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Acoustic Loudspeaker, Home Theatre

***** In the consumer electronics industry, inventor Henry Kloss has achieved legendary status. While working at Acoustic Research in 1952, Kloss and engineer Edgar Villchur created the first acoustic suspension loudspeaker, the AR-1. This bookshelf-sized speaker could deliver deep bass sounds. It was the first speaker of its kind; many say it changed the industry forever.

In the early 1960s, Kloss was working at KLH when he built the first high selectivity FM radio, the Model 8, and the first successful audio product to use transistors, the Model 11 portable phonograph. Kloss founded his own company, Advent, in 1967. There he employed a straightforward approach to designing loudspeakers. He believed using premium quality materials and innovative design would produce a superior loudspeaker. This simple philosophy worked, making the Advent loudspeaker the reference standard of its day.

Later at Advent, Kloss became a home theater pioneer with a successful line of two-piece projection systems. He also introduced the Model 200, the very first cassette tape deck to employ Dolby B noise reduction. The technology helped to transform the compact audiocassette from a dictation to a music medium. According to Kloss, the quality of many radio receivers has declined because today people don't think in terms of buying something that will last them 20 years.

"It's the times. Things are so cheap that I'll buy it and if I like it then 'OK.' If I don't like it, I can always get another one. There's no consideration given to a purchase that would be satisfactory for use over a long period of time. People are not asking for good radios. There's no demand for such because people don't know you can them," he said.

Kloss is still working on radios that he considers exceptional. He has many ideas for new radios and soundsystems. At age 73, Kloss is still helping to redefine home theater technology at Cambridge Soundworks in Newton, Massachusetts. He has created a line of surround sound speakers, powered subwoofers and subcompact three-channel multimedia sound systems for the company, including the Model 88 radio, which combines an AM/FM tuner, advanced electronic design, component-quality amplifiers and a built-in powered subwoofer.

For his work, Kloss has been inducted into the Audio Hall of Fame. He has also won an Emmy Award.

[Nov. 2000]

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