Defunct Audio Manufacturers - Da to Dc

Daewoo-Fonica See --> Fonica

Dalesford Speakers Limited.

A loudspeaker manufacturer based in Pudsey, Yorkshire, England, primarily active as a manufacturer of loudspeaker drivers but did for a time manufacture loudspeaker systems mostly for export, which strangely enough often featured drivers made by other concerns. It is not exactly know to the author when the company started but they seem to have been active by the late 60’s and were in the 70’s one of the better known supplier of fairly cheap drivers to the DIY market and have to this day something of a reputation as a budget brand in UK hi-fi circles.

In the Americas they do however have a rather good reputation and this is not as strange as it may sound, the quality of their drivers varied enormously, so much so as to suggest that some of their better models where actually rebadge jobs but there is no actual proof of that, quite on the contrary it seems that the company supplied basic models to their home market while supplying models with the same basic specifications but made out of much better materials to companies that were willing to pay for that, and most of those companies appear to have been American. Indeed there is some evidence of Dalesford drivers seen in the USA that feature high quality doped paper and a better domes than the stock models sold in the UK (it is not a well known fact that re-badging of drivers with slightly different specs to the original OEM model was not uncommon in the 60's and 70's, particularly in the UK).

The company stopped trading in 1983 and Wilmslow Audio acquired the remaining stocks and sold them off as "Dalesford Constructor Series" or DCS and it appears that Cambrigde Audio acquired the rights to the name since in the mid 80’s it sold loudspeakers in the USA under the Cambridge/Dalesford brand that where basically developments of the speakers Dalesford had exported a few years earlier.

Spares & service : No one has been found that specifically repairs these units however basic repairs can be done by any competent speaker repairer (grey sidebar) and since most of their drivers had cheap foam surrounds the most common failing is foam rot, given that their drivers had bog standard dimensions replacement foam rings are easily available and cheap.

Damark Industries
Trading company based in Chatsworth, California, USA, and founded in 1967, later in Camarillo, California. Originally I believe the company was mostly occupied with distributing hi-fi and radio products (via mail order ?) but in the latter half of the 70's it started marketing products under their own Vector Research brand, these were noticeably better than most such branding exercises especially in the first few years, in particular the Kyocera sourced CD players and cassette recorders, video recorders sourced from NEC (by far the best OEM supplier of such at the time) and the receivers which were sourced from the Japanese and Taiwanese factories that at the same time were supplying Rotel and NAD with their USA models, these receiver models usually not sold in Europe, and these are the exact same units as provided by the aforementioned companies except for the front facia.

Noticeably VR was selling the receivers at lower prices than the competition and thus gained something of a reputation as a supplier of quality budget hi-fi, but the company was by no means tied to the low end, the most expensive receiver model from the company at the time retailed for around 1000 USD, the loudspeakers and record players from the company were disappointing however. The company was almost exclusively distributed in the southern part of the USA although for a time their products were sold as far away as Australia but notably the company did only own the trademark rights to VR in the US, the quality of their products also took a downturn in the latter half of the 80's in tune with the market and the last products I have been able to find stamped with the VR brand were an inexpensive sub/satellite combination from the early 90's. Getting accurate information on the company itself has not been without problems but it does appear to have gone out of business in 1992/3, however the Vector Research trademark was transferred to a company of the same name and a very similar address to the last one that Damark had at that time but no products manufactured under the VR name have been found that have been attributed to the latter company and last traces of it disappear from official documentation in 2004.

Be warned that there sprung up a number of companies called Damark after 1993, including a telemarketer based in Minnesota that is notorious for charging peoples credit cards without their consent, but there was also at the least a couple of companies that were called Vector Research at a similar time, including a a tiny relay manufacturer.

Danish Physics
A Danish high end loudspeaker manufacturer run by designer Don Flanz. The company made quite a splash in and around the turn of the century with a lineup of speakers called Point Zero that featured high quality cabinetry, electronics and the drivers & soft dome tweeters that were either custom made or modified to suit DP's needs, priced to mach all this engineering of course. The PZ models got great reviews in the Hi-Fi press and a few central European magazines even named the Point Zero One as their reference speaker but the company disappears without a trace in 2003/4, I have not even managed to find their original address.

Danish Sound Technology

Large Danish manufacturer of loudspeakers and drivers, officially based in the small town of Videbæk in Midtjylland (Central Denmark) were the Scan speak was based but the company also had the with offices in Japan and production factilities in Hengdian and Panyu Gouang Zhou province in China. this company is the end result of an anamalgation of the Logic, Peerless, Scan-Speak and Vifa companies and product lines, their drivers are sold using the separate brandnames rather than the DST name. The company was broken up in 2005 with the Peerless name going to Tymphany.

DataPlay Inc.

