Interesting Book: Danish Loudspeakers - 100 years - 1915 to 2015

Gardenstater
Gardenstater Posts: 2,014
edited January 2020 in Vintage Speakers
https://audioxpress.com/files/attachment/2683

I found this while trying to research the history of the Peerless company and the Peerless soft textile dome tweeter. Reading it now. Little bit that's interesting here so far (p 21):

"The soft (textile) dome was invented in
the US by the audio industry pioneer, William Hecht, in 1964. Various types of domes
existed prior to his patent, but Hecht was
the one who really nailed it when he carefully described the non-rigid behaviour of
the textile dome in his patent. This invention
marks a turning point towards High Fidelity
(Hi-Fi) in high frequency transducers; by
the end of 1970s the soft textile dome
completely outperformed the conventional
paper cone tweeter design. Hecht had a
US patent for the concept, but Europe was
not restricted with a patent, which many
European speaker companies utilised.
A German manufacturer of soft parts
for loudspeakers, Dr. Kurt Müller, started
manufacturing textile domes in the late
1960s and one of the first soft dome
tweeters introduced to the market in 1968
was the SEAS H87 tweeter. This 38 mm (1½
inch) dome tweeter designed by the two
SEAS engineers Ragnar Lian and Mogens
Hvass became hugely successful and sold
in more than 1.5 million units over the years
1968-1981. Mogens Hvass had worked
for Nørgaard Madsen for 20 years, while
Ragnar Lian started at SEAS in 1963."
George / NJ

Polk 7B main speakers, std. mods+ (1979, orig owner)
Martin Logan Dynamo sub w/6ft 14awg Power Cord
Crown D150 amp
Logitech Squeezebox Touch Streamer w/EDO applet
iFi nano iDSD DAC
iPurifier3
iDefender w/ iPower PS
Custom Steve Wilson 1m UPOCC Interconnect
iFi Mercury 0.5m OFHC continuous cast copper USB cable
Custom Ribbon Speaker Cables, 5ft long, 4N Copper, 14awg, ultra low inductance
Custom Vibration Isolation Speaker Stands and Sub Platform

Comments

  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 28,194
    edited January 2020
    Neat-o. Thanks for sharing that link.
    A smattering of (larger and smaller) Danish companies have been responsible for some very fine drivers and loudspeaker systems.

    The Peerless KO10DT silk dome tweeter (well known to vintage Polk Audio fanboys) and the Dynaco A-25 (and its kin) fairly leap to mind! :)

    bang & olufsen have produced their share of fine loudspeakers over they years.
    EDIT: and if 'we' expand the scope to Scandinavian loudspeakers, it gets even better.
    Tandberg and Sonab (Stig Carlsson) are then in scope. :)
  • Gardenstater
    Gardenstater Posts: 2,014
    p. 23:

