Recently, I made a trek across the USA (and Canada) from Nova Scotia through Maine going west until Portland and up through Washington up to Vancouver Island. I met with two mad geniuses and I'd like to offer a visitors opinion of my experiences.
First up the irrepressible
Mr Bill Waslo. I met up with Bill at his house and received just a great welcome. Bill and his wife (whose name I can now confidently remember - tx Bill) were incredible hosts. To me, this couple were more impressive as people than being an audio genius, and once you get an understand of what Bill knows and has achieved to date, you'll understand what high praise that is.
We spent over half a day together, and even went walkabout in the vicinity of their locale to check out some things outside of the audio world. I really loved the fact that even now in their relationship, Bill held his wife's hand as we walked in the torrential downpour. Kind, generous, thoughtful individuals - I was blessed to meet them.
As far as audio goes, Mr Waslo has two pairs of custom designed (of course!) synergy horns in his home, in different sized cabs. The man has a great ear and is fastidious about achieving what he believes are critical performance criteria of a great speaker. The knowledge this man has made my head spin some, and I am quite certain he was just getting warmed up.
Bill has designed more than the 1899. Significantly more. And if you ever wanted to know who is the man behind Omnimic, look no further. And more by the way - his prodigious output in the audio world is something that I could only grin at and marvel.
Onto Vancouver Island, and Mr 1099
. He kindly met up with me for a couple hours one day, and I got to tell you he is taller and better looking than his handle pic
His knowledge is also impressive and if he let go and started to wax lyrical about audio stuff
, I think I would have gotten a headache. An engineer by trade, I can easily see where his vocation has benefited his hobby and how that benefits us here in the DIY world. I met his wife and children and felt that he was a lucky man who has also worked hard to achieve what he has. Just lovely people.
I saw my first 24" sub and its every bit as impressive as you might imagine if you haven't had the chance. I saw some Iwata's and was told stories about even bigger projects he has completed. Its kind of mind blowing to quote a common phrase.
Mr 1099 had a pair of custom designed 10" wide SEOS horns and a dual opposed 10" sub in action. We watched a fun clip from EoT and some music - discussing preferences, clarity, soundstage and the differences between horns/ waveguides/ ribbons etc.
I feel this is critical to mention to the DIY world: these guys are not earning a stack of money from this gig. Far from it - they often have to invest their own darn hard earned cash (through other regular avenues) to experiment and ultimately create what we enjoy. It became shockingly clear to me that they are VOLUNTEERS and dont earn a bloody red cent on products that the vast majority of us amateur end users think they earn a mint off. Check out that 1099? I thought Mr TuxedoCivic was riding the green carpet all the way to the bank. Couldn't be wronger
Its my encouragement to anyone who will ever read this to treat these guys with respect and understanding that they don't get a dime to service our enquiries via pm/ email etc. This is exactly like your kindly neighbour who is a damn expert at what he does and you also happen to think they're an ace kind of guy whose friendship is worth more than the skills that they have. I believe that if we do that, you'll have a wonderful experience and exchange and come out way ahead.
Thanks Bill and Ryan - you guys are an absolute credit to the DIY Audio universe.