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Music Tribe Acquires Aston Microphones

UK studio mic startup Aston Microphones has been purchased by Music Tribe, parent company to Behringer, Midas, Turbosound, TC Electronic and other brands.

Aston Music TribeUnited Kingdom (March 1, 2021)—Less than six years after its founding, Aston Microphones, the first UK-manufactured condenser mic brand, has been acquired by audio gear conglomerate Music Tribe, parent company to Behringer, Midas, Turbosound, TC Electronic, TC Helicon, Bugera, Tannoy, Lake, Klark-Teknik, Lab.gruppen and other brands.

Music Tribe founder and CEO Uli Behringer noted in a statement that the company had been looking for a microphone brand to round out its offerings, adding, “We will invest heavily in positioning Aston Microphones at the very pinnacle of the industry and the Aston team will now equally have full access to Music Tribe’s extensive resources and advanced automated system platforms in such areas as product engineering, manufacturing, supply chain and finance. We are very proud to welcome the Aston team into our family.”

Aston Microphones was originally established in 2015 by a team of former co-founders behind sE Electronics—James Young, Phil Smith and business partners Alan Gavin and Jack Munro. Alternately aimed at home recordists and project studio owners, the mics were designed and built in the UK, and began shipping in mid-2016. In the intervening years, its microphones have garnered a variety of awards, most recently a NAMM TEC Award last year for Best Mic. The brand’s most recent microphone is the Aston Element, released last summer.

Aston Microphones’ CEO, Young, summed up the move to join Music Tribe, explaining, “The synergy with Music Tribe’s existing brand portfolio is exceptional, and the huge resource in R&D, manufacturing and engineering excellence we now have at our disposal, will allow us, together, to set a bar to which other brands can only aspire. We are honored to now share our journey with Music Tribe and such talented people.”

The Aston team will continue to operate from its Hertfordshire headquarters, where it will handle the brand’s marketing, product development and customer and artist relations. Manufacturing is likely to move to Music Tribe’s facilities in Asia.

Aston’s acquisition comes during a time of transition for Music Tribe, which recently split its offerings into retail (consumer) and enterprise (pro audio) divisions, opting to move all its retail products globally through e-commerce channels. No public announcement has been made as to how Aston’s existing distribution arrangements will be affected; Yorkville Sound has handled the mic brand’s North American distribution since October, 2019.

Music Tribe COO David Hunter noted in January, “We’re currently reinventing our whole organization by means of extreme digital transformation and automation of all repetitive processes. Our objective is to become a highly strategic and insight driven organization, and we’re currently investing over US $50m in fully automating our current China operation. This year we acquired 50 acres of land in Malaysia where we’re planning our second manufacturing plant. We’re very proud to have entered into strategic relationships with Microsoft and Siemens around a state-of-the-art 4.0 factory in line with our relentless execution on our Customer and Digital Obsession Vision.”

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