At the time, JBL was experiencing
exponential growth in sales and was expanding aggressively into professional
markets, particularly for studio monitors. With demands for new products,
and limited staff, it was only eight months after his start that Greg
Timbers was given sole responsibility for a major loudspeaker project. This
was the development of the 4300 series of monitors. Greg first worked on the
4315, where he developed a concept for a four-way speaker that he has
continually refined to this day (more on this later). He next worked on the
4330/31, 4332/4333 and 4340/4341. He also worked on the domestic conversion
of the 4331 and 4333 that became the L200B and L300.
Network design is arguably at the core of Greg's art. Greg has an uncommon talent for voicing overall system response by using subtle refinements in network tuning. It was this ability that made his four-way speaker designs so successful. Starting with the 4315, Greg proved that it was possible to combine high output with very accurate response in a multi-way design. Previously, such designs had been frowned upon by many who believed that the greater number of cross-over points yielded a greater number of response discontinuities. Greg was able to seamlessly match the multiple drivers and tune them individually to result in an inordinately flat and coherent output. Through a series of intermediate designs, Greg refined this concept to result in the speaker that would become his favorite. That speaker was the L250 of 1982. It remains in production to this day as the limited edition L250Ti Jubilee. Greg has recently evolved this design into a new multimedia version marketed as the Performance Series.
An integral part of Greg's work in system design involves enclosure tuning
and this is another field for which he has become a master. The best
evidence for this is the engineering he performed for the K2 series. Greg
has had overall engineering responsibility for all of JBL's statement
speakers of the past two decades. It started with the DD55000 Everest and
continued with the more recent K2 Series. The latter series introduced new
concepts in enclosure and driver tuning to combine stunning transient attack
with deep bass response. The "Imaginary Equivalent Tuning" he developed for
the K2-S5500 and M9500 speakers set new standards in this regard.
Greg works best in a focused team environment. He is proud of his role in establishing a team approach to system design at JBL that he has employed for over two decades. Nonetheless, he recognizes, that within the team, there has to be a clear mission. "It doesn't have to be my vision, but there has to be someone's vision". He realizes that audio is becoming just one aspect of a larger multimedia experience. The challenge will be to provide more and smaller loudspeakers that integrate into a home environment, while providing the highest levels of performance. Nonetheless, when the opportunity arises to develop a speaker that represents the current state-of-the art, Greg will always jump at the chance.
© 2001 Don McRitchie
P.S. When asked how long he had to work at JBL before he could forego the suit and tie, Greg answered August 1, 1972 - the day after he started. Greg prides himself in maintaining an average of three "Tie Days" a year, although his average is slipping. Last year resulted in seven "Tie Days".