“... “The best loudspeakers you’ve never heard of…”
As went the infamous tag line of Royd Audio, whose loudspeakers were an underrated gem of the British Hi-Fi industry. Each pair was hand built by Joe Akroyd in Telford, UK from the early ’80s until the start of the 21st Century. Over this time, Joe produced many unique and exceptional loudspeakers, all of which captured the hearts of their owners. Regret only came to those who sold them on prior to a misjudged upgrade…”
On an aesthetic note (not your exact query) I miss Dieter Rams design...
Though I've never owned any of his HiFi gear, unless he had a had a hand in the Braun L200/L300 which I did own.
On the same note I also owned the Quad 33/303 duo, which were ausome eye candy IMO.
As far as your Nakamichi reference goes a NAK/Stasis receiver was possibly the "FIRST" SS unit that I liked the sound of having used/preferred tube based gear before.
Another oddity/exception was a Radio Shack Receiver that I strongly suspect was manufactured by NAD.
Classe is still around albeit bought out. And maybe changed? I was corresponding with Dick Nauber but their products may not be as good now.
I own a ton of Straightwire. Original Cresendo IC's and speaker cables and others . They are still around in Hollywood, Fl... I was not aware of any company changes.
Phase Linear when Carver was still early in his career. Great gadgetry such as the Autocorrelator for noise reduction, peak unlimiter, and lots of power in his amps. My entry ticket to hi-fidelity as a young-un. My younger sister started off with Carver equipment. Does he still sell under his own name?
I have to repeat Nakamichi because I still use the 410 pre-amp that I bought in Jan 1978. It doesn't have the Nelson Pass circuitry. Still,it's got a superb phono section and that handy contour control, a fine-tuning volume control. I've tried other pre-amps since (Crown IC 150A, Yamaha C-4), and feel they don't measure up in terms of either build quality, sound or both.
Simon Yorke, for 8 years in the 1990s his S7 was Michael Fremer's reference player.
I have had three SYs: the Zarathustra who's design was appropriated by Cello, the S7; the final S10 with Aeroarm is a lifetime keeper.
Sad to see him leave the business, driven out by his pure business principles, hatred of marketing hype, unwillingness to pay a dealer margin, inability to do bling in turntables ('bling is not engineering') and, not least his idiosyncratic and dogmatic style many could not abide.
All the additional companies mentioned have merit and thank you for posting.
I am surprised that nobody had mentioned Montgomery Ward and their tube table top AM Clock Radios... It is likely that some old timers on this site got their start that way.....including me.
Yes from a Wards table radio to MG-20 etc. a long and worthwhile journey.
The speakers they made and that unique sound! I still drive a pair of ADS large full range L1590 towers. No need for a sub.
B & K amplifiers and B & K higher end pre-amps. I am using the Sonata series preamp and it reminds me sonically of my early PS Audio. Super simple, clean sound and fantastic MM phono section built in! The amp I use with this is the B & K Reference S200. I only wish I had money for two of them but love the sound of using just one. So much dynamic headroom and smooth detailed highs.
I am still using a 682 ZX with high grade Maxell tapes I record all kinds of tapes to enjoy. The best source is still recording from vinyl for me. I have owned so many cassette decks for the past 40 years from Nakamichi. I am enjoying my rebuilt and upgraded CR3A Nakamichi with new caps, etc. I had a tech do it this year. The sound is amazing still. I guess I just love that unique sound from tape.
The early well built automatic tables were nice. I have a Dual 1249 now because I like the ease of use! I put a Prestige series Grado cartridge on it and it sings! It was rebuilt last year.
They did the best with mosfet sound to me. Very warm sound. The 110 Preamp was a favorite paired with a DH200. Will light up a pair of just about any speaker and sound great.
My buddy still has his pair of large ribbon speakers from this Florida company. He drives them with VanAlsteen amp. Acoustat sounded as good as Magnepan if set up right with the proper amps.
AR speakers. So much invention and great sound for the money.
SAE (Scientific Audio Electronics).
I sold that brand when working at Pacific Stereo, here in California. It was the coolest looking product in the industry, at the time.
We also sold a ton of Phase Linear. A lot of bang for the buck with Phase Linear.
The best sounding speakers we sold were AR, Advent, and Braun. We brought in Mission speakers before I moved on from Pacific. These are all brands no longer in business (I believe that Braun is in business, but no in hi-fi).