Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Home Of The Fighting Gamecocks
    Posts
    1,860

    New ESS Heil AMT

    Parts Express is now selling these which haven't been produced in many years. They are getting lots of interest in OB and corner horn circles.

    ESS Heil Air Motion Transformer AMT Tweeter 264-600

  2. #2
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Home Of The Fighting Gamecocks
    Posts
    1,860

  3. #3
    I put the Gee in Gear.... thekid's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    VB VA
    Posts
    2,496
    I can't vouch for that particular driver but I can say that a similar tweeter I have in a pair of ESS bookshelf speakers is one of if not the best tweeter I have ever heard.

  4. #4
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Home Of The Fighting Gamecocks
    Posts
    1,860
    kid, I really want to try the Heils with my OBs and horns but $700 is getting steep for a pair of tweeters. Do you have the same ATM tweeters in your bookshelf's?

  5. #5
    I put the Gee in Gear.... thekid's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    VB VA
    Posts
    2,496
    Quote Originally Posted by Poultrygeist View Post
    kid, I really want to try the Heils with my OBs and horns but $700 is getting steep for a pair of tweeters. Do you have the same ATM tweeters in your bookshelf's?
    I doubt they are the same but I think they are very similar.
    Not sure if you will be able to see these pics but here is what I have.
    I have not been able to find any info on these speakers. They just say ESS Bookshelf speakers.
    I currently have them running in my garage set-up.

  6. #6
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Home Of The Fighting Gamecocks
    Posts
    1,860
    Here's another picture of the AMT tweeter.

    ESS AMT Heil Tweeter (pair) "We Have The Lowest Price" | eBay

  7. #7
    Aging Smartass
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Moore, SC
    Posts
    997
    Quote Originally Posted by thekid View Post
    I doubt they are the same but I think they are very similar.
    Not sure if you will be able to see these pics but here is what I have.
    I have not been able to find any info on these speakers. They just say ESS Bookshelf speakers.
    I currently have them running in my garage set-up.
    It's difficult to see in your photos, but if the wood frame on the speaker enclosure is curved, then those are from the "Tempest" series of speakers, introduced around 1980.

    They are Heils, but not the AMT - no where near close as a matter of fact.

    ESS made a series of different speakers: the AMT models, which were top of the line; the "Performance" series, which was a promotional line, and the "Tempest" series, which was at first identical to the Performance models, except that they had genuine wood veneer instead of vinyl wrap.

    Then, around 1980, the Performance and Tempest lines underwent a radical cosmetic change, and a regrettable price increase - especially so for the Tempest line, due to the complex manufacturing procedure for the curved edges of the enclosure. They were a sales disaster.

  8. #8
    Aging Smartass
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Moore, SC
    Posts
    997

    ESS speakers

    Several years ago, after a 12-hour plus drive up to New York, as I was about to drive into my sister's driveway, my cellphone rang. It was someone who said that he found out I had worked for ESS in the early 80's, and that he was starting up the company again, and wanted to talk with me. I said that would be fine, but not just then, and suggested he call me back the next morning. I never heard from him again.

    Several months later, and still a few years ago, I saw the AMT Heil offered for sale on Parts Express. Then, "poof!" and they were gone. Now, apparently, they're back. Whether the same individual, or individuals are involved, I have no idea.

    The large, AMT Heil is an extremely labor-intensive device to make, and as a result, quite expensive. I think $350 is excessive, as they're just not good enough to command such a high price.

    They were certainly revolutionary in the late 70's, but easily susceptible to high freqency clipping, which instantly fried the diaphrams. I can't begin to tell anyone what a service and public relations nightmare this caused.

    Many people remember ESS fondly, but I certainly don't. My tenure there taught me how NOT to run a business, and how NOT to treat your dealers. The dirty dealings by those at the top are now stuff of legend. What else can you say about a company that doesn't pay its suppliers; sends out commission checks - unsigned; and bounces employee paychecks?

    On my very first week with the company, I attended a sales meeting with the chairman of the board who actually said, "Every dealer out there is set to screw me, so I'm going to screw them first." Not exactly inspirational.

  9. #9
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Home Of The Fighting Gamecocks
    Posts
    1,860
    emaidel,

    I can probably buy an older used pair of AMT tweeters on ebay for a little under $300. How rugged are they and are the diaphragms likely to deteriorate with age? I would probably drive them with their own dedicated t-amp since they are fairly efficient.

  10. #10
    Aging Smartass
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Moore, SC
    Posts
    997
    Quote Originally Posted by Poultrygeist View Post
    emaidel,

    I would probably drive them with their own dedicated t-amp since they are fairly efficient.

    I'm not sure what that means, as there never was a "dedicated" amp for ESS speakers.

    They are efficient, but need clean power, or the diaphragms will burn up. With a solid, powerful amplifier, they're capable of playing quite loudly, and with little trouble. Insofar as deteriorating with age, I really have no idea. Sorry.

  11. #11
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Home Of The Fighting Gamecocks
    Posts
    1,860
    A single "dedicated" t-amp means I would be using one amp to drive only the AMT tweeters and a separate ( SET ) amp to drive the single driver back loaded horns using a Behringer active crossover. ( bi-amping with active crossovers ). Check out my post #2 link for a picture of an AMT sitting on top of a back loaded horn

    At 92 dbs and removed from a passive crossover network, the AMT shouldn't require much power and a 20 watt t-amp should be more than adequate.

