Defunct Audio Manufacturers - Al
Defunct Audio Manufacturers - Al

Alba See --> Harvard International (1982 to 2008)

Albert Ebner & Co. (AECO)
A firm started in 1919 in Bad Cannstatt, Germany by an engineer of the same name. Although the company initially made a variety of electric and mechanical products they are notable for the manufacture of the first practical electric motor designed especially for turntables later that same year. Taken over by Electromophon in 1921, but after that company had failed in early 1931 Hr. Ebner started AECO that continued the manufacture of high end gramophones and indeed pioneered the use of electric transducers. Hr. Ebner married Hermine Steidinger in 1936, but she was the daughter of Perpetuum founder Joseph Steidinger and one of the main owners of that company, shortly thereafter AECO was merged into the Perpetuum company which became Perpetuum-Ebner and Hr. Ebner became it's CEO. More info on this page (in German).

Alchemist Products
Formed in 1989 by Glen Gale and based in Muswell Hill, London, England. Initially manufactured high end amplifiers designed by Mr. Gale but later branched into the digital market with CD Players, transports and DACs. Went out of business in 2001.

Aleša Vaic Vacuum Technology (AVVT)

This was a Czech company originally based in Praha and owned by Aleša Vaic that started manufacturing thermionic valves in 1989 that were sold under the name of Vaic-Valve and also bought NOS valves in East Europe and sold them to retailers in the west. Mr Vaic had bought the remains of tooling of the old Philips Prague factory, it had been nationalised in 1948 and bought under the control of Tesla who had used it as a prototyping factory and when the design group was closed down in 1989 the equipment was sold to Mr. Vaic and he also rented the space from the company and later hired 4 of the former employees of the design group.

The prototyping nature of the equipment that the plant had was both a blessing and curse, it meant that the company could not really compete with other makers in producing common valves but on the other hand they could easily manufacture specialised tubes and small production runs, and the use of handmade glass meant that the company could supply replacements for Telefunken valves but these were made using a much higher vacuum than other valves, it also meant that the valves could be a bit more fragile and prone to shipping damage than the mass produced ones. The first products from the company were indeed specialised valves including models that had not been manufactured since the 1920's such as copies of the Marconi I intended to service the radio hobby market and other obscure market sectors and were marked V. V..

In 1992 Mr. Vaic met the late Riccardo Kron in Germany where the former was selling his own products and NOS East European valves at a radio swap meet to local enthusiasts, Mr. Kron was an Italian businessman with connections in the USA and Switzerland and came up with the idea of manufacturing an improved version of the 300B power triode to sell to the audiophile market, initially Mr. Vaic was interested but simply lacked the finance for such an undertaking since the 300B is difficult to build and an improved hand built version would be even more complex. In 1993 Mr. Kron made a deal with Mr. Vaic and with partially his own money but mainly with funding from an unknown Switzerland based group agreed to finance the design and building of the 300B against a security in the company’s tooling.

The valve was designed by Mr. Vaic and his team, and by 1994 was ready for serial production, the V.V. version of the 300B was called Vaic VV30B and was definitely better than anything else 300B related on the market and could yield more power but it was also much more complex and thus more expensive, with a normal 300B already expensive to begin with. Mr. Krons founded a company called KR Enterprise S.R.O. with financing from Switzerland to sell the valves but the marketing efforts of KR in the USA and southern Europe came to very little in the first year, so to control cost in the face of quickly rising wages and rent cost in the mid 90’s Prague Mr. Vaic decided to move the factory to Rožnov pod RadhoŠtěm where cheaper housing and wages made the small specialist radio valve supplier a more viable proposition, most of the tooling went with the company but a few of the machine’s ended up with the former purchase manager of the company called Anton Schönfeld in what appears to be in lieu of a layoff payment, but alongside Mr. Schönfeld most of the other staff understandingly enough declined to move to RadhoŠtěm, which is on the border with Slovakia or as far as you can get away from Praha and still be in the Czech republic..

Alesis See --> Alesis Corp.

Alex. Eymann Apparatebau
A company based in Ostermundigen, Switzerland run by one Alex Eymann (or Alexander ?) that apparently made high quality products for the broadcast industry. We have seen a phono preamplifier from the 70's that this company made but have found very little further info.

All Channel Products
USA based manufacturer of indoor television antennas and suchlike, mostly sold using the Rembrandt trademark. Ceased trading in 1989 and their product line and trademarks taken over by Recoton later that year.

Allgemeine Elektrizitaets-Gesellschaft (AEG)
Founded in Berlin, Germany in 1883 by Emil Rathenau as the Deutsche Edison Gesellschaft initially to manufacture light bulbs under license from the Edison Company and in 1895 started the manufacture of other Edison products, noticeably phonographic equipment and in the same year they started recording local artists, the DEG name would translate as The German Edison Company BTW. The company changed its name Allgemeine Elektrizitaets-Gesellschaft (General Electrical Company) in 1887 and started to manufacture products designed in-house in 1889 with a series of products based on electric heating elements. AEG saw phenomenal growth in the first decade of the 20th century and became a pioneering manufacturer in a number of fields, noticeably it was the worlds first manufacturing company to employ an industrial designer in the form of legendary architect Peter Behrens, but in 1907 he was hired initially to design the AEG main factory but ended up designing a number of consumer products in conjunction with the company's engineers.

