New York, NY (August 29, 2022)—James Young, co-founder and original owner/managing director of Aston Microphones, reportedly died last week in Malta after suffering a heart attack.
While Young originally studied at King’s College London to be a zoologist majoring in gerontology, he turned to musical instrument retail and eventually progressed into distribution. That in turn led to teaming up with sE Electronics in 2002; following a split with that company in 2014, Young partnered with co-founder Phil Smith and business partners Alan Gavin and Jack Munro to create Aston Microphones the following year. The company began as the then-first and only UK-manufactured condenser mic brand, and in under a year, the new company released its Aston Origin, Spirit and Halo Microphones.
The brand quickly gained notoriety and was soon put to use by high-profile beta testers like Chris Porter (David Bowie, George Michael); Geoff Dugmore (Robbie Williams, Elton John, Tina Turner); Paul Beard (Bryan Ferry, James Blunt); Roger Lyons (Bee Gees, Chemical Brothers); Steve Lewinson (Simply Red, Herbie Hancock) and others.
As the brand continued to grow, Young became a welcome gregarious presence at audio trade shows, ready to expound the virtues and abilities of the company’s latest microphones at the drop of a hat. In time, Aston Mics caught the eye of not only audio engineers but also Music Tribe, and in March, 2021, the brand was sold to the conglomerate behind brands like Behringer, TC Electronic, Midas, Turbosound and more. In the wake of the sale, Young and his family moved to Malta, where he was residing at the time of his passing.