Defunct Audio Manufacturers – Cb to Ck

CBM See --> Commodore

CD Balancer
Dutch company that made an oddball CD accessory, a balancer that cut off tiny parts of your CD (or similar optical disk) to correct small manufacturing defects, a neat design and some CD's apparently did benefit from this product but I have not been able to contact the company for a year or more. Apparently the man behind this invention was Ben Peters, who is better known as the designer of the Audio Static line of electrostatic loudspeakers, but that is actually unconfirmed.

Cecil E. Watts Ltd.
Mr. Watts was one of the pioneers of the stereo age and a few patents relating to the manufacture of LP were issued in his name in the 1930's and 40's including the famous acetate. Started the Cecil E. Watts company in the 50's and began the manufacture of groundbreaking record cleaning accessories originally sold by ACOS under their own name but in the latter half of the 60's they were sold exclusively under the Watts brand. Company ran into trouble with the EU Trading Standards office in the mid 70's and stopped manufacturing in the early 80's after the firm had been run at a loss for a few years, the company is still around though and still in Middlesex but only operates as an investment shell as far as can be gathered. While C. E. Watts products have not been made since the early 1980's, clones of some of them are still being made today..

Celef See --> Celef Audio

Founded in 1984 by Mark Levinson shortly after the failiure of Mark Levinson Audio Systems and released its first product in 1985 with the Audio Master.

Charles Amplifiers Ltd.
Company based in Kensington, London, England that manufactured valve amplifiers from the end of the second world war (or so we believe) until they went bankrupt in 1951, the company is notable for being an early example of a home hi-fi company, see: Charles Amplifiers Ltd. valve amps.

Chartwell Electro Acoustics Ltd.
Loudspeaker manufacturer based in London, England that was formed in the early 70’s by ex- engineer Dave Stebbings. The company was one of the manufacturers that got a licence from the BBC to manufacture the LS3/5A monitor and in addition it manufactured a small line-up of home loudspeakers that were well regarded at the time. The Chartwell made versions of the LS3 command a premium over those made by other manufacturers, although it is not certain if that is due to a better quality of its construction or if it is because of their relative rarity. Timeline is from the early 70’s to the early 80’s and it is believed that the company was taken over by Swisstone.

Chicago Acoustic (Speakers, 70's, USA) See --> George O’Connell

Chicago Audio Group

Company based in Chicago, Illinois, USA that manufactured loudspeaker stands and later home theatre furniture. Incorporated in 1992 by Eugene C. Bayer but he had previously run Chicago Speaker Stand. The company appears initially to have made primarily speaker stands out of wood that featured a decoupled top plate made of MDF, although it is possible that they also made some hi-fi racks as well.

In the latter half of the 90’s CAG was still making loudspeaker stands although the emphasis was now primarily on cheaper, smaller metal stands and on AV furniture. In 2000 the company completely revamped its range; new models were introduced of wooden and metal stand in addition to a neat new line of stands intended for music systems that incorporated a CD rack and a stand for the unit and two speakers into one free standing unit not much bigger than a CD rack on its own. The company also offered hi-fi and AV racks although most emphasis was on a series of large cabinets called “Breezewood” that were intended for integrating a TV or projection screen into, as for the styling, let’s put it like this: I would be very surprised if they got any export orders to Europe.

In late 2001 a new company called Rieco-Titan Products Inc. took over the manufacture and sales of the products, the CAG company itself did not go out of business, it still exists technically as of 2012 but appears dormant, in 2005/6 the remains of Chicago Audio Group branded stands were disposed of to surplus goods dealers and we cannot find any trace of the company being active in the business since then.

