Sound milestones

Cue consultant Lewis Athanas has been on the Boston audio scene for decades. Here are his picks for the area’s most important contributions to the field.

Speaker photograph from Janszen Labs; tape deck photograph from David Kloss; “Guitar Hero” photograph from Harmonix

1954 Edgar Villchur and Henry Kloss release the AR-1 speaker for Acoustic Research. It is the first acoustic suspension loudspeaker, allowing for miniaturization in speaker design.

1959 Arthur Janszen (with Henry Kloss) releases the Model Nine loudspeaker [1] for KLH Research, a full-range electrostatic speaker that is still revered by audiophiles.

1961 HH Scott releases the 350A, thefirst commercial stereo FM radio receiver.


1970 Advent Corp.’s Model 200 cassette tape deck [2] brings Dolby B-type noise-reduction technology to the masses. It also was invented by Henry Kloss.

2005 Harmonix Systems’ “Guitar Hero” [3] real-time music video game (“Rock Band” would come out two years later) is a technical tour de force. Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy, the company’s founders, had met at MIT’s famed Media Lab.