Beale Street Audio in Flux
A dispute between owner Fulmerco and patent-holder Jim Murray has left Beale Street Audio in limbo.
Beale Street Audio is in flux. In its short couple of years, the company has made strong progress in the custom installation channel with its patented “Sonic Vortex” technology, which reportedly produces deeper bass and a flatter response in loudspeakers.
The company Website has been down for weeks (UPDATE: now live at the new URL www.gobeale.com), and key employees were dismissed just before Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) 2016 earlier this month. While Beale Street erected an enormous booth at the event, there were few representatives to man the space, beyond employees of the European distributor BMB, which Beale Street acquired last year.
Beale Street was founded in 2014 by the car-audio manufacturer Fulmer Companies (Fulmerco), along with former integrator and A/V inventor Jim Murray, who holds the patent on Sonic Vortex.
Fulmerco agreed to sell Beale Street to Murray in a deal that was expected to close by February of this year. But as Murray tells it, Fulmerco principal Arthur Fulmer reneged.
“I am very sad to tell you that Arthur Fulmer has gone back on an agreement to sell Beale Street Audio to the original creators of the company,” Murray wrote to reps and other partners today.
For his part, Fulmer tells CE Pro that the parties simply could not come to financial terms.
The domain BealeStreetAudio.com was mid-transfer at the time, which can explain why the site has been redirected and currently is idle.
Fulmer tells CE Pro that Fulmerco is committed to the Beale Street business. Independent reps -- some of the finest in the A/V industry -- have been retained, and the Beale Street Website and phone numbers will be back again soon.
“We love the Beale products and have had great success with them," says Matt Cooley, VP of the rep firm RS Pro Sales, based in Cincinnati. "Our plan is to move forward as the Beale team organizes itself over the next few days. In every change we see opportunity, and we are reps and see lots of change, mostly for the better!”
Murray says in his email to partners, “I am still working on some options and hope to have more out next week.”
While Beale Street ownership might still be in limbo, one thing is clear: Murray owns the intellectual property behind Sonic Vortex.
Fulmer says he hopes to use the technology as a licensee moving forward, and the company has plenty of inventory in stock today.
"Arthur's intention is to keep Beale Street Audio headed in the same direction utilizing our existing rep network," says Tom Harvey, Beale Street director of strategic accounts, in an email to reps. "His goal is to continue to supply innovative, high quality, profitable products."
Harvey says he will stay with Beale through a transition period.
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Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at email@example.com
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