Ellis Michael "Mick" Ginn (1899- 17 February 1959).

The founder of E.M.G Handmade Gramophones, and after losing control of his namesake company in early 1930, he started, EXPERT Handmade Gramophones

In 1924, Ginn started up E.M.G as a family business with his in-laws, David, Joe, Lew and Ben Phillips. Ginn’s wife, Esther made bamboo needles for the business and later on was the secretary. Ginn’s job was to market and sell the gramophones they made. His advertising methods were shrewd and often “modern” for the time. The gramophones produced were lauded by music lovers and well received by “The Gramophone” magazine where they had glowing reviews and also where they were advertised to the public. Soon the name E.M.G became revered and stood for quality.

Ginn became a victim of the times, perhaps he wasn’t as good a business man after all. He welcomed investors and when he got the money to increase production and grow the business, he instead bought a house and started to furnish it using E.M.G’s master carpenter, Frank Darrieulat. His investors were furious and by April 1930, Ginn had lost control of E.M.G. Within a few short months, Ginn was back in business with EXPERT Handmade Gramophones. At this time, the combination of Ginn and David Phillips was sublime. Together they produced the Expert Senior, a truly magnificent beast and the pinnacle of the acoustic gramophone age.

By the mid 1930’s the acoustic era was all but over and EXPERT had to start moving into the world of electrical reproduction. They did this admirably producing some of the finest Hi-Fi systems which are even today, highly regarded. It is said that Ginn was the business head and David Phillips was the scientist but sifting through letters between Ginn and his clients it is obvious that Ginn was quite adapt and knowledgeable about the technical side of the business. Competing with mass production and trying to match and better the competition must have been a constant battle with very little reward.

The war years did not help. Captain Ginn had been “unfortunate” in his war careers. He had just finished his training when WW1 finished and was considered too old when WW2 started. He worked as a security guard for the Army, then joined the Navy and taught officers to shoot rifles.

The post-war years were tough, EXPERT were forced to give up premises in central London and move back to Ingerthorpe, a large country house rented by Joe Phillips. In the early 1950’s, relief came in the form of the LP record. All of a sudden there was a flurry of business. Ginn experimenting with no-directional sound and “Biaural Listening”. The equipment produced by EXPERT around this time were inspired. They made an art of using off-the shelf components which they carefully balanced and housed in their own cabinets. David Phillips genius with valve amps and electronics turned out some of the best H-Fi systems of the decade. His famous “tuning” ears had lost nothing over the years. Unfortunately competing with mass production was now a futile exercise. The business was crumbling, pressures mounted and in 1957, Ginn had a massive stroke which hospitalized him. EXPERT was sold off. Ellis Michael Ginn died on February 17th, 1959.