ALBERT VON SCHWEIKERT
Von Schweikert Audio was founded by legendary speaker designer Mr. Albert Von Schweikert. A Cal-Tech trained speaker designer mentored by Dr. Richard C. Heyser (one of the designers of the electronics for the Apollo Manned Lunar Missions). Albert is now in his fourth decade of speaker design and research. Due to his breakthroughs in psychoacoustics and theoretical principles of acoustic reproduction of transducers, Albert is widely regarded in the industry as one of the pre-eminent speaker designers in the world. Companies such as Lucas Film THX, Walt Disney, Steinway, A&M Records, Sheffield Sound Labs, Mobile Fidelity and JVC have all sought Mr. Von Schweikert for his expertise in superior speaker design.
At the age of 12, he built his first speakers from kits and modified the stock drivers. He studied violin and piano at the Conservatory of the University of Heidelberg, Germany, later playing electric guitar with Sonny and Cher and Neil Diamond before he was 20. Being dissatisfied with the sound of the PA (public address) speakers of the day, Albert began modifying speaker systems for famous touring groups. It was in 1967 that Neil Diamond persuaded Albert to leave music and begin a career in speaker design after singing through a custom-built 3-way PA system Albert designed in his garage.
While at Cal-Tech in the ’70s, Albert delved into computer-based development of speaker design and psychoacoustics, where he gained new understandings of sound radiation and how this was perceived by the listening audience. Original research led him to discover that the goal of a loudspeaker was to reproduce what the omni-directional microphones picked up, using the microphone pickup patterns and transient response as his design goal. Thus, Albert’s “speaker as mic in reverse” design was called Acoustic Inverse Reproduction. Using a rear-firing midrange/treble driver to replicate the radiation pattern of omni mics, the Von Schweikert “Ambience Retrieval System” illuminates the room with spherical sound waves, enabling each listener in the room to perceive the “live” sound field embedded in the original recording. Ordinary speakers “beam” the sound waves, creating poor off-axis sound to listeners who are not seated in the “sweet spot.” Albert felt that the “beaming” effect was psychologically detrimental to the illusion of a live performance, and his research proved to be visionary.
After he left Cal-Tech University, Albert went to work for Dr. Oskar Heil, of ESS Air Motion Transformer fame. Later, at KSC Industries, one of the world’s largest transducer manufacturers, Albert worked with numerous audio companies and was responsible for over 100 speaker designs. At KSC, Albert designed transducers and/or crossover systems for Polk, Klipsch, JBL, ESS Heil, Infinity, Apogee, Cerwin Vega, Jensen, NHT and many others. At Counterpoint Electronics, Albert won his first Product Of The Year Award; his Lucas Film THX design called ClearField Home Cinema was featured on the cover of Video Magazine’s July 1995 issue.
The Ravens backed The Who, Jimmy Page & The Yardbirds, Sonny & Cher, Neil Diamond & many others.