You are the best! I can't tell you how much I love seeing you and how much PF means to me. It doesn't even make sense to me. I so look forward to these. And I can't wait to see the lovely Wendi in SC next year.
Thanks to all those who made this year special. For those who didn't make it, I'm sorry. Thanks to Stu for letting us use his home. I told him you wouldn't wreck it.
As always, I ate too much, drank too much and laughed too much. I'm lucky to know you all.
Sounds like a blast!
You say Wendi is going to be in SC?
Do you recommend Orbitz? Expedia? Travelocity? Kayak?
I think I can talk Rick88 into splitting the difference! LOL!
I am JK!:lol:
Looked like a great time, and hopefully I might be able to attend a local in the next several years.
Glad it went better than expected, and this sight seems to draw people closer (in person) than most
web sights on the web bar none!
Thats saying alot!
All I know is Al, that before I leave this World I will attend at least one more PF. I had a blast the last time I attended and just too many things happened this year for me not to attend.
I await the next PF that I will be able to attend. You guys are great.
The 10th annual Polkfest was held at Polk Audio's corporate headquarters in Baltimore, MD September 21 and 22, 2012. This Polkfest coincided with Polk's 40th anniversary! I would like to thank the following participants for their efforts as facilitators, tour guides and demonstrators:
Polk Audio, Inc. executives: Joe Tristani, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Al Ballard, Vice President of Marketing, Stu Lumsden, Vice President of Engineering.
Tour guides and facilitators: From Marketing - Dan Birzak, Debra DelGrosso, Greg O'Rourke, Scott Olson, Shelia Edwards, Jenny Suskind, Mark Nestor; From Inside Sales - Nick Cappolloni; From Engineering - Mike Estler.
Product demonstrations and technical tutorials: Brad Saylor, Systems Engineer, Dave Fitzpatrick, Director of Mechanical Design, Anthony Kopher, Assistant Manager, Polk Store, Steve Tourison, Mechanical Design Engineer, Brad Starobin, Director of Acoustics, Ken Chae, Director of Industrial Design, Scott Orth, Systems Engineer.
If I missed anyone, let me or a moderator know so the list can be edited.
We began at 9:30am with introductory remarks by Al Ballard. We were then split into small groups for technical and product overview tours. After lunch, Stu Lumsden and Al Ballard presented information on the developmental process of Polk's current product lines. The day officially ended with an awards ceremony. After the day's program closed, a few of us went over to Montaghan's pub for dinner and drinks.
Figure 1. Al Ballard, VP of Marketing, welcomes Polkies to the 10th Annual Polkfest.
Figure 2. Attendees.
Figure 3. Attendees.
Figure 4. Two members of Polk's website team: Patrick (left) and Jon.
Figure 5. Hi Cathy (cfrizz). Cathy and her brother Mark.
Figure 6. Stu Lumsden, VP of Engineering, gives some orientation remarks prior to technical and product
Figure 7. Scott Orth, Systems Engineer, discusses crossover design.
Figure 8. Brad Saylor, Systems Engineer, discusses driver design.
Figure 9. Stu discusses the activities of the acoustics research lab. At the rear is Brad Starobin, Director of
Figure 10. Acoustics research lab.
Figure 11. Brad Starobin at work in the acoustics research lab.
Figure 12. Ken Chae, Director of Industrial Design, discusses the physical and aesthetic design process of the
Figure 13. Dave Fitzpatrick, Director of Mechanical Design, discusses the mechanical design process for the
new headphone and earphone products.
Figure 14. Steve Tourison, Mechanical Engineer, demonstrates the laser resin fabrication process used to
create mock-ups of new products and component parts.
Figure 15. Stu discusses the driver test room.
Figure 16. New product: In-floor speakers! Not really...this is how drivers are mounted for testing due to the
favorable acoustic location.
Figure 17. Laser interferometer driver testing demonstration. L-R, Anthony (amulford), John (jaycee),
Debra Delgrosso, Marketing Manager (and tour guide), Trey, (VR3).
