Note: The Audio Fidelity Discography was donated by the author, Donald W. Reichle, and is made available electronically with his
permission. The contents are fully protected by U.S. Copyright law. Downloading, copying, republication, reproduction, redistribution
or any other use of the information contained herein, whether by physical or electronic means, is prohibited without permission
of the copyright holder. This electronic resource is hosted by SU Library, presented exactly as the author donated it; it is a final, published document
and is neither edited nor updated by the Library, with the exception that all links have been normalized to upper-case.
A Discography for collectors or researchers of Audio Fidelity label recordings and
certain other labels owned or affiliated with Audio Fidelity or its successor,
This Discography is dedicated to the memory of Sidney Frey, Audio Fidelity Inc. and
the employees and artists who made extraordinary contributions to our listening
enjoyment during the Stereo Revolution in the 1950s and 60s.
This discography last updated on 09/20/08 -- Update History
Audio Fidelity Inc. was a small independent record company that specialized
in high technical specifications and outstanding graphics for its record
jackets. Its greatest claim to fame was the release of the first commercial
stereo record using the Westrex 45/45 cutter heads in November of 1957. This
record, AFLP 1872,
was actually a publicity stunt using preliminary test masters provided
by Westrex for evaluation by Audio Fidelity. The date scratched into the matrix of AFLP-1872 is 11-13-57.
Other manufactures also received test masters, at the same time, but
were waiting for an RIAA decision on which of several stereo
reproduction systems to use in 1958. Sidney Frey, of Audio Fidelity, scooped
the industry and may have influenced the decision on which system to use.
That first stereo record, AFLP 1872, PIC is
exceedingly rare and is seldom seen for sale. Details and a picture are provided
in the "AFLP Mono Recordings" section.
"Audio Fidelity" was first used as a record label on "Merry go Round Music" in 1954 by Kinor Records Inc.
The first track on that record was Glow Worm. That first record was one of
many to come that preserved our heritage of mechanically played callopes, circus and band instruments.
Earlier, in 1951, Sidney Frey had released records under the
"Kinor" label with
distribution by Dauntless International. Dauntless is later listed as a division
of Audio Fidelity Inc. on Dauntless record labels. Sidney Frey was the
driving force behind Audio Fidelity until he sold the company to Herman D.
Gimbel possibly in April of 1965. Sidney died in 1968 still a young man. Audio Fidelity records were
produced by companies in many countries including Canada, Mexico, Brazil, UK,
Netherlands, Germany, Israel, Spain, Argentina and others.
The corporate name was changed from Kinor Records Inc. to
Audio Fidelity Inc. in 1956 and still later to Audio Fidelity Records Inc.
At about the time of the sale to Herman D. Gimbel,
the corporate name changed to Audiofidelity Enterprises Inc.
Later the company was sold to Phoenix from the UK but I have no documentation on that. There is
an "PDF file" that documents a
stock transfer for Herman D. Gimbel that could have been for the original sale.
Under Phoenix, Audiofidelity Enterprises evolved mostly into re-releasing
earlier recordings from the original Audio Fidelity catalog and other sources in the USA
and Europe. Some titles such as The Brave Bulls were released over
a span of 30 years.
Audiofidelity Enterprises also distributed many different labels from Europe and the USA.
Audiofidelity Enterprises seems to have disappeared in about 1987 after losing
a lawsuit over the correct attribution of some Jimi Hendricks recordings they
had released. See PPX Enterprises, Inc. vs. Audiofidelity Enterprises, Inc.,
618 F.2d 266, 272 (2nd Circuit 1987.
Most of the recordings were released on 12 inch 33 1/3 vinyl LPs.
However, Reel to Reel tapes, 8 Track tapes, Cassette tapes, 45s, 7" 33s,
10" 33s, and CDs were also released in small quantities. Some of the jackets also mentioned video tapes.
This discography has been assembled, over a span of 15 years, mostly
from a large collection of Audio Fidelity records that has
since been donated to Syracuse University Belfer Laboratories Music Archive.
Who is the author? Donald W. Reichle is just another frustrated collector who couldn't find the Audio Fidelity information he needed.
While much effort has been expended to avoid mistakes, it is inevitable that some exist.
It is also evident that I have not found information on all the releases by
Audio Fidelity. If you have any information on business documentation, missing releases or mistakes,
please contact Donald W. Reichle at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sidney Frey's remarkable and interesting history should be preserved and available for future historians, researchers and collectors.
Some interesting statistics are listed below:
- 1404 different catalog numbers identified.
- 2418 actual winning on-line bids (without shipping charges and with condition and dates)
paid on 655 different AF catalog numbers.
- Matrix data supplied from 1048 AF vinyl records.
- 1176 different Artists identified and cross-linked with album details.
- 5857 different Track Titles identified and cross-linked with album details.
- 640 different pictures of album jackets cross-linked with album details.
Some interesting links with info on Audio Fidelity and Sidney Frey
The following links provide additional detailed information from the Donald W. Reichle database
The following links provide album details for all catalog numbers grouped by prefix or type