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Samsung is to buy Harmon for $8 billion..

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  • Samsung is to buy Harmon for $8 billion..

    Even after losing their shirt on Note 7 fiasco, Samsung is still buying Harman:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/15/bu...tive.html?_r=0

    Last I remember, Samsung is also buying Focal speaker company as well.

    What will it mean for future of highend industry or will it be just audio for Auto play? More money and resources invested by Samsung hopefully.

  • #2
    Not sure how much impact this will have on the high-end home audio. It looks like Samsung is doing this to buy their way into the automotive sector, which is a money maker, much larger than high end audio for the home (thousands of cars versus hundreds of home systems). With the Harman brands they instantly provide audio and connectivity systems for BMW, Lexus and Tesla. If they get Focal/Naim, they get more major car brands. Many years ago when I was talking to my friends at Mark Levinson, they almost didn't care about the US audio market because the car market was so much bigger and profitable.
    Speakers/Amps: Genesis G2.2 Jr with Powered Servo-Sub Bass, Genesis GR1440 Mono Amps, 5,000 watts total power
    Preamp: SMc Audio VRE-1C Preamp (fully balanced inputs and output)
    Phono 1: VPI Signature 21 Belt-Drive Turntable with 10” 3D Printed Fatboy Gimbal Arm and Ortofon MC Windfeld Ti Phono Cartridge driving Lehmann Decade Phono Preamp
    Phono 2: VPI HW-40 Direct-Drive Turntable with 12” 3D Printed Fatboy Gimbal Arm and Ortofon MC Anna Diamond Phono Cartridge driving Genesis Gold Phono Preamp
    R2R Tape: Studer A810 with Bridge Console
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    Cables: Genesis Advanced Technologies/Absolute Fidelity Interface Interconnects, Speaker, Phono and Power
    Power: Audio-Ultra Power System, IsoTek Super Titan Passive Power Conditioning for Amplifiers
    Accessories: Custom Acrylic Equipment Stands, Klaudio Ultrasonic RCM

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    • #3
      I thought this press release was a little less confusing. The NYT article made it seem like Samsung just acquired the car audio part of Harman. The audio part of Harman's portfolio is probably an afterthought according to what else Samsung acquired in the deal. Car audio was a huge part of Harman's business but that took a big hit with the recession. I don't know how much the car audio business has recovered since then. Plus there's a lot more competition in the car audio business today.

      It it would seem to me the pro arena and connectivity services are a major reason for the acquisition too. But Harman electronics also makes sense given Samsung's foray into 4K HDTV and home theater. It appears that the two companies won't actually merge though.

      Interestingly, Samsung has had a long time interest in breaking into the audio business. Back in the '90s, Samsung's President was an audiophile and it was rumored they were coming out with audio gear. But that never happened.
      Samsung Electronics to Acquire HARMAN, Accelerating Growth in Automotive and Connected Technologies
      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
      ________________________________________

      -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
      -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
      -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
      -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
      -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
      -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
      -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
      -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
      -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
      -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

      Comment


      • #4
        If the deal includes Revel hopefully Kevin Voecks will get an infusion of cash enabling a new generation of Salons.
        TW Acustic TT with Ref motor & controller; Tri-Planar Arm; Ortofon Windfeld-Ti Cartridge, Harmonix-Combak platter mat & weight; PS Audio Stellar Phono Preamp; KLAudio Ultrasonic Record Cleaner.

        Bluesound Vault-2 Music Server & Streamer

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        Sennheiser HDV 650 Headphone Amp; Sennheiser HD800s Headphones.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post
          I thought this press release was a little less confusing. The NYT article made it seem like Samsung just acquired the car audio part of Harman. The audio part of Harman's portfolio is probably an afterthought according to what else Samsung acquired in the deal. Car audio was a huge part of Harman's business but that took a big hit with the recession. I don't know how much the car audio business has recovered since then. Plus there's a lot more competition in the car audio business today.

          It it would seem to me the pro arena and connectivity services are a major reason for the acquisition too. But Harman electronics also makes sense given Samsung's foray into 4K HDTV and home theater. It appears that the two companies won't actually merge though.

