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  1. #1
    Forum Regular O'Shag's Avatar
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    Devastating News: THE American Audio Icon Sold

    Well, just as we've seen the greatness of America as a manufacturing superpower dwindle away to nothing, now we find one of the greatest American Audio Companies sold to an Italian holding company. Audio Research has been sold. This is not good. Inevitably, it will mean a downward spiral in quality. Audio Research, along with McIntosh, Mark Levinson Krell, Pass Labs, Rowland and Conrad Johnson, have built what many consider to be the finest amplifiers in the world. What has always been a hallmark of Audio Research, besides superb performance, is unequalled service. They can fix any component they've ever built. William Z. -what have you done???

  2. #2
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Cool

    I was alive during the zenith of western civilization, at least I will have memories.
    when I read or watch a documentary on the collapse of various civilizations I wonder what it was like, now I know.
    Gone are the days a person of even modest means could buy an almost handbuilt
    piece of audo gear, those days are gone.
    Tanburg, kenwood, Pioneer, Mcintosh, harmon kardon, Luxman, yamaha, marantz,
    AR, polk, etc, most are gone or sold out to the mass market, or something comes over from china on a boat, resembles the original, but without the soul.
    Its an industrial version of invasion of the bodysnatchers, you get gear that LOOKS
    similar, acts similar, but just isnt the same.
    Look at vintage gear, this isnt just the musings of an old man.
    THE WORLD OF hi-fi IS ALL BUT GONE , and what little is left is vanishing FAST.
    LG 42", integra 6.9, B&W 602s2, CC6 center, dm305rears, b&w
    sub asw2500
    Panny DVDA player
    sharp Aquos BLU player
    pronto remote, technics antique direct drive TT
    Samsung SACD/DVDA player
    emotiva upa-2 two channel amp

  3. #3
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by pixelthis
    I was alive during the zenith of western civilization, at least I will have memories.
    when I read or watch a documentary on the collapse of various civilizations I wonder what it was like, now I know.
    Gone are the days a person of even modest means could buy an almost handbuilt
    piece of audo gear, those days are gone.
    Tanburg, kenwood, Pioneer, Mcintosh, harmon kardon, Luxman, yamaha, marantz,
    AR, polk, etc, most are gone or sold out to the mass market, or something comes over from china on a boat, resembles the original, but without the soul.
    Its an industrial version of invasion of the bodysnatchers, you get gear that LOOKS
    similar, acts similar, but just isnt the same.
    Look at vintage gear, this isnt just the musings of an old man.
    THE WORLD OF hi-fi IS ALL BUT GONE , and what little is left is vanishing FAST.
    Sounds like you and Melvin have a lot in common....

    I'm not sure why you guys take it so badly when companies produce gear overseas and/or get bought/sold..... Not everything turns to crap because of progress...

    Times change and the focus of companies change... some remain high-end... some move from mid level to high end, some move from high to low... some even go through cycles... you still have plenty of options and they are growing....

    Of the products listed - Marantz long stopped being American owned and clearly went through a rough patch... ironically, their entire 2 channel audio line (which is expanding btw) has consistently received high critical acclaim (especially in Europe) and their CD players are easily some of the best value in audio today... Yet people on this board still talk about Marantz, like if it's dead... just cuz it's no longer an American company....

  4. #4
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajani
    Sounds like you and Melvin have a lot in common....

    I'm not sure why you guys take it so badly when companies produce gear overseas and/or get bought/sold..... Not everything turns to crap because of progress...

    Times change and the focus of companies change... some remain high-end... some move from mid level to high end, some move from high to low... some even go through cycles... you still have plenty of options and they are growing....

    Of the products listed - Marantz long stopped being American owned and clearly went through a rough patch... ironically, their entire 2 channel audio line (which is expanding btw) has consistently received high critical acclaim (especially in Europe) and their CD players are easily some of the best value in audio today... Yet people on this board still talk about Marantz, like if it's dead... just cuz it's no longer an American company....
    Not only that but most of what he says is BS

  5. #5
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    Unions promote mediocrity.

    :flame suit on:

  6. #6
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Here it comes

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich-n-Texas
    Unions promote mediocrity.

    :flame suit on:
    I'm right on queue.

    Oh, please! Ridiculous! Workers are the victims, not the cause, of the decline of leading western nations. The cause is the greed of shareholders willing to sell out their enterprise, workers, and country to the highest bidder.

    Here is the fallacy of Republican "bribe the rich" enconomic policies. Theory has it that if the rich have more money, they will invest it for the benefit of the country. The fact is, (assuming they invest it instead of spending it on luxury goods), they very likely to invest it off shore to the benefit of some other country.

  7. #7
    Forum Regular diggity's Avatar
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    so, american companies moving out of country eh? is been happening here in australia for years. come to think of it i am pretty sure yanks took our VEGEMITE. actually you can keep it, tastes like crap lol

    cheers: dazza

  8. #8
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    I'm right on queue.

