Presented by the Mix Foundation for Excellence in Audio, best known for its production of the TEC Awards, and hosted by the AES, the Fourth Annual TECnology Hall Of Fame ceremony was emceed by George Petersen, executive editor of Mix magazine and director of the TECnology Hall Of Fame.
Petersen prefaced Crown’s award by remarking, “[The DC 300] was a classic that really ushered in and defined the era of the modern power amplifier. And 1967 was a perfect time for this product to come out. Suddenly there were rock concerts that were high SPL--very loud--and needed great amplification. Live sound systems were coming into vogue. Listening levels in recording studios in 1967 started going through the roof and somebody needed to produce an amplifier that was loud enough to take care of this. And even 40 years after its introduction, there are so many of these DC 300s still in service, it’s an amazing testament to Crown reliability.”
Accepting the award, Gerald Stanley commented in his own inimitable way, “I must say this is quite humbling. Engineers don’t normally get put in the spotlight. But there are some people that are even less in the spotlight that I think are very important in all of this. One are the people that faithfully drive the screws and solder the joints; the people who work and make these products reliable. Nothing I do as an engineer matters if people don’t put it together faithfully.
“There’s a second group that almost never gets mentioned, and that’s the group of risk-takers. You see, technology doesn’t really ‘happen’ unless people take risks to do things that are new and different. So who are the risk-takers? They’re you, the users. Because, after all, the year is 1967. There have been a number of power amplifiers out. They all break, and fairly soon; you hardly have to abuse them at all. You’ve already bought ‘N-1’ of these things, so why would you try to buy the Nth one and think it any better? That wouldn’t be rational. And especially when you consider that you would have to go to a tape recorder company--Crown International--located in Elkhart, Indiana. It’s where you make band instruments and travel trailers. That’s what Elkhart’s famous for. So people took a huge risk. And 685 dollars in 1967 is a different quantity materially than it is today. People put a lot of trust in us, quite frankly, and we’re humbled by that. And we want the products that we make today to be as faithful and enduring and as apt to their purpose as the DC 300 has proven to be. But hats off to you, the users, who cast your lot with us and gave us a try. I thank you.”
Introduced in 1967, the high-powered, solid-state Crown DC 300 power amplifier offered 150 watts per channel at eight ohms and AB+B circuitry. The product’s reputation for high output power, pristine sound, and exemplary reliability, even in the most demanding applications, quickly helped establish Crown as a true leader in the worldwide power amplifier market.
The Mix Foundation for Excellence in Audio established the TECnology Hall of Fame in 2004 to honor and recognize audio products and innovations that have made a significant contribution to the advancement of audio technology. This year’s 15 inductees to the TECnology Hall of Fame were chosen by a panel of more than 50 recognized audio experts, including authors, educators, engineers, facility owners and other professionals. For more information on this year’s event and inductees, which included such notable items as the Theremin, Cannon XLR connector and AKG C-414, visit www.mixfoundation.org/hof/techof.html.