Defunct Audio Manufacturers – Co to C9

Commodore Business Machines (CBM)
Founded in Toronto, Canada in 1955 by Idek Tramielski, a man better known by the anglicised version of his name: Jack Tramiel. The company was actually founded with the express purpose of getting around the stringent import regulations and taxes that the USA govenment had on the import of industrial products prior to deregulation in the 70 & 80's, but Canada had a favoured trading status and industrial goods from there were excempt from most import duties and restrictive usage regulation. This meant that although the company presented itself as a manufacturer it actually only did final assembly of imported goods from Europe and Asia, and then just enough assembly to to make the units classifiable as Canadian as far as the USA authorities were concerned. Initially CBM's products were mostly Italian typewriters but the company soon extended their products lines into other small business related products such as calculators and more interestingly a line of open reel tape recorders intended to be used as dictation machines but the company appears to have exited that market in the late 60's or early 70's. The company later became well known as a computer manufacturer after they bought pioneering PC firm MOS Technology but ultimatly went bankrupt in 1994. Trying to dig up information of the company is actually very interesting, the first Commodore company was actually a typewriter repair shop Mr. Tramielski started in New York a couple of years before he founded CBM, there are also a soup of paper companies, trust funds etc. surrounding the company, many of them in offshore locations that appear to have been founded with the express purpose of keeping CBM's profits out of the hands of the taxman. There are reports of investigations into the company's operations by various authorities almost from the moment it was floated in 1962 and when the company finally went bankrupt the Cayman Islands bankruptcy court actually needed 2 years just to trace all those, which should give you an idea of how many there were and how well they were hidden.

Comptometer Corporation See --> Felt & Tarrant

A trademark used by the CBS consumer electronics division to market a line of hi-fi separates in the late 70's to early 80's, most or all of them believed to have been sourced from Japanese OEM's.

Concert See --> Jutan International Ltd. (JIL) (Canada)

Concertone See --> Berlant Concertone

French manufacturer of high end amplifiers and related products, 1960´s.

Condor Acoustics
USA based loudspeaker manufacturer active in the 1990's, primarily known for their SC-7 speaker which is a big 2 way monitor style model with a 20" woofer that got excellent reviews in its day, in particular it was considered to be a good value for money as it retailed for USD 2000 in 1996, but was otherwise pretty familiar territory for the USA market (Scan-Speak drivers etc.), but the company actually made a number of other designs including a home theatre system. Authorised dealers started to dump the stocks of SC-7's in the latter half of 1997 and in 1998 the company was closed down and the remaining stocks of products were bought by Philsaudio.

Constellation 3D (C3D)
A company based in New York, USA that claimed to have invented a holographic optical disk storage that was capable of storing hundreds of Gigabytes per disk that were called FMD disks and advertised the company’s technologies "Storage Solutions For The Space Age". The company claimed to have optical technology developed in Russia and to have R&D laboratories in Russia, USA and Ukraine with offices in Israel and USA, however research by some smaller shareholders in the company seemed to indicate that the company was actually a scam run out of Israel and that prototype models shown had actually contained a hidden hard disk rather than a optical disk. C3D merged with another USA based company called Reflekt in 2000 that manufactured tooling for the manufacture of optical disks and later that year entered into an agreement with Toolex Int. for the development of production techniques and machinery for the mass manufacture of the FMD discs, the estimated first production run was supposed to happen in 1Q2002 but nothing has been heard of it since.

Cooper Sound Systems

Company based out of the USA that manufactured high end mixers and other equipment intended for location sound recording. Started out manufacturing synchronisation kits for Nagra tape recorders but ventured into the business of manufacturing mixers in 1985, in February 2008 owners Andrew and Janet Cooper decided to retire, the company stopped manufacturing but does still do some basic servicing and their website is still up with downloadable manuals etc.
Cooper Sound Systems Inc., 1241 Knollwood Drive, PMB 106, Cambria, CA 93428-3343, USA .
Tel: +1 805 772 1007. Fax: +1 805 456 1631. E-Mail: coopersoundsystems [at]

Coronet (Speakers ca 1999) See --> Aisin Takaoka Ltd.

British phonographic specialist based in Enfield in Middlesex, manufactured cartridges and tonearms from the early 50's to the early 80's in addition to selling a number phonograph accessories both made by them and products that they bought from OEM suppliers such as Cecil E. Watts Ltd, also from time to time the company made and sold other audio products such as microphones, in he 70's the company also sold quite a few quality OEM products under their own name that later became well known in their own right, notably the original Rega turntables and the Japanese Koshin tonearms. Note that they used the ACOS trade name more in the latter years than they used Cosmocord, the company was by then primarily occupied as a manufacturer of plastic parts and was taken over by Tatra Plastics in 1982 and all audio related business was dropped.

CQ Audio
A company founded by Rupert Neve in ca 1958 that manufactured initially loudspeakers and later branched into the manufacture of amplifiers. At first the loudspeaker products from the company sold very well but by 1960 the company was having problems selling its products with the CQ Audio Tapeheart being the last product that the company introduced. The company folded in 1960 or 1961.

Resources : -- A short info page on the company with pictures from Rupert Neve Designs.

