Commitment to Custom
“Our wall-hanging products were very popular and were getting a lot of national attention,” said Jeff Gordon, CEO and co-founding partner. “We soon created our first product line, called PictureSound, which consisted of on-wall, flat-panel speakers with acoustically transparent, silk-screened decorative grills. They were only three inches deep and essentially appeared as framed artwork. They even showed up on the Discovery channel’s ‘Monster House’ featuring a Japanese silkscreened grille cloth for an episode called Zen House.”
But things quickly changed with the introduction of flat-panel displays. Noah and Jeff immediately realized the possibilities for speaker design that this new technology required, and quickly scrapped the speaker/art concept. Their intention was to be the first speaker company dedicated to the flat-panel revolution, and they plowed ahead by putting all their energy into a new product design: The Profile Series—the world’s first speakers designed specifically for plasma TV’s.
Designing products specifically for flat-panel displays led to a number of challenges as well as innovations. Primary among these was that Noah and Jeff had to reconsider the classic notions of two-channel audio, as a plasma display is not a traditional stereo system. “We came up with a theory called Direct Source Audio (DSA),” Gordon recalled, “which basically means that audio should emanate from, and enhance, the visual experience of the display. This theory is embodied in our Horizon and Profile Series products.
“While we did invent what is now commonly known as the ‘LCR soundbar,’ that wasn’t enough for us. We wanted this new audio solution to hold its own against the finest loudspeakers in the world. This is why we chose to outfit these loudspeakers with the finest European drivers, including Focal and Peerless, and extreme high-fidelity tweeters like Morel, to create what we think of as the Leon sound, which offers detailed vocal clarity while maintaining full-range musicality and fidelity.”