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Watertown Center for Business and Industry - Home of Meadowlark Audio
Meadowlark Audio's New Home
Watertown Center for Business and Industry


Map - Meadowlark Audio Watertown New York


History of the Company


  Photo of he Meadowlark Audio Plant  


Meadowlark Audio has served the San Diego audiophile community by designing and building custom speakers since about 1987. In the early days most of our projects were one-of-a-kind systems that fell into three categories.

Architects and builders of luxury homes called upon us to create extensive stereo and cinema systems where the demands of performance, appearance and physical configuration often fell outside what was available from regular manufacturers.  Many of these projects were quite a lot of fun. For instance, just about all retrofit type in wall speakers are pretty darn lousy - the design compromises are bleak, and a hole-in-the-wall for an enclosure is about the worst choice you could make.  But savvy customers who brought us in during the design phase of their homes could enjoy amazing results. You can design in spectacular, properly enclosed three ways, or a subwoofer the size of a refrigerator if you do it during the blueprint stage! 

Many of our big budget cinema systems were exercises in shear brute force. And, many of our customers had very particular requirements - one guy spent $8K on some cleverly hidden speakers for his master bath because he liked to start his day out rocking.

We also did a fair share of commercial custom sound - restaurants, salons and the like. This usually involved making a dozen or more custom speakers that met some pretty unusual appearance specs, performed well at lower volume levels, and annoyed not.


But most of our business during the late eighties and early nineties was custom two channel systems for hard core audiophiles. We had developed quite a reputation for dealing with customers one-on-one, and satisfying their needs for high performance audio. To the chagrin of our local high end dealers, the word was out that Meadowlark Audio could deliver more bang for the buck than the national brands. Buyers would come to us and say, “I really like the Brand X model Q, but I’d like a little more of this, or a little less of that.” We’d build to suit. Our small company developed a sort of cult following of loyal customers, many of whom bought increasingly expensive systems over time.

During those years, we literally built hundreds of different speaker designs. It was really quite a ‘journey of discovery’. We used just about every driver made, and passed through just about every design philosophy: closed boxes, vented boxes, second, third and four order filters, metal dome tweeters, horns, bipoles, dipoles, line arrays, rear firing tweeters, D’Appolito configurations, computer generated designs, all of it. Basically, we experimented intensively with other people’s money, and we did what few speaker designers ever get to do: prototype new ideas every week!


About the Designer



Pat McGinty in the warehouse


Pat McGinty, designer and chief learned electronics from his dad, starting at around age 5. "My Dad was a radar guy in the Navy during its vacuum tubed infancy in WWII. Following the war, he got into TV - an up and coming medium at the time - with RCA, and became an instructor at the RCA Institute at about the time he was starting his family. Dad wanted me to learn electronics the way most kids learn language - by constant use and demonstration. I remember fooling around with batteries, switches, lamps, buzzers and potentiometers after Kindergarten class. If I'd known then what a nerd I was becoming, I'd have probably gone out and played ball."

It's a good thing he didn't. Pat spent his grade school years in the basement fiddling around with electronics, chemistry, electroplating, rocketry, explosives, magnetism, and just about anything scientific. "I was the guy with the crew cut, white socks and slide rule.  It was a time before being smart became uncool - so I was OK.  Not many dates though."

"Dad was also a skilled woodworker, and I learned to handle all of the tools, even the lathe, pretty early on. My wood construction projects grew from small cabinets to full size boats by my teen years." "It's funny, but I learned most of the basic underpinnings of what I do now by the time I was fifteen. Thanks, Dad."

When Pat set up a cabinet shop as his first shot at self employment, it's little wonder that he could be found there, after hours taking his first stabs at making speakers.

Recently, the second pair of speakers Pat ever made (shown below) resurfaced after years in storage. "What a shock! the darn things are phase aligned, and when I popped 'em open... there it was - a first order crossover!!! I laughed myself silly. Oh yeah... they are a little bit bright..."


Pat with his second pair of speakers


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