By Julius Grafton.
Before 2000 the big hitters in global concert loudspeakers were L-Acoustic, Meyer Sound and EAW. Today they are l-Acoustic, d&b audiotechnik and Meyer Sound. Where did EAW go, and why now is new ownership by Italian innovators RCF important?
Consider the strange jigsaw of ownership. First of all RCF Group CEO Arturo Vicari sells RCF to Mackie. Then Loud Audio LLC is formed with Mackie, RCF, EAW and Martin Audio London all in the camp. Progressive ‘synergies’ and crossovers erode all the brands inside under the Loud umbrella. RCF is sold out of Loud to interests associated with CEO Arturo Vicari. Martin is sold out to a management consortium.
Then RCF come back and buy EAW, which had just convinced Kenton Forsythe – one of the original founders of EAW – to come out of retirement.
The stage is set, as they say, for a new era with RCF giving EAW what it needs along with a healthy slab of independence. Also in the RCF camp is the confusingly named DB Technologies. EAW have traditionally used a fair slab of RCF components, with the Italian firm punching above their weight when it comes to manufacturing of transducers.
As for Loud, they still have Mackie and a couple of M.I. brands. It was a tortured journey where no one made any money – another case of venture capital venturing where it doesn’t know what it is doing.
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