Company founded on the 11th of February 1993 in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, UK as Raftmill Ltd. but changed its name to Fane Acoustics after buying the trademarks and other assets of the bankrupt Fane Loudspeakers company. Restarted production of loudspeaker drivers in the Leeds, Yorkshire factory that Fane Loudspeakers had been using but with a slightly simplified product line that emphasised pro-audio and instrument amplification products and ignored the hi-fi market that the older Fane company had occasionally ventured into.
Under the guidance of managing director and shareholder Ian Gair that took over the helm in 1997 the company moved parts of their production to China, with somewhat disastrous results quality wise, but more interestingly made a series of flat panel loudspeakers under licence from NXT and Layered Sound Technologies. These flat panel speakers reused motors from more traditional drivers to make hybrid flat panel drivers that were much more powerful than the competition with power handling capacity of up to 200w and had bass response under 100Hz unlike most NXT based units, the MiniPro driver for instance had a response of 60Hz to 21KHz , an 80w power handling and 114dB output.
Fane factory and warehouse ca. 1999.
The company had some financial difficulties in the early part of the 00’s but nothing serious, their managing director left in the spring of 2005 and just a day after that a freak build-up of a local cloudburst created a flood in a nearby river that flooded their factory with the water reaching as high as 60cm. While that is not particularly high it was enough to render all production inoperative until June that same year and since the site was not considered to be a flood risk no care had been taken to keep long storage documents and servers off the floor, so while the company had been fully insured they suffered a much more severe hit to their operations than initially thought. So in addition to slightly precarious financial situation beforehand and increasing competition from Chinese suppliers the flood was a something the company had difficulty recovering from.
By the end of 2006 the company was basically bankrupt and taken into insolvency administration in January 2007. Fane's assets and IP was sold to Precision Devices while some of the staff went to RMJ Loudspeakers and the large “superwoofers” Fane had been showing shortly before its demise ended up as a Royal product.
Fantasia Trademark used by Lucky Goldstar (LG) in the mid 90's in a misguided attempt to create a better brand name in the west, their current use of LG is much better.
Felt & Tarrant Company founded in 1887 in Chicago, USA in order to manufacture the Comptometer, a key driven adding machine that the company is believed to have invented, a concept copied widely later on. Incorporated in 1889 but remained something of a one product horse until the late 1940's when they attempted to diversify by making other office machinery including the Comptometer dictation recorder. The company's name was changed in 1957 to The Comptometer Corporation, taken over in the 60's by the Victor Adding Machine Co. to become the Victor Comptometer Corp., later just Victor Corp. (of Victor 9000 fame) which went out of business in the 1980's.
Fi-Cord British company that sold tape recorders and related accessories such as microphones, quite successful for a time with their miniature recorders both in the UK and the USA and later with a variety of microphone models, but appears not to have made any products themselves. Started in the mid 50's and disappears in the 70's.
USA based company started in 1929 by Arthur Olson as a manufacturer of phonographic needles that it sold under it's own name in addition to the Permo brand, after it introduced one of the first diamond stylus it became one of the largest suppliers of needles and stylii in the world with factories in both USA and Scotland. In later years it ceased manufacturing products and focused on distributing audio accessories and parts sourced from OEM suppliers under their own brandname and in fact as early as in the 1930's they sold radios made for them by Wells-Gardner although the company quicly exited the radio business in the 1940's. In the 70's they branched into electronic parts distribution and as this grew more profitable than the original business they ended up selling the audio division to Recoton in 1980. The company is now primarily a logistics company and an electronic parts distributor with close links to Sears. Homepage:http://www.fidelitone.com
Fidelity British manufacturer of budget brown goods, mostly active from the early 60 to early 80's..
Fidelity-Research Legendary Japanese producer of tonearms and pickups founded in 1964 by a former factory manager at Grace by the name of Osamu (Isamu) Ikeda, and introduced it's first product in the form of the Fidelity Research FR-1 moving coil cartridge in 1965, the company was formally named Kabushiki Kaisha Fidelity-Research and they were based in Tokyo (K.K. = Limited company). The company made phonographic products that had an excellent reputation in particular their tonearms and MC pickups but company ran into financial difficulties in 1984 and was forced to close down in 85 or 86 (accounts vary). Ikeda-san however bounced back with his Ikeda Sound Labs company that makes specialised phonographic products with some influences from the earlier FR designs and Yazuo Osawa who worked as a designer with the company from 1982 till it's demise went on to found Shelter but the products of that company also show heavy FR influences in particular the Shelter 411 II. There is more info on the company, its founder and its products on the web site of the FR Fan Club (In Japanese), noticably there is info on that page on how to repair some of their tonearms. We have some information on their models including Fidelity Research Pickups and Fidelity Research MC transformers.
Final Sound Solutions Dutch manufacturer of electrostatic loudspeakers based in Veghel. Company formerly named Finalsound Corp..
Founded in 1937 by Avery Fisher and Victor Brociner as Fisher Radio, a store based on Third Avenue in New York, USA, that sold radios and phonographic products. The store was only moderately successful but managed to survive through the troubles of the early 40's that put a lot of the competition out of business, this was in no small part due to the sales capabilities of Mr. Fisher but he was known to have pulled potential customers from the pavement when necessary. Started manufacturing a hi-fi amplifier called The Fisher in 1947 and when that product took off shop was closed down and the company continued as a manufacturing concern. Entered the stereo age in 1959 with the introduction of the Fisher Radio Model 600 receiver.
The company was well known in the industry for the rather tumultuous relationship they had with their dealers which cumulated in them getting rid of them as a whole in early 1964 and only allowing them back under a franchise style system. This was mainly because the company was unhappy with the discounts their dealers were offering on consoles that at the time counted for the bulk of the company’s sales, but as quite a lot of dealers refused to sign up to the franchise system this was more or less the beginning of the end for the company as an independent entity.
Emerson Radio had bought a controlling interest in the company in the 1960’s and in 1974 made a deal with Sanyo to design and manufacture all Fisher branded electronics leaving only the loudspeaker manufacture in the USA, but the 2 companies had a long history of co-operation with Sanyo having been the Japanese distributor of Fisher and having bought loudspeakers from the company to sell under the Sanyo brand in the 60’s and 70’s. In 1975 the company was finally sold to Sanyo who have controlled it ever since.