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audioXpress Staff

Tribute to Ed Dell: Vance Dickason

May 3 2013, 13:01

Publisher, Innovator, and Humanitarian

Back in 1984 or 1985, Gary Galo suggested to Ed that he republish the original Loudspeaker Design Cookbook (LDC), five years out of print by that time. He had to do some searching to find me, as when I self-published the Loudspeaker Design Cookbook in 1977 and 1978, my name wasn’t featured in the book, mostly because it was originally conceived as a promotional tool for my company, Speaker Research Associates.

After some diligent detective work, he gave me a call and told me he wanted to republish the original LDC. My response was that it was five years out of print and needed to be updated. I suggested that he should send me all the back issues of Audio Amateur and Speaker Builder. Then as I rewrote the book, I would incorporate all the relevant references from his magazines. The magazine references would appear along with the others from the Audio Engineering Society, the Acoustical Society of America, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, which I felt would add some well-deserved credibility to his publications. We agreed and, as they say, the rest is history.

My relationship with Ed was a symbiotic one: Publishing my books and hiring me as the editor of Voice Coil certainly contributed to making my career as a loudspeaker engineer possible, and those same publications contributed to the long-term success of Audio Amateur. But beyond that, Ed was a good friend, even though we were only in the same room together maybe two or three times during our 25-year working relationship.

On a more personal note, there is one thing that always comes to mind when I think about Ed, which I believe says a lot about his affable personality. It is a little fridge magnet he sent me in 1997. It was his way of announcing to me the release of the fifth edition of LDC. It reads: “We’ll drink no wine before its time… IT’S TIME!” It’s still in my kitchen, as I’m sure it will remain, until the time comes when someone has to write one of these for me.

The last thing I wish to leave all of you “dear readers” (Ed liked that kind of language) is that I am not certain everyone in the loudspeaker and electronics industry?professionals and DIY persons alike?realizes what a major effect Ed had on us all. I don’t think loudspeaker DIY would have ever grown as big as it is without Ed Dell’s insight into the importance of creating something yourself and his turning that impulse into a publishing company.

In an audioXpress (October 2011) interview, he said, “The act of building is one of the most human activities you can do.” As far as loudspeaker engineering professionals go, I can’t begin to tell you how many of them I have encountered who have said that they got their start in this challenging technology by reading Speaker Builder, LDC, and Voice Coil.

Ed, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

?Vance Dickason, Voice Coil editor


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