Electro-Voice’s Jim Long retired in December 2011 after over 45 years with the company, during which time he became one of the pro audio industry’s most familiar and respected personalities. Long enjoyed a wide range of roles in EV marketing and sales over the years, most recently as a member of the product marketing management team, and contributed his technical know-how and communication skills to many aspects of the company’s success, including the development of the “PA Bible” – still a trusted reference guide today.
Long is well-known for his ability to relate engineering concepts in everyday terms, and his presentations educated hundreds of budding and seasoned professionals over the decades. For many, Jim’s easygoing manner, tireless dedication to the industry and his customers, and attention to detail became synonymous with the Electro-Voice brand and its heritage; to many, Jim Long is Electro-Voice.
Jim Long first began work at Electro-Voice in 1963, when he was taken on as a summer engineering technician in the company’s Buchanan, Michigan, plant. He stayed on after that summer, working in the microphone lab until the fall of 1964, when he left to pursue an MBA. He returned to Electro-Voice engineering in 1966 and remained with the company ever since. “I wanted to work in audio,” he recalls. “I interviewed for jobs as far away as California, but I liked the idea of finding an audio company right in Michigan, where my family headed for summer lake vacations. I had become familiar with EV, and I liked both the people and the company.”
In the late ‘60s, Long moved into product management in EV’s commercial sound division. It was a critical time in the transformation of the “commercial sound” sector into today’s “pro sound” market. “At the time,” he recalls, “EV had commercial sound products like paging horns and sound columns, but the emergence of pro sound required PA systems with wider bandwidth and more uniform coverage. In the early 1970s we developed high-performance compression drivers and, most importantly, horns that, for the first time, maintained their rated coverage angles over a wide frequency range. I believe that these ‘constant directivity’ waveguides not only helped popularize pro sound in the US but also helped move pro sound worldwide, to Europe and Asia, where I was privileged to present seminars many times. To be part of all that was very exciting!”
“Having been instrumental in some of the most significant developments in the pro audio industry over the years, Jim’s knowledge of both the technological and business sides of the industry are second to none,” says longtime friend and colleague Tom Hansen, VP of Key Accounts with Bosch Communications Systems. “Between the PA Bible, his excellent presentations, and his project support for countless contractors across the country, Jim has educated generations of pro audio professionals, sharing his passion for sound. He really personifies the EV brand, its values, and its personality, and has made many, many friends over the years as a result. He’s acted as a trusted advisor on some of the most prestigious EV installations, bringing a discerning ear – fine-tuned by his love of classical music – to the designs of some of the best-sounding systems in the U.S.”
Not the least of these being in his own front room; Jim’s home hi-fi is equipped with his favored EV Constant-Directivity horns, and many of his colleagues enjoy telling stories about hearing this fabled system firsthand while enjoying a glass of wine with their host.
Tom Hansen adds, “Everyone at Electro-Voice and Bosch Communications Systems wishes Jim all the best for a happy and healthy retirement – the world is a better-sounding place thanks to Jim Long!”