American Made Audio List


American Made Audio Equipment

Made in USA Stereo Equipment

Much of the best audio equipment in the world is made in America, and has been for years. Many of these are small operations hand-building equipment in the same place they design it. This started as “my” American audio list. American-made equipment from companies whose products I own, have spent time with, and have moved me. Based on the ever increasing google traffic that is coming to this page, it’s clear that there is a demand for American made audio equipment, so the list is growing. If you manufacture audiophile equipment in the US, let me know, and you’d like to be added to this list, leave a comment or email me at johndark (at) me.com

While music has the power to make an emotional connection over the humblest radios, earbuds and discs, there is nothing like connecting with the artist through spectacularly well-reproduced music. In this world of earbuds and MP3’s, more people are enjoying music in more places than ever, yet few know how close to the music you can get through high-quality musically-involving equipment. Your local high-end audio dealer might: I encourage you to visit a few to see what the world of American-made audiophile equipment is all about.

By the way, this site has a dual life – the other pages are dedicated to the terrific label Windham Hill Records. If you like acoustic instrumental music, or follow the ECM, Erased Tapes or MA Recordings labels, you also need to know about Windham Hill.

American Made Preamplifiers

& American Made Amplifiers

AESTHETIX

Founded by Jim White, who was previously with Theta Digital, this California-based manufacturer makes extraordinary tube and hybrid tube/solid-state electronics with exceptional sound and build-quality. Designed and built in Moorpark, California. The Aesthetix Calypso and Janus served as the reference preamps for Windhaming reviews 1001-1033.

Audio Research

Audio Research makes tube and solid state preamplifiers, amplifiers and phono stages in Plymouth, Minnesota. This is the company that invented high-end audio as it is known today (though many will argue, and with reason, that McIntosh deserves that accolade.) See the Soundstage Magazine Audio Research Factory Tour here. Italian-owned, but still made in Minnesota, Audio Research continues to craft beautiful, reliable and supremely musical equipment. Steve Guttenberg of CNET has a nice short piece on Audio Research. The Audio Research VT-100 Mk II was the Windhaming reference amplifier for reviews 1001 to 1033.

Ayre

Boulder, Colorado based designer and manufacturer of electronics – noted for making equipment that fights well above its weight. For example, their V-5xe that is Stereophile Class A rated, yet only fraction of the price of the other big boys in that league. Gorgeous vault-like casework – I haven’t heard the equipment enough to form an opinion, but it sure looks good.

BAT – Balanced Audio Technology

Makers of exceptional tube and solid-state electronics, the BAT factory is in Wilmington, Delaware. The BAT VK-P5 is the current Windhaming reference phono pre-amp.

Boulder Electronics

Well reviewed and regarded electronics. Unfortunately, I have no personal experience with them other than quick listens at audio shows, and the prices aren’t exactly “entry-level”, but well worth checking out.

Coda Electronics

Coda Technologies builds power amplifiers, linestage preamplifiers, and phono preamplifiers in Sacramento, CA. From the Soundstage Magazine Factory Tour in Sacramento, California:

“What was most impressive about the production was seeing the quality of workmanship and the attention to detail. Coda Technologies is certainly not a large company, but they’re able to build audio components that are truly world-class in terms of technology, build quality, and performance.”

Conrad Johnson

Makers of (mostly) tubed-electronics. Legendary. I’ve heard Conrad Johnson equipment make beautiful music many times.

JEff Rowland Design Group

Beautiful to look at (how do they get that crazy face finish), and a pleasure to hear the few times I’ve run into them at shows. Always well-reviewed electronics.

LAMM INDUSTRIES

Gorgeous sounding amplifiers and preamplifiers. Some of the most realistic sounding equipment at any price.

McIntosh Labs

Another legendary maker of electronics originally founded in 1949. For years McIntosh was a key leader in high-end audio. Amps, pre-amps, tuners, processors, and car audio. Currently made in Binghamton, NY.

OutLaw Audio

Some of the Outlaw Audio products are made the the US. Outlaw explicitly does not own or operate its own factory, but rather specify then outsource production, some of which (such as amplifiers) are made in the US.

