Defunct Audio Manufacturers - Am & An

Defunct Audio Manufacturers - Am & An

Amalgamated Wireless Australasia Ltd. (AWA)
An Australian company created in 1913 by the merger of Marconi's Wireless Telegraph Co. Ltd (Australia) and the Australian Wireless Company (the local Telefunken licensee), this merger was partly dictated or at the least encouraged by the Australian government which had a financial interest in the company. The company was active in making radios, hi-fi equipment, broadcast equipment and PA systems at the least into the early 80's and was one of the pioneers of the microgroove disks in the 1940's and the first company to make low noise 78'rpm pressings. Also made products sold using the Fisk and Radiola brands, the latter under license from RCA but the company also imported and rebranded RCA valves, despite the intervention of 2 world wars there was a close connection between AWA and Telefunken well into the 1970's, much of the company's original valve output was either done in conjunction with or under license from Telefunken. Had by the 80's become a holding company with interests in Casino and IT services and changed it's name to AWA Limited in 1988.

USA based maker of video accessories, bough by Recoton in 1992.

Ampco Industries
USA based manufacturer of products for car stereo installations and related accessories sold under the Ampersand brand, taken over by Recoton in 1995.

AMEX (Mixers & signal processors) See --> Harman International Industries Ltd.

Ampex Electric and Manufacturing Company

Named after its founder Alexander M. Poniatoff who started the company in 1944, was hired by Bing Crosby Enterprises to manufacture the first USA tape recorder (but they were actually beaten to that target by Brush Development Company and Ranger) and they delivered their first tape recorder to BCE in 1948 and branched into the manufacture of instrumentation, data and video recorders in the 50's, were from then on and into the 80's the biggest USA based manufacturer in the professional AV market but the company found it increasingly difficult to compete with Japanese and European competitors and exited that market segment in the latter half of the 80's in order to concentrate on the still profitable data & instrumentation markets, this resulting in a name change to Ampex Data Systems, more information can be had on their history page. The Ampex media division was sold in the early 90's and existed for some 10 years as Quantegy.

Amplidyne (Car audio amps and speakers) See --> Altec Lansing

Amplified Designs International, Inc.

Company based in Roseville, California, USA that took over the manufacture of AB International branded amplifiers after AB International Electronics disappeared in 2000. ADI was owned by Paul A. Anderson and George Anderson but the latter had been the Engineering V. P. at ABIE. Unlike the earlier company ADI only made the sound reinforcement amplifiers the earlier company had made and never offered the equalisers and test equipment that the ABIE was as well known for. In 2004 a company called "AB International Inc." is claiming to have taken over the operation but neither the California business registry nor the USPTO have any records of such a company or trademark ever existing and later that same year Robert C. Hennige had taken over the manufacture of the product line and the brand.

British manufacturer of professional audio products originally formed in 1947, not known where exactly but by the 1960's the company was based in Wembley, Middlesex. Originally the company made PA related products such as amplifiers and loudspeaker products but later on the company was better know for measuring equipment in addition to headphones, headsets and related products. By the 80's the company had become more or less a specialised manufacturer of hearing aids and merged with another British manufacturer of such devices called Ultratone to form the Ultravox group which is still one of the bigger suppliers of hearing aids in the UK. Not to be confused with the modern USA based Amplivox and no relation to the pretentious beat combo called Ultravox! or Ultravox depending on timeframe.
Homepage: - Alternative homepage

Amstrad Limited

British concern founded in London in 1966 as a trading company and incorporated in 1969 as D.M.Baylin Trading Co. Ltd., by the mid 1980’s the company was primarily a supplier of budget and novelty telephones and other CE communications equipment and to reflect this renamed itself to Betacom but that was their main brand at the time but they also sold products under the Answercall name, primarily answering machines. Alan Sugar, the then owner of Amstrad PLC bought a minority interest in the company in 1992 and a controlling interest little later.

In 1997 the company took over the CE product business of Amstrad PLC and changed its name to Amstrad Limited shortly thereafter (But traded as "Amstrad International"). By this time the company was facing increasing competition in the UK telephone markets and only the OEM manufacturing factory they had in Hong Kong and the satellite TV receivers were showing any profit so the company sold off its Dancall mobile telephone unit to Bosch and telephone business unit to Alba PLC including the Betacom and Answercall brands. The company continued to sell low budget audio products such as music systems and tape recorders intended for children in limited numbers under the Amstrad brand but mostly as OEM designs to other manufacturers, they did try their hand at more novel product introductions like the Amstrad E-Mailer but those failed miserably, the OEM business of budget audio products and Satellite receiving equipment was what kept the company floating.

In the end the company basically had only one customer in the form of British satellite TV provider BSkyB, and in 2007 the latter company agreed to buy Amstrad International and now runs it as a satellite set-top box manufacturing operation for-themselves and a few related companies. The company no longer operates in the OEM audio business but still has basic info on their last line-up of products on their webpage.