    "Peerless in the 1960s & 1970s
    In the 1960s Peerless launched a line of kits
    for the DIY market, which sat the standard
    for quality kits. SEAS picked up the idea
    and also launched a line of kits. This business area made Peerless and SEAS visible
    in the consumer market and was part of a
    successful branding strategy.
    In 1966 Peerless faced a necessary and
    problematic change of generation when
    one of the founders, Einar Skjold Petersen
    retired. Peerless was a well-established
    and financially solid company. During this
    phase, Peerless’ other founder, T.M. Larsen
    stayed with the company for a couple of
    years as General Manager and a 20 %
    shareholder (the remaining 80 % shares
    was purchased by American EAD). A couple
    of years later EAD purchased the shares
    of T.M. Larsen and became sole owner of
    Peerless. Peerless was able to recover.
    In 1968 Per Staal became General
    Manager of Peerless and the company
    expanded heavily. Loudspeaker production
    was established in Boston (1973), USA
    (named PAL, Peerless Audio Leominster).
    Peerless also became a shareholder in KLH,
    Boston, USA.
    In August 1971 the Peerless factory
    in Gladsaxe (Copenhagen) was expanded
    with 3500 m2
    of new buildings, with plans of
    expanding further over the next 5-6 years to
    11,000 m2
    . The factory was organized with
    raw materials entering one end (Peerless
    casted their own magnets, pressed their
    own steel chassis, wound their own voice
    coils and formed their own paper cones and
    textile spiders) and at the other end of the
    factory 250 meter down the road, out came
    the finished loudspeakers.
    In Germany, Peerless purchased Mikrophonenbau (this became Peerless-MB),
    which manufactured loudspeakers,
    microphones and headphones. In the 1970s
    Peerless purchased the cabinet maker
    Unison in Horsens (Denmark) and a factory
    in Bretton (France) was purchased to jump
    into the French market.
    At this point (1976) Peerless was one
    of the largest manufacturers of speakers
    in Europe, maybe one of the largest in the
    world when it came to Hi-Fi products, with
    a capacity to make 30,000 speakers per
    day. Danish (and Norwegian) transducers
    were - and in many people’s opinion still are
    – leaders in the global market. If you were
    looking for a high quality driver at a good
    price (some would even say the best driver
    at any given price) you would buy it from
    the businesses in Denmark and Norway.
    Peerless was among the first loudspeaker companies in the world to change
    the former (bobbin) of the voice coil from
    paper to aluminium. With its many advantages, aluminium remained a standard
    recipe for many speaker manufacturers all
    the way through the 1980s and well into
    the 1990s, when glassfiber and polyimide
    (Kapton) materials were explored as viable
    alternatives.
    Peerless continued to expand internationally. In 1977 they entered a joint venture
    with capital from Denmark and India, and
    Peerless of India was founded in Bombay
    (today Mumbai), production started in 1978.
    Peerless’ facilities in Søborg (Copenhagen) were expanded several times.
    Worldwide Peerless had more than 1000
    employees. The American mother company,
    EAD added system manufacturers like
    Infinity to the business portfolio. The entire
    loudspeaker division was managed from
    Søborg without much interception from the
    Americans."
    George / NJ

    Polk 7B main speakers, std. mods+ (1979, orig owner)
    Martin Logan Dynamo sub w/6ft 14awg Power Cord
    Crown D150 amp
    Logitech Squeezebox Touch Streamer w/EDO applet
    iFi nano iDSD DAC
    iPurifier3
    iDefender w/ iPower PS
    Custom Steve Wilson 1m UPOCC Interconnect
    iFi Mercury 0.5m OFHC continuous cast copper USB cable
    Custom Ribbon Speaker Cables, 5ft long, 4N Copper, 14awg, ultra low inductance
    Custom Vibration Isolation Speaker Stands and Sub Platform
  • Gardenstater
    Gardenstater Posts: 2,014
    p. 27:

    "The business at Peerless went fairly
    smooth through the 1970s, but during
    the 1980s, Peerless faces trouble. The
    company at this time was still a highly vertically integrated manufacturer of speakers,
    including for example the stamping of steel
    parts for magnet systems and sheet-steel
    frames. Vertical integration can be great, in
    particular if all divisions manage to progress
    and keep up with the state-of-art within
    each area.
    Unfortunately for Peerless, the loudspeaker industry in Japan, Taiwan and China
    was very competitive and making parts inhouse was not always a profitable solution.
    In such a situation, vertical integration can
    create a lack of flexibility and for example
    when cast magnesium (later cast aluminium)
    frames became more fashionable among
    customers, Peerless stayed with their sheetsteel frames. Peerless had to reduce their
    activities and close down factories. They
    moved to Karlslunde in 1983.
    The same year, 1983, Knud Thorborg
    became the official R&D Manager at
    Peerless. He had already unofficially
    been in that role for more than a decade.
    Peerless of India became independent from
    the Danish company in 1983. For a while
    Peerless of India was actually the major
    shareholder of Peerless in Denmark (sold
    by the Americans), but they never managed
    to get control of the company due to some
    paperwork trouble. The employees at
    Peerless Denmark were not exactly helpful
    in this process.
    Eventually Peerless Denmark ended up
    without a Board of Directors and the company was run by the middle management,
    led by Sales Manager, Olsen.
    In 1986 Peerless was sold to JME (Jysk
    Murer Entreprise) and with financial support
    Peerless regained some of its strength (JME
    was a construction company – but a former
    manager of Peerless, Corny Petersen, was
    involved in JME). JME went bankrupt in
    1990 and Peerless again had to find new
    investors, and after various owners ended
    up in the hands of Vifa-Speak."
    George / NJ