Pass Labs

Pass Labs makes phenomenal solid-state electronics and speakers in Forest Hill, CA (near Auburn and Sacramento). Often described as solid state for tube lovers, Pass amps are designed by Nelson Pass and preamplifiers by Wayne Coburn. The don’t sound like what people normally mean when they describe the tube sound – fat bottom and rolled off highs. They do however capture what tubes do well – the liquid flow of music. Pass Labs is the current reference equipment for Windhaming: XP-10 preamp, XP-15 phono preamplifier and XA-30.5 amplifier.

PS Audio 

Makers of power regenerators, DACs and transports, and cables, PS Audio has recently brought their top selling power line production back from China to their headquarters in Boulder, Colorado.

Purity Audio Design

Makers of gorgeous looking pre-amplifiers and amplifiers, produced in Endicott, New York.

ROGUE AUDIO

Well regarded wakers of amplifiers, pre-amplifiers and phono-preamps.

Theta Digital 

Makers of home theater equipment and stereo amplifiers. The Casablanca series Pre/Pro is top-notch, the amplifiers are well-reviewed. Their digital players are the best I’ve ever had, if a bit finicky and expensive to maintain. Theta is now owned by ATI (who also owns B&K Components).

American Made Speakers

Acoustic Zen

San Diego based designer and manufacturer of cables and speakers, Robert Lee’s Acoustic Zen seems to get things just right. Musical, musical, musical. The equipment disappears and the artist is there with you. The Acoustic Zen Adagio speakers, Tsunami Power Cords and Absolute speaker cables are current Windhaming reference components. While the cabling is assembled in the USA, the raw single-crystal wire is produced in Japan.

Aerial Acoustics

Aerial makes their speakers in Massachusetts, including the popular Model 9 and the reference Model 20T.

Avalon Acoustics

Avalon Acoustics speakers are beautiful creations known for their imaging – the ability to “see” where each instrument is. Made in Boulder, Colorado. See the Soundstage Magazine Avalon Acoustics Factory Tour.

EgGLESton Works

“Located in Memphis within the heart of the downtown historical district, the EgglestonWorks factory is but a stones throw away from the birthplace of Blues and Rock ‘n Roll.” Architecturally handsome speakers with a commanding sound.

Genesis Loudspeakers

Genesis loudspeakers are designed and made in Seattle, Washington.

Magico Speakers

Magico makes music. With a CNC facility in San Jose, CA, and an assembly facility in Berkeley, Magico produces speakers with their own drivers that are in rarefied company. Neutral, grainless and dynamic based on what I’ve heard at shows and reviews. See the Soundstage Magazine Magico Speakers Factory Tour. 

Magnepan

One of the world’s top-selling audiophile speakers. Affordable, yet reference quality sound. Made in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. Consistently rated as some of the best speakers available regardless of price, Magnepan is often the first and last speaker that any audiophile will purchase because of its ability to take you deeper into the music.

Follow Magnepan on Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/magnepan

See the Soundstage Magazine Magnepan Factory Tour.

MARTIN LOGAN

Made in China or Canada. MartinLogan was founded in, and once made all of their speakers in Lawrence, Kansas. While R&D remains there, their dynamic speakers are made in China, and electrostatic speakers are made in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.

OHM Acoustics

Direct marketers of two-channel and home theater speakers, based in Brooklyn, New York.

Orb Audio

Makers of softball-sized mini-monitors for home theater applications that are extremely affordable and sound truly good. This is the American-made speaker that puts Bose to shame.

Rockport Technologies

Speakers and Turntables from a farmhouse in Rockport, Maine. I spent three days at RMAF one year volunteering for an electronics company that used the Rockport Mirra Grande speakers. The liquidity, precision and micro-dynamics were impressive. Their price-no-object Arrakis has been hailed by more than one editor as one of the best ever made.

Thiel

Beautifully finished, very heavy, and top-notch sounding speakers made in Lexington, Kentucky. I have heard many of their models in many different settings and always liked how they truly showed off the equipment upstream. See the Thiel Factory tour. 

