Defunct Audio Manufacturers - Ac

A. C. Acoustics See --> Audio Classics

Acarian Systems Limited

USA based manufacturer of mid and high end loudspeaker systems sold under the Alón brand. Originally founded in the summer of 1991 by the husband and wife team of Carl J. Marchisotto (ex-Dahlquist) and Marilyn J. Marchisotto in association with a couple of financiers, one of which is believed to have been Harold Goldstein, with the company based in Nesconset, New York, USA.

Much of the product line was not dissimilar to the products of Dahlquist before they went out of business but in addition to those open baffle array systems they made more conventional models, especially when it came to their cheaper models.

Company split up in 1994 when Mr & Ms Marchisotto left after disagreements with their partners and set up new company called Accent Speaker Technology that manufactures updated versions of the Alón models under the Nola brand (reverse of Alon). The company ran without the Marchiotto’s for a year or 2 afterwards but sales seem to have disappeared as ASP poached most of the dealers that had carried the Alón speakers. By 2006 Mr Goldstein is listed as the company’s only director and the last known address registered to the company was a mail drop. The company was delisted in 2009. The rights to the designs went to Adrian Acoustics in 2007 and they still have a website for the designs but we have not seen any for sale by the company nor the current owner Adrian Lifestyles Furnishings.

ACOS See --> Cosmocord

Acoustat Corp.

A manufacturer of electrostatic loudspeakers formed by designer James C. Strickland in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA in 1973. First product was shipped in 1976 in the form of the Model X, a hybrid electrostatic/dynamic loudspeaker that featured a built in valve based servo amplifier and a year later the company released models called "Monitor 3" and "Monitor 4" that are basically cosmetically redesigned versions of the Model X.

In 1978 they began to sell the “Modular Reference Preamplifier”, this unit is actually a fairly run of the mill high end pre-amplifier for the time but was typically not sold on its own but rather with Acoustat loudspeaker systems to give customers the option of a complete back end system from the same company, consequently this item sold in low volumes and is very rare these days. The company introduced the MK-121 Magne-Kinetic interface in 1980 but that was a unit that contained dual transformers per channel along with a complex crossover network that allowed their speakers to be used with any amplifier and for a short time thereafter the Monitor Series of speakers were offered with either a servo amp or with an MK-121 option, later the same year the company also introduced the RP-2 preamplifier which was a cheaper option to the original MRP.

In 1981 Acoustat Corp. introduced the Slimline series of speakers in the form of the Model Two, Model Three and Model Four. These were more reasonably priced than previous models from the company but were not available with a servo-amp nor the Magne-Kinetic interface but rather used a cheaper and more traditional single transformer to allow the speaker to be used with any standard amplifier.

In 1982 the company introduced a line of speakers colloquially known as the “tall models”, namely models 2+2, Six and Eight. The nickname is due to the fact that they are almost 2,5 meters in height and are probably the best known products from the company, got good reviews at the time and formed the basis for later products in particular the 2+2 which is probably the best known product from the company, these did not sell well in Europe though, the ceiling height in many European flats is well under 2,5m so we have a problem there.

1982 also saw the introduction of a line of electronic products called Trans Nova but these included a power amp named TNT-200 and the TNP preamplifier and smaller power amp called the TNT-120 was added to the line-up the year after, unlike earlier amplifiers from the company these were generic items and not something intended specifically to mate with the ESL speakers from the company.

In 1983 Acoustat introduced the Modular Hybrid series of speakers including the 2MH and the 3MH, these were sold either as full range electrostats or offered with a crossover and a dynamic driver unit integrated into the base, in a similar fashion the Model 1+1 that was introduced in 1984 was either sold as a full range speaker with a MK-121 interface or sold with separate woofer boxes and an MK-131 interface.

The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1984 and was bought from the court by David Hafler Co. in November the same year, Mr. Strickland went to work for Hafler and last we heard he is still with current Hafler owner Rockford.

Spares & service : The panels on Acoustat loudspeakers are not made out of Mylar like most ESL designs and will thus stretch if overdriven or with prolonged use but you can basically cure them yourself with a heat gun, even though that is slightly fussy work, a hair dryer will also do the trick although a limited number of audiophiles seem to have any hair to speak of so the former option is probably more realistic. The fabric used in to cover the speakers is a fairly standard curtain type material, any decently stocked fabric or curtain stores should have replacements in stock and fairly cheap to boot, you will need to have it sewn together but that is something that even a semi-competent seamstress can do without a problem if you bring the original. The original supplier of the fabric covers is called The Upholstery Company and they will supply you with a new cover to the original specs. A number of modifications and tips regarding some of the Acoustat speakers can be found on this page.

