Audio pioneer QSC celebrates its 50th anniversary

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Technology and New Products

In 1968, as The Beatles sang “Hey Jude” and The Rolling Stones rocked “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” the company known today as QSC was born as “Quilter Sound Things” in a small industrial building in Costa Mesa, Calif.  

The original focus for QSC was hand-built guitar amplifiers—the company later transformed and evolved to become a world-leading brand in power amplifiers. “Our early vision was to take over the world with high-powered, giant guitar amps, but we missed that boat and refocused our efforts on power amps,” recalls Pat Quilter, QSC founder. “Since the beginning, QSC has always focused on staying close to our customers, which is the foundation for the company’s success.”

“Our story is one of constant innovation and forward transformation, always with the passion to serve our customers’ needs,” says Barry Andrews, QSC founder. “When we decided to enter the loudspeaker category, for example, we listened carefully to our customer feedback to develop the acclaimed K Series—establishing an entirely new standard in powered loudspeakers, and rapidly elevating our brand to number one in the category. Our passion to serve our customers is the mission in every aspect of our business.”

“We have always strived to achieve operational excellence, by sharpening our focus and building a state-of-the-art factory in Southern California utilizing computer-controlled precision assembly and rigorous testing and control to provide build-to-order flexibility,” says John Andrews, QSC founder. “This has given QSC an unprecedented ability to respond to customer needs by building products on demand. From that first build-to-order manufacturing facility, we’ve continuously expanded to our modern manufacturing footprint and supply-chain capabilities, which span multiple countries and serve millions of customers throughout the globe.”

An early pioneer in networked digital audio systems, QSC was the first licensee of CobraNet™ in 1996. CobraNet, widely regarded as the first commercially successful implementation of audio over Ethernet, enabled QSC to develop industry-first digital audio signal processing and networking solutions that brought new capabilities to demanding, large-scale commercial sound reinforcement applications. Today’s highly regarded Q-SYS™ integrated audio, video and control platform, installed in venues around the world, is the result of those early innovations.

“Looking forward, we will continue our commitment to be both a technology platform leader and a customer experience leader in the markets we serve,” says Joe Pham, QSC president and CEO. “The future at QSC is about continuing to innovate and deliver connected, integrated technology platforms that elevate customer experiences, create new opportunities for our employees, more value for our partners and new applications and capabilities in the markets we serve. In this world, everybody wins.”

The 50th anniversary of the company’s founding will be celebrated in 2018 with a number of events, activities and key product introductions that will take place during the year around the globe. QSC’s tagline for its golden anniversary is “50 Years and Forward.”