Phone: 02 9557 7440   |   Email:   |   LOCATION:550 King Street, Newtown NSW 2042   |  CORE HOURS: 11am-6pm Tuesday - Sunday

Notice Board





Unfortunately due to Covid19 we have now come to the point where we are having to reduce our hours. We will not be opening Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday for the foreseeable future. We will open Friday, Saturday & Sunday only 10am to 6pm.

Please check this website or social media pages for further updates re opening & closing times.



If you’re aware of any other up-coming events that would interest our followers, let us know….


A comprehensive guide to where all the vinyl shops are in Sydney – a must for the vinyl collector, whether new or used, singles or LPs.

The website launched on 20th April 2013 (, TBA of new version for 2020, but we still have 2019 version available in store – participating Record Stores already have the handy guide maps – available free! You can also download the map & key from that site.





  Guy Fountain, founder of Tannoy.

Tannoys Dual Concentric drivers, first developed by the company over 50 years ago, are now used throughout the international recording industry. Where-ever it matters, artists and studio engineers trust Tannoy to deliver a sound which gets as closed to the performance as possible. This dedication to sound integrity has gained its range of loudspeakers and studio monitors a reputation for being the finest that money can buy.

  and this is todays product…


5 Huge names in rock got together in the 90s and formed the Traveling Wilburys and tried keep their identities private by adopting Wilbury surnames.

But now we know they were, Roy Orbison, George Harrison (The Beatles), Jeff Lynne (Electric Light Orchestra), Tom Petty (& The HeartBreakers), & Bob Dylan.

Here’s a rare pic of them with their guitars:

Their self titled album is a gem, highly recommended, especially on vinyl, although an analogue sourced vinyl LP is very hard to find.

The Technics SL-1200 MK2,

MK3 MK4 MK5 MK5G M5G MK6 LTD & GLD are a series of turntables manufactured since October 1972 by Matsushita under the brand name of TechnicsS means “Stereo”, L means “Player”. Originally released as a high fidelity consumer record player, it quickly became adopted among radio and club disc jockeys, thanks to the direct drive high torque motor design, making it, initially, suitable for pushbutton queuing and starting of tracks on radio. Latterly, when the use of slip-mats for cueing and beat-mixing (and scratching) became popular, the quartz-controlled high torque motor system came into its own. The deck design was primarily to create the best audio production for listening, but the aim to get very solid control over wow and flutter, in addition to maximum prevention of resonance from the sound produced, meant it became the primary turntable for installation into nightclubs and other venues where the sound level precluded the use of other turntables with similar capabilities. Since its release in 1978, SL-1200MK2 and its successors have been the most common turntable for DJing and Scratching aka—Turntablism. Producers, DJ’s & Rap MC’s from around the world frequently refer to the legendary Technics turntable as the “Tec 12’s” “Wheels of Steel” and the “Ones & Twos”. The Technics turntable brand can be found as a key instrument in some of the most exclusive recording studios & live performance sets within the music scene. Since 1972, more than 3 million units have been sold. It is widely regarded as one of the most durable and reliable turntables ever produced. Many of the models manufactured in the 1970s are still in heavy use. In the autumn of 2010, Panasonic announced that the series was to be discontinued due to marketplace conditions.[3] [4]

Linn, an unusual company started by an unusual individual for unusual reasons……..

Back in the early 70’s, the conventional industry wisdom was that sound quality was determined by good or bad speakers.

The experts believed the hi-fi chain started with the speakers and worked down to the source of the music – at that time – the turntable.

This understanding dominated the way the industry designed new systems.

But Ivor, Linn’s founder, believed the exact opposite to be true.

The source of the music was the most important element.

As odd as it seemed at the time – his reasoning was pretty straightforward.

Common sense really.

To pick up the music on a turntable, the needle follows the record grooves for information stored in the groove walls. Movements so minute, they are measured in microns.

It’s when you scale the ‘groove world’ up to inches that things start to get pretty hair raising.

Suddenly you are in a deep crevice. The walls are undulated. Approaching at an alarming speed is a bobsled. As it hurtles through the passage it has to pick up tiny pieces of information – the bobsled is, or course, the needle.

