My Infamous Digital Loudspeaker

Way back in 1980 I wrote an article for the April edition of "HiFi for Pleasure" magazine1982. The It was published under the pseudonym of "Olaf Pirol" which of course can be re-written as "April Fool". None the less the article was based upon work I'd done to produce a working speaker working from the seed of an idea I'd had after looking at the old air-powered loudspeakers of World War ll vintage. The promise was, as I put it at the time, "No noise; no distortion; no colouration; and apparently unlimited reserves of volume". Overnight everything else would be obselete.

At the time the article caused a great stir because it was so believable; the loudspeaker would work. Several large hi-fi companies fell for it hook, line and sinker and wondered why their R&D teams were so far behind the curve.

But this article also pretty much made it impossible for anyone to ever patent a digital loudspeaker. In the past 30 years several major consumer electronic manufacturers have looked into digital loudspeakers only to have a shock when they got to the Patent Office. Unfortunately most patent laws make absolutely no distinction between a humourous article and a scientific paper. So my digital speaker article still blocks anyone who now tries to patent such an idea. And without the prospect of patent protection few companies will invest heavily in new research so perhaps the true digital loudspeaker is still many years away.

If you'd like to read the original it can be downloaded on this page courtesy of Birmingham City Libraries who found me a yellowing copy of the original magazine.


Downloads <click on the logo to download>

The April 1980 article from "HiFi for Pleasure"
• Copyright 2009, 2010 2011-
Stan Curtis the hi-fi guru - Digital Loudspeaker-