ESS AMT 1 Tower Floorstanding Speakers

4.83/5 (24 Reviews)


Product Description

Floor standing speaker


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Reviews 1 - 5 (24 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

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



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,




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