn-loaded speakers."
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Vol. 15. No. 7, September 1976

"The egotistical publisher of the DOPE FROM HOPE occasionally gets down off his high perch and recognizes the work of other egotists."
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Vol. 16. No. 1, January 1977

"Many customers ask, 'What should the power output rating of my amplifier be to drive Klipsch Loudspeakers?' The answer depends on loudspeaker efficiency, loudspeaker maximum input power capacity, the listening environment, and the listener's preferences in playback level."
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Vol. 16. No. 2, February 1977

"The midrange is 'where we live'; this is the frequency range where the ear is most sensitive to both tonal anomalies and to distortion. From the beginning of our company we have used horn-type mid-range in all our speakers, beacuse we can ahieve a smoother amplitude response as well as an order of magnitude lower distortion. This applies to all our speakers from our HERESY and CORNWALL on up through our LA SCALA, BELLE KLIPSCH, and KLIPSCHORN."
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Vol. 16. No. 3, March 1977

"We are beginning a program of bug hunting with some pretty sophisticated equipment and hope in the not-too-remote future to have some comparative answers."
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Vol. 16. No. 4, March 1977

"In sufficient quantities die-casting can have some advantages over sand casting, such as dimensional uniformity, easier threading, lighter weight, and depending on quantity, from $1 to $8 per unit saving in cost. This would postpone a price increase."
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Vol. 16. No. 5, July 1977

"Back in 1975, a leading restaurant operator was quoted in the Wall Street Journal, 'The recipe doesn't mean all that much. It's the technique. No one can duplicate our technique. We're safe.'"
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Vol. 16. No. 6, July 1977

"Back in the 20's when a certain automobile stood high in the public regard, the advertising slogan for the Packard was 'Ask the man who owns one'. May I borrow that phrase for our loudspeakers?"
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Vol. 16. No. 7, Augut 1977

"But, to take a dirty crack at the contemporary purveyors of 'hi-fi', it must be suspected that 'stereo imaging' is a new gee-whiz word to sell a dilute form of stereo that has existed in purer form for at least 20 years."
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Vol. 16. No. 8, September 1977

"A natural conclusion is that a variation in loudspeaker impedance can be highly advantageous if the variation is in the right direction."
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Vol. 17. No. 1, March 1978

"The controversy over 'speaker wire' is a Tempest in a Teapot, but still a Tempest."
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Vol. 19. No. 1, 30 April 1980

"We think it will be obvious that the new curve is prettier (more nearly flat) but the audible improvement may not be as obvious."
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Vol. 19. No. 2, 2 July 1980

Charles M. Edmonds and the "million gnat theory."
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Vol. 20. No. 1, 01 June 1981

Sketch of one of Dr Boner's "polycylindrical surfaces" for improving room acoustics.
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Vol. 21. No. 1, December 1982

"I have tried to keep this treatment of a complicated subject as simple as I can, even while trying to refute some of the popular fallacies."
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Vol. 22. No. 1, March 1983

"We have had it for 38 years and our R and D continues to improve the control. Just because we were the best in 1948 didn't lull us into complacency."
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Vol. 22. No. 2, 03 August 1983

"Back in 1940 when I started working seriously with loudspeakers, my aim was to approach REproduction of original sound as closely as possible."
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Vol. 22. No. 2, 17 October 1983

Charles M. Edmonds and the "million gnat theory - revised.
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Vol. 22. No. 3, 17 Ocober 1983

Charles M. Edmonds and the "million gnat theory - revised again.
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