Phase Technology began building speakers 60 years ago, back when we still referred to them as “loudspeakers”. Since then, a lot has changed besides the names of our products. Today’s listeners want speakers specifically designed for their needs and lifestyles, and we’ve evolved our engineering for these new audio applications. From the world-class performance and flexibility of our new dARTS systems, to the outstanding style of our Phase Velocity Series, to the virtually invisible Custom Installation Series, we build “Speakers For Your Life”.
From the luster of a female singer’s voice to the resonance of a Steinway Concert Grand piano, from the shimmer of a cymbal and the sharp attack of a snare drum to the depths of a pipe organ’s pedal tones, definition means you experience the natural character, size and ambiance of the live performance, not merely hear a reproduction of the musical notes. When you are watching a movie, definition is the telephone ring that’s so real you jump up to answer, only to realize it was just part of the movie soundtrack; or the Truly fine speakers play back music and movie soundtracks with equal parts definition, tonal balance, clarity, imaging, and dynamic range. When you audition a speaker system, definition is the one key element that quickly separates a good sounding speaker from the very best.
How We Do It? (From drawing board to finished product)
Once we’ve decided on a new product’s concept, we use sophisticated computer modeling programs to assist in designing speaker drivers and crossover components, and the cabinet. An extensive series of electronic testing in our lab and anechoic chamber then follows. Once we are satisfied with the basic design, a prototype undergoes many hours of listening with a wide variety of different music. Next, the new design faces evaluation under the demanding rigors of Dolby Digital and DTS movie soundtracks played at very high sound pressure levels. We then send pre-production samples to dealers around the country for performance evaluation and comments. Only once the speaker is finely tuned, both with test equipment and most importantly by ear (‘tweaked’ as we call it), is it ready for production.
Each Phase Technology speaker is based on almost 6 decades of design and engineering experience, and every component of nearly every speaker is built, meticulously designed and integrated into the final product.
Our Approach To Quality Control
We are very serious about quality control. During the production process, each speaker component faces many quality control checks before final assembly.Then each completed speaker system must meet precise calibration standards for frequency response, sound quality and appearance. Only after passing the final test is the speaker ready for shipment to your local Phase Technology authorized dealer.
Phase Technology is firmly committed to providing unparalleled support and service to our dealers and their customers. We are very selective about the retailers and installers who sell Phase Technology speakers, so we know you can count on them to provide outstanding service and technical assistance.
Our History and Heritage
Building on over 6 decades of design and engineering innovation, Phase Technology Corporation today occupies a special niche in the intensely competitive home-audio industry. It is one of the few fully vertically-integrated speaker manufacturers in America; producing drivers, crossovers, cabinets and systems. While not all our speakers are American made, we still maintain our vertical integration and produce a vast assortment of models here in the USA.
Phase Technology is a subsidiary of United Speaker Systems, Inc., an original equipment manufacturer founded in 1955 to produce high-fidelity systems for some of the world’s most respected names in audio. United Speaker Systems, Inc. is a subsidiary of MSE Audio based in Overland Park, Kan. Bill Hecht continued to serve as chairman up until 2012; and his son, Ken Hecht, continues his legacy.
Bill Hecht’s career began with his involvement in the development of Cinemascope stereo technology for motion-picture projection in the early 1950s. Bill worked for General Projection Company in New York, and was involved in installing projectors and sound systems in many of America’s great theaters, including Radio City Music Hall. In 1955 the company went on strike, and Bill decided to use his knowledge to develop some of the finest speakers available for the new home audio market. He began building one speaker by hand per week, selling them through a local radio and hi-fi dealer in New York City, and exhibiting at local hi-fi shows. As an example of amazing prescience, his tag line on literature and in his ads was “Theater sound for the home” – in 1955!
As a result of some good reviews, Avery Fisher commissioned Hecht’s United Speaker Systems in 1959 to build the first Fisher loudspeakers. The result was the legendary XP-1 bookshelf system, which established Fisher as a major brand in the home audio marketplace. The first year saw Bill producing 10,000 speakers for Fisher Radio, a far cry from building one per week by hand in his garage.