    Oh, please! Ridiculous! Workers are the victims, not the cause, of the decline of leading western nations. The cause is the greed of shareholders willing to sell out their enterprise, workers, and country to the highest bidder.

    Here is the fallacy of Republican "bribe the rich" enconomic policies. Theory has it that if the rich have more money, they will invest it for the benefit of the country. The fact is, (assuming they invest it instead of spending it on luxury goods), they very likely to invest it off shore to the benefit of some other country.
    It's called a 'Trickle Down Economy'.... I remember seeing a comic strip that best illustrated the concept... it showed a rich Republican urinating on a homeless man....

  9. #9
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    look at it from the bright side.

    Mcintosh is also owned by D&M, which is Japanese. japan has a good name in audio, and D&M only owns quality brands. I can see this is a good thing for Mcintosh. Their product quality has been higher than ever before, and the same for sound quality.
    that they are from D&M, doesn't mean D&M tells them what to do, they still have their freedom, and their production and design is still done (and this will probably never change) in their factory in the USA...


    Who bought ARC? italians also have good name in the world of Hi fi, don't be scared too fast...

    Keep them spinning,
    Bert.
    Life is music!

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    I'm a happy 20 year old...

  10. #10
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Yep

    Quote Originally Posted by diggity
    so, american companies moving out of country eh? is been happening here in australia for years. come to think of it i am pretty sure yanks took our VEGEMITE. actually you can keep it, tastes like crap lol

    cheers: dazza
    Never tasted it, but this is what I hear

  11. #11
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    If the Italians are known for audio maybe you could enlighten as to what audio. The only brand I know of Is Perreaux, i think that's spelled right, and that stuff had severe reliability problems.

    One thing about being owned by "Italian Holding" company, is you are going to see ARC really gain ground in store fronts, you'd be surprised what a little muscle can do.

    A dealer has ARC here and my opinion is ARC was having some problems, their new gear didn't sound nearly as good as ARC I've heard in the past and the 2 channel market isn't quite as in demand as it once was. I think many high end tube manufacturers are feeling heat from the cheap Chinese stuff being imported in, and some of it isn't bad, Shanling. I don't know how it's doing but I thought Cary made a good move by bringing out the lower priced Audio Electronics line to better compete with that market.

    We can't say what will happen with ARC now. There are some good examples of companies being able to maintain there rep after being sold. Others the name had been sold many times and what it is depends on what year you are talking about.

    This could be the first of many the way the U.S. dollar has declined. The country is being bought up by foreign money, it was only a matter of time before an audio company got it. It could also be a good thing too, maybe ARC just needed an infusion to become agressive again.

  12. #12
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    If the Italians are known for audio maybe you could enlighten as to what audio. The only brand I know of Is Perreaux, i think that's spelled right, and that stuff had severe reliability problems.

    I'm not a big fan of Perreaux too (aren't they french, btw...)

    But I'm looking at the others: Sonus Faber, Opera, Unison Research, Chario, and Pathos ... if there's one thing italy added to the world of hifi, it must be their ability to make stuff look good, and sound good too, those Sonus Fabers can really sound good with the right equipment...

    Keep them spinning,
    Bert.
    Life is music!

    Mcintosh MA6400 Integrated
    Double Advent speakers
    Thiel CS2.3's
    *DIY Lenco L75 TT
    * SME 3012 S2
    * Rega RB-301
    *Denon DL-103 in midas body
    *Denon DL-304
    *Graham slee elevator EXP & revelation
    *Lehmann audio black cube SE
    Marantz CD5001 OSE
    MIT AVt 2 IC's
    Sonic link Black earth IC's
    Siltech MXT New york IC's
    Kimber 4VS speakercable
    Furutech powercord and plugs.

    I'm a happy 20 year old...

  13. #13
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    Bert took the words out of my mouth

  14. #14
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    Italy, French, tomato, tomotto it's all the same I did not realize SF or UR was Italian, I'll have to give them that, for sure. I haven't heard of Chario.

  15. #15
    Forum Regular O'Shag's Avatar
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    Perraux is from New Zealand, and its great stuff.

    I fundamentally disagree with some of the comments made.

    What many influential people with interests in 'globalization' told everyone about the benefits of moving manufacturing off shore has been somewhat false, and has had the direct effect of all but destroying the United States as a manufacturing super-power.

    Some of you from the UK and Europe, and also you Ajani, are talking out your hole in this case, although I respect many of your posts.

    I am a Britain, and an American. I've lived in this wonderful country for 25 years. I've lived and spent much time in Southern and Northern California, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Cleveland, Florida, Dallas, Boston and New York. I KNOW this country. It has my heart. I suspect you don't have a clue about the real consquences for this country in the long-term with respect to off-shoring, and you comment without knowing anything of the truth from the inside out, not outside in. You just mimic what you may read in your press and Media.

