Visiting Jim Fostgate
Sept 19th 2006
We recently spent time with Jim Fosgate, the inventor of Dolby Pro Logic II surround sound and founder of Rockford-Fosgate, and his lovely wife Norma at their home in Heber, Utah. Our mutual friend Brett, had mentioned the possibility of meeting Jim and Norma, and we were very excited at this opportunity.
Jim Fostgate was awarded an Emmy® Award in 2003 for his work in developing surround sound technology for television.
First we took a tour of Jim's lab and huge collection of vintage audio gear. Jim then treated us to a sound journey in his private home theatre, which was absolutely amazing.
Jim is the ultimate audiophile's DJ…Selecting from over 5,000 Lps and 2,000 CD's, Jim took us on a magical journey of sound with some video. Our listening journey continued over several hours, track by track spanning the globe, and a short history of music. Jim played everything from Pink Floyd to Ray Charles, to world music and a selection of superb orchestral classics… He even played my CD “Octaves of Light” on his surround system, which takes the signal from stereo and splits it into 5 channel surround sound seamlessly...and wow !!! Part of the time we sat in darkness absorbing the sounds through each pore, then Jim added visuals into the mix feasting our eyes with images and music at the same time. The sound was truly gorgeous, with the texture and depth of the sound completely enveloping us all. His hand-built, all-tube system provided such warmth and richness. What an amazing experience!
I remember getting up in the middle of the journey and standing in the back with Jim listening to the sound from the rear of the theatre. I looked over at Jim standing next to me and smiled, feeling such a deep appreciation of his work and acknowledgment of this rare opportunity to share this experience. Jim was beaming and having so much fun, playing all of his favorites for us. I'm not sure who was having more fun, us or Jim, I do know there sure was a lot of joy and simply superb sounds happening in Jim's theatre on this night! We were all very grateful to visit Jim and his wife Norma and have such a wonderful opportunity to take this journey of sound with Jim.