Who's Who in Amp/ Preamp design?

I think of certain companies and certain people come to mind (PS Audio, for example), but other manufacturers appear to be corporate black holes (Mark Levinson- the company for example). Just who is who, to the best of your knowledge? Who should we be watching out for in amp/ preamp design and what are they like, and for which company? Can we get some personalities involved!! We are in this for the fun of it right, who is out there making our lives better? Manufactures chime in if you dare!
BAT- I think of a dude named Victor laboring over his balanced circuits, sweating due to the heat they put out,
PS Audio- I think of a cheerful guy named Paul McGowan and some other happy dudes with code names working on amp and power solutions in the crisp air of Colorado.
Threshold/ Pass- I think of Nelson Pass, circuit designer and circuit homebrewer!
Marsh - obviously there is a someone named Marsh at this place.
Gryphon Audio design- I think of a guy in black clothing named Rassmussen testing the designs while listening to a reel-to-reel (Revox perhaps?) with the lights dimmed due to the power-hungry class A designs being used.
Krell- Dan D'A. CEO but does he actually do anything?
Vandersteen- well, speakers don't count in this thread.

Anyone else?
(spelling does not count on this thread...obviously!)
Charles Hansen / Ayre Acoustics
Charles Manson / Family Audio Design
To explain the above post for those that aren't familiar with this "company", they had kind of a "cult following" in the late 60's. Everybody involved in this "project" were very close knit, ala the "Family" nomenclature. As such, their love of audio and things musical were "put away" and their products simply became just another "FAD" of the hippy & drug culture. There are those that still remember Charles and know him as being quite eccentric in his theories. He was surely the mastermind behind some of the most extreme music related projects in history. Some of them being so removed from the mainstream that many thought them criminal. Charles even went so far as to record his own demo's. With some help from Mike Love of the Beach Boys, he was able to cut such classics as "Garbage Dump", along with a few other acoustic based tunes. The work was so legendary that bands such as Guns & Roses have even covered one of his tunes. Alas, Charles has other things to deal with and his mind ( what is left of it ) is hard at work on trying to figure out how to break down the barriers that conventional ways of thought have imprisoned him in. Don't look for any "new products" soon, but if he does release something, you can bet it WILL make the news. Sean
Let's see, Montreal is a veritable hotbed of audio companies, and working in the semiconductor business I've met all of them, and helped with their designs. First gent that comes to mind is David Reich of Classe Audio fame, one of the most competent and nicest guys you'll ever meet. Interesting enough, David is a classical pianist by training, not an engineer, but man he sure can design great solid state gear. Terrific guy, as far as I know he's at Theta now. Next up, Ed Meitner. Now Ed is a fascinating fellow, a little unusual at times and sure has had some interesting concepts in the past (water driven turntables, cryogenically treating wires, etc). Ed was one of the first to recognize the need to address jitter reduction, and has designed some nice stuff in the past. The Riendeau brothers behind the infamous Oracle turntable/CDP, two dedicated and knowledgable gents. Jacques brought resonance control to a new standard, and to make things even better their stuff is absolutely stunning. Victor Sima is a quiet and unassuming man, very polite and easygoing. I suspect the moneymen influenced many of Victor's decisions, he was capable of designing much better gear than SimAudio marketed. Vincent Bruzesse, the man behind Totem, is difficult to get ahold of and seems consumed with his work, fair enough. One thing all these guys have in common, generally small operations and quite approachable. For a 'phile, it's cool to hang with these guys, and get paid for it to boot! Jeff
An intersting triad of hermitic savants is CTC, comprised of Bob Crump, Carl Thompson and John Curl. The sum of their collective talents is high end gear that goes virtually unnoticed, what with no advertising, hype and essentially word of mouth referals. They are the brains behind the Blowtorch/Vendetta line-phono stages, and a future monoblock amplifier funded by Parasound, the JC-1. Somewhat cottage industry gear, but arguably some of the best out there. Bob Crump is a gentleman, scholar and frequent traveler in the lane just left of center. Nicest guy you'd ever want to meet.
Vladimir Shushurin / Lamm
Jim White - Aesthetix
Ralph Karsten - Atma-sphere
Henry Wolcott - Wolcott
Sean, thanks for the laughs! Martin
Sean, your walking that fine line. You know humor at Audiogon is forbid, especially when it's sick humor like yours and mine.
Actually I worked with "Chuck" for a short time. Squeaky and I were tight... oh that's another story for a later date. Any who, Chuck had a file he kept on audio tweaks that were fads, or snake-oil scams. It was a thick sucker too... he used to laugh and laugh....
It's just a rumor, but I think Ms. Tate had connections to "Audio", you know the Corporate conglomerate I wrote about, they moved on from the Kennedy thing to the "great audio cover-up".
Good day, oh and don't look at Charles eyes, bad things happen... kind of a sick dude when I reflect back, damn that gives me shivers.
Thanks Sean, J.D.
Williamson of the Williamson amp design, D'Appolito of the speaker configuration, the Linn guy, is it Tiefunbrun (?)who made us get better turntables, got to mention Joseph Grado, invented the moving coil, right?, Fulton cables came first but David Salz (Straightwire) turned wires into components, ModSquad started the whole DAC thing; these are groundbreakers for sure.
Sean, you're alright, mostly, but I'm certain the LoBianco and Tate families would find no humor here.
Hey Sean I think Mike Love was following his own guru at the time. I think it was Denny during one of his most creative periods.
Keep a eye on Mark O'Brien and Mark Walker of Rogue Audio.They have some incredible skills and education.They have released awesome tube amps and preamps.They keep their prices realistic but are able to offer products that compete with the higher priced products.They are still considered new to the high end market,so watch them closely!
Roger Modjedski ok, ok, I probably did get the spelling right but he is "the man" at Music Reference.