          Interestingly, Samsung has had a long time interest in breaking into the audio business. Back in the '90s, Samsung's President was an audiophile and it was rumored they were coming out with audio gear. But that never happened.
          Myles- although the focus appears to be the car/connectivity side, it does look like the acquisition includes all the Harman companies. I think electronics in the car is now way beyond car audio. Maybe Samsung isn't planning an autonomous car immediately, but cars today are basically computers on wheels--not just the driver "interface" either (my wife's car has a heads-up display that I don't see as a passenger that gives her all kinds of data, except perhaps for incoming projectiles). Cars are now going the 'drive by wire' route, much like commercial aircraft. Perhaps that's not where Samsung is headed, although it is a huge industrial conglomerate.
          As it affects the high-end brands within the fold, I can't imagine it will hurt them, unless Samsung just decides they aren't worth the trouble. Does Mark Levinson really even have much market share any more? JBL kicks ass, Crown has been rebooted as a 'pro amplifier' company (It started as a company making tape machines for missionaries in Elkhart, Indiana), what does Lexicon do these days? Pro stuff? (High end home theatre pre-pros almost seem dead given the proliferation of cheap black boxes that accomplish 90% of the game for a fraction of the cost of what stuff like Meridian charges--and do you think the folks who pay home theatre installers to set up faux theaters even have a clue as to what's in the rack?). The rest of the lines, I don't know. I doubt Samsung ownership will hurt.
          I'm waiting for teleportation. I'm ready for the next planet.

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          • #6
            From what I have read its a purchase of all Harman Industries business segments. https://news.samsung.com/global/sams...d-technologies
            Chris
            ----------------------------------------------------------------
            Kef 201/2, Pass xa30.5, W4S STP-SE, Manley Chinook, VPI Classic, Dynavector DV20x2L, ExaSound e32, Acoustic Zen cables. (Office): Vincent SP331 Mkll, Quicksilver Pre, Lumin D1, (Ken Lau Signiture Edition PSU), Bryston BCD-1, Vapor Audio Breeze, WooAudio W6se,Questyle Audio CMA800R LCD-3,HD800s, HD600, Mr Speaker Ether C Flow,

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            • MylesBAstor
              MylesBAstor commented
              Editing a comment
              Yes, see #3.

          • #7
            It is for the whole Harman Industries, including all of the name brands such as JBL & Revel,...

            FWIW, according to my source, Kevin Voecks didn't take the original offer from Samsung but, NOW, he will be part of them after all. :-)
            Hugh Nguyen
            ACA

            Comment


            • #8
              Certainly one thing Samsung may help with is getting Levinson out into the market because one has to wonder if their market has been drying up. On the other hand, will Levinson and Revel be in Best Buy now?
              Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
              Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
              ________________________________________

              -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
              -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
              -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
              -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
              -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
              -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
              -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
              -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
              -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
              -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post
                On the other hand, will Levinson and Revel be in Best Buy now?
                Naaah. That's what Proceed is for.
                Analog: Holbo Turntable, Transfiguration Proteus; Forsell Air Reference, Transfiguration Phoenix S; Rega RP-8, VdH Crimson XGW; VPI Prime Signature, VAS Nova Mono, VAS Nova Signature, Symphonic Line RG-8
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                Comment


                • MylesBAstor
                  MylesBAstor commented
                  Editing a comment
                  True, I thought about that too.

                  Of course, the question could be does Samsung keep it all in the long run or sell off some of the pieces they acquired. Right now they are saying business as usual but...

                • cpp
                  cpp commented
                  Editing a comment
                  True but so many of their business segments support in one way or another the automotive section Samsung wants to go after. I could see consolidation of those areas in those segments to a new overall new connectivity segment for automotive design, marketing and support. I guess time will tell.