Chicago Speaker Stand Inc.
A company founded in 1984 and based in Chicago, Illinois, USA but based on an earlier operation that started out making speaker stands under the CSS name in 1980. Made audiophile grade loudspeaker stands and is possibly best remembered for the stands they made that were built specifically for use with electrostatic speakers from Quad Electroacoustics, but in addition to manufacturing generic loudspeaker stands the company made model specific stands for other speakers as well, often in co-operation with the manufacturers such as in the case of the stands they made for Spica loudspeakers. The company ventured into the manufacture of hi-fi racks in around 1990 when they introduced the "Avia" range of racks that featured a steel frame and veneered MDF shelves, except for the turntable rack which had a slate top shelf. Went bankrupt in early 1993 and it appears it was at the least partially owned if not outright by Eugene C. Bayer who went on to found Chicago Audio Group.

Chicago Speakerworks
Company founded in 1980 by John R. van Leishout and based in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Both a high end hi-fi store and a loudspeaker manufacturer that became quite well known locally for their semi-custom loudspeakers, actually made a wide variety of models but remain best remembered for a subwoofer/satellite combination that was somewhat unusual at the time. Most of their speakers appear to use Audax drivers alongside Focal tweeters in some the more upmarket models.

The company went bankrupt in early 1992 but the gent behind the company returned shortly thereafter with And founded Van L. Speakerworks Inc.. Note that although the company is two words in official documentation some of the literature from the company lists it as three, or: Chicago Speaker Works. Note also that the company did not always put their full name on the back of the speakers but rather only a CS logo at the front.

Christie Design Corporation See --> Recoton

Chubei Itoh - C. Itoh See --> Marubeni

Cinaudagraph Corp. (CC)

Loudspeaker manufacturer based in Stamford, County of Fairfield, Connecticut, USA but listed in Delaware, originally founded in the early-mid 1930’s by industrialist John Sherman Hoyt (1870 – 1954) and run by his son Sherman R. Hoyt Jr., J. S. Hoyt was at the time a well known figure in the business world in the USA although these days he is best remembered as the founder of the Boy Scouts of America and Sherman Hoyt Jr. and his wife Katherine Floyd-Jones as breeders of poodles, greyhounds and other then rare breeds under the Blakeen Kennels name, and BTW both men were named after their great-uncle General W. T. Sherman that lead the Union forces in the USA civil war. Cinaudagraph Corp. (hereafter CC) was allegedly founded to give S. Hoyt Jr. practical experience of running a business on a day to day basis with the view that he would later take over the running of his father’s business empire, the initial idea was that the company should manufacture various products for cinemas, ranging from films and projectors to audio systems, but the movie industry was one of the few business sectors that grew rather than contracted during the depression years. CC did indeed during its lifetime a lot of R&D work on film and projector design but never shipped any such products, however they hired Lionel Brice Cornwell (1901 - 1988) as their chief engineer and he was an audiophile with some interesting ideas on loudspeaker driver design.

Mr. Cornwell felt that the manufacturers that were shipping multi-way loudspeaker systems were barking up the wrong tree, with a single fullrange driver being a more efficient and better sounding solution, an argument often heard today although his argument rested on the inefficiency of the filter networks of the day (crossovers) rather than the time and material alignment concerns that you hear in more modern times. Mr. Cornwell designed a high quality full-range loudspeaker driver for CC that had some interesting properties, it had a large permanent magnet structure with an unusually small air gap made possible by the use of Mica voice coil support and sported a unheard of a the time frequency response 30 Hz up to 16kHz at +/- 5dB, but high failure rates of the driver meant that they were later modified to use an aluminium foil voice coil support that cut the effective top range of the drivers and CC advertised them as having a range of 40Hz to 9kHz in their publicity material (BTW the Aluminium voice coil support lead to the development by the Cinaudagraph Speakers company of aluminium cones but it appears that those were never commercialised, or only in limited numbers). Early models were well received for their sound quality but were found to be unreliable but later models were highly regarded for both sound quality and reliability, the company became especially well known for large full range loudspeaker drivers intended for use in cinematoriums and other public places, but the largest model measured 18”, but a number of their smaller speakers found their way in to the high end radio sets that were a fad amongst the better off in the 1930’s, and Mr. Cornwell often attended hi-fi demonstrations around the USA in the latter half of the decade, dragging with him a 150 Kg Gennett transcription turntable. The Company continued improving their designs and a number of patents related to loudspeaker design and magnet manufacture were awarded to Mr. Cornwell and Robert Neusctz.

