Chandler Limited is celebrating its 15th anniversary. Company founder, owner and chief product designer Wade Goeke started the company in 1999 while living in North Hollywood, CA.
Goeke worked a “day job” in order to make ends meet and, during nights and weekends, spent what little time he had left in his workshop, which at the time, was a walk-in closet in the house he rented. It was here that his vision for his contribution to music and sound began to take shape.
“In those days,” Goeke recalls, “it was just me experimenting and learning. This was before I realized that, to run a business, you have to pay employees and do all the things adults do. I had a great time at it and, in the process, the whole idea of building a company started to take shape.
“My first sale was six LTD1 pre amp EQs,” he adds, “which gave me some money to get more parts and move forward. After that, I was selling units one at a time out of my house in North Hollywood to whoever would try them. It was touch and go and, every so often, I would have to borrow money from my parents or sell one of my prized vintage pieces I had collected in order to keep everything going.”
Today, Chandler Limited products are recognized as fine modern day recreations of popular signal processors from EMI/Abbey Road and others, providing the “warm” sound of analog that’s enhanced with operational ease, reliability, and other traits that are complementary to the digital recording process.
“I just loved the sounds of all the records my folks played when I was a kid,” says Goeke. “The Beatles, Bread, Simon and Garfunkel: I remember the sound of the guitars and vocals on the Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night, the lush plate reverbs with pre delay on the Bread ballads, the sound of Karen Carpenter’s voice. As I grew, I just felt as though audio never really got better than that and I wanted to capture those sounds. When I got my first vintage EMI compressors in the early 90s and heard their sound, I knew this was something people would want.”
Chandler Limited introduced the TG1 Limiter in 2001, soon followed by the TG2 Pre Amp/DI, a recreation of the rare EMI TG12428 pre amp used in EMI/Abbey Road recording and mastering consoles during the late 60s and early 70s. “These two products represented significant growth for the company,” says Goeke, “and both of these continue to be important products for us.”
In 2001, Goeke moved the company to his hometown of Waverly, IA. “I was a new dad and wanted to raise my kids in a different environment than Los Angeles,” he explains. “I also needed help from my family to keep up with the volume of business we had. When I moved back to Iowa, my company was located in the basement of my father’s office and both he and my mother provided assistance running the company, in addition to providing an influx of plain old green backs to help keep pace with our growth. Then in 2004, we moved the company from Waverly to neighboring small town, Shell Rock.”
Presently, Chandler Limited’s facility consists of three store fronts in downtown Shell Rock that have been converted to meet the company’s requirements. PCB manufacturing is located downstairs on the main floor, along with unit assembly, wiring stations, and testing. Administrative offices are located upstairs, along with a good sized recording studio and two adjacent live rooms, where listening and product comparisons take place.
Looking forward, Goeke says the best is yet to come. “It may sound clichéd,” he notes, “but I feel as though our best years are ahead of us. We have many new products with Abbey Road in the pipeline and we also have our own line of plug-ins with Brainworx on the horizon. Our products are routinely used by leading engineers such as Tony Maserati, whose projects include artists such as Robin Thicke, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Jason Mraz, and more. Likewise, our equipment was used in the production of records for Adele, Maroon 5, and Green Day—to name just a few. These past 15 years have been a wild ride and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”