Who Owns What

7/2005: Updated list based on Stereophile e-letter.

1/2005: Danny Tse wrote me with a bunch of corrections in late 2004. This is harder than I thought to keep up as the companies change all the time. Thanks Danny!

And thanks to others who have written with other updates. It really helps.

They key in any business is to make money. To create the perception of quality while maintaining the highest profit margin.

This page is an attempt to figure out who owns what. Many companies are bought and sold regularly and we can often see the products change over the years. Many companies maintain high end and low end brands and we (the consumers) have to watch for when the lines gets crossed.

We should also note that many of these companies contract the building of products to OEM manufacturers (they don't have a factory but contract out the building). Many times these manufacturers are simply the lowest bidder in whatever country has the lowest labor rate this month. I have an RBH (nobody ever heard of them) home theater amp which is the image of an older Parasound unit. I called the company and asked about this and they said they co-contracted with the manufacturer to produce a run of RBH with a run of Parasound. They are not identical but close. The point is that stuff is made all over the world and it is hard to tell what you are really buying. The brand sourcing agents can (and do) get duped by some low quality (or low QC) manufacturers. So sometimes a good brand simply produces a bad unit.

Sony is interesting because they put their label on everything, regardless of quality. I know Sony makes some outstanding equipment but also makes some real junk. So the burden is on us to figure it out.

Please e-mail me with corrections or additions: Pjay

Company Brands
Harman International AGK, AMEK, Audio Access, Audax, Becker, BSS, Crown, Custom Central, Concord, DBX, Digitech, DOD, EPI, Harman Kardon, Inifinity, JBL, Mark Levinson, Lexicon, Madrigal, Proceed, Revel, Soundcraft, Studer
Richer Sounds TDL, Mordaunt-Short, Cambridge Audio, Audio Innovations
Sanyo Fisher
Philips Magnavox
Lenbrook Industries NAD, PSB speakers
API Energy, Mirage, Athena, Sound Dynamics
Matsushita Panasonic, Technics, JVC, Quasar (lots of OEM from Philips)
DM Holdings Denon, Marantz, McIntosh, Boston Accoustics, Snell
Mitek Coustic, Xtant, Orion, Atlas Sound, DCM Loudspeakers, StreetWires and Esoteric Audio, Oaktron, Soundcraftsmen, Cricket and Magnum.
Equity International Classe', B&W, Rotel
IAG - Int. Audio Grp Quad, Wharfdale, TAG Mclaren, Audiolab, Mission
Klipsch Epon., Mondial, Aragon, Acarus
Tympany DST - Vifa, ScanSpeak, Peerless, Logic (bought by Tympany in California in 2005)
Audiovox Advent, Jensen
Alps Apline, Luxman
Haitai Sherwood, Newcastle, Leading OEM manufacturer to many brands.
Tompson Elect. RCA, GE (consumer products), AR accessories,
TEAC "black boxes" on airplanes, TASCAM, Esoteric (not to be confused with Esoteric Audio, the cable manufacturer for car audio), TEAC's hi-end audio brand.
Misc. OEM? Koss, Classic, Goldstar, Zenith, KLH, Kenwood, Apex, Emerson, Oritron,
Rockford Industries NHT, Hafler, MBQuart
Sony Aiwa
The Grande Group Nakamichi, Akai, Kawa and Sansui
Koss Koss licensed its name to some offshore manufacturer to be placed on various low-end consumer electronics. Koss retains full ownership of its headphone business.
Recoton Discwasher, Ambico, AAMP, Jensen, Heco, Magnat, Phase Linear, Road Gear, Soundquest, Mac Audio, Stinger, GameShark
Recoton has filed for bankruptcy. I don't know where these companies ended up.

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Copyright Peter Jay Smith 2005 Return to helarc.com