PERREAUX was formed in 1974 in Napier, New Zealand by electronics guru Peter Perreaux with a $1000 investment. The first product off the production line was the now legendary "GS 2002", an integrated Class A transistor amplifier capable of an impressive albeit modest 22Wrms per channel.
The initial success of this rugged, reliable solid-state integrated amplifier prompted further developments of PERREAUXS product offering and lead to the release of high quality preamplifiers, power amplifiers and loudspeakers into both the New Zealand domestic and professional audio markets.
In early 1976 PERREAUX produced New Zealand's first locally made "Concert" PA system, which was taken "on the road" by then top New Zealand rock band, "Ragnarok". This system weighed close to three tonnes, was capable of 900Wrms in mono and could reportedly “create mini earthquakes” in many of the music venues it appeared.
PERREAUX also won its first export order with a shipment destined to Australia, a proud step for a small New Zealand electronics manufacturing company.
During the following year PERREAUXS design team became interested in the sonic characteristics and potential of the recently developed power MOSFET. After much study and experimentation, the company discovered that the power MOSFET could, if used correctly, go a long way towards achieving the perceived warmth, sweetness and realism of thermionic valves combined with the physical practicalities and reliability of transistors.
In 1979 PERREAUX released the first of its MOSFET amplifier designs, the 80 watt stereo SA80B , an integrated amplifier using power MOSFETs in the output stage and the 200 watt stereo"PMF2000", a power amplifier designed to meet the needs of both the domestic and professional audio markets.
With the release of these amplifiers PERREAUX won instant acclaim in being one of the first professional audio company’s to commercially harness and utilise power MOSFETs in a high end audio application. The resulting reaction in the marketplace was overwhelmingly positive.
In early 1980 the follow-up (now collectors favourite) PMF2150 amplifier was released and taken by the PERREAUX team to the United States of America where it received an unequivocal Hi Fi industry seal of approval. News spread fast and worldwide demand for PERREAUX’s domestic Hi-Fi and professional audio products expanded rapidly. This was a welcome and exciting period of growth for the company however it soon became apparent that the current production capacity would not satisfy predicted market needs.
An anodising plant and further production facilities were soon added, production areas redesigned and additional staff employed to meet the increased demand .
In 1983 the distinctive SM2 preamplifier made its global debut. The SM2 was an exciting departure from previous PERREAUX preamplifier designs, utilising a refined pure Class A architecture. The SM2 in conjunction with the powerful MOSFET PMF2150B power amplifier, captured the attention of the international Hi-Fi press. New Zealand’s PERREAUX was now a household name.
The following year saw the release of the groundbreaking PMF5150B which was widely lauded for its sonic qualities, design simplicity and massive power output, an impressive 500Wrms per channel into 8 ohms.
1985 heralded a new professional range, the SM3 preamplifier and matching PMF3150 power amplifier. PERREAUX also further expanded it's market offering to include a more economical range; the SX1, PMF1050 series, and developed a successful range of AM FM radio tuners. In addition, PERREAUX professional power amplifiers received positive industry attention as one of only four international brands at that time given Lucas Film Ltd THX approval for use in THX Theatres.
By 1987 PERREAUX had expanded into a multi-million dollar export business producing approximately 20 units per day. PERREAUX products were being exported to 17 countries worldwide, for both Professional and domestic applications. The company finished development on a new range of market-leading products consisting of the EP pre amplifier and the E1(100 watt) and E2 (200 watt) power amplifiers, continuing the long held tradition of Class A pre amplifiers and MOSFET A AB power amplifiers.
To meet the increased international growth 1991 saw the PERREAUX factory re-located to Auckland.
The early 90’s saw a number of new products designed and introduced into the market place, including a move into the home theatre market, represented by the MC6100 multi-channel amplifier and the development of a Dolby Digital/AC3 integrated amplifier; the 6 X 160 W per channel PERREAUX 6160.
PERREAUX also continued with the company’s development of dedicated, class leading, integrated and separate component two channel systems; releasing the EP2 preamplifier (complemented with the E100 and E 200 power amplifiers) in 1992 and again in 1994 with the follow-up release of the EP3 and matching E110 and E220 Power amplifiers.
