ESS AMT 1 Tower Floorstanding Speakers

4.81/5 (26 Reviews)


Product Description

Floor standing speaker


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Reviews 1 - 5 (26 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ronald Loui a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: December 2, 2017

Bottom Line:   
AMT 1's are impressive to look at, and have great non-audiophile sound characteristics. Heil accordion has the airy sound it looks like it would. Unmatched for breathy vocals well recorded (waay better than Quad ESL and Magnepan SMG IMHO). Ported bass has excellent presence. So sweet and satisfying. I use these for video and digital repro, since I have more serious stuff for vinyl/analog. The key to liking them was to match them with a pair of Brit bookshelves, Wharfedale DIamonds, an accident that worked out well. 1/(1/6+1/6) = 3 Ohms, but the Onkyo doesn't complain and is rated at 200wpc into 4 Ohms. I wouldn't use a digital amp, but the source material is digital, so ... Mine came with the 10" car bass driver upgrade which is just fine. About $500 years ago. I suppose I should try it again as an audiophile set-up with the coloration support in the midrange from the conventional cone speakers. But I'm pretty picky about imaging and phase coherence, so that would seem to require putting the midranges on the baffle, which would upset the appearance. Heils also seem to have an optimal volume level that is well short of what the bass set-up is capable of. For reference, ha ha, my analog set up transduces thru modified Infinity RSIIs with electrostatic and carbon fiber upgrades, and I am also turning some KEF 105/4s into 107s. The kind of sound the AMT ESS Heils produce, I might try sticking some horn drivers on them somewhere someday.

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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 edward pritchard a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 28, 2017

Bottom Line:   
My ESS experiences began without ESS. I began selling audio components in 1956 just as stereo LP's became available. I was 22. Two rears later I opened and managed for the two owners, Stereo Sound Studio in Des Moines, the leading shop in Iowa. They gave me the ball and let me run with it..About eight years later a quarter block fire.took it away. The owners were at how to continue odds. With no similar opportunities my wife convinced me to relocate to Ft. Myers, her parents home where I found work with a TV and appliance dealer. Went on to manage several stores, the largest with it's own stereo department. It was not doing very well. I agreed to.take it over as long as I was free to run with the ball.

One of the speaker lines was ESS, from the PS-8 up to the AMT-1? which I loved and wanted but could not afford then. I used the PS-8 blindfold test story and listening test when it fit their budget. My competition at the time was pushing Bose 901 at $950 I think. I ran a
promotion using the blindfold test to offer PS-8's, Sanyo direct drive turntable with high end cartridge into Sanyo Plus 35 receiver...all for the price of a pair of Bose 901's!

Nearly 20 years later I called ESS to find a close dealer. told there were none they offered to sell me a pair of AMT-1D's discounted to $970 I sad yes but was told there were none in stock and it would be several weeks before the next production run. After crying the blues about having been a dealer and waiting 'till retirement to own a pair, the lady said to hold for a few, came back and told me they'l make a pair for me. For delivery I arranged for air freight. Problem was several airlines would not take them for fear magnet weights might effect plain's instruments. One agreed and I had them in two days. No changing trucks no loading docks, no weather damage, all for only $79.00!
.
A vintage Sanyo Plus 75 with features to die for today drives them for jazz, classical including pipe organ recordings. Very little pop or rock. I replaced one woofer and have another if needed.

So, my ESS experience began a while ago so what year should I say?. I can't imagine trying to improve the sound. Thanks for reading.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1997



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

Date Reviewed: June 28, 2017

Bottom Line:   
Does anyone need to replace their ESS AMT-1 pyramid grills?

After re-foaming my woofers, redoing the crossovers, and cleaning up the cabinets, I decided to fabricate some new grill caps because my original grills were old, faded, and broken in several places. They were the only item I was unable to find in my effort to restore these speakers.

After struggling for a while to replicate the original wood pyramid frames to the original ESS tapered dimensions, I discovered just how easy it was to assemble the new grill frames while keeping the grill fabric flat and tight all the way around. They actually appear identical to the originals except for the fabric I chose.
I also swapped out the fabric covered tops with a black reflective glass inlay. Looks really good.

There are lots of great speakers out there but these, to me, are special. It’s the clarity and presence. Yes, I overcame the bass issues and I completely upgraded the original crossovers. They still cross at 600 Hz but the original coils, caps, resisters, and internal wiring were not even closely commensurate with the quality and ability of the Heil transformer.

Since the early seventies, I have yet to hear a speaker I would rather own.

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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 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




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