About Guy Primus

written by Van Jensen for Georgia Tech Engineers magazine

This kid grew up in the 1970s and ’80s in east Pittsburgh, a blue-collar neighborhood. His mom was a teacher; his dad worked the late shift. They named their son Guy—Guy Primus—and with a name like that, it’s no wonder the kid had dreams.

In high school, Guy worked at his cousin’s convenience store. Saturday would come, and he’d pick up his $20 for the week and head down the street to Stedeford’s Record Shop, where he dropped every last cent to buy four 12-inch singles.

Guy dreamed of music. He wanted to be a DJ, so he built up his record collection, bought a turntable, taught himself to spin. But he wasn’t content to be just another DJ. He wanted to be great.

So Guy built his own setup, decked everything out with fabric and lights. He disassembled a telephone handset and rebuilt it to be his earpiece, a little touch of style to set him apart.

As much as Guy loved the music, the mechanics of the equipment fascinated him even more. His turntable broke, so he picked it apart, fixed it. Same with the TV at home—well, except he never could get that working again.

His dreams changed, and he saw himself designing and building speakers, a scientist with style, just like Amar G. Bose, the MIT professor whose eponymous company was overtaking the sound system industry.

So Guy would be a physicist. And to excel at that, he’d have to head south, to Georgia Tech. It was 1987, and fresh out of high school, he moved away from Pittsburgh for the first time—off to Atlanta.

He stepped onto campus, just another freshman. But he had conviction. He believed he would do something great. He had imagined it, and now he would set about the work of making it so.