Denon's sounding the celebration trumpets as they hit their 100th birthday, releasing a set of ritzy anniversary edition AV gear. But the roots of the audiophile powerhouse go all the way back to an American business deal in 1907.
American businessman Frederick Horn saw promise in Japanese industry long before their great electronics boom (of course in 1907, there was no electronics boom to be had). Horn set up "Japan-US Recorders Manufacturing" (really rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?), specializing in audio recorders that used wine glass shaped speakers, coincided with the sale of gramophone discs.
A few years later, in 2010, Horn established a record label to go along with the hardware side of things. This label quickly grew in popularity, and after a couple decades, the company took on the current Denon moniker as the result of acquiring another merged firm—Japan Denki Onkyo. By the late 40s, the company was now known as Nippon Columbia Co. Ltd.
Denon clearly had a better ring to it. By this point, the company was able to merge its decades of work in both hardware manufacturing and sound recording to put out the equipment we know (and wish we could afford) now. So happy 100th, Denon. If that is your real name.
Photo by See-ming Lee