    Would I offer such comments on Canada or Switzerland for example? No. I've not lived in those wonderful countries and been immersed in the culture to offer serious insight.

    Live here in the US for 25 years and then your scything comments will have more weight. Do you have many many friends, Americans, who have lost their jobs to outsourcing? I do. Do you know how the move to manufacture everything off-shore has literally devasted places like, Clevelend? I doubt it. You've never even been there is my guess. You find it so easy to make comments about which you know nothing. I'm sorry but this hits me at the heart.

    But now for the good news. My own company deals with Fortune 1000 companies and more. I deal with many people in positions of leadership. Many are starting to realize that moving everything off-shore for some applications was an out-and-out mistake.

    I understand the pressures William Z felt. Audio Research and the like were manufacturing great amps for the broad consumer market long before the Europeans and Asian audio companies (a few European companies excepted), who in many cases learned and copied designs from the great companies like Audio Research. Speakers are another matter. England and France along with America were at the forefront of speaker development. and clearly influenced the world of speakers as it is today.

    I would understand if Audio Research were in the doldrums in terms of stale product development. If you've heard the Reference 3 , Reference 210/610, PH7, and CD7, you'll know that is not the case. The issue, is one of competing with very low priced fare from China. It looks real fancy, and sounds decent for the most part, (I've heard many already). In all but a very few cases, these products sound nothing like the ARC reference gear. And any stuff from China that does, is priced up there also.

    All I can say is thank God it was an Italian company and not a Chinese conglomorate that didn't really give a darn about the welfare of Audio Research.
    Last edited by O'Shag; 01-31-2008 at 06:49 PM.

  16. #16
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by O'Shag
    Perraux is from New Zealand, and its great stuff.

    I fundamentally disagree with some of the comments made.

    What many influential people with interests in 'globalization' told everyone about the benefits of moving manufacturing off shore has been somewhat false, and has had the direct effect of all but destroyed the United States as a manufacturing super-power.

    Those of you from the UK and Europe, and also you Ajani, are talking out your hole i.e. you don't have a clue what your talking about in this case.
    I am a Britain, and an American. I've lived in this wonderful country for 25 years. I've lived and spent much time in Southern and Northern California, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Cleveland, Florida, Dallas, Boston and New York. I KNOW this country. It has my heart. I suspect you don't have a clue about the real consquences for this country in the long-term with respect to off-shoring, and you comment without knowing anything of the truth from the inside out, not outside in. You just mimic what you may read in your press and Media.

    Would I offer such comments on Canada or Switzerland for example? No. I've not lived in those wonderful countries and been immersed in the culture to offer serious insight.

    Live here in the US for 25 years and then your scything comments with have more weight. Do you have many many friends, Americans, who have lost their jobs to outsourcing? I do. Do you know how the move to manufacture everything off-shore has literally devasted places like, Clevelend? I doubt it. You've never even been there is my guess. You find it so easy to make comments about which you know nothing. I'm sorry but this hits me at the heart.

    But now for the good news. My own company deals with Fortune 1000 companies and more. I deal with many people in positions of leadership. Many are starting to realize that moving everything off-shore for some applications was an out-and-out mistake.

    I understand the pressures William Z felt. Audio Research and the like were manufacturing great amps for the broad consumer market long before the Europeans and Asian audio companies (a few European companies excepted), who in many cases learned and copied designs from the great companies like Audio Research. Speakers are another matter. England and France along with America were at the forefront of speaker development. and clearly influenced the world of speaker development in general.

    I would understand if Audio Research were in the doldrums in terms of stale product development. If you've heard the Reference 3 , Reference 210/610, PH7, and CD7, you'll know that is not the case. The issue has been completing with very low priced fare from China. It looks real fancy, and sounds decent for the most part, (I've heard many already). In all but a very few cases, these products sound nothing like the ARC reference gear. And any stuff from China that does, is priced up there also.

    All I can say is thank God it was an Italian company and not a Chinese conglomorate that didn't really give a darn.
    Apart from that totally pointless and rude statement by you that I've highlighted... I have little problem with your post...

    What you complained about initially was loss in quality because products are not made in the USA... I said that is not neccesarily the case... you've done nothing to disprove that point...

    If you had said initally that the problem is about loss of jobs... then I would have agreed with you.. but that's not what your initial post which I responded to was about...

  17. #17
    Forum Regular O'Shag's Avatar
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    I apologise for my remark - the heat of the moment.... I do respect and like many of your posts

  18. #18
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    I'm right on queue.

    Oh, please! Ridiculous! Workers are the victims, not the cause, of the decline of leading western nations. The cause is the greed of shareholders willing to sell out their enterprise, workers, and country to the highest bidder.

