Sandy Gross Leaves GoldenEar - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 25 Old 05-27-2020, 04:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Sandy Gross Leaves GoldenEar

Sandy Gross is the co-founder of Polk, Definitive Technology and GoldenEar. There's a good chance you've owned speakers he's had a hand in developing and marketing at some point in your life. Recently, Sandy had sold his third speaker company, GoldenEar, to Quest Group, the parent company of AudioQuest.

In a letter released today, Sandy announces his departure from GoldenEar and the speaker industry in general. Here it is:

"To all my friends and colleagues,

I have been involved in the audio industry all my working career, almost 50 years, and it has been grand. I have co-founded three very significant companies, created countless great loudspeakers, worked with and met many wonderful people and made many terrific friends.

It has been a blessing and a blast.

We sold GoldenEar to The Quest Group in January and it had been my intention to stay on and continue with my life's work, involvement in product design, sales and marketing. Working with Bill and all the people at AudioQuest has been great and I have enjoyed it very much. However, the world has changed and I have decided to step down from my position as President Emeritus of GoldenEar and take a little time off to pursue all my many interests.

Thanks to everyone for your support and friendship over the years. It has really helped to make the magic happen! I look forward to many more years together. Please stay in touch!

Onward and Upward,

Sandy Gross
GoldenEar Technology"

Mark Henninger
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post #2 of 25 Old 05-27-2020, 09:03 AM
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Well, you knew this was coming....
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post #3 of 25 Old 05-27-2020, 03:41 PM
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A giant in the industry! Polk, Definitive, GoldenEar - all incredible companies. A master at bringing "audiophile" speakers and technologies to people at prices that made the products obtainable to the masses. And, let's face it, this guy knew how to market his products. Let's hope his legacy companies can continue aspiring to achieve great sound at a fraction of the cost of the big boys.
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post #4 of 25 Old 05-28-2020, 08:26 AM
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Why do I feel this was his intent when he sold the company. I'll be honest I don't think it is a great thing for him to be leaving as these speakers have been "his" vision. I don't own any GoldenEar stuff, but I have owned Polk Audio and Definitive in the past.

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post #5 of 25 Old 05-28-2020, 08:34 AM
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Why did he really leave?

Would it be safe to assume that he will create yet another speaker company down the road? He, most likely, has a non compete contract that would exclude him from creating a new company for x amount of years. I am guessing that he butted heads with the new owners and said screw it.
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post #6 of 25 Old 05-28-2020, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by marknordlie View Post
Would it be safe to assume that he will create yet another speaker company down the road? He, most likely, has a non compete contract that would exclude him from creating a new company for x amount of years. I am guessing that he butted heads with the new owners and said screw it.

That is exactly the same feeling I got from his letter.

I'm guessing Sandy Gross 4.0 in five years.
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post #7 of 25 Old 05-28-2020, 09:52 AM
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Ditto.
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post #8 of 25 Old 05-28-2020, 10:06 AM
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Great guy he would take us for Dim Sum when he visited us when I worked at Gramophons here in Maryland
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post #9 of 25 Old 05-28-2020, 10:28 AM
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Great guy he would take us for Dim Sum when he visited us when I worked at Gramophons here in Maryland
I live in Timonium, mere minutes from Gramophone here. It'll be nice when I can go inside again!
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post #10 of 25 Old 05-28-2020, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by marknordlie View Post
Would it be safe to assume that he will create yet another speaker company down the road? He, most likely, has a non compete contract that would exclude him from creating a new company for x amount of years. I am guessing that he butted heads with the new owners and said screw it.
Absolutely! He really doesn't heave to do anything special to start a new very successful speaker company. I mean speaker design has become more of a established "science", you only need a good marketing campaign, and in his case, that's automatically taken care of. His designs are all very similar, a twist here and tweak there and you got yourself a new speaker line.



This is not to say he's not a great speaker designer- but in reality, the Golden Ear and the Def Tech lines are so similar, there isn't a speaker in one line that doesn't have an absolutely identical sound to that of a speaker from the other line.
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post #11 of 25 Old 05-28-2020, 11:01 AM
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That is exactly the same feeling I got from his letter.