Figure 18. Laser interferometer driver testing rig.
Figure 19. This picture has ominous overtones doesn't it? Stu is pointing the way to the "special chamber"
where captured forum trolls are detained, "tuned up" and "attitude adjusted". I thoroughly enjoyed
"questioning" some of my favorite trolls.
Figure 20. Al Baron, Product Line Manager, demonstrates the new Soundbar 9000 system, which is not yet
Figure 21. Soundbar 9000 demo.
Figure 22. LSiM home theater demo with three MicroPro 4000 subs.
Figure 23. Two channel room with flagship LSiM 707 speakers.
Figure 24. Top of the LSiM 707 speaker. The fit and finish (and sound) of the LSiM series is outstanding!
Figure 25. Elegant LSiM 707 binding posts...and AudioQuest bi-wire speaker cables.
Figure 26. Anthony Kopher, Polk Store Assistant Manager, demonstrates Polk's line of headphones and
earphones. I was very impressed with the sound quality, comfort, appearance and features of these phones.
Prior to this visit, I was not aware that Polk have moved into that market. Each Polkfest attendee received a
set of UltraFocus 6000 earphones.
Figure 27. I spotted a new-in-box SRT System way up high in the warehouse. I suggested to the warehouse
manager that he should sell it to me since they obviously weren't using it. He said it had been sitting in
storage since 1995 and he didn't think anyone would miss it. Besides, there was another set in storage.
I gave him $300 cash and he told me to come back Sunday morning and pick up the boxes.
Figure 28. Al Ballard presents the Polkie of the Year award to...me.
Figure 29. My POTY gift was a set of UltraFocus 8000 headphones with my forum name engraved on the
Figure 30. Polkfest Swag!
Figure 31. Jesse (F1nut) received an award for his efforts supporting Polk at audio shows. Mark (dorokusai)
and Russ (Russman) were also honored.
Stu offered the use of his home on day two for a social gathering from 12pm-10pm.
Figure 32. Stu's backyard setup.
Figure 33. The fellow at the left is Polk Senior VP and Chief Operating Officer Joe Tristani.
Figure 34. Hi Hedy! Hedy Klopfer, Inside Sales Account Manager.
Figure 35. LSiM's set up in Stu's living room.
Figure 36. Just before dinner, a raffle benefitting the Githens Center (www.githenscenter.org) was held.
Githens is a facility which serves developmentally disabled children and adults. A total of $1300 was raised,
$800 from Polkies and $500 from Polk COO Joe Tristani. Polk and forum members donated items for the
raffle. Ted (RT1) is officiating.
Figure 37. My first ever raffle winning: a Polk I-Sonic Entertainment System 3.
When I arrived at Stu's house, I noticed that the entrance to his driveway was roped off. I thought he was just keeping people from blocking his driveway. I later found out that the driveway needed to be clear for the huge catering truck from Salerno's (www.salernos.com) that showed up at 6pm. Such Good food!
Figure 38. Other audio companies just feed you marketing hype. Polk offers real food.
So there you have it.
Thanks DK. Those Headphones are way too cool.
Another great mini book by DarqueKnight. Congratulations again on winning those headphones. I was so jealous that i just ordered a pair :)
Great time at Polk and great time of reconnecting with all of you guys again.
The sammiches and salads at lunch were curious and different but there empty plates all around when it was done! Several people snuck back in to pilfer some leftovers for later too!
The coaxing of the riff-raff from the front step of HQ...I mean Friday night dinner with Al was at one of his favorite watering holes with some really good fried chicken products. Thanks, Al!
The lunch on Saturday was loaded with all kinds of sammiches again! They were all good and I had several samplings of each! Also, beer flowed freely! But they had these cookies that were chocolate chip cookies with crumbled up Oreos in them.....my Lord! It was like God made cookies!
Then dinner came.