To pick up a deep organ note it has to swerve 10 feet 6 inches.

For a high violin note it’s less than an inch. A difference which may not seem staggering in itself. Until you stop to consider that the needle is travelling 6 miles per second. And that the pivot point of the lever controlling it is 4 miles away.

In these terms you can see how easy it is to miss out on critical information.

These same principles apply today. No speakers in the world can bring back lost music. It must be dealt with at its source, for example, the CD player, DVD player or tuner.

A painfully obvious idea. Yet at that time the entire industry ridiculed it. Because it pointed out they were wrong.

So Ivor ignored them. And quietly set about building a turntable.

In 1972 Linn Products was born.




Want to work out where your LP12 sits in the heirach? The serial numbers are on the label on the back of your deck & are listed here in brackets after each entry.

1972, LP12 turntable introduced.

1974, Main-bearing liner changed. Sub-chassis strengthened by addition of strap, spot-welded in place. Motor control circuit changed from terminal strip to small printed circuit board. Mains switch changed from two buttons to single with mains neon. [s/n 2,000]

1978, Top plate modified adding two holes for 6 x 0.5 self-tappers into wood block. [23,000]

1979, Lid prop removed, hinges changed to spring loading. [27,000]

1981, Nirvana mechanical components. [32,826]

1982, May. Valhalla crystal-driven electronic power supply made standard. [38,794]

1984, Enlarged plinth corner bracing. [53,000]

1984, Sub-chassis strengthening bar epoxy glued instead of spot-welded. [54,101]

1985, August. Cap head screws on bearing housing. [60,383]

1985, September. Diode modification to Valhalla board [61,090]

1985, December. Strengthening blocks on corners of plinth.

1986, May. New clear lid.

1986, Suspension springs improved.

1987, March. New bearing housing, New Formica and MDF arm-board. [69,161]

1987, April. New springs. [69,591]

1987, Bearing improved with better lining material and tighter tolerances. Change to black oil. Suspension springs ground to improved tolerance. Arm board composition improved. [70,000]

1989, Motor thrust pad changed. Valhalla surge guard modification. PCB mains lead (UK). [79,700]

1989, New medium density arm-board, laminated top and bottom. [79,160]

1989, Harder suspension grommets fitted. [81,000]

1990, External Lingo power supply available as add-on.

1991, motor thrust pad cap added to Lingo models. [87,047]

1991, Valhalla board with 45RPM capability added [87,047]

1991, motor thrust pad cap added to Valhalla models. [87,206]

1991, Introduction of LP12 Basik, a stripped down version of the turntable [87,672]

1991, Solid base board replaces hardboard. [87,672]

1991, Trampoline base board with isolating feet available as an option [87,672].

1992, Improved top plate fixing. [88,950]

1993, Cirkus upgrade (larger and better machined inner platter and new bearing, new springs, arm-board, belt) fitted as standard. [90,582]

2000, 4th bolt added near motor on top plate, fitted as standard. Required extra cross beam on plinth.

2001, New motor used (first new motor since original 1972).

2002, Maple plinth introduced adding to existing black, walnut, rosewood and afromosia options.



QUAD – founded by Peter J Walker

Listening to Quad audio equipment, before the arrival of TV!

Following the development of stereo records in 1958, the QC 22[1] control unit was developed and released in 1959. This was a stereo control unit that was designed to be used with a pair of QUAD II mono amplifiers. To complement the QUAD II, the company also produced AM and FM tuners for use with the QC II & 22 control units.

The company made the transition to transistor-powered models in 1966 with the “professional” QUAD 50 monoblock which had a tapped transformer output and then the commercial 33/303 preamplifier and stereo power amplifier combination and later with the 44/405 and subsequent 66/606 and 909 models. They also made a range of AM and FM tuners.

