WARNING: The above photos are at least ten years old.
Dane Tate and A.J. Wells met back in 1986 at the University of Oklahoma while Dane was a student in the journalism school and A.J. arrived as the new chief engineer for the television facility there. They discovered a mutual interest in audio, electronics, music, and BBQ, and this set them on a course of building such unlikely things as phono preamps, JBL 4530 cabinets, carousel music playback systems, and pneumatic randomizers.
Dane designed and briefly manufactured the #31 Optical De-esser back in the late 1990's. It was adopted and loved by NPR, Wisconsin Public Radio, and several recording engineers in the music and television post industries.
Then in 2009, with API's VPR Alliance firmly in place, Dane and A.J. decided to team up and carry on with the de-esser in the 500-series format.
These days there are six modules on the market along with two Colour modules. Additionally, a number of one-off, custom products have been designed and built including the BC22 Console.
What do the letters XQP represent?
For starters, it is in airport in Costa Rica. And although AJ and Dane are both aviation buffs, this information was unknown to them for many years.
Though the actual name of the company on file at the Oklahoma State Capitol is XQP, the name behind the acronym is Xylene Quickened Products.
During the years Dane was a student at the OU J school, the heads of the tape recorders in the television studio and its subsidiary audio studios were frequently subjected to a scrubbing with the agent Xylene. Whether that strikes the modern engineer still dabbling in tape as suitable or not, it was the de facto substance on hand at the time.
Thus when the XQP acronym was first discovered, it was retroactively given the authority to stand for the words Xylene Quickened Products, and no further thought was given to the matter.
How was the XQP acronym first discovered?
Well, the legend has it that one day Dane, while at the OU J-school, passed by a dbx noise reduction unit sitting upside down in a rack. It spelled xqp, and Dane found this amusing. AJ was in the habit of putting broken pieces of gear upside down in the rack to indicate its current state, and thus the term XQP was born somewhat by chance.