Craig Consumer Electronics See --> Bercor

Craig Corporation

Located in Los Angeles, California and originally founded in the 30's as Craig - Panorama by Robert Craig to distribute photographic products, in 1952 his son, the economist T. Robert Craig Jr., took over as chairman of the company and quickly transformed the business into an importer and distributor of brown goods, although in the late fifties and 60's the company did some of their own design, quality control and final assembly but this was mainly to get around the very stringent USA import tax regulations at the time and by 1972 the company had ceased all local assembly. In 1963 the company changed from a California registered company into the Delaware registered Craig Corp. Although the company traded in all kinds of CE products ranging from alarm clocks through calculators (very high tech at the time) the company's became best know in the 60's for their tape recorder products that they sourced from Sanyo, Pioneer and others, initially these were mostly Reel to Reel but the company expanded into the 8 Track Cartridge market in the latter half of the decade and met with spectacular success in the then emerging car audio market, the end result being that in last 2 decades of the company's life it was mostly known as a provider of car audio products and novelty high tech electronics. The company had for a time very close ties to Pioneer and when Pioneer USA was set up in 1972 a number of top Craig employees left to work for that company. The company's assets including the brandname were sold to Bercor in 1985 but the company itself existed for at least a few years more since it was in litigation with it USA tax authorities as late as 1987 (unsuccessful, I might add).

CreamWare Datentechnik GmbH

German company based in the town of Sieburg in Nordrhein-Westfalen. The company started out in 1992 and began manufacturing a plug-in card and software combination for Windows based PC’s called Triple-DAT that allowed you to record and edit digital audio onto the computer’s hard drive, later the card on its own was sold as the MasterPort. These were ISA based cards and sold relatively well since they were fairly moderately priced for the time, but the retail price of 1500 USD plus would typically only get you multitrack software in that time frame, never mind the hardware.

The Triple-DAT had some basic DSP functionality apparently more intended to massage the 4 channels of audio data coming into the card into the ISA bus, but ISA is a reliable but notoriously bandwidth limited medium. In 1996 the company had the ingenious idea to use some of the excess DSP power present on the Triple-Dat card to run effect plugins on and later that year the company delivered the first plugins in the form of the FireWalkers (later WaveWalkers) plug-in suite that had EQ and a number of time based (flanger etc.) and panning effects in addition to visualisation and utility plugins like tone generators and real time FFT.

Note this was before VST’s and other native PC plug-in architectures came to the fore, you could run some natively but the average new computer sold in 1996 was a 90mHz Pentium class chip with 166mHz and Pentium Pro being seriously expensive, so while native signal processing was possible it was expensive and had a tendency to interfere with the main audio application simply due to the lack of power. The other options were DSP farms and DSP/Audio cards from companies like Digidesign but these were at the least 4 times more expensive than the Triple-DAT system.

In 1997 the company announced an update to the Triple-DAT system called the T-DAT 16 but that was a 16 channel PCI based card that offered 2 analogue inputs and outputs but could handle 16 track and either mix them to the 2 channels or use 2 ADAT or record the basic software remained mostly unchanged, 80 MIPS . The company also Osiris audio restoration software and a version of the Triple-DAT software optimised for use in broadcast applications called CUTmaster

Resources : - A 1998 review of the T-DAT 16 by Sound-on-Sound..

Crysler Electronics
Japanese manufacturer of high end loudspekaers based in Shibuya-Ku prefecture in Tokyo. Active from ca. the early 60's into the mid 70's, their products often being branded Living Audio in the West. Famous for the CE-1a 3 way design and the CE-4a bookshelf model but that is one of the most sought after vintage loudspeaker in the world and was designed by Kei Ikeda who later worked in the same capacity for JVC. Crysler products are also notable for their build quality, their products where considered "small loudspeakers" at the time although by today’s standard something featuring 12" drivers will hardly fall into that category.

Crystal Clear Acoustics

A brand used for line of high end loudspeakers that the J.A.D.E. Services company introduced in 1996, these where designed by company head honcho John Topham and their main claim to fame was that the cabinets were made out of granite slabs. JADE Services was originally founded in 1993 in Van Reibeeck Park, South Africa as a company that provided warranty repairs repair company for local AV importers and appears to have quit manufacturing loudspeakers in 2005 but is active as an importer for a number of high end brands. Not to be confused with a number of companies called Crystal Clear Audio.

CS (Loudspeakers) See --> Chicago Speakerworks

Curtis Technology & Trade Inc.

Company based in Rockford, Illinois, USA and originally founded in 1994 by William Curtis as an electronic design consultancy. Shipped its first product in 1995 in the form of the Curtis Technology AL-1 microphone and then the unusual microphone preamp Curtis Technology Opre8 in 1998, these 2 like all the other products fro the company are acually intended for drum work although they will obviously work for just about any usage, but they show design features meant to solve common drum-oriented problem. The company appears to fizzle out in around 2009 but it had been a bit quiet for a few years beforehand. Spares & service :Last we heard Mr. Curtis was still supplying some service for his products but how accurate or up to date that information is we cannot guarantee, but the number given was +1 815 399 8453, he was also spotted drumming with his band ha Ha potato.

Cybernet Electronics Corporation
Small Japanese company that was actually an independently run daughter company of ceramic and electronic giant Kyocera. Best known for manufacturing hi-fi and communications products in the late 70's and early 80's which gave lots of bang for the buck especially their integrated units and amplifiers. Was merged with Kyocera corp. in October 1982 and it's products sold under that name after thereafter, the Cybernet brand is still used by Kyocera for solar panels etc.. though, but low key.

C3D See --> Constellation 3D

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