Loudspeaker Pioneer Bill Hecht Passes at 89

A press release issued by MSE Audio September 13 announced that William (Bill) Hecht, a died Tuesday September 11 in New York after a brief illness. He was 89 years old. In 1955 Hecht founded United Speaker Systems, an OEM manufacturer of speakers and related electronics, and also founded Phase Technology Corporation with his son Ken. (See Stereophile's positive review of the Phase Technology PC80 speaker here.) Phase Technology was later acquired by MSE Audio.

Hecht's contributions to the consumer electronics industry were numerous. He invented the true soft-dome tweeter (patented in 1962), which is ubiquitous in speaker designs. Later inventions included a manufacturing process for solid flat-piston drivers, a basket-less woofer/midrange driver mounting system, a self-damping woofer voice-coil and silicon-injected drivers.

Hecht remained involved in the speaker industry through the rest of his life and retained an office at United Speaker Systems in Jacksonville. United Speaker Systems produced more than 600 different speaker systems.

"All of us at MSE Audio greatly enjoyed our association with Bill and are deeply saddened at his passing," said Chris Combest, President of MSE Audio. "Bill was a legend in the speaker industry and brought a wealth of ideas to the manufacturing world. We offer our heartfelt condolences to the Hecht family and their friends."

Hecht is survived by his wife of 61 years, Sonia Hecht, his son Kenneth Hecht and wife Joan, his two daughters, Lauren Penny and Diane Hecht and five grandchildren.