Vandersteen

Made in Hanford, California, Vandersteen offers high-quality speakers with a wide range of prices, all very high value for the dollar.

Wilson Audio 

Original makers of the Rolls-Royce priced speaker system, Wilson has thrived, and widened their range to include speakers priced more like a VW Jetta. I’ve only heard them at shows and dealers, but prefer the humbler of the two. Wilson has made their extraordinary Provo, Utah factory a key part of their marketing.

American Made Turntables, Cartridges & Vinyl Accessories

Many thanks to the folks on the Vinyl Asylum and Audiogon forums for their recommendations. 

VPI Industries

I use the VPI  Turntable with a Dynavector XX-2 MkII cartridge (made in Japan, check out Grado for some fine US-made cartridges) for all Windhaming auditioning, and it’s a superb performer. Well regarded, often reviewed, the VPI Scout is a sweetspot for audiophile turntables – affordable enough for most everyone, but with sound quality that is not embarrassed by even the most expensive tables. The new VPI Classic is a retro-beauty, and the Scoutmaster and Aries have their acolytes. 

Artemis Labs

Based in Southern California, Artemis Labs makes tables, tonearms and electronics.

Basis Labs

Well-reviewed and beautifully industrial-looking turntables, Basis manufactures in New Hampshire.

Choir Audio

Choir offers custom turntables in addition to some attractive pre-chosen models.

Galibier Turntables

Small, strikingly-designed tables made in the Rocky Mountains.

George Warren Precision Turntables

Massive platters on lovely wooden plinths at this manufacturer.

Merrill-Scillia Analog

Based in Connecticut, Merrill-Scilla was founded by George Merrill, the original designer of the original AR (Acoustic Research) table.

Redpoint Audio

Massive, suspensionless turntables that start with a solid billet of aluminum. Based out of Scottsdale, Arizona.

SOTA TURNTABLES

Founded in 1981, for several years SOTA was the only high-end turntable manufacturer in the United States. The SOTA Comet and Sapphire are considered classics by many.

Soundsmith Cartridges & Phono Preamps

Soundsmith does a number of interesting things, right in New York. They make authorized reproduction Bang & Olufsen cartridges (I recently bought an SMMC4 for my son’s TX2 table), they make strain-guage cartridges and phono-preamps, and run a well-regarded cartridge re-tipping service, as well as repairing high-end electronics.

Spiral Groove Audio

In Berkeley, California, Allen Perkins and Lisa Thomas founded Spiral Groove in 2005, Spiral Groove designs and produces high-performance turntables and tonearms.

Teres Audio

Makers of turntables, and motors, tonearms and other turntable parts for DIYers.

Walker Audio

Well-regarded Audoban, Pennsylvania, makers of tables and accessories. The Walker Proscenium has been called one of the top ten most significant tables of all time (as well it should be for the price of Maserati). Walker also makes a line of record cleaning fluids and wins my vote for product name with their “valid points” feet.

Wave Kinetics

Makers of industrial and military vibration control equipment, the Portland, Oregon firm turned their skills to a turntable, the NVS, which is like no direct-drive table you’ve ever seen.

Record Cleaning Machines

VPI HW-17 RCM (Record Cleaning Machine) 

The best thing you can do for your record collection is invest in a vacuum record cleaning machine. It’s one of the reasons that Windhaming is possible. While most of the Windham Hill Titles I pick up for a dollar or two are relatively clean upon purchase, the sound is many factors better after a good cleaning. The sound is significantly better with a much quieter noise floor, and better clarity and definition at all parts of the frequency range. It just unlocks so much more music on the album – making the performance more immersive. Alex De Grassi’s guitar really chimes like a bell or coos along gently as needed. The VPI HW-17 is the Windhaming reference Record Cleaning Machine.

I’ve always cared for my records – at least since my father bought me my first cleaning supplies for my 13th birthday in the late 1970’s. It was a great little kit with a walnut base and smoked acrylic top – holding a Discwasher brush, stylus cleaner, and a Milty Zerostat anti-static gun. This did a decent job keeping my ever growing collection clean enough. Unfortunately, Discwasher has changed the fabric they use to a cheap corduroy, and all it does now is line up the dust on your record, not pick it up.

