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The Boston Globe

Business

A new wave of acoustics firms builds on the past

Companies in Mass. draw from the area’s history of making acclaimed speakers

In a Blackstone Valley mill complex, where thousands of workers once made textile machinery, a small cluster of companies is helping to bring new life to an old Massachusetts industry. And it has nothing to do with textiles.

The Whitin Machine Works in Whitinsville, about 15 miles south of Worcester, is the home of firms that are producing state-of-the-art speakers, audio equipment, and components, extending the legacy of acoustic firms that emerged in Massachusetts in 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s. These companies made speakers that were admired by audiophiles for accurately reproducing live music down to the lowest bass tones, a sound so distinct that it became known as the East Coast sound.

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