Pursuing the Ultimate Music Experiences

Audio Federation High-Fidelity Audio Blog

The Goliaths: Gibson Guitar vs. Fine Sounds

The consolidation in high-end audio always surprises me, though it often happens in markets that are under-going hardships.

Why are these corps doing this? Are they audiophiles? Are they just big dump corps? Are they just buying the companies for their brand names? Are they nuts???

[These are powerful brand names these two corps are picking up. If there is ever a rebound in this marketplace, or if they pivot the brands to sell something people really want, they will be poised to do well, I think.]

Gibson Guitar

Their brands now include:

TASCAM, Cerwin-Vega, Stanton, and Cakewalk, Onkyo, Integra, TEAC, and Esoteric plus Philips’ Home Entertainment “(now named Gibson Innovations)—a company that invented the cassette tape, the CD format, the DVD format and the MP3 format”.

When they bought Esoteric a few years ago, the deal also included distribution rights to French loudspeaker manufacturer, Cabasse, which Esoteric USA has been handling.

[Between Philips and Teac, they own the entire high-end transport manufacturing market AFAICT]


Italian Fine Sounds: McIntosh, Audio Research, Wadia Digital, and Sumiko (which handles distribution of Sonus Faber, Sumiko, REL subwoofers, and SME turntables and tonearms)

vs. little ole Harmon International:

Harmon: JBL, Lexicon, Mark Levinson and Revel.


Spotify who? Most of Japan’s music sales are CDs

More odds. More ends.

This article, on Engadget, seems to fly in the face of our expectations…

But maybe the younger set, the ‘spotify’ generation, has found a way to get their music free? Usually Japan is ahead of us in these teen media consumption trends, but maybe the article is right and it is the music regulatory environment in Japan keeping CDs alive a few more years.