Grado, one of the oldest family owned companies in the Audio industry, has for almost half a century been one the leaders in design engineering for the high-end audio and recording industries. Grado is famous for its remarkable headphone and phono cartridge designs and holds over forty eight patents. In 1982 Company founder Joseph Grado, was inducted into the Audio Hall of Fame, an honor well-earned by a man who is credited with inventing the stereo moving coil cartridge and is responsible for more innovations in phono cartridge design than any other person in our lifetime.
New York born Joseph Grado has rarely been one to sit back when opportunity knocked. At age 16 he left vocational high school where he had been studying watchmaking and had been at the top of his class. He went to work for Tiffany & Company and also taught the craft of watchmaking in the evenings. When he discovered hi-fi sound in the early fifties, he made a visit to Saul Marantz to get help in improving the sound of his audio system. Impressed by Joseph's gifted ear, Marantz sent him over to Sherman Fairchild's floundering hi-fi division. With Saul Marantz making the introductions, Joseph promptly landed a top position in the company. As soon as he came up with a design for a viable product, he went out on his own. Scraping together $2,000, Joseph began to produce phono cartridges. In 1953 he started production of his cartridges on the kitchen table. In 1955 Joseph opened a factory in Brooklyn on the site of his Sicilian born father's grocery business which, to this day, has been the home of Grado Laboratories.