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ESS AMT 1 Tower
23 Reviews
rating  4.83 of 5
MSRP 
Description: Floor standing speaker


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Reviews 1 - 5 (23 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by weidkamp a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 21, 2012

Bottom Line:   
I have been an audiophile since building speaker and Dynaco kits in college. At 29 I contracted cancer and after surviving that, I decided I was going to get a great sound system while I could enjoy it!!! I ended up finding the Heil AMT-1 Towers and am still thankfully enjoying them after 38 years. Replaced the woofers once and now doing it again with the Orange County Speaker recommended upgrade. Tops still original. I have enjoyed reading all the enthusiastic comments about these beautiful speakers, with which I concur completely. If I had to find a weakness I'd say it was somewhat of a midrange hole, especially for horns, but then I am a professional trumpet player and am used to hearing that range a lot. I reduced this problem by buying a large power receiver (Kenwood 9600) which has a midrange boost in addition to treble and bass. This really helped to warm up the midrange and I keep it set than way nearly all the time. The receiver is 30 years old itself!! And of course the highs and the presence are unequalled. (I would love to hear these speakers some time with some high powered/low distortion tube amps).

I am wondering if anyone has figured out a way to incorporate one of the new midrange drivers into this system. I see people adding sub-woofers, but nothing about midrange? Also am interested in the attempts to put foam blocks along side the ess units to help the wrap around error. Sounds simple and interesting. It was in one of the blogs on ESS. This is FUN!!

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Richieprints a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: August 3, 2009

Bottom Line:   
Bought mine new in Cambridge MA, Harvard Square ($595) around the early 70's. Thought I'd go for a pair of McIntosh but there was something in the air about the mids and tweets on those wierd looking Heils. I especially like the xeroxed owners manual!

As the add said - sound as clear as light. When I got them home and pumped them with my 'big' Sony STR 6060F (20 - 60,000 KHz) I just smiled and thought what a great pair of transducers for my ears these guys made. So, I called Heil and asked some questions about the AMT - seems it was covered by some 18 patents (could have been 28 memory fades after all these years) and was perfected for the motion picture theater industry.

After storing them for a few years until my kid could take them over and luckily picking up a Marantz 4300, it was time to bring them out of moth balls and stand them up like two big cat scratch posts. They looked pretty sick, covers in shreds and surrounds gone. But even at their height of glory and in all honesty, the bass did lack some for the music of the 60's and 70's. For classical music you might not miss the definition at say 20 Hz. And if it was behind a theater screen on-stage that might have made a big difference too. Afew nights in the basement, recovering them and replacing the woofers with 12" Pyle drivers they were ready for a test.

Louder is not necessarily better was the lesson I learned there. Seems the basic theory of driving the bass into the floor only shook the place but didn't excite the air in my ear canal. Sorry Heil but I can only give you a high 4 not a high five on my set. But that was 15 years ago and speaker technology has advanced so...Has anyone conquered this phenom with these speakers besides using a bi-amp and some isobarics or roof mounting them? Let me know at richcarp@richieprints.com. Thanks. Must be some of the designers left around here someplace mumble, mumble...ah, yep...somewhere. Now which wire is the positive lead...I always get that messed-up.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by bruce a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: June 9, 2009

Bottom Line:   
Hi All, I bought a new pair of ESS AMT-1A floor standing tower speakers in 1974 for $1300 + tax.. After auditioning many high-end speakers, I chose the ESS over everything else, even at twice the money! The blind fold test really did it for me, it was astonishing! 35 years old and still going strong, I've become spoiled listening to them. I recently acquired some Infinity reference monitors with the Emit tweeter { a direct copy of the heil technology } and they sound very good, but not quite as good as my babies. About 3 weeks ago I decided to test the market and put them up for sale on CAM {Canuck Audio Mart} for $800. Upon reading all 81 reviews from fellow audiologists, and with no solid offers, I've decide to keep them. I would have sold them, so to all who looked at them and didn't offer: TOO BAD! Bruce @ Eartheye Electronics

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Longhorn Saloon a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: April 20, 2008

