Ashly celebrates 40th anniversary
WORLD: Founded by Billy Thompson in 1974, Ashly Audio is celebrating 40 years in the industry. Although much has changed, such as Ashly’s steady pivot from analogue solutions for live sound to digital solutions for installed sound, much has also not changed, and it is this constancy that underlies Ashly success and longevity.
‘Ashly has always had a relatively slow but steady growth trajectory,’ explained Mark Wentling, president of Ashly Audio. ‘Many similar companies started out around the same time as Ashly Audio but have since closed their doors or been absorbed into other companies to become just another “brand”. People have moved on and factories have been shuttered or moved overseas. Our approach has always been to remain steady, dependable, and maybe a little conservative, and that contributed to the 40 strong years that we’re now celebrating. Indeed, the Ashly philosophy reflects back on our employees. Many of the people still on the payroll in engineering, administration, and manufacturing were there when the company was just starting up.’
Those were the days when Billy Thompson was still playing the role of mad scientist at a lab bench overrun with oscilloscopes, custom-made real-time analysers, and voltmeters. Mr Thompson used that charismatic setup to design Ashly’s 1970s-era SC-Series of rack-mounted processors, which included classic compressors, equalisers, crossovers, line mixers, mic preamps, and everything else that today reside inside Ashly’s Protea DSP platform.
In the 1980s, Mr Thompson pioneered Ashly’s MOS-FET amplifiers, which increased amplifier power and reliability while minimising size and cost. Ashly’s MOS-FET amplifiers were among the first to be certified for meeting Lucas-films’ stringent THX movie theatre sound systems.
‘There is an incredible history here,’ said Anthony Errigo, director of marketing communications. ‘People at Ashly are dedicated and have great stories to share. Our employees are proud of this company and brand that they have built together.’