Robert A. (a.k.a. “Bob”) Smith is the Founder, Chief Engineer and President of Aether Audio, and has been a well-respected, designer and engineer of innovative audio products for well over a decade.
Among his past and other present roles are the following:
Former President and chief Design Engineer at SP Technology Loudspeakers, Inc.
Standing president of Technology Design & Support Service (TDSS)
Former Technical Support & Marketing Manager of NuForce, Inc.
Electro-acoustic Design Engineer and Technical Writer for Optoma NuForce
Over the years Bob has proven himself to be an engineer that is not only devoted to the first-principles of science, but also functions as one of those rare “creative-types” that can actually think “outside of the box” while retaining the ability to grasp and apply advanced scientific concepts in order to design & develop products of exceptional performance and value.
Bob’s track record includes having developed a number of well received designs as follows.
SP Technology “Timepiece”
SP Technology Timepiece Mini"
SP Technology "Continuum"
SP Technology “Revelation”
Aether Audio “Spirit-1”
NuForce "S-8" & “S-9”
NuForce “S-1” & “S-X”
Aether Audio “Vortex Filter”
NuForce’s Vortex Filter counterpart, the “Magic Cube”
NuForce Primo 8 headphones
Optoma NuForce HEM Series headphones.
Before any of the above though, Bob’s experience in both linear and switching amplifier technology/Class-D amplifiers, SOTA Tracking Power Converters and Power Supplies was a bit of a “rarity” in its day, and is what our TDSS equipment modifications heavily rely upon.
You see, Bob’s experience in that area of technology hearkens to back in the 90’s when he worked for the prestigious Techron Division of Crown International.
While many are aware of Crown Audio’s almost indestructible Power
Amplifiers that are used every day in touring sound and commercial installations spanning the globe, few know of their significant contributions to the Medical MRI industry. The fact is, under contract and in collaboration with several major MRI manufacturers, Techron developed the world’s first 40,000-Watt “Gradient Amplifiers” that lie at the heart of every MRI diagnostic system.
Specifically, Techron was the primary contractor for such amplifiers to the likes of Picker International and GE Medical Systems, and it was during those years that they developed a true “state-of-the-art” tracking power supply based on the latest switching technology. This device had an effective operating frequency of 2MHz and delivered 40kW of high-efficiency power to the system’s linear amplifier stages. Known as the “Polyphase Buck Supply,” the thing was scarcely bigger than a shoebox and yet it could fully power the equivalent of four average homes - each with a 100-amp AC power service entrance. Needless to say, the audio world has yet to see anything like this, and it was working directly under Crown’s world-renowned engineer and Chief of R&D Gerald Stanley that Bob came to learn the many intricacies and idiosyncrasies of modern switching technology. Bob will tell you that he thinks the world of Gerald as he owes much of what he knows as a result of Gerald's mentoring and will forever be in debt to him.