NITTY GRITTY RECORD CLEANING MACHINES

In 2000, I picked up a Nitty Gritty Record Vacuum from GNP AudioVideo in Pasadena (Hi Laurence and Don!) This unit was a noticeable improvement over hand-cleaning. Pump on the fluid, vacuum off the fluid. Many people swear by their Nitty Gritty, and I got 10 years out of mine, but I now prefer the greater ease of use and cleaning power of the VPI.

If you can’t invest the several hundred dollars required in a vacuum RCM, you have some choices:

1) A Mobile Fidelity brush – these work really really well for dry cleaning, or wet cleaning by hand. If used dry, they do build up static, so you would need to use a Zerostat or other static remover, but for the price of $20, it’s a great place to start.

2) Wet cleaning by hand – this will still require brushes and fluids, and if you have enough patience to do this, good for you.

2) Spin Clean II Record Cleaner – at $129 this seems like a good way to wet clean easily and painlessly. I was unable to find the country of origin for these, they have been around since 1975.

A couple of notes:

Didn’t find the Made in USA Audio Equipment here that you were looking for? Let me know and I’ll add it to the list. I know that there are dozens more companies and would love to link to them.

It’s a global marketplace – often a piece of equipment may have components made outside of the country. My criteria is that not only final assembly occur in the US, but that the preponderance of manufacturing occur in the US. This will unfortunately exclude some excellent products, such as cables, which are manufactured offshore and simply terminated in the US.

There is also great equipment made in Canada – Bryston comes to mind, but they’re not alone. There is also the oddity of equipment by Parasound, who designs in my hometown of Walnut Creek, CA, but produces offshore. Your local audio dealer is the best place to hear equipment, borrow equipment for home audition and to gain knowledge and often friendship. The web is a great place, but visit your local retailer.

If you live in a metro area, check out a local audio society. These groups often get together with audio reps, or to listen to each other’s systems.

The best place to get a quick overview of the total audio landscape is at a show. There are many new local audio shows – California Audio Show, Axpona, THE Show in Newport Beach. In the past few years, the RMAF -Rocky Mountain Audio Fest – has become a national-scale show for the consumer, and is a great way to hear a wide range of the top manufacturers.

66 thoughts on “American Made Audio List

    • JW Audio http://www.jwaudio.net/ is made here in the good ol’ USA.
      The wire is prodused in Philadephia, PA. And the labor and dressing is all done right here in Florida. I keep my price as low as I can to turn music lovers into Audiophiles.

      John
      JW Audio

    • WOO Audio makes tube headphone amps starting at under $600. The quality and appearance looks much more expensive than it is. Mr Woo builds them to order so you get full custom for your needs and headphones. You can also use some of his products as a pre amp if you like. Made in USA.

    • Good post.
      I didn’t realize until I looked around your blog site that you are Windham Hill Artists and (then) that I have one of your CD’s that I like a lot (A Winter’s Soltice). My website also carries some pages for American made audio and I think I have a couple you don’t have (although not nearly as many as you in total) Look on http://www.visiblecountry.com/index.html (under electronics)
      My site is really to portray 100 American companies making consumer products to counter all those nitwits saying “we don’t make things here anymore”.

      I also have a wordpress blog attached that lets me be as cranky as I like.

      Best Regards
      SRBAC

    • How about Bose? You made a mention of it but didn’t list it. I don’t know too much about Bose but they do have a lot of products in two channel, home theater, and autos. How about Klipsch. I know that there Heritage line is. There’s Salk Speakers, PolkAudio, JBL, Cerwin Vega. You might have to do some research on some of these brands because they might have some made in China and some in the U.S. Maybe you could have a list equipment that was made in the U.S.A. and no longer in business. Like Soundcraftsmen and SAE to name a couple. Because there are a lot of fans of those brands and you see them sold on Ebay all the time. I’m a big fan of Soundcraftsmen. Just about my whole system is Soundcraftsmen. Proudly made in the U.S.A. and it’s still going 26+ years. Maybe just a few you can add to your list. Just a thought!

