Hi-fi industry pioneer Dr. Godehard Guenther, who founded home and car audio supplier Analog + Digital Systems (a/d/s/) and audio company Soundmatters, passed away Oct. 16 after succumbing to cancer.
Dr. Guenther entered the U.S. hi-fi market by importing Braun loudspeakers, then founded a/d/s/ of Wilmington, MA, in 1972. The company later acquired Braun. At a/d/s/, he led the development of rare-earth metals, including samarium cobalt and neodymium, for use in speakers and created the first fully digital surround sound system, Soundmatters said.
He left a/d/s/ in the latter half of the 1990s and founded Soundmatters in 1998 “to shrink both the size and cost of true hi-fi audio,” the company said. Under the Soundmatters brand, Guenther introduced the first hi-fi-quality all-in-one surround system, and in 2008 he launched the first pocket-sized Bluetooth stereo speaker said to meet the demands of audio purists, the company said. The product was named one of the Top Ten Gadgets of the Year by TIME magazine.