Audio Research Reference 80S Tube Power Amplifier Full Circle

Full Circle

Bill Johnson, Audio Research Corporation's founder, built and sold tube products under the Electronic Industries banner through the 1960s before he consolidated the ARC brandname in 1970. Thirty-eight years later, aged 81, Bill sold his company to Fine Sounds who, in 2008, already owned the Italian Sonus faber brand. It was a good match and Bill remained as Chairman Emeritus until he passed away in 2011. Fine Sounds, under the auspices of Mauro Grange, grew with the purchase of Sumiko in 2010, Wadia in 2011, and McIntosh in 2012 from D&M Holdings. In 2014 the entire group was sold by Quadrivio (the venture group behind Fine Sounds) to LBO France, another investment company.

Renamed The McIntosh Group in 2016, and with ARC still firmly ensconced, Mauro left at the end of the year, leaving McIntosh's Charlie Randall in charge before Jeff Poggi – previously at Harman Automative and the HK Luxury Audio Group – was hired as co-CEO in 2017. Charlie looked after McIntosh and Jeff took control over Sonus faber, ARC and Sumiko (also distributing Pro-Ject in the US). With Audio Research keen to focus on its core expertise, and with little chance this brand could 'grow' into the home theatre, custom install or automotive sectors, it was eventually allowed to fly solo once again.

A very amicable buyout was agreed in Sept 2020 with Trent Suggs, ARC's ex-sales manager, now President and owner. The McIntosh Group continues with all its previous brands. Now, while visitors to international hi-fi shows are unlikely to have bumped into the corporate owners, many of us will have spun a disc or two with ARC stalwart Dave Gordon – including at our own Hi-Fi Show Live at Ascot. Dave Gordon joined the company in 1989, from Magnepan, circling back after a short detour to Thiel from 1992-96. Dave is now Audio Research's MD.

Audio Research Corp
Minnesota, USA
Supplied by: Absolute Sounds Ltd
0208 971 3909