      • Hey Dan – the vast majority of what you mention is quite simply not made in the US. But Soundcraftsment was new to me. Thanks for passing it along.

      • Bose now makes 90% of their stuff off-shore. About all that happens in the US is collecting the money from their suck,.. um, err, customers. Of all the brands that remain extant, Bose is perhaps the least deserving of the bunch.

        No highs? No lows? Must be Bose.

      • What do they make in the US, Peter? I’ll also say that while I don’t consider Bose high-end, I love my Bose clock radio and do think they’re a cut above most mass-market brands. What US-made brands do you recommend to your friends who ask you about Bose? There’s not much in the same price range.

      • Re: BOSE, I just contacted them to ask about this, and received the following response (9/30/14)

        Thank you for your inquiry and I can advise you about our products.

        Our corporate research and development headquarters are located in Framingham, Massachusetts. As a global company, Bose has sales and manufacturing facilities all over the world. The following in ear headphones and Bluetooth speakers are manufactured in Mexico.

        All versions of the SoundTrue IE Headsets
        The SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker
        The SoundLink Color Bluetooth speaker
        The SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker III

        The Wave Music system and the Wave Radio and manufactured in both the USA and Mexico
        The Acoustic Wave Music systems are all made in the USA

        I hope that helps.

        For additional assistance, or if you would like to place an order by telephone, please contact our Sales Solution Team at 800-999-2673. They are open from 7:00 AM to Midnight EST, seven days a week. Our specialists will be happy to assist you.

        Thank you for contacting Bose Corporation.
        Amy
        Customer Support Team

  1. Hi John! Here at Homegrown Audio we make pure silver interconnects and speaker cables, kits and DIY supplies. Not only are they American made, but we also ship about 40% of our finished product overseas- so we are bringing money into this country FROM Asia and other international locations! See our stuff at http://www.HomegrownAudio.com. Thanks- Holly Frye, Owner

    • I would guess that you’re asking about portable MP3 players. I am not aware of any US-manufactured MP3 players. There are many different reasons for buying American-made products; quality, economic patriotism, environmental reasons, commitment to buying locally made goods, etc. The player that ticks off most of these boxes for me is the Apple iPod range. I’m sure that some will find this controversial, but the vast majority of Apple profits are kept in the US, and Apple products are designed in my home state of California.

  2. Please add Sutherland audio. Made in Kansa city. Turntable electronics.
    Also add Odyessey audio. Made in USA. I own the Stratos amp. Excellent prices and the make is Krell or Rowland quality.
    Please add Jeff Rowland too. They make amps and preamps.
    Please add Pass Labs too. Amps and preAmps.
    Thank you

  3. I just received a pair of Tekton Lore’s made by Eric Alexander in Vineyard, Utah. Eric designs and builds the cabinets and crossovers using speakers made by other companies. They sound great and have to be one of the best values on the market.

    • There are many US made electronics available used on Audiogon for less than $1500, many with excellent quality in like new condition. I have personally funded my habit by buying and selling used equipment from Audiogon. Off the top of my head, you might look at the Bel Canto c5i, which is an integrated amplifier with a DAC for $1895. I haven’t heard this product myself, but their products are always great. If you meant $1500 for each component, I think you can broaden your search. How about it readers? What would you recommend for under $1500?

      • A few years ago, you could have had a few nice Pre’s and amps by B&K that were within your price range. Sadly, they went by the wayside, because they cared more about audio quality,,, than how many logos were on the front of there equipment. As stated above,,, ATI bought them out,,, and represents a minimal amount of B&K equipment. I was always curious about ATI amps, but they only got in the preamp business after they bought B&K. ATI’s preamps are homely looking to me, with the 3″-4″ video screen on the front. As Johnny said,,, there are good deals on used equipment on Audiogon… and if you purchase carefully,,, on the “Bay” also. B&K is good equipment,,, solid,,, and pleasing to the ear. On top of that, a few of the old B&K employees are still around and designing there own equipment,,, and will do repairs on what ATI will not honor.

