Audio's Dedicated Servant
Before he could graduate from MIT, Kloss was pulled into the Army and eventually was stationed at Fort Monmouth in North New Jersey. On his off-time, he would venture into New York City to the theater for classical performances, but he also attended some adult-education courses, one of which was taught by high-fidelity expert Edgar Villchur.
"He had found the way to make a low-frequency loudspeaker," Kloss remembered. He approached Villchur, offering his own experience in making speakers to produce a working model. Villchur initially turned him down, and he took his ideas to the big-named companies of time, such as Altec-Lansing. But they were not receptive. Kloss was persistent with Villchur, who he knew had a good thing. It is that persistence that he uses again and again, whether it was with himself or with what he saw in others. "It was always survival mode (for me)…I always kept my eyes open," he described.
"They didn't want anything to do with anybody outside, (but) he finally got back to me and said, 'Okay, let's give it a try,'" Kloss explained. "That was the formation of Acoustic Research. It was built on this little facility I had in Harvard Square." Villchur and Kloss were assisted monetarily by Malcom Scully Low, Kloss' army friend and member of an old New England ship-building family, and J. Anton Hofmann, whose father, Joseph Hofmann, was a famous pianist in the 1920s and '30s.