While the company’s products sold reasonably well the larger drivers are almost impossible to find on the second hand market since the bulk of them have been cannibalised for their magnets, it is actually easier to find a magnet from one of the larger drivers for sale these days than it is to find a complete driver, there is some evidence that the company later woke up to this fact and cast and sold large magnets to the technical and scientific market. Today Cinaudagraph is best remembered for the legendary loudspeakers designed by Mr. Cornwell for the 1939 World Fair in New York, but a number of incorrect facts surround that legend that seem to have originated in an article from 1954 that was published in Audio Engineering magazine, in there is is stated that Rudy Bozak (later of Bozak) is the designer and the size of the speaker has grown to 27”. The speaker in question was actually 24” and since at the least one of the driver resides today in a museum it is easy to verify, and while Mr. Bozak did indeed work for CC it was as an armature winding engineer and he did not perform any sort of a design role, although it is possible that he worked for the Cinaudagraph Speakers company (below) in a different capacity. As to what was an armature winder was doing in a loudspeaker manufacturing company, at that time most amplifiers were sold without output transformers so drivers were often supplied with optional transformers custom wound to match the amplifiers output characteristics. It should also be noted that the 24” driver is by no means the largest model ever produced as is often stated, there are a number of 30” and 32” loudspeaker drivers that have been manufactured commercially and in fact the CC 24” driver is more remarkable due to its use of a massive field coil than its size per se. The end of the company is shrouded in something of a mystery, it appears to have been wound down by J. S. Hoyt Sr. in 1939 and its Stamford factory closed down but it is known that the same factory was producing loudspeakers as part of the war effort in 1943 and in 1944 the company below was in operation but that seems to have been owned by S. Hoyt Jr..

Cinaudagraph Speakers, Inc.

This company follows the Cinaudagraph Corp. company outlined above but it is unclear when it was founded but it is in existence by 1944. The only thing we know for sure is that the owner is S. Hoyt Jr. rather than J. S. Hoyt Sr. and that it is operated out of and listed in Chicago, Illinois, USA, but the CC company above was run out of Connecticut and listed in Delaware. Although that it appears that during the height of WWII some production was restarted in the former CC plant in Stamford, Conneticut producing models based on the older Cinaudagraph speakers, CS is as early as 1945 advertising smaller drivers featuring a more standard ring magnet units and is also manufacturing and selling a variety of loudspeaker OEM parts to other manufacturers, noticeably RCA. Had by 1946 become a part of the Aireon valve manufacturing concern and production had been moved to Slater, Mo. One thing that differentiates CS from its earlier incarnation is that CC had a very active R&D department that had a number of patents while very few or no original products appear to have been introduced by CS, all of their product lines are based on earlier designs or a fairly bog standard parts. Note that if a driver from CS is stamped “Special Design” it does not mean that it is a one off, but rather that it is an OEM design, usually a modification of an existing design.

CinemaQuest (AV cables) See --> The Quest Group

Cinepro Professional
USA company based in San Francisco, California, founded in 1990 by Eric Abraham to manufacture theatre amplification but branched into the home theatre market in the latter part of the decade when that market started to expand and the demand for high end high power AV amplifiers meant that he could sell basically the same product into both markets. Sadly Mr. Abraham unexpectedly passed away in early 2002 and the company ceased production shortly afterwards, and while reports reached our ears about attempts made to revive the company we have not heard from them in quite a while. Note that the trademark for the Cinepro brand was allowed to expire in October 2002 and quite a number of people and companies actually applied to get control over it later that year, the successful applicants were Mr. Panicci and Mr. Cossifos of New York USA, neither of them appears to have any connection to the original company.

Citizen See --> Citizen

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