    Here is the fallacy of Republican "bribe the rich" enconomic policies. Theory has it that if the rich have more money, they will invest it for the benefit of the country. The fact is, (assuming they invest it instead of spending it on luxury goods), they very likely to invest it off shore to the benefit of some other country.

    FWIW, in a vaccuum "Trickle Down" works...theoretically. It certainly doesn't work when our own government offers companies tax incentives to move offshore.

  19. #19
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by O'Shag
    I apologise for my remark - the heat of the moment.... I do respect and like many of your posts
    It's cool... I understand your position and in the heat of the moment, especially over an issue like loss of jobs, it's easy to lose one's cool...

  20. #20
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by O'Shag
    Do you have many many friends, Americans, who have lost their jobs to outsourcing? I do.

    hold on, ARC is bought by an Italian Holding company. We're not talking about outsourcing yet you know...

    Mcintosh has been owned by japanese companies for around 20 years now (or asian, in general, I don't know from where Alpine is...), and no-one lost their job due to outsourcing there.

    Keep them spinning,
    Bert.
    Life is music!

    Mcintosh MA6400 Integrated
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    Thiel CS2.3's
    *DIY Lenco L75 TT
    * SME 3012 S2
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    *Graham slee elevator EXP & revelation
    *Lehmann audio black cube SE
    Marantz CD5001 OSE
    MIT AVt 2 IC's
    Sonic link Black earth IC's
    Siltech MXT New york IC's
    Kimber 4VS speakercable
    Furutech powercord and plugs.

    I'm a happy 20 year old...

  21. #21
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobsticks
    FWIW, in a vaccuum "Trickle Down" works...theoretically. It certainly doesn't work when our own government offers companies tax incentives to move offshore.
    I agree.... I believe one of the current presidential candidates is promoting the idea of tax cuts only for companies that keep jobs in the US... which is how I believe it should be...

    It's unfair to the people of a country to give tax cuts to the rich and then have them use it to stimulate someone else's economy....

  22. #22
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    for those who care

    link to stereophile page

    they're under the same banner as Sonus Faber, and plan to leave everything where it is.

    Keep them spinning,
    Bert.
    Life is music!

    Mcintosh MA6400 Integrated
    Double Advent speakers
    Thiel CS2.3's
    *DIY Lenco L75 TT
    * SME 3012 S2
    * Rega RB-301
    *Denon DL-103 in midas body
    *Denon DL-304
    *Graham slee elevator EXP & revelation
    *Lehmann audio black cube SE
    Marantz CD5001 OSE
    MIT AVt 2 IC's
    Sonic link Black earth IC's
    Siltech MXT New york IC's
    Kimber 4VS speakercable
    Furutech powercord and plugs.

    I'm a happy 20 year old...

  23. #23
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    Thanks for the link. It looks like Sonus Faber just recently became Italian as of 2007. So much for my opinion, according to the article ARC's last two years were their most successful. I didn't hear how but maybe more people can afford the Reference series than I think.

  24. #24
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    Thanks for the link. It looks like Sonus Faber just recently became Italian as of 2007. .

    no, they were bought by an Italian holding in 2007, but Sonus Faber has always been Italian, before they were on their own I think...

    I believe ARC is in good hands

    I also wonder how people can afford such things, the same with other brands, I heard a $300k Wavac amp a while back, and the first question that came up in me was 'oh so there are actually people buying this?'

    fantastic amps though, those Wavacs...

    Keep them spinning,
    Bert.
    Life is music!

    Mcintosh MA6400 Integrated
    Double Advent speakers
    Thiel CS2.3's
    *DIY Lenco L75 TT
    * SME 3012 S2
    * Rega RB-301
    *Denon DL-103 in midas body
    *Denon DL-304
    *Graham slee elevator EXP & revelation
    *Lehmann audio black cube SE
    Marantz CD5001 OSE
    MIT AVt 2 IC's
    Sonic link Black earth IC's
    Siltech MXT New york IC's
    Kimber 4VS speakercable
    Furutech powercord and plugs.

    I'm a happy 20 year old...

  25. #25
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    The same problem

    Quote Originally Posted by O'Shag
    ...

    Live here in the US for 25 years and then your scything comments will have more weight. Do you have many many friends, Americans, who have lost their jobs to outsourcing? I do. Do you know how the move to manufacture everything off-shore has literally devasted places like, Clevelend? I doubt it. You've never even been there is my guess. You find it so easy to make comments about which you know nothing. I'm sorry but this hits me at the heart.

    ....
    Am I missing your point 'Shag? The same sort of problem has had a major impact in Southern Ontario, so I don't have much trouble empathizing with Clevelanders.

    I hope you and everyone else understands I'm not bashing the U.S.A. as nation. However I do bash U.S. conservatives -- as I do Canadian conservatives -- at every opportunity.

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