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Royer Labs Mourns Bob Speiden

Bob Speiden

Royer Labs in Burbank, Calif., recently lost a true friend and source of the company’s inspiration with the passing of Bob Speiden (pictured). Bob passed away peacefully on May 15 after a long illness. He was 87 years old. The audio community has long recognized Bob as a man passionate about ribbon microphones. He was David Royer’s main inspiration for taking up ribbon microphones, leading to Royer Labs’ introduction of modern ribbon microphone designs to a world that had all but forgotten them. He will be missed very much.

Bob Speiden was the developer of the original SF-12 stereo ribbon microphone. He decided to stop making the handcrafted microphone after his wife became seriously ill and, in 1998, licensed the design to Royer Labs. Bob had a special relationship with David Royer and believed that Royer Labs was the only company capable of producing his unique microphone design properly.

Rick Perrotta, president of Royer Labs, commented on Speiden’s passing. “All of us at Royer Labs were saddened by the news of Bob’s passing. Bob was a brilliant audio engineer whose design of the SF-12 was highly acclaimed throughout the professional audio community. He had a tremendous influence on all of us here at Royer Labs. Not only did we consider him a guiding influence, he was also a dear friend.”

David Royer, chief engineer at Royer Labs, reflected on Speiden’s passing. “Bob was very special to me,” Royer says. “His ribbon microphone designs received critical acclaim by all who encountered them. He was a real inspiration to me and all who listened to recordings made with the SF-12 microphone. I learned much from Bob and, as I worked to improve ribbon microphone technology, I never lost sight of all that he taught me. He was an absolutely wonderful person.”

Speiden was a very private man. To honor his wishes, his family will have a private ceremony.

Information on Royer Labs can be found at