Perreaux History

Perreaux was formed in 1974. The first product produced was the "GS 2002", an integrated transistor amplifier capable of a whopping 22Wrms per channel. Over the next two years the company continued developing its products and was then producing preamplifiers, power amplifiers and loudspeakers for both the domestic and professional local markets.

In early 1976 Perreaux produced New Zealand's first locally made "big" PA system, which was taken "on the road" by a then top NZ rock band, "Ragnarok". This system weighed about 3 tonnes, was capable of 900Wrms mono and could sear the ears or create mini earthquakes in many well-built venues.

During 1976 Perreaux won its first export order to Australia, which was an incredible opportunity.

The company was beginning to refine its techniques and products, ever mindful of the dangers and criticisms that originality and innovation could attract, but equally determined to pursue the original goals, which were to improve the reproduction of music.

During 1977 and 1978 Perreaux became aware of the technology surrounding the development of the power MOSFET. They had realised back in 1974, that for well-documented reasons (heat, weight and size), valve designs had many drawbacks, but they were also unhappy with the sonic qualities of bi-polar transistors. After much study and experimental work had been completed, the company began to realise that the power MOSFET could, if used correctly, go a long way towards achieving the sonic warmth, sweetness and realism of valves combined with the physical practicalities of transistors. The experiments continued.

In 1979 Perreaux released its first MOSFET amplifiers, the SA80B , an integrated amplifier using power MOSFETs in the output stage and the "PMF2000", a power amplifier designed for the both the domestic and professional market. These units were stereo, 80 and 200 watts per channel respectively and were the starting blocks for the expansion that was to follow.

With the release of the "SA80B" and "PMF2000", Perreaux won the distinction of being the first Western world company to commercially utilise power MOSFETs in an audio application. The reaction in the marketplace was very favourable.

Perreaux realised that because of the inherent expense of handcrafting Perreaux products and the small population base of the local market, (NZ population 3,900,000), increased export markets needed to be found. At this time, the decision was made to cease loudspeaker production. Perreaux realised that despite receiving critical acclaim for both professional; and domestic loudspeakers, it needed to concentrate resources on what it did best, which was building "musical" electronics.

In early 1980 the PMF2150 was released and taken to the USA. The PMF2150 was demonstrated to two of the top hi-fi dealers in New York, who were very impressed, and from then on things began to skyrocket.

During the 1980's Perreaux export markets for both domestic hi-fi and professional products began to expand quite rapidly. The company was researching and experimenting with an exciting new preamplifier, and it became apparent that production capacity would not satisfy predicted market needs.

An anodising plant and extra buildings were constructed, more efficient work and production areas were designed and extra staff were employed. Perreaux realised that although the production demands were now considerably greater, handcrafting, care, and attention to detail were pivotal to success in the long term. Perreaux further recognised the major importance of totally reliable product, and that one of the major reasons for Perreaux's market success was a long and established reputation for 100% reliability. This was particularly critical in the professional market. Perreaux's rugged construction and years of development and refinement of electronic circuitry generated many sales by word-of-mouth by professional users.

In 1983 the SM2 preamplifier made its debut. The SM2 was an exciting departure from previous Perreaux designs, utilising pure Class A operation along with many other features and facilities. The SM2 , combined with the now released PMF2150B power amplifier, captured the imagination of the World markets. Word began to spread as the audio press started recognising this hitherto unknown company called Perreaux.

In 1984 the PMF5150B was released, and received great acclaim due to its sonic quality, sheer size, relative simplicity and huge power output capability, 500Wrms per channel into 8 ohms.

By 1985 a new professional range had been released, the SM3 preamplifier and PMF3150 had been received well by the international hi-fi fraternity, and Perreaux had expanded it's product base to include a more economical range; the SX1, PMF1050 series, and had developed a range of tuners. Additionally, Perreaux Professional Power amplifiers were one of only four brands at that time to be given Lucas Film Ltd THX approval for use in THX Theatres.

Perreaux staff were continually trained to maintain the same standards of handcrafting and attention to detail as were the original group in 1974. From the original NZ$1,000 investment with production quantities of 20 units per month, the company had grown to a multi million dollar asset with production at approximately 20 units per day. Perreaux enjoyed strong and vital export markets for both professional and hi-fi products. Perreaux products were being exported to 17 countries, and by the mid 1980s Perreaux was exporting product by the container load of which a major portion was to the USA market for both Professional and domestic consumption.

In 1987 the company finished development on a new range of entry-level products consisting of the EP pre amplifier and E1 , E2 , 100 and 200 watt power amplifiers, continuing the tradition of Class A pre amplifiers and MOSFET power amplifiers, but at a more affordable price. Again these products were well received by both the press and the consumer.

In 1991 the Perreaux factory was re-located to Auckland.

A number of new products were designed and introduced into the market place, including a serious endeavour by Perreaux to move into the home theatre market, represented by the MC6100 multi-channel amplifier, which was well reviewed; and more recently, with the ongoing development of a Dolby Digital/AC3 processor.

More recently Perreaux has embarked upon further intensive research & development, with the aim of further developing and enhancing amongst other things, user interaction with their product range. Today we fully embrace sophisticated digital electronic processes in most of our product line up. Our extensive knowledge of both analogue and digital electronics; its application and usage in mixed domains enables our company to continue to develop and offer some of the most sophisticated yet clean sounding audio/visual componentry available anywhere.