Henry Kloss dead at 72

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Shawn C, Feb 6, 2002.

  1. Shawn C

    Shawn C Screenwriter

    May 15, 2001
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    Apparently, this is yesterday's news..
    " KLOSS, THE LEGENDARY electronics wizard, died last week in his hometown of Cambridge, Mass. According to published reports, he died of a subdural hematoma at age 72"
  2. Andy W

    Andy W Stunt Coordinator

    May 13, 2001
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    A very sad day indeed.

    His Large Advent loudspeaker (1974), and his Advent 201 cassette deck, with Dolby B noise reduction and high bias recording for chromium dioxide tapes (1975), got me completely hooked into this great audio, and later, home theater hobby of ours.

    May he rest in peace.
  3. John Besse

    John Besse Supporting Actor

    Jun 22, 2000
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    Trinity, FL
    Real Name:
    Hmm, never heard of him. But, I saw he was with KLH.
  4. Colin Dunn

    Colin Dunn Supporting Actor

    Oct 10, 1998
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    KLH = HLK (Henry L. Kloss) backwards.

    I think he invented a few other A/V devices that were ahead of their times, like an early video projector. He also designed the Cambridge SoundWorks mini-speaker systems, which sound better than Bose and are half as expensive (much more reasonable for people who just MUST have tiny speakers).

    Sad to see him go to 'the other side,' as he quietly brought a lot of innovation to the audio/home theater world...
  5. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

    Nov 1, 2000
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    Sad to hear about his passing [​IMG]
    I don't think the article do justice to what he has contributed to this hobby. From the first AR speakers to the Cambridge Soundworks speakers, from the Kloss projection TV to the Advent speakers and receivers, he is truly one of the true innovators of home entertainment.
    And more people know Dr. Bose than Henry Kloss?
    RIP Mr. Kloss
  6. Jed M

    Jed M Cinematographer

    Oct 2, 2001
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    Sad to hear. He made great contributions to audio.
  7. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Jun 3, 1999
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    Very sad, indeed.

    I once owned a sparkling pair of AR-3a speaker systems, and for a while, I experimented with the "Double Advent" kick that was popular in '74 and '75--i.e., stacking a pair of Larger Advent speakers per channel (and driving them with a Crown DC-300A amp). The sound was awesome.

    Mr. Kloss was a true audio pioneer--and a genuine scientist in an often flaky world of charlatans.
  8. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

