Defunct Audio Manufacturers - Ma

MA See --> Image (Loudspeakers - New Zealand - 1968 to 1990)

Mach Speaker A/S (Pro audio) See --> Martin Professional

Maihak
German company, early history is unknown to the author but they where as early as 1910 a leading manufacturer of pressure indicators, recorders and other industrial and scientific instruments. Did in the late 40's and early 50's manufacture portable tape recorders that where heavily used by the moving picture industry because of their use of wind up motors.

Madsen
Danish brand of valve based professional tape recorders sold in around around 1960, we have no real info on either the company behind them or the products, but it is possible that it has something to do with electronic engineer M. S. Madsen that used to work for Bang & Olufsen in the 40ís and 50ís including some work on their wire recorders.

Mainline Audio See --> GTRC Services (USA - PA products - 2000's)

Majestic See --> Grigsby-Grunow (USA - 1927 to 1934)

Malcolm Toft Associates

Company founded in 1992 as Hexden Ltd. (Probably as an off-the-shelf company) and was renamed to MTA by owner Malcolm Frank Toft later the same year. The company was based in Ash, Hampshire in England and manufactured mixing consoles called the 980 series that were based around designs Mr. Toft had been selling while he was the owner of Trident Audio Developments but he also added a line of signal processors that were based on the channel strips of his desks later in the decade and just before the turn of the century started shipping smaller consoles referred to as the 900 series, all of these were split designs rather than in-line BTW.

The company logo and literature referenced the connection to Trident quite heavily at times (the MTA logo was a triangle like the Trident logo) and in fact in 1999 after Discrete Technology Ltd. went out of business MTA started talking about the designs as Tridents, but it should be noted that although the basic design of the mixer is similar to the Trident models, especially the earlier ones, the electronics, in particular the microphone amplifiers and EQ are quite different to what we consider to be "classic" Trident designs these days and since the signal processors the company made were basically the same designs as the ones in the consoles the same can be said of those. However it should be noted that at the time the MTA consoles were considerably cheaper than the equivalent Trident consoles were.

Mr. Toft founded another company called Toft Audio Ltd. in the latter half of the 90ís but it is not known what connection it had to MTA. The operation was sold to Fletcher ElectroAcoustics in the year 1999, after the demise of Fletcher the brands went to AMH Sales and Mr. Toft is currently working for them in as a consultant.

Spares & service : AMH Sales can service older MTA branded products.

Mana Acoustics

UK based maker of hi-fi furniture, isolation platforms and related products. Originally a private operation started by John Watson in 1978 or thereabouts. These were primarily sold to owners of Linn turntables but there were aslo sale to to other.

Manticore
English turntable specialist, started trading in 1982 or so and started manufacturing mid/high end turntables a couple of years later, but was as well known for manufacturing power supplies and custom bearings for 3'd party turntables as for their own designs. Bought the rights to the Logic Audio pickup-arm designs when that company got into trouble in the mid 90's. Altered it's name to "Manticore Audio Visual Shareholders Ltd" in 1997 or so with the aim of getting into CD-Rom publishing (?!), but ceased trading in 1999 or 2000. However we do understand that Doug Hewett, it's main designer, is now working for another English hi-fi company. For more background info on the company take a look at this interview.

Maplenoll
USA based company founded by production engineer and ex-fighter pilot Bob Dilger in the early 80's when he agreed to take over a tiny division of the Coloney contracting company that manufactured an high end turntable/arm in exchange for consulting work he had done for them. Mr. Dilger simplified the design of the table, lowered the price and sold it direct to consumers with some success, and through the 80's and into the early 90' manufactured developed various versions of the table but disappeared without a trace around 1994. But not without a legacy, one of the developers that joined the company in the latter half of the 80's was Pierre Sprey later of Omega Micro fame and one of the main distributors of the company in the 90's was Lloyd Walker of Walker Audio who manufacture a table with an obvious lineage from the Maplenoll design.

Maplin
British electronics retailing chain, in the 70's when the company was mostly a seller of electronic components they manufactured a range of electronic products including hi-fi separates and electronic musical instruments, while the design quality varied immensely some of them where actually quite presentable in every sense of the word and couple can only be described as innovative. Most of their products where offered both as kits and as fully built units and where often designed in co-operation with the then booming English electronics magazines. Today the company is thriving as one of Britain's larger CE gadgets and accessory retailer but is has stopped manufacturing and is mostly out of the components business. Since a large part of their products where built by end users from kits and coupled with the fact that people currently associate Maplin with cheap indoor TV antennas rather than their products of yesteryear the second hand prices for their products are extremely depressed with the exception of the EMS inspired 5xxx range of synthesisers. Spares & service : Maplin provides only a very limited service for their older products although their main office can be coerced into to provide schematics for most of their products, since much of their kits where based on published articles in electronics magazines a visit to your local library may also be of help, almost all of their products utilise common parts for both electronics and mechanics so that should not be a problem, this page provides some information on the Dave Goodman designed Mosfet power amp that the company sold for over a decade.
Homepage: http://www.maplin.co.uk

Marconiphone

An arm the British Marconi company that manufactured audio equipment mostly cabinets and suchlike but also distributed a number of East-European and Japanese tape recorders in it's own name.

