“When I first started, people would say things like, ‘You can buy a cord for five dollars, so why would anyone pay thousands of dollars for a cordless unit?’ But one of my ideas was to bring the cost of wireless below that of some high-end cables, so I’d say, ‘Look, in ten or 20 years, you’re going to see that wireless will be less expensive than cords.’ That was kind of my mantra 30 years ago. And, today, you can spend $100 for a Monster Cable or $69 for a UHF wireless.”
As the technology came down in price, the rewards for Nady were huge when the company had a near monopoly on wireless systems in the ’80s. But when the “big boys” (Shure, AKG, Audio-Technica, Samson, Sennheiser, etc.) entered the market in the late ’80s and early ’90s, Nady was faced with evolving its product line.
“The market muscle of a company like Shure—which had every music store in the world selling its audio gear—changed everything,” remembers Nady. “When they came out with a low-priced wireless system, they could tell dealers, ‘If you want to carry our SM58 mics, then you also must carry ten wireless units. Plus, there’s a natural draw from an established name such as Shure. But, I have to admit it bugs me when I talk to someone who believes Shure invented the wireless microphone.”
To address the new market climate, Nady—like fellow gear visionary Hartley Peavey—expanded his goal of bringing value to musicians. The new target was the pro-audio field.
“We looked at product niches, and brought in consumer-type margins,” explains Nady. “For example, we determined back in 2001, that we could manufacture condenser microphones in China for a raw cost of $15, and then set a consumer price of 100 bucks. Some bigger companies operate on margins of 80 percent or more, so there was an opportunity for us to sell a comparable quality level for far less. We weren’t the only ones doing this. Behringer has had great success doing some of these things—as have a lot of other manufacturers—and the result has been more affordable gear. But we were one of the first to offer that level of value in a quality line, across a number of products. We broke the $100 price barrier with rack gear—less than $99 EQs, less than $99 sound enhancers and compressor and limiters and so on. Basically, what we did was make audio products needed and used by musicians more accessible.”
Nady’s experience as a struggling musician in the early ’70s still drives his passion for developing audio gear. He also understands product lines must adapt to the changing climate of what youthful musicians want, need, and can afford, as “you can’t keep selling to 35 or 40 year olds who are hanging on to stuff they got 20 years ago.”
“The current brand consciousness of Nady is to sell 100,000 units of something that costs 100 or 200 bucks, rather than selling the same amount in dollars with less units that cost $1,000,” says Nady. “We’re more focused on making music equipment for the broadest range of musicians who are looking for totally professional and
satisfying performance, but at prices that are acceptable. I think that’s a noble undertaking. And, utimately, it’s not the brand name, and it’s not what you pay for it. It’s about what you see when you open up the unit and look at its materials and configuration—that’s
what determines quality. You also have to trust your ears. For example, in a known technology such as a ribbon microphone, you can pay $1,500 for the panache of a handmade model, or you can pay much less for a model with similar construction that will yield no substantial differences in final performance. Just because you pay more for something doesn’t mean it’s going to sound any better or hold up any longer.”
Linda May Han Oh Releases Fourth Solo Album 'Walk Against Wind'
Famed Guitar Maker Dean Zelinsky Discusses Starting Dean Guitars as a Teenager
Peter Hook Discusses His Live Recordings of Classic Joy Division and New Order Albums (WATCH)
This Week in Free Stuff: Light-Load Plug-in Instruments
Superbooth17 Day One: The Weird and the Wonderful
Puremagnetik K-Station Atmospheres Revives Love for the Kawai K5000S Additive Synth
Jazz Piano Legend Junior Mance and His Struggle with Dementia Profiled in New Kickstarter Film
The Art of Synth Soloing: Joe Zawinul, the Syndicate Years
Steinway Unveils Art Case Piano Celebrating Composer Modest Mussorgsky
Tal Farlow: Seven Guitars That Reveal the Jazz Giant’s Vision as an Innovator
Four Chronographs That Put You in the Driver’s Seat
2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT: The Weekday Warrior
Killswitch Engage Guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz Leaves Show Mid-Set for Beer
In This Moment Announce 2017 Summer Tour
Trivium Frontman Matt Heafy Performs Acoustic Version of Alice in Chains' "Down in a Hole"
Third Annual Malibu Guitar Festival Returns to Southern California
Essential Guitar Licks: Albert King Funk-Blues à la “Born Under a Bad Sign”
Dave Grohl: "My Most Embarrassing Onstage Moment"
Copyright ©2017 by NewBay Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 28 East 28th Street, 12th floor, New York, NY 10016 T (212) 378-0400 F (212) 378-0470