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dancing-dave
03-15-2004, 01:46 PM
I was talking with my father the other day about how Altec Lansing pooped out sometime in the 80s. As I've learned the quality control went to hell where JBL was rejecting around 80% of the Duplex drivers they were receiving for the Urei Time-Align monitors. And I've also read that sometime in the late 1970s Altec began to lose money and for one reason or another nobody knows what happened.

Well my father pointed out a few other companies who broke around the same time including DeLorean Motor Cars and Low Rider Magazine (they took a dive in the early 80s). In both cases the main person in charge was addicted to cocaine which was huge at that time.

It makes sense to me that perhaps someone pulling the strings at Altec Lansing may have be snorting and partying away so much that they lost sight of the company. The timing of the downfall is dead on for what was going on at that time with many other people. The scenario points to where the Altec should have been making loads of money, but was losing out somehow. Even though JBL dominated much of the 70s many other companies made it through who weren't as popular like Klipsch and Cerwin-Vega.

Regis
03-15-2004, 02:24 PM
Maybe they went out of business because JBL was innovative enough to put glass tops on some of their home speakers during the cocaine frenzied 70's! <8^) ========!

Mr. Widget
03-15-2004, 02:45 PM
:rotfl:

scott fitlin
03-15-2004, 03:10 PM
Thats really funny, but I dont think thats why Altec went under!

:cool:

Don McRitchie
03-15-2004, 03:32 PM
The fall of Altec is pretty well understood. More than anything else, it can be ascribed to James Ling and LTV Corporation.

http://www.braniffinternational.org/people/jamesling.htm

Ling built a conglomerate empire through mergers and acquisitions. In 1959 his LTV Corporation (then known as Ling Electric) picked up Altec Lansing, which had previously been a publicly traded company. Ling was notorious for bleeding a company of its revenue and assets and then selling the remains in a public stock offering. Over the next 13 years, LTV would do just that. The amount of money spent on R&D began to dry up. Cost cutting was the order of the day and it resulted in ill conceived products like the 806 and 605. It should be noted that these were not intrinsically bad products. However, they were initially sold as new and improved designs when they were actually cut down versions of older systems.

LTV apparently came to the conclusion that they had drained everything they could out of Altec Lansing by 1972 which resulted in a spin off and new public stock offering. However, they saddled the new spin off with debt that Altec had no hand in creating. It was a means for LTV to improve their bottom line by offloading bad debt. The result was that Altec Lansing was financially handcuffed throughout the 70ís. Whereas the 50ís and 60ís were relatively stable with regards to audio technologies and market demands, the 70ís saw an explosion of new market opportunities. Tour sound, the musical instrument market, and home audio all took off exponentially. Altec could not take advantage of these burgeoning markets because they lacked the resources to finance the necessary expansion. In contrast JBL was well financed and jumped on the opportunities.

The net result was that by 1980, Altec had ceded dominance to JBL in every pro and consumer market save cinema sound. This last market would fall too in the early 80ís with the rise of THX. Through a number of astute product developments and associations, JBL managed to become the standard for THX sound. When THX took off, Altec was in the midst of closing their Anaheim plant and moving to Oklahoma City. The year that the market shifted, Altec could not supply any cinema products at all. Within one year, the tables were completely turned and Altec was shut out of a market position they had dominated from the very beginning of their existence.

That was pretty much it for Altec. They declared bankruptcy and were bought out by Gulton Industries in 1984. Thus began the merry-go-round of ownership changes that marked the long steady decline until the brand was ultimately closed down in 1998.

PSS AUDIO
03-16-2004, 04:07 AM
Originally posted by Don McRitchie
That was pretty much it for Altec. They declared bankruptcy and were bought out by Gulton Industries in 1984. Thus began the merry-go-round of ownership changes that marked the long steady decline until the brand was ultimately closed down in 1998.

Hello,

Who owns the brand today?

What is the cost of the brand if is was sold on the market palce today?

thevott
03-16-2004, 06:59 AM
It pains me to even say Sparkomatic and Altec in the same sentence but that's the cold hard fact!

MP

Stonehenge Man
05-03-2005, 12:44 AM
Yes, I should think so, but since Sparkomatic and KRACO were actually in the vanguard of AM stereo equipped car stereos in 1982 (long before I ever heard the OEM car models), and I actually USED Sparkomatic 6X9s in my sedans for years (which I inherited from my brother's old Cavalier) and found little fault with them), I can't provide such a harsh judgement.

Of course, I seem to see scads of stuff on eBay so the NAME is out there if not the COMPANY, much like the DUAL name has become...It is very sad.

Todd W. White
05-03-2005, 08:55 AM
As I have said so many times in so many places before (therefore I won't elaborate much here), Sparkomatic bought the following BRAND NAMES from Telex:

Altec
Lansing
Altec Lansing
Voice of the Theatre
Voice of the Highway

That's it. Alan Shirley, then with Telex/EVI, even stated in the official announcement of the sale, "The Altec Lansing brand name has been sold."

They later coerced Telex into giving them Duplex.

But, in no case, and in no manner (and you can check me out with the Securities & Exchange Commission on this) did "Altec Lansing Technologies", who had been leasing the rights to use the "Altec Lansing Consumer Products" brand name, purchase ANYTHING but those brand names! They did not buy the actual company, any designs, products, or anything else (including ANY rights to ANY copyrights to printed materials or photographs - even though Telex told DM that they did, probably in order to keep from having to spend money defending something they don't incur any revenue from). Just those BRAND NAMES.

And, like Dual, it's all gone to you-know-where: CHINA!

Almost, if not all, of ALT's products, as well as those from "Altec Lansing Professional" (ALPro) are made in CHINA!

THE Altec Lansing Corp. ceased to exist in 1996 or so. So did University Sound, and, conicidentally, EV is gone too!

