Ten Octave Audio was a shared dream of the founders who are audio enthusiasts, electronics researchers, and music lovers.

We have had the pleasure of listening to audio gear over the decades manufactured by the great innovators of the audio business, and since our high school days have aspired to creating high quality, good value audio gear.

Our goal is to produce audio products that are of the highest quality, USA built to deliver great sound for decades in the future at prices that are good value to music lovers like you.

William (Bill) Cobb

Chief Technology Officer

Bill has been experimenting with electronics since his first project, an AM radio transmitter at age 13. As the son of a marketing executive for a major airline he had quite a few relocations that kept his tinkering hobby in check but created an additional fascination with aircraft. Bill’s father hooked him on hifi sound with a gift of an EICO tube amp when he was 14. Bill built his first tube amplifier (for guitar use) at age 16.

Later that year he became the youngest ever full time employee at IBM servicing Selectric typewriters in Los Angeles. That learning experience was interrupted when he enlisted in the US Air Force and became a mechanic for fighter planes, serving under fire in Viet Nam.


Bill with the Director of Security, Puddah

On his return to civilian life while still working for IBM, he saw an opportunity in the electronics business and opened an electronics store specializing in hot-rodding CB radios with hundreds of satisfied customers in Southern California. This talent in electronics brought Bill a unique opportunity when a customer told him that his employer, Universal Studios, was searching for an expert in electronics to do special effects for a new TV show, Battlestar Galactica. Bill met with the show special effects coordinator at Universal Studios the next day and was hired immediately. That began a career in movie special effects that has continued to present day.

During his career in special effects Bill invented numerous electronic devices that enable the almost magical movie effects including igniting and controlling fires, explosions, and gunfire. Have a look at the video to see examples of Bill’s work from the movies and some of his electronic inventions.
You can view Bill’s creative electronic special effects in many successful popular tv shows and movies including:


  • War Games
  • Ice Pirates
  • Rhinestone
  • Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai
  • Invasion, USA
  • Short Circuit
  • Always
  • Joe Versus the Volcano
  • Volcano
  • Traffic
  • S.W.A.T.
  • Rocketman
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
  • Godzilla
  • Lethal Weapon 4
  • Inpector Gadget
  • Fast and Furious
  • Galaxy Quest
  • Ocean’s Eleven
  • Robocop 2
  • Traffic
  • Gigli
  • Solaris
  • Spiderman 2
  • Desperate Housewives
  • Fun With Dick and Jane
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
  • Eagle Eye
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  • The Green Hornet
  • Jumping Jack Flash
  • Big trouble in Little China
  • Kingdom
Transformers Tilting Office Building

Lethal Weapon tanker explosion test

Bumble Bee - Transformers
Eagle Eye Machine
Cobb Klunker

This invention has been used in scores of movies to set off “squibs” that detonate to simulate machine gun fire and other effects.

Cobb Klunker Under the Cover

This invention has been used in scores of movies to set off “squibs” that detonate to simulate machine gun fire and other effects.

Pirates - Ship Rolling With the Waves
Klunker used in Oceans Eleven

This clip from Ocean’s Eleven demonstrates the use of the Cobb Klunker in movie special effects.

TV series

  • Battlestar Galactica ’78 – ’79 (show won special effects Emmy award)
  • Buck Rogers in the 25th Century ’79
  • Knight Rider ’82
  • Family Ties ’84 -’89
  • Cheers ’84 – ’91
  • Beauty and the Beast ’87 – ’90
  • Duet ’87 – ’89
  • Space Above and Beyond ’95

David Smilay


Being raised in a family of musicians and performers, David developed an early interest in electronics as it related to audio reproduction and amplification. He started tinkering with audio electronics while studying Electrical Engineering at Georgia Tech, and built his first solid state amplifier at that time, with some greatly appreciated guidance from the engineers he was working with at Georgia Tech Research Institute.

Soon thereafter David’s interest in audio electronics and musical performance took a back seat to his fascination with building computers and designing software.  Starting with a small software firm headquartered in Wimbledon, England, David established a highly respected reputation of success in IT consulting, systems design and implementation across the USA and overseas in a career that spanned 4 decades.  David designed and implemented systems for many large businesses including Colgate-Palmolive, RJ Reynolds/Nabisco, BATF, Marriott, Mitchell Energy, Emory University, Deloitte Touche, Southern CA Gas, and numerous others.

On returning from several years working overseas, David met Bill Cobb, and Ten Octave Audio was conceived and created.

“It’s a joy to be designing and building high fidelity audio components again.  It’s like re-connecting with a treasured friend from the past.”
– David Smilay