Anyone know info on ess speakers
May 17, 2006 at 12:32 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6

happyangryhappy

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I have a friend who has a pair of ESS AMT-1B speakers with the Heil Air Motion transformers he bought in the late 70's - I think. Is anyone familiar with these or know where I could find out more about them? I tried searching, but didn't find much. (Ebay has a couple hammered pairs for $5-700)
Anyway, he is talking about getting rid of them and was curious what they are worth. He said he paid $800 a piece for them 30 years ago. Wow!
Thanks
 
May 17, 2006 at 2:50 AM Post #2 of 6

BlindTiger

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Do not get rid of them.
My brother left a pair at my place but they were too big to be put into storage, so I left them. I even took a jig saw to it but that thing was a behemoth.
They sure knew how to build them, back then.
From what I've heard, those tweeters kinda rare and sought after.
The tweeters were the only thing great about them, it had a giant woofer and a passive radiator out back.
You may find ads looking for the tweeters.
This was just from what I gathered from research on the net and talking to some older guys.
 
May 17, 2006 at 5:30 AM Post #3 of 6

Danamr

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Quote:

Originally Posted by happyangryhappy
I have a friend who has a pair of ESS AMT-1B speakers with the Heil Air Motion transformers he bought in the late 70's - I think. Is anyone familiar with these or know where I could find out more about them? I tried searching, but didn't find much. (Ebay has a couple hammered pairs for $5-700)
Anyway, he is talking about getting rid of them and was curious what they are worth. He said he paid $800 a piece for them 30 years ago. Wow!
Thanks



Boy that brings back memories. I had a pair in the mid 70's. They were a interesting design with the Heils, but as I recall the Heils were also rather fragil, and the things took a ton of power to drive. More to the point, they were C&%p compared to the Vandersteens that I replaced them with sound wise. The Heils were very beamy, and because as much sound came out of the back as the front they were a very hard speaker to place right.
 
May 19, 2006 at 7:05 AM Post #4 of 6

Uncle Erik

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Here's a link to ESS:

http://www.essspeakers.com/

And yes, they're valuable. Search a little more with terms like "Heil AMT" and you'll see a lot more hits, both on Google and eBay.

They're quite good speakers, too. Yes, they can be difficult to place, as dipoles usually are, but are very rewarding. As for driving them, they prefer amps with a lot of current as opposed to voltage. That's pretty typical for ribbons/quasi-ribbons. Also, they present a weird impedance load to most amps, and that can be an issue, too.

But for those who stick it out, the sound produced from ribbons/quasi-ribbons is well worth it.
 
Aug 28, 2008 at 8:28 AM Post #5 of 6

Uncle Erik

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Well, some two years later I've got a ESS AMT-1 pair playing right now.

Yes, they are worth keeping. Holy hell, yes, they are worth keeping.

A pair turned up locally and I picked them up from the owner last night. Got them worked into the system tonight and I'm completely blown away. I built a pair of Verhagen's ribbons (BKAA65 - Ribbon Loudspeakers) five years ago that I've just loved. Problem is that the ribbons fall off sharply below 700Hz or so. There's a little bass, but not much.

The ESS AMT-1s give me almost all of the ribbon magic, but with decent bass. The ribbons have a bigger radiating area and throw up a creepily real dipole soundfield that the AMT-1 doesn't quite have. But actually having bass with planar dipole goodness makes up for it.

The bass integration isn't perfect, but I've found a few remedies for that. I picked up a pair of modern 10" woofers people have found a good match for these. Also, I'm going to rebuild the crossovers with modern foil inductors and high-end caps. Then I'll line the cabinets with Dynamat and replace the stuffing. They need cosmetic work, too, but nothing too bad.

Still, they're awfully good stock. If anyone has a chance to grab a pair of these, I highly recommend them.
 

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