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Coporate Influence at KLH, AR and Others


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It would be doing nothing but justice describe Henry Kloss as the father of the high fidelity table radio, with the Model Eight being the yardstick by which other radios are to be measured.

This brings me to the corporate influence part of this post. Recently I met a guy who workked at KLH from 1961-65, we discused the time when Singer first consulted then bought KLH in '64 and the changes that happened due to this. One was various cost cutting measures in production. One that interested me was the changes to the model Eight radio which were the switch to plywood from solid walnut for the cabinets and reduction to one driver in the speaker. Many people don't know that kloss was a wood craftsmen in addition to his electronic skills. I'm sure this is why he used such fine wood on the early Model Eights and exspensive 12 ply marine plywood on his early loudspeaker cabinets daing from 1957-58. But when large companies by small ones, things change and the unique qualities of a product often are done away with. Under Singer, KLH's Model Twenty One sold very well with over 150,00 units being sold compared to 12,000 Model Eight's. I think this happened to some extent at Acoustic Research after the 1967 Teledyne purchase.

Big money is to be made when large firms buy small ones, the products are still great quality, but something is definately lost along the way. The fellow I talked with said the pre Singer days at KLH were very exciting, saying "We all worked 10-12 hour days and loved every minute of it".

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Guest matty g

Andy -

It may be asking a bit much, but do you think that any photos of the KLH factory or any other memorabilia/items/memos etc. from KLH or Singer exist? Anything relating to the behind the scenes goings on in the Cross St. facility or the corp. headquarters would be facinating. I'll bet there were many production line changes and service bulletins issued, as KLH seemed to have frequent product improvements within the same model numbers.


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