The story of B&C Speakers started in 1944 in Florence, Italy. Roberto Coppini, upon receiving his electrical engineering degree in that particular year, started collaborating with his brother-in-law Fernando Borrani on the idea of a company that would produce electro-acoustic drivers and horns for the Italian market. They established a company the following year, in 1945, initially naming it ‘BBC Elettroacustica Professionale’, using the initials of the family names. BBC Elettroacustica Professionale, a small Italian artisanal producer at the time, started manufacturing basic acoustic transducers. In the beginning their products, drivers and horns, were used mainly for public address applications. For example, their products were used all over the piazzas of Italy during the 1948 political election campaign.
Until the early 1970’s, BBC Elettroacustica Professionale remained a small artisanal producer, mainly making installations for cinemas and theatres. During 1970’s, the Company started producing acoustic transducers for open public areas, like amusement parks, which resulted in a small scale growth to their production. Also during the 1970’s, BBC started cooperating with some Italian commercial speaker producers like Montarbo, Lombardi Amplificazioni, and FBT. At the time, these companies were producers of speaker systems for the professional audio market. The cooperation with these larger producers brought new skills to BBC, improving product quality, and resulting in further growth for the Company.
The 1970’s were also important years for BBC, as a new generation had emerged following the Second World War. Rock&Roll and Pop music were taking the world by storm. The demand for live music concerts soared, and Italy was no exception. Companies who produced loudspeakers for the professional audio market benefited greatly from this increasing demand.
The 1980’s were particularly important for the Company. The management identified ‘Sound Reinforcement’ as their major priority. The name of the Company was changed to BBC Speakers SpA in 1988. In 1993 the name was changed again, this time to B&C Speakers SpA, mainly to avoid confusion with some other international players in related fields.
The late 1980’s were years when B&C grew to be a strong player in the Italian market. During this period they also decided to distribute their products outside Italy, mainly to Europe and to the United States. The Company had a competitive edge in producing high quality products at a reasonable price, compared to many other manufacturers. This international presence brought significant growth to B&C Speakers.
In 1993, co-founder Roberto Coppini acquired the majority control of the Company shares (51%). In 1996 the production facility was moved to Bagno a Ripoli Florence, increasing production capacity. In 1998, Roberto Coppini acquired the remaining 49% of the Company shares.
Since the 1990's, B&C has continued to grow significantly, becoming the leading player in the pro-audio component market. They have expanded sales to all major markets around the globe, while maintaining a strong market position in Europe.
In July 2007, B&C became a public company, and is now listed on the Borsa Italiana Exchange, based in Milan.
In 2009, B&C Speakers completed the building of its new state-of-art production facility, again located in Bagno a Ripoli, Florence. The new 8,800m² facility (since expanded to 10,500m²) merged five previously-separate production units into one single building, increasing assembly capacity and incorporating a significantly higher level of automation. In this new factory B&C Speakers can produce over eight hundred high-frequency drivers and one thousand four hundred low-frequency drivers per day.
In addition to the new production facility, B&C maintained their 3,000m² head office building, which is located one hundred meters from the new factory. Most company management, sales, accounting, and research and development activities are performed in this building.
From the beginning, B&C Speakers has always been focused solely on components for the professional audio market, and decided not to enter into the production of speaker systems for end-users. This strategic decision brought independence to the Company, avoiding conflicts of interest with its clients.
Today, B&C Speakers is one of the largest and most prestigious electro-acoustic transducer manufacturers in the world. They produce a wide variety of components for the high-end professional audio market, providing leading edge products of the highest quality. Their products are manufactured with the ‘B&C Speakers’ brand name, and three quarters of their sales are made directly to OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers). In this market, B&C is a partner to many of the most famous OEM builders worldwide, however we are not at liberty to disclose a list. In addition, B&C Speakers sells their catalogue products through a distributor network with representation in over 70 countries around the world.
Without doubt, the most significant determinant of product quality in manufacturing loudspeakers is consistent assembly and quality control. These two have always been, and will always be the main focus for B&C Speakers.
Today, B&C Speakers designs, manufactures and trades all of its products at its facility in Bagno a Ripoli. Around 10% of its workforce is dedicated to Research & Development. The Company also has sales and distribution centers in the USA and Brazil.