Defunct Audio Manufacturers - Mc to Mn

McKenzie Acoustics
A long running English manufacturer of loudspeaker drivers, especially popular with PA and other sound reinforcement manufacturers. Their products seem to have disappears from the market in the latter half of the 90's and we cannot find a trace of them anywhere, a source told us that they had been a part of the Wharfedale Loudspeakers PLC group prior to that so it may be that some of their products survive in the Professional division of that company.

McLaren See --> Zetka Industries (Amplifiers - New Zealand ca 1975 to 1995) or TAG McLaren (High End Seperates - UK)

Media Vision Technology Inc.

Pioneering USA based manufacturer of multimedia products such as soundcards, soundcard chipsets and speakers, but archived their greatest success in the early 90's with the sale of so called "multimedia kits" but at the time PC compatible computers came with no audio or optical drive capabilities whatsoever. Media Vision offered kits that had a reasonable 16 bit soundcard, a CD ROM drive, loudspeakers and multimedia software thus enabling you to upgrade your computer so it could use multimedia content under Windows 3x and OS/2.

Originally founded in the late 1980's in Freemont, California, USA by a team of people that had formerly worked for video card manufacturer Video 7. Went public in 1990 and managed to raise 246 Million USD on the markets but hit problems in 1994 when it emerged that the company had misreported their 1993 earnings, MV had reported in USD 20 Million profit for the year 1993 but later it was revised to a 99 Million USD loss, this meant that the company became the focus of an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission and they asked the FBI to open up a criminal investigation against the board of the company later the same year, in the end 4 of the company's board members faced charges and at the least 2 did some jail time.

Media Vision’s financial woes had become quite bad by mid-1994 and the allegations of fraud and misreporting meant that the company could not raise any further money on the markets and on the 25th of July that year it entered voluntary bankruptcy but managed to get a Chapter 11 reorganisation plan accepted and was out of bankruptcy proceedings on the 27th of December the same year. But in just the five months it had taken the company to get a reorganisation plan accepted the PC market had changed irrevocably, by January 1995 most PC manufacturers were shipping CD-ROM devices and soundcards as standard equipment, leaving Media Vision with a booming OEM market but the more lucrative consumer market had all but disappeared. The chipset part of the company survived as and was later bought by Creative Technology.

Originally a small Japanese manufacturer of ultra high end audio products run by Makato Maki, started in May 1975 and incorporated in 1978 when the company started manufacturing a high end turntable design, left the audio market for the more lucrative computer peripheral market in 1982 and is by now one of the bigger companies in that market, better known outside of Japan as Buffalo Technology (one of their subsidiaries actually).

Mende See --> VEB Funkwerk Dresden

Merrill Audio See --> Underground Sound

Polish industrial union or combine that collected together state or worker owned companies under one hat in a similar fashion as Unitra but unlike that company the Metronex was built out of companies in the industrial sector. Owned half of Unitronex in co-operation with Unitra.


USA based company founded in 1984 in the town of Bend in Oregon by Gene Rimkeit. The operation was based around a patent for a computer controlled equaliser that was marketed as tamperproof since they could only be configured using a specialised computer and later custom software that featured password protection, that meant that a number of organisations that needed EQ for public spaces such as entertainment parks and so on were a ready market for the company’s products since usage of the units could be controlled.

In addition to selling equalisers under its own name the company also operated as an OEM and number of their products were sold by Telex under the Altec Lansing brand, and later by TOA as modules that could be integrated into their installation systems. In the late 90’s the company sold the rights to manufacture the equalisers to a company called IRP Professional Sound, in fact the IRP website announced that they had taken MicroAudio over but that appears not to have been the case since in or around 2000 when IRP itself was taken over the rights to the manufacture of the units reverted back to Microaudio.

The company closed down in 2005 but it had been facing decreasing sales for years, products introduced in the 90’s like Behringer Ultracurve Pro DSP8000 performed the all the same functions as the Microaudio products and more besides for lots of less money and could be bade tamper-proof with the introduction of locked panels or racks. MicroAudio however still has a website up so you can download all manuals and service manuals alongside the control software needed to operate their products. The company’s president Mr. Rimkeit now operates as an independent consultant.

