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From humble beginnings, professional AV firm QSC celebrates 50 years in business

Michael Garwood 5 January 2018

Once the maker of garage-made guitar amplifiers, now a leading global brand of professional AV for live sound, cinema and corporate installations, QSC continues to bring the noise 

1968 was a year of seismic change across the globe. Fifty years ago, unrest was fueled by civil rights movements in the United States and protests and revolutions in Europe. Technological innovations included the introduction of the 747 jumbo jet and the first humans to orbit the moon, in Apollo 8. In music, as the Beatles sang ‘Hey Jude’ and the Rolling Stones rocked ‘Jumping Jack Flash’, the company known today as QSC was born as Quilter Sound Things in a small industrial building in Costa Mesa, California.

The original focus for QSC was hand-built guitar amplifiers; the company only later transforming and evolving to become, what its co founders Pat Quilter and Barry Andrew, claims to be a “world-leading brand” in power amplifiers.

“Our early vision was to take over the world with high-powered, giant guitar amps, but we missed that boat and refocused our efforts on power amps,” said Quilter. “Since the beginning, QSC has always focused on staying close to our customers, which is the foundation for the company’s success.”

Andrews added: “Our story is one of constant innovation and forward transformation. When we decided to enter the loudspeaker category, for example, we listened carefully to our customer feedback to develop the K Series – establishing an entirely new standard in powered loudspeakers, and rapidly elevating our brand to number one in the category.”

A self confessed “early pioneer” in networked digital audio systems, QSC was the first licensee of CobraNet in 1996. CobraNet is widely regarded as the first commercially successful implementation of audio over Ethernet, enabled QSC to develop industry-first digital audio signal processing and networking solutions that brought new capabilities to demanding, large-scale commercial sound reinforcement applications. Its  Q-SYS integrated audio, video and control platform, installed in venues around the world, is the result of those early innovations.

“Looking forward, we will continue our commitment to be both a technology platform leader and a customer experience leader in the markets we serve,” says Joe Pham, QSC President and CEO. “The future at QSC is about continuing to innovate and deliver connected, integrated technology platforms that elevate customer experiences, create new opportunities for our employees, more value for our partners and new applications and capabilities in the markets we serve. In this world, everybody wins”.


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