    Feb 9, 1999
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    Mr. Kloss was a GIANT in the field of audio/video. A few years ago he started Tivoli Audio. He came out with an amazing little table radio (mono only) that harkened back to the famous KLH and Advent ones. It's only $99 and is available for purchase at:
    Sad news indeed. [​IMG]
    Here's the New York Times obit:
    February 5, 2002
    Henry Kloss, 72, Innovator in Audio and Video, Dies
    Henry Kloss, an inventor of innovative audio and video components who became a hero to audiophiles, died on Thursday in Cambridge, Mass. He was 72.
    The cause was a subdural hematoma, said his son, David Kloss.
    Throughout his career, Mr. Kloss (pronounced close) was guided as much by his senses as by his intellect. Loudspeaker manufacturers tend to stress the technical specifications of their products, which is like describing a wine by its levels of alcohol and tannin or a chocolate cake by its caloric content alone.
    As an M.I.T.-educated engineer, Mr. Kloss developed formidable technical prowess but avoided marketing by the numbers. Instead, he strove to design equipment for the ear and not the spec sheet, and his products delivered a broad, smooth, clean sound that came to be called the "Boston sound."
    Mr. Kloss, who was born in Altoona, Pa., and raised nearby, was rewarded by an almost cultlike devotion from those who bought his equipment and who followed his career through many companies and twists of fortune.
    He began to build his reputation in 1952, while working at Acoustic Research with Edgar Vilchur, an engineer. Mr. Kloss invented a small revolution in listening, the AR-1. It was the first speaker that was small enough to fit on a bookshelf but could produce rich, deep bass tones. Low sounds are usually emitted by objects large enough to generate the long wavelengths of those notes. Mr. Kloss provided extra power to the low end of the sound spectrum and designed the speakers to accommodate the extra punch without overpowering the rest of the tonal range.
    It was only the beginning of a career of firsts. In the 1960's, at KLH, a company Mr. Kloss helped found (the K was for his last name, L and H were his colleagues Malcolm Lowe and J. Anton Hoffman), Mr. Kloss made the Model 8 FM radio. It could pull in stations from a crowded dial — a feature that came to be known as high selectivity. He also created some of the first successful audio devices to use transistors. He moved on to found Advent, where he created the first cassette tape deck to use the Dolby B noise reduction system.
    Then he set his sights on video and designed pioneering projection TV equipment. Mr. Kloss said that he had never watched television until he decided to build one.
    When Mr. Kloss decided to serve as the eyes instead of the ears, however, he foundered. Although his systems earned an Emmy for technological achievement, he lost control of Advent and then of a company he formed to sell the TV's, the Kloss Video Corporation, as consumers chose less expensive, simpler Japanese models.
    Mr. Kloss returned to audio in 1988 with a company he named Cambridge Soundworks; the $250,000 in start-up capital was provided by a friend, Henry Morgan, a venture capitalist, with a handshake as security.
    In the venture, Mr. Kloss turned to a surprising sales method: mail order. His reputation for providing high-quality sound at reasonable prices was so well established, he reasoned, that customers would be willing to buy loudspeakers sound unheard, on the basis of his reputation and strong reviews for products like multispeaker home theater systems.
    The strategy was successful, in part because the company was able to keep costs down by avoiding the expense of maintaining a network of stores. Mr. Kloss left Cambridge Soundworks after selling it in 1997 to another company, Creative Labs.
    He was not ready to retire, however. In 2000, Mr. Kloss unveiled an elegant tabletop radio, the Model One, from yet another company, Tivoli Audio. Once again, the Kloss faithful marveled at the rich sound from the small wooden cabinet, which was designed with just three knobs: a large, smooth-gliding tuning dial, another to adjust the volume and the third for turning the radio on and off. The deceptively simple device concealed sophisticated circuitry used in cellular phones to lock onto a radio signal; a result was a $99 radio that sounded as good as models costing many times more.
    At every stage of his career, Mr. Kloss remained a tinkerer at heart, his executive offices cluttered with equipment and circuit boards and his gray hair pulled back in a ponytail.
    Audiophiles idolized Mr. Kloss — at times, to a degree that made the family uncomfortable, David Kloss said. Strangers "would drop by the house because they bought a Model 21 25 years ago," he said.
    "He'd always humor them," his son recalled. Buffs would call out of the blue saying, "I need a knob for my Model 7," decades after the last one had been manufactured, David Kloss said. "It would be, `Hang on!' and he'd go down to the basement and bang around. He'd come back up and say, `I've got one from a Model 21, it's a little different but would that be O.K.?' "
    Besides David Kloss of Andover, Mass., he is survived by two daughters, Margot Rothmann of Avon, Conn., and Jennifer Hummel of Dedham, Mass.; and seven grandchildren. His wife, Jacqueline Sweeney Kloss, died last year.
    In an interview before he brought out the Model One, Mr. Kloss said the quality of radio receivers had declined over the years because buyers did not appreciate quality.
    "People are not asking for good radios," he told an interviewer, "Today, people don't think in terms of buying something that 20 years later they'll be glad they bought and will still be using."
    The disposable lifestyle was hurting quality, he said, adding that customers believe that "things are so cheap that I'll buy it, and if I like it, then O.K; if I don't like it, I can always get another one."
    David Kloss said that even at the height of success: "His real big thing was not to make money, ever. It was to pay the bills, and get great stereos for the masses."
    Copyright 2002 The New York Times Company | Privacy Information

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