Last week, Tweeter Home Entertainment Group announced that it has reached an agreement in principle to acquire United Audio Centers, located in the Chicago, Illinois area. United Audio describes itself as a seven-store specialty consumer electronics retailer with annual sales of approximately $48 million, and says it has been in business in the Chicago market for over 40 years. The companies expect to complete the transaction on or about April 1, 2000, and note that the agreement in principle to acquire United Audio is subject to various terms and conditions, as well as to regulatory approval.
It has been a fraught week for Tweeter Newco LLC, the A/V specialty chain acquired by Shultze Asset Management in July. On August 17, the company trimmed its corporate staff by "half," approximately 80 staffers at the home office in Canton, MA. It was the second corporate re-structuring since January, when 20% of the corporate staff was laid off.
It's a brave new audio world: Coinciding with last week's release of Medeski, Martin & Wood's latest work, The Dropper, to retailers' shelves as a polycarbonate-and-aluminum CD, Liquid Audio announced that the title was simultaneously being made available as a full-album digital download. Liquid reports that this is the first time a Blue Note title has been released in a digital format at the same time as its physical release.
An intriguing loudspeaker technology which generates believable surround effects from only two small enclosures will be arriving at stores later this year, according to a February 24 announcement from Nirotek America Corporation.
One of the most enduring obstacles confronting audio engineers has been how to generate powerful low bass without the need for large loudspeaker enclosures. It's been generally accepted that really effective low bass means moving large quantities of air, which in turn means large drivers in large cabinets. Large loudspeakers, unfortunately, don't meet the approval of many dcor-conscious homeowners. It's a longstanding problem for music lovers, home theater fans, and custom installers.
On March 10, Tymphany Corporation and Danish Sound Technology (DST) announced a merger of the two companies, funded by Vantage Point Venture Partners. The combined company, to be called Tymphany Corporation, will have its headquarters in Cupertino, CA.
The intentional deafening of monkeys by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco has provoked a strongly worded protest by Paul McCartney. In a letter dated July 6, McCartney complained to UCSF Chancellor Michael Bishop that "there can be no excuse for inflicting such misery" on animals used in such experiments. The letter was the latest salvo fired in a controversy going back to early February.
The shock news on November 18, 1998---that the highly regarded British speaker brand Mordaunt-Short was to be closed down (see previous story)---seems to have achieved the desired result. On December 30, Audio Partnership plc announced it was acquiring the Mordaunt-Short brand from TGI plc (Tannoy Goodmans International).
Ultimate Ears, the headphone company that specializes in in-ear monitors such as the UE-5c, is developing a new model slated to join the super.fi family of products. During the prototyping period, the design crew referred to the new model as "XXX" (triple X).
Don Bouchard, Ultralink/XLO Products' executive vice-president, succumbed February 7, 2008 from injuries he sustained in a motorcycle accident on December 15, 2007. Bouchard, riding with friends, had his front wheel drop into a hole in the pavement while traversing a railroad crossing and was thrown over his handlebars. The resulting injuries included a severe skull fracture, right-brain trauma, a broken clavicle, a broken rib, which punctured a lung, as well as internal trauma, multiple contusions, and bruising.
We received word December 21 that Ultralink/XLO Products executive vice-president Don Bouchard was injured in a "serious motorcycle accident in Texas." Bouchard is currently recovering in a Houston hospital, surrounded by his family, close friends, and business associates. Knowing Don, we're sure that's a packed hospital room.