Onix Audio

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Onix Audio was a legal trading name of a partnership making original ONIX HIFI [1] products from 1984. All authentic ONIX AMPLIFIERS were always made by ONIX AUDIO in the UK, evolving the classic OA21 and OA21s to become icons of the era, with distinctive minimalist looks, since emulated by many others . ONIX AUDIO started in 1984 and became ONIX DNA / ONIX GB www.onix-gb.com [2], and is still in the UK to this day . ONIX HIFI / ONIX AUDIO, designs and manufactures all of its own audio equipment. In September 1990 the creation of new legal entity was setup to take over the trading activities of the original ONIX AUDIO, producing a range of hi fidelity British amplifiers, tuners and accessories under their own ONIX brand, by 1990 ONIX was exporting to over 28 countries, having gained a reputation for reliability and superior sound reproduction of Vinyl discs . Exporting to Japan,France, Singapore, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and America along with most other key audio markets. All authentic ONIX HIFI & ONIX AUDIO products are now made by ONIX GB / ONIX DNA at ( www.onix-gb.com [3]) in the United Kingdom, ONIX GB it is still under the direction of an original ONIX AUDIO founder Adam Worsfold. [4]


After leaving school the original partners, Adam Worsfold and Tony ( Anthony ) Brady had become friends while working side by side at Thorn EMI and attending Brighton technical collegeUniversity of Brighton until 1982 under a Thorn EMI apprenticeship Apprenticeship. Onix Audio then started assembly of the ONIX brand of Onix hi-fi in Brighton England in 1984, two years after a small number of unlabeled and unbranded phono (Vinyl record) amplifiers ( No brand Name printed on them or used to sell them ) had been sold to niche dealers in the UK by Craig Hill through Brighton HiFi. Craig was working with his father at the shop. These early units were assembled in Tony Brady's bedroom after an initial design was created in 1982 while Tony and Adam were still contracted to Thorn EMI under their apprenticeship agreements. These units should not be considered of any commercial importance to ONIX AUDIO as no reference or content of these units exists . Tony and Adam left Thorn EMI in July 1983 one year after completion of their training, and In 1984 Tony Brady, Adam Worsfold, and Craig Hill became ONIX AUDIO. The first bank account was opened with Barclays Bank in Brighton the same year. Adam Worsfold soon bought Craig Hill's share of the Onix Audio partnership in 1985,when sales were still very low and after Tony Brady resigned from the partnership due to a disagreement with Craig Hill. Adam Worsfold then became the sole trader ( owner ) of Onix Audio from 1985 to 1990, with Tony Brady agreeing to continue to assist him and work on a contractual basis. This being from 1985 to 1990 after Craig was no longer involved. In 1988 the trade mark ONIX in class 9 ( Reproduction of Sound and Images ) covering use within the UK was successfully registered by the UK trade mark office. It was registered by Adam Worsfold in his personal name in 1988 and had validity within the UK and Channel Islands (Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man) this trade mark has been owned by Adam Worsfold since 1988 and ownership was clarified in 2014 after a lengthy legal dispute with the company "Shenzhen Shanling Digital Technology dev.co.ltd" of China. Shenzhen Shanling digital Technologies of China, had been were using the brand ONIX on Chinese made products, without permission or consent and passing off these Chinese made products as Made In England to the buying public. In particular they sold in to the Asian market as being the original company and they used the original company history in promotional literature ([5]). The brand ONIX and ONIXDNA and DNA now covers all countries within the EU with full registration of a CTM (community trade mark)and is licensed to ONIX GB in England by Adam Worsfold the current owner.

The first real commercial branded amplifier with the name ONIX on the front that the company produced was the ONIX AUDIO OA-20 in 1984. This amplifier became one of the forerunners of a new generation of powerful hi end amplifiers, capable of delivering exceptional high power output due to an internally designed toroidal transformer as its power supply. The OA-21 was the next model added, this model having a pre-amplifier sub board with similar characteristics as the previous one but with superior component quality and power output, as well as the introduction of a moving coil (MC) and moving magnet (MM) alternate board change option.[1] In addition the OA-21 was fitted with a supply connector on the back that accepted the powers supply option called a SOAP (Special Onix Audio Power) that was introduced by Onix in 1985. With the success of the OA-21 amplifier and the OA-20, Onix Audio released an improved OA-20 called the OA-22 that included two CD inputs to allow for the wave of high output CD players of the time. All products in the meantime were continuing to be developed and evolved and an FM tuner (radio), the BWD-1, designed by Tony Brady, made its debut in 1987. The Onix BWD-1 provided a compromise between cost, musical integrity, and quality performance.[2] Onix Audio continued to upgrade their product lines and developed a new dedicated pre-amp called the OA-24 in 1989. In the same year a new updated version of the power supply SOAP 2 and other models including the OA21s that had electronic speaker short protection were introduced.[3] In 1990, the OA-401/40 watt and the OA-601/60 watt stereo amplifiers were added to the product range.

