Siegfried Linkwitz RIP

We have received the sad news that loudspeaker maven Siegfried Linkwitz, co-inventor of the innovative Linkwitz-Riley crossover network, has died. He had been suffering from prostate cancer for some years and had been receiving hospice care at his home.

Michael Fremer visited Siegfried last June and wrote about the visit in the September issue of Stereophile: “Linkwitz had a ‘straight job’ outside of audio, working for Hewlett-Packard. Audio was his passion. He made many significant innovations in addition to the Linkwitz-Riley crossover, including complete designs for the innovative open-baffle magicLX521 and other speaker models—which I got to hear in his living room. While for one reason or another Linkwitz never managed to build a successful speaker business, as we talked I got the impression that he’d tried. (He never clearly stated or affirmed it.) He wasn’t bitter. He laughed about it.

“Today Linkwitz’s designs, including the magicLX521, are offered as DIY projects through Linkwitz Lab. Though he remains protective of his designs, Linkwitz is more an idealist inventor than a businessman. All of his designs and materials are copyright-protected for the personal noncommercial use of the buyer.

“One thing Linkwitz said stuck with me. I’d asked him about measurements, and the often considerable difference between what’s seen in measurements and what’s actually heard in listening. ‘What is important to the eye is not necessarily important to the ear,’ he said. ‘Why should it be? Nature makes sure each does its job and does its job perfectly. You get cues from the eye, but some things that look gross in the frequency response, the ear says, “I don’t care”.’

“That from a guy who’s more a scientist than an artist. Never forget those words when you look at measurements, in Stereophile or elsewhere. Measurements are useful tools, but don’t let them hold you hostage.”

Michael also discussed his visit with Siegfried on our AnalogPlanet site, including a video, and you can find more about Siegfried here.

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