On July 11th, 2017, Martin L. Borish (Marty), who is credited with leading NAD Electronics from a distribution sourcing co-operative into an iconic 45-year-old audio brand, passed away after a quiet and dignified battle with cancer.
The entire worldwide family of NAD employees, distributors and dealers join with his family to mourn Marty’s passing. His passion for audio changed the course of Marty’s life, and influenced our industry. His vision to build affordable audiophile level products encouraged broader introduction into the world of high end audio.
Marty was a native of New Jersey in Metro New York City, and started his working life in 1950 as a doctor of Optometry, a family tradition. After six years, he determined that Optometry was not his calling; instead it was music and electronics. Marty returned to school to receive his Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from Rutgers University and to pursue his dream of a new career in the developing world of “HiFi”. In 1956, Marty opened his own HiFi retail shop, HiFi Haven, in New Brunswick, New Jersey. During this phase, Marty challenged himself with completing his schooling, raising a young family, and of course, the running of his shop. Marty later sold his successful shop to pursue his ultimate passion on the manufacturing side of the industry.
Marty became an employee of Acoustic Research, at the time one of the world’s early true HiFi speaker companies, located in Boston, MA. His career at Acoustic Research involved working with some of the other HiFi industry pioneers like Henry Kloss and Edgar Villchur. During his eleven year stay at AR, Marty achieved the position of President & CEO and from this platform connected with many of the leading distributors and dealers of audio products around the world.
In 1972, driven by a passion for great sound, along with a product they could call their own, Marty moderated and monitored a small group of international high-end audio distributors in a discussion about a potential development of a “new brand” of electronics called "New Acoustic Dimension" (or NAD for short). Originally, this group consisted of distributors looking for marketable electronics with a non-traditional outlook, and Marty was influential with his ideas.
In 1976, Marty resigned his Presidency at Acoustic Research to begin the globalization of the NAD concept. Administered out of his apartment in London, England and employing the brilliant design and engineering talents of a young genius amplifier designer, Bjorn Erik Edvardsen, NAD was born. In 1977, Borish and Edvardsen unveiled the NAD 3020, the world’s first amplifier with Full Disclosure Power (FDP), and this model became a sensation with audio reviews and music lovers everywhere, eventually selling millions of units. This event was the catalyst to propel NAD brand development and the precursor of hundreds of unique products NAD birthed within the worldwide HiFi business. The name Martin L. Borish is perhaps understated and unknown in the music/electronics industry, but his ongoing influence is monumental. More and more brands joined with NAD and an array of “audiophile” level products made high end sound more attainable.
NAD was sold in 1999 to The Lenbrook Group of Pickering, Ontario, Canada. Marty continued to provide product and marketing advice becoming an advisory Board member working with the Lenbrook and NAD senior management team. In a telling example of Marty’s vision for innovation in audio, Marty’s active expertise and encouragement influenced the recent development of Lenbrook’s sister brand, Bluesound, which manufactures and markets connected high resolution audio, multi-room HiFi solutions.
NAD has grown to become a major specialty audio brand, sold in over 80 countries. NAD’s success can be credited largely to its commitment to the brand’s core values established by Martin L. Borish at NAD’s foundation.
Marty spent 44 years living in London, England with Elaine, his wife of 66 years, before moving back to the USA to be closer to their two sons Larry and Jeff, and their families. 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”.