The Acoustical Manufacturing Company

British Company originally founded in 1936 by Peter Walker to manufacture sound reinforcement products and corner ribbon loudspeakers but later became a legendary maker of home audio products such as CD players, amplification and electrostatic speakers, most of them sold under the QUAD brand but that was used for the home electronics "division" of the company and supposidly stands for "Quality Unit Amplifier Domestic" (unit as in Unit audio. Changed its name in the 1980's to Quad Electroacoustics and was sold to Verity Group PLC in 1995. John Collinson who was the company's chief engineer in the late 50's/early 60's later went to Rank Wharfedale and then went on to found Castle Acoustics.

Acoustic Line See --> Seeburg (PA speakers and amps - 1985 to ca. 2000)

Acoustic Solutions (Budget audio 1997 to 2007) See --> Clarity Vision

Acoustic Reality ApS

Company based in the town of Holstebro in the Midtjylland region of Denmark. Originally founded in 1996 when Peter Thomsen started to make tetrahedron shaped loudspeakers under the AV-Reality brand as a side business while he ran an electronics design business called MultiTec, but the AV-Reality name is simply taken from the driver units he used in his designs, the Scan-Speak Reality series. The company was incorporated in 1999 as AV-Reality ApS, started using the Acoustic Reality brand in 2000, in 2002 added digital amplifiers to the product line that are called “eAR” that are based on Bang & Olufsen Icepower modules and alongside that updated the loudspeakers into a new line called Acoustic Reality Tetra Series that optionally could be had in active versions (prior to this the speakers were simply called the “Tetrahedron speakers”).

It should be noted that the company had a slightly unusual business model, while it did have some distribution and also performed as an OEM, it primarily sold its products directly to end users via the Internet, which is a model more usually seen in bigger countries by companies that traditionally sold through mail order catalogues and usually offered high-value proposition to the punter by cutting out the middleman or at the least pretending to do so. Companies making high-end loudspeakers and selling direct however usually traded mostly locally and relied primarily on word of mouth and offering people the chance to test out the speakers in their homes, makes perfect sense in fairly well populated areas but not really in a provincial town a in a small but sparsely populated country like Denmark.

Selling expensive kit like this directly where people have to rely on written description and the evaluations and opinions of others rather than actual experience of the product themselves, requires the seller to get his products reviewed regularly either by established publications or by internet punters on forums and so on, and that really never happened outside of AR’s home land with the exception of the power amplifiers that got a couple of on-line reviews in 2003/4 and some forum reviews in Asia with some sales were generated by that, particularly in the latter area. The AR’s were after all expensive speakers, Tetra Series models were offered at 5000 to 60k USD in 2001

AV-Reality changed its name to Acoustic Reality ApS in around 2003, started to offer modifications to the Philips DVD963SA and announced a pre-amplifier design but it was not delivered until 2004, then simply called the “eAR Pre One” it was also available in a variant called “eAR Pre One Ultra” and with optional active crossovers and EQ. The company added high end speaker cables, interconnects and power cables to their line-up in 2004, that included silver wire interconnects, later that same year it added more amplifiers to the “eAR” line and introduced a multichannel DAC/amplifier combination called the “eAR USB Master” but it seems that this model was only sold for a limited time or not at all. The company announced a product called the “eAR Firewire Master” the same year that combined an 8 channel Firewire and S/PDIF capable DAC with room correction software for Windows PC’s and a line source pre-amplifier, it was delivered the year after under the “eAR Master One” name.

In 2005 they started shipping the “Diamond Line Source Speaker System”, a combination of a digital amplifier, point source speakers encapsulated in a panel of diamond glass and a pair of dynamic speakers to handle the bass frequencies. Acoustic Reality also entered the audio server market with a MS Windows based media centre and a CD/Hard drive music server. The company suffered some financial losses in early 2006 when they had a break-in and their main computer, a bunch of un-cashed checks and some high end audio equipment were stolen. Updated their cable line-up in early 2006 with some braded silver interconnects, added 2 firewire DAC/amplifier combos in the form of the “eAR Ciaccona” and “eAR Eroica”, and in addition changed the name of the Tera Series speakers to “Triangulo” and offered one model in a bundle with amplifiers as the “Reality 4D”.