Furthermore 1994 saw the development and release of the much prized and coveted SM5 Preamplifier and its siblings the powerful 2400 and 3400 power amplifiers. A series still much sought after by audiophiles and Hi Fi collectors alike.
1995 was to prove a pivotal year in the PERREAUX company history with a change of ownership and direction. Starting in the talented hands of founder and company namesake Peter Perreaux in 1974 and eventually passing through to new owner, the fresh-faced Martin Van Rooyen.
Martin and his team soon took up the mantle investing much needed time and energy into the company, developing new markets for the products and re-invigorating the PERREAUX brand.
This period of activity again lead to the company requiring further space for growth and during 2005 resulted in the relocation of tooling, staff and management from Auckland – lock , stock and barrel to the company’s present factory location in Mosgiel, just outside Dunedin, New Zealand.
2005 also saw the expansion of PERREAUX’s half size component range; the renowned Silhouette series which included the SX V1 Phono preamplifier, SX P2 Passive amplifier and the precision SX H1, Class A headphone Preamplifier.
Further product releases followed in quick succession, expanding the company’s product offering with PERREAUX releasing the AVP1 Dolby Digital AC3 Decoder, ECD2 Compact Disc Player, ETR and TU6 AM FM Radio Tuners and the impressive E160 and E160i integrated and stereo power amplifiers.
These were in turn joined by the visually impactful 200, 200i Classic (Dogbone)and 200iP Series amplifiers and the muscular SM6 Preamplifier. The Classic series sporting a futuristic curved front panel finished in a satin chrome electoplate as well as electroplated Gold and a range of coloured options.
This now widely sought after and highly collectible series was eventually superseded by the 2007 issue of the R200 and R200i Radiance series and SM6 Mk2 Preamplifier. These models also featured an elegant universal remote control and were presented with front panels finished in a slick, high lustre aircraft grade aluminium.
2010 was to see the initial development and introduction of PERREAUX’s current Audiant Range of products; the first being the 80i, an award winning integrated amplifier featuring an integrated 24 bit 96k Digital Audio Converter and onboard Moving Magnet Phono preamplifier. This was soon augmented with the release of the DP32, a 24 bit 192k Digital Audio Converter / Preamplifier, 100P Class A AB stereo Power Amplifier and the much lauded VP3 Moving Coil / Moving Magnet Phono preamplifier.
2012 was yet another milestone for PERREAUX with the introduction of the powerful and refined eloquence integrated amplifiers the 150i and 250i. These amplifiers were met with critical acclaim by industry reviewers and quickly found favour among consumers looking for a fully featured amplifier with power to burn. This popular and prestigious series was soon further expanded with the addition of the 350p 350 Watt Stereo Power amplifier and the gargantuan 750P a 750 Watt Mono block amplifier, built to command the most demanding of loudspeakers.
This range expansion continued with the 2014 release of a new, yet familiar product category for PERREAUX with the development of the efficient, floor-standing, full-range, bi-ampable SR35 loudspeakers designed by Loudspeaker guru Graham Bowers. Followed again a year later with the release of their larger, more powerful tri-ampable siblings the SR58 loudspeakers.
2017 was to herald in the much anticipated update to the popular eloquence 250i integrated amplifier with the release of the 255i; the worlds most powerful integrated Class A AB amplifier to date. This amplifier the result of years of research being capable of producing a breath-taking 350 watts @ 8 Ohms and 500 watts into 4 Ohms. With features including Home Theatre pass through loop, balanced inputs , serial and IR remote control and the optional SABRE Pro 9038 24/384k DSD DAC and class leading MM / MC phono module.
In 2018 PERREAUX once again saw the passing of an era with full ownership of the company transferred to the highly capable Edwin Nieman; electronics engineer and owner of successful electronics design company Kamahi Electronics.
This management transformation provisioned PERREAUX with both a new perspective and access to a wealth of design and engineering talent; culminating in the auspicious premiere of the impressive and eye-catching 155iX integrated amplifier at Melbourne’s 2019 Stereonet Hi Fi show.
This high-performance integrated amplifier alongside its larger, more powerful sibling the 255iX now lead the way forwards as the initial releases of a contemporary, lifestyle inspired, design philosophy, focused on engineering high quality, bespoke audio amplifiers that fully integrate with their owners listening environments.
The future is clear: Power , Performance , Personality , PERREAUX.