Up until 1995 (the end of the British QUAD era) the number of the power amplifier indicated the total power output i.e.
the 303 was 30×3=90W or 45w per channel 8Ω load
the 405 was 40×5=200W or 100W per channel 8Ω load
Even the 606 was 60×6=360W or 180W per channel but this time into 4Ω load
The 500 series was a slight variation

Product Range

Control Unit – Pre Amplifiers

QUAD 33 – 1967 to 1982 – 120,000 units
QUAD 44 – 1979 to 1989 – 40,000 units
QUAD 34 – 1982 to 1995 – 41,000 units
QUAD 66 – 1989 to 1996 – 12,000 units

Current Dumping Power Amplifiers

QUAD 405 – 1975 to 1982 – 64,000 units
Quad 405-2 1982 to 1993 – 100,000 units
Quad 306 – 1986 to 1995 – 25,000 units
Quad 606 – 1986 to 1997 – 27,700 units
Quad 707
Quad 909

Other (Conventional) Power Amplifiers

Quad 303 – 1967 to 1985 – 94,000
Quad 77 Integrated

  • 1936S.P. Fidelity Sound Systems founded by Peter J. Walker.
  • 1936, The company name changed to the Acoustical Manufacturing Co. Ltd.
  • 1941, The company moved to Huntingdon.
  • 1948, The QA12/ QA12/P amplifiers – the first product for domestic (consumer) market
  • 1950, QUAD I, (15 watt mono amplifier) released. Discontinued 1953.
  • 1953, launched the QUAD II amplifier, made until 1970.
  • 1957, released the ESL, the world’s first production full-range electrostatic loudspeaker, later referred to as the ESL-57. Technology licensed to Braun company Germany in 1959 (loudspeaker BRAUN LE1)
  • 1959, the QC 22 stereo control unit released along with separate AM and FM tuners.
  • 1966, launched the first mono transistor amplifier, the 50 and 50/E, for the professional market.
  • 1967, launched 303 stereo amplifier for domestic use, accompanied by the all-transistor QUAD 33 control unit. Discontinued around 1985.
  • 1975, The QUAD 405 power amplifier released. replaced by the 405-2 in 1982. The 405-2 was discontinued 1993.
  • late 1970s , released two new control units – the QUAD 34 and 44.
  • 1981, new electrostatic loudspeaker, the ESL-63.
  • 1983, changed its name to QUAD Electroacoustics Ltd.
  • mid-80s , released the QUAD 66/606 system, along with the first QUAD CD player.
  • 1993, launched the 77 series.
  • 1993, launched the L series dynamic loudspeakers.
  • 1995, QUAD Electroacoustics Ltd acquired by Verity Group plc, joining its existing brands, Wharfedale and Mission
  • 1996, Manufacture of ESL-57 transferred to QUAD Musikwiedergabe.
  • 1999, QUAD released the QUAD 99 system; resurrected the legendary QUAD II and the QUAD II-Forty
  • 2000, QUAD released the ESL-988 and ESL-989, based on the legendary ESL-63
  • 2006, QUAD released the ESL-2805 and ESL-2905, redesigned versions of the ESL-988 and ESL-989.
  • 2006, QUAD released the L2 series loudspeakers.

….Quad’s famous Quad 22 & Quad II monoblocks – we’ve sourced & sold a couple of these over the years.


1907, January 8 Harold Joseph Leak born.

1922 At his school in Middlesex, he formed a Wireless Society

1920’s Worked in the Wine trade, but subsequently joined Gaumont British cinemas where he learnt much about electronics and audio amplifiers.

1926 Commenced his own business as a “Wireless Doctor” Constructed a portable wireless model.

1927 Constructed a pickup for 78 rpm records; an amplifier of two-stage design, and a speaker along the lines of the new Rice & Kellog moving coil design.

Late 1920’s Established himself in new premises at 124a Dalling Road, Hammersmith, West London. Continued primarily in the design of amplifiers.

1931 Harold Leak conducts a test transmission of stereo sound with D.W. Turpin.

1934, September 14 Founded H.J.Leak & Co- and promotes the company with his own name, adversting himself as “Sound Engineer – Technician”.

