Electrocompaniet
Electrocompaniet
Electrocompaniet

Electrocompaniet

The Electrocompaniet company began its history in the 70s of the last century in Norway, which in itself is unusual – at that time the country could not be classified as a center of a developed electronics industry, especially in the field of sound reproduction. But the fact remains that Electrocompaniet amplifiers have found their place not only in home systems, but also in recording studios. We had a chance to visit the company’s production and laboratories among the rocky fjords of Norway.

electrocompaniet_logo 3.jpg

In 1973, at the AES conference, Dr. Matti Otala presented his work on distortions, which the author called “Transient Intermodulation” (TIM). Svein Erik Børja, a Norwegian producer of studio and radio projects and simply a great music enthusiast, was also present at this conference. It was this seminar by Dr. Othala that helped Svein Erik understand where the sound distortions caused by amplifiers come from. Svein Erik Borja then showed the AES conference materials to Electrocompaniet management and asked permission to develop an amplifier based on Dr. Otala’s theory. After a number of attempts and the creation of several prototypes, an amplifier was born whose sound, compared to its analogues, was truly impressive.

389b2210df8f6074d54ca84a6c30d2e2.jpg

But Svein Erik was a real perfectionist, so he immediately realized that the new technology had great potential. Subsequent research and development took three years, during which time the engineers were able to create a new “language” with which they “translated” what they heard into the technical parameters of their amplifiers. The result of these efforts was the release of the first two-channel power amplifier (2 x 25 W). In 1976, the “bible” of American audiophiles, the magazine “The Audio Critic” tested this amplifier and summed it up: “Audiophiles – suffer! This amplifier is the best sounding.” There have been different periods in the history of the manufacturer, successful and not so successful, but what began to happen to the company in 2002 can definitely be called an unusual story.

Typically, companies of this caliber are bought purely on the basis of commercial profit, but Mikal Dreggevik, managing director and current owner of Electrocompaniet, bought the company based on more than just numbers.  From a young age, he was interested in music and high-quality sound, and the Electrocompaniet amplifier was a real dream of a young audiophile, and later the first big independent acquisition in his life, made at the age of 15. By the time he purchased the Electrocompaniet company in 2002, Mikal already owned the Westcontrol company, which specialized in electronic development, production of circuit boards and components, including for aviation and military equipment. With the change of owner, Electrocompaniet began a new stage of development.

000390c15eb62ee833040c4c2c4125a3.jpg

Everything was rebuilt – production, technical base, the staff of developers was increased, sales and logistics schemes were changed. But Electrocompaniet’s own sound and individual style of technology remained unchanged and especially protected. Since that time, the technological developments of Electrocompaniet engineers have risen to an even higher level, and the model range has expanded significantly. Today, Electrocompaniet products are distributed in more than 40 countries, receiving well-deserved recognition and status as one of the world’s best electrical components. Now the company is developing very actively, new models are appearing in the line, and there are plans to expand production capacity. The American company, previously involved in development for Pioneer, Krell, Harman/Kardon, was recently acquired and will now become another division of Electrocompaniet. The main production is located in the small Norwegian town of Tau – most of the “filling” for audio equipment is made here, assembly also takes place here and the headquarters of the developers is located. The production of circuit boards, soldering, and quality control (to which much attention is paid at the enterprise) are automated.

Electrocompaniet_ECG 1-0046.jpg

The same approaches are used that are used in the production of boards and components for military purposes. The assembly takes place here, on a separate line, but manually. Manufactured products are subject to detailed control measurements and work for 24 hours on a control stand before final assembly. In the production process, attention is paid to even such minor details as completely cleaning the devices from traces of touch, and this, of course, is understandable in relation to the front panels, but unexpected for the internal filling. In addition to the plant in Tau, the company has several production sites in different cities in Norway – firstly, an enterprise that produces acoustic systems, and secondly, a plant for the production of military products.

Emotiva
Previous
Emotiva
ELAC
Next
ELAC