Founder's Award


Everyone in our industry knows and respects Bill! What a great December 2023 GALA it will be for our Society’s 30th anniversary and the presentation of the Founder’s Award!

William E. Low

William E. Low has often said that he never had a business plan, that hi-fi was simply the world in which he always lived.

This — no plan, but an exceptionally clear aesthetic with an unwavering commitment to truth (in advertising, in communication, in thought, and to himself) — has worked well for Bill. Today, most people in our little world know him as the founder and CEO of The Quest Group, parent company of AudioQuest and GoldenEar.

The shape of the business, from the first two cables Bill made for his store in 1978 to founding AudioQuest in 1980 and on to today, has been one of natural evolution — incremental progress, one small step at a time. Along the way, he’s been guided by the same basic principles about how a business should earn its right to exist, decrying the weakness inherent to companies whose message to their distribution is not essentially identical to their message to their final consumers.

As a lifelong consumer, as the former owner of a small appointment-only retail shop, and as a manufacturer of world-class audio/video products, Bill only knows how to think of the needs and desires of all three as being the same, simply seen from slightly different perspectives.

Recently honored by the City of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles and Orange County Audio Society now celebrates its 28th year serving top audiophiles in Los Angeles and Orange Counties.  The largest audio society in the world with over 2700 members, the non-profit organization provides up to 14 major events per year in Greater Los Angeles and showcases and promotes the very best in great gear and recordings worldwide.  Though the majority of members hail from Southern California, the Society boasts members from 14 states and nine countries.

The Society’s Board of Directors awards the Founder’s Award annually to those professionals in the high end who continue to advance fine musical reproduction in the home and distinguish themselves as the best in their profession.

  • The 2022 Founders Award went to John Atkinson of Stereophile
  • The 2021 Founders Award went to George Cardas, Founder of Cardas Audio
  • The 2019 Founders Award went to Andrew Jones, VP and Chief Speaker Designer for ELAC
  • The 2018 Founders Award went to Michael Fremer, editor of and a senior contributing editor at Stereophile Magazine.
  • The 2017 Founders Award went to John Grado, President of Grado Labs.
  • The 2016 Founder’s Award went to Bob Carver, President of Bob Carver Audio.
  • The 2015 Founder’s Award went to Harry Weisfeld, founder of VPI Industries.
  • The 2014 Founder’s Award went to Chad Kassem, President of Acoustic Sounds.
  • The 2013 Founder’s Award went to Robert Harley, editor in chief, of The Absolute Sound.
  • The 2012 Founder’s Award went to Tim de Paravicini, President of E.A.R. of Great Britain.
  • The 2011 Founder’s Award went to Richard Vandersteen, President of Vandersteen Audio.
  • The 2010 Founder’s Award went to Keith Johnson, Executive Producer of Reference Recordings,
  • and the 2009 Founder’s Award went to EveAnna Manley, President of Manley Labs.

Other previous 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 of Kimber Kable and our most-honored member.

The Founder’s Award will be awarded at the 28th Annual Gala and Awards Ceremony in George Cardas’ honor in Los Angeles on December 5, 2021. The trophy that will be awarded to Jones is specially produced by the same company that created the Oscar for The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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