Audio's Dedicated Servant
In three years, Acoustic Research was making $750,000 a year, no small number at the time. Kloss, Acoustic Research and the AR-1 were all on the map.
But as the company moved on with commercial success and two new models of the original design, Kloss left the company in the late '50s to continue his work in developing newer speaker technology. Working with a paper chemist on new cone material for about five months, Kloss then helped found KLH in 1957, where he eventually made the speaker he said was his first truly great one. "The Model Six was the first speaker that got the overall sound right. The AR-1 had its great merit of low-frequency response," he noted, but added that the sound of the Model Six served as a benchmark in later years for others as well as himself.
But he didn't stop at speakers. "Then I learned how to make a tuner," he said matter-of-factly. At KLH, he made the first high selective FM radio, the Model Eight, as well as some of the first audio devices to use transistors, such as the Model Eleven portable phonograph. KLH was acquired a few years later in the early 1960s by Singer, which was better known for sewing machines but at the time getting into home entertainment. In his last days at KLH, Kloss again displayed his keen intuition when he learned of Ray Dolby, a British high-fidelity researcher who had developed noise reduction technology. Dolby was reluctant to bring his technology to the United States, but Kloss convinced him to accept his help, and soon after, the first device to use the Dolby process was a reel-to-reel branded under KLH. Later, after Kloss left KLH and founded Advent in 1967, he and Dolby developed a cassette deck that also used the process.