|Heinz Rohrer, CEO|
Thorens is a Swiss manufacturer of high-end audio equipment. They are historically renowned for the range of phonographs (turntables) they produce. In addition to audio playback equipment, they are also a historical producer of harmonicas and cigarette lighters, most notably the button actuated "automatic lighter".
High-end audio is a class of consumer home audio equipment marketed to audiophiles on the basis of high price or quality, and esoteric or novel sound reproduction technologies. The term can refer simply to the price, to the build quality of the components, or to the subjective or objective quality of sound reproduction.
The phonograph is a device for the mechanical recording and reproduction of sound. In its later forms, it is also called a gramophone or, since the 1940s, a record player. The sound vibration waveforms are recorded as corresponding physical deviations of a spiral groove engraved, etched, incised, or impressed into the surface of a rotating cylinder or disc, called a "record". To recreate the sound, the surface is similarly rotated while a playback stylus traces the groove and is therefore vibrated by it, very faintly reproducing the recorded sound. In early acoustic phonographs, the stylus vibrated a diaphragm which produced sound waves which were coupled to the open air through a flaring horn, or directly to the listener's ears through stethoscope-type earphones.
The harmonica, also known as a French harp or mouth organ, is a free reed wind instrument used worldwide in many musical genres, notably in blues, American folk music, classical music, jazz, country, rock. There are many types of harmonica, including diatonic, chromatic, tremolo, octave, orchestral, and bass versions. A harmonica is played by using the mouth to direct air into or out of one or more holes along a mouthpiece. Behind each hole is a chamber containing at least one reed. A harmonica reed is a flat elongated spring typically made of brass, stainless steel, or bronze, which is secured at one end over a slot that serves as an airway. When the free end is made to vibrate by the player's air, it alternately blocks and unblocks the airway to produce sound.
In 1883, the Thorens family business was first registered in Sainte-Croix (Ste-Croix), Vaud, Switzerland by Hermann Thorens. An initial producer of musical boxes and clock movements (which they were still producing in the 1950s), they started producing Edison-type phonographs in 1903.
A clock is an instrument used to measure, keep, and indicate time. The clock is one of the oldest human inventions, meeting the need to measure intervals of time shorter than the natural units: the day, the lunar month, and the year. Devices operating on several physical processes have been used over the millennia.
Thomas Alva Edison was an American inventor and businessman who has been described as America's greatest inventor. He developed many devices in fields such as electric power generation, mass communication, sound recording, and motion pictures. These inventions, which include the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the long-lasting, practical electric light bulb, have had a widespread impact on the modern industrialized world. He was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of organized science and teamwork to the process of invention, working with many researchers and employees. He established the first industrial research laboratory.
In 1928, they produced their first electric (motor-drive) record player, and went on to produce a range of audiophile record players in the 1950s and 1960s which are, even today, regarded as high-end audio equipment, and are much sought-after. As of 2006, Thorens continues to produce well-regarded turntables for playback of vinyl and 78rpm gramophone records.
An audiophile is a person who is enthusiastic about high-fidelity sound reproduction. An audiophile seeks to reproduce the sound of a live musical performance, typically in a room with good acoustics. It is widely agreed that reaching this goal is very difficult and that even the best-regarded recording and playback systems rarely, if ever, achieve it.
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A disc jockey, more commonly abbreviated as DJ, is a person who plays existing recorded music for a live audience. Most common types of DJs include radio DJs, club DJs, who perform at a nightclub or music festival and turntablists who uses record players, usually turntables, to manipulate sounds on phonograph records. Originally, the "disc" in "disc jockey" referred to gramophone records, but in the 2010s, DJ is used as an all-encompassing term to describe someone who mixes recorded music from any source, including cassettes, CDs or digital audio files on a CDJ or laptop. The title "DJ" is commonly used by DJs in front of their real names, adopted pseudonyms, or stage names. In the 2010s, it has become common for DJs to be featured as the credited artist on tracks they produced despite having a guest vocalist who performs the entire song, as with Marc Ronson's 2015 hit Uptown Funk.
High fidelity is a term used by listeners, audiophiles and home audio enthusiasts to refer to high-quality reproduction of sound. This is in contrast to the lower quality sound produced by inexpensive audio equipment, or the inferior quality of sound reproduction that can be heard in recordings made until the late 1940s.
