Designer Hall of Fame

There are many great designers out there, and especially in the lore from the golden age, but I'm not to familiar with them. I thought it might be interesting to discuss some of the great designers for engineering skill and knowledge, business integrity, and ultimatley quality of their products. My short list a "hall of fame" if you will of designers working today are:

Nelson Pass, Pass Labs
Charles Hansen, Ayre
Roger Modjeski, Music Reference
Ken Stevens, Convergent Audio Technolgy (CAT)
Kevin Hayes, VAC

and how could I leave Jeff Rowland off? Well it is a short list. Who would you nominate?
Beerdraft, it might interest you that Victor's partner was a customer of ours and had bought 2 sets of our amps and a preamp. I spent a few hours on the phone with Victor while he had one of the amps open on his bench, trying to model it in P-Spice (that required a schematic and that was why the amp was being examined). Victor was trying to tell me that the amp did not work (in P-Spice) and I was asking him 'did you listen to it?'. Back then (1993 or thereabouts) P-Spice had terrible models for vacuum tubes :)

I can't say after his reverse-engineering our amp that he copied it- clearly he did not as he used a different driver circuit so neither our patent nor copyrights were violated. But it was obviously an influence- minimal number of gain stages (our amp has only one), no feedback, Circlotron output section, triode operation, fully differential and balanced throughout... sound familiar?
Indeed it does and I know lots of manufacturers that test others to find out what they like and or dislike about a unit and will test it in the design stages. Its good to test your competition and see how you compare. I also remember reading a review wrote where Victor met his partner and listened to his system and told him he could build a better amp, so his not then partner said prove it, I think he did. From what I understand he had been building stuff like that for years for himself tinkering with things as a hobby but never did it to make money till he met his partner.
Beerdraft, I agree with you that some manufacturers do do that. I'm pretty sure the rest of that is apocryphal. We heard his amps almost right away...
I'd love to hear you guys stuff as I've become a fan suddenly of the simplicity. I checked and didn't see a dealer in GA. Your stuff looks nice and I'm sure it is wonderful. Maybe I will get to hear at rmaf this year.