So sad....

Titanium Dome
05-03-2005, 09:01 AM
Of course, I seem to see scads of stuff on eBay so the NAME is out there if not the COMPANY, much like the DUAL name has become...It is very sad.

Yes, many "brands" are names only, purchased for a song to suck any remaining past glory out of them, then applied to ridiculously inept products.

We can be grateful that JBL still exists as a true brand and still produces some mind-blowing products. I know it's easy to get stuck in the "glorious past" and drone on about how Harman nearly ruined the brand, or at least crippled it for life, but the fact is Harman kept it alive with an identity of its own.

I believe today's JBL products are better than the products of the past, except perhaps for cabinet finishing. The 250Ti, Performance Series, TiK Series, K2 Series, and Synthesis.

Todd W. White
05-03-2005, 09:04 AM
Well, I'm sure that JBL's current products are better than the ones they made in the past, but...... ;)

4313B
05-03-2005, 09:10 AM
Well, I'm sure that JBL's current products are better than the ones they made in the past, but...... ;)Exactly! :applaud:

spkrman57
05-03-2005, 09:38 AM
from all of them companies.

Sooner or later, bean counters rule and all the quality goes to hell in a handbasket.

I'm crying now just thinking about it......:biting:

Ron

Titanium Dome
05-03-2005, 10:28 AM
I believe today's JBL products are better than the products of the past, except perhaps for cabinet finishing. The 250Ti, Performance Series, TiK Series, K2 Series, and Synthesis.

Sheesh! now I'm quoting myself. :rolleyes:

I didn't finish the sentence. The 250Ti (Jubilee), Performance Series, TiK Series, K2 Series, and Synthesis products are leaders in their respective market segments. I won't go so far as to say they're all the best in their segments, but I think some of them are.

Titanium Dome
05-03-2005, 10:53 AM
Well, I'm sure that JBL's current products are better than the ones they made in the past, but...... ;)

Hey, Todd, I visited your site. It looks like you've got a lot of work ahead of you, and it probably will never end. Good luck.

Dedicated sites are important to the preservation of vanishing technology. I belong to one for Soundcraftsmen gear and one for Chrysler's TC by Maserati. Both help me keep up products that are no longer made. Looks like your site tries to do the same (and more) for AltecLansing.

Nostalgia is a wonderful thing, and I'm all for it, but as a blanket statement, I'll also say that it's overrated in most cases. The well-rendered technology of today beats the well-crafted technology of the past. in AltecLansing's case, unfortunately, the past is in fact the peak.

Maybe I'm influenced by the fact that most real AltecLansing gear I've seen lately was dusty, cracked, dented, discolored or electrically faulty, and my memories of ALtecLansing gear during the 60s, 70s, and 80s is clouded with the passage of time. :)

4313B
05-03-2005, 11:07 AM
Nostalgia is a wonderful thing, and I'm all for it, but as a blanket statement, I'll also say that it's overrated in most cases.Yeah, it probably is overrated in most cases but... Until you drive up to the gas pump, that 427 Rat and M22 between the fenders of a '65 Chevelle with the '65 LE8T's in the rear deck sure is fun! :p

Titanium Dome
05-03-2005, 11:42 AM
Until you drive up to the gas pump, :p

You want what? Leaded? What the hell is leaded? :wtf:

Stonehenge Man
05-03-2005, 12:17 PM
Nah, that WAS "regular". Back when the "good stuff" was dyed orange or purple (so they tell me about "hi-test")...the sad thing is at 39 and with a father who was a mechanic and later a station owner, all I can really remember is when the price suddenly hit 65 cents a gallon!:beamup:

But, back to the topic...I'll have to look to see whatever happened to Telex. Last time I noticed wasn't I seeing Motorola headsets on the NFL sidelines?

tomt
05-04-2005, 03:37 PM
at Altec

http://www.prosoundweb.com/install/commentary/kc/sac/doncar.shtml

corporate vampire-ism alive and well i the USA.

trump just ban-crupted his cassino, did he not?

jblnut
05-04-2005, 05:45 PM
Yeah, it probably is overrated in most cases but... Until you drive up to the gas pump, that 427 Rat and M22 between the fenders of a '65 Chevelle with the '65 LE8T's in the rear deck sure is fun! :p

I'm with you man ! As long as we're off topic...

Throughout most of the 80's, I drove a '73 Trans Am complete with a 455 and the "Rock Crusher" M22. It was a complete ball to drive and own and would out-handle anything it couldn't outrun.

I sold it in the early 90's due to some bad economic factors beyond my control...

When things turned around again, I bought a '94 Firebird Formula with the LT1/6-speed combo. It would do everything the '73 would, only faster, smoother and better while using about 1/2 the gas.

Yet, even then (and now) I still wished for the '73.

Nostalgia may be overrated, but not always....

:cool:


jblnut

aust-ted
05-05-2005, 01:30 AM
The only link to the great old RCA company who made the famous LC-1A speakers Olson designed that I can find in Australia,other than RCA CDs,are cheap looking TVs that I gather are made in eastern Europe.

It is indeed sad when the great old names are sold to purveyors of junk to squeeze a bit more out a faded brand.

Regards
Ted

hector.murray
05-05-2005, 01:12 PM
Great reads on the SYN-AUD-CON and James Ling . And of Note, I still drive my 76 Chevy PU truck - daily - as I have not gotten over its' feel (though it's now 4 wheel drive) not to mention that - including the purchase price (I didn't buy it new) I have less than $10,000 in it, including tires. It's been in my possession since 1987. Now if I could get that kind of longevity from the LE-10s, 2214s and 123s I own, well ...........

tomt
05-05-2005, 09:34 PM
my 1st car was a 65 chevelle

but it 'only' had a 327.