Company history (Continuation)
Dr. Küsters was responsible primarily for technology and production; Dr. Schoeps directed the company and represented it to the outside world. Due to his slowly degenerating health, Dr. Küsters sought a co-worker to assist him, and so Jörg Wuttke joined the company in 1970. He was a student of, and assistant to, the inventor of the interference tube (“shotgun”) directional microphone — Prof. Kurtze, who taught in Karlsruhe. Mr. Wuttke actually wanted only to gain some practical experience following the completion of his undergraduate studies; he intended to return to complete his doctorate. But Dr. Küsters passed away at the end of 1971. Mr. Wuttke assumed his position and remained with the company. In 1973 he introduced the well-known “Colette” microphone series, the most extensive and multi-faceted microphone system on the market for over 35 years now.
In the next period of time, contacts were established above all with the German radio and TV broadcasting organizations, through which SCHOEPS became very well known in Germany. But it was not simple to compete with the large-diaphragm microphones then established among radio broadcasters. Simply offering more of the same at lower cost could not be the way; thus it remained to convince the customers of the special advantages of smaller microphones which are typical of SCHOEPS.
1972 marked the company’s first appearance at the grand exhibitions of the Audio Engineering Society and the VDT (the primary organization of German recording engineers).
In 1978 the GmbH (limited liability corporation) was founded, and in 1980 Ulrich Schoeps, the son of the founder, joined his father’s company. This was a time in which many formerly independent firms were being acquired by larger companies or conglomerates; employees and customers understood this as a hopeful sign that the SCHOEPS company would continue to be a family enterprise. Dr. Schoeps was already 74 years old and until this point no clear line of succession had been set forth. But in 1986 Ulrich Schoeps became the assistant to his father in his role as business director.
Member of the Corporation, Technical Director until the beginning of 2007
The company’s founding and its initial production had taken place in private apartments, but soon the company moved into a building which, at first, was rented, then acquired in 1965 along with the neighboring house. This doubled the available space. Along with the cellar vault, many parts of the building’s foundation walls date back to 1662, making it among the oldest still preserved in Durlach. Over the years, the space became too restrictive, and thus in 1990 a former dance hall was obtained and rebuilt as a production area for mechanical parts. Dr. Schoeps died at the end of 1993, having come to work at the company every day until the end. His son took over direction of the business. In 1997 Mr. Wuttke became second shareholder of the corporation.