    Would you happen to know how difficult it is to replace the AMT diaphragm?

  12. #12
    Aging Smartass
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Moore, SC
    Posts
    997
    Replacing the diaphragm is very easy provided you can get one. You merely pull out the old one and slip in a new one.

  13. #13
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Home Of The Fighting Gamecocks
    Posts
    1,860
    PE sells diaphragms as well.

  14. #14
    I put the Gee in Gear.... thekid's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    VB VA
    Posts
    2,496
    Quote Originally Posted by emaidel View Post
    It's difficult to see in your photos, but if the wood frame on the speaker enclosure is curved, then those are from the "Tempest" series of speakers, introduced around 1980.

    They are Heils, but not the AMT - no where near close as a matter of fact.

    ESS made a series of different speakers: the AMT models, which were top of the line; the "Performance" series, which was a promotional line, and the "Tempest" series, which was at first identical to the Performance models, except that they had genuine wood veneer instead of vinyl wrap.

    Then, around 1980, the Performance and Tempest lines underwent a radical cosmetic change, and a regrettable price increase - especially so for the Tempest line, due to the complex manufacturing procedure for the curved edges of the enclosure. They were a sales disaster.
    I would not say they are curved. They are in a regular speaker box. There are two pieces that have beveled edges that are glued to the speaker box. The frames fit in between the beveled pieces on pegs that were on the 4 corners.

    Based on the images I have seen of the Tempest line they don't look like anything I have seen from that line. I am not even close to an expert on ESS speakers but if you can help me ID these I would appreciate it. The only thing on the back label says ESS "Classic Bookshelf" speakers. They are pretty large for a bookshelf speaker-about the size or a little bigger than say Dynaco A-25's.

  15. #15
    Aging Smartass
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Moore, SC
    Posts
    997
    Quote Originally Posted by thekid View Post

    Based on the images I have seen of the Tempest line they don't look like anything I have seen from that line. I am not even close to an expert on ESS speakers but if you can help me ID these I would appreciate it. The only thing on the back label says ESS "Classic Bookshelf" speakers. .
    The original Performance and Tempest series of ESS speakers had small, round Heils, and identical components. The Performance Series were vinyl wrapped (actually, very well done), and the Tempest was a genuine oak veneer.

    The upgraded models, introduced around 1979-80 had radically different looking Heils, each very different from the other. The Heil in the photos you've provided appears to be the same that was used in that Tempest series, though, if the cabinet edge isn't curved, then they aren't from the Tempest series.

    ESS also made quite a few "private-label" speakers for a host of retailers, and yours may have been one of those. It may very well have been identical, save cosmetics, to a Tempest model.

    I think another difference between the Performance and Tempest series of speakers circa '79-'80 was that the Performance models had stamped speaker baskets, while the Tempest models had cast aluminum ones, which yours clearly do.

    There's also another possibility as to the identity of your speakers: ESS made a less expensive version of the AMT-1b called the "Classic," which was an out and out dog. They also made three AMT models: the pyramid shaped (far and away the most popular), a "Monitor," that had the woofer and passive radiator on the front; and a bookshelf version, which also was a sales dog. It's possible that, after my departure from the company (summer of '81) a bookshelf version of the Classic model was introduced, using the Heil that had been used in the new Tempest series.

    That's about as much as I can say, and all of it is conjecture.

  16. #16
    I put the Gee in Gear.... thekid's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    VB VA
    Posts
    2,496
    Quote Originally Posted by emaidel View Post
    The original Performance and Tempest series of ESS speakers had small, round Heils, and identical components. The Performance Series were vinyl wrapped (actually, very well done), and the Tempest was a genuine oak veneer.

    The upgraded models, introduced around 1979-80 had radically different looking Heils, each very different from the other. The Heil in the photos you've provided appears to be the same that was used in that Tempest series, though, if the cabinet edge isn't curved, then they aren't from the Tempest series.

    ESS also made quite a few "private-label" speakers for a host of retailers, and yours may have been one of those. It may very well have been identical, save cosmetics, to a Tempest model.

    I think another difference between the Performance and Tempest series of speakers circa '79-'80 was that the Performance models had stamped speaker baskets, while the Tempest models had cast aluminum ones, which yours clearly do.

    There's also another possibility as to the identity of your speakers: ESS made a less expensive version of the AMT-1b called the "Classic," which was an out and out dog. They also made three AMT models: the pyramid shaped (far and away the most popular), a "Monitor," that had the woofer and passive radiator on the front; and a bookshelf version, which also was a sales dog. It's possible that, after my departure from the company (summer of '81) a bookshelf version of the Classic model was introduced, using the Heil that had been used in the new Tempest series.

    That's about as much as I can say, and all of it is conjecture.
    I did not know you worked for ESS and appreciate all of your insight here.

    I did not mean to hi-jack the original OP's thread but when the opportunity came up to find out some more info I felt I had to take it. Most speakers I have come across I have eventually been able to track something down but info these eluded me.

    I only paid $20 for them so I am not upset they are not the true ESS/AMT speakers others rave about. I do think they sound very good though I confess I have not done a lot of critical listening with them.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Latest AudioReview Articles

Hot Deals

Latest News

AudioReview on Facebook