Updated their logo in late 2006 and at the same time discontinued the media server offering although they continued to make the music server which was renamed simply “eAR Music” and opened up their first proper webshop around the same time. Updated the “eAR 1001-REF” amplifier and Master One DAC in 2007 and started shipping a new 2x 500w power amplifiers called “eAR 502-REF”, at the same time the company announced a new line of Linux based music servers and media centres called “eAR Music 3D” and “eYe Movie 3D” but it appears that these never shipped apart from a demonstration live-cd of the “eAR OS” which can be downloaded from here. The company appeared to slow down after early 2008, most of their websites disappeared in the next couple of years and their shop went offline from time to time and the next thing we hear is that the company went bankrupt in February 2012, however Hr. Thomsen still has a homepage up and is as we understand it trying to revive the company but when this was written in the late spring of 2012 it was not clear if he was offering any support for older products.

Acoustic Research (AR)

USA based producer of loudspeakers, founded in 1954 by Edgar Villchur, Henry Kloss, Malcolm Lowe and J. Anton Hoffman, and started out by producing acoustically suspended loudspeaker called the AR-1. Strangely enough the company managed to get patents for the acoustic suspension techniques used in the construction of the speakers and is usually credited with its invention despite the fact that suspended designs had been sold and made in the USA under the Hartley Products brand for some years prior to that and even longer in the UK. The company is perhaps better seen as an innovator in the area of marketing but AR pioneered such schemes as a 5 year return to factory warranty and aggressive advertisements campaigns that emphasised innovation and technical superiority that was indeed there to some degree but was perhaps overemphasised, much in the vein of what Bose is doing these days. Due to this and excellent reviews in USA consumer and electronic magazines the company was a clear NA market leader in the loudspeaker field as early as 1958 but the rapid pace of expansion meant that the company often had difficulty in financing itself, this in turn meant that the introduction of some products were delayed until money had been found to pay for retooling and the updates of the production lines which in turn meant that new models were almost constantly late to market which was at that time evolving extremely rapidly due to the introduction of stereo records and consumer tape recorders. It did not help that AR had a tendency to announce new products early anyway and late shipments meant that some customers put off buying current products and instead waited for the new models resulting in a rather classic case of the Osborne Effect. The stress on finances had other negative effects on the company, Kloss, Lowe and Hoffman left the company after disagreements with Villchur and went on to form KLH, that company got a license to use the patents and technologies that AR had developed in lieu of financial payments due and after just a couple of years KLH had become AR's main competitor with a broadly similar model lineup and if anything a better pricing structure and had by the latter half of the 60's overtaken AR in the North American marketplace. While the company continued to grow in the early 60's, it lost market share rapidly and Mr. Vilchur ended up selling the company to Teledyne in 1967. There is some information on their classic loudspeaker models to be found on this page.

Acoustic Solutions See --> John Gallas

Acro Products Company

Small manufacturer of transformers intended for use with audio products, including signal transformer and power and output matching transformers intended for use with valve amplifiers, all sold under the Acrosound brand. Acro was based in Roxborough, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA and founded in 1949 by Herbert I. Keroes and David Hafler with financing coming largely from Mr. Keroes'es family. The company also published amplifier designs as a tool to help with the sales of their transformers and it is for that activity that they are best known today especially for the Williamson variants, but the company continued publishing designs based on newer ideas until 1962 at the least.

Mr. Hafler left the company in 1954 to form Dynaco, apparently after a long running disagreement with his partner on whether to expand into the manufacture of audio electronics with Hafler for it and Keroes against it, funnily enough after Haflers departure the company did introduce kits and fully built amplifiers possibly as a reaction to Hafler's Dynakits. Acro Products appears to have survived for a few years after that mainly as a OEM supplier to Heathkit and on a smaller scale to few other companies such as EICO and Allen Organ Co., I have not been able to find any mention of them after the early 1960's but Herbert Keroes had founded a seperate company in the late 1950's called Keroes Enterprises and that may have continued to use the Acrosound trademark. Note that the company that currently owns the Acrosound trademark has no connection whatsoever with the original Acro company.

Resources : or -- Acro product catalogue from 1955 -- The Acrosound-Williamson amplifier schematics and article -- Yahoo discussion group for people interested in Acro products -- An article from 1951 by Hafler and Keroes on a Blaumlein style ultra-linear amplifier.

Acrotec (Cables) See --> Acrolink

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