Amstrad PLC

British company founded in 1968 as Alan Michael Sugar Trading in eastern London, UK. Originally sold antennas and similar audio related accessories mainly in market stalls and similar establishments but quickly moved into wholesaling, initially with aftermarket accessories such as turntable covers but soon thereafter of low budget separates and later other CE products sourced mostly from far east OEM's. This was a somewhat unique arrangement at the time for a UK company and highly successful, but the company also sourced locally to a degree the first Rega products were sold under the Amstrad banner for instance. Their products could be a bit gimmickry at times, some of their cheaper loudspeakers came with a large tweeter horn, but no actal tweeter inside the speaker....

The company exited the separates market in the mid 80's and concentrated on low budget consumer electronics, home & small office computers and other brown goods, but reached a peak in its success in the late 80’s and was listed on the FSTE100 index, in the early 90’s their computer division began to falter and the CE portion saw a decrease in sales. By the late 90’s the company had become almost an irrelevance and was dissolved and sold to companies that principal owner Alan Sugar had majority interest in, the computer division was sold to Viglen in exchange for shares and the consumer electronics division was offloaded to Betacom in a similar deal.

Anagram Technologies SA

A digital technology company founded in 2000 by Florian Cossy, Thierry Heeb, Reynald Gentizon and Daniel Oertli, but Cossy and Heeb had founded the Orpheus company a couple of years earlier and the basic idea behind Anagram was to develop and commercialise the upsampling and jitter reduction technology that Orpheus had developed for its products and peddle them to other hi-fi manufacturers.

Anagram Technologies was based in Préverenges, but that is a small beachfront town that lies by lake Genève in Vaud canton, which is a part of Romandy (the French speaking part of), Switzerland, and the town is considered to be a suburb of the city of Lausanne these days although it is nominally independent. The company initially offered a more or less complete solution for manufacturers of high end electronics with a choice of sample rate converters, upsampling units and DAC boards but few manufacturer actually used a complete chain of Anagram electronics in their products primarily for cost reasons, most just took the upsampling units and married them with their own electronics to gain more cost-effective solutions, an example of such was the Talk Electronics Thunder 3.1 , but in addition the company offered custom design services.

The company updated its offerings in 2005 with new modules that also allowed processing of DSD data and landed a number of patents in regards to digital amplification in a similar timeframe, added software modules developed for third party SoC chips in 2006 and started offering DSP software development tools later the same year. It started offering a cheaper replacement for their upsampling and sample rate conversion modules in a product called Q5, this was basically an Analog Devices DSP chip that had been pre-programmed to function as a replacement for the modules, this product became quite popular with some manufacturers of mid-price CD players and DAC's since it offered high end upsampling capabilities for a price class of devices that had not been able to offer such before, but the cost of developing such software in-house was considered cost-prohibitive even for fairly large hi-fi manufacturers.

Still the Q5 was not popular enough to save the company and it was taken into liquidation in the summer of 2009, this meant that companies that relied on the modules from the company were forced to discontinue or completely redesign their products which resulted in a number of high end CD players disappearing off the market the same year. Companies that had licensed the Q5 technology however managed to get a license extension from the liquidator so a number of manufacturers are still offering products based on that technology. A number of former employees joined a new non-audio related technology start-up company but a few specialists where picked up by Nagra and at the least one person associated with the founding of Anagram Technologies went on to found CH Precision which is located in nearby Bussigny.

Analog Audio System (Turntables) See --> AAS Analog Audio System

Analog Digital Technology PTE Ltd.

Manufacturer of car amps and speakers based in Singapore, their products were usually sold under the ADX brand but the company also was a large OEM for companies/brands like Hifonics. ADT designed their own loudspeakers but their amplifiers were designed by Zed Audio. Appears to have started up in the early 90's and active at the least into late 2001.

Angstrom See --> Mike Moffat Labs

Antique Sound USA

USA based manufacturer that started out in 1994 as a distributor of the budget valve amps of Antique Sound Laboratory, introduced their own line of similar amps and kits in 1996 and branched into the world of high end valve amplifiers in the late 90's, although they continued to offer all their products in kit form as well. Note that we have seen references on other pages that ASUSA kit products were "outrageously expensive", this is simply not fair, their kits were typically under 500 USD which you can compare that to similar products on the market, valve based amplifiers are expencive if done properly. Sadly the owner passed away in 2002 and thus the company closed it's doors, the contact information is still listed here since they still have stocks of PP1 preamps and lots of valves for sale.
Antique Sound, PO Box 82404, Kenmore, Wa 98028, USA.
Phone +425 481 8866. Fax : +425 485 3836. Email : asusa at

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