The Death Of Two Legends Of Hi-fi

August 4, 2017
1 min read

Hi-fi pioneers Martin L. Borish (NAD) and Richard E. Lord (REL Acoustics) both died in July.


Marty L. Borish, founder of NAD Electronics, died on July 11 after a battle with cancer, while Richard E. Lord, founder of REL Acoustics, died (reasons undisclosed) on July 22.

Marty Borish, forn September 17, 1927, opened his first hi-fi store in New Jersey in 1956. Subsequently, he joined Acoustic Research where he eventually attained the position of president/CEO.

In 1976, Borish formed NAD Electronics, and in 1978 the company introduced the NAD 3020, an iconic integrated amplifier now considered to be one of the most important components in the history of high-fidelity audio. The 3020 acquired a reputation as an amp of great quality and exceptional value, and by 1998 it had become the most well known and best selling integrated amplifer in history.

In 1999 NAD was sold to the Lenbrook Group, where Borish was an advistory board member.

NAD released a statement which reads: “His love for music was all encompassing, not only in the audio world but also with musical theatre and especially opera. Marty will be greatly missed, but his legacy will live on. He lived a life full of love, travel and of course music, and would be the first to say that he lived a dream life, reminding those near to him that it was ‘a wonderful ride’.”

REL Acoustics founder Richard Lord was born in 1939, and after a stint as a marine radio operator, he had the idea to create the world’s best subwoofer company.

Lord’s first subwoofer design was so huge that it was built into the seating of his bay window. Over time, REL Acoustics became the first company to speak of bass in serious terms – not just the mechanical outlines of bass as the American subwoofer companies of the day defined it. Instead, he sought to capture the “rich, florid emotionality of bass, or at least what deep bass does for music and film sound in terms those that love it might understand,” according to a tribute issued by REL.

It continues: “Richard was a one-off. In engineering terms, he was a pre-roduction prototype, all hand-built like a pre-war Bentley with hand-turned fasteners and shiny chrome plating; coming from an England filled with great audio engineers and optimism before the world got too complicated. He strove for accuracy and greatness and found many willing to share in his dream… We at REL Acoustics do honour to this wonderful man by continuing to build the best subwoofers in the world – just as he did.”



Steel has been penning his pungent prose for 40 years for publications too numerous to mention, most of them consigned to the annals of history. He is Witchdoctor's Editor-In-Chief/Music and Film Editor. He has strong opinions and remains unrepentant. Steel's full bio can be found here

1 Comment

  1. Just seen Richard Lord had passed in July, I built his window seat Sub-woofer in 1997 from an article in Hi-Fi News and it was superb. Made mine slightly larger to fit bay window with a 12 inch speaker and 100 watt RMS mosfet amp, it was flat from 15Hz to 70Hz. Wish I could find original article, think circa 1982.
    RIP Richard

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