Defunct Audio Manufacturers - St

Standard Elektrik Lorenz See --> C. Lorenz

Starr Piano Co.
Originally founded in 1872 in Richmond, Indiana, USA by German immigrant George Trayser and associates as a manufacturer of pianos, but note that it has not been possible to establish exactly under what name since the company frequently changed names during its formative years, it was incorporated in 1878 as the Starr Piano Company and named after the Starr family which was the company's main financial backer at the time.

During the 1880's the company transformed from a generic manufacturer of handmade pianos to a mass manufacturer of upright pianos although they did continue to make some grands and player pianos. In 1893 the Starr Piano Co. was re-incorporated under the same name but then with a shared ownership between Starr family on one hand and John Lumsden and Henry Gennett (1852 to 1922) on the other, and in 1898 Henry Gennett took over the presidency of the company.

Following the death of John Starr in 1903 the company was taken over by the Gennett family, and the company expanded into the manufacture of player pianos at around the same time. When the increasing popularity of phonographic equipment as a source of home entertainment started to eat into sales of upright pianos Starr responded by starting the manufacture of phonographs on a small scale in the early 1910's, while initially a very small part of the operation it was so successful that the company opened a new division and factory in 1916 that not only manufactured phonographs and later radio receivers under the Starr name, but also pressed records both for their own Gennett Records imprint and for other independent labels, the companies venture into pressing actually became the subject of a patent battle between Starr on one hand and Victor and the Gramophone Co. on the other which ended in the courts invalidating the patents of the latter 2 companies in 1922 thereby paving the way for any USA company that wanted to press records to do so without having to ask for permission or pay license fees.

What is less well known is that the company supplied professional audio products under the Gennett name during the 20's and early 30's, this included turntables in addition to cutting and pressing equipment, in fact the transcription turntable pictured in the header of the Turntables is actually a Gennett table from the late 20's. The "consumer goods division" of the company expanded their operation during the 1920's by going into the manufacture of white goods, the company was hit hard by the great depression with the company being forced to close down it's record label (not the pressing plant however), however the white goods manufacture ended up being the Starr's saviour, they opened up a number of warehouses in the southern USA during the depression just to distribute and support their refrigeration products.

The piano and phonographic divisions of the company however never recovered from the effects of the depressions and even the economic boom that happened after the second world war did not manage to boost the fortunes of the company, the slowdown in the sales of pianos did not help and the company made its last piano in the early 1950's and closed its factory soon thereafter. You can visit the homepage of the Starr-Gennett Foundation but they are amongst other things trying to raise funds to preserve what remains of the old factory buildings. The company still exists in the form of the old refrigeration distribution division formally known as the "Starr Piano co., Pacific Division" but changed its name in 1978 to Refrigeration Supplies Distributor and is now a distributor of refrigeration parts and a manufacturer control systems known as RSD/Total Control.

Resources : For an example of a phonograph made by the Starr company take a look at this page
RSD/Total Control homepage - What remains of the Starr Piano Co./Gennett comany - The Starr-Gennett Foundation
Gennett Mansion - Henry Gennett's "Colonial Revival" style mansion is rented out for events and dinner parties etc.

Stephens Electronics
A long running USA based manufacturer of tape recorders and related paraphernalia, note that the company offered modifications and updates for all of their older recorders up until the death of John Stephens in 2007.

Stereo Component Systems

Based in Randolph, Massatuchets, USA distributed Cambrigde Audio products in the USA in the early to mid 70's in addition to selling rebranded products under sundry brandnames, changed their name to Tech HiFi Inc. in 1981 and went bankrupt in 1987.

Stereovox See --> The Signals Collection (Cables 2008 to 2010)

Stewart-Warner Speedometer Corporation
Company based in Bellville, Ontario, Canada that was founded in 1923 to manufacture radios for consumer, commercial and military usage intended for the local market and to distribute car accessories and other products made by its mother company in the USA: Stewart-Warner. Was for a time one of the best know local manufacturer of such, changed its name to Stewart-Warner Alemite Corp. Ltd. in 1931 and after that usually is marked "Stewart Warner Alemite Corporation of Canada" in radio identification plates.

In 1934 a new sub-division was formed that developed car radios and supplied them to the Canadian divisions of Ford Motor Company and Chrysler Corporation. The company appears to have left the radio business in the late 1950's or thereabouts but for the last few years the company appears to be selling mostly USA made radios rather than building them in Canada. Note that S-WA Can. was also active as an OEM and in that capacity supplied products to a number of manufacturers including Sonora Corporation of Canada Ltd.

The company is still around though and these days calls itself Stewart Warner Alemite Corporation of Canada to differentiate itself from its the USA based sister companies, apart from distributing products from the USA it is currently mostly occupied with manufacturing electronic instrumentation products.

Note that the original USA Stweart-Warner company did enter the radio business in 1925 and had a product range not-dissimilar to what the Canadian division was manufacturing, however the models from the 2 companies were mostly different designs at the least up until the late 40's..

Stinger See --> AAMP of Florida (Pre 1997) or Recoton (1998 - 2003)

Marketing company based in Cambridge, Massachusets, USA that sold primarily Asian sourced low budget audio products such as portable radios and tape recorders under the Overture brand and to a lesser extent under the Sharpe brand. Company founded in 1973 and disappears around 1981.

Storex (Accessories) See --> Path Ltd. (ca. 1995 to 2003)

Studio Beco Ltd.
Company founded in London England in 1977 by Bé Yamamura that operated primarily as a distributor and retailer of Japanese high end audio products and as such had the sole agency for Audio Note/Kondo, Melco and Hi-Lect amongst others. In addition the company sold high end cables made by Yamamura-san himself under the Becord brand.

Studio Beco also made accessories and made modifications to equipment, primarily intended for the products they distributed and it also may be that the company made and sold some valve amplifiers under the Yamamura brand, but that is not for certain since most references to Yamamura valve amps sold in the early 80's appear to be references to the Audio Note M7 which was something of a novelty in the British market at the time, the company sold bucket loads of them relatively to the unusually high retail price and many people appear to have mistaken it for a Yamamura design. The company went out of business in early 1984.

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