It is with great sadness that I inform
you that John Eargle, one of
the finest audio engineers and teachers it's been my privilege to
know, has passed away.
He was scheduled to speak to an Audio Engineering Society chapter in
Minnesota on Tuesday evening, and when he failed to communicate with
them, his JBL colleagues went to his home and found his body.
John holds degrees in music from the Eastman School of Music and the
University of Michigan. He holds degrees in engineering from the
University of Texas and The Cooper Union for the Advancement of
Science and Art, and pursued studies in acoustics with Dr. Cyril Harris at
Columbia University. He was a fine pianist -- he had a Boesendorfer Concert
Grand with extended bass in his living room, and it shared
the room with his Steinway D until the latter was sold.
His superb musicianship was evident in the many recordings he
engineered for Delos.
I met him when we worked together at JBL, and we quickly became
friends as well as colleagues. Although he retired from recording a
few years ago, he continued to consult for Harman International as
well as write and revise his superb textbooks on audio. He was a
regular lecturer at the Aspen Recording Institute every summer, and
he was a frequent speaker at both Acoustical Society of America and
Audio Engineering Society meetings.
For the past two decades, I had the privilege of assisting him with
his computing needs. He was expert in computer technical drawing --
he did all of his own book illustrations -- and, with the changes in
technical publishing, he became fluent in page layout as well. In
recent years, he took up photography with typically excellent results.
Because he lived alone and was concerned about what could happen if
he had a medical emergency, he recently decided to sell his home in
the hills above the Hollywood Bowl and move into a retirement
community. Ironically, his concern was justified.