1936 H.J.Leak & Co. release a P.A.Amplifier, with exhibits at Olympia Exhibition. 13 Watts output using push-pull PX25 power triodes. 40Hz to 12kHz +/- 1dB. Cost was 13 guineas. (H.J. Leak does not appear in listings of exhibitors for Olympia, so the company may have used another company’s stand for the exhibit). This amplifer was supposedly advertised in Wireless World around 1938, although a search has failed to locate the advertisement.)

Late 1930’s Ted Ashley joins H.J.Leak, and was later to become Chief Engineer, and remain with the company until the late 1960’s.

1942 Harold Leak marries Muriel.

circa 1940 The Leak 124 Dalling Road premises at Hammersmith were destroyed by German bombs. Leak moves to 470 Uxbidge Road, Shepherd Bush, and continues to make amplifiers under contract.

Late 1945 The first low distortion amplifier was released as a result of war-time research. This was the original “Point One Amplifier – the “Type 15”, a four-stage circuit, with substantial negative feedback, and push-pull triode-connected KT66 valves for 15 Watts output.

Late 1940’s Leak moves to the Westway Trading Estate at Acton, in London. This was a new factory estate (with factories styled with hints of art-deco) in Brunel Road, named after the famous engineer.


The Leak TL/12 was released, heralding a move toward domestic high-fidelity sound reproduction for the company. Leak release a pickup arm and moving coil pickup with diamond or sapphire stylus, and matching transformer. A 25 Watt version, the TL/25 was also available (using tetrode connect KT66’s).

1949 Harold Leak travels Britain doing live – versus – reproduced sound comparisons with his new TL/12 and RC/PA amplifier set. The live sound is reproduced via the Leak system using an STC4033 microphone (also known as the WE639A in the USA).

During 1949 he travels at short notice, and attends the Audio Engineering Society exhibition that was held in New York. He demonstrates the TL/12 to amazed Americans. This trip establishes highly succesful American distribution of Leak products via the British Industries Incorporation.

In Australia “Simon Gray Pty Ltd” were later signed as agents. Leak also exported to other world-wide destinations such as Asia, South Africa and New Zealand.

In 1949 the company has grown to a team of around twenty staff.

1949/1950 The Leak “550” two-way moving coil loudspeaker was released. This loudspeaker was used in the many live-versus reproduced sound demonstrations Harold Leak conducted.

1951 The BBC place large orders for the TL/12 power amplifier (specially modified with input attenuator and balancing transformer).

1954 New moving coil pickup and arm released.

1955 Troughline FM tuner released. Leak undertakes research into suitable transducer for a high quality loudspeaker, and settles on a moving coil 15 inch bass unit, and electrostatic high frequency unit, but the prototypes never make it to mass-production.

1956 The new range of TL/12Plus, TL/25Plus and TL/50Plus mono power amps is released, with revised mono preamps featuring the stylish diakron plastic front panel.

1958 The Stereo 20 and Stereo 50 amplifiers, with new stereo pre-amps are released. Troughline II FM Tuner is released.

1959 Leak engages Dr. Don.A. Barlow to develop a new “piston action” loudspeaker.

1960 A new stereo pickup is released, this time using the variable reluctance principle.

1961 The highly successful Leak Sandwich loudspeaker was released.

1963 The “Stereo 30” transistor amp using a quasi-complementary germanium transistor output stage is released (after H.C.Lin). Valve amplifier production continued into the mid 60’s, and higher power models such as the TL/50Plus were still available in the late 1960’s.

1960’s Downnham Market factory established (in Norwich, some distance north of London) to cater for demand for the Sandwich speaker.

1968 Stereo 70 transistor amplifier released, using the classic 2N3055 transistors for the output stage, in quasi-complementery configuration.

1969 H.J. Leak & Co. sold to the Rank Organization, and Harold retires.

1996 The Leak premises at the Westway Factory Estate, Acton, are demolished.

August 27 1989

Harold Leak dies.



Saul B. Marantz, a pioneer in the development of high-fidelity audio components, died last Thursday at Somerset Medical Center in Somerville, N.J. He was 85 and lived in Bridgewater, N.J.

A man of many parts — photographer, classical guitarist, graphics designer, collector of Chinese and Japanese art — Mr. Marantz was fascinated by electronics from his boyhood days in Brooklyn. His passion for music led to his first attempts at building audio components.