Micro Seiki Kabushiki Kaisha

A Japanese company based in Itabashi-ku in Tokyo that was originally founded in 1961 and was primarily known as a manufacturer of turntables in the west but used to manufacture mid and high end turntables, tonearms, turntable pick-up’s, electrostatic headphones, hi-fi separates and related accessories of almost legendary quality from the early 60’s and into the early 90’s but turned exclusively to the manufacture of high end and reference class turntables in the mid 90's.

Company ran into trouble in the latter half of the 90's, moved to smaller and cheaper premises in Saitama prefecture outside Tokyo, in 1999 the company stopped making turntables and providing spares for their older products with the exception of a high end variant of the 8000 turntable and had by this time become primarily a precision engineering workshop (much like competitors Avid Hi-Fi and SME ltd. funnily enough, but smaller) and as a maker of custom measurement equipment. Later that same year the company moved again to smaller premises still and in 2001 Micro Seiki shipped their last turntable and closed up shop.

Note that in Japan the company traded as plain Micro while in the West where the word is far too generic to use as a trademark, the name translates directly as “Micro precision” and in this instance would mean something like “very high precision”, in Fact in Japanese the word Micro was typically written in Latin characters while Seiki was written in or “Micro ??” while the it traded under the Micro Sound banner originally, but later using the Micro Seiki brand, also the company often co-operated with Luxman when it came to export sales so a number of their local distributors where the same.

Micro Seiki NL -- This Dutch site offers some Micro Seiki turntable upgrades and accessories
Jim’s SAE site - Offers downloads of old MS brochures from the 70’s when SAE distributed the brand for a little while in the USA
Yahoo discussion groups – Micro Seiki.

Mike Moffat Labs Inc.

A company formed by John M. Moffat (ex-Theta Digital founder) in 1984 and was based in Moorpark in California, USA. But as far as we are aware the company did not start to manufacture its own products until 1995 when they introduced a Dolby Surround decoding preamp under the Angstrom trademark.

The only products we are aware of the company actually shipped were the 2 channel and 6 channel pre-amps/decoders Angstrom 100 and Angstrom 200 in addition to standalone Dolby Digital (AC3) and DTS decoders Angstrom 195 and Angstrom 205. While the initial offerings from the company were well received and MMLabs won some awards in 1996, the company started showing sings of financial distress in the latter half of the 90's and it went out of business in the summer of 1999, after MMLab folded owner John M. Moffat started selling HTPC's under the Theatris brand.

Ministry of Sound See --> Harvard International (CE products 2002 to 2008) or IXOS (Headphones - ca. 2000 to 2008)

Minnesota Engineering
USA based company run by Michael Gergen, presumably from the state of Minnesota. ME made shunt regulator power supplies for use in high end audio products that they sold in both kit, bare PCB and fully built form, these were in general well thought of in the DIY audio community. Appears to have started in 2006 and we lose contact with the company in 2009 or thereabouts.

Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Co. (3M)
Originally founded in 1902 in Minnesota USA with the basic idea being to mine corundum and manufacture sandpaper and other abrasives out of it, sadly it turned out that the material that they were mining was actually anorthosite, however after financial injection from investors the company survived as a manufacturer of abrasive products but has never bothered much with mining since. After a couple of quiet decades the company started expanding aggressively by buying in technology to make improved products and to expand into markets were that technology could be utilised, this meant the by the 1940's the company was the best know producer in the USA of abrasive and adhesive products and was one of the very few companies that actually managed to grow substantially during the depression, by that time the company was better known by the shortened 3M. Due to their expertise in manufacturing adhesive tape products the US Army hooked them up with the Brush Development Company in order to develop magnetic recording media and in conjunction with Brush they developed both a recording tape similar to the one described in the original Pfeiffer patents and designed to work with the round magnetic head that the Brush company developed in the early 40's, however 3M actually never produced the tape formulation since it had been given the IP that the US Army had retrieved from BASF and the company actually decided to wait until clones of the Magnetophon appeared and the Brush company was forced to turn to Shellmar in 1946 to manufacture blank magnetic media for the Brush Soundmirror and the Mail-A-Voice thus making Shellmar rather than 3M the first manufacturer of magnetic tape in the USA. 3M did however introduce magnetic tape in 1947 that they sold under the same Scotch brandname that they used for adhesive tape and introduced the worlds first magnetic video tape in conjunction with Ampex in 1954.

