We Ask 10 Questions For High-End
During Enjoy the Music.com's very special 25th Anniversary we're asking various high-end audio manufacturers to answer the same ten questions. Their answers may surprise you! This month we're featuring Mark Glazer, Harman Luxury Audio Group's Revel speaker division. Mark Glazer's interest in accurate audio reproduction started in his early teens. To help pursue his goal of becoming a Loudspeaker Engineer, he obtained his degree in Electrical Engineering from Concordia University in Montreal. In 1979, Mark was hired as a Loudspeaker Engineer at Jumetite Labs in Vancouver Canada; makers of high-end loudspeaker systems using corrugated aluminum foil ribbon midrange-tweeters. After five years as an Electro-Acoustic Engineer in the telecommunications industry, Mark joined Infinity Systems in 1989 as a Loudspeaker Design Engineer. At Infinity he was involved in the engineering the IRS Modulus, Kappa, and Reference, among others, plus many of the brand's aftermarket auto sound speakers.
In 1996 Mark transferred to Harman's new high-end loudspeaker division, Revel. For over 23 years, he has held the role of Revel's Chief Engineer, responsible for the engineering of almost all Revel products, including Ultima, Performa Be, and Concerta loudspeaker lines. Currently, Mark is serving on the Board of Directors for ALTI (Audio & Loudspeaker Technologies International).
Q. What is your first memory of falling in love with music?
A. My love for music was sparked early on. My family had a stereo console and an expansive music collection which I was absolutely fascinated with growing up. I especially enjoyed sitting back and listening to classical music and opera. My interest in these genres extended into my early teenage years and became the genres of choice when purchasing new LP records.
I still find myself discovering new ways to fall in love with music today. Attending live acoustic performances of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra in Disney Hall, I am awed at this unforgettable dynamic sound. I then strive to design loudspeakers that approach this experience.
Q. How did you first get introduced to high-fidelity audio gear?
A. My introduction to high-fidelity audio is due in part to my friend's brother, who built his own audio equipment. I remember him playing the latest Santana album Abraxas on a large pair of two-way co-axial loudspeakers and being amazed by the speakers' fidelity. This listening experience forever transformed my perception and appreciation for quality sound and stirred my interest in how hi-fi audio gear is built.
Q. What is your favorite piece of vintage hi-fi, and why?
A. My favorite pieces of vintage hi-fi are the Acoustic Research AR 3a and JBL Paragon loudspeakers. I first learned of and listened to these loudspeakers at a large audiophile show in 1971, and haven't forgotten about them since.
The speakers' incredible design and performance left me awestruck and inspired me to pursue a career in loudspeaker engineering. I feel extremely fortunate to still get that same feeling today at Harman that I did back at the tradeshow in 1971. I'm continuously inspired by the innovations we have and the acoustic performance capabilities we deliver.
Q. How did you get started in the pro audio industry?
A. My start in the pro audio industry began in 1979 after browsing the Yellow Pages for employment. I came across a small startup loudspeaker company called Jumetite Laboratories in Vancouver, Canada, and was hired on as an apprentice loudspeaker engineer.
During my almost four-year period at Jumetite Laboratories, I helped engineer high-end loudspeakers like its Jumetite CR611, which used a corrugated aluminum ribbon driver to operate over 600 Hz. At the time, the speakers sold for $3200 a pair in top dealers across the United States like Lyric HiFi and Sound by Singer in New York City.
Q. What challenges did you face during those early years?
A. While high-end audio innovation was inspiring during these years, the recession of the early 1980s took an eventual toll on the industry. Similar to other brands, Jumetite struggled to survive. Regardless of the situation, I remained grounded in my passion for audio engineering and used my interest to propel forward.
Q. What, and when, was your company's first product?
A. In 1997, Revel debuted its first loudspeaker, the Ultima Gem. This groundbreaking loudspeaker featured a 5-inch inverted titanium dome, neodymium motor structure with flux and shorting rings for distortion reduction and a vented, low Fo tweeter with distortion-reduction rings. Most notably, the Ultima Gem was the first design utilizing the new Ometron laser scanning vibrometer and large 4pi anechoic chamber with the signature "Spin-o-rama" measurement technology.
Q. How have your products evolved over the years?
A. Here at Revel, we're continually working to improve and advance the listening experience. One way we're doing this is by improving the directivity of sound into the listening room. As we gain a more thorough understanding of loudspeaker linearity, we're also seeing more exceptional speaker dynamics.
The Revel F228Be released in 2018 is a perfect example of our advancements, improving directivity and dynamic range. The F328Be, the new flagship of the Performa Be line, goes beyond the F228Be that includes an all new 6th generation Be tweeter waveguide and vented motor assembly with inductance de-modulation ring and massive 85 mm dual ceramic magnets.
The powerful all-new tweeter and Acoustic Lens waveguide seamlessly integrate with the directivity of the companion midrange driver to deliver greater efficiency, improved dynamic range, reduced distortion, and increased power handling compared to aluminum or titanium tweeters.
Q. What is your company's most popular product(s)?
A. After 13 years in production, Revel's Ultima Salon2 four-way floorstanding loudspeaker still remains at the top of its class. The loudspeakers feature a sophisticated design and deliver unparalleled sound performance with three 8" woofers, a 6.5" mid-woofer, 4" midrange and 1" tweeter.
Q. What is your next planned product offering and its' features?
A. I cannot give out information yet, but it will certainly catch the attention of the audiophile community.
Q. What advancements do you speculate high-end audio will offer ten years from now?
A. One of the biggest advancements I see in the next ten-years is an industry adaption to a new generation of audiophiles. I also envision loudspeaker enclosures shrinking and including internal associated electronics as digital signal processing advances. These 'smart' loudspeakers will sense the room environment for boundary correction, have flatter frequency response, and improved overall active linearity control.