By Clive Young.
Simi Valley, CA (August 12, 2010)–Eugene “Gene” Czerwinski, who founded Cerwin-Vega in 1954, died August 6 at the age of 83.
Initially an aerospace engineer, Czerwinski founded the company as Vega Associates in the mid-1950s, soon moving into amplifiers and speakers for home use, based around solid-state technology, including the world’s first solid state amplifier, rated at 125 RMS, in 1957.
As rock and roll took off in the 1960s, the company began supplying sizable loudspeakers to comapies such as Fender and Vox. The 1970s found Cerwin-Vega working with name acts such as The Rolling Stones, The Boomtown Rats, David Bowie, Peter Frampton and ELP. It also won an Oscar (“Special Technical Achievement”) in 1974 for its work developing “Sensurround,” a sound format developed for the disaster epic Earthquake. Cerwin-Vega created large bass cabinets whose aim was to shake the movie theater, adding to the intensity of the earthquake on-screen.
Czerwinski sold the company in 2002 to the Stanton Group, which moved it to Florida. Current day CEO, Timothy Dowart, said “On behalf of Cerwin-Vega and the Stanton Group, we would like to express our sadness on the passing of Gene Czerwinski, the founder of Cerwin-Vega. Gene’s original and inspired work in the development of audio technology has been responsible for some of the greatest achievements in the industry. These innovations continue to entertain and enthrall people all over the world. His work inspired performers to be their best, and gave music fans the tools they needed to get the most out of recorded music. He leaves a lasting legacy for all of us at Cerwin-Vega to live up to. Gene Czerwinski’s passing is a great loss and we wish to extend our sincerest condolences to his family and friends. Our thoughts are with the Czerwinski family.