History

Once upon a time SUPRAVOX…

Before World War II, the company SEM – “Super Electro Mecanique” – of 26 rue Pierre Lagny, Vincennes, created by M. DORLIAC, a former marine engineer, a high quality mechanical engineering manufacturer, started making 12 cm electromagnetic loudspeakers for use in radios. A manufacturing facility in Joinville completed the enterprise.

At the same time, at the start of the 30s, M. LEGORJU created AUDAX, and commenced manufacturing in Montreuil.

Shortly after the war, M. LIEBERT, SEM’s director of research and manufacture, developed the first exponential membranes, before launching the first full range loudspeakers of 17, 21, 24, 28 and 33 cm on the market. According to our sources, at this time, only the American company University made a comparable speaker.

The first SEM Alnico speakers were made between 1945 and 1950. Loudspeaker aficionados of that era preferred Alnico or Ticonal.

An anecdote: Vitruve or Vitruvius, of the first century BC, was a military engineer and architect who wrote an architectural treatise which was very much in vogue in the 15 th century. It dealt particularly with the building of theatres of acoustic qualities which have never ceased astonishing the architects of today.

In 1956, Madame DORLIAC, who was of Italian origin and was connected with the manufacturer “RADIOPHONO et d’ELECTROPHONO”, registered the trademark SUPRAVOX. She occupied the former offices of M. Henri de France, inventor of the SECAM process, at 46 rue de Vitruve, Paris. This was the start of production of speakers under the SUPRAVOX name, and the foundation of all research and manufacture by SEM, in particular of its exponential membranes and highly sensitive full range speakers.

During the same era, the company SIARE was founded by a former employee of SEM.

Elsewhere in the world, the Germans preferred to work with radial membranes, as opposed to the Americans, who at ALTEC worked with exponential membranes.

During the 1950s and 60s, the TV and radio manufacturing consortium led by M. Sylvain FLOIRAT, CGTVE (Tévéa, AMPLIX, TELMASTER, AIRPHONE …) consumed almost all SUPRAVOX speakers, in particular the models equipped with Ticonal motors with reinforced cylinder heads.

Between 1958 and 1960, SUPRAVOX participated in acoustic isolation studies for the cabin of the Concorde.

 

In 1964, RTF (la Radio Télévision Française) was looking for full range speakers to equip its studios. Into this market issued the 215 mm, under the name 215 RTF 64. This full range loudspeaker, with its revolutionary membrane, was used, inter alia, in the studios of ORTF, RAI, RTL and EUROPE 1, and even today gives satisfaction to happy audiophiles.

215 RTF 64  excitation & 215 RTF 64 bi-cône

At the same time, M. LEON, of the ELIPSON company, developed his famous shells, with or without “ears”, equipped with the 215 with tweeter or 215 twin cone; they flooded the market and have ever since figured as a legendary reference.

 

In 1968, SUPRAVOX made its first special studies leading to the T 104, destined to equip emergency stopping stations along autoroutes. According to the files, approximately 150,000 speakers were manufactured.

In 1979, the accidental death of Madame DORLIAC led to the acquisition of SUPRAVOX by M. GHIO. With his small cabinet making unit at Noisy-le Sec, dedicated to the production of loudspeakers, and aided by M. Jacques BOENICH, M. GHIO threw himself into the manufacture of Hi-Fi enclosures such as the SALON, PICOLA, RV cabinet, etc.

Another anecdote: in 1992, M. SALABERT, future creator of PHY-HP, attended a training course at SUPRAVOX.
In 1993, lacking a buyer and wanting to retire, M. GHIO closed the company without selling off its know-how or intellectual property.

 

In 1994, Guy LE CORNEC, former sound engineer, SUPRAVOX trainee and friend of M. GHIO, decided to invest everything in a gamble: to relaunch SUPRAVOX on the international market, this prestigious make which had enchanted generations of music lovers. He satisfied the requirements of M. GHIO by ensuring the rebirth of the 215 RTF 64 version 95.

215 RTF bi-cône

M. GHIO sold the marque in 1995, and on the first of October 1996 the company SUPRAVOX was reborn from the ashes and relaunched itself in the market, profiting from the expertise of the marque, new technologies and technical improvements in materials (ferrites, papers, adhesives) to relaunch the creation of a range of loudspeakers perpetuating the original philosophy: full range speakers of great sensitivity.

 

Production of these hand made loudspeakers of legend started up again, initially in cellars in Paris, before moving to Saint Pierre des Corps in Touraine from 1996 to ’99, and then to Bléré, where we are based today. All components of the speakers are made and assembled by hand in France.

The current standard range of Hi-Fi loudspeakers comprises:

THE LOUDSPEAKERS

Full range
– 135 LB, 13 cm, large bande, 95 dB/W with 1m.
– 165 LB, 17 cm, large bande, 95 dB/W with 1m.
– 215 RTF, 215 mm, 98 dB/W with 1m.
– 215 RTF bicone, 215 mm, 98 dB/W with 1m.
– 215 SIGNATURE (withor whiteout bicone), 215 mm, 96 dB/W with 1m.
– 215-2000, 215 mm, driving Alnico or Excitation, 100 dB/W with 1m.

As well as mid-bass loudspeakers (the presence of a tweeter or additional horn is required above 4-7 kHz).

Mid-bass
– 215 GMF 215 mm, 98 dB/W with 1m
– 285 GMF, 285 mm, 99 dB/W with 1m.
– 400 GNB, 380 mm, bass, driving Alnico, 96dB/W with 1m.

Finally, our expertise extends also to lovers of electro-magnetics, using field coil magnets, that is to say, loudspeakers of variable and adjustable magnetic field.

Field coil
– 215 2000 EXC, 215 mm, 94 à 100dB/W with 1m
– 285 EXC, 285 mm, 95 à 102dB/W with 1m.
– 400 EXC, 380 mm, 90 à 99dB/W with 1m.

SUPRAVOX also offers mid-range horns of exemplary linearity, conceived from its own progression formulae.

 

THE HORNS

– Medium-hight horn Tweeter, 96dB/w, 2 to 20kHz+/-1.5dB.
– Medium-hight Horn for 1 inch driver, 500 to 20kHz +/-1.5dB.

 

THE KITS

This range is accompanied by working drawings, our enclosure kits, modelled on listening tests especially conducted by the SUPRAVOX team in its auditorium, tests for which the speaker drawings are now available to order.

 

– Bass reflex, wide band with 135 LB ou 165 LB.
– Enclosures for the HP 135 et 165 (simple and push pull).
– TQWT for the HP 165, 215,215 2000.
– Boxes RJ or Jensen for 215 et 285.
– Jensen for 215 et 285.
– Box of low register equipped with one  285 GMF or one 400 GN-B.
– Open baffle, equipped with a  215 RTF 64 and one 285.

 

 

 

The company has also taken up the torch of loudspeaker research and development activities in the service of the sound manufacturing sector and sound professionals, to develop special models to specification:
– 20 cm waterproof for outdoor use, which you may hear in the park of Disneyland Paris;
– 104 mm loud hailer for marine fire crews (waterproof and operable from -20 to + 150º).
And other models exclusive to the makers of high end enclosures.

In 2009, following the death of Guy Le Cornec, his son Yann Le Cornec took over to ensure the continuity of the compagny.

In 2017, Supravox was acquired by Akylis Capital to continue, with the greatest respect for the work already done, to continue to manufacture existing products and also develop new products for the delight of audiophiles.

Akylis Capital owns several companies in the audiovisual universe, including the brand Line Magnetic, and has entrusted the distribution of Supravox to BC Diffusion SAS.

Some visuals of our production workshops