Onix Audio was a legal trading name of a partnership making Onix HIFI and in particular british Onix AMPLIFIERS from 1984. All authentic ONIX AMPLIFIERS and ONIX AUDIO products are only ever made by ONIX GB in England, evolving the classic OA21 and OA21s to become OA21 ICON real icons of audio amplifiers, with distinctive minimalist looks. The OA21 has since been emulated by many others and in some cases directly copied in looks. ONIX created the icon of two big knobs in a half size case in the ONIX OA21 . ONIX AUDIO started in 1984 and became ONIXDNA www.onixdna.com & ONIX GB www.onix-gb.com , and is still based 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 sole trader status of Adam Worsfold T/A ONIX AUDIO, producing a range of hi fidelity British amplifiers, tuners and accessories under the 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 AMPLIFIERS & ONIX AUDIO products are made by ONIX GB / ONIX DNA at www.onixdna.com or www.onixgb.com in the United Kingdom, Onix GB , ONIX DNA is still under the direction of the original ONIX AUDIO founder & CEO Adam Worsfold
After leaving school in 1978 the first partners, Adam Worsfold and Tony ( Anthony ) Brady become friends while working side by side at Thorn EMI and attending Brighton technical college University of Brighton until 1982 under a Thorn EMI apprenticeship Apprenticeship. In 1984 Onix Audio then started assembly of the ONIX brand of Onix Audio equipment hi-fi in Brighton England, two years after a small number of unbranded experimental phono (Vinyl record) amplifiers ( whuch had brand Name printed on them or used to sell them ) had been sold to niche dealers in the UK by Craig Hill via Brighton HiFi. Craig was working with his father Auther Hill 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 still exists . Tony and Adam left Thorn EMI in July 1983 one year after completion of their training, and In 1984 Tony Brady, Adam Worsfold, along with Craig Hill & his father became ONIX AUDIO. The first ONIX bank account was opened with Barclays Bank in Brighton in 1984 , ONIX GB Still banks with Barclays Bank. Adam Worsfold quickly bought Craig Hill's share of the Onix Audio partnership in 1985,when sales were still less than 100. Tony Brady had resigned from the partnership due to several disagreements with Craig Hill. Adam Worsfold became the sole trader ( only owner ) of Onix Audio from 1985 to 1990, with Tony Brady agreeing to continue to work with him 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 photographic Images with all accessories ) 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. ONIX the trade mark 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 to this day , 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, that had been using the brand ONIX on Chinese made generic products, nothing to do with ONIX AUDIO , they did this without permission or right to do os, and was passing off these Chinese made products as Made In England to the buying public. In particular they sold into the Asian markets as being part of the original company . They used the ONIX AUDIO company history in promotional literature (). The brand ONIX ,ONIXDNA, OA21s , DNA now covers all countries within the EU with full registration of the OHIM (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. 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. 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. 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.
Trade Marks and Intellectual Property Rights
The company has a pro-active stance in protecting its extensive intellectual property rights, and regained the rights to the brand ONIX in the UK by the UK IPO office and EU in 2014 after it was incorrectly assigned to the company Shanling Digital Technologies of China. The UK Intellectual Property Office unusually made the judgment 25 years after the fraudulant assignment . ONIX is active in patents, and registration of some of its unique designs. infringement originating from China continues to be a point of enforcement by virtue of an inability to stop the source of such infringement and respect for such rights within China.Progression of protecting these rights is crucial in preventing confusion of established brands in all areas of consumer products. Within Europe the brand ONIX has prior rights from 1988 preceding all applications since that date for use of the brand in its relevant classification . Trade mark theft of the brand ONIX creates ONIX FAKES and continues to this day in many parts of Asia. The most common places that the brand ONIX is used and not authorised by ONIX is, Hong Kong,Macau & China. The company also owns the trade marks TEN TEN for portable music players and accessories and SHAVED MONKEY for headphones.
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 as they still are today, creating one of the reasons for name ONIXDNA and 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 . The DNA 50 Onix DNA50 introduced in 2017 is typical of these concepts, and understood to be the thinnest integrated amplifier in the world with a traditional big power toroidial transformer.
Onix Audio and Onix Amplifiers are known for their consistent longevity, most still in use 30 years later , reputation notes excellence in construction, with many early 80s Amplifiers still being sold in the used market 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 .
Product Range 1984 to Present
- 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
- 2019 - DNA-Silverback ( DNA 101 ) Amplifier
- 2019 - TEN TEN Portable Music
- 2019 - SHAVED MONKEY headphones
- 2020 - The OA21 ICON ( Limited to 35 Units )
- "The Onix 21 OA-21 Integrated Amp". The Absolute Sound. 12: 106–108. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
- High Fidelity, April 1991.
- Vintage Audio Bliss, March 2010.
- Steward, Malcolm. Hi Fi Review August 1987.