Chad Stelly
Aka "Stelly" or "Chad #2"

Grew up in southern Louisiana until the 5th grade when our family moved to Houston.  The Audio bug had already bitten as I was completely blown away at the Marantz gear on display at our local department store in Lafayette.  After moving to Houston I quickly subscribed to High Fidelity and Audio Magazine in order to quench my thirst and keep up with the technology and marketing of Home Audio.  I found it interesting through the late seventies and into the 80’s that Lafayette was way ahead of Houston in terms of Audio Stores and gear offered.  While returning to Lafayette on a regular basis for Holidays, I would always look forward to visiting the two main Audio Retailers where I could see the latest and greatest offerings.

Lafayette was experiencing a phenomenal growth during this time due to the boom in Oil and Oil Field related services.  It seemed as if these Cajuns were insatiable in there quest for quality sound reproduction as compared to the more conservative population back in Houston.

It was during this time that I was exposed to innovative products from such manufacturers as GAS, Theta, Mission, Meridian, Sony Esprit, Hill Plasmatronics, A & R Cambridge (Arcam),  Luxman, Yamaha, B & O, Nakamichi, McIntosh, Gale, Celestion, B & W, Quad, Dayton Wright, Linn as well as the excellent recordings from M & K and Sheffield Labs to name a few.

It wasn’t long before I was bringing home boxes of gear from these guys into my bedroom.  A typical morning consisted of drinking coffee in bed with my audio system knocking the cobwebs out for around 30 minutes or so before getting ready for school.  I was also very likely to return to my bedroom after school, with fresh coffee in hand, to decompress by listening for 3~4 hours in the afternoon instead of hanging out with my friends.  I call it music therapy and I would practice it on a regular basis.  Something that a great system can do for me is allow me to be transported to the recording without fatigue.  If I can listen to a system and the time clock goes out the window, then everything is working!

After finishing High School, I promptly moved back to Lafayette to attend College and be around the cool Audio Stores.  I knew that Audio would always be a big part of my life and I was exploring its opportunities.  Upon graduating from College with a B.B.A. in Business Management, I decided that I would have to get the Audio Retail Bug out of my system so I took a job in Houston with a leading Dealer by the name of Home Entertainment, Inc. where I sold gear at their fourth and newest store located in the vicinity of Compaq Computer.  It wasn’t too long before I was managing the store.  I did such a great job that they decided to close the place!  That was when I decided to try my luck working for a local Rep. Firm where we handled products from Denon, Adcom, KEF, Meridian, Quad, Nakamichi, as well as 12volt car audio lines and video.  It was during this time that I became aware of the excellent scene down in New Orleans and had the opportunity to meet and become friends with Clark Williams, my cohort at Acoustic Sounds.  While the Rep job was short lived, I never stayed out of the Audio Business for very long.  I continued to keep in touch with  the market, products and dealers and even moonlighted with several High-End dealers in the Houston Area by helping them out with sales and equipment set-up when I wasn’t busy with a real job.

After a nice 10 year run in Houston making a living in the Structural Forensic investigation field working for various Insurance companies, I crossed paths with Clark Williams again after seeing his name in an Acoustic Sounds, Inc. catalog.  After a year of contemplating a move to Salina Kansas, I decided to take Chad Kassem’s offer in April 2005 and become a part of the Acoustic Sounds, Inc. team.  It’s the closest job I could find that’s not like work.

Also Read Stelly's Soapbox 8/26/06