- Soft dome tweeter
The soft dome tweeter was invented and patented in 1967 by Bill Hecht, the founder and current chairman of Phase Technology. Hecht states that he was confronted with what seemed a mundane problem: When showing speakers at various audio shows, onlookers often poked at the two-inch dome
tweeters of the display models, sometimes cracking them. And that simply didn’t look good. So he set out to make a soft, mock tweeter that wouldn’t crack when prodded. As with any good inventor worth his mettle, curiosity got the better of him.
“I brought it back to the lab, and I thought it might possibly make a good mid-range if I coated it,” Hecht recalls. “So I coated it with a thin rubber coating and put noise through it with a signal generator. To my absolute surprise, it went beyond 12K; that was quite a shock.” In those days, the belief was that only a rigid tweeter was capable of producing high frequencies.
Hecht had proven that theory wrong, but it took a personal visit to the United States Patent Office in Washington, DC, to get it off the ground.
“We were rejected four times,” he says. “The examiner (at the patent office) said ‘It is a known fact that you cannot produce high frequencies with anything but a very stiff material.’” So Hecht drove to Washington, taking along a tweeter, an amplifier and a signal generator. After a brief demonstration, he got his patent; and from there the soft dome tweeter became an industry standard, licensed almost immediately by manufacturers such as Macintosh, JVC, Yamaha, Pioneer, Kenwood and Shure, to name a few.
Phase Technology is a subsidiary of United Speaker Systems, Inc., an original equipment manufacturer founded in 1955 to produce high-fidelity systems for some of the world's most respected names in audio. United Speaker Systems, Inc. is a subsidiary of MSE Audio Group based in Overland Park, Kan. Bill Hecht continues to serve as chairman and chief executive officer; and his son, Ken Hecht, serves as president.
Ken Hecht, Contributed January 2008
Phase Technology Official Web Site, Retrieved January 2008
* [http://www.phasetech.com Phase Technology] Official Web Site
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