Originally Posted by commsysman
I guess we disagree on the continuity of the corporation and its speaker research and the ins and outs of that could probably be debated for hours.
But if you claim that they have done any more, or more significant, speaker research than a number of other companies, i still say that is nonsense.
With 83 years of research, some ground-breaking behind them, if nothing else they had a giant head start!
BTW the NRC <-> JBL connection is known to anybody who is aware of Dr. Floyd Toole's CV.
"The NRC audio testing program wasn't even a gleam in anybody's eye when a young PhD named Floyd Toole arrived in 1965, fresh from his postgraduate work at Imperial College in London. A native of Moncton, New Brunswick, Toole studied in England on scholarship, and did his doctoral work in sound localization -- an important part of stereo perception -- and wished to continue his research in that field at NRC.
"In 1991, Floyd Toole left NRC to become vice president of engineering for Harman International in California, parent of JBL, Harman-Kardon, Infinity, and a variety of other audio brands. Even without Toole's presence, however, the speaker development work went on at NRC. Paul Barton points out that Toole's contributions in setting up the speaker testing program, and his own scientific research, were immensely valuable, but that his work in that area was approaching the point of diminishing returns."
The connection between Toole and Harman's present day speaker guru Sean Olive is well known:
Sean Olive is Director of Acoustic Research for Harman International where he has worked since 1993. He currently directs the Corporate Acoustic Research Group that focuses on the perception, measurement and improvement of sound quality in Harman home, professional and automotive audio products. An important role of the Corporate R&D Group is to conduct competitive benchmarking on new Harman audio products to ensure their sound quality is best-in-class, using scientific-based, controlled listening test methods.
Prior to 1993, Sean was a research scientist at the National Research Council of Canada where he worked with Dr. Floyd Toole on research related to the perception and measurement of loudspeakers, listening rooms, and microphones. Sean received a Bachelors degree in Music from the University of Toronto, and his Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Sound Recording from McGill University in Montreal. His Ph.D. research was on room acoustic adaptation and the acoustical interactions between loudspeakers and rooms. Sean has taught various audio courses at CEDIA, McGill and UCLA on topics that include sound recording, room acoustics, and the perception and evaluation of reproduced sound. Dr. Olive has written over 30 research papers on the perception and measurement of audio for which he was awarded the Audio Engineering Society (AES) Fellowship Award in 1996, and two Publication Awards (1990 and 1995). He is the current Vice President for the AES Western USA-Canada region, and writes a blog on audio called "Audio Musings" at
You did notice the mention of Paul S Barton along the way, right? I've met him, too. These are all brilliant gentlemen - trying to set up a hierarchy among them makes no sense to me. But if I were going to do so, I would probably put Toole at the top.