Bottom Line:   
While stationed in Germany in 1980, I purchased a pair of ESS Amt Monitor speakers. I still own them to this day. While at a U.S. Army HiFi store in Manhiem, Germany (1980) looking at cassette decks, I had heard different speakers being selected from customers in the adjacent "High-End Speaker" listening room. All of a sudden, I heard the most crystal clear musical sound emitting from the speaker room. I immediately ran into the speaker room and asked the attendant which speakers were being played. He said they were the ESS Amt 1b (Pyramid Style). I asked him if they were the flagship, top-of-the-line of that particular brand (ESS). He said no, the ESS Amt Monitor was the flagship model. I then asked him to play the ESS Amt Monitor for comparison. They were simply breathtaking in clarity, unparalled highs and earthshaking bass. The only other brand speaker that could even come close to comparison was the Klipsch "LaScala"; but it emitted an annoying wood-knocking thump sound during heavy bass. Needless to say, I bought a pair of the ESS Amt Monitors on the spot. At the same time, I purchased the famous Pioneer SX-1980 receiver (270 watts x 2) and it still powers the ESS Amt Monitors in a bi-amp set-up in my home theater today. Since my purchase in 1980, I have listened to countless other brand speakers. The only current-day speakers that can even compare to the ESS Amt Monitor is the flagship model produced by Martin-Logan (Summit model), with the additional support from an out-board powered subwoofer. Given a blind-fold test, 100% agree the ESS Amt Monitor is simply the best speaker they have ever heard, period. No other speaker has ever been produced that replicates the actual sound of the musical instruments and vocals as the ESS Amt Monitor. It is simply the Mount Everest among esoteric loudspeakers. As the original advertisement said-- "Sound As Clear As Light!" If my house ever catches on fire; after everybody gets out, my next priority will be to save my pair of ESS Amt Monitors-- they are that incredible! E-mail any questions/comments to: bdgreer1@msn.com

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $600.00

Purchased At:   U.S. Army - Manheim,



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by John Hardin a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: July 11, 2006

Bottom Line:   
I have owned the AMT 1, and the Concept line version of the AMT 1.
Heil Tower transmission lines are my latest foray into the Heil Airmotion line. They are by far the best so far. The transmission line bass is natural and is not exagerated at any frequency. I have managed to aquire three of them for use in my home theater. I am using smaller bookshelf versions for the rears and sides. All surround speakers have full size heils in them as well as PS 5 tweeters on top of them. I have replaced the 10 inch bass drivers in all the speakers inclucing the surrounds with Neodymium morel 10 inch woofers. These woofers are fast! And Natural! WAYYyyyy more punch. With the 3 inch Hexatech voicecoils the problem of the fast tweeter-slow woofer is solved for the Heils! Replaced all crossover compnents with with modern foil inductors, poly caps, and metal resistors. I am using 4 great heils per tower in series/parralel, and running them from their former crossover point of 1000hz down to 500 hz with 18db slope. Rolling woofers off at 450 12 db slope. Using Heil PS5 tweeters with a 1 mf poly cap to compensate for the 12000 rolloff of the heils. (yes, they do roll off at 12000 hz!!!) The small heil tweeter functions as a super tweeter and adds even MORE air to the already detailed heils. They will easily go to 30K. I don't know, I can't hear that high and can't measure that high either. Now, the heils handle most of the midrange, some of the mid bass and have a fast enough woofer to make the midrange as detailed as the rest of the frequency range handled by the Heils. With the addition of a subwoofer, the sonic illusion is complete. In listening, the differences are: No loss of midrange clarity at higher volume levels. A bongo drum now stands out in three dimensions like a bell or triangle does in the heils. Bass drum kicks slap you with the speed, Tom tom drums are right in the room with you. Vocals are totally natural and uncolored, with no muddiness from a woofer trying to produce a voice. Choral voices are even more distinct and detailed with the ability to pick out individual voices from the mass. Bass extends even lower with the Morel's 28 hz resonant frequency. The Towers now easily reproduce the 32 hz organ from 2001 soundtrack. Bass Fiddle is totally real. With the new foil inductors and caps, there is no more listener fatigue. You tend to play them at lower volume levels because the detail is all there now. It was never the Heils that was causing the fatigue, it was the woofers and crossovers. I can't tell you all the new annoyances now. The poor quality in the recordings. The background noises from the studio. The funny echoes in the recording studio, bad microphones, etc. On one Nora Jones recording, I can even hear the click-track the recording studio mixed into one of their tracks! I have heard most of the best top of the line speakers. Never have I heard anything like this before. Unless some new totally massless transducer technology comes along that is smaller, more efficent, more natural and inherently better, I will now stop my quest for a better speaker system. It doesn't exist. Even the new line source ribbon speakers, which are really great, still don't match the detail in the bass, midrange, and highs that these Heil airmotion tweeters going down to 500hz with morel woofers in a T-line do. As far as home theater goes, I can't even go to the local movie theater anymore with being distracted by the lack of detail in the sound system. I am SSOOOo spoiled now. I have been a musician all my life, playing woodwinds professionally. I KNOW what instruments sound like. The bite of a tenor sax reed on a metal mouthpiece, the creak of the wood in a basse fiddle or cello, the various noises an orchestra makes, the slap of the pads on a flute, all things that are not really part of the music, but ARE part of the performance, are able to be heard when your Heils are properly set up. I understand that now the ESS factory has been bought out and is transferring manufacturing to Germany. This is sad, but in a way, exciting also. It's going to be interesting to see where German engineering is going to take this neglected Heil technology to in the future.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   Ebay




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