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Hi-Fi Pioneer Godehard Guenther Passes Away

Reno, Nevada – 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, Mass., 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.

At Soundmatters, he also developed products for such companies as Logitech, Viewsonic, Roku, IGT and most recently Jawbone.

Guenther made arrangements for Soundmatters to continue in business “along with virtually an additional lifetime’s worth of new designs,” the company told TWICE.

Guenther was born on April 9, 1939, in Bochum, Germany, and earned an undergraduate degree in physics at the University of Göttingen and a PhD in astrophysics at the University of Heidelberg, where he met his wife, Adelheid.

Dr. Guenther joined the National Academy of Sciences as a fellow in 1968. A year later, recruited by Dr. Wernher von Braun, Guenther and his wife immigrated to the U.S., where he worked with a group of scientists at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., to develop an experiment that became part of America’s first space station. He left NASA in 1972 to pursue his growing interest in acoustics.

He is survived by his wife, three children and seven grandchildren.

The family requests that donations be sent to the Social Service Fund for Needy Patients, Massachusetts General Hospital, 100 Cambridge Street, Suite 1310, Boston, MA 02114. To access an online guestbook, visit may also contact the funeral home for details on a celebration of Godehard’s life.