              • #10
                I'll bet that Samsung will provide positive change by good management and engineering (their exploding batteries were by a subcontractor?). The problem with Harmon and Mark Levinson 10 years ago or more was created by the bean counters I think. The Mark Levinson manufacturing operation was shut down and consolidated with the newer Lexicon facility. This may have saved short term costs, but they pissed customer off by having much longer lead times for orders in process and repair times went to 6 months or more. Even more strategic was the loss of good engineers and designers who ultimately wound up at Classe (Meridian) and then later Linn as I understand. I would not think Samsung would ever be that stupid.
                Speakers/Amps: Genesis G2.2 Jr with Powered Servo-Sub Bass, Genesis GR1440 Mono Amps, 5,000 watts total power
                Preamp: SMc Audio VRE-1C Preamp (fully balanced inputs and output)
                Phono 1: VPI Signature 21 Belt-Drive Turntable with 10” 3D Printed Fatboy Gimbal Arm and Ortofon MC Windfeld Ti Phono Cartridge driving Lehmann Decade Phono Preamp
                Phono 2: VPI HW-40 Direct-Drive Turntable with 12” 3D Printed Fatboy Gimbal Arm and Ortofon MC Anna Diamond Phono Cartridge driving Genesis Gold Phono Preamp
                R2R Tape: Studer A810 with Bridge Console
                Digital: Lumin Network Player with Lumin NAS
                Cables: Genesis Advanced Technologies/Absolute Fidelity Interface Interconnects, Speaker, Phono and Power
                Power: Audio-Ultra Power System, IsoTek Super Titan Passive Power Conditioning for Amplifiers
                Accessories: Custom Acrylic Equipment Stands, Klaudio Ultrasonic RCM

                Comment


                • MylesBAstor
                  MylesBAstor commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Don't forget Bricasti.

              • #11
                I am chuckling reading this thread. As a kid living in Korea, Samsung was just a second class trading company importing sugar and other commodities and was far away from making TVs. It was LG (Lucky Gold Star) who made TVs in the early 70's and was the king of the Korean Electronics industry. Close to twenty years ago, when the old chairman (current young guy's dad) took charge of Samsung, his famous order to all of his employees was to make change. He said to change everything and anything other than your wife and set the goal for his company to overtake Sony in 10 years. Well, he out did himself on that promise and now we are talking about Harman being part of Samsung. Let's hope for the best that they will do amazing things for audio world as well for our sake.

                Comment


                • #12
                  as I read this on my Samsung lcd pc monitor with burnin problems I never experienced with any other brand of monitor
                  Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

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                  • #13
                    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                    ________________________________________

                    -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
                    -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
                    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                    -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
                    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

                    Comment


                    • #14
                      Loved Mark Levinson during the Madrigal days.

                      Samsung are a high unit, high tech, low unit cost spread turnover company. I agree this is about adaptation into the car systems vertical. For Samsung, it will be mass production that is just good enough to last a new car lifetime or 3-5 years.

                      Nevertheless, in order to maintain brand prestige, at least one classic hi-fi system line will still have to be produced. That doesn't necessarily mean sota hi-end hi-fi engineering of days past.

                      Typically, the world of Samsung is currently at 12 months or 3,000 hours. It will be interesting to watch the transformation of the HK stable.

                      So I hear McIntosh Labs is getting back into car audio also..... Last time around, they were owned by Clarion. With exception of the Subaru mass production stock, it was really great gear.
                      Steve

                      Studer Enthusiast

                      Comment


                      • MylesBAstor
                        MylesBAstor commented
                        Editing a comment
                        My computer has HK speakers if that means anything.

                    • #15
                      After having participated in several corporate acquisitions during my career as a senior staff participant, what usually happens is that the company being acquired is raped of everything the buyer really wants, then they fire/retire all the senior execs in the acquired company and then the acquirer spins off and repackages what is left (in this case the high end component) for divestiture to the highest bidder...I've seen this happen over and over again in corporate America...Sad but true...
                      Primary 2 channel stuff: Atma-Sphere MP-1 Mk 3.3, Pass Labs X600.5 amps, Aerial SW 12 subs, True Sound Works Ultimate Apogee Divas, Dunlavy SC4s, VPI HRX Reference w Avenger mag drive and Reference footers, Gimbal Fatboy, Yamaha GT2000 for Mono, Miyajima Kansui, Miyajima ZERO, Fidelity Research MC-201 & 202, VPI ADS, Vendetta Research SCP-1, Audio Note UK- 3.1X II balanced DAC, Meridian Sooloos, Western Electric Speaker wire, mostly diy balanced interconnects, Furutech Power Cords

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