I'm guessing Sandy Gross 4.0 in five years.

He's getting up there in age so I have my doubts!
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post #12 of 25 Old 05-28-2020, 11:35 AM
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Sandy is, I believe, 70. Not sure if he would have either the energy or desire to start anew at 75. Hopefully his health is decent enough to be able to do so if desired.

Regarding Goldenear, I hope the new owners don’t run this into the ground and ruin the brand. How often have we seen this with other companies? Hopefully their engineers will have the capability to make these speakers even better. Could be a tall order. Time will tell. I still love my Triton 2’s!
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post #13 of 25 Old 05-28-2020, 02:07 PM
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I guess that 50 years isn’t enough for some people. Go out at the top of your game. There’s nothing better. Maybe some time left to RELAX.
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post #14 of 25 Old 05-28-2020, 02:34 PM - Thread Starter
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He's getting up there in age so I have my doubts!
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Originally Posted by marknordlie View Post
Sandy is, I believe, 70. Not sure if he would have either the energy or desire to start anew at 75. Hopefully his health is decent enough to be able to do so if desired.

Regarding Goldenear, I hope the new owners don’t run this into the ground and ruin the brand. How often have we seen this with other companies? Hopefully their engineers will have the capability to make these speakers even better. Could be a tall order. Time will tell. I still love my Triton 2’s!
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I guess that 50 years isn’t enough for some people. Go out at the top of your game. There’s nothing better. Maybe some time left to RELAX.
My guess is he's retiring. He's got an enviable art collection, loving wife, kids and he's made his mark in this industry, no doubt.

You have to look at how GoldenEar was targeted as a brand to understand why its value may no longer be what it was. Sandy knew that dealers are all about "points" which is to say, the percentage of the sale price that is theirs to keep. The markup on GoldenEar is high, the product is not sold online, and uniform pricing is enforced so the only way you can get a sale or a deal on it is to go see the dealer and cut a deal.

This was great for dealers because it presented a profitable product that is desirable, yet protected from the "cannibalism" that occurs when brands run their own web store and also sell through Amazon.

The only catch is that you have to have brick-and-mortar stores for this to work. Without an online distribution network, what are they going to do? Contrast that to the Internet direct brands.
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post #15 of 25 Old 05-28-2020, 04:18 PM
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Maybe Quest wanted to put in Audioquest's snake oil products in the speakers and hike the price up by 500% and he was like "I'm out!"
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post #16 of 25 Old 05-28-2020, 05:11 PM
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Thank You, Sandy.

I was involved in audio sales since the early '70's and have thought highly of your products. I really love my GoldenEar system and plan to expand it to Atmos.
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post #17 of 25 Old 05-28-2020, 06:05 PM
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My guess is he's retiring. He's got an enviable art collection, loving wife, kids and he's made his mark in this industry, no doubt.

You have to look at how GoldenEar was targeted as a brand to understand why its value may no longer be what it was. Sandy knew that dealers are all about "points" which is to say, the percentage of the sale price that is theirs to keep. The markup on GoldenEar is high, the product is not sold online, and uniform pricing is enforced so the only way you can get a sale or a deal on it is to go see the dealer and cut a deal.

This was great for dealers because it presented a profitable product that is desirable, yet protected from the "cannibalism" that occurs when brands run their own web store and also sell through Amazon.

The only catch is that you have to have brick-and-mortar stores for this to work. Without an online distribution network, what are they going to do? Contrast that to the Internet direct brands.

You nailed it. Unlike most people that get into the speaker business, Sandy excelled at the marketing/business end.
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post #18 of 25 Old 05-28-2020, 06:47 PM
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... but in reality, the Golden Ear and the Def Tech lines are so similar, there isn't a speaker in one line that doesn't have an absolutely identical sound to that of a speaker from the other line.

What "reality" are you living in? lol

Name me one Def Tech speaker that sounds "absolutely identical" to the... GoldenEar Triton Reference...?

