Along with the February issue of Professional Sound News Europe the readers of the magazine received a bonus edition called “Genius!”.

It is celebrating the inventors and innovators who shaped the world of pro audio. After Rupert Neve who made the first mixing console and Gerald Stanley who designed the first high-power and reliable amplifier, the editors put in the third place Dave Martin and the “Philishave”, marked as “Historical Genius”.

Down under you can read the original article:

“The late Dave Martin will be best remembered for kick-starting the modular, horn-loaded revolution – heralding a new era in sound reinforcement after a generation of WEM columns.

Believing that bands could deliver a better audience experience at ever-increasing capacity venues, Martin’s early inspiration came from seeing the RCA W folded-horn cinema cabs when Iron Butterfly first toured with them. Because they measured seven feet high and weighed 500lbs they didn’t want to pay the return freight back, and so the system was sold to British rock band Yes.

The Australian rethought the folded-horn concept and produced his famous 215 Mk1 (2 x 15”) bass cab, which was later transformed into the iconic 115 (1 x 15”), he quipped, “by sawing it in half.” The bass crossed over into Vitavox horns with JBL2482 compression drivers around 500Hz.

Martin’s horn-loaded systems proved to be a big step up from the earlier direct radiator columns, which couldn’t keep pace with the demands of the emerging progressive scene. With early adopters including Pink Floyd, ELP and The Who, Martin bins and horns joined rock royalty through the ‘progressive’ era of the early-tomid- 70s.

Yet Dave Martin’s most iconic product was arguably the legendary MH212 ‘Philishave’ – so named because of its resemblance to the Philips electric razor of the time. And the band that put it on the map was Supertramp – one of a number of bands who had been seeking more power in the vocal midrange region.

So how did it come about? The design brief was to develop a mid-range device that was compact, loud and crossed over into the HF horn well above 800Hz. Initial designs using ATC 12” direct radiators in the MR212 twin-angled mid and MR312 ‘threepenny bit’ were less efficient than the horn-loaded bass and HF sections and didn’t go much above 800Hz.

Martin’s imaginative solution was to look to the compressiondriver principle to increase efficiency and extend frequency response upwards by matching a speaker diaphragm to a smaller throat by means of a phase plug.

Introduced in 1978, the twindriver MH212 was the first ever dedicated cone midrange horn, and with the 115 or 15 Mk2 bass bins and HF2M treble horn completed the modular system. The name ‘Philishave’ resonated louder than the components from which it was made – and quickly became an industry standard around the globe.

Another pioneering principle that Dave Martin adopted was to stack the bass, mids and highs in separate columns. The 1980 Dire Straits’ tour in Italy was a perfect example of the science of stacking, with the Philishaves and horns arranged in columns to throw further – a forerunner of line array thinking, while for the Free Mandela concert at Wembley stadium in 1988, seen in over 40 countries, Concert Sound fielded a colossal 98 x 215 Mk2 bins, 60 Philishaves and over 60 HF horns plus JBL bullets.

And so with his early mission fulfilled, the heritage and pedigree have been handed down to subsequent generations of development engineers within the company, and the quest to achieve the same pioneering excellence through innovation remains intact. For these are truly legacy systems, and to this day, Dave Martin’s horn-loading philosophy continues to be a key principle in the touring products of Martin Audio, the company he founded in Covent Garden in 1971.”