The ceremony doesn’t take place until next December, but the Los Angeles and Orange County Audio Society has already announced that its ‘Founder's Award’ for 2017 will be awarded to John Grado, President of Grado Labs.

John Grado is the middle of the three generations of Grados (pictured above, Joseph, John and Jonathan) to have worked in the company, becoming owner and CEO in 1990, and overseeing the Brooklyn company’s move into headphones, with the successful SR80 model (pictured right in its 'e' incarnation). But he had started in the company factory at age 12, “sweeping the floors and running errands”. And the family tradition continues, with John Grado and his wife Loretta Grado having two sons, Matthew and Jonathan. Jonathan is already Vice President of Grado Labs, and “Matthew will be joining Grado Labs as soon as he graduates from college”, says the company website, confidently.

The Founders’ Award is the highlight of the Society’s Annual Gala and Awards Ceremony, which will be held this year in Los Angeles on December 3, 2017. The Award is bestowed annually on “one individual in fine audio bringing excellence and achievement to audiophiles worldwide and is at the top of their industry”.

The Society ( claims to be the largest in the world, with more than 2000 members from 14 states and nine countries. In June it will co-ordinate and support the new Los Angeles Audio Show in conjunction with the show’s organisers and Marine Presson.

Previous years of the Founder's Award include:

2016: Bob Carver, President of Bob Carver Audio.
[Carver provides an entertaining autobiography on the Society’s website here]

2015: Harry Weisfeld, founder of VPI Industries.

2014: Chad Kassem, President of Acoustic Sounds.

2013: Robert Harley, editor in chief, of The Absolute Sound.

2012: Tim de Paravicini, President of E.A.R. of Great Britain.

2011: Richard Vandersteen, President of Vandersteen Audio.

2010: Keith Johnson, Executive Producer of Reference Recordings;

2009: EveAnna Manley, President of Manley Labs.

Earlier winners include Harry Pearson, Founder The Absolute Sound; Dave Clark, Editor Positive Feedback Online; Dennis Had, Founder Cary Audio; David Robinson, Editor in Chief Positive Feedback Online; and Ray Kimber, President Kimber Kable.

Grado is distributed in Australia by BusiSoft AV: