Edgar Villchur
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WOODSTOCK- Edgar Villchur died in his Woodstock home on Monday, Oct. 17, 2011 at the age of 94. He was an inventor, educator and writer. His 1954 invention of the acoustic suspension loudspeaker revolutionized the field of high-fidelity equipment, providing better bass response than was previously possible, at the same time radically reducing the size of the cabinet. He received a patent for that invention as well as for the dome tweeter, which greatly improved the ability of loudspeakers to reproduce accurate high-end sounds. His AR-3 speaker is on display in the Smithsonian Institute's Information Age Exhibit in Washington, D.C. Acoustic Research, Inc. (AR), of which he was president from 1952 to 1967, manufactured high-fidelity loudspeakers, turntables, and other stereo components of his design. After leaving AR, he went into hearing aid research and developed the multichannel compression hearing aid, whose basic design has become the industry standard for hearing aids.
Villchur received his Master's degree from City College in Art History, and was headed for a career as a scenic designer. World War II changed those plans, and he was trained in maintenance and repair of radios, radar, and other equipment. He was stationed in New Guinea, where he rose to the rank of Captain and was in charge of the electronic equipment for his Army squadron. Later, he served in the Philippines and in Okinawa.
After the war, he opened a shop in Greenwich Village where he repaired radios and built custom home high fidelity sets. He continued to educate himself in the area of audio engineering, taking night courses in mathematics and engineering. After submitting an article to Audio Engineering magazine (later renamed Audio), he was asked to write a regular column. He also taught a course in his special area of interest, reproduction of sound, at the night school at New York University. He wrote three books and over one hundred and fifty articles on acoustics and sound reproduction, including two articles written at the age of ninety.
Although he considered himself a scientist and a researcher, he was very successful as a businessman. As president of AR, Villchur was known for progressive employment practices and innovative advertising techniques. AR used equal opportunity employment practices, and employees received health insurance and profit sharing benefits which were highly unusual in any but the largest firms in the 1950s and 1960s. The company was also known for its liberal repair policies, fixing most products for free no matter how old they were, and in general providing excellent customer service. AR's advertising was distinct from the sensationalistic ads of its competitors, instead concentrating on technical information, reviews by impartial critics, and endorsements from well-known musicians and other personalities who actually used Acoustic Research components.
In 1967, Villchur sold AR to Teledyne, and went back to working as a researcher. He chose the field of hearing aids, since he felt that there was considerable room for improvement in these devices. He spent several years investigating the problem in his home laboratory in Woodstock. By 1973, he had come up with multichannel compression, a revolutionary concept in hearing aid design. Rather than apply for a patent, he decided to publish his findings and make them available to anyone who wanted to use them. Resound, a hearing aid company in Calif., worked with Villchur to produce a compression hearing aid. Over the next two decades, Villchur's design became the industry standard for hearing aids.
Villchur lived in Woodstock from 1952 until his death. Music and art were very important to him, and he served on the boards of Maverick Concerts and of the Woodstock Artists' Association for many years. He was a friend, advisor, and benefactor to countless organizations and individuals in the community.
He is survived by his wife, Rosemary (Romy) Villchur, to whom he had been married for sixty-six years; his son, Mark Villchur of Boston, Mass.; his daughter, Miriam Villchur Berg, of Woodstock; and many devoted friends who considered themselves, and were considered by him, members of his family.
For more information, see the Wikipedia article "Edgar Villchur" and its accompanying bibliography and links, as well as his personal website, edgarvill chur.com. He was a great philanthropist, and supported many local organizations, including Family of Woodstock, The Woodstock Emergency Rescue Squad, the Woodstock Fire Department, the Woodstock Library, Maverick Concerts, and the Woodstock Artists Association and Museum. Donations in his name can be made to any of those organizations.
A memorial service for Edgar Villchur will be held at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 23 at the Woodstock Artists Association and Museum at 28 Tinker Street in Woodstock.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Daily Freeman from Oct. 18 to Oct. 19, 2011.
Memories & Condolences
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36 entries
May 14, 2013
Romy and Eddie tok me into their lives in 1968, and became my family in Woodstock while I studied at the Art Students League and UCCC. I assisted Ed with drawings for his papers, and have enjoyed many years of friendship with him and Romy. I am grateful for the time in my life when we were close, I learned so much from both Ed and Romy. To this day I carry them close to my heart. My love to Romy, Miriam, and Mark.
Suzette Green
January 14, 2012
Eddy and Rome, I will allways be thinking
of both of you, how my family was treated
while I took care of Eddy. We all miss both of you
Rivers Burke
December 20, 2011
While I never had the honor or pleasure of knowing Mr. Villchur personally, he was someone whose accomplishments I truly admired. My AR2ax and LST2 speakers and XA turntable brought me immense pleasure and opened up the world of music reproduction for me. My career in electronics came about because of my audio equipment interests.

