By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
The Dahlquist and Clements speaker brands, previously marketed by Toronto's AudioSphere before it went bankrupt in late 1999, are re-entering the U.S. market.
Two other brands previously owned by AudioSphere-Signet and Design Acoustics-won't be far behind.
AudioSphere, which also marketed Acoustic Profiles and other brands, was liquidated in early 2000 and purchased by Toronto-based Amtec. Amtec is an OEM home-speaker manufacturer that was primarily interested in AudioSphere's production equipment and other assets, said Philip Clements, who founded Clements in 1984 and last year bought back the name.
Philip Clements is also president of Chandler, Ariz.-based in-wall speaker maker Solus, which has assumed Clements design and marketing.
Last October, Mississauga, Ontario-based A/V distributor Jonic International purchased worldwide rights to Dahlquist, Signet and Design Acoustics, and it relaunched the Dahlquist brand at CES with the introduction of a full line of speakers for worldwide distribution.
At CES, Solus relaunched the Clements Dynamic Image series and introduced new Black Diamond and Spatial Image series speakers. The two time-aligned series are priced from $600-$2,500 per pair and $1,000-$3,000 per pair, respectively.
The new Dahlquist line, due in the United States in late summer, consists of floorstanding, bookshelf, center-channel and surround pairs and powered subs with prices per pair up to a suggested $800.
Jonic, which distributes CE products to 3,000 Canadian storefronts, is targeting Dahlquist to higher-volume regional chains, as well as independents, and is positioning the brand as a high-performance, high-value line, said Ian Brown, VP of Jonic's A/V division.
Signet will be launched in the fall in the United States, and Design Acoustics products will be introduced at CES 2002. Signet will be targeted to high-quality independents, he said, and Design Acoustics will be a custom-install line.
Jonic is designing all three brands' drivers and speakers and sourcing their production, he said.
The Dahlquist brand is 27 years old, having been launched by Saul Marantz and John Dahlquist with the CES 1973 introduction of the industry's first time-aligned speakers, Brown said.
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