In the 1950’s and 60’s, the Marantz name became synonymous with audio products that were pleasing to look at, easy to use, durable and sonically first rate. Working with audio engineers like Sidney Smith and Richard Sequerra, Mr. Marantz created a series of vacuum-tube components that became touchstones for the fledgling hi-fi industry. Several of those products, like the Model 9 amplifier and the Model 10B tuner, have become still-working classics that today command as much as $20,000.

With the advent of transistor technology in the early 1960’s, Mr. Marantz and his colleagues soon brought forth another benchmark product, the Model 18 receiver. It was an early, high-quality example of what a receiver, which combines the preamplifier, power amplifier and tuner in one box, could be.

  • 1952 Saul Marantz sells his first audio product, the “Consolette” pre-amp
  • 1964 Marantz acquired by Superscope
  • 1966 Beginning with the Model 25, and then 22 and 28, Marantz started manufacturing their products in Japan through a partnership with Standard Radio Corp.
  • 1975 Standard Radio Corp. changes its name to Marantz Japan Inc.
  • 1980 Superscope sold the Marantz brand, dealer network, and all overseas assets (except U.S. and Canada) to Philips Electronics
  • 1992 Philips acquires U.S. and Canada trademarks and dealer network
  • 1997 Saul Marantz passes away aged 86.
  • 2001 Marantz Japan Inc. acquired the brand and all overseas sales subsidiaries
  • 2002 Marantz Japan and Denon merge to form D&M Holdings, to later be joined by other elite audio equipment brands, most famously McIntosh Labs and Boston Acoustics
  • 2008 Philips sells its remaining stake in D&M Holdings, ending a 28-year relationship between Philips and Marantz.




James Bullough Lansing was born James Martini, 14 January 1902, in Macoupin County, Millwood Township, Illinois. His parents were
Henry Martini, born in St. Louis, Missouri, and Grace Erbs Martini, born in Central City, Illinois. The elder Martini was a coal mining
engineer, and his work required that the family moved about quite a bit during Lansing’s early years. Lansing was the ninth of fourteen
children, one of whom died in infancy. For a short time, Lansing lived with the Bullough family in Litchfield, Illinois. He later took their
name when he changed his from Martini to Lansing.

Not much is known about Lansing’s early days, and we are indebted to Bill Martin, one of three surviving brothers, for providing most
of the information presented here. Lansing graduated the eighth grade at the Lawrence School in Springfield, Illinois. He also attended
the Springfield, Illinois, High School. Later, he took courses in a small business college in Springfield.

As a young lad he was very interested in all things electrical and mechanical. At about the age of 10, he built a Leyden Jar which he used
to play pranks on his playmates. He also constructed crystal sets, and at one time, probably about the age of 12 or so, built a small radio
transmitter from scratch. The signals from this set were apparently strong enough to reach the Great Lakes Naval Station in Illinois; naval
personnel determined the source of these signals and later supervised
the timely dismantling of the young Lansing’s radio transmitter.

For a while Lansing worked as an automotive mechanic, specializing in fine engine repair work. He attended an automotive school for
mechanics in Detroit through the courtesy of the dealer he worked for in Springfield.

Lansing’s mother died 1 November 1924 at the age of 56, and at that time Lansing left home. As best we can determine, he went directly
to Salt Lake City. Mrs. Lansing, the former Glenna Peterson of Salt Lake City, tells of meeting Lansing in 1925 in that city. At the time he
was working for a radio station as an engineer. In addition, he worked for the Baldwin loudspeaker company in Salt Lake City for a time.
He also met his future business partner, Ken Decker, in Salt Lake City.


