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Obituary: Richard Hay 1944-2012

It is with great sadness that we report the death from cancer of Richard Hay, a well known figure in the hi-fi industry.

Richard worked with Radfords, Nytech, Ion Systems and latterly with the Hungarian Electronics manufacturer Heed Audio.

He started his career at Truvox, where he designed and built the first FM tuner in the UK that used integrated circuits and FETs.

From 1969 until 1972 Richard was chief engineer at Radford Audio, where he worked with Arthur Radford and Arthur Bailey.

In the early 1970s Nytech Audio was founded, with Richard as its managing director. The company produced legendary amplifiers such as the Nytech CTA252 and later the CA202 and CA252 models.

Around the same time he co-founded ALSO, the Active Loudspeaker Standards Organisation, with his friends and peers Julian Vereker of Naim, Ivor Tiefenbrun of Linn and Bob Stuart of Meridian.

Following his success with Nytech, Richard went on to found Ion Systems and it was here that his design ideas were further developed and honed into what became the Ion Obelisk range (above).

When Ion Systems ceased to exist, Richard gave Heed Audio in Hungary permission to continue manufacture of his Obelisk design under the Heed brand name.

Richard continued to work with the company as a design consultant and then in the e arly 2000s teamed up with his son Robert to begin distribution of the expanded Heed product range in the UK.

In what we hope is a fitting tribute to Richard's contribution to the hi-fi industry, the Heed Obelisk si amplifier (above) was What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision's Best Buy stereo amplifier £1000-£1500 in this year's Awards.

Richard is survived by his wife Pat and three sons Robert, Duncan and Ian.

Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching whathifi.com in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.