Fate of Hales Loudspeakers Still Unknown

Many audiophiles—especially owners of Hales loudspeakers—have wondered whether or not the brand will be revived, in view of a recent announcement by Audio Video Research of Ann Arbor, Michigan that it has acquired the assets of Wadia Digital and plans to resume production and product development of the revered name. Wadia acquired Hales (two of whose products were still Stereophile "Recommended Components" as of October 2000) last year, just a few months before financial difficulties put Wadia into a nosedive from which it could not recover.

Wadia may now be back but will Hales? No one seems to know. During the week after the Wadia/AVR announcement, we heard an uncomfirmed rumor that Paul Hales—said to be working for a pro audio company—had been approached about possibly buying back some of the assets of his previous company. We spoke with two former Hales dealers said to have inside knowledge of the situation. Both expressed the wish that the brand would be revived, but neither harbors any belief that it will be. (Both asked that they not be mentioned by name.)

We were also able to speak with a former principal of Hales Loudspeakers who asked not to be quoted nor mentioned by name. He expressed nothing but disgust for the treatment he had received during and after the decline of Wadia, and said that he had exhausted all diplomatic and legal remedies in trying to recoup what was owed him. Having moved on from what was for him an unpleasant situation, he had difficulty understanding why anyone was interested in the fate of Hales. His opinion was that, despite whatever value the name may have in the market, it likely will not be revived.

Rumors, innuendoes, and resentments are all that we have been able to unearth in our search for facts. When we find some, you'll see them here.