Al Hart and Bill
Grommes became good friends while working at Radio Parts Company in
Chicago during the depression.
When the opportunity to start a business was
presented to Bill, he asked if Al would join the team. Al did and in
March of 1946, Precision Electronics, Inc. was born.
As chief engineer, Al Hart lead the company
from creating test equipment such as signal tracers in the late 1940's
to high-fidelity tube amplifiers in the 1950's and 1960's.
It is no surprise that Al's heart was in
designing high-fidelity consumer audio. And his love for audio
went beyond his work at Grommes~Precision. He was a complete audiophile
and recording enthusiast. One of the benefits of working in the audio
industry was that many Grommes~Precision vendors heaped record on top of
record at Bill and Al. As a result, Al's record collection was quite
extensive! He designed and hand-built his own extensive high-fidelity
recording studio and listening room in his house. Oftentimes on weekends
he would produce and record some of his favorite swing and jazz bands in
circa late 1980's.
He often stated that his lifelong engineering
goal was to create the perfect audio system: one that replicated the
sound of a live band so completely "you would think the band was in
the room with you."
Indeed, his 260A
design is heralded for its superb high-fidelity sound reproduction to
this day. Loved for its honest and warm
replication of music, and well-respected for Al Hart's high-fidelity
design, the 260A was hailed as "one of the finest power
amplifiers made, by virtue of its rugged, conservative construction, and
remarkably low distortion." It comes to no surprise then that
both Bill and Al used a pair of 260As in their respective homes. [Check
out the 260A
Limited Reissue available now!]
By the 1970's Grommes~Precision entered the
commercial audio market where its division, Precision
Electronics remains today. Al incorporated his same love of audio
and solid craftsmanship to commercial amplification. Al Hart semi-retired in late
1992. On October 16, 2000, Al
Hart passed away.