EAW’s Kenton Forsythe retires
WORLD: Eastern Acoustic Works’ (EAW) Kenton Forsythe, EVP of strategic engineering and one of the original founders of the company, has announced his retirement. First entering the industry in 1975 with the introduction of the Forsythe Audio SR215 dual 15-inch bass horn, his career has been spent advancing loudspeaker technology and design – ultimately earning him a Parnelli Award for audio innovation in 2011.
‘I have had the profound honour of working closely with Kenton for over 21 years,’ stated EAW president Jeff Rocha. ‘It is remarkable that Kenton had already revolutionised the industry and established himself as an icon before my EAW career began all those years ago. The fundamental principles that drove Kenton to create EAW remain the core values that drive our company to this very day.’
Mr Forsythe’s SR109 speaker and BH212 subwoofer in 1978 were the first products to bear the EAW name. By the late 1980s, his KF850 had become a popular touring loudspeaker, and this followed in the 1990s with the development of multiple loudspeaker solutions for the stadium market – many of which are still in use today.
‘My career with EAW has been extremely rewarding. I’ve made so many friends along the way,’ enthused Mr Forsythe. ‘I’ve also been provided with opportunities to develop new and better techniques for professional loudspeakers which, given my excitement for sound, was very rewarding. I am proudly passing the torch to Jeff Rocha. I am very confident that EAW is in good hands and that the projects in the works will be well received by the industry. For now, the time has come to slow down my involvement and take the time to enjoy life and family.’
Acoustic Distinctions’ David W Robb reflects on his history with Forsythe which dates back to the Forsythe Audio days. ‘When the company became Eastern Acoustic Works, I would continue to return to Kenton; not only because he kept coming up with great products, but because he was willing, even anxious, to listen to me. At that time, other companies were more interested in selling their existing products and just considered me to be a pain in the butt, but Kenton was different.’
Idibri managing director, Craig Janssen, recalled similar experiences. ‘I’ve known Kenton since the early 1990s when I worked with him on Anaheim Stadium to develop a loudspeaker solution that – in retrospect – only a young engineer would risk designing and only a wildly creative manufacturing engineer would build. Apart from Kenton's obvious technical skills, the thing I value most about him is his absolute integrity.’
Vance Breshears from Idibri, continued, ‘Kenton’s innovative product designs have had a huge impact on all of pro audio and set the standard by which other manufacturers are now measured. Much of our success as designers, particularly in the early days when we were getting started, was made possible as a result of the ground-breaking products that he provided. He is truly one of the giants of the industry.’
‘One element of Kenton’s brilliance is his ability to focus on the application for a product. Everyone wants to design a great loudspeaker. Kenton wants to design a great solution,’ offered Jack Wrightson from systems design company WJHW.
Ron Baker, WJHW (retired) concluded, ‘As I reflect back on our 25-plus years of collaboration, what I recall most is the enthusiasm and creativity he brought to each design challenge. The fruits of his considerable efforts are visible in the variety of speaker products he helped develop and in their continued use throughout the professional audio industry. He is not only a valuable industry resource, but also a trusted colleague and friend.’
The company has set a guest book page for industry professionals that want to send a message to Mr Forsythe.