Defunct Audio Manufacturers - Au to A9

Audio Access
Originally founded in 1987 as a manufacturing offshoot of a custom installation company in the San Francisco Bay area of the USA. Originally manufactured centralised keypad control and routing units and other devices to remote control audio components in multiroom situations etc. Later the company added video routing and control of lighting and security systems to their products in order to create an integrated system for control of home electronics. Taken over by Harman International in 1993 and when they took over Mardigal in 1996 the AudioAccess brand and products were made a responsibility of that company.

A manufacturer of high end audio products founded in the early 70's and based in Asnières, Bourges Cedex, France. but most active in the 80's, famed for it's hybrid class A/T amplifier designs but did prior to them manufacture turntables, Class A/B and pure class A amplifiers and towards the end of their life high end CD players and some loudspeakers. The company folded in the early 90's and its director of research Mr Guillaudeau went on to form the DRG and Siemel companies.

Their products are in general very well built with all amplifiers having over-specified toroidal transformers but with some unusual touches, their power amplifiers often had a headphone output and usually monstrous heatsinks. Their "A series" of power amplifiers were pure class A and like their USA and UK built counterparts have a reputation for requiring more maintainance than their other models

Resources : Retroreview of the PA60 Integrated Amplifier in Italian.

Audio Chi Group Limited
A company formed in 2008 in the town of Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland as "Powered By Design Limited" that introduced a line of mostly budget in-ear and closed back headphones under the Audio Chi brand in 2009. The company changed it name to ACGL in 2010 and was then dissolved in late 2011 but another company called RHA based in the same town was selling the same product line by the summer of the 2011.

Audio Classics
Based in Hindley, Lancashire, this was a UK reseller and repairer of vintage Hi-fi that was started in 1988, branched into the resale of new equipment in 1993 and in 1999 (?) into the manufacture of high efficiency loudspeakers in the form of the Model C that was sold under the A. C. Acoustics brand and featured a custom made wide range driver and unusually (these days) a cone tweeter. A series of inexpensive valve based amplification was announced in 2002 but website went down later that year and we have not been able to contact them since. You can find a review of the Model C here.

Audio Composite Engineering LLC

Originally started in 1993 as a sub-brand of the Southern California Sound Image company in Escondido in Southern California, USA, but that is a systems installation and integration company that manufactures loudspeakers for sound reinforcement use on the side. When marketing the ACE branded speakers they traded as “Audio Composite Engineering Inc.” but it appears there never was a company registered under that name until 2000 when a partnership was registered by the owners of SCSI, Ross Rito (1949 ~ 2009) and David R. Shadoan.

The name of the company is taken from the baffle material used in the PA speakers made by ACE, but the baffle was a seamless composite enclosure made out of an aramid polymer honeycomb structure that was then covered with multiple layers of carbon fibre. The use of this composite material made the speaker much lighter than wood or MDF based speakers but with higher rigidity, better acoustical quality’s and greater strength than ABS and other common wood alternatives used in PA speakers, in addition carbon fibre is fairly scratch resistant. Apart from the enclosure the design of the speakers was fairly traditional and in fact quite similar to the “G” series that the SCSI is still making, the ACE range was also fairly expensive and used high quality JBL compression drivers, a monitor model 1250 had an RRP of USD 2895 in 1999.

In 2001 the company announced that they had made an exclusive distribution deal with QSC with latter company to sell the ACE line as the “QSC-ACE Composlite” series of speakers, and later in the year they started appearing re-branded with the QSC name and the line being called ACE but keeping the model numbers ACE had been using previously, by 2003 the models had been renamed the QSC ISIS line and the individual models renamed but still had the exact same specifications as the ASC units. However by 2007/2008 QSC had replaced the ACE sourced speakers with models made out of cheaper cabinet materials and featuring cheaper drivers, in fact the QSC history page makes no mention of the ACE/QSC deal but rather states that the company started an R&D program in 1999 that resulted in the introduction of the ACE line in 2001. The Audio Composite Engineering LLC company is technically still around but dormant and mother company SCSI is thriving, but we cannot find any trace of the ACE products after 2005 or thereabouts

Resources: We have an archive of the LSP file sent out by the company for use with an EASE program available here.

Audio Concepts

There is nothing known about this UK based brand, in 1996 they announced they would introduce a new line of professional loudspeaker systems in 97 that would feature considerably better all weather performance that what was available on the market at the time and in general be more robust, but nothing has been heard from them since and as neither the company nor the trademark was registered nothing is known about the people behind the except that the first name of the main motor behind it was Tim(!).

Audio Deutsch Kraft See --> ADK (Microphones)

Originally founded in 1969 by Philip Swift & Derek Scotland but incorperated in 1980 as Cambridge Systems Technology but is primarily know for their 8000 series of amplifiers which were amongst the best known UK audio products of the 80's. Sold to TAG McLaren in the late 1990's but the Audiolab brand has been re-established recently following the sale of TAG McLaren to International Audio Group.

