The Always Serious and Gentle Manufacturer … (What happened to …)


audiolab

So … Audiolab, Concept or Camtech whatever name was given in different locations in the world due to registration problems, was bought by an investor. And not such a small one. I thought that this was going to be the moment in history that a professional company was going to make the better high-end equipment accepted by “normal” people. But what a disappointement!

What we did not know at that time was the following: This company, very active in the watch industry, (racing-) car industry, aviation etc. was in fact after another audio company. One of the key guys of this investor company was privately an enormous high end fanatic. Got his share of quality problems and got the idea that all this could be executed a lot better. And I can understand that someone who does not know, gets this idea. So … the investor tripped to USA, met a high-end manufacturer, made an offer and got a “NO”. Mmmm, what now … Pity, because I think (at least that was my thought at that time) that their professionalisme in design, production and marketing could make for the same price a much better product.

So, back to UK. One way or another they found Philip Swift and his Audiolab company and obviously there was a deal made. I think Philip is still smiling if he thinks about this deal, while the investor probably already has dried his tears, but still … So Audiolab was in hands of a famous company. Everything went from English quiet, to nervous dynamic. Best people in the industry were bought, lots of marketing noise was made and everybody was looking for what was happening. Of course faxes, letters came in. Contracts were cancelled and at the same time I was invited to come and talk about an eventual renewal. during the upcoming UK Hifi Show. Well, well, well … I had never seen so many Dutch distributors in line at Audiolab (now changed to McLaren) to try to get former Durob Audio’s Audiolab brand … As they say here … like flies crawling on horse shit … I could only think “Bah Bah” and decided that I was going to write McLaren a letter after the show and asking about the changes within the company and what was true about how they were treating people etc etc. Rumours were all over and I wanted to try to find out what was the truth, what was not and even more important, what was my position? Well, I got a long, long letter back from their lawyers which I started to read, but which I have never finished. My wife read the letter and stated “If you go on with this, I quit and you will end up with a heart-attack”. So we forgot about Audiolab and looked from the side-line what was happening and not happening … To be continued tomorrow …

Over hermanvandendungen

Almost 40 years of being with and in the world of high-end audio equipment. As distributor of Krell, Sonus Faber, Cello, Conrad-Johnnson and many more, initiator of brands like Kiseki, Cogelco, AH!, PrimaLuna, Mystère and maybe more to follow.
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2 reacties op The Always Serious and Gentle Manufacturer … (What happened to …)

  1. AHa, Tac McLaren introduction in the UK. At that time I was involved with Sphinx and we stay at a High End show on Heathrow. When we visit the show at McLaren we were quite impressed about what they were showing. After a while in Holland I got an email, if I was bought by McLaren because Jaap Jansen (Head Sales) and myself (Head technical department) were printed in the new McLaren leaflet. Not a small picture but filling an A4 format. We both smiled and stayed at Audioscript and the rest is history:-))

    • hermanvandendungen zegt:

      Aha Jan. Was Audioscript “one of the flies”? 🙂 Send me a scan of that leaflet! By the way, most of the flies of that time are already “dead and gone”… Famous Audioscript, Transtec etc.

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