Defunct Audio Manufacturers - Pi to P9

Defunct Audio Manufacturers - Pi to P9

Pierce Wire Recorder Corp.
Originally founded in the late 20's as Radiotechnic Laboratories and was based in Evanston, Illinois, USA, made valve testers during the 30's mostly as an OEM, but as with many other companies in the depression the company was in constant financial trouble and was eventually bought by Canadian born but Chicago based union buster Charles P. Pierce (1893 - 1996) in 1938 and moved to his home town. Pierce extended the OEM and subcontracting side of the business in an attempt to generate further cash flow (the effects of the depression still being felt that late in the USA) and moved into the manufacture of sundry electrical parts. Started manufacturing wire recorders for the US Airforce in or around 1940 originally as a subcontractor to General Electric and a little later as a primary contractor and subsequently changed the name of the company into PWRC possibly since there were other companies operating under the Radiotechnic name at the time. The company introduced the first generally available wire recorder on the American market in late 1945 but one of their subcontractors Webster Chicago (Webcor) introduced a cheaper personal recorders shortly thereafter and ran away with the market which forced Pierce to concentrate on the dictation market but that proved to be difficult as well for the company when competitors like Gray Research, Brush Development Company and Dictaphone Corp. entered the marketplace in the latter half of the decade, all of whom had a better distribution channels in place. From 1948 and onwards the company was in constant financial turmoil and survived mostly on sales of Pierce Wire-O-Matic but with that product the company had an exclusive contract with the USA Air Force to supply them with recorders. The precarious financial position of the company meant that Mr. Pierce had been trying to sell the company to IBM in the 40's and to 3M Bell & Howell and Motorola in the 50's but to no avail. It remained the smallest manufacturer of dictation machines in the USA until they introduced the Pierce Dictation Belt. Subsequently the company changed it's name to Pierce Dictation Systems and it's assets were sold to IBM in July 1959 and became the basis for their dictation division.

Pink Triangle Projects Ltd.
London, England based manufacturer of high end audio products, started out in1979/80 by manufacturing a turntable by the same name that had some unusual design features such as a battery driven motor, branched into digital audio systems in 1993 to some critical acclaim, ceased trading in 1999. The rights to the name and the products was bought by in 2000 and the new company was named Pink Triangle Partnerships and the company released updated versions of some of their digital products along with a new high end CD player, but the new company somehow failed to get the market’s attention and voluntarily ceased trading in the summer of 2003. The company had a number of rather interesting advertising slogans that were designed to take the mickey out of famous slogans of other British audio companies, one of the more memorable ones was : The Closest Approach to the Master Tape. Spares & service : The the Funk Firm provides service and support for PT turntables.

Plasmatronics, Inc.
A company founded by Dr. Alan E. Hill in the late 70's and based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. Introduced the Hill Plasmatronics loudspeaker in 1979 but that was a rather remarkable hybrid dynamic/plasma loudspeaker system that stood out at the time for being not only the most expensive loudspeaker available at 8000 USD when introduced (and rising to 16500 when the production run ended in 1996), but also the most expensive to run, but the plasma midrange/tweeter required helium to minimise ozone generation, it does not completely prevent it but kept is at below photocopier levels. It should be noted that helium is a noble gas and thus a finite resource, and the Plasmatronics speaker went through a bottle for every 300 hours it ran. Plasma drivers were not a new concept at the time this speaker was introduced but rather the Plasmatronics speaker is more refined variant than anything that went before it, the plasma tweeter handled anything above 700 Hz while a 4" midrange driver and a 12" bass woofer handled anything below it, this is slightly unusual in that while a similar arrangement is often used with electrostatic speakers, they are usually cut around the 100 Hz mark or so, leaving the dynamic woofer to handle bass only and it is this cutting point that lead to most of the complaints of the Plasmatronics sound, the sonic difference between the plasma tweeter and the woofer in the midrange was quite startling. Nota bene 700Hz is a practical limit, rather than a theoretical one and is considerably lower than older plasma tweeter could do, in theory a plasma transducer can go below 20 Hz but the required energy expenditure makes it an impractical position. The grapevine has it that only around 60 were built during its lifetime but the company was kept going by manufacturing lasers for the science industry and for medical applications. It appears to have been sold by Mr. Hill in the mid 90’s and is still out there under a slightly different name functioning as a laser service company. Last we heard of Dr. Hill he was moaning to the USA press at the lack of available funding for scientific research, but appears to have disappeared since.

Platinium Audio Ltd.
High end loudspeaker manufacturer founded in 1994 and based in Bedford, New Hampshire, USA but after 1996 located in Manchester in the same state. Originally started by British speaker designer Phil Jones and audio veteran Mike Pickering but Mr. Jones left in late 1997 and the company was run solely by Mr. Pickering from then on. Initially made primarily small speakers that utilised metal woofers similar to the products Mr. Jones had designed for Acoustic Energy (AE) but the company became best known for a huge horn loudspeaker called "Air Pulse 3.1" but that was at the time the worlds most expensive loudspeaker. All contact with the company was lost in 1999 and Mr. Jones now runs American Acoustic Development.Spares & service : Aforementioned AAD (link above) does provide support for models made by PA including rebuilding of drivers and even building new driver units in necessary (that excludes the Air-Pulse), you can also contact Soundscape AV in California for service.

Playback See --> Project Electronics

Run by Raymond Rodden and based in California, USA. Polysonics was a manufacturer of sound reinforcement speakers, have not been able to contact them since late 2001.

PowerFog (Special effect machines) See --> Smoke Company

PowerWerks (Home install and PA systems) See --> Hanser Music Group

American company that made studio and broadcast products, founded in 1915 and active into the late 50's when it was gobbled up by Lear-Siegler, the Presto homepage has more info.

Printed Electronics (Kits) See --> Aspen Amplifiers

A trademark used by UK retail chain Dixons to brand Asian sourced low end consumer electronics, a large portion of those appear to have been sourced from Weltron. The company started using the mark in 1971 and more or less phased out its usage in the late 80's, the actual trademark is Prinz BTW, but I have never seen it used as other than PrinzSound.

Proceed See --> Mardigal

Project Electronics
A manufacturer of amplification sold under the Project/One brand, started out in 1974 and was located in Oak Brook, Illinois, USA, changed its name to Playback, Inc. in 1978 and went bankrupt in 1981. Somewhere along the line the company also introduced a number of turntable models but it is believed that they were not actually made by the company but rather came from an OEM.

Promethean See --> William C. Seneca

Promeek (Signal Processors) See --> Joeaudio Ltd.

Pyle Industries Inc.
Loudspeaker manufacturer based in Huntingdon, Indiana, USA. Originally founded Francis Lester Pyle (1912 – 2001) in 1973 but incorporated in 1976, but Frank Pyle had prior to that been the owner of Utah American Corporation and worked for a large number of radio manufacturers since the 1930´s. Mr. Pyle retired as CEO of the corporation in 1986 but continued to work as a consultant for years afterwards. While Pyle both made standard drivers and acted as an OEM for larger clients like Klipsch it also was the source of drivers for many of the smaller American producers of musical instrument amplification, it appeares to be more willing to make small production runs of modified speakers than the better known manufacturers.

Pyramid See --> Little Dot (Headphone Amplifiers)

Next Page : Defunct Audio Companies - Q & R -- Previous Page : Defunct Audio Companies - Pa to Ph

© 1993 - 2013 Ólafur Gunnlaugsson, all rights reserved.

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