The list could go on and on...
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Memo to The Quest Group:

It took me many years of searching for new loudspeakers that I really really like, especially for the money. The Triton One fit the bill for me. With Sandy leaving, do NOT screw up GoldenEar products. They sound amazing. Do not change anything to existing products and do not raise prices. Well, you can raise prices a little if you have them made in the USA instead of China. (With current world events I will try to not buy anything in the future made in China.)

Best wishes and long live GoldenEar.
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post #20 of 25 Old 05-30-2020, 01:29 PM
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Good for him.

I hope he enjoys his retirement as much as I enjoy mine.

Has to be at least 70.

I retired at 51 so he's worked far longer than I.
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post #21 of 25 Old 05-30-2020, 06:21 PM
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One of the GOAT's for sure...

Love my Triton 1's.

I also met Sandy down at Gramophone.

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They say your hearing goes when you get old yet Sandy and Richard Vandersteen have been turning out great speakers in their advanced age (Mine too). Kudos to them.

Reggie Basement: Sony 75" 4K 940D/Marantz AV8805& MM8077 & MM7055/GoldenEar:Reference (Fronts and cetern) Triton Ones(Rear),/ 4 GoldenEar Atmos Invisa 650/Oppo BDP-205/Directv HS-17 and C61K/Roku 4K Family Room:LG 65" OLED/Marantz AV8802A & MM8077/ Vandersteen Treo Front/ GoldEar SuperSat60 Surround/ Directv HS-17 and C61K
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They say your hearing goes when you get old yet Sandy and Richard Vandersteen have been turning out great speakers in their advanced age (Mine too). Kudos to them.

Funny you should mention that. Some people find the AMT tweeters to be too bright, I don’t but I’m 62 (would I have a different opinion if I were 25?)


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post #24 of 25 Old 06-25-2020, 09:32 PM
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Sandy Gross is the co-founder of Polk, Definitive Technology and GoldenEar. There's a good chance you've owned speakers he's had a hand in developing and marketing at some point in your life. Recently, Sandy had sold his third speaker company, GoldenEar, to Quest Group, the parent company of AudioQuest.

In a letter released today, Sandy announces his departure from GoldenEar and the speaker industry in general. Here it is:

"To all my friends and colleagues,

I have been involved in the audio industry all my working career, almost 50 years, and it has been grand. I have co-founded three very significant companies, created countless great loudspeakers, worked with and met many wonderful people and made many terrific friends.

It has been a blessing and a blast.

We sold GoldenEar to The Quest Group in January and it had been my intention to stay on and continue with my life's work, involvement in product design, sales and marketing. Working with Bill and all the people at AudioQuest has been great and I have enjoyed it very much. However, the world has changed and I have decided to step down from my position as President Emeritus of GoldenEar and take a little time off to pursue all my many interests.

Thanks to everyone for your support and friendship over the years. It has really helped to make the magic happen! I look forward to many more years together. Please stay in touch!

Onward and Upward,

Sandy Gross
GoldenEar Technology"
I worked at AQ many years ago and I can tell you that when Bill embraces something it flourishes. I bought the Triton Ones years ago and I consider it one of the best "bang for the bucks" I've ever heard. You can appreciate small improvements in your system- they are that revealing. I have some older cables/speaker cables from the AQ line and even with the dramatic difference in price the speakers shine through. I plan on getting the Triton Reference soon since I heard them and A/B'ed them.

The Quest Group is a great landing spot for GE- I hoped that they wouldn't get sold to an "offshore owned" company nd ran into the ground. I am more excited for what Bill and Co can so to improve on the GE sound.

Long Live the GE brand!
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post #25 of 25 Old 06-26-2020, 04:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Funny you should mention that. Some people find the AMT tweeters to be too bright, I don’t but I’m 62 (would I have a different opinion if I were 25?)


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The thing is they are also fairly directional (which is why I think some people describe them as having characteristics of a horn) so you can attenuate that brightness with just a bit of adjustment to the toe-in

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