In late 1990, the trading activities of Onix Audio selling ONIX HIFI, owned by Adam Worsfold as a sole trader for six years - were sold to a newly created UK legal entity called OEL Ltd. Adam Worsfold retained a controlling interest of a 65% shareholding, of the new company along with ownership of the Trade Mark ONIX, entrepreneur Michael O'Brien held 35% of the new created entity. This new limited entity was incorporated in September 1990 specifically to take over the trading activities of Adam Worsfold as a trading proprietor t/a Onix Audio . In 1991, just months after incorporation of OEL Ltd, Michael O'Brien offered to buy the 65% shareholding owned by Adam Worsfold. Adam Worsfold sold his shares to Micheal O'Brien so he could leave the company in July 1991. OEL Ltd later became a subsidiary of Swisstone Electronics Ltd, a company owned by O'Brien. OEL Ltd changed its name to Kendal Electronics Ltd in January 1997 and Kendal Electronics Ltd was subsequently dissolved in February 1997. ONIX AUDIO is now trading as ONIX GB Ltd in the UK. In 2016 ONIX GB released a new product range using the same original ideals of ONIX AUDIO. A new range of amplifiers starting with the DNA 50 all 100% Designed by Adam Worsfold, Adam being a founder of ONIX AUDIO in 1984. The new range of products use all the original principles, and experience from ONIX AUDIO creating designs for the digital era, drawing on experience from the classic OA21s that is still used and loved 30 years on.

Design characteristics[edit]

The Onix Audio/Onix Hifi and Onix Amplifiers were characterized by a minimalist, simple, slim design, with the OA21 "shoe box size" design first on the market. They were created without visible screws on the casings. The amplifiers housed unusually large power supplies and traditional transformers and were constructed using high quality components and all aluminum cases. Onix cases were always made from aluminum and they still are today, creating one of the reasons for name ONIX DNA used by ONIX GB . Onix Audio used a powder coat finish in matt black, and the front was originally in the same finish with a screen print word ONIX. In 1987, Onix changed the finish of most products to a brushed anodized finish, as well as making subtle cosmetic and electronic changes to the overall original design as the years passed. The Company believing in evolution not change for change sake .

Onix Audio and Onix Amplifiers became known for their consistent longevity and excellence in construction with many still being sold today, unusually in some cases for more money than originally retailed, this after 30 years of use. All ONIX AMPLIFIERS had an ability to deliver power beyond manufacturers quoted specification, along with rhythmic drive and clearly defined audio quality. Furthermore, ONIX AMPLIFIERS added sonic weight to all music played .[4].

Product Range 1984 to Present[edit]

Year - Product
1984 - OA 20 Amplifier
1984 – OA 21 Amplifier
1985 - SOAP 1 Power supply unit
1986 - SOAP 2 Power supply unit
1986 - OA 21s Amplifier
1987 - BWD 1 Tuner
1987 - OA 22 Amplifier
1989 - OA 24 Pre Amplifier
1990 - OA-401 Stereo Amplifier
1990 - OA 601 Stereo Amplifier
1990 - OA 801 Mono Amplifier
2016 - DNA-50V Amplifier
2017 - DNA 50M Amplifier
2017 - DNA 50U Amplifier
2017 - DNA-45i Amplifier


  1. ^ "The Onix 21 OA-21 Integrated Amp". The Absolute Sound. 12: 106–108. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  2. ^ High Fidelity, April 1991.
  3. ^ Vintage Audio Bliss, March 2010.
  4. ^ Steward, Malcolm. Hi Fi Review August 1987.

External links[edit]

  • Vintage Audio Bliss review of OA21s Amplifier and OA-22 SOAP power supply
  • HIFI Answers,Audiofile Magazine [6]
  • HIFI Pig Magazine 2017 [7] Review of ONIX DNA 50 2017
  • Onix DNA Products and Reviews [8]
  • ONIX Trade Mark Rights [9]
  • UK Intellectual Property Courts PDF Outcome [10]