1902 James B Lansing born in Illinois.
1927 Lansing Manufacturing Company founded in Los Angeles
1934 Douglas Shearer of MGM heads team which designs first practical loudspeaker system for motion picture use.
Lansing builds components for the system.
1937 Shearer system awarded citation by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and sciences.
1941 Lansing Manufacturing Company acquired by Altec Service Company.
1943 Lansing develops improved manufacturing methods, including flat wire milling and high-speed winding of ribbon wire voice coils.
1943 Lansing designs the 604 Duplex loudspeaker.
1944 Lansing and Hilliard redefine the state of the art for the motion picture theater with the A-4, dubbed Voice of the Theatre.
1946 Lansing founds a new company, James B. Lansing Sound, Incorporated, to pursue new directions in transducer and sound system design.
1947 JBL introduces the D-130 15″ loudspeaker, which was the first known use of a 4″ flat wire voice coil in a cone transducer.
1949 James. B. Lansing dies; William Thomas becomes company president.
1954 JBL introduces the model 375 high-frequency compression driver. This was the first commercially available 4″ diaphragm driver and
afforded flat response to 9 kHz.
1954 JBL introduces a family of acoustic lenses, developed by Locanthi.
1954 Model 075 high-efficiency, high-frequency ring radiator introduced.
1955 Leo Fender of musical instrument fame incorporates the model D-130 into his famous guitar amplifiers, signaling JBL’s entry into
the music reinforcement field.
1958 JBL introduces the Paragon stereophonic loudspeaker system, incorporating a cylindrical reflecting principle for superior
stereophonic imaging in the home.
1962 JBL introduces the first two-way studio monitor using a high-frequency compression driver with acoustical lens.
1965 JBL introduces the-“T-circuit” output configuration for high performance solid state amplifiers.
1968 JBL introduces the 4310-three-way bookshelf monitor. This system lives on through the models 4311 and 4312.
1969 Sidney Harman acquires JBL from William Thomas. The company embarks on a period of accelerated international growth
through the Harman distribution companies.
1969 The L-100, a consumer version of the 4311, is introduced, eventually reaching sales of 125,000 pairs during the decade of the seventies.
1969 JBL transducers power Woodstock and other major rock festivals.
1973 JBL introduces the expanded line of 4300-series monitors, including the industry’s first four-way designs.
1975 JBL introduces Model 4682 “Strongbox” Line Array.
1976 JBL’s monitors rank first in the US recording industry survey conducted by Billboard.
1977 JBL moves to new location in Northridge, California.
1979 JBL introduces patented diamond surround diaphragm technology for high frequency resonence control.
1979 JBL developes SFG Symetrical Field Geometry magnet structures.
1980 JBL introduces patented Bi-Radial© Constant-Coverage horn technology.
1981 Bi-Radial monitors introduced. Building on the acoustical concept of flat power response,
the 4400-series monitors quickly gain acceptance by the recording industry.
1981 L250 four-way consumer system introduced.
1982 Titanium is introduced as a diaphragm material in compression drivers.
1983 The model 4660 defined coverage system. Based on Bi-Radial technology, the system
provides tailored coverage for speech application in rectangular spaces.
1984 Titanium dome tweeters are introduced into consumer products, providing superlative response to 27 kHz.
1984 UREI acquired by JBL, bringing electronics design and manufacturing expertise to
JBL’s traditional line of loudspeaker components.
1984 The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences selects JBL components for the
new system in the Samuel Goldwyn Theater.
1985 The Everest DD 55000 system is selected by Japan’s Stereo Sound as Product of the Year.
1986 JBL introduces the first Control® Series multi-purpose molded enclosure loudspeakers.
1988 JBL acquires the British Soundcraft line of recording consoles for recording and reinforcement applications.
1989 The Directors’ Guild of America selects JBL components for the systems in their Hollywood headquarters building.
1990 JBL develops patented VGC (Vented Gap Cooling) for raising the thermal power limits of low frequency transducers.
1991 JBL’s K-2 loudspeaker system is selected by Japan’s Stereo Sound as Product of the Year.
1991 JBL introduces first Pro Audio Neodymium woofer debuting in JBL Array Series.
1992 JBL introduces new lower midrange compression driver with matching horns.
1993 JBL develops new “rapid flare” low distortion compression driver and matching family of horns.
1995 JBL introduces the revolutionary EON System powered loudspeaker, with multiple patented design technologies.
1995 First-ever patented dual coil Differential Drive® Loudspeaker for pro sound reinforcement.
1996 HLA Series with patented Space Frame® array element design, multi-band waveguide and
composite subwoofer enclosure introduced.
1999 JBL is the official “Sound of Woodstock”. First in 1969, then in 1994 and again in 1999.
2000 JBL announces VERTEC™ Line Array System, which debuts at the Democratic National Convention.
2000 JBL introduces the EVO® intelligent loudspeaker system with DSP self-control.
2001 JBL VERTEC system used for Presidential Inauguration, Washington, D.C., for a crowd of 300,000 persons.
2002 JBL VERTEC system used for major special events including the Superbowl, the
Grammy Awards and the World Cup Opening Ceremony (Seoul, Korea).
2002 JBL’s John Eargle, Mark Engebretsen and Don Keele receive a Scientific/Technical Award from the
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science honoring their development of cinema loudspeaker
systems using constant-directivity horns and vented-box low frequency enclosures, first embodied in the JBL 4675.
2002 JBL’s Bernard Werner and William Gelow receive a Technical Achievement Award for “the engineering and design
of filtered line arrays and screen spreading compensation as applied to motion picture speaker systems” as employed
in JBL ScreenArray © cinema loudspeaker.


