Defunct Audio Manufacturers - Ta to Tg

Tambalan Limited
Trading under the name of Ross Consumer Products and based in Farnworth-Bolton in the Greater Manchester area in England but also had manufacturing and a sales office in Hong Kong. Started selling audio accessories, personal stereos and suchlike in the late 1970's under the Ross brand, quickly established itself as something of a budget headphone specialist. Bought in February 1997 by Recoton after having been run at a loss for years and operated as a subsidiary of that company and as its UK distribution arm until their demise in 2003.

Norwegian manufacturer of a long standing that started manufacturing radios as Tandberg Radiofabrikk in 1933 but in the end manufactured high end separates and open reel tape recorders under the name of Tandberg Audio Products A/S. Also owned the Radionette trademark. For the last few years it was stationed in Oslo and was closed down on the 31st of December 2000 (i.e. on the last day of the millennium, neat touch). For spare parts and service contact Dalens Elektronikk Service, for repairs in the USA contact Approved Audio Service or Soundsmith, but the latter can also supply spares and upgrades. A full history of the company can be found here (in Norwegian).

Tangent Acoustics
British company started up in the 1970's that is best known for manufacturing loudspeakers although they did make some amplifiers and at the least one model of a turntable. Note that TA did not produce as many models as it may seem at first, rather they had a tendency to put different model numbers on their USA bound models that what where on the original ones. Company disappeared in the early 80's and there is some info on their products available here.

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

Early Sony trademark, some of their first open reel tape recorders are only branded with this on the front although the full company name is usually on the identity label (Totsuko or Tokyo-Tsushin-Kogyo). Later on this name was used on recorders as a line brand but fell out of use in the 70's.

Tape Services
USA based manufacturer of accessories for consumer recording formats such as the Compact Cassette and the 8 Track Cartridge, bought by Recoton in 1976.

Tech HiFi See --> Stereo Component Systems

Teledyne (Acoustic Research)

Teledyne was formed in 1960 by Henry A. Singleton and George Kozmetsky as a manufacturer of communications equipment for the military market. Highly profitable from the word go and this led to a series of acquisitions, most of the in the field of exotic metal manufacture as a backbone to their defence business, but also a host of fledging electronic manufacturers including Acoustic Research (AR) in 1967 which was run as a separate division called Teledyne Acoustic Research from then on, but in 1968 the company also bought Olson Electronics and Packard Bell. They continued to market PB audio and TV products for a few years as Teledyne Packard Bell but the product designs were outdated and manufacturing cost were high, the company moved television production to Mexico but sales were slow, the division lost 1.8 million USD in 73 and 500k in 74 and was closed as early as 1976.

TAR remained relatively healthy however, they branched into audio electronics with the introduction of the Amplifier in 1967 and later the same year started exporting audio products (AR had only been active in the USA market prior to that), opened a factory in Houghton Regis, near Dunstable in Bedfordshire in the UK in 1972 and a little later in Amersfoort in Holland, it should be noted that except for the first few months each factory produced different loudspeakers for the most part, the design team for the UK division were independent from the USA one and so on. The European divisions also acted as a distributors for other hi-fi brands, for instance the UK division distributed ATRON in the mid 70's (and may have owned that brand) and in 1975 took over the distribution of German label Neue Akustische Dimension (aka NAD) from Pyser when the latter decided to focus on Marantz/Pioneer/Nakamichi.

The AR division could make use of the parents company's high tech R&D and manufacturing facilities and was thus along with some of the larger British and German companies one of the first to use computer based FFT analysis and CAD in the design of loudspeakers in the 70's. Interestingly the company did introduce some premium priced products in the 70's under the Teledyne name rather than AR and may have had a different distribution arrangement in the USA for those products, these were primarily receivers sourced from Japan, but equally strangely the company also sold low budget Japanese sourced products under the Teledyne/Olson name in their Olson Electronics stores, these were built to a price and did an enormous damage in the long term to the Teledyne brandname, in particular the loudspeakers became notorious, the company had them made so cheaply and with such a high mark-up that it was less costly to replace the whole speaker under guarantee that to repair them, so the company never bothered to stock any spares for those models.

Olson Electronics failed in or around 1980 but after that fiasco the company marketed some of the Asian sourced products they had been selling in Olson as Teledyne/Olson to dealers under the Teledyne Packard Bell name but it was not a success and the company sold the Packard Bell name for less than USD 100k to a computer distribution company in 1986, that company was later renamed Packard Bell Computers. All in all the time for the company from the late 70's to the early late 80's was a disaster and in the mid 80's Teledyne started to sell off assets.

The TAR company was sold to International Jensen in or around 1985, and while it is believed to have been profitable for most of its lifetime it had lost market share, when Teledyne bought AR in 67 it was the world’s second biggest supplier of branded loudspeakers (e.g. rather than OEM or driver supplier) but by the time they were sold they languished in 5th place despite having expanded heavily into export markets. This was partly due problems in the USA side of things in the 1970's and early 80's, but the company got a lot of flak from their smaller dealers for giving them lower margins than their competitors and being inflexible in other financial respects, this meant that specialised dealers stopped selling TAR products and most sales ended up with discount warehouses and mail order stores, this left the company's more expensive product lines a bit exposed and therefore some of them more often seen in Europe than in the USA but the European arm had wildly different distribution arrangements to the home side with emphasis on specialised dealers.