I offer my sincere condolences to Mr. Villchur's family
Paul Stiles
November 25, 2011
I first met Ed Villchur at the Grand Central Station booth with his
assistant, a delightful lady called Sunshine Trankler. This have been around 1962 when his speakers were the talk of the audio world and all my colleagues in advertising wanted them. Apart from his erudition, Ed had a wonderful sense of humor and spending an hour or two each week at that stand was very valuable. Without being a close friend I kept in touch with him for a while before returning to England. I always wanted to visit him
In Woodstock, but never did. A closer friend who I saw frequently
was Sid Smith, the Marantz designer, who died 10 years ago. Both he and Ed Villchur enriched the lives of so many music lovers, besides being warm caring people with great talent. They
helped to create magic in sound reproduction and should never
be forgotten.
Peter Whitelam
November 20, 2011
I first met Ed Villchur at the Grand Central Station booth with his
assistant, a delightful lady called Sunshine Trankler. This must have been about 1962 and, apart from his obvious erudition, I was impressed by Ed's marvelous sense of humor. Working at an advertising agency on Madison Avenue, some of my best lunch times were spent at Ed's AR booth. A closer friend who I saw frequently was Sid Smith, the Marantz designer, who died 10 years ago. Both he and Ed Villchur enriched the lives of so many music lovers, besides being warm caring people with great talent. They helped to create magic in sound reproduction and should never
be forgotten.
Peter Whitelam
November 19, 2011
"I had know idea what I was missing in the true sound of music,until i bought my first pair of AR4s! they changed my life,and the way I appreciate the sound of music! My familly sends their condolences,and heart felt sorrow for your loss. He was a true Genius! ( Matthew King Boylston,MA )
October 23, 2011
Probably a half dozen men pioneered the golden era of audio.James Bullough Lansing(JBL/Altec Lansing)and Mr Villchur were at the top. His was the east coast sound. His vintage speakers still bring high dollars.
W Dillon
October 22, 2011
My prayers go out to the Villchur family and friends. The very first time I heard a real stereo was in a college dorm in 1969. One of the guys had a stereo in his dorm room with AR speakers on his bookshelf. I was hooked and amazed. I am still in the electronics business. I sold a lot of Advent Loudspeakers (Pacific Stereo/The Federated Group). I even used Advent woofers for my Honda car stereo. Lots of great memories and inspiration from the AR/Advent family. Thank you Mr. Villchur.
George Roberts
October 21, 2011
To the family of Edgar Villchur,

It is with deep regret on the passing of Edgar Villchur I realize that the death of a friend and family member is an irreparable loss to you. Those we love left us with gifts in the form of memories that no one can take away. They gave us wisdom that we can still recall, companionship when we were alone, comfort when we needed it.

May the tender mercy that God has always shown me be with your family now so that you will know that you are not alone, and may the prayers of other help in some small way to bring you strength, comfort and courage each day.