KEF was founded in 1961 by Raymond Cooke OBE – a deeply practical man keen to experiment with new materials and technologies in order to create products with superior acoustic quality. He built the company on a foundation of quality engineering with a vision that has ensured its continued success to the present day.

Raymond Cooke


Following his time as a radio operator in the Royal Navy, he obtained a BSc in Electrical Engineering from the University of London and went on to join the Engineering Designs Department at the BBC where he was exposed to the pioneering loudspeaker development work of a talented group of engineers that included Dudley Harwood and D.E.L. Shorter.

After five years at Wharfedale, working alongside Gilbert Briggs, he decided to set up his own company to develop loudspeakers using the latest in materials technology. KEF soon found success with products such as the K1 Monitor and the bookshelf ‘Celeste’ and, with Cooke’s commitment to strong engineering principles, developed into one of the leading loudspeaker companies in the world.

KEF became famous for the quality of its drive units, which were used in countless systems around the world, and later for significant developments in loudspeaker measurement technology. The investment required to achieve this level of technical expertise was considerable but Raymond Cooke correctly judged the logical route forward that KEF needed to take.

Cooke was a great communicator and made sure that not just the engineering but the marketing of KEF products was up to his high standards. His commitment to the audio industry was visible from his support of the Audio Engineering Society, of which he was president in 1984, and from which he was awarded the Silver Medal in 1993 for outstanding contributions to transducer measurements. His contributions on a wider scale were recognised in 1979 when he was awarded the OBE by HM Queen Elizabeth II.

Raymond Cooke sadly passed away in 1995 but his legacy lives on in the company that he founded. He spoke of his vision for KEF as follows: ‘I was determined to put into practice the many possibilities I could see for improving loudspeakers through more rigorous engineering’.





Paul Wilbur Klipsch (March 9, 1904 – May 5, 2002) was an American engineer and high fidelity audio pioneer, known for developing the high-efficiency folded horn loudspeaker, who revolutionized the way the world listens to recorded music. Unsatisfied with the sound quality of phonographs and early speaker systems, Klipsch used scientific principles to develop a corner horn speaker that sounded more lifelike than its predecessors.

The Klipschorn, which today is still manufactured and sold worldwide, proved that it was possible to reproduce the sound of a live orchestra inside a home. The resulting acoustics career of Klipsch spanned from 1946, when he founded one of the first U.S. loudspeaker companies, to 2000 when the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society published one of his papers. He died on May 5, 2002 at the age of 98.

Fred Klipsch, current Klipsch owner and chairman and cousin to founder Paul Wilbur Klipsch, said, “Paul was a verifiable genius who could have chosen any number of vocations, but the world sounds a lot better because he chose audio.”

