Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Sparkomatic

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Covid-19
Former type  Private
Founded  1953
Industry  Audio electronics
Defunct  2000
Key people  =Jonas Anchel (Founder & CEO) Edward Anchel (later owner/son)
Products  Consumer loudspeakers, car audio

Sparkomatic was a USA-based manufacturer of car audio products. The company had their production facility in Milford PA. and sold car speakers, cassette players, radios and other audio accessories.

History

Originally incorporated in 1953 as Sparkomatic Corporation. It first operated primarily as a local wholesale distributor of automobile aftermarket parts, by 1961 the company had started to sell products with their own Spark-O-Matic brand name and the product line included aftermarket car transmission shifters and related automotive accessories such as tachometers and oil gauges. In 1968 the company branched into the car audio accessories business with a line of FM car radios, speakers and related accessories. Cars in the USA were normally sold with only AM radio as standard equipment until the late 1980’s. FM radio and cassette players were optional. By the mid 1970’s the company had become better known for their car audio products and accessories, though they continued to sell other non-audio accessories for a short time longer.

Sparkomatic was at that time primarily a vendor of low to mid-range car audio products, with some that would be considered quite odd ball these days, like the device that converted an 8 track into a quadrophonic unit. By the latter-half of the 1970’s, they expanded into other car related accessories such as digital dashboard clocks and CB radios. A few years later they also attempted a foray into high-end car-audio, branded as Amplidyne. By the latter half of the 1980's, their automobile accessories where folded into a new brand called “Kenco” and by the early 90’s they had exited the market segment altogether.

At the beginning of the 90’s the company entered the home audio market and created a new brand called Sennet or “Sennet Concepts” that in addition to being used on audio and home theatre speakers was also used on car audio speakers that were marketed in segment a step higher than Sparkomatic, this was ultimately not successful and thus short-lived, the company continued in the home audio business though, but using the original brand.

In 1992 the company decided to purchase Altec Lansing from Telex. Sparkomatic was widely considered low-end, K-Mart junk, so the acquisition of Altec Lansing gave Sparkomatic a jolt of new respect among the public. In 1992 Altec Lansing moved to join Sparkomatic in Milford PA and began building a new line of car and home loudspeakers. The home loudspeakers had solid walnut cabinets which were sourced locally in Pennsylvania. Altec Lansing was one of the only companies at the time to build its own cabinets and develop and build its own drive units; all under one roof. In 1998 Altec Lansing introduced the very first sound bar/subwoofer system called Voice of the Digital Theatre but didn't follow up with any other models.

In 2000 the Altec Lansing and Sparkomatic merger was completed under the Altec Lansing name and they dropped the Sparkomatic name altogether.

References

Sparkomatic Wikipedia


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