The Gotham Audio companies (Gotham AG and Gotham Audio LLC) will celebrate the 55th anniversary of Gotham Audio in June 2013. The Gotham organization was officially launched by Stephen Temmer when he registered the Gotham Audio Corporation with the State of New York on June 11, 1958.
Temmer’s Gotham Recording had purchased their first Neumann microphones in 1953. In 1958 he incorporated under the Gotham Audio name and became the exclusive US distributor for Neumann microphones and disk cutting systems.
Over the next twenty-five years Gotham became the preeminent American importer and exporter of professional audio equipment. In addition to Neumann, it introduced Studer and EMT products to the American market and undertook distribution for Telefunken and Beyer.
Gotham served as the US importer and agent for many European audio manufacturers, including Neumann, Studer, Thorens Franz, Klein & Hummel, EMT, Audio+Design, Ferrograph, NTP, Audio Developments, Cedar Audio and Harmonia Mundi Acustica. Innovative American manufacturers turned to Gotham for the export and distribution of their products in Europe. UREI, Valley Audio, Lexicon, MRL and Switchcraft were among the brands that launched their international sales through Gotham. Gotham Audio opened a branch office in California, licensed a company in Canada and expanded export operations in Europe, opening an office in Regensdorf, Switzerland near the Studer factory.
In 1983 a Swiss company, Gotham AG, was founded as a joint venture with the Swiss audio specialist Franz Ammann. Gotham AG acted as European headquarters for the export side of the Gotham Audio Corporation. Gotham AG also handled worldwide distribution for the very popular Gotham Audio Cables, which had been manufactured in Austria since the mid-1970’s.
Until Gotham AG became involved with the distribution of audio cables, this important aspect of recording and broadcasting had been left to a few larger companies whose sights were aimed at the mass market. Gotham Cables were a groundbreaking product specifically designed to address the needs of audio professionals in high-end studios and broadcast facilities.
Gotham Organization founder Stephen Temmer retired in 1985, shortly after registering his Gotham international trademarks in Switzerland. He sold his remaining shares in the Swiss company to Franz and Manuela Ammann, who developed Gotham AG as a Swiss domestic distributor of pro audio products, while greatly expanding the international distribution network for Gotham Audio Cables. 2008 also marks the 25th anniversary of the Swiss Gotham company.
This Swiss sister company operated independently from the US Gotham, while continuing to supply the North American market with Gotham Cable by way of the NY Gotham and other distributors
Innovation and excellence were hallmarks of the Gotham companies. The Gotham Delta T-101, developed by Lexicon and introduced in 1971, was the first commercially available digital audio product. Gotham co-developed the ProDAT professional DAT recorder and brought the first practical recordable Compact Disc system, the CDR-90, to studios and mastering rooms in 1990. From the world’s first digital reverbs, to the first Videodisks, to early multitrack hard disc recorders, Gotham was deeply involved with companies that were bringing the latest technologies to the recording and broadcast industry.
While the New York company dissolved in the early 1990’s and Stephen Temmer passed away in 1992, Gotham AG continued to grow and prosper. By way of the Swiss company, the unique Gotham trademark and its proud traditions survived through a tumultuous decade. Franz Ammann successfully reorganized the production of the cable products in 2002 and two years later he partnered with industry veteran Lewis Frisch, to launch Gotham Audio LLC.
And so after 50 years, the Gotham saga has come full circle, with a January 2008 US trademark registration (# 3,371,152) which followed a December Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ruling unequivocally linking both Gotham Audio LLC and Gotham AG to the original Gotham Audio Corporation and its 1965 trademark. Much in the audio industry has changed over the past 50 years but the dedication of the Gotham organization to excellence in professional audio has been a constant.