Audio Engineers to Designers, Myst Ltd in the 1980s

“...the season of Mysts and mellow fruitfullness”

Myst was set up in 1981 to build audiophile quality amplifiers for home hi-fi systems. We soon became pretty successful with a passionate group of owners and dealers and distributors in the UK, Europe and the US. It's some sort of testament to find that many of the units we built then are still being used daily by their devoted owners, a fact that we are very proud of.

Myst G-Ohm amplifier on the cover of Hi Fi for Pleasure

A tricky photoshoot, the cat had to be held in place by sticking an arm through the 'molten gold' pool. The cover looked great though.

Our first amplifier to be produced in any quanity was the G-Ohm, which made it to the cover of Hi Fi for Pleasure in 1983. G-Ohm was in fact our second product, the first being the vanishingly rare Stage Life Series.
G-Ohm got quite a few things right and was our springboard for the next product, the tma3 amplifier.

tma3 got very many things right and was highly regarded then, and it still is by those in the know. Most commentators remarked on possibly most minimalist case in audio engineering, but even this contained a few secrets, notably that its aspect ratio is 1:4:9, the squares of the first three prime numbers, in homage to another tma from literature.

A vintage photo of tma3

Domestic to professional ...redefining studio monitoring

Wellard Research Logo

It has always been believed that the goal of top quality hi-fi systems was simply to recreate at home the sound heard in the recording studio, but on a visit to one of the major recording studios of the time we were shocked to find that the sound quality we were achieving at home was far better than the musicians and engineers ever got to hear in their control room. The problem was volume—recording studios are big places and need hugely powerful amplifiers and speakers to fill them with sound. This meant that studios were forced to use equipment that prioritised sound quantity over sound quality. Sure, they could use the sort of top quality loudspeakers audiophiles were using at home—most of them had tried—but such equipment tended not to last for long as it simply wasn't tough enough for the rigours of life in the studio!

Phil Collins hugging a Wellard Research studio monitoring loudspeaker from Myst Ltd

Back in the days of black and white photos:
Phil Collins with one of his Wellards. (Photographer: Peter Downs for Myst Ltd)

So we found ourselves with a challenge we decided to accept. In collaboration with John Young and Steve Williams of Oak Audio we set about designing a set of 'active' loudspeakers that would deliver the finest domestic sound quality coupled with the power and reliability required for professional use. Amazingly, this seemingly simple need had never been achieved before and our product, the Wellard Research Middle Monitor became the first and, many say, the best example of an entirely new category of studio loudspeaker. Wellards are amazing speakers and their distinctive lead/wood sandwich cabinets were snapped up by a veritable who's who of the top talent of the time including Phil Collins, Band Aid's Midge Ure, Mark King of Level 42, the PWL studio of Stock Aitken and Waterman (think Kylie!), Tears for Fears, top American producer Jason Corsaro (think Peter Gabriel, Mariah Carey and Duran Duran!), Depeche Mode, Windmill Lane studios and even the Japanese national broadcasters NHK.

The time came when our facilities here in Weobley were unable to keep up with demand and we passed the project on to a new team. It was at this time that we started to apply our design skills to our current service.

Myst Ltd, Whitehill Park, Weobley, Hereford HR4 8QT, UK. Telephone: 01544 318800