Henry Engineering Celebrates 30 Years
Jun 1, 2012 1:00 AM
There”s a very good chance you have a Henry Engineering product in your studio. And that product is very likely the most popular product the company makes: The Matchbox. But this was not the first product made by Hank Landsberg.
In 1982, Hank was the chief engineer of Drake Chenault, a producer of programming for radio automation. He was contacted by his friend Steve Keating, who Hank thinks was working at Continental Electronics at the time. Keating suggested that Hank should build a series of replacement modules for the Autogram consoles. These consoles used socket-mounted modules, so Hank designed four modules that provided balanced I/O, eliminated transformers and coupling capacitors, and made the consoles sound even better. Henry Engineering was born. He produced the Autogram modules for about 20 years.
The Matchbox came about from his own need to interface consumer equipment into the professional studio environment. The Matchbox was introduced in 1983. Hank estimates that 90,000 to 95,000 Matchboxes have been sold. The USB Matchbox II has since joined the line.
Another popular product came from the need to control on-air lights from console tallies. The Superelay was introduced about 1986. Henry Engineering has sold about 20,000 of them.
When asked how many total products the company has sold, Hank estimates it to be about 140,000. The earliest records were on paper, so it”s hard to know for sure.
What”s the inspiration for the products? In most cases, ideas come from users and engineers. He is often given ideas for a new product or an enhancement or addition to an existing product.
Henry Engineering has always been based in Southern California, and Hank Landsberg is proud that nearly every product is built locally in the USA.
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