Small South Korean manufacturer of hi-fi amplification equipment, most of their products have been valve based integrated and power amplifiers, but the company has also offered solid state pre-amps and phonographic preamplifiers and in the past had passive pre-amps in their line-up. Please note that the company no longer has a homepage but the link is to their blog, not certain if the address and e-mails below are still valid (We heard the storefront had been moved to a local megamall around 2009) but the phone numbers should be good. Company founded in 2001 by Um Yoon-Sup and although it has made valve amps from the word go it was primarily a car audio store at the beginning. Homepage:http://blog.daum.net/_blog/ArticleCateList.do?blogid=0Bopt&CATEGORYID=24&dispkind=B2201 Audionics lab, 106-1 Sillim2-dong, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 151-855, South Korea. Tel: +82 (0)2 877 6849. Mobile: +82 (0)18 282 6849. E-Mail: ysum0326 at hanmail.net or ysum0326 ^at^ snu.ac.kr.
Danish company, primarily retails audio and home theatre products directly in its home country in addition to Norway, Holland and Sweden with over 70 retail locations in total, trading as Hi-Fi Klubben, but also acts as a distributor and as such has daughter companies in Norway, Sweden and Holland. Manufactures mid to high end home hi-fi and AV loudspeakers at their Nørager factory under the DALI brand, and sells budget and mid end audio products under the Argon name, much of it Asian sourced.
AudioNord History The company was originally founded in 1975 by Peter Lyngdorf as a local distributor of British hi-fi products, initially handling the produce of companies such as Lescon and Transcriptors Limited. The company had a promising start and by 1977 gained a fairly firm footing in the mid and high end marketplace, but got interested in expanding into the "value segment", i.e. equipment just above the budget end and just below the mid end. With that in mind the company took on the distribution of Cerwin Vega and in 1978 partook in the formation of a company called NAD Inc. in association with Acoustic Research (Teledyne) and others, that imported budget hi-fi products from the then emerging manufacturing base of Taiwan which offered a significantly lower cost wage structure than the west and an electronics industry that was heavily subsidised by the government.
However things did not go according to plan as AudioNord had difficulties getting dealers to carry their cheaper product lines primarily because the beginnings of the Asian OEM revolution in consumer electronics had reached Denmark, which meant that when it came to value products dealers were given higher margins by trading companies such as Nesco who bought their products directly from Asian OEM's and where primarily occupying the budget end of the market where retailers margins were traditionally higher than within the hi-fi sector and unlike Audionord did not have to deal with an intermediary trading company like NAD. Since the trading companies were increasingly muscling in of the lower end of the hi-fi market it made sense for independent dealers to buy from the trading entities since the larger margins allowed them on one hand to retain more of the purchase price themselves and on the other hand gave them better room to discount the products in completion with supermarkets and larger electrical retail chains.
Fed up with the situation Hr. Lyngdorf came up with a novel solution to the problem in 1980 when he founded Danmarks Hi-Fi Klub, a sort of hybrid between a purchasing club/network and a mail order store, the club require you to pay an initial (low) membership fee but in return gave you an opportunity to purchase hi-fi equipment through the mail at considerably less than retail prices. Alongside a major advertisement campaign in both the national press and the Danish hi-fi magazines, the novel format of the operation generated enough interest to make the club an instant success, by 1981 the company had opened up 3 showrooms, initially they were for demonstration purposes only but they quickly morphed into full retail operations, and the club dropped its membership fee requirements.
In 1982 the company opened up a distribution office in Holland known simply as AND since there already existed a company over there called Audionord and in 1983 the company opened up a loudspeaker factory under the DALI name, but that is supposedly short for "Danish Audiophile Loudspeaker Industries", while Dali is nominally independent it has always been run from the AudioNord headquarters in Nørager and the factory is basically next door. Some of the initial offerings from DALI were more adventurous than the current line up, if our memory isn't failing, it was AudioNord that introduced the loudspeakers housed in ceramic tile baffles in the early 80's. That same year the company partook in the founding of NAD Electronics Ltd. that took over the ownership of the NAD brand.
By the mid 80's the number of retail stores that the company had become such that they were finding themselves in direct competition with "Audioscan A/S" which was Demarks largest chain of brown goods retailers, the competition became so fierce for a time that it was described by some onlookers as an "all out war", in the end AudioNord bought the Audioscan chain in 1989 and in 1996 merged the Audioscan chain into the company and rebranded the stores as "Hi-Fi Klubben", but they had rebranded the Danmarks Hi-Fi Klub stores as such just two years earlier. That rebranding came about because of the international expansion of their retail outlets, the company had opened up its first store in Norway in 1987, bought a Swedish company called "NAD Svenska" that had copied the business model of Danmarks Hi-Fi Klub down to a tee and in 1995 opened up it's first store in Finland.
In the latter half of the 80's the company was highly profitable and used that position alongside a general depression in the audio market to purchase their way into the hi-fi manufacturing business with regards to securing the supplier positions for their ever expanding sales network, in 1989 the company bought the outstanding shares of NAD Electronics Ltd., In 1990 they purchased a 50% stake in the then ailing Snell Acoustics and by 1995 had full control of the latter company, although they sold it again just a year later to Boston Acoustics.
By 1997 the company was however run at a loss and to address that situation they stopped opening up new stores and instead started to use a franchising system, in 1999 the company sold NAD to Lenbrook Industries and Gryphon back to its original founder and it was back in the black by 2000 with a profit of 24 million DKR after having a loss of 19 m. DKR in 1999 and having endured 3 years of losses in a row, but the company has basically remained profitable ever since. In 2002 they closed down their unprofitable Finnish division and in 2010 opened up 3 new stores in Holland.