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Jim Thiel, 61, Dies

Ky. – Jim Thiel, co-founder and
co-owner of Thiel Audio, succumbed to cancer, the company announced. He was 61.

Thiel, who was also the company’s product design engineer, co-founded
the company
that bears his name in 1976 with current president Kathy Gornik. His speaker designs
have won Innovations Design & Engineering awards, Absolute Sound / The
Perfect Vision Editor’s Choice awards, and Product of the Year awards from
Stereophile, Electronic House, and Stereosound Magazines, the company’s Web
site said.

Information on memorial services was unavailable. Donations
in honor of Jim Thiel can be made to the Rosenberg Integrative Cancer Treatment
and Research Institute. Dr. Mark Rosenberg of the institute treated Thiel’s

“Jim felt strongly that Dr. Rosenberg’s alternative approach
to cancer treatment was viable and would like to encourage anyone challenged by
the disease to learn more about Dr. Rosenberg’s work at,” the
company said.

“Jim’s passion for music and his interest in electronics can
both be traced back to childhood, when he began a lifelong love affair with the
piano and also began to build and repair radios and other electronic gear,” the
company said. “His academic background in physics and mathematics along with
his naturally creative and inquisitive nature led him to pioneer the principle
of time and phase accuracy in loudspeaker design.”

The company also lauded Thiel’s character. “When Thiel would
host their dealers for training events in Lexington,
many remarked that their favorite moments were spent with Jim in his lab, where
he would detail his complex work in friendly and digestible language. Jim was
known to listen thoughtfully and challenge gracefully, and he garnered a deep
level of respect and affection from those who worked at his company. His
employees remarked that he was so genuine â€” he was always fair, kind and
reasonable. Jim was a man of science, possessing a profound respect for
individuality and personal freedoms.”