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Henry Kloss, Audio Pioneer, Dies

[Henry Kloss]
Henry Kloss
1929-2002 (Photo by Frank Beacham)

Author: Nels Ferré

Henry Kloss, a pioneer in the audio industry, passed away on January 31st in Cambridge Massachusetts. According to reports, Mr. Kloss died of a subdural hematoma. He was 72.

After graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he joined Acoustic Research in 1952. Along with engineer Edgar Villchur, he used his talent for invention in the development of the AR Model 1, the first acoustic suspension bookshelf loudspeaker. Before acoustic suspension speakers came to the forefront, high quality speakers tended to be quite large, to reproduce the lowest frequencies. The popularity of acoustic suspension speakers led other manufacturers to make more powerful amplifiers. While acoustic suspension designs can reproduce deep bass, they tend to be less efficient than other designs, requiring more amplifier power.

In the early 1960's, Mr. Kloss became a co-founder of KLH, where he introduced the Model 8, a good sounding, high selectivity table radio. Also introduced was the Model 11, a portable phonograph that was the first product to use solid-state technology.

In 1967, Mr. Kloss formed Advent. There, as in previous endeavors, he experienced great success. He introduced two acoustic suspension speakers, in different sizes, aptly dubbed the Small Advent and Large Advent. They became the best selling loudspeakers of their time. I owned a pair of Large Advents while in my late teens, and I still remember them quite fondly.

Additionally, while at Advent, Mr. Kloss worked diligently in the pursuit of changing the compact cassette from a format suitable only for dictation, to a format capable of reproducing true high fidelity. In 1971, he introduced the world's first cassette deck with Dolby noise reduction, the Advent 201. Some 10 years later, I became friends with a 201 owner. While, in 1981, there were certainly more advanced machines on the market, the Advent 201 more than held its own in terms of sound quality. Mr. Kloss' products were built to last.

Videophiles are indebted to Mr. Kloss as well; while at Advent, he introduced the Advent Video Beam 1000, the first color big screen television for home use.

In the 1980's, Mr. Kloss formed Cambridge Sound Works. While there, he introduced many successful subwoofer/satellite speaker systems, including the Ensemble, the first dual subwoofer satellite system. (Each channel had its own dedicated subwoofer.)

Additionally, he found this success without a traditional dealer network; Cambridge Sound Works gear was, and is, sold factory direct only.

In 1999, Mr. Kloss developed the Tivoli Model 88 Table radio, an updated version of the classic KLH Model 8. The Tivoli, like Mr. Kloss' previous designs, was revolutionary: it was the first table radio with a built in "subwoofer."

Mr. Kloss was honored with an Emmy Award, as well as induction into the Audio Hall of Fame.

While the loss of Henry Kloss is truly monumental to audiophiles everywhere, the magnitude of the resulting void is truly immeasurable; we have no idea what he was slated to introduce next. He will be sorely missed.

Thank you, Mr. Kloss.

Copyright © 2002 Nels Ferré - https://www.tnt-audio.com

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