Company founded in 1998 in Boulder, Colorado, USA. Announced it's intention to manufacture a tiny WORM optical disk capable of storing 500 MB with the target market being handheld digital devices such as cameras and PDA's, but this format generated a large amount of interest amongst the larger USA based record companies since most CD's out there would fit onto a DataPlay Discs disk in an unchanged or only slightly shortened form. Company announced in early 2001 that it had reached agreements with a number of the aforementioned companies to release pre-recorded music disks in the format pending a release of a secure version, in July the same year it announced that it had reached an agreement with Imation to commence manufacture of blank and prerecorded media later that year and in August Dataplay announced that it had partnered with InterTrust to create what was practically a secure music specific variant of the format that would integrate a digital rights management system designed by Intertrust.

This effectively created not only the only secure music carrier out there outside of pure SACD but more interestingly the only officially sanctioned compressed music carrier at the time. The emphasis that the company put on the disk as an audio format was a bit odd since the main financial backers of the company came from the imaging and photography businesses and in fact when Dataplay finally shipped a product in the form of a drive for MP3 players in 2002 the delay that the added inclusion of an DRM had meant to the actual shipping date (almost a year) meant that the company had no revenues in 2001 so that it required additional financing to stay alive, none was forthcoming from it's original backers and as DataPlay Inc. did not manage to secure any additional funding elsewhere despite finally having a shipping product it was forced to lay off half of their staff in the summer of 2002 to save cost and sent the rest on an unpaid hiatus in September the same year and finally closed it's door on the 15th of October 2002.

David Hafler Company

USA based company founded by David Hafler in 1972 and originally based in Blackwood, Camden County, New Jersey, but was mostly a holdings and drawer company until 1977 when Mr. Hafler hired Ed. Gately as a president of the company and Ernö Borbély to design its products and hired premises in nearby Pennsauken to house the operation. Mr. Gately had worked with Hafler on the DynaQuad system in the past when his company Gately Electronics made professional encoders for the systems and Hr. Borbély had worked for Dynaco, but it should be noted that Mr. Hafler never partook in the day to day operations of the company nor contributed any designs to the product line.

The company’s first products were delivered in 1978 in the form of the Hafler DH101 preamplifier and in 1979 it was followed by the Hafler DH200 power amplifier both sold under the hafler brand (no caps). These are in many ways interesting designs, Hafler and Gately had envisioned the company primarily as a manufacturer of kits and had not realised the while musicians, pro-audio and computer electronic kits still sold in reasonable quantity in the late 70’s, the bottom had fallen out of the home hi-fi kit market in the mid 70’s and it no longer existed for all intents and purposes. The 101 and the 200 were thus designed with 3 objectives in mind, to be as cheap to produce as possible, to be as easy to assemble as possible and to be reliable to minimise servicing costs, but these are traditionally higher for a kit manufacturer than for a seller of fully built units so reliability is a cost controlling issue for them.

Hr. Borbély accomplished these objectives by using a simple complimentary push pull output stage in the power amp that was actually delivered to kit purchasers partially built and while the designs were not great sounding they were quite presentable sound wise, were some of the cheaper high power amplifiers on the market at the time and sold reasonably well in the audiophile market but managed to find a niche in the musician and pro audio market that appreciated the reliability of the amps and bought kits as much as fully built units.

Hafler announced a slew of new products that were supposed to be introduced in 1979 including tuners and a Head Amplifier, but David Hafler had made a deal with Borbély when he hired him that promised him shares in the company but when push kame to a shove Hafler refused to give Borbély the shares so he left after just a year and moved to Germany. This meant that the company had no designer and no new products in the pipeline, however the power amplifier sold much better than originally anticipated and in much greater numbers than the pre-amp so this did not hamper the company for a few years which did rather well.

The David Hafler Co. bought the bankrupt Acoustat company in November 1984, but that was a well-known maker of electrostatic loudspeakers, they continued to run the Acoustat operation in the original Fort Lauderdale location and using the existing workforce but Frank Stearns moved from Hafler management to Acoustat to run the company.

It should be noted that prior to that purchase the company had not had any production facticity of its own, all of their products were built by subcontractors. So not only did Hafler gain a loudspeaker production facticity and brand they gained an amplifier production line as well but Acoustat had a line of power amplifiers that had got good reviews but had dismal sales due to a lack of a distribution network. Haflers own amplifiers were on the other hand getting a bit stale even by 1984, most of the were simply variants of the original DH200 design from 1978 that was not designed as an out and out audiophile amp to begin with. So the company introduced a new range of high end amplifiers under the Hafler brand in 1986 that were in fact based on Acoustat designs rather than in-house developments by Hafler.

The company was sold to Rockford in 1987 who integrated their operation into their group and then went on to stop using the brand in 2001 or thereabouts, they do however still have a website up that has support documents for their Hafler branded products available.

Dayton Wright
One of the pioneering manufacturers of electrostatic loudspeakers. Originally based in the USA and know as Wright/St.George Laboratories Inc., but later in Canada under the Dayton Wright name, the history of the company and its products is documented on the homepage.

Next Page : Defunct Audio Companies - De to D9 -- Previous Page : Defunct Audio Companies - Co to C9

© 1993 - 2013 Ólafur Gunnlaugsson, all rights reserved.

The site was last compiled on Sun Nov 10 2013 at 9:15:00am