Many words will be expressed, yet we know God can express and provide to you and your family everything that is needed to care and sustain your hearts. Isaiah 46:1 will offer you some comfort , but the loss of a love one is more direct and personal. So wanted to send you these words of sincere sympathy upon the death of a loyal friend and trusted family member. My prayers will be with you and your family.
Karen Caldwell
October 21, 2011
To the family of Mr. Villchur and friends. My sincere condolences to the family at this very difficult time in your lives. Words can't express the sadness that such loss can bring. May our Heavenly Father give you peace and comfort, very comforting are the words found at Psalm 147:3-He is healing the broken hearted one's.
Marilynn
October 20, 2011
Ed Villchur was to audio acoustics what Steve Job was to computers, but much more humble. Anyone who enjoys music owes a debt to Ed.
Clyde Munz
October 20, 2011
I'm sure the Almighty is conferring with him about updating His celestial system. Without him and his colleagues, high end audio wouldn't be what it is today. Critics at Sterophile and The Absolute Sound still refer to AR products when comparing new speakers to old benchmarks. Next time i play Verdi's Requiem, it's for Mr. Villchur. A V StL. Mo
A V
October 20, 2011
Rest In Peace Mr.Villchur.
Thank You For Bringing Music Into Our Homes.I Only Listen To Music With Your Speakers,Nothing Compares Or Comes Close.
My AR-3`s,AR-3a`s,AR-5`s And AR-4`s After Over 40 Years Old They Sound Better Then Ever,Thanks To Your Genius.Trevor Holtzworth
October 20, 2011
The greatest tribute to an inventor is that many people buy and benefit from his inventions. Edgar definitely succeeded in that. I still use my AR-4x loudspeakers as well as my Advents.
Tom Glenn
October 20, 2011
May God wipe the tears from your eyes. Rev 21:4
Trina
October 19, 2011
Edgar along with Henry Kloss were two of the GIANTS of American HiFi. I still have my vintage LARGE ADVENT loudspeakers that I bought new in 1978 and they can rival any speaker of similar size and design to this day. Thanks Edgar for all you have done for audio enthusiasts around the world. RIP.
Dave Grillo
October 19, 2011
Edgar Villchur has been best known by me over the last few decades for his involvement in Audio. Thank you sir for the designs and products you developed. He contributed to our great art of audio and we loved him for it.
Gerald Pratt
October 19, 2011
What a wonderfully long and productive life Mr. Villchur had. My condolences to Mark, a great high school friend, and the whole Villchur family.
David Schwartz
October 19, 2011
Music is a beautiful gift from our Great God. So thank you for helping us to be heard.
"Every good gift and every perfect present is from above, for it comes down from the Father of the [celestial] lights, and with him there is not a variation of the turning of the shadow."
Louisiana
October 19, 2011
"My thoughts and prayers are with the Villchur Family in their time of grief.
At times like these, 'God can give us "power beyond what is normal," so we can keep going from one day to the next. (2 Cor. 4: 7)

C. Wilson
October 19, 2011
ed was generous beyond normal expectations of the word. he opened his house to have a memrial for my husband and kept a woodstocker home when she had a.l.s. his yearly parties were a celebration of life and woodstock. ellie steffen
October 19, 2011
May it be a comfort to you to know that God, as well as others, care about your feelings at this time.

slb - michigan
October 19, 2011
My sincere condolence to the Villchur family ,,,,May the God of all comfort comfort the family with tender mercies Psalms 147:3
October 18, 2011
Thank you for sound! Music is my passion. My prayers are with the family.
Grace m
October 18, 2011
Like Dana, I was a friend of Mark's in high school and college. Best wishes to you Mark and your family.
Fred Martin
October 18, 2011
To the family of Edgar Villchur. May you be comforted by the God of all comfort and peace give you rest during this difficult time.
October 18, 2011
To the family of Edgar Villchur, my condolences for the loss of your beloved one. May the God of all comfort strengthen you at this difficult time. (Erma L. Davis, Park Forest, IL.)
October 18, 2011
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Mike Williams
October 18, 2011
Thank you for all you have done for the world of acoustics and high-fidelity. I owe my 30 year career in the consumer electronics business to you and other pioneers in this marvelous field. Randy (co)
October 18, 2011
Remembering him and very saddened to hear the news. Love to the entire family.
Kate Schultz
October 18, 2011
I have been friends with "Eddie's" son Mark for most of my life. We used to play poker in his lab...I always knew he was an audio pioneer, but, not to the full extent...a remarkable life he had...very gracious and kind also.
Dana Loprieno
October 18, 2011
Thinking of Eddie with warm memories, and of Romy, Mark, and Miriam with deepest compassion....Love from Ariel
Ariel Lublin
October 18, 2011
Our condolences to Mr. Edgar's family, May our Heavenly Father, the GOD of comfort and tender mercies be with you all. WIth deep sympathy,
Hart
October 18, 2011
Danielle Barrie
October 18, 2011
A great life. Great. Thank you.
gerald berke
October 18, 2011
Thank you. I know those speakers! They were the thing! So this is the man that did it! And he lived right here.
Sorry for your loss, thank you for sharing this.
gerald berke
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