Audio Lab/Audio Lab Consort See --> Unitronex

AudioNow! (Cabels & interconnects) See --> Speciality Web Marketing Inc.

Audionics, Inc.

Originally founded in 1969 in Beaverton Oregon, USA by Charles Wood to act as an importer and distributor of sundry British audio products and indeed continued importing Radford products throughout their lifetime, the existence of a number of other companies with the same name around the world meant that the company started using adding the name of their home state or Audionics of Oregon on both their adverts and on their products faceplates as a means of diffrenciation. Audionics entered the loudspeaker business in the latter half of the 70's when they introduced the TL-M200 transmission line, initially not successful but sales picked up when smaller models where introduced a couple of years later and at a similar time they introduced the Shadow Vector Quadraphonic Decoder that they had been working on since the early 1970's that was one of the cheapest real quad decoder you could buy in the USA and sold quite well this was followed with the introduction of the Space and Image Composer, an advanced quadraphonic processor, but that model did not ship until 1979 and by that time the world had lost interest in quad and the company fizzled out shortly thereafter.

Audio Physics
Italian manufacturer based in Milano that started life as a local audio importer in the 1980’s. Purchased the Acoustat electrostatic loudspeaker product line and trademarks from Rockford in 1992 and stared manufacturing the panels in Udine the year after with some final assembly at their Milan headquarters. Introduced the Spectra 1200 in 1994 but that was a cosmetic redesign of the Spectre 1100 intended to suit European tastes better. In 1995 the company introduced the hybrid Spectra 1300 and full range Spectra 1400 models, these were a completely new design with new panels that are both considerably smaller than the earlier designs but also offered an increased frequency response, this meant that the 1300 and 1400 are considerably smaller than previous models from the company. In 2001 Audio Physics introduced a line of high end Class D digital power amplifiers and the year after moves all production to Milan. The company seems to disappear in 2004 and the rights to the loudspeaker product line and Acoustat trade mark end up with Acoustat in 2002, I have not been able to find out what happened to the company and the rest of the product lines. Not to be confused with German loudspeaker manufacturer Audio Physic.

Audio Products Inc.
USA based manufacturer of car audio products run by Matt Coleman, their products where sold primarily under the Crunch and Hifonics brands. Company hit financial problems at the turn of the century and sold it's product lines and trademarks to Maxxsonics in 2001, but Maxxsonics was formed by former API employees, and went bankrupt later that year.

Audio Reference
French loudspeaker manufacturer that had a large lineup of models including a number of home theatre systems, announced in 2000 that it was restructuring and put their model range on a sale at less than half or their original price but dissapears in 2001 and I have not been able to dig up further information.

Audio Spécialiste Industrie Inc.
Canadian loudspeaker manufacturer based in Québec. Run by Mr. Martin Galarneau and sold high end loudspeakers in addition to providing loudspeaker enclosures as an OEM, dissapeared without a trace in 2002.

Aural Audio See --> Classified Audio Video

Aura Systems See --> Revolver

Brandname used by Toshiba in the 80's in an attempt to create a mid/high end brand for the company.

USA based manufacturer of car audio products originally founded in the mid 80's, best known for their high wattage amplifiers. Acquired by Maxxsonics in 2004 and integrated into that company.

Avantic See --> Beam-Echo Ltd.

AVM-IRP Audio Products GmbH

German manufacturer of professional audio products primarily intended for PA systems and other sound installations, originally based in Köln in Nordrhein-Westfalen but moves to nearby Overath in 2004 and finally to Hünfeld, in Fulda, Hessen in 2006. Sadly there is very little info to be found on the company, it is not known for certain when AVM started but it is believed to have been founded in the 1990’s and is acting as a European agent IRP Professional Sound and Frazier in the latter half of that decade. By 2003 they have bought the IRP brand and have moved the production of the company’s products to Germany and greatly update the product line. We lose contact with them in 2011, the main proprietor of the company was at the time a gent named Matthias Müller but it is not known if he was the founder.

AV Reality See --> Acoustic Reality

AWA See --> Amalgamated Wireless Australasia Ltd. (AWA)

AW Audio
French manufacturer of loudspeakers and cables based in Paris, active in the mid 1990's and not heard from since 1998 or so.

Axia Electronics Limited See --> Tibo

A2 Ingenierie
A manufacturer of visually stunning horn loudspeakers and hi-fi furniture that was based in Chatou in France, the loudspeakers in particular have to be seen to be believed but the company also made a funky combination of both, i.e. a hifi/general shelving system that incorporated a pair of horn loudspeakers. Turned up for a few hi-fi shows in the mid 90's but has not been heard from since.

A-16 Audio
Canadian high end loudspeaker manufacturer active in the mid to late 90's, their speakers got good reviews but limited distribution but their string suspended speakers stands gained a bit of attention in NA since that type of suspension platforms are almost unknown over there.

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The site was last compiled on Sun Nov 10 2013 at 9:15:00am