This is especially true of the company's line of audio electronics introduced in the 1980's, AR had withdrawn from the USA electronics market in 1973 and thus decided to re-enter it with a splash, these new models where visually distinctive units being all black with a tilted front facia and where competing in the lower mid range of the market, these were by and large made in the USA but are quite rare there but reasonably common in parts of Northern Europe. Note that the link here is to Teledyne Technologies which is an offshoot of the old Teledyne corp. rather than of the original company itself which no longer exists in its original form.

Telefonaktiebolaget L. M. Ericsson
Although these days this Swedish electronics giant is primarily known as a manufacturer of communications equipment they did for large parts of the 20th century operate in and around the audio sector, primarily in the PA field were they supplied both systems and individual units but they did also supply home audio equipment and in the 50 for instance had a tape recorder factory in Örebro, the company was something of a symbol of over engineering and reliability and their systems were some of the most expensive you could get. The company also owned the legendary hi-fi manufacturer Sonab for a while.
Homepage: - Swedish homepage


Originally founded on the 23rd of May in 1903 as Gesellschaft für drahtlose Telegraphie mbH (or the Wireless Telegraph Co.) and was initially a vehicle to pool the radio related patents held by Siemens and AEG with each company holding 50% of the ownership. Became one of the most innovative electronics company of the 20th century, amongst their achievements in the field of audio are the tape recorder, HighCom and TelCom noise reduction systems ( at the time much better than their Dolby equivalents), Direct Metal Mastering (DMM) technology used for pressing LP records, the PAL colour TV system (it and variants thereof used everywhere except in North America and Japan) and indeed the concept of the hi-fi separates was thought up by engineers of this company in the 1920's. Siemens shares in the company were bought by AEG in 1941 and Telefunken was run as an independent subsidiary of that company from there on. By the early 80's the Telefunken consumer and professional AV products were incorporated into the AEG product lines and the consumer side of the business and trademark was sold to Thomson in the mid 80's who used by them for the German market for a while, the company was then sold do Gradiente, although for non-consumer products the company still exists as a AEG subsidiary.

Budget consumer A/V brand used to brand mostly Asian sourced broduct, in the late 80's early 90's there where some reasonable hi-fi components released under this brand but by the late 90's this had become an out and out budget operation selling white and brown goods but fizzled out in 2003 or thereabouts, brand owner based in Israel with a front end in Switzerland. Some support available from the company via the website listed but that is mostly for the white goods.

A company that was based in Litovel in Czechoslovakia (now in the Czech Republic) that normally traded under the Tesla brand, formed in 1948 when a number of factories were nationalised (over 20 in all distributed all ower the country) who had been mostly owned by German, Austrian and Dutch concerns, unlike the East German nationalisation drive a couple of years earlier the owners were not usually compensated however with the possible exception of Philips. A huge company by Eastern European standards it manufactured anything from light bulbs to tape recorders, but was especially famous for it's turntables that occasionally turned up in the west under a variety of names including Thorens. When the company was broken up in the early 1990's the turntable manufacturing part continued and produced the original Pro-Ject turntables. The turntable division was actually later taken over by Pro-Ject and serves as their main factory and parts of the Teslar valve manufacturing operation survive as JJ Electronic and KR Audio Electronics. P.S. Not to be confused with the Yugoslavian Tesla electric manufacturing company (More appropriately named since Tesla was a Serbo-Kroat).

Texas Instruments
For a time they sold radios and other consumer products, entered the calculator market in 1972 and was very successfull for a time although they remain best known these days as a manufacturer of semiconductors, but the company is still a minor player in the calculator market.

Texol Technical Solutions PLC

Scottish company based in Dundee that traded as CLM Dynamics Ltd. and was run by Grant McDonald. The company manufactured of high end signal processors intended for recording studios that were designed by Allan Bradford that amongst other things had been a lecturer at Birmingham University and had designed the Clef Microsynth for Clef Products some 15 years earlier. Texol’s best known product was the CLM Expounder a combination of a parametric equaliser and an amplitude controlled resonant multi-mode filter that allowed you to use it as a noise gate or to create resonant effects including the unusual ability to modulate the filter of one signal by the frequency and amplitude characteristics of the other. The company also released some other high end studio processors including an 8 channel combined mic amp-limiter-M/S decoder thingummy. The company claimed to have started manufacturing in 1995 although it was not incorporated until 1997, it is of course possible that Mr. McDonald had been doing business as a sole trader prior to the company registration, Texol stops trading in 2006/7 and was taken into administration in 2011 but the USA distributor AMH Sales is now selling products designed by Mr. Bradford under the CLM name, it is not known if the AMH bought the rights from Texol since CLM is not a registered trademark.

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