In the years that followed, USS grew into a vertically-integrated speaker designer and manufacturer, With clients ranging from small high-end manufacturers to some of the biggest names in the business, USS is known as the “manufacturers’ manufacturer”
Bill Hecht is one of the industry’s early pioneers of speaker system design and driver development. He began building his drivers by hand and has actually engineered several new designs to solve specific problems. The soft dome tweeter (US Patent # 3328537 – 1967) may be Bill’s best-known innovation, and has been the most widely used tweeter design worldwide for the last 50 years.
Bill’s four additional patents include the self-damping woofer voice coil, the manufacturing process for solid, flat piston drivers, the silicone-injected drivers for resonance damping, and the basket-less woofer/midrange driver mounting system.
In 1981, the Hechts established Phase Technology to apply their passion and talent for audio to a brand of their own. Today, Phase Technology is known for producing speakers that match the performance and reliability of any high-end manufacturer at a value that’s second to none. Bill and Ken Hecht are engineers and today Ken is fully involved in the development of all Phase Technology’s home-entertainment speakers. Their products consistently earn critical acclaim from home theater and audiophile media alike.
The company’s vertical integration begins with producing all of its own sub-assemblies, from constructing drivers and crossovers to winding voice coils. It also established a state-of-the-art cabinet shop, including a massive four-head 8.5-ton CNC computer-driven router to carve and build every wood speaker cabinet.
Phase Technology’s line of speakers incorporates many of the Hechts’ innovations, including technologies for which they hold many patents. Besides those mentioned above, other patents include the Positive Clamping mounting system for the premier in-wall Model CI-110/II, in-wall subwoofers, and in-wall versions of their latest industry standard, dARTS. The company also developed the Unicell Zero-Diffraction treatment that reduces acoustic reflections (diffraction) off of cabinet and grille surfaces.
Phase Technology has always been an innovator of tweeter design and was the first US-based manufacturer to use neodymium ferrite boron magnets for tweeter assemblies. Though significantly more expensive to build, this technology continues to provide the highest performance with the lowest distortion that is so vital for accurate playback of today’s CD and DVD music sources.
Phase Technology continues expanding as an innovative designer of home theater and audiophile speakers. The company successfully applied its talents to in-wall speakers upon introducing the Custom Installation Series in 1985, a pioneering product family, driving expansion of the dynamic CI marketplace. Even though many of their designs are unique, many innovations have been introduced by Phase Technology, which have in turn become custom installation industry standards.
Phase Technology continues to advance the state of audio reproduction through evolutions in engineering and support for emerging markets with products that are quickly recognized as exemplifying the new standard in sound. Phase Technology’s products are consistently recognized for their superior performance and value. In 2003 the SUB IW-200 In-Wall Subwoofer Speaker/Amplifier System received the prestigious Distributed Audio Award for Best In-Wall/In-Ceiling Subwoofer by Electronic House Expo. At the 2005 CEDIA Expo, Phase Technology’s new dARTS digital theater system was recognized by two leading consumer A/V magazines with their Best Loudspeaker and Most Astonishing Audio Awards as the best in show. Today Phase Technology continues its award winning designs with many recommended components in major magazines.
As one of the few remaining American-made speaker brands, Phase Technology holds a special position in the marketplace, and constantly reinforces its leading role with stylized speaker design, technological advances, and breakthrough sound.
Today, Ken continues to work at Phase Technology designing the products you see. An engineer like his father, Ken possesses a wealth of experience in aerospace and audio engineering. Ken has introduced the use of exotic materials like kevlar and titanium to extend the frequency range and improve transient response of Phase Technology products. He also applied his research into easily mounting custom-installation speakers into walls and ceilings, and isolating them from that surface. This effort led to the development of the ubiquitous “dog ear tabs” that automatically pop out with a turn of the screw, and cinch down tightly to the drywall.
Ken also patented our Positive Clamping system for our larger in-wall speakers, as mentioned above. Using a metal speaker frame and full-length metal clamps with isolating gaskets provides a simple and secure fit into any wall, along with keeping the speaker’s vibration from exciting the wall around it.
Ken’s interest in digital technology led to a fifteen year quest to apply it successfully to marry speakers and electronics in a home entertainment environment. Today, the introduction of dARTS serves notice to the world that, even after sixty years, Phase Technology is still a powerful force to be reckoned with.
Bill Hecht’s legacy of building high quality loudspeakers for music and film realism in the home is also the company’s future. Today and beyond, our commitment remains focused on building the finest sounding speaker systems that define performance and value.