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Vintage Asylum: RE: The Demise of Bozak by Pat Tobin

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RE: The Demise of Bozak

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Someone asked if the Bozak lady might have known Pat Tobin. As a Bozak historian and long-time aficionado, some have come to think I must have worked there. I did not. I first heard Bozaks in 1954; gosh, only 53 years ago. I was a youth of 18.

Here's a historical framework that will help to pull together some of the events mentioned by the ex-Bozak lady.

Rudy sold the company in mid '77. I know little of the new owners, except that they wasted no time in making a hell of a mess of things. Quality was down the toilet overnight. Within weeks several key employees quit. Rudy was kept on for a while, probably under terms of the sale so that the new owners could claim that Rudy was still running things. Nothing could have been farther from the truth. I can't imagine the agony that must have been Rudy's, watching what they were doing to the company he built and loved.

Immediately after the sale, the company was briefly named N.E.A.R. However, it appears that they went back to the Bozak name.

There were a few bright spots. New engineering people designed the only really good bookshelf speaker Bozak ever made, the LS-200 (and subsequent LS-200A). There was an LS-400, descendent of the 302A and Rhapsody lines, which was good. There were several other products in the LS line which which I'm not personally familiar. In all, there were some creditable fresh engineering happening, but not enough to offset the degradation in the older products.

That iteration went down in just a couple of years or so. I'm not too clear on what happened then, until about '83. The company was re-organized under Bozak family management. (Sadly, Rudy had passed on, but I like to think that he was involved in the reorganization, even in declining health.) Several of the key people returned. The product made from '83 until about '85 was excellent once again. But the company had lost so much good will in the market that a full ruscitation was impossible.

My understanding is that N.E.A.R. ended with the tooling and manufacturing rights. However, after a while they sold off the brand name to another entity. Believe it or not, there are 'Bozak' products made in China.

One of my Bozak contacts is Bob Betts. Bob was Rudy's right hand man and chief engineer from '63 until '75, I think it was. He then returned briefly in '77, around the time of the sale. Bob has his own history with Rudy and the company on his web site. Excellent reading for Bozak folks.


Pat Tobin

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Topic - The Demise of Bozak - jaynemo 02:14:43 12/5/07 ( 31)