The Forgotten

Every time I come across a gem in this hobby I inevitably come to the conclusion that there must be a ton of wonderful gear out there that has either slipped through the cracks or been forgotten. I decided to start a thread hoping some of you would spill the beans.  

I’ll start, but I don’t have a tone of experience. Totem, I believe to be very underrated.  I find they truly have a magic to them.  I’d throw out Harbeth but they surely aren’t forgotten.  Audio Mirror is one I’m pretty fascinated with based on my Tubadour  I recently acquired a Lab12 Integre4 that I think is better than anything I’ve had.  For example McIntosh, Bryston, Audio Research, Primaluna and a bunch of mid-fi.  Anyways, I think my experience is lacking but that’s what I’ve got.  





The Richard Brown Brown Electronic Lab BEL 1001. A superb 50wpc Class A amp from the 80's. I have the first production one made - serial number 0001.

LAB 12 is great gear .   I have their DAC 1 Reference and it sounds really good.   Built like a tank and 5 year warranty is pretty good too.

A lot of the smaller companies end up going out of business as owners age or pass.  Other stuff just falls out of favor due to lack of publicity.  A random list of largely forgotten gems once upon a time that we don't hear much about anymore:

B&K Electronics

Avalon Acoustics

Merlin speakers

Discrete Technology

Grant Fidelity


Audible Illusions


Well Temperered



I'm always surprised that Janszen speakers don't get more attention, given the compact size, ease of placement, reasonable prices, and great sound (low distortion, even FR, great transparency, superb imaging). Perhaps the issue is that Janszen doesn't release new models every year or two.

Totem, Avalon, Audible Illusions,  and Well Tempered all still have major consumer profiles. In fact, totem is the highest volume Canadian speaker manufacturer. 

Many audio companies come and go based on consumer tastes and finances. Others, like @knotscott pointed out, dissipate once their owners/designers leave. Blue Circle comes to mind, as does Clear Day and, more recently, Herron now that Keith is retired. Or Merlin speakers once their owner died in 2015. 

Others, like Halcro or Cairn, were badly conceived and faded after the initial advertising blitz. 

And I think many audio companies are similar to music artists like Mindy Smith, Cassandra Wilson, or Pet Shop Boys: After an initial splash, they build a steady career with a steady audience. Think Acoustic Zen, Decware, PSB, Canary, and Channel Island. 

I remember when Perpetual Technologies emerged, very early implementation of up and over sampling, DSP. Some real shenanigans going on with that company! I did have a totally Frankenstein Perp Tech setup at one time, everything completely  modded out with help from Dan Wright of Modwright. That was great digital setup, problem was I wanted to stream, no way with that setup.


Merlin, I had totally modded out VSM-MM, wonderful years with those, still have. Bobby commits suicide.


Joule Electra, had totally  modded out LA100MK III, wonderful preamp. Judd passed away.


BPT power conditioners, still have BPT 3.5 Sig, very high quality transformers used here. Don't know why they went away.


Audio Logic. I had Audio Logic 24mxl, tubed dac. Jerry Ozment passed away.


Nirvana Electronic Works,  N.E.W. I had DCA66, battery powered class A amp. Some people thought this Nelson Pass design, wasn't. Sold in past year to individual who was in group dedicated to restoring these pre's and amps.


Dahlquist. Do they still exist? Still have my DQ10's from 1980's, first nice speaker owned, heard great setups using these at audio shows back in the day.


EPI Epicure. Owned some 100's way back in the day.


Acoustic Research, AR3A's owned way back in day.


Lafayette Radio Electronics. We had local store in neighborhood, way before I was old enough to understand any of it.




BPT power conditioners, still have BPT 3.5 Sig, very high quality transformers used here. Don't know why they went away.

Puzzles me as well. These were really high quality and well executed balanced AC power conditioners-isolation transformer. I have the 3.5 Signature plus model purchased new in December 2008.

A superb unit that has easily stood the test of time. Good engineering design, built and implementation will do this. My audio system is better sounding due to its presence and usage. 2023 now and I appreciate it more than ever.


Ascend Acoustics speakers.

Wyred4sound preamps and dacs.

Gustard dacs.

Jay's CD transports.

Sangea HD fm tuners.


Vdh crimson Stradivarius cartridge

Line magnetic 845ia

Nenuphar speakers 




Scientific Fidelity "Tesla" speakers.