Pitbeef, grilled chicken, crab cakes (oh my, the crab cakes! I think we went through 4 trays of them!)...I know I'm missing a couple others. It was all Maryland regional favorites though. There was more salads and other sides as well as some killer brownies and what seemed like a Red Velvet cake. I'm not sure though, it was getting dark and vision was a bit blurry.
I stuffed myself stupider each day!
DK, those headphones are awesome! You cant beath that....
And why must you tempt us all with that SRT eye candy...... :biggrin:
I would like to thank you for the write up. Helped me see a bit of what it was like (and kick myself even harder for not forcing a way to go)
DarqueKnight, great job on the photos and writeup on each. Getting a nice start on POTY honors for PF 2013! :cheesygrin:
Fantastic reporting Ray.
Great write up indeed. I get n00b of the year for posting my pics in their own thread instead of here. :p
Outstanding job done Raife, thanks!
Once again nice job with the pictures,it nice to put names with faces.Some people look nothing like what you thought they would.
Great job, DK. But I have a question for all the Polk Festers? I see a lot of VPs above. But WHO is the President? Who is the main guy, the apical head of Polk today? I see, also in another thread that Al is retiring, as a side note here. He will be missed!
I would like to thank all the members, Polk Employees and others who made the Githens Center Raffle such a success. To all the members who made some great donations of audio products your generosity is terrific. It was again my honor to ramrod the raffle for George, in memory of his daughter Tiffany. I am sure she was doing cart-wheels in heaven as the membership stepped up.
A big thank-you to Mr. Tristani, Polk COO, who on behalf of Polk Audio pledged a gift of 500.00. Wow, at first I thought he was sort of kidding..but NO he was very serious. Outstanding gesture on his and POLK AUDIO's part.
We also had several members who made large donations, the top-dog turned out to be Troy..who barely eaked it out over Russ (Hoosier21), Al Ballard (who btw chooses not to take any tickets), Anthony (Amulford), and John (Jstas), each of these members made donations of at least 100.00, there were of course many other members who donated and participated and those gifts are of course very much appreciated and necessary, as it all makes this one of the most worthy things we all do as part of the forum.
Thanks to everyone, I did have alot of fun with things as the winners were announced and the tickets pulled, everyone was a good sport and the whole thing was a real blast as Patrick pulled the first winning ticket. Hedy moved at light speed to scoop up a Franklin I dropped, woman can move no doubt, as it was quickly returned. POLK AUDIO offered up some great products, Speakers, Headphones, ISonic3, great stuff, we even had a member dontate an entire POLK AUDIO HT system and when it was found one of the subs in the RT1000P was out, well, POLK AUDIO stepped up again and offered a warranty repair, great donation, great service, great company.
See everyone next year!!!
Edit...I also would like to add that I did indeed fulfill my promise to John Strongbad of a full RT1 reach around...his uh..package..will never be the same..ha! gotcha...John.
sorry I missed PF12.. always a fun time the couple of HQ tours I've been on and the gathering the following day.
it's great reading the reactions from the first timers..
post more pics people.. can never have enough. Where is the group pic? the hardcore Polkies group pics??
There were a couple group shots. We were actually pretty well behaved, considering...
Originally Posted by TroyD
Originally Posted by amulford
Originally Posted by Strong Bad
Originally Posted by amulford
Originally Posted by kab
Now THIS is the PF I know and love.Quote:
Originally Posted by reeltrouble1
See you then Ted!Quote:
Originally Posted by reeltrouble1
I'd like to thank everyone at Polk Audio for puting on another incredible Polkfest. It was great to see old friends and make a few new ones. I'm sorry that I wasn't my usual self, but I've been dealing with a personal issue and my head just isn't on straight.
I would like to thank all those who where involved in making polkfest 2012 the most memorable polkfest iIve had the pleasure to be part of.
I hope your personal issue is resolved quickly Jesse. I will keep you in my prayers that things are resolved quickly whatever it/they may be. Take care of yourself Jesse.
I thought it was the new dye job.....
It's Friday... let's do it again!! :biggrin:
Thanks again, Polk and Polkies alike! :smile: