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Eminence Speaker Company

Eminence Speaker builds loudspeakers that are used around the world. Kentucky Life visited their Henry County headquarters.

From the initial output of three 18-inch speakers per day, Eminence Speaker Company produces over 10,000 speakers per day, and employs almost 200 people.

Bob Gault was an engineer at Magnavox when he decided to start his own speaker business back in 1966.

“He was really a production genius,” said his son Rob, who now runs the business. “He knew how to make them efficiently. … It grew from a 5,000-square foot plant to an 80,000 square foot plant over the next couple of decades.”

Eminence has sold to all the major sound amplification and professional sound companies. “If you’re at a concert, there’s a real good chance that the equipment came from Eminence,” he said. “There’s also a real good chance that the musician decided to replace whatever came stock, which might have been Eminence in the first place, with another Eminence.”

Chris Rose, president of Eminence Speaker, explained the design process. “Loudspeakers have to match the type of enclosure they’re going in,” he said. “Our designers are very good about giving them the performance they need.”

They can tweak their product to the range a performer or company requests. “It all depends on what sort of frequency range that they want to produce or replicate,” Rose said.

The company makes many different sizes and configurations of voice coils for the loudspeakers. “The length of the coil has a lot to do with what you are doing,” Rose explained. “For a guitar speaker, you might have a really short coil that only moves a little bit. But for a big subwoofer, you got a long, tall coil that moves a lot more air.”

The company uses a 600-ton multi-press to punch out steel discs for the speakers. “This is one that Rob’s dad, Bob Gault, helped to design,” Rose said. “ … The demands of industry are for more power and more air, so we definitely find ourselves using the larger press more often.”

On the assembly line, speakers are built from the foundation up, Rose said. “Each of these employees are doing quality checks on the work other people have done. So the human element is extremely important, and these people are what make our company. So we are really, really proud that we’ve not automated things and keep people involved.”

This segment is part of Kentucky Life episode #2111, which originally aired on March 26, 2016. Watch the full episode.