        @ Johnnydark: You also forgot Grado man!!!

  4. I am surprised that Lamm Industries, Inc. of Brooklyn, NY has been omitted from the list of American amplifier and preamplifier manufacturers. Surely an oversight.

    Regards,
    Geoff

    • Oh, Shoot. Can’t believe I didn’t think of them. I’ve heard Lamm systems at many shows from the Stereophile ’97 show to some more recently, and Lamm’s equipment stands as some of the most realistic and musical pieces I’ve ever heard.

  5. American audio yet flies high and well. Nice to view your site.
    Some makers that come to mind. Volti Audio speaker maker. Olive music server gear.

    Wyred 4 Sound, amps and such. And Acurus they went away for a bit, but are now back and proud. My old Acurus gear is still sounding and running great. Their new stuff seems to take it up a notch.

    Go USA!

  6. Speakers:

    YG-Acoustics. Arvada, Colorado.
    Green Mountain Audio. Colorado Springs, Colorado.
    Rockustics (outdoor). Commerce City, Colorado.

    Electronics:

    Grace Design (DAC/Headphone Amp). Boulder, Colorado.

  7. Don’t forget Decware. This small American company that doesn’t bother to advertise sells the best sounding tube equipment I have ever heard.

    • John Van L from Chicago.

      http://vanlspeakerworks.com/

      As far as I know he gets his own designed drivers from a place in US and hand assembles the speaker in his small shop in Chicago. Last I heard he had a local furniture maker do the cabinets for him as well. Of course the whole thing is his brainchild and his design.
      And his speakers sound phenomenal.
      Please include him in this list.
      Thanks

  8. I agree about Bose then, I wasn’t sure. “No highs, no lows, must be Bose”, that’s good! I’ll have to remember that! Lol, lol!

    • Another Bose brasher, most from folks who have not heard thier products or compare them to higher priced or those coming on to make a better mouse trap. Bose comes up with the new technology with descent to good sound, then comes the copy cats. Which in some cases are indeed better sounding and cheaper. Easy to one up on the top of another’s shoulders. If you don’t like Bose over another brand fine. But the bashing is tried.

      • Agreed. This page is really about American made audio, and therefore Bose is immaterial, to my knowledge. Regardless, they’re fine for what they are.

  9. I do have to confess that I have a Bose AM/FM, CD player in my living room. It doesn’t match the sound of my Soundcraftsmen system I have down stairs. It does sound good for a one speaker, that has tuned channels for the other side. For that design it sounds good. I don’t listen to it much. Maybe once a year. I got it as a Christmas gift, years a go. I listen to my Soundcraftsmen gear every day. That was a great company, that was bought by MTX and in the mid ’91 and in the mid ’90’s, stopped production. It was great stuff made in Santa Ana, Ca.

  10. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to bash Bose. But it’s true. When I was in Germany I had the chance to listen to Bose and Vega’s side by side, everything was the same as far as amp CD player, everything and the Vega’s just blew them any in sound. I’m not a fan of either but the Vega’s were better, for have the money. They were both made that the same time. So, Cewin-Vega, didn’t copy. They just out performed! Bose sound good, until you listen side by side. I’m sorry if I hurt your Bose, I’m just not a fan and most people aren’t.

  11. American made? Check out Schiit (I’m not kidding) Schiit.com makes great, affordable DACs and headphone amps. They should have a very inespensive phono preamp coming out this month (Aug. 2014) as well. They sell direct to the consumer and have great support. I’m very satisfied with my Modi and Magni combo.

  12. Pingback: The 8 Essentials of an Eco-Friendly Home TheaterGreenBuildTV

  13. Here a few more for the list:
    VAC amplifiers made in Florida
    Red Wine Audio battery and Vinnie Rossi LIO ultra capacitor electronics from New Hampshire
    Joseph Audio speakers from New York city
    Acoustic Zen speakers and cables from California
    Clarity cables from Kansas

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