David Phillips (1905-1986).

"..he knew what sounded right, and he had the technical ability to know how to reproduce it". Joe E. Ginn.

Phillips was the ears of E.M.G & EXPERT Handmade Gramophones. As a child he made soundboxes out of cigar boxes and nails. It was his enthusiasm for the gramophone that lead to his brother-in-law, Michael Ginn to thinking they could turn, making bespoke gramophones into a family business.

David Phillips was a great music lover and played the violin and cello. He was solely responsible for the development in soundboxes for both E.M.G and EXPERT. His EXPERT Dynamic 4-spring soundbox of 1935 reached the pinnacle of soundbox development. David Phillips was also the man behind the electrical range of EXPERT gramophones. He was self-taught and ventured forth to create some wonderful radios and valve amplifiers. Even when the parts were bought off-the-shelf, David Phillips would tune the components to work in unisons.

After the demise of EXPERT, David Phillips still produced speakers to order, wrote reviews for several magazines on current Hi-Fi components, was highly regarded in the Hi-Fi world and was still advertising his services in the back pages of The Gramophone magazine up until 1971 as “AUDIO SPECIALIST AND CONSULTANT”.

David Phillips married his second wife, Margaret Barnard Pepys on 23 September 1967 in Devon.
Francis James writes:
“In the winter he still made top quality loudspeakers to private order, and in the summer? Holiday makers, queuing on the front at the little hot dog and teas stall, never guessed that the sallow old man serving them once had the most famous ear in the gramophone business.”

Here are two audio interviews with Dave Phillips.

  • Cassette tape of Joe Pengelly talking to Dave Phillips about the tuning of acoustic soundboxes at his home in South Devon 20th Jan 1978. Duration 2min 18 sec: For Francis James from Joe Pengelly Oct 2005
  • Edward Creese Jr interviewing David Phillips. (Over an hour long. Unknown date or place.) Pdf transcript.