East Coast Sound

Massachusetts (USA) enjoys an incredible history of speaker manufacture. In the 1950s, ‘60s, & ‘70s Massachusetts produced so many enviable sets of quality loudspeakers, an audiophile term was created “The East Coast Sound

Many of these companies can trace their expertise directly back to MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), who worked with such genius engineers as Amar Bose (Bose Audio) & Henry Kloss (Acoustic Research).

Better known examples of Massachusetts manufacturers are:

Bose – The company was established by Amar Bose in 1964. Based in Framingham, Massachusetts.

Bose 901
Bose 301

Bose is best known for its home audio systems and speaker systems. Most noted in vintage circles are the model 901 units produced from 1969 through to the mid-eighties.

Boston Acoustics – Founded in 1979, Boston Acoustics is a world-renowned manufacturer of innovative home entertainment solutions and high-performance loudspeakers.

Boston Acoustics A70

Early models are well built, with classic ‘slightly austere’ appearance. All have that distinct ‘East Coast’ sound reproduction – distinct, all present, but not overpowering.

Acoustic Research – Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Manufacturers of some of the best high-end audio equipment for the mainstream market ever! The brand is now owned by VOXX.

AR TSW 210
AR 18

AR made quality turntables & speakers for the mass market. In our opinion – It is their speaker driver design that set them ahead of the rest. Using components that would appear slight & ‘cheap’ compared to others, they manage to achieve fabulous sound reproduction. Largely due to the attention given to the driver design eliminating the requirement for complex crossover networks.

KLH – An audio company founded in 1957 as KLH Research and Development Corporation in Cambridge, Massachusetts, by Henry Kloss, Malcolm S. Low, and Josef Anton Hofmann originally to produce loudspeakers. 

KLH had sales of $17 million, employed over 500 people and sold over 30,000 speakers a year before it was sold to Singer Corp. in 1964.

Snells Acoustics – an American manufacturer of high-end loudspeakers. Founded by Peter Snell in Massachusetts in 1976.

Snells – Type A
Snells – Type K

This company was the epitome of ‘High End’ HiFi – lovely equipment, beautifully made and very rare in NZ. Snell ceased manufacturing in May 2010

“If a Snell customer ever needed a replacement tweeter, midrange, or woofer, that part was supplied with its associated crossover parts, again matched to the original spec; and this was done for speakers 10, 20, and even 30 years after they were sold. That remarkable commitment to customer service is rare in today’s market, but Snell was a very special company”.

Steve Guttenberg – c-net

The good news is that loudspeaker & audio equipment production continues in Massachusetts:

  • Fulcrum Acoustics, produce speakers for commercial installations, including Disney.
  • Eastern Acoustics Works – again pro audio loudspeaker manufacturers
  • Tivoli Audio – a forerunner in Internet based music reproduction
  • And many more…