FM Acoustics of Switzerland (also FM Acoustics Ltd.) is a manufacturer of high-end and professional audio components including phono and harmonic linearizers, preamplifiers, power amplifiers, electronic crossovers, microphone amplifiers and up until the 1980s loudspeakers. Since 1993, it is based in Horgen, Switzerland on the shore of Lake Zurich. FM comes from the intended company name "For Music and Acoustics" which could not be used due to Swiss law.
History: The company was founded in May 1973 as an acoustical engineering and consulting firm, whose primary business was to measure the acoustics of music halls and other venues, then make recommendations. The co-founder and chief designer was Manuel Huber. Due to inadequacies of commercial power amplifiers which frequently damaged their reference sound transducers, they decided to design and build a power amplifier without shortcomings which affected their business: suppress full DC output voltage (which damages the transducers), output safeguards, efficient cooling, increased output power, and full control of speaker diaphragms. They made four power amplifier units intended for internal use only. On one occasion, some musician friends borrowed an amplifier, but refused to return it because "it sounds fantastic." Word spread and numerous requests and unsolicited orders for their amplifier eventually led the company to begin production. They named the first model the FM 800A. The FM 800A found its way into hundreds of concert halls, opera houses, studios and the like. Audiophile rags raved about it leading to additional sales and demand for new models and new types of components. Audio professionals on occasion installed them at home, but the first household product was the FM 212 pre-preamplifier (phonograph amplifier) for moving coil (MC) cartridges.
Iniqueness: FM Acoustics is unique in several ways. Except for some metal fabrication, all products are hand assembled from rigorously selected and tested components in their Swiss manufacturing facility. No subassemblies are purchased or farmed out. All assembly and test is conducted in house. The company goes to extraordinary lengths to maintain high employee morale, notably there is no time limit or production quota for any manufacturing step. Variations in employee productivity are expected and allowed. Despite high product demand, no delivery pressure is exerted on manufacture. Growth has been organic and years of training are devoted to new employees.