THE HISTORY OF SUPERSCOPE
What you may not know is that the very first Superscope product wasn't a tape recorder. It wasn't even a physical product–it was a process for producing motion pictures. The story began in 1954, when the brothers Joseph, Irving, Nathan, and Fred Tushinsky introduced a new trademarked process for producing wide-screen motion pictures more cost-effectively than their popular competitor, Cinemascope. Superscope was first used on the film Vera Cruz, starring Gary Cooper and Burt Lancaster, as well as many films produced by Howard Hughes' RKO Pictures, including Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Walt Disney Productions also reissued Fantasia in Superscope some 15 years after its original 1940 release.
Several years later the Tushinsky brothers met with executives of a Japanese electronics company named Sony. Sony’s new product – stereo tape recorders, the first with built-in amplifiers – was a game changer in the audio recording industry.
Recognizing the potential for such a device, the Tushinsky’s quickly contracted for rights to distribute Sony tape recorders in the United States. Superscope marketed Sony tape recorders, including Sony/Superscope reel-to-reel recorders, in the U.S. until 1975, when Sony acquired back its distribution rights to these products.
In 1964, Superscope acquired a small but prestigious company from Saul Marantz, and began the development and global distribution of stereo amplifiers, receivers, and record players under the Marantz name. Over the next decade, Superscope also began producing its own line of professional portable cassette recorders for consumers around the world.
During the 1970s, Superscope pursued a strategy of marketing Marantz as a premiere brand for discerning audiophiles, and Superscope as a more economical line of stereo music systems and products, “made by Marantz.” The company initiated rigorous quality control procedures, and invested in state-of-the-art computer data and phone systems to improve efficiency.
Competition within the consumer audio marketplace intensified during the 1980s, and Superscope divested many of its assets. The company changed its name to the Marantz Company and, in 1987, Marantz was purchased by the Dynascan Corporation. Within a few years, Dynascan – now known as Cobra Electronics – sold Marantz to Philips Electronics, which included an agreement to allow Cobra to market Marantz Professional products in the Americas.