The 1970's proved to be a defining period for JBL. The company entered the
decade as a loudspeaker manufacturer with a reputation that was second to none in
quality. However, its market focus was narrow, with emphasis on high-end
home products. The Seventies saw radical changes in both the market and JBL's
response. The decade began with an explosion of interest in home hi-fi
that spread to the mass market. Professional sound expanded from the
traditional markets of movie and recorded sound to touring, musical
instrument and fixed sound reinforcement. JBL aggressively pursued all of these market changes with
unparalleled success. It would become the market leader in all of the above
segments, and in the process, realize sales growth of an order of magnitude.
Initially overseeing this remarkable period of growth was
Dr. Sidney Harman as President of parent company, Harman International.
However, he would sell his interest in the corporation in 1977 to Beatrice
Foods. Once constant throughout the decade was Arnold Wolf. He variously held the positions of President and Chairman of the Board during
his tenure with the company from 1969 to 1979. Arnold has documented his
experiences during this time into a unique history of JBL in the Seventies.