Recording and film engineer David Manley began designing high fidelity vacuum tube amplifiers in South Africa in 1980. The earliest units he produced were modified LEAK amplifiers. In 1983 the first Vacuum Tube Logic (VTL) tube power amplifiers and preamplifiers went into full-fledged production for the European market in the UK. David, joined by his son Luke introduced the amplifiers to the US market at the 1986 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), where the positive reception convinced them to expand their distribution to the U.S.. Production was eventually moved to Chino, California as Vacuum Tube Logic of America, Inc. and a secondary brand Manley was established in 1988, first producing what was conceived as upper echelon high fidelity vacuum tube power amplifiers and preamplifiers for the high fidelity home market. In 1989, the first products tailored specifically for professional studio use under the Manley brand were created, namely the 60 dB Microphone Preamplifier followed by the Manley Enhanced Pultec Equalizer. By 1993, the Manley brand had expanded, encompassing a complete range of studio products from microphones, dynamic units, equalizers, converters and specialized mastering products. In April 1993, David Manley and Luke decided to part ways, with Luke creating a new company, VTL Amplifiers, Inc., and David (and his wife EveAnna Dauray Manley) opening a new factory, Manley Laboratories, Inc..
Inspired by her stepfather Albert J. Dauray, who had been part owner of vacuum tube amplifier manufacturer Ampeg from 1967-1971, and a Bill Graham lecture she attended while a music student at Columbia University, EveAnna Dauray Manley had traveled to California in 1989 with a few of her stepfather’s business contacts in hopes of getting a job with a guitar amp manufacturer like Crate or Fender, and ended up getting a job at VTL. EveAnna worked her way through every segment of the company, eventually managing the Manley Laboratories, Inc. factory, sales, distribution, and customer service. David Manley eventually moved to France, and on June 10, 1999 EveAnna Dauray Manley officially assumed the duties of President, CEO and sole owner of Manley Laboratories, Inc. when he resigned as President and assigned his share of the company to her.