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?
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.
Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery - if it doesn't infirnge on a patent.
does atma-sphere even make solid state amps. I don't see any on there web page. I have a hard time believing that they copied anything but maybe tried to take a amp or pre that they liked and see what is inside and how they can improve upon it, people do that all the time in every line of work not just hifi. just tells me that both are quality products.