A phonograph record, often simply record, is an analog sound storage medium in the form of a flat disc with an inscribed, modulated spiral groove. The groove usually starts near the periphery and ends near the center of the disc. At first, the discs were commonly made from shellac; starting in the 1940s polyvinyl chloride became common. Since then, gradually, records made of any material began to be called vinyl records, or simply vinyl.
A laser turntable is a phonograph that plays standard LP records using laser beams as the pickup instead of using a stylus as in conventional turntables.
A record changer or autochanger is a device that plays multiple phonograph records in sequence without user intervention. Record changers first appeared in the late 1920s, and were common until the 1980s.
Denon is a Japanese electronics company, but it was Frederick Whitney Horn, an American visionary and entrepreneur, who started the company in 1910. Denon produced the first cylinder discs in Japan and players to play them. Decades later, Denon was involved in the early stages of development of digital audio technology, while specializing in the manufacture of high-fidelity professional and consumer audio equipment. Denon made Japan's first professional disc recorder and used it to record Emperor Hirohito's voice. For many decades, Denon was a brand name of Nippon-Columbia, including the Nippon Columbia record label. The Denon brand came from a merger of Denki Onkyo and others in 1939. In 2001, Denon was spun off as a separate company with 98% held by Ripplewood Holdings and 2% by Hitachi. In 2002, Denon merged with Marantz to form D&M Holdings. On March 1, 2017, Sound United LLC completed the acquisition of D+M Holdings.
Sound recording and reproduction is an electrical, mechanical, electronic, or digital inscription and re-creation of sound waves, such as spoken voice, singing, instrumental music, or sound effects. The two main classes of sound recording technology are analog recording and digital recording.
RIAA equalization is a specification for the recording and playback of phonograph records, established by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The purposes of the equalization are to permit greater recording times, to improve sound quality, and to reduce the groove damage that would otherwise arise during playback.
Stanton Magnetics, founded in 1946 by Walter O. Stanton, is a manufacturer of professional and consumer audio equipment. Most of its products are aimed at DJs. It is a wholly owned subsidiary company of the privately owned Stanton Group who also own Cerwin-Vega and KRK Systems. The company has long been renowned for its line of magnetic cartridges and styli for phonographs.
The Garrard Engineering and Manufacturing Company of Swindon, Wiltshire, was a British company that was famous for producing high-quality gramophone turntables. It was formed by the jewellers Garrard & Co in 1915. The company was sold to Plessey, an electronics conglomerate, in 1960. During the period 1976-1978, Garrard developed demonstrators of the novel video disc technology. Although the team recognised the future potential of this data storage technology, Plessey chose not to invest. After several years in decline, Garrard was sold by Plessey to Gradiente Electronics of Brazil in 1979 and series production was moved to Brazil (Manaus). The remaining Garrard research and development operation in Swindon was reduced to a skeleton operation until completely shut down in 1992. Then, Gradiente licensed the Garrard name to Terence O'Sullivan, who operated as Loricraft Audio, in 1997.
Elektro-Mess-Technik (EMT) is a manufacturer of phonograph turntables and professional audio equipment, including a well-regarded line of artificial reverberation devices beginning with the EMT 140 plate reverb. The company was founded by Wilhelm Franz.
Ortofon is a Danish manufacturer of electronic audio equipment. It is the world's largest producer of magnetic cartridges for phonograph turntables, with 500,000 cartridges sold annually.
Luxman is a brand name of Japanese Luxman Corporation (ラックスマン株式会社), a company that manufactures luxury audio components. Luxman produces a variety of high-end hi-fi products which include turntables, amplifiers, receivers, tape decks, CD players and speakers.
Lenco is a Dutch owned brand of audio & video equipment, part of Commaxx International NV and a sister company of Trebs BV.
Birmingham Sound Reproducers was a British manufacturer of record player turntables.
Carad was a brand of the Ets. G.L. Carpentier, a small Belgian electronics manufacturer located in Kuurne, near Kortrijk. It existed from 1925 to 1975. At the height of its activities around 1970, the company employed about 400 people.
Pro-Ject Audio Systems is a manufacturer of audiophile equipment, founded in 1991 by Heinz Lichtenegger and located in Mistelbach, Austria. Pro-Ject Audio Systems designs the products in Austria and produces them in Europe. It produces a range of audio equipment including a family of turntables, which are often quoted as reference entry-level models. Pro-Ject Audio System also manufactures a range of micro hi-fi components such as Amps, CD Transports, Phono Stages, Streaming Devices and more. Today, Pro-Ject Audio Systems ship into more than 80 countries world-wide.