    Polk 7B main speakers, std. mods+ (1979, orig owner)
    Martin Logan Dynamo sub w/6ft 14awg Power Cord
    Crown D150 amp
    Logitech Squeezebox Touch Streamer w/EDO applet
    iFi nano iDSD DAC
    iPurifier3
    iDefender w/ iPower PS
    Custom Steve Wilson 1m UPOCC Interconnect
    iFi Mercury 0.5m OFHC continuous cast copper USB cable
    Custom Ribbon Speaker Cables, 5ft long, 4N Copper, 14awg, ultra low inductance
    Custom Vibration Isolation Speaker Stands and Sub Platform
  • Gardenstater
    Gardenstater Posts: 2,014
    p. 97:

    "The founder of PointSource Acoustics
    Carsten Tinggaard studied Engineering at
    the University of Southern Denmark (SDU)
    and later at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) between 1992-2000. In 1998
    he finished his Bachelor of Acoustic Engineering at SDU, and thereafter he applied
    for a job in Mexico with the intensions of
    becoming an underwater acoustic engineer.
    Life turned out differently and instead he
    travelled to Spain where he worked with
    speakers and acoustics solutions. In 1999
    he returned to Denmark and took the 8
    Master´s degree courses in acoustics available at DTU while working as a freelance
    acoustic consultant.
    Education and theories alone are not
    sufficient knowledge to generate great
    sound solutions, so between 2000 and
    2009 Carsten Tinggaard gained the practical core expertise that forms the basis of
    PointSource Acoustics’ expertise today.
    In 2000, he landed a job at Peerless in
    Karlslunde, Denmark working as an Acoustic Engineer. Those were the great years,
    when the factory used its own tools, treated
    the raw materials, and manufactured all
    speaker parts in-house including the final
    assembled drivers. Numerous acoustical
    experiments were carried out by Carsten
    Tinggaard, leading to hard-core theoretical
    discussions with the very experienced
    grand old man within in the loudspeaker
    industry, Knud Thorborg.
    In 2003 Carsten Tinggaard became the
    Peerless’ Product Manager under Danish
    Sound Technology (DST) where he teamed
    up with Gert Christensen, today Product
    Manager at M&K Sound. Together Knud
    Thorborg, Carsten Tinggaard, and Gert
    Christensen designed many drivers for the
    audio industry. All three played an important
    role in the Danish loudspeaker industry
    throughout those years.
    In 2005, the company changed ownership and name to Tymphany and between
    2005 and 2009 it endured more changes.
    The factory in Karlslunde was shut down.
    Production was moved partially to Jutland
    and the rest to China where Tymphany
    built a state-of-the-art manufacturing site
    in Panyu, Guangdong. A new R&D site
    was also established in Taastrup (20 km
    from Karlslunde) where Carsten Tinggaard
    became Chief Engineer, responsible for
    the development of all three Danish loudspeaker brands: Peerless DK, Vifa DK, and
    Scan-Speak.
    The R&D site in Taastrup had grown
    to include a strong team of more than 20
    people, covering R&D, QA, and Sales. But
    due to the global financial crisis end 2008,
    Tymphany decided to shut down the R&D
    site early 2009. "
    George / NJ

    Polk 7B main speakers, std. mods+ (1979, orig owner)
    Martin Logan Dynamo sub w/6ft 14awg Power Cord
    Crown D150 amp
    Logitech Squeezebox Touch Streamer w/EDO applet
    iFi nano iDSD DAC
    iPurifier3
    iDefender w/ iPower PS
    Custom Steve Wilson 1m UPOCC Interconnect
    iFi Mercury 0.5m OFHC continuous cast copper USB cable
    Custom Ribbon Speaker Cables, 5ft long, 4N Copper, 14awg, ultra low inductance
    Custom Vibration Isolation Speaker Stands and Sub Platform
  • Gardenstater
    Gardenstater Posts: 2,014
    p. 110:

    "Moving in with Vifa
    In the late 1990s the company’s name (Scan-Speak) was
    changed to Vifa/Scan-Speak to signal the
    mutual ownership and close relationship
    between the two brands.
    In 2000 Peerless was acquired and
    merged into Vifa/Scan-Speak. The resulting
    combined company changed its name to
    Danish Sound Technology (D-S-T). That
    same year Scan-Speak moved from its own
    location into a new extension of the Vifa
    factory making the merger complete."

