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The P.W.B. Electronics Tower system
(courtesy of P.W.B. Electronics)

Many short-sighted critics who don’t know anything about the company, its history, the man who founded it, or the products themselves, nevertheless are not in the least bit shy about expressing their beliefs that Peter isn’t a sincere audio engineer. Or that he isn’t an audio engineer at all! That’s because they’ve only heard of him through the “weird tweaks” that make the fuzzies on the back of their necks stand up. Even then, they are often merely regurgitating what their fellow peers have said to them about Mr. Belt.

hifi news record reviewPeter has always been sincere in his efforts, and is a very pragmatic, down-to-earth fellow in his approach. Not unlike most audio engineers. He started his career in engineering as a radio engineer in service to the Royal Air Force. He went into audio following that, and for 30 years, worked in conventional audio retailing and marketing, manufacturing his own line of audio equipment at the high end of the spectrum. By the late 70′s, P.W.B. Electronics was producing absolutely state-of-the-art high end audio designs for the products they were manufacturing – pushing high end audio into new territory, with the design of their Dyna-X orthodynamic headphones and loudspeaker systems. All bearing the “PWB Electronics” name.  In fact, P.W.B. Electronics were the only manufacturer in the U.K. producing electrostatic headphones.

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Micron-thin state-of-the-art orthodynamic foil diaphragm for orthodynamic headphones, developed by Peter Belt, circa 1970′s!
(courtesy of P.W.B. Electronics)

Their work also included the Strathearn orthodynamic panel speaker, electrostatic headphones and interface units, and microphone technology.  Both Peter and his wife May have been involved in audio for 52 years, and Peter Belt is still actively involved in audio research today, in 2007. Which means he has been tackling the problems that prevent good sound for well over 50 years now! That’s more than can be said for many engineers from his time, who with the widespread acceptance of home theatre, ipods and computers replacing proper sound systems, have given up on the idea of high fidelity. So despite the attempts from his shallow critics to define and redefine him, it’s probably safe to say he has forgotten more than they know about audio.

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P.W.B. Electronics Electrostatic N.S.E. with P.W.B. Natural Sound connector box

Throughout the 70’s, Peter Belt designed highly ambitious state-of-the-art systems, like the one you see above. Whether it was speaker, headphone, microphone products or otherwise, Peter was always attempting to produce the very best designs of whatever genre he was working in, rather than settling in with the majority of the competition. Who themselves were often competing with off-shore brands of audio, to cater to the average audio consumer.  PWB’s electronic products were very well reviewed and respected, and rated very highly next to their competition. In the case of their orthodynamic speakers, as the article included outlines, the only real competition they had was the famous Quad electrostatics! All of the articles in this category present some of Peter’s conventional designs, and reviews. I hope they will give insight to some into the talents of one of the most talented (and yet little-appreciated) audio engineers we’ve seen!

P.W.B. Electronics – Orthodynamic Tower speakers, P.W.B. Natural Sound Connection Box (for STAX electrostatic headphones),

 

BBC Radio broadcast transcript: comparing the leading edge technology of P.W.B.’s state-of-the-art “DynaX-100″ loudspeaker system, against the best of its day (ranked as its only possible competitor!) – Quad electrostatics.

 

Popular Hi-Fi, October 1979. Article discussing P.W.B. Electronic’s revolutionary orthodynamic technology, applied to their DynaX-100 loudspeaker system.