A visiting manufacturer recently told us here at Stereophile
of an ongoing informal "survey" he was conducting. He would ask strangers to name three brands of loudspeakers. Their responses were not what I would have expected. They almost invariably named Japanese companiestwo of the most commonly mentioned were Hitachi and Panasonic. Other than my spell-checker insisting that I change "Hitachi" to "hibachi," I have nothing in particular against these two manufacturers; they are well-recognized in many product categories. But loudspeakers
? I can only guess that the respondents were dredging up the only consumer electronics companies that came readily to mind.
My list for most recognized loudspeaker brands would most certainly have included JBL. How could it not? They have been involved in home high-fidelity since 1954. And for years before that in professional audioprimarily motion picture theater sound, a field in which they are still active. In short, they were around before there was such a thing as "hi-fi."