    "American adventure
    In 2005 D-S-T was acquired by the Silicon
    Valley start-up company Tymphany, which
    had invented a special type of subwoofer.
    Tymphany was in need of manufacturing
    facilities and an established customer base.
    During this time Scan-Speak operated
    as an autonomous division within Tymphany.
    Later, as the years went by Tymphany’s
    business grew and its own manufacturing
    was moved out of Videbæk to China.
    Illuminator line
    For many years Scan-Speak’s research
    engineers had worked on developing a
    new under-hung motor design that showed
    promising results. It was decided to use
    this design, Symmetrical Drive magnet
    system SD-3, for a new product line that
    was launched in 2008/2009. This Illuminator
    line became Scan-Speak’s new top product
    line.
    The Illuminator woofers offered a unique
    construction and its design differed greatly
    from how woofers traditionally had been
    build. In addition to the SD-3 the design
    included several new technologies including
    a special lightweight paper sandwich cone
    that with its stiffness and inner damping
    provided a very precise and distortion free
    sound reproduction.
    The 2008 financial crisis was hard on
    the loudspeaker industry and Tymphany’s
    operations suffered dramatically. As a result
    Scan-Speak was split off and sold to the
    local Danish management in April 2009. At
    this time Scan-Speak had 35 employees
    and had spread its activities to a larger
    part of the old factory where the Tymphany
    manufacturing previously had been done."
    George / NJ

    Polk 7B main speakers, std. mods+ (1979, orig owner)
    Martin Logan Dynamo sub w/6ft 14awg Power Cord
    Crown D150 amp
    Logitech Squeezebox Touch Streamer w/EDO applet
    iFi nano iDSD DAC
    iPurifier3
    iDefender w/ iPower PS
    Custom Steve Wilson 1m UPOCC Interconnect
    iFi Mercury 0.5m OFHC continuous cast copper USB cable
    Custom Ribbon Speaker Cables, 5ft long, 4N Copper, 14awg, ultra low inductance
    Custom Vibration Isolation Speaker Stands and Sub Platform
  • aprazer402
    aprazer402 Posts: 2,424
    A big thank you here too! I've known of this publication and had been looking for a copy. Very beautifully designed and appears to be very thorough. Can't wait to start reading!
  • Tony M
    Tony M Posts: 9,907
    Wow!
    What goes on behind the scenes. :o

    All these years I've been seeing in Parts Express catalogues certain "Buyout specials" that included the names mentioned in that article. I almost bought some of the tweeters and speakers mentioned!

    Also, the few men mentioned who had a passion, like Sandy gross, to keep doing what they do was GREAT to read about.

    Thanks for posting this great read! B)
    Most people just listen to music and watch movies. I EXPERIENCE them.
  • ken brydson
    ken brydson Posts: 8,173
    Ltannan reported
  • xschop
    xschop Posts: 2,036
    Nostalgia and insight. Still reading..Good find.
  • skrol
    skrol Posts: 3,096
    Nice find
    Stan

    Main 2ch:
    Polk LSi15 (DB840 upgrade), Parasound: P/LD-1100, HCA-1000A; Denon: DVD-2910, DRM-800A; Benchmark DAC1, Monster HTS3600-MKII, Grado SR-225i; Technics SL-J2, Parasound PPH-100.

    HT:
    Marantz SR7010, Polk: RTA11TL (RDO198-1, XO and Damping Upgrades), S4, CS250, PSW110 , Marantz UD5005, Pioneer PL-530, Panasonic TC-P42S60

    Other stuff:
    Denon: DRA-835R, AVR-888, DCD-660, DRM-700A, DRR-780; Polk: S8, Monitor 5A, 5B, TSi100, RM7, PSW10 (DXi104 upgrade); Pioneer: CT-6R; Onkyo CP-1046F; Ortofon OM5E, Marantz: PM5004, CD5004, CDR-615; Parasound C/PT-600, HCA-800ii, Sony CDP-650ESD, Technics SA 5070, B&W DM601