Company History

TRADITION SINCE 1948

FOUNDED 1948 ...

The company "Schall-Technik Dr.-Ing. Karl Schoeps" was founded in March, 1948. To this day, the company headquarters remains in its original place of foundation: Durlach, a picturesque town, which was founded as a city in 1196 and today is part of the city of Karlsruhe.

Company founder was Dr.-Ing. Karl Schoeps, the father of today's owner Ulrich Schoeps. Schoeps' first co-​worker was Dr.-Ing. Wilhelm Küsters. Both had com­pleted their studies in Infor­mation Tech­nology at the Tech­nical College of Karlsruhe.

 

Dr. Karl Schoeps, founder and former CEO of the company
Dr. Wilhelm Küsters, the first employee - a remarkable technician

… THE FIRST PRODUCTS

Initially, Schoeps generally dealt with sound recording and sound reinforcement technology - hence the name "Schalltechnik". When films with sound expe­ri­enced their first great period of growth after the war, plans were being made for cinema sound instal­la­tions. Beyond that, the company was con­cerned with con­structing small quan­tities of tape recorders.

But already in the early years, the company also built the first SCHOEPS con­denser micro­phone, the CMV 50/​2 (con­taining two of the well-​known RV 12 P 2000 vacuum tubes). The capsule and the micro­phone body (whose size, unimag­inable in today’s con­di­tions, was ca. 13″ tall and 3″ in diameter), were still con­nected together in a fixed manner.

Due to Karl Schoeps’ friendship with a com­mercial rep­re­sen­tative in France who had excellent contacts among French radio broad­casters, a con­sid­erable market position (which still endures today) could already be achieved there in the 1950s. Far more than half of SCHOEPS pro­duction at that time was exported to France.

Küsters was respon­sible pri­marily for tech­nology and pro­duction; Karl Schoeps directed the company and rep­re­sented it to the outside world. In 1970 Jörg Wuttke joined the company.

Jörg Wuttke, Technical Director until early 2007

He was a student of, and assistant to, the inventor of the inter­ference tube (“shotgun”) direc­tional micro­phone — Prof. Günther Kurtze, who taught in Karl­sruhe. When the technical director Wilhelm Küsters died at the end of 1971, Wuttke took over his position. He was instrumental in developing the well-known Colette series, which has been on the market since 1974, for more than 50 years now, and is the most comprehensive and versatile microphone system in the world.

… COMPANY HEADQUARTERS

Ulrich Schoeps

1978 the company was founded and in 1980 Ulrich Schoeps, the son of the founder, joined his father's company. Till today the SCHOEPS company continues to be a family enter­prise. In 1986 Ulrich Schoeps became business director alongside his father. At the end of 1993. Karl Schoeps, who visited the company until the last day, died. His son took over the sole management with the assistance of Jörg Wuttke, who in 1997 became second shareholder of the corporation.
The company’s founding and its initial pro­duction had taken place in private apart­ments, but soon the company moved into an initially rented building of a former Durlacher brewery, which was acquired in 1953. Many parts of the building’s foun­dation walls date back to 1662, making it among the oldest still pre­served in Durlach.

… TIME OF CHANGE

After almost 37 years at SCHOEPS, Jörg Wuttke retired in February 2007. Mr. Wuttke has become the epitome of a micro­phone expert, and he enjoyed great pop­u­larity among recording engi­neers, since he knows so well how to explain the prin­ciples of acoustical physics in a straight­forward and prac­tical manner.

Ulrich Schoeps (left) and the two CEOs Dr. Helmut Wittek and Karin Fléing

His successor as technical director was Dr. Helmut Wittek, a trained sound engineer, who previously had contact with the company in some research projects. Wittek also joined the management in March 2009.

After more than 28 years as CEO, Ulrich Schoeps retired from the management in January 2015. He can look back upon a life’s work encom­passing the devel­opment of this small company into one of the world’s most respected man­u­fac­turers of high-​quality studio micro­phones. Under his lead­ership, Schoeps micro­phones have become the standard on the concert stage.

Thereupon, in addition to Wittek, Karin Fléing was also appointed co-CEO. Karin Fléing, a graduate in media man­agement, joined Schoeps in 2007. She formerly served as Director of Sales and Marketing. Wittek and Fléing focused their activities on transforming the company into the modern age. Together with a team of highly motivated people who are proud of their company with its unique capabilities and properties, the company has been and is being renewed both internally and externally. The company's particular strengths, for which the company is known and which have made it great, are being retained and expanded: Highest quality, a familiar and personal connection to customers and partners as well as innovation and technical finesse.

The company remains pri­vately owned, with Ulrich Schoeps as the majority share­holder.

… THE PRODUCTION TODAY

Today approx. 50 employees develop, produce and distribute the entire product range on an area of 1,500 square meters. The products have been sold internationally for many years, with the biggest markets in the USA, Europe and the Far East. Schoeps has about 40 distributors worldwide. The Colette system will continue to be maintained and expanded, also new microphone types (shotgun, studio microphone) and new applications were added. In the past, Schoeps was only found in the orchestra pit; today, film, sports and the conference market also play a major role.