The 3M company always had some interest in getting into the hardware side of the business especially the dictation sector which they saw as one of the opportunities to widen the market for magnetic recording products, they were offered the Pierce Wire Recorder Corp. company in or around 1950 but declined and actually decided to develop their own magnetic dictation belt recorder called simply Scotch Dictation Belt but in the end never marketed it. However when their closest hardware collaborator Ampex decided to start manufacturing blank media 3M countered by buying the Revere company in 1960, this was an ideal match for the company since Revere manufactured not only tape recorders but also photographic and home movie equipment which were markets that 3M were entering at the same time. Initially the company continued to sell products derived from the Revere line up although in the mid 60's they phased out the Revere brand in favour of the more upmarket Wollensak brand, but a few recorders were sold branded with both names during the transition, in the latter half of the 60's the company went head to head with Ampex when they introduced professional recorders. The Wollensak division was closed in 1972, but manufacture of professional audio and video recorders continued until 1984. In 1995 the company decided to restructure all it's media manufacturing into a separate public company which is called Imation.

Mirror Image Audio
A manufacturer of high end audio electronics based in Lancaster, New York State, USA. Operating from ca 1985 to 1994 the company sold high end amplifiers and DAC's that were in actuality designed and manufactured by Polyfusion, but that company had not entered the home audio market by then. The company's products sold reasonably well but never managed to get any magazine reviews or proper distribution outside the USA so it slowly fizzled out. When the company shut down Polyfusion started marketing those products itself.

Spares & service : I have not been able to find a company that specifically supports those products, since they were under an OEM and ODM? agreement with Mirror Image, Polyfusion is not required to support these products in any way, but given the similarities between the products lines it is at the least worth a try to contact them or someone used to servicing Polyfusion products.

Mission Electronics Ltd.

Founded in England in 1977 by Farad Azima and launched its first product in 1978 with the Mission 770 loudspeaker. The 770 created quite a stir in the UK audio press as it featured a polypropylene drive unit but while polyvinyl chloride based drivers were by then fairly common, none of the British or American producers active in the UK market at the time used the stiffer PP in their drivers, the 770 was also keenly priced with and with all the great press it go went on to sell very well and the Mission 700 that the company followed up with the next year became an even bigger hit with both the press and punters.

Reading the press reviews that the 700 got at the time and Mission related publicity material is quite interesting since there is some emphasis on Mission being a British company with world class technology, but in actuality the speakers were designed and manufactured by the French company Siare and it was not until the late 80's that Mission started to manufacture its own loudspeaker products and Siare continued to supply drivers to the company even after that.

The company introduced the Mission 774 tonearm in 1979, in 1981 came the visually stunning Mission 776 and Mission 777 pre/power amplifier combo and in 1983 the Isoplat record mat, but while that was not an important product for the company it was the first use of Polynorbornene rubber in an audio product and helped cement Mission's reputation as a technical leader in the UK audio industry. In 1984 the company introduced a redesigned line of audio electronics that was called Cyrus and as that line now incorporated a tuner and a CD player the company had become a full line audio manufacturer.

Mission kept growing throughout the 80's, in the middle of the decade the company introduced the Mission line of high end PC compatible computers, this was more of a achievement than it may seem now since PC's and PC components were not a commodity at that time as they are now and creating a high performance PC clone was something of a technical challenge. The Misssion PC's were fast machines that managed initially to create almost as much of a stir in the computer press as the 770 loudspeaker did in the audio press a decade earlier, however they were sold at a premium and were primarily souped up DOS machines with acceleration features such as cached disk controllers and overclocked processors that ran DOS fast but towards the end of the decade this price sector of the PC market was under attack from workstation manufacturers that offered faster and better hardware architectures alongside vastly superior operating systems, and while the PC compatible world had advanced OS's like Unix and OS/2 these systems needed big memory's and benefited from wider data busses like IBM's MCA but gained little or nothing from the read/write caches and other trickery that worked so well with DOS.

The high end PC compatible business thus disappeared for a few years and with it Missions computer division, the audio division thrived however with products such as the Mission 760 loudspeaker and in 1992 Mission merged with Wharfedale Loudspeakers PLC and became Verity Group PLC.

Spares & service : The Siare drivers used in 70's and 80's Mission loudspeakers suffer from surround rot but are otherwise very reliable, the surround rot is easily and reasonably cheaply repaired by any competent speaker repairer and any loudspeaker parts store will stock compatiable surrounds if you fancy a bit of DIY.

Mission Pro See --> International Audio Group (2006 to ca 2010)

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