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View Full Version : Praise for Don McRitchie and Steve Schell!



Steve K
09-27-2006, 08:09 AM
I went to the bookstore today and got a copy of Stereo Sound's special issue, 60th Anniversary - JBL. The soft covered, 300 page book is loaded with beautiful pictures of past and current JBL speakers, interspersed with interviews with key JBL personnel, such as Paul Bente and Greg Timbers, among other notables. However, the real icing on the cake is a 90 page section that comprises a fully comprehensive history of JBL, the man, the company and the products. Two names are given credits for contributing this very readable and educational piece to this commemorative edition, that of Donald McRitchie and Steve Schell.

There have been similar articles, written by Japanese audio critics and writers, in Japanese hifi magazines in the past, but none, as far as I can remember, as detailed and informative as this. I'm sure Japanese JBL fans will thoroughly enjoy reading the article and also learn new facts at the same time.

Don, Steve, congratulations to you both for a job well done! I don't know if there will be an English version of the special commemorative issue, but I sure do hope so for the sake of all the members here. If not, your articles, in original text, ought to be stored in the Library section, permitting there is no issue of copyright with Stereo Sound of Japan.

Steve K

boputnam
09-27-2006, 08:49 AM
Long-time coming. Great effort, Don and Steve.

The JBL Story - 60 Years of Audio Innovation (http://www.amazon.com/JBL-Story-Years-Audio-Innovation/dp/1423412818/sr=1-1/qid=1159368329/ref=pd_bbs_1/102-1597119-2160944?ie=UTF8&s=books) by John Eargle.

Just got me one...!

Hoerninger
09-27-2006, 10:28 AM
Just wondering, are we discussing the same book?
http://audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=12407
Same content - different language?
____________
Peter

Steve K
09-27-2006, 10:45 AM
Just wondering, are we discussing the same book?
http://audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=12407
____________
Peter

I was wondering the same thing. The Japanese book mentions John Eargle, with others, on the last page, but that's about the only reference it makes about him. It seems the staff at Stereo Sound are the main contributors, except Don/Steve's section, of course. Well, it doesn't matter since I'm going to get the US version, too! ;)

BTW, Don and Steve should know that the translator who did the transition of their article did a really good job at it.

Steve K

Mr. Widget
09-27-2006, 11:58 AM
Two different books.

Widget

boputnam
09-27-2006, 12:13 PM
Two different books.:banghead:

Titanium Dome
09-27-2006, 02:00 PM
C'mon Bo, don't let it get to you. :p

glen
09-27-2006, 04:12 PM
Very nice work guys!!!

You really earned the early auditions of the new Everest DD66000. (which you eventually shared with us, thanks!)

I hope there are many more insider treats in your future!
Congrats on all the well earned respect you are now receiving from JBL, those Japanese audio fanatics, and the Lansing Heritage community.

And thanks continuing to share the fruits of your considerable efforts with us!

Now if only we could get somebody to do some Japanese translation of the rest of those StereoSound articles.

glen
09-27-2006, 04:17 PM
Two different books.

Widget


How about THREE different books
:banghead: :banghead: :banghead:
There's also this one:

Titanium Dome
09-27-2006, 04:18 PM
(snip)

Now if only we could get somebody to do some Japanese translation of the rest of those StereoSound articles.

I'm thinking Steve K could do it for us if...:thnkfast:
...well, it's a lot of work for sure.

Steve K
09-27-2006, 07:41 PM
Upon going through the commemorative Stereo Sound issue, I found that there is an interview section with Mr. John Eargle. I missed that the first time.

Glen, the 'third' cover is of the latest regular quarterly issue of Stereo Sound which features not only the new Everest but a slew of other new products by other manufacturers as well, whereas the first two are dedicated to JBLs.

Rolf
09-28-2006, 12:44 AM
Long-time coming. Great effort, Don and Steve.

The JBL Story - 60 Years of Audio Innovation (http://www.amazon.com/JBL-Story-Years-Audio-Innovation/dp/1423412818/sr=1-1/qid=1159368329/ref=pd_bbs_1/102-1597119-2160944?ie=UTF8&s=books) by John Eargle.

Just got me one...!

I have ordered and paid for this book in July at Amazon. They confirmed shipping date September 20th, with arrival at my home between September 22 to 26. No book arrived.:( I have sent them a mail today.:biting:

Steve K
09-28-2006, 01:39 AM
I'm thinking Steve K could do it for us if...:thnkfast:
...well, it's a lot of work for sure.

Sure, TD, but I'll have to quit my day job first!:hmm:
Seriously, though, the essential part is Don's and Steve's article on the history of JBL, so if only they would make the original English draft available... But you can still enjoy the pretty pictures in the Japanese book. :p

Mr. Widget
09-28-2006, 01:46 AM
Don has said that he will be putting the English version that he and Steve Schell wrote up on this site at some point in the future. For now, Stereo Sound has an exclusive.


