THIEL Appoints New Director of Product Development
September 10, 2013 – THIEL Audio, winner of over 60 prestigious awards for loudspeaker design and performance since 1978, has appointed Mark Mason as the company’s new Director of Product Development. Mason represents the first in-house engineering presence for the brand since the passing of Jim Thiel in 2009.
Mark Mason brings a depth of engineering experience combined with a broad range of technical capabilities to THIEL after nearly a decade as Design Team Manager at PSB. Mason’s expertise includes critical applications such as driver design (the term “driver” refers to the woofer, midrange and tweeter components that make up most dynamic loudspeakers), Class D amplifier design and high performance acoustic systems design (referring to a completed loudspeaker including drivers, crossover networks and enclosures). “I heard about THIEL quite a long time ago and I have tremendous respect for what the brand has achieved in the three decades plus since it was founded,” explained Mason. “I am honored that I have an opportunity to be a part of THIEL’s future and help evolve this storied organization,” Mason added.
Mason has demonstrated success as a creative thinker and team leader with a proven history of bringing premium audio products to market in a timely manner. “I have been fascinated by loudspeaker design since childhood and have a great passion for seeking out the highest possible levels of performance,” Mason explained. “One of the aspects of THIEL that excites me is the domestic manufacturing capability here in Lexington, Kentucky—I have an opportunity to take a vision from the earliest stages of development and work with the factory every step of the way to achieve the desired results,” Mason stated. “This gives me vastly more control over performance and quality than if I were handing drawings off to overseas contract manufacturers,” he added. Mason is confident that he can first evaluate and then manage the technology, people, and processes together at THIEL to achieve great things for the brand. “I am thrilled at the prospect of designing and overseeing a lineup of ultimate quality loudspeakers across multiple market segments, such as high performance floor-standing models, custom installation products and loudspeakers for home theater,” said Mason.
Since THIEL was acquired earlier this year, the new ownership group has been focused on a fresh approach to product engineering and industrial design while leveraging the strong heritage of the company. Mason’s appointment as Director of Product Development is in concert with this carefully orchestrated new vision for THIEL. “I have many years of association with Mark at PSB and watched him grow into a world-class talent in all phases of speaker design and manufacturing,” stated THIEL COO Bob Brown. “Mark is perfectly suited to take the product development reins at THIEL—it has been years since the company has had anyone of Mark’s breadth of experience driving engineering,” Brown added.
“While we have kicked off a major new product development initiative, the timing for Mark’s arrival could not be more ideal,” said THIEL CEO Bill Thomas. “He has worked with our North American Sales Manager and our industrial designer in the past very successfully and I anticipate this team reaching full stride very quickly,” continued Thomas. Part of the new vision for the brand includes a more regimented new product development process and cycle, making the company more vital in the marketplace and of increased value to the sales chain. “We have expended great effort to bring the necessary human resources to THIEL so that engineering, manufacturing, marketing, sales and administration are all working together,” Thomas concluded.
Most recently, Mason was Director of Product Development for Specialty Technologies (SVS), where he was accountable for all aspects of the company’s product management strategy and execution. Over the years, Mason’s designs have garnered numerous prestigious awards such as The Absolute Sound Editor’s Choice, Sound & Vision Certified and Recommended, Sound & Vision Editor’s Choice, Home Cinema Best Buy, Best Home Cinema Room (S&V Bristol Show), SoundStage Great Buy, AV Forums Best Buy, EISA Best Product, Audioholics Consumer Excellence, Stereophile Recommended Components, Electronic House Product of the Year.