About Bobby Smith
Like many young teenagers, Bobby immersed himself in the Southern California music scene in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Bobby spent hours spinning records produced by many current bands. The music of Van Halen, Montrose, Motley Crue, Quiet Riot, Ratt and Dokken quickly influenced Bobby’s taste in music.
Bobby began playing acoustic guitar in 1975 learning basic chords. By 1978, Bobby was drawn to the electric guitar after hearing the first Van Halen record. Eddie Van Halen’s playing and guitar tone, a game changer in the rock scene, made a huge impact on Bobby’s life.
1982 saw Bobby playing in various local bands. In 1984, Bobby’s band, Eternal Ryte was playing the major clubs along the famous Sunset Strip in Hollywood, California. During this time, Bobby acquired his first Marshall amp; a 1984 JCM 800 2203 Model. Soon thereafter, Bobby bought a 1979 Marshall 2203 and a 1976 Marshall 2203. The 1976 Marshall is still in Bobby’s possession.
Continuing his fascination with the electric guitar, Bobby was hired by San Dimas, California guitar manufacturer, Charvel/Jackson in 1984. While working in the final assembly department, Bobby learned how to build an electric guitar, proper fret dressing, solder electronics and assist in making guitar pickups. After leaving Charvel, Bobby continued to expand his guitar building knowledge taking jobs with BC Rich (1987-1990), Valley Arts Guitars (1990-1993), Tom Anderson Guitarworks (1993-2000) and Grosh Guitars (2005-2016).
Building guitars by day and playing clubs in the evening, Bobby’s band, Eternal Ryte was signed to Pure Metal Records in 1987. The band quickly found themselves in the studio recording their first full length album titled, World Requiem. During this time, Bobby was invited to audition for Ozzy Osbourne’s band to replace world renowned guitarist, Jake E. Lee.
After leaving Tom Anderson Guitar works, Bobby moved to Longmont, Colorado where he worked at Guitar Etc. repairing guitars and other stringed instruments. Unable to find guitar amp technicians in Colorado, Bobby quickly learned how to work with amps. With a discerning ear for tone, Bobby built his first Marshall 100 watt Plexi style amplifier. This amp quickly evolved in to Bobby’s workhorse amp where different modifications and ideas are worked out to achieve new and different tones.
While working in final assembly and heading up the electronics department at a guitar company in Colorado, the guitar company commissioned Bobby to build five 50 watt Plexi non-mastered volume style amps. The five amps, otherwise known as the DG50 model, were sold with matching guitars.
With the success of the DG50 amps, Bobby built five more 50 watt Plexi amps under his newly formed company, RJS Amps. Simply using the initials of his name, Robert John Smith, these new RJS amps are used by many notable guitar players.
Today, Bobby is dedicated to building amplifiers and guitars at the highest level of quality, workmanship and passion for his customers. Bobby pays close attention to every detail while proving customers with unequaled customer support. And yes, Bobby is actively playing clubs showcasing his guitars and amplifiers.
Bobbys Client list since 1984 includes, Jake E Lee, Tracii Guns, Warren DeMartini, Chris Holmes (WASP)Terry Kilgore (DLR Band) Paul Stanley, Michael Anthony, Slash, Robbin Crosby, Steve Via, Steve Stevens, George Lynch, Don Dokken, Greg Chaisson (Badlands),Larry Carlton, Steve Lukather, Lee Sklar, Kenny Lee Lewis (Steve Miller Band) Luis Maldonado (Train), Billy Gibbons, Keith Richards, Lita Ford, Phil Collin (Def Leppard), Brad Whitford, Graham Nash, Carlos Santana, and Steve Farris (Mr Mister). Just to name a bunch. etc etc.....