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 companies are small operations hand-building equipment in the same place they design it, some are much larger with teams of engineers. 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. If you manufacture audiophile equipment in the US, let me know, and you’d like to be added to this list, leave a comment.
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
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.
Southern California maker of amplifiers for stereo and home theater applications. Also serves as a contract manufacturer for other brands including Theta Digital.
St. Paul, MN maker of tube electronics. Gorgeous modern sound with retr0-classic good looks.
Minnesota maker of Tube and solid state electronics, as well as speakers and accessories.
Audio Research makes tube and solid state preamplifiers, amplifiers and phono stages in Plymouth, Minnesota. 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.
Boulder, Colorado-based designer and manufacturer of electronics – noted for making equipment that fights well above its weight. Gorgeous vault-like casework encloses pre-amps, amps, DACs and more.
Makers of exceptional tube and solid-state amplifiers, preamplifiers and phono stages, the BAT factory is in Wilmington, Delaware.
Bainbridge Island, WA maker of DIY tube-based kits for amplifiers and other electronics.
Colorado manufacturer of stereo and mono amplifiers, DACs and phono preamplifiers since 1984.
Raleigh, North Carolina maker of a wide range of electronics and accessories, including amplifiers, pre-amplifiers, integrated amplifers, phono stages, and DACs.
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.”
Makers of (mostly) tubed-electronics. Legendary. I’ve heard Conrad Johnson equipment make beautiful music many times.
Potomac, MD maker of amplifiers and pre-amplifiers.
Cave Arizona maker of amplifiers, pre-amplifiers and stands
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.
Orange, Connecticut-based maker of amplifiers, pre-amplifiers, integrated amplifiers, speakers and more.
Gorgeous sounding amplifiers and preamplifiers. Some of the most realistic sounding equipment at any price.
Chino CA manufacturer of tube-based amps, preamplifiers, phono amplifiers and studio gear.
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.
Amboy, WA-based Manufacturer (and modifier) of amplifiers, pre-amplifiers and DACs.
Pass Labs makes phenomenal solid-state electronics and speakers in Auburn, California. Often described as solid state for tube lovers, Pass amps are designed by Nelson Pass, with preamplifiers designed by Wayne Coburn. Pass Labs is the current reference equipment for Windhaming: XP-10 preamp, XP-15 phono preamplifier and XA-30.5 amplifier.
Idaho maker of amplifiers, pre-amplifiers
San Francisco Bay Area-based producer of high-quality electronics.
Pittlsfield, NY maker os amplifiers, pre-amplifiers and phono pre-amplifiers from veteren designer David Belles.
Makers of power regenerators, DACs, transports, amplifiers and cables, PS Audio has recently brought their top selling power line production back from China to their headquarters in Boulder, Colorado.
Makers of pre-amplifiers and amplifiers, produced in Endicott, New York.
Well regarded makers of amplifiers, pre-amplifiers and phono-preamps.
Valencia, CA-based makers amplifiers, pre-amplifiers and DACs. “By “Made in USA,” we mean Made in USA. Not “we just put in the last screw and said, ‘Assembled in USA.’” The vast majority of the total production cost of Wyrd—chassis, boards, assembly, etc—goes to USA companies manufacturing in the USA.”
Makers of home theater processors, multichannel and stereo amplifiers. Theta is now owned by ATI (who also owns B&K Components).
Sarasota, FL maker of tube amplifiers, pre-amplfiers and integrated amps.
You never know where you’ll find high-end American audio. Work travel took me to Dubai, UAE, where I noticed a sharp-looking retail store at the base of the very building I was staying in. The very kind and knowledgeable Mr. Mehrez of MMAAS Media auditioned an extremely impressive setup including YG speakers, Kubala-Sosna cables and the utterly musical Veloce LS-1 line stage. Veloce is based in Ambler, PA, and it was well worth traveling half-way around the world to discover them. If you’re an audiophile in Dubai (or anywhere else they sell Veloce) drop by for a visit.
Chino, CA maker of tube-based amplifiers, integrated amplifiers, pre-amplifiers and phono pre-amplifiers.