Widget

Don McRitchie
09-29-2006, 09:45 AM
I've been preoccupied for a couple of days, so I haven't been able to respond to this thread until now. First off, my thanks to Steve K for starting this thread and posting his impressions of the final published Japanese version of our article. I'm pleased to hear that it translated well into that language. We definitely had a good translator in Mori Shima who spent six weeks devoted to that article. For those interested, there is a picture of Mori below, about to drink from a temple fountain, when he acted a a tour guide for me on my last full day in Tokyo.

http://www.audioheritage.org/vbulletin/attachment.php?attachmentid=18610&stc=1&d=1158252049

I think it's fair to say that Steve Schell and I both felt privileged to be offered the opportunity to write for Stereo Sound. Initially we were asked to do around 40 pages. I submitted a first draft and got the two word response "Write more!". I got a few more of those responses until it grew to around 35,000 words, which comes out close to 100 pages of text when printed out from MS Word on a letter sized page. As Widget reminded everyone in the above post, the original English draft will make it onto this website some time after January 1, 2007. I committed to give Stereo Sound an exclusive until then.

With regards to the Harman published "The JBL Story", I'm still waiting for my signed copy to arrive. Both publications started about a year ago and we were in close contact with JBL during the development of our article. Virtually all of the senior staff at JBL reviewed and provided input (e.g. John Eargle, Mark Gander, Greg Timbers, Doug Button etc.). We provided illustrations and background information to John in his work.

John Eargle has indicated to me that his work is considerably different. Being published by JBL, it is a celebration of their accomplishments over the past six decades, with a significant focus on their technology. Our article is more of a narrative history. Being third parties, we actually had greater latitude in what we could cover. As John said, "you're able to write aspects that I cannot". For example, we covered a number of JBL market failure (yes, there have been a few). In many ways, I find these more enlightening than the successes since the illuminate the challenges of the time.

In closing, I'm linking to the picture of Steve K that was taken when we met in Japan. It's on the tour photo essay, but I never explicitly pointed out Steve's picture. As I said, meeting up with him was a highlight of the trip.

http://www.audioheritage.org/vbulletin/attachment.php?attachmentid=18513&stc=1&d=1158028171

Steve Schell
09-29-2006, 11:08 AM
Steve K, thanks for the kind words about the article. My portion covers the time period from Jim Lansing's birth until his death, his involvement with the companies that bear his name, and the major products developed during this time. By word count my portion is less than 20% of the article. As usual, Don came through in a huge way and wrote a definitive chronicle of JBL's history and the myriad of products through the decades. I'll never know how he keeps this all straight in his head; I have a hard time just keeping track of the pre 1950 era.

It was Don who was approached by Stereo Sound to write the article. I'd like to express my appreciation to Don for allowing me to participate in the project.

Titanium Dome
09-29-2006, 01:46 PM
Thanks for pointing Steve out to us. It's always good to put a face to a name.

A little OT: Steve, maybe it's an optical illusion, but how do you get to your sink? It looks like the partition obstructs it.

Rolf
09-29-2006, 03:41 PM
I've been preoccupied for a couple of days .....

Don. I have ordered the book from Amazon. They stated that it should arrive me between September 22 - 26.

After e-mailing them they still don't know when the book is coming tho their store. Is it not out yet? If it is tell me where to buy.

Don McRitchie
09-29-2006, 05:10 PM
I assume that you are talking about the John Eargle book. I don't know the details of its availability. I last talked to John about it in late August and it was about to go to the printers. He stated that he was going to forward a copy as soon as JBL received their allotment and it has yet to come. Bo seems to be implying that he has already received a copy. Hopefully, he can elaborate.

Steve K
09-29-2006, 09:06 PM
A little OT: Steve, maybe it's an optical illusion, but how do you get to your sink? It looks like the partition obstructs it.

That room, which TD made me aware only now that it was a kitchen, belongs to Doc Mikami, the ultimate audio collector of Yokosuka city where Don and I visited on our day together. The room is on the second floor of a three story building that houses his practice as well. The doctor told us that he no longer makes this place his residence, as he and his family live in another house in the neighboring city of Kamakura. He jokingly said that his wife does not permit him to bring his collections into the other house. :D

Rolf
09-30-2006, 01:37 AM
I assume that you are talking about the John Eargle book. I don't know the details of its availability. I last talked to John about it in late August and it was about to go to the printers. He stated that he was going to forward a copy as soon as JBL received their allotment and it has yet to come. Bo seems to be implying that he has already received a copy. Hopefully, he can elaborate.

Yes, the John Eargle book. OK, then I guess I just have to wait...:o:

Don McRitchie
10-18-2006, 12:57 PM
Don. I have ordered the book from Amazon. They stated that it should arrive me between September 22 - 26.

After e-mailing them they still don't know when the book is coming tho their store. Is it not out yet? If it is tell me where to buy.

I just got word from JBL that John Eargle's "The JBL Story" was held up in editing. The final draft is now under review and expected availability is Nov 20/06.

Rolf
10-18-2006, 02:38 PM
I just got word from JBL that John Eargle's "The JBL Story" was held up in editing. The final draft is now under review and expected availability is Nov 20/06.

Thanks for the info Don. I received an e-mail from Amazon that they have not charged me yet, and this is correct. I just have to wait.:banghead: