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Can anyone share the history of Advent?

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Hi,

Can anyone share the history of Advent? The brand has been around for a while. I know it is part of Harmon now but where did it start and when did it really fold? Plus who was involved?

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>Hi,

>

>Can anyone share the history of

>Advent? The brand has

>been around for a while.

> I know it is

>part of Harmon now but

>where did it start and

>when did it really fold?

> Plus who was involved?

>

I don't think Harmon was ever their owner, but Jensen was at one time. I can fill in the early history pretty well for you.

Henry Kloss (Cambridge SoundWorks founder)was one of the principals in the founding of Acoustic Research along with Edgar Vilchur (the patent holder for the acoustic suspension principle) and Anton Hoffman. Later there was a falling out between Kloss and AR over making their own paper cones rather than buying them on the outside. Kloss and Hoffman left AR, moved down the road, and with Lowe founded KLH. Where they made their own paper for the cones. Kloss was right, they were better. Kloss was with KLH for a number of years until there was a parting of ways. Kloss wanted to work on a projection TV system, but KLH didn't. So Kloss left and founded Advent. This had to be in the late 60's. The name was taken from a legal term for a start up company. It's called an advent company when it's just getting started. They liked the sound and kept it as the company name.

In the literature which accompanied "The Advent Loudspeaker" (it was never the Large Advent, officially) it stated that the speaker was designed to set new standards of performance, so high that it would not be surpassed for the foreseeable future. A very bold statement, and one they almost met. Kloss' idea was to design a speaker that was the class of the market for several years and which would provide a strong income stream to fund development of the Kloss Videobeam projection TV, and which would not take a lot of his time to maintain the product line.

The Advent was followed by the Smaller Advent which was smaller and cheaper, but was supposed to have the same bass range. This was done by weighting the woofer cone to lower the in-box resonance, but it also cut the efficiency. The Smaller was 4 ohms to get more power out of the solid state amps and offset the loss of efficiency. It had the green tweeter. The Advent Loudspeaker, got renamed "The Original Advent Loudspeaker" around this time. There was also an Advent 2, which used an 8" woofer in a smaller box.

In 1972 or 73, the Double Advent popped up. The story I heard was that an enterprising salesman in Atlanta, when asked if Advent had a better model than "The Advent Loudspeaker", said, something like: "Sure, two pair." The customer wanted to hear it, so they rigged it up and everybody stood around and marvelled. They were normally stacked vertically with the top one inverted to put the tweeters together. Probably an early d'Appolito MTM configuration, by accident. But it was magnificent. The bass was to die for, and the imaging was outstanding. The Advents didn't image all that well in singles, but the Double did.

Of course, the competition rallied and improvements were needed. Hence the New Advent Loudspeaker was born in 1974 as I recall. Pretty much the same format, the same looking proprietary tweeter, and a proprietary steel stamping for the woofer basket to eliminate the 1" wide Masonite ring in a standard 12" basket the Original used. The New Advent can externally be spotted by the rounded molding around the grill. THe Original was bevelled with some very small ledges milled in. In the vinyl wrap Utility models, you have to either pull the grill and look at the woofer frame, or check the labels. There was also an Advent 1 which replaced the Smaller. It used the same woofer and tweeter in a smaller box about 21" tall and simply had less bass extension, although it was still pretty good.

Along about 1977 or 78, Advent was in some financial difficulty. The Video Beam was eating up profits. I believe Kloss left Advent around this time. The company also moved from Boston to Newburyport around this time. A story I heard, but cannot vouch for, was that they moved over a weekend, and when the staff came back work on Monday, the place was closed. Nice way to get your pink slip. Andy Pettit was the Chief Engineer at the time, and he founded Boston Acoustics. Advent was being run by Bernie Mitchell who had been the marketing guy at Pioneer. They then brought out the "number" series of Advents, substituting a "parabolic dome" for the Kloss design tweeter they had been using. The Original Advent crossed over from woofer to tweeter at 1000 Hz, the New Advent at 1500, and the 5001 was higher still; evidence that the new parabolic dome tweeter could not handle the output requirements in the midrange.

