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About Us

I’ve been interested in audio since I was a music student at the University of Nebraska. The DIY side of the hobby appealed to me right away. I scrounged some cheap components and built myself a pair of speakers and started hanging out on the audio forums. After grad school, I had a little more space and time (get your Master’s degree in trombone performance and you’ll have nothing but free time), so I began a couple more projects.

I discovered single driver loudspeakers and found that they presented music in a completely different way from any of the multi-way speakers I had heard (and I’ve heard a bunch, from budget bookshelves to huge Wilsons and Egglestons). Instruments and voices retain the same rich and intense sound I hear in real life. Sure, there are some tradeoffs, but a couple of sonic pimples bother me a lot less than the airbrushed, plastic-y, smoother-than-life sound common to conventional high end.

I also came across some older fullrange drivers. I liked the idea of them, but I wasn’t happy with the sound. A good sounding pair of Radio Shack fullrangers really got me to thinking. Many modern fullrange drivers are built to look awfully fancy. The few that aren’t have features more targeted to pro audio use. I wondered if it was possible to build a really great sounding speaker without the fancy looks and marketing. After some discussion with a nearby manufacturer, Betsy was born.

And the “Us”? Well, I live in St. Cloud Minnesota with my lovely (incredibly tolerant) wife and little grey poodle. The burros (Betsy, Barney and Buffy) live in Nebraska on my father’s farm. WBAL is really just me, but who has an “about me” tab?