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Pamphonic & Pye 1955 On

In 1955, after some rather acrimonious negotiations, Pye finally acquired the remaining 49% of Pamphonic Reproducers Ltd. Both Taylor and Lavington stayed on but the company direction was being forced to change. A new interest had already emerged with the acquisition in 1954 of W Bryan Savage, a competitor in the large amplifier business with an interesting sideline in vibration (“shaker”) systems

In 1957 it was decided, despite misgivings, to enter the commodity (lower-cost) Hi-Fi market. Pye had always regarded Pamphonic as a path-finder in the audio market. Now it had full control.

In the late 1950s, Pamphonic opened up further manufacturing at Honeypot Lane in Wembley, North London. Honeypot Lane adjoins Westmoreland Road and the two sites operated together for some time.

Stereo Player

Pamphonic brought many ground-breaking “firsts” to the UK market in this period. These included the first transistor radio (Pam 710), the first integrated stereo amplifier (Model 3000) in 1958 and what seems to be the first UK integrated stereo record player (Model SP63) in 1960.

In 1959, Edgar Lavington left the company, and from then until 1964 (looking at HiFi yearbooks) the audio product range stagnated. Despite tape recorders from recently-acquired Reflectograph, and the launch of many TVs, Pamphonic was struggling to compete in consumer markets.

IMGP4266

In 1961 Paul Taylor forged an alliance with Ling of the US, to market huge industrial “shakers”. This became his main preoccupation, although his interest in line source PA loudspeakers continued. An interesting 1963 Lecture for the British Sound Recording Association is written up here

In 1965 even Pye was struggling afainst the tide of imports from Japan, and was eventually bought by Philips in 1966.

The Pamphonic brand was finally laid to rest. The vision of two wonderful engineers produced some excellent products over 30 years.

To this day lovely-sounding old Pamphonic amplifiers are much sought after by the classic HiFi fraternity.