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quote_mark

I was born in the small town of Lindesberg in central Sweden’s mining district. My father was an engineer and my mother was a potter and painter. I have fond memories of them both singing in the house, my mother playing the piano, my father the violin. You could say that very little has changed in my life since; it still revolves around science, engineering, art and music.

My father encouraged me to be curious about how things worked, and that quickly translated into building things. My first project was a simple radio called Radioman. Next I built a one-tube VHF receiver: Ike 1. At the age of twelve I started work on my first amplifier, a 3W mono tube amp, followed by a 10WPC stereo kit. My summer holidays as a teenager in the 60’s were spent repairing radios and TVs at a shop in Stockholm.

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What followed was an engineering career designing radios, navigation equipment, microcomputer systems and most recently railway signalling systems, including for the railway along the Öresund Bridge connecting Sweden and Denmark.

In 2001 it was time to focus on what I really cared about, and I began work on a new tube amplifier. I had no doubts about my technical abilities, but I wouldn’t call myself an industrial designer, and a superior sounding amplifier needed to look superior as well. Luckily I didn’t have to look far to find someone who understood this better than I did.

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Lars Engström – Chief Engineer & Co-Founder

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quote_mark

We spent the Summer of 2006 at our family cabin on the island of Gräsö. My uncle had made real progress with his amplifiers in the past five years and he asked me if I was interested in helping him design the next model. I could think of no better way to bring together my love of music with my experience in fine art and industrial design.

I would say it started in 1989 when my mother, working as an illustrator at a local newspaper at the time, brought home a Macintosh computer with a screen that could rotate 90° between landscape and portrait modes. It made a big impression on me. Being a curious 11-year-old, raised by artists, it didn’t take long before I started using the 3D software on the computer to build and render my very own spaceship designs.

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Like many Swedes of my generation I grew up on hard rock, then grunge in the 90’s. My father, a blues musician himself, expanded my tastes with Frank Zappa, Erik Satie, Monica Zetterlund and John Cage. If visual arts is my first love, music has to be my second – but I would hate to have to choose one over the other. 

At first I pursued fine art as a career. I had exhibitions, got involved in public art projects, and even got paid for some of my work. When I learned I was to become a father, I decided to educate myself as a fine carpenter – my idea of a serious job that would allow me to use what I knew and loved about art. Now almost 30 years have passed since I rendered my first spaceship. The Macintosh has grown up. The 3D software has grown up. I’ve grown up myself – I have a serious job – but I still feel a familiar childlike excitement as I render the model of the next Engström amplifier.

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Timo Engström – CEO, Chief Designer & Co-Founder