New York based makers of headphones, amplifiers and pre-amplifiers.
Thousand Oaks, CA-based manufacturer of tubed amplifiers, pre-amplifiers and phono pre-amplifiers.
American Made Cables
San Diego, CA-based maker of speakers and superb power, speaker and interconnect cables. Note that Acoustic Zen cables use OCC, or single crystal, wires that are made outside the US. but the cables are assembled and terminated in the US.
Large industrial maker of a wide range of cable products, including audio, from Indiana.
Broadlands, VA maker of cables for audio and home theater installations.
Affordable seller of audio cables, generally using Belden raw cable.
Legendary Oregon maker of speaker, interconnect and power cables and cable components, using wire drawn in the US.
Utah-based maker of speaker, interconnect and power cables.
Holliston MA maker of speaker, interconnect and power cables.
Poulsbo, WA maker of audio cables, interconnects and power cables and distribution devices.
Saco, ME maker of speaker, interconnect and power cables.
American Made Speakers
San Diego based designer and manufacturer of cables and speakers, Robert Lee’s Acoustic Zen seems to get things just right. 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. Speakers assembled in San Diego from US and imported components.
Aerial makes their speakers in Massachusetts, including the popular Model 9 and the reference Model 20T.
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.
Seattle, WA maker of speakers, cables and amplifiers.
Rochester, NY maker of speakers.
Founded in 2000, Devore has been making speakers in Brooklyn, New York, ever since. See the Devore Factory Tour.
“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 are designed and made in Seattle, Washington.
Lee, NH based maker of speakers.
Melville, NY maker of speakers
Indiana-based, but with manufacturing facilities in Hope, AR, Klipsch offers a wide range of products, not all based in the US. Look for their heritage series.
Northern California. Magico makes music. With a CNC facility in San Jose, CA, and an assembly facility in Hayward, CA, Magico produces speakers with their own drivers that are in rarefied company. Neutral, grainless and dynamic. See the Soundstage Magazine Magico Speakers Factory Tour. See the 2015 Stereophile Factory Tour here.
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
Direct marketers of two-channel and home theater speakers, based in Brooklyn, New York.
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.
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.
Medford, NY maker of speakers.
Electrostatic speakers made in Gunnison, UT.
Orem, UT manufacturer and direct seller of speakers.
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.
Portland, OR maker of architectural speakers for home theater and in-wall installations
Made in Hanford, California, Vandersteen offers high-quality speakers with a wide range of prices, all very high value for the dollar.
Made in Maine.
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.
Arvada, Colorado-based maker of speakers.
American Made Car Audio Products
Gaithersburg, MD maker of car amplifiers and other components.
American Made Turntables, Cartridges & Vinyl Accessories
Many thanks to the folks on the Vinyl Asylum and Audiogon forums for their recommendations.
I use the VPI Turntable with a Lyra Delos 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 VPI Classic is a retro-beauty, and the Scoutmaster and Aries have their acolytes. New VPI Traveler, VPI Avenger tables push the boundaries both up and down.
Based in Southern California, Artemis Labs makes tables, tonearms and electronics.
Well-reviewed and beautifully industrial-looking turntables, Basis manufactures in New Hampshire.
Choir offers custom turntables in addition to some attractive pre-chosen models.
Small, strikingly-designed tables made in the Rocky Mountains.
Massive, suspensionless turntables that start with a solid billet of aluminum. Based out of Scottsdale, Arizona.
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 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.
In Berkeley, California, Allen Perkins and Lisa Thomas founded Spiral Groove in 2005, Spiral Groove designs and produces high-performance turntables and tonearms.
Makers of turntables, and motors, tonearms and other turntable parts for DIYers.
Boston, MA maker of UNDER $200.0o Made in the USA tables!
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.
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
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.
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 primary criteria is that final assembly occur in the US, and that the preponderance of manufacturing occur in the US. This does mean that there are some cables and interconnects that have wire made elsewhere (particularly PCOCC) and then insulated and terminated in the USA. Similarly, many speaker manufacturers use drivers made in Europe or elsewhere but design and build the cases here.
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.