1) Edison has to be there and first. He did it all without mathmatics and for the most part all mechanical. To call him a genius says to little. Everything practical started with him.
2)Lord Rayleigh(1842-1919) author of two volumes titled "Sound". Still relevant and unsurpassed in many ways.
3) Harry Olson, author: "Elements of Acoustical Engineering" By the way, does anybody know if Lynn Olson, speaker maker and general audio guru and nice guy is in any way related to Harry?
4) D.T.N. Williamson designer of one of the (or the) first valve amplifier although my understanding is that he never actually made one.
I will stop here - there are so many!
Audiogon. For provideing this small corner of the web for our use. It's not perfect, but nothing truly useful ever is. Keep up the good work Agon!
The boys at MSB - for bringing real hi-end digital to the masses of poor budget restricted 'philes.
Paul Hales could earn one by opening up shop again, supporting his marvelous deigns and maybe treating us with some improvements on his already amazing sonic bargians.
Actually, John Bardeen, Walter H. Brattain and William Shockley received the Nobel Prize in Physics for inventing the transistor in 1947.
In audio mfg, everything is about sales/profits. Not sure how "Nobel-Prize" fits in. We may love our hobby,or certian products. A SS kind of guy probably couldn't care about " what tube inovations". I have owned AA and still have some MSB items. Reminds me of John's ref. to the Beattles/ more-- than God.--- Major overshoot!!
Still I understand the concept in its "minor" application.
thanks for responding.
Some of you have taken the "fundamental contribution" concept waaay deep.
How about if we focus on the time period after the birth of consumer audio?
David, I've met many folks involved in quality audio, and some certainly stand out. I've sold semiconductors to most of these companies over the years, so I got to know their design philosophy and how/why/at what cost they do what they do. Dave Reich (a true gentleman and a designer I continue to admire for his ability to bring products to market that compete with other manufacturers at a fraction of the price), Ed Meitner (a leading-edge designer willing to push the envelope, tremendous imagination and ear), Jacques Riendeau (one of the more passionate audio enthusiasts), and Gilbert from Blue Circle (low key, polite, and very knowledgable), Victor Sima (focused gent, quite concerned about the relative quality of the parts used in his products). All good people. There is one gent who refused to answer my queries, but I do admire his speakers all the same. I'll leave that for another time and thread. I'm convinced no one in high end audio does this to become a millionaire, they get involved because they are passionate about advancing the cause.
Steve McCormack's name belongs here
I'd recognize John Marovskis, designer of the Janis subwoofer, for bringing audiophile quality (by the standards of the day) to low frequency music.
Why, Doctor Bose, of course. How could you exclude him? Without him, no 901s, no WaveRadio,no...Wait, did you say "Nobel Prize Nominee" or "Great Satan"? Sorry, disregard my nomination...
Harry Pearson. While some may disagree, and many others may be turned off by his pompous or grandiose attitude, I firmly believe that High End audio would not be at the level of sophistication that it is if not for this man.
His contribution to the language of audio is unique and the guy has EARS. Most importantly, he has relentlessly promoted the use of the best standard that there is for gauging the success of audio products: Does it serve the music?
(His photography sucks however)
Ok I'll play
If I were to choose one individual in audio today, with my limited knowledge on such matters, that represents absolute originality in design and implementation it would have to be
I just discovered this recently although his name and products have been familiar to me for many years. The realization of his achievements should be well known 20-30 years from now as his contributions to audio continue to unfold. Innovation and truly new ideas within old technologies always meet with resistance when there is a threat to the status quo. This will never deter the dreamer from breaking through the barrier to the next plane.
There are many others who should have won including Roger West, Peter Walker and Julius Futterman. In the audio press I would choose J Gordon Holt (of old) who originated subjective review of audio products and created a vocabulary to describe what he heard.
J. Gordon Holt
and all of those on Craigklomparens's list
I will vote for The HP when he acknowledges that the word is "continuity" and NOT "continuousness."
Zane William Johnson
JGH and HP ( with or without continuousness ) ex aequo
myself of course (-;
I'd give it to Nelson Pass, Jeff Rowland. Not only are they great designers, they can bite their tongues when Harry Pearson or Jonathan Valin or John Atkinson, etc.say something totally absurd in a review. Now I'm awake!