From left: Ash Levitt, Bob Heil, and Steve Warford

Microphone manufacturer Heil Sound has new top leadership for the first time in its 56-year history.

The Illinois-based company said Bob and Sarah Heil have transferred ownership to current President/CEO Ash Levitt and Director of Operations Steve Warford.

“Sarah Heil has retired, but Bob will continue to do outreach work and product design within the amateur radio space under the title Founder and CEO Emeritus,” it stated.

The company said Levitt and Warford each began working with Heil Sound as teenagers, building and packaging products. “Levitt took a different career path in academia for a number of years, but continued to regularly consult with Heil Sound during that time. He returned to the company full-time in 2017 and assumed the role of president in 2020. Warford worked his way up in the company during his tenure and has been responsible for daily operations for the past several years.”

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An Early Photo of Bob Heil

Bob Heil began his audio career as a teenager performing concerts as the house player on the Wurlitzer theater organ at the Fox Theater in St. Louis. According to a company bio he was also deeply involved in ham radio and began tinkering with electronics and electronic design.

He opened “Ye Olde Music Shoppe” in Marissa, Ill., in the early 1960s and found success catering to professional touring bands. Heil Sound was formed in 1966 to provide pro touring gear and systems, and system design and equipment for music festivals.

Among his innovations is the famous Talk Box used by Joe Walsh and Peter Frampton, the quadrophonic mixer for the Who, and modular mixing consoles. The company entered mic manufacturing in the 1990s based in part on the prompting of Bob Heil’s friend the musician Joe Walsh.

In its announcement of the transition, the company quoted Bob Heil saying, “My life has been about achieving great sound, whether on the concert stage or in the amateur radio world. … This company has been my passion but it is time for me to step aside.”

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