Mardigal Audio Laboratories, Inc.
Founded in the early 80's by Sanford Berlin as an distributor of audio products some of which were sold under the Mardigal name. Entered the audio manufacturing business in 1985 when it purchased the assets and IP of Mark Levinson Audio Systems and restarted the manufacture of some of their best known products and a year later introduced the first Mardigal developed products under the Mark Levinson brand in the form of the Nº20 Reference Amplifier. While these were high end units the Nº20 and subsequent products took a very different design and production philosophy to the earlier Mark Levinson products, the original company manufactured minimalist hand made products that made no compromises toward ergonomics if it was felt that they impeded in any way on sound quality while the Mardigal designed products had convenience facilities and remote controls etc. and the company invested in mass production techniques. The trend towards convenience in use and production increased as time went by and by the mid 90's most Mark Levinson branded products bore no resemblance to their earlier counterparts except in name. Mardigal introduced the Proceed brand in 1989 with the introduction of the PCD CD player in order to provide a lower cost alternative to Mark Levinson branded products, the company also used the Proceed brand to introduce new technologies to the market before releasing them under the Mark Levinson moniker, for instance the first AV product from the company was the Proceed PAV home cinema amplifier in 1993 but soon thereafter we start to see home theatre amplifiers based around the technologies used in the Proceed products released under the ML brand.

In order to expand it's operations the company got an investment from Harman International in 1993 and by 95 Harman bought all outstanding shares in the company. Mardigal's own brand survived in the Madrigal Imaging name which they used for video projectors that were designed and manufactured by Joe Kane Productions and Christie Digital Systems and introduced in the latter half of the 90's, further exanishion into the world of home theatre electronics came in 1996 when the company took over the Audio Access company, and in 1998 when they acquired the Revel loudspeaker manufacturer but that company was best known for their multichannel systems. In order to emphasise that the company was by now mostly an home theatre company rather than an audio one they started to use a new advertising slogan : "We define products for your ears, eyes, and mind." In 2000 the company dipped it's toes into the car audio market with the introduction of "Mark Levinson Premium Sound Systems" which were sold as an option with Lexus cars and a year later some of the more upmarket Lexus models featured a ML branded audio system as standard. A decision was made to drop the Proceed name in 2003 and integrate what was left of the product range into the Mark Levinson range in order to simplify their operations,
however later that year Harman decided to solidify their ever increasing high end home AV assets into one company under the control of the Lexicon management and all production, design and sales operations from Mardigal were moved to Lexicon with the exception of the AudioAccess brand which was moved to JBL and the company ceased to exist.

Marjen Company, Inc.
A loudspeaker manufacturer in New Milford, Connecticut, USA. Appears to have started up in 1976 and manages to get its Marjen 1 (aka Model I) reviewed in a number of hi-fi publications in 1977 (no mean feat in itself for a small maker), however the reviews were not glowing and while USA used price lists have a few other models listed (RFS-1, Marjen 2, Marjen 3) it appears that the company only survived for 2 or 3 years (Used price list say until 1981 but they are notoriously unreliable). Literally no other useful info to be found.

Mark Corporation
Japanese company run by Mr. Imamura that was primarily a manufacturer of PA systems, audio test equipment and turntables but in the west they are best known for their high end moving coil pickups that were in fact just a sideline product of the company and while the generators where designed by Imamura-san the external design, product conception and marketing where actually done by Japanese audio journalist Okie Sugano. Note that in Europe their phonographic products were usually sold under the Goldbug trademark (or GB) probably due to there being a British company with the same name, but Goldbug was originally a name for one of their pickups, the company appears to have stopped production of phonographic products in the latter half of the 80's but it is unclear whether it simply exited the market segment or stopped operating altogether. We have some further info on Mark Corp. Pickups.

Mark Levinson Audio Systems
Founded in 1972 to manufacture a moving coil Head Amplifier and soon thereafter started to manufacture a range of amplifiers, like so many USA based high end audio companies of the day they copied the looks of professional audio products but otherwise the company was much unlike their counterparts with emphasis on no compromise minimalistic high end audio products at a time when most of their counterparts were busily introducing boxes with more switches than would usually be found on a spaceship control panel, this coupled with the simple fact that most esoteric audio companies in North America had a lifetime of less than 3 years meant that the company had by the late 70's became the best known high end company in the USA. In the early 80's the company widened their product range by introducing Japanese made high end phonographic products but MLAS was also at the same time behind some of the most outrageous audio products ever released, their tape recorder sticks to mind but that was a 2" 24 track Studer professional recorder that had it's heads replaced by specially designed 2 track 2" heads, OK it sounded rather good but it also cost several times more than even the most specialised synchronised recorders of the day. Unsurprisingly perhaps the company never had any real financial stability and finally went bankrupt on October 15, 1984 with the assets being bought by Mardigal in Jan 85. Note that while the company was popularly known as just Mark Levinson it often appeared in trade articles and catalogues listed by it's initials, or MLAS.

Marubeni
Humongus trading company based in Osaka in Japan and originally founded in 1858 as Chubei Itoh, in the 50's and into the 70's used their exporting know how to establish some of the then fledging Japanese manufacturers in the western markets, notably Sanyo but others as well. When the Japanese providers started to handle their own distribution arrangements in the mid 70's Marubeni was suddenly out of a lucrative market and in 1977 countered with it's own budget hi-fi brand called Benytone. As the rise of the Yen in the mid 70's meant that manufacturing low budget consumer products in Japan was not really commercially viable anymore so the company actually sourced their products from Korea, the end result being run of the mill budget audio products like portable stereos etc.., but also a line of rock bottom priced audio separates that represented amazing value at the time, however most of their products were too cheap to be interesting nowadays with the exception of a couple of their turntable models that were half decent and supported the playback of 78's. In central Europe the Benytone name is often spelled as Beniton for obvious linguistic reasons but the above variant is the correct spelling. As we understand it the company is no longer connected with the AV business in any way but as Marubeni has such wide financial interests we could be wrong there.
Homepage: http://www.marubeni.com

Mayware
Small British phono specialist that sold Japanese sourced tonearms, moving coil pickups under it's own name in addition to manufacturing accessories such as MC transformers, active in the late 70's and early 80's but disappears in the latter half of that decade. Based in Edgware in Middlesex.

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