Don & Carolyn Davis form a unique husband
and wife team working in audio, starting in 1951 with The Golden Ear in Lafayette, IN, selling eclectic high
fidelity equipment. Don was Paul Klipsch’s President
in charge of Vice in the late 50s, and worked for Altec Lansing from 1959 until
1972 where he was co-inventor of 1/3-octave equalization. The Davises founded Synergetic Audio
Concepts in 1973 in response to the growing need in the audio industry for
training in the fundaments of sound reinforcement. Their work in equalization,
speech intelligibility and recording technologies provided the backbone for
developing training seminars and workshops.
Don has authored three books, Acoustical
Tests and Measurements in 1965, How to Build Speaker Enclosures in
1968, co-authored with Alex Badmaieff, which has sold over 200,000 copies, and Sound
System Engineering, co-authored with his wife, Carolyn, in 1975. They are
working on the 3rd edition with co-author, Dr. Eugene Patronis.
The authors of this book, after enduring
really poor sound quality at a meeting of a professional audio society, uttered
in frustration, “If bad sound were fatal, audio would be the leading cause of
They have spent their professional careers
writing and lecturing on sound system engineering. The audio industry has
generously recognized their efforts as instrumental in the better sound quality
we enjoy today. Don & Carolyn are both Fellows of the Audio Engineering
Society and have received many awards in the audio industry.
In the process of communicating with the
grads of their seminars on audio and acoustics, a quarterly Newsletter was
established. Most of the Newsletter was technical in nature, but also contained
the evolving mindset that bonded teachers and grads into something not
originally expected – a fraternity of people dedicated to changing an industry.
These excerpts from the Syn-Aud-Con
Newsletters, annotated in 2003, go back to the beginning of these changes in
the industry up to the Davises’ retirement in 1995.
The book provides a remarkable insight into
entrepreneur teachers communication with entrepreneur students, the typical
attendees at their seminars were already successful n their chosen industry,
but knew in their hears that there was a higher
standard and they actively sought it.