Somewhere after the "number" series I lost track of Advent. Eventually, Jensen bought them, and brought out a whole new series. (Ironically, Jensen also wound up with AR) Back to names again for model designation. The Heritage, the Legacy, etc. etc. These used a conventional looking woofer and 1" dome tweeter, but they were identifiably Advent in sound, and pretty good. That series continued for a number of years and finally went away in 1995 or 96, I would guess. There was a reissue of the New Advent, but with a dome tweeter, back around 1994 or 95. Same box, same large woofer basket, same extended bass. It was called both the 25th anniversary model, and the Classic.

After this series, there was the "gem" series where the speakers were named after gemstones. "Ruby", etc. These were around in 1999, but are gone today, and Advent is owned by Recoton. Eeeech!

Hope that gives you a good overall picture. Sorry the details get a little sketchy as we get nearer in time, but I just wasn't following things then.

Jerry

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Guest rickcee

Just for giggles - last spring I put a sort of nasty comment in the Recoton forum site - it's gotten 4 or 5 answers, one maybe from a recoton guy (not encouraaaging ) recoton - advent - forum . have a good holiday season. rc

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Just an update: Audiovox now owns the Advent name. Looking at Audiovox's webpage for Advent....

http://adventproducts.com/advent/

.....I can find no loudspeakers. :(

I really can't blame them too much, since home audio in general the last @5 years seems to be a fading segment of the home electronics market.

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A little more history of the New England brands and maybe somebody can help me straighten out my recollections.

I started working for and OEM driver company called Essex Cletron in Cleveland (Later they became Harman Motive in Martinsville In). We made drivers for the Bose 901 and 301. We also made a car speaker for Advent and antother car speaker for KLH.

The Advent unit was a 6 x 9 with whizzer that had a special low impedance voice coil and a dedicated amplifier piggy backed on it. I think there was some EQ built in and the low impedance let them get a little more power out of the 12 - 14 volt rails. I was told it sounded pretty good.

For KLH we made a unit called "The Headliner" which had a conventional woofer and a flat HF unit that you clipped to your sun visor or attached to the headliner of the car. It was a plastic frame containing a square panel of conestock with a piezo element driving it. As a project I was to improve it and ended up cutting random slots in the cone panel and adding damping here and there. In the end it had really good response from 1kHz to 10kHz (take that NXT, this was 1978).

I remember being sent out to visit one of the companies. It might have been Advent but now I'm leaning towards KLH. They had just moved into a new place (Cambridge area?). I met DVR Daniel VonRecklinghousen(famous former HH Scott engineer) and he showed me a small 12 sided reverberation chamber they had bult, just big enough to put a speaker into.

Steve, does any of this ring a bell?

David

ps. Didn't know about Advent in Newberryport. I think EPI had been there and know that Snell started there. The original Snell location was a famous dump: elevator shafts with no doors etc. Ah the romance of the audio business!

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Advent started out in Cambridge, on 95 Albany St, I believe. I toured that facility with the BAS twice in the early-mid '70's when I was in college at BU. Once was for a large-screen demo, once was a factory tour by Andy to show us how the speakers were made.

I remember being singularly unimpressed with the projection TV unit, even by the TV standards of the day, and recall thinking to myself, "If this is what they're banking their future on, they're dead in the water."

The speaker factory tour was fascinating, however. I do not recall any 12-sided reverberation-measurement chamber at Advent, since neither Henry nor Andy were 'power' guys. They were both on-axis, octave-to-octave guys.

Newburyport? Advent?

No, never. EPI.

Andy tried to get the Advent name back for BA, but it was locked up in legal entanglements.

Steve F.

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Yes, It must be KLH I am thinking about. DVR did work there, hence the DVR tweeter.

The early projection sets were pretty dim. Most needed the high gain curved screens. They were a little better than the rip-off sets with a big projection lens in front of a cranked-to-the-max 19" set. A little...

David

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