In 1903 the company founded Telefunken in association with Siemens but both companies had a number of communication related patents and licensed a number of others as well, but these were so extensive that it was thought that it would be difficult for either company to develop radio related technologies without extensive cross licensing, and in the end it would be easier to form a new company that pooled all patents from both companies. Telefunken was an big success and as far as technology goes probably made more contribution to advances is sound, video and communications than any other during the 20th century, however the original founding contract of Telefunken stipulated that neither Siemens nor AEG could introduce communications equipment of any sort (that included radio and audio products) and all development inside the companies had thus to be handed over to Telefunken for further dev. or manufacture. This did through the years cause some friction in both companies, but particularly in Siemens which had an continuing interest in entering the radio market especially in the boom years of the 1930's, so in 1941 AEG bought Siemens shares in Telefunken.

Telefunken was run as a separate company fur a number of years afterwards, although it was eventually changed into a division of AEG and finally incorporated in the 1980's. This causes some historians problems, there is a tendency to attribute inventions and products to AEG that were originally either Telefunken products or even Siemens technologies, but in reality it is not possible to refer to Telefunken products as AEG until the early 50's at the earliest. AEG hit financial problems in the late 70's and was bought off by Daimler Benz in 1982 and they closed off most of the AV production and research divisions. More recently Daimler has been selling off some of the older AEG divisions and with them the rights to the name, the white goods division has been sold to Electrolux, the Belgian division has been taken over by its management team and is now known as AEG Belgium etc..

Alón See --> Acarian Systems

Alpha Digital Technologies See --> Tara Labs

Alpha Ecology Solutions K. K.

Japanese pro-audio company based in Chiyoda ward and later in Setagaya ward in Tokyo and believed to have been founded around 2005 but it is not actually known for certain. The company made mid and high end studio monitors and digital amplifiers that they sold under the Soloist brand in addition to distributing studio products locally such as Harrison consoles. Have not heard from them since early 2011.

Alpha Ecology Solitions offered some interesting products including an Auratone like monitor that used small single full-range driver, its box and driver was much better than the original Auratone and the specks were in fact considerably better than what other clones are offering today, but the company also offered more conventional monitors like the “Soloist model SSM-17” that is a near-field monitor and the “Soloist Mini” that is a mid-field monitor intended as an auxiliary speaker such as a back channel speakers in a 5.1 system although they can be used as a small mid-field or even a hi-fi loudspeaker.

Their best known system however was the somewhat unusual “Soloist Classical”, but that is a free standing mid-filed monitor that in addition to being intended as a monitor garnered quite a bit of interest from the Japanese hi-fi community. The name may have been an indicator of its intended usage since traditionally mid and far-filed monitors for recording studios are not free standing but intended to be built into the walls of the studio or suspended, the exception for this being monitors specifically intended for classical recording applications from companies such as Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) and Waveform Acoustics or intended for mastering monitoring. The design was a somewhat unusual 3 way, 5 driver system whose midrange was both a bass reflex system AND a back loaded horn.

In addition to the loudspeakers the company made digital amplifiers but we have not been able to find any real information on them.

Altec Lansing See --> MicroAudio (Equalisers 1990's) or Altec Lansing (Pro-audio 2001 to 2006 and consumer audio 2000 to current)

Altis Audio Ltd.
USA based digital audio specialist run by Howard Mandel and Bill Harris, operating from Newtown, Connecticut, USA. Primarily manufactured high end CD players and transports along with digital to analogue converters that utilise tube filtering but introduced a video switching device in 2000 and changed their name to Altis Audio & Video with further expansion into the AV market in mind. Sadly Mr. Mandel the main owner of the company passed away in Sept. 2001 and while the company initially stated that they would continue operating as before they sold the manufacturing rights to the video processor to ESI Electronics in late 2001 and offered the rights to the name and audio products in early 2002, but since their website was taken over by a cybersquatter in May 2003 it is probably safe to assume that no one took them up on that offer. It has been heard that a former employee of the company offers repairs and upgrades to at the least some of their products but we have been unable to procure his name or contact details.


A brand launched by Taiwanese pro-audio manufacturer Seikaku in 2002 and used by them to label on one hand car audio products using the Alto Mobile variation and on the other hand semi-pro and professional audio products such as small mixers, amplifiers and portable PA systems using the Alto Professional sticker.

It was always made clear on the Alto Mobile promotional materials that the brand and its products where owned and made by Seikaku in Taiwan and China and initially the pro range displayed Seikaku as the contact detail with design having been performed in Italy, the Netherlands, the UK, USA, and Taiwan. By 2005 the car audio products from the company had been discontinued and the professional division branded itself as just “Alto”, however all references to Seikaku and Taiwan had been removed from the website and promotional materials and the company was presented as an Italian company with production facilities in China and Gian Piero Staffa put forward as founder and president. All development and DSP coding was also said to have happened in Italy, that was even though some Alto products had been sold under the Show brand before the founding of the Alto brand and the only DSP products we could find originating in Italy were amplifier modules actually bought from Powersoft. By 2007 Mr. Staffa had left to work for Behringer and while Alto products kept on being sold there was seriously diminished marketing effort present from then onwards and in the end Seikaku sold the Alto brand to Numark in January 2011.

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