ESS AMT 1B Floorstanding Speakers

4.48/5 (96 Reviews)


Product Description

Floor Standing, front and rear firing speaker system


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Reviews 1 - 5 (96 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Low Hertz a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: November 11, 2014

Bottom Line:   
I'm not really an audiophile, I'm a professional musician with very picky tastes.
I actually got these at a garage sale, the mother selling her son's speakers.
When I saw them the foam was missing from the speakers, I pointed it out,
and the woman said the foam was around there somewhere:-)

I bought them, get this, for $10. I immediately brought them to my electronic tech
guy that was great at reconning speakers. That was about 1995. They've been great
ever since.

I was running them off either a Proton 40 watt or better yet, my
Nachamichi 730. The Nachamichi appears to have been damaged by lightening
during a Florida hurrican 2004 and it's never been the same.

In choosing a new amp, the sellers said to find the efficiency to select an amp.
I came accross the ESS web site and see the ESS AMT 1B is still selling.

I professionally play upright bass, and know what a bass is supposed to sound like.
It is not a thump like so many modern systems have but a rich, beautiful tone with
harmonics way high. I've never heard a speaker with better, sexy bass.

And the heil air motion transformers are great for highs. I've never heard regular speakers
that were able to reproduce highs at all reasonably.

Best speakers I've ever heard, bar none.

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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 1PinkFloydAudiophile a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: April 12, 2012

Bottom Line:   
I first heard the ESS AMT-1B while stationed in Okinawa Japan. I compared the ESS to Bose 901s the low frequency response just was not there. I heard the speakers with top of line equipment at the time SAE amplifiers, Marantz 400 Watts. Fortunately we could bring albums and reel to reel recordings to the audio liseting room and mix an match components for one of the best true listening experiences. To bad food and drink was not allowed. I brought in a 10 inch reel to reel recording of various musicians, music formats from jazz, classical, R&B and classic rock from the era and spent an afternoon comparing all the equipment available at my fingertips. To this day, for the price range $800.00 I have not heard a better sounding speaker. I bought my second pair on line and