Sugden was founded by James Edward Sugden in 1967, a division of Research Electronics. Research Electronics manufactured scientific instruments and test equipment, designed by James Sugden, for Universities. The A21 was the first amplifier to be put into production and was originally branded for a well known local loudspeaker company called Richard Allan. It won much acclaim for it’s detail and natural ability to produce music.
The A21 was the worlds’ first production pure class A transistor amplifier and a great success.
The partnership with Richard Allan was short lived and within a year the amplifier was renamed the SUGDEN A21. Shortly afterwards, manufacturing was moved to larger premises in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire.
Almost all the manufacturing processes were carried out at the new Sugden factory. These included cases, building circuit boards and final assembly of each item all by hand. The Cleckheaton factory saw the development of many new products including the A48 integrated amplifier and C51/P51 pre and power amplifier. We remember these products from the first years of Moorgate Acoustics. There were also three analogue radio tuners and a full set of audio test equipment.
In 1981 production was relocated to the current factory in Heckmondwike, a short distance from where it all began.
Today Sugden still manufacture in the same tradition with each Sugden product being handmade by a single highly skilled team member. Six employees have been with the company for over thirty years enjoying a life-long career. The companies involvement in the full manufacturing process still exists from design to despatch. Sugden operate our own custom engineering shop and assembly, screen printing and a cabinet making facility for loudspeakers. Sugden products are a truly handmade quality British product.
It is unusual to find a company which has stayed to true to its roots. Each product evolves from the same ethos that stood behind the very first products over fifty years ago. We respect that because it is something we have tried extremely hard to do ourselves.
Something we are very passionate about is giving our business to companies like Sugden. The World has changed and not all of it is for the best. Immense companies turn over billions and yet pay no tax. They reward their employees with basic wages and contracts that are meaningless whilst the directors and board take millions. As a small family run business we recognise the hard work of our staff and the role it plays in making our customers happy and as a result ensuring their loyalty. At a time when many companies are sending their manufacturing overseas; some companies do the right thing and continue to support the people who built their companies!
Soon you’ll see Sugden products on demonstration in our showrooms. We look forward to demonstrating them to you so you can hear why Sugden have stood the test of time.