Industry pioneer Albert “Al” Kahn passed away on June 15, 2005, at his home in Diamond Lake, Mich. Born July 9, 1906, in Iasal, Ill., Kahn had a childhood interest in electronics and was granted the first ham radio license in Illinois.
In 1927, Kahn and Lou Burroughs founded the Radio Engineering Company to install and repair radio receivers in South Bend, Ind. The company grew and evolved into a successful retail operation, but was almost completely wiped out by the Great Depression of 1929. The company regrouped by moving into audio and designed a portable P.A. system for Notre Dame football coaching legend Knute Rockne, who referred to the system as his “electric voice.” Kahn and Burroughs liked the name, and Electro-Voice was officially incorporated on July 1, 1930.
Some of the groundbreaking technologies that Electro-Voice has introduced include the humbucking coil (1934), the T-45 noise-canceling microphone (1942), using alnico magnets, developing Acoustalloy synthetic plastic (non-metallic) diaphragms, the Variable-D system (1968, used in the RE20 mic), the Constant Directivity horn (1973) and the first high-output, neodymium-based N/Dym® dynamic microphones.