Meeting Topic: 50 Years of Toronto's Ward-Beck Systems
Moderator Name: Frank Lockwood
Speaker Name: Kevin Lyver — President Ward Beck; Anthony P. Kuzub -- Audio Chameleon
Other business or activities at the meeting: Executive Chairman Frank Lockwood welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked all the sponsors and Ward-Beck for hosting the meeting. He announced the upcoming elections for the executive committee as well as calling for more volunteers. The Toronto section 50th anniversary starts with the next season. Currently planned future meetings were discussed.
Meeting Location: Ward-Beck Systems 9-945 Middlefield Rd. Scarborough, Ontario, Canada
Frank introduced Kevin Lyver who gave a brief introduction.
Anthony Kuzub provided the bulk of the presentation. Some of the original employees were in attendance. He gave a history and overview of the company since its inception attempting to get a year per minute!
Slides of vintage equipment were part of the presentation as were brief discussions of design details. By 1970 Ward-Beck was producing one console per week. In the 80's, the units were becoming smaller to feed the demand for on-location mobile recording. Stereo consoles for television broadcasters were introduced in 1984.
These were built to last. Some of the consoles built during this time are still being serviced. 1997 saw the start of test equipment and specialty products. Metering and monitoring equipment were in demand in the early 2000's. Ward-Beck still produce analog VU meter units. 2014 marked their entry of network audio.
Anthony has created a website called the WBS Preservation Society (http://wbsps.ca/) which contains scans of brochures, manuals and other documentation. An interesting note: their early solid state designs used silicon instead of germanium.
Kevin led a tour of the warehouse including the manufacturing centre and the shipping centre. A trip back in time involved the metal shop where much of the original equipment was built. Much of the focus these days is software creation.
Anthony concluded the tour discussing refurbishment and displaying vintage hand drawn blueprints drafts for most of the products.
After the break Anthony discussed audio over IP. AES 67 is slowly becoming device agnostic. Their main investment is in interoperability. The evening's presentation was hooked up over a network and he discussed the setup and background.
A question-and-answer period ended the evening.
At the close of the meeting Frank presented Kevin and Anthony with Toronto AES Certificates of Appreciation and coffee mugs.
Written By: Karl Machat