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Owner of DLW Audio in Stevens, David Wenger, passes at 62 David L. Wenger
David L. Wenger, a visionary electrical and acoustical engineer, died Monday, April 25, 2011 at Hospice of Lancaster County after a brief battle with cancer. He was 62. David s company, DLW Audio Consultants of Stevens, supplied leading recording studios, touring acts, television facilities and Olympic stadiums with critically accurate loudspeakers and custom public address system installations. His signature line and near-field studio reference loudspeakers, the Wenger/ALS 1104, are used around the world by recording engineers/producers, by audiophiles, and in mastering labs, post production facilities, flight simulators and even planetariums. Since 2006, DLW completed several noteworthy renovations for NBC television at Rockefeller Center in New York. Along with his wife and business partner, Pamela S. Wenger, David personally rewired Studio 1A, home of Dateline NBC and The Today Show, Studio 6B, home of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Studio 3A/3C, home of MSNBC Live" and Saturday Night Live, the studio used for off-site coverage of the 2008 Summer Olympics. This was not the first time DLW contributed to the Olympic stage. In 1992, the Wengers delivered more than 1,500 hand-made loudspeakers to BOSE Corporation for use at the Calgary and Albertville Winter Olympics, where they performed flawlessly in temperatures as cold as -20 degrees. And on July 17, 1976, at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Canada, it was a custom public address system from David s first small shop in Blue Ball that entertained an audience that included Queen Elizabeth II of England. Disco was a big thing and we were doing club installations in 76 when we got the Olympics, recalls David s partner at the time, Tom Lalley of 20th Century Fox Studios. But Dave was fearless, not afraid of anything, and he was so savvy with acoustics and was really confident in his ability to build something that big and powerful. He was the brains behind it.
Pamela Shirk Wenger joined DLW as an electrical technician in 1982, and married David in 1986. She is president of the company today. Everything about Dave was expressed in his loudspeaker designs, she said. He had brilliant ears and he would define and redefine a product until it was what he wanted and expected, and he wouldn’t settle for anything less. He was ahead of his time, for sure.
Other significant milestones for the company included a 1984 installation of 1,104 monitors in a Comanche Attack Helicopter flight simulator for the Boeing Company in Ridley Park and three planetarium installations in the mid-1980s in Mexico and France for Spitz Space Systems of Chadds Ford. Born in Lancaster, David Leeds Wenger was the son of Jane L. Wenger, a resident of Denver Nursing Home, and the late John A. Wenger. Growing up, David was profoundly influenced by a family friend who exposed him to the world of amateur (ham) radio operation. An insatiable interest in big signals and clean audio circuitry was born, and at the tender age of 14, David obtained an FCC license for station K3ZRF. Nightly radio chat around the world became his favorite recreational pastime, and he spent 49 years on the air staying connected with many of his closest friends in life. A graduate of Warwick High School, David earned a bachelor s degree in biology at the University of Miami in 1974, where he hosted a program at the student radio station. Upon returning to Lititz, he was asked by a neighbor, Roy Clair co-founder of Clair Brothers Audio if he could read an oscilloscope. He could, and David was hired to the technical staff of Clair Brothers in Brickerville, where he became a design engineer working on crossover designs within PA systems. He left in 1976 to form DLW Audio Consultants in Blue Ball. His survivors include his wife of 25 years, Pamela, of Stevens; a son: Joshua D. Wenger, of Biloxi, Miss.; a stepson: Jeffrey L. Shirk, husband of Andrea Shirk, of Sharpsburg, Ga.; a sister-in-law: Jill Enloe Papa, wife of Larry Papa, of Bend, Ore.; a niece: Jackie E. Christensen, wife of Brent Christensen, of Bend, Ore.; a nephew: Jere Eshelman, of California; two grandchildren: Zachrey L. and Bryan L. Shirk; and a grand-niece and a grand-nephew. A memorial service will be held May 7 at Roseboro Stradling Funeral Home, 533 Walnut St. in Denver, at 11 a.m. with Pastor Dennis Trout officiating. The family requests that memorial contributions be sent to Hospice of Lancaster County, P.O. Box 4125 Lancaster, PA 17604. Arrangements are being made by Roseboro Stradling Funeral & Cremation Services Inc. To send a condolence to the family, visit roseborostradling.com. More WENGER, page A11