Henry Kloss, Dead at 72

By David Lander
Hnery kloss

After entering MIT in 1948, Kloss worked part-time for a contractor and bought woodworking tools to make furniture for his basement apartment. Instead, he used them to turn out enclosures for a speaker system an MIT professor and his student had designed. Henry dropped out of MIT after being drafted. Stationed in New Jersey, he took a New York University night course in high fidelity taught by Edgar Villchur, who had conceived a radically new type of loudspeaker.In 1954, Villchur and Kloss founded Acoustic Research (Ar) to develop and produce it. Henry provided the facility, a cabinet and speaker-assembly shop he was already operating in a Harvard Square loft. Two other partners, Malcolm Low and J. Anton Hofmann, son of the great pianist Josef Hofmann, supplied $5000 in capital. That led to the AR-1, the world’s first acoustic-suspension loudspeaker system, with its relatively small enclosure and proportionally prodigious bass.But Villchur remained home in Woodstock, New York, while Kloss ran the Massachusetts factory. That caused friction, leading Kloss, Low and Hofmann to break away and put their initials on a new firm. In 1957, they founded KLH.

In 1967, after producing more landmarks, including the KLH Model Six speaker, the fine-sounding Model Eight radio, and a hi-fi system in a suitcase designated Model Eleven, Henry started Advent to work on projection television. The speakers he built to fund that effort quickly became best-sellers.

Henry Kloss embraced innovation. He was quick to employ the transistor, which was crucial to the KLH Eleven’s portability, and he ingeniously combined previously unrelated concepts with two Advent firsts: a cassette deck featuring Dolby noise reduction (which he had prodded Ray Dolby to adapt for consumers) and chromium dioxide cassettes. That synergy made the medium truly musicworthy.

Yet Kloss was genuinely modest about such achievements. “Some of the particular things I have done…could have and should have been done before,” he once told me.

After leaving Advent, Henry started Kloss Video and, in 1988, co-founded Cambridge SoundWorks, for which he designed some three dozen products. His newest radios, marketed by Tivoli Audio, have the simple, signature look of his KLH models, even down to their planetary dials.

Kloss, informed by his own muse and unimpressed by fashion, created boldly original, straightforward, utilitarian products that lowered the price of performance. Longevity was another criterion, in what he built and what he bought. When he retired his second Checker automobile after 14 years of use, Henry vowed to drive his new Mercedes diesel for 20.

He owned it to the end, 17 years in all. For the many people who so admired Henry Kloss, that wasn’t long enough.

Kloss’s wife, Jacqueline, died last year. A son, two daughters, and seven grandchildren survive him.

His last incarnation….Tivoli Audio. A lot of us have one of these next to ours beds!



J E Sugden & Co Ltd have been designing and manufacturing specialist hi-fi products since the early 1960s.  The company was founded by James Edward Sugden as Research Electronics Ltd and adopted the Sugden name in 1967.

Jim Sugden had designed and developed the first commercial solid state Class ‘A’ amplifier to appear on the market.  Whilst the design was unconventional, the sound performance won wide acclaim and established the company at the forefront of domestic hi-fi.


In the mid 1960s Jim Sugden formed a commercial relationship with Richard Allan a well established manufacturer of quality loudspeakers.  Jim Sugden arranged to market his Class ‘A’ design amplifiers under the Richard Allan brand.  The initial products were the A21 Class ‘A’ Integrated Stereo Amplifier and the C41 Pre-Amplifier and A41 Power Amplifier.

The Richard Allan A21 was rated at 10 watts into 6 Ohms and the A41 20 watts into 15 Ohms. Concurrently Jim Sugden released the Original A21 under the J E Sugden & Co name. Not long afterwards, the Series Two version of the A21 was released.  It could be distinguished by the following inscription on the front panel: J. E. Sugden class A stereo amplifier type A21 series two. The main specification change of the Series Two was the increase of the maximum power output to 12 watts into 8 Ohm. The A21 was further revised to Series Three.  At this stage it was significantly improved and was rated at 20 watts into 8 Ohm.  This version had the same power amplifier circuit as the Sugden P51.

Today the A21 is recognised as one of the classics of specialist consumer hi-fi products.

Some of Sugden’s iconic products….

sugden-a21  Sugden A48




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