China Grand Tour 2009
Compact Audio Technology
Report By Steven R. Rochlin
Compact Audio Technology
is a Chinese company that specializes in loudspeaker design, engineering and
production. They manufacture their own cabinets and crossovers while the drivers
are custom made to their specification. One of the company's consultants, Kin Sung Yeon, was chief designer for
Tymphany, which makes the Vifa, Peerless and ScanSpeak drivers (note that a year ago ScanSpeak brought their manufacturing back in-house).
Compact started in 1993 and is one of the first Chinese manufacturers of high-end audio loudspeakers. They are also one of the first Chinese manufacturers to use veneer covering versus plastic vinyl covering (PVC) sheeting. They started as OEM cabinet suppliers for various American and European high-end
companies, which will remain nameless in this article due to agreements.
Allow me to assure you if you heard the brand names you would instantly
recognize their names as some of the more popular nameplates.
So how did the company begin? A few audiophiles came together and started Compact Audio Technology as an extension of their love of music. They
were also the first to use CAD for design and MLSSA acoustic measurement
system. Due to their advanced skills combined with technology at hand, they have complete abilities in all respects to ensure product quality
from initial design stage to a boxed and ready to ship product. The factory can make an impressive 20,000 pairs of cabinets per month.
This company is yet another example of a group of enthusiasts who started as DIY'ers who went professional. This type of migration from DIY to professional is echoed time and again from China to Europe to USA and beyond. The name Compact originated from meaning 'strong' and their nickname in China is Little Cyclone referring to high impact in a small size.
They offer products under the Compact nameplate and the finished products you
are seeing here are a few of their offerings.
Large floorstander cabinets for a popular British brand.
Seen above is a cabinet for an arcade video game.
This facility also makes furniture for hotel chains.
One of their fortes is the matching of veneer so pairs are mirror
finished for visual beauty.
Seen here is one of Compact's more affordable
monitor loudspeakers entering the final build phase.
Each speaker is hand assembled and there are
four layers of stain/standing plus four or more for finishing of their
high-end class of products. They also product cabinets with piano black
finish, which takes 12 layers to compete. There is an amazing amount of hand
assembly, hand sanding, hand staining, etc to achieve what finally reaches a
consumer's home. Each stage of the construction is carefully monitored to
ensure the quality expected from such luxury products is realized.
Click here for the main China
2009 tour page.