I've auditioned about a dozen fine speakers in my large listening room, including Martin Logan, B&W and Revel, and I also own Von Schweikert VR4s and PSB Synchrony Ones. The Teslas are more natural sounding, like the music is coming from real acoustic instruments and real voices instead of electrons running through circuits, and they produce an uncannily specific and stable soundstage image. They are also exciting for rock or big orchestral pieces. They are even beautiful to look at. But when they were released, Corey Greenberg gave them a bad review in Stereophile, and Mike Maloney's nascent company never recovered. Too bad; several of his other creations, now very rare, were also special.

Acoustic Energy

Boston Acoustics

Audio Artistry

Antique Sound Lab





Cambridge Soundworks. So many perfect little sets that sparked the audiophile in generations of novice enthusiast like me in the 90s

I'm not sure Wharfedale qualifies as "forgotten".  They're pretty mainstream. 

Interesting discussion. For me there are some brands that played a strong role when I was beginning my journey. Some are now no longer in business. 
NHT as mentioned 



Rogers loudspeakers 





Realistic speakers had some real gems, one of them the optimus 10. Also, Jensen made some real nice speakers, the system series 400/500. Owned them both. More modern and affordable gems also come to mind, such as wharfedale 225’s and Elac B6.

I had a superb integrated some years ago, made in China. The brand name was Dussun. They made a lot of Mark Levinson stuff. There was nothing that amp couldn't do well.

+1 @tomic601 

Bozak Concert Grands  OMG not my first but very close to first speaker I had an

extreme lust for.  A co-worker had a pair powered by all McIntosh tube gear.  This is pre 1980.

They had an upgrade path where you purchase the cabinets and add drivers as you had more dollars.  Four 12" woofs...don't remember the rest.




Thanks, I wasn’t aware of that. If the current Core product maintained the standard set by BPT then people can get a superb performing unit.


@paullb Where did you get this info? Core Power has been in business for some years. Mark Shifter was one of the  original principals, also served in this capacity with Perpetual Technologies.This when BPT still in business.  Perp Tech went out of business, involved in serious shenanigans, seems Core Power sold out to Walter.


I understand the technology is pretty much same, not sure they're using same transformers as  BPT 3.5 Signatures use Plitron transformers, unit weight 80lbs. Equi=Core 1800 weighs 54lbs. Points to substantial differences in transformers.

How about Bob Carver?  Innovative but controversial.

Phase Linear

Carver Corp


Bob Carver LLC

Post removed 


Mr. Gary Dodd’s battery powered preamp is probably the quietest preamp of all time. His balanced power supply is probably the finest power supply of all time.


Fulton Musical Industries (FMI) Model J loudspeaker.

Music Reference RM-9, RM-10, and RM-200 vacuum tube amplifiers, all in Mk. 2 iterations. Designer/tube expert Roger Modjeski's death a few years back was a major loss to hi-fi.

TDL, IMF, Music Reference, Ariston, Logic, Heybrook, AR, Glanz, Empire, Counterpoint, Robertson, Zeta, Helius, Mantra, Air Tangent, Cotter, Crystal, Genesis, Aragon, ...long list.

Aurum Cantus - Although more known for their raw drivers, their speakers are a big bang for the buck and are very much under the radar. 

Good thread here.  I’ll add:

Dolan PM1 preamp

Denessen JC80 preamp

Hegeman Hapi-2 preamp

Nova CPA-100a preamp

Technics SU-9070 preamp

Superphon Revelation Basic DM preamp

Music Reference RM5/MKII preamp

Audible Illusions Uranus 2 preamp

Motif MC7, MC8 preamps, MS50, MS100 amps

VSP Labs TransMos 150 amp

Sonographe electronics & turntable

Rauna speakers

Chateau Research speakers

Paisley Research Speakers

Onix OA21/OA-21s/OA-20.2 integrated amps

Tandberg 3012 integrated

Musical Fidelity B1 integrated

Creek 4330 integrated




Three aforementioned that I have owned or became very familiar with which are gone but not forgotten:

B&K electronics

Sonograph TT

Spica speakers



Spica and Bolivar speakers.  Back in the day I had both.  Bolivar I believe was a budget or poor man's JBL offshoot.  

Let’s take you back to 1988! How about a recently restored monster. The legendary Krell KRS200 Monoblock amplifiers ( Pure Fixed Class A) that can go down to 1/2 ohm. I’m a lucky man!! Running it with a pair of Wilson Audio Maxx 2 speakers.




altec lansing


pioneer elite






few others



Have 3 pairs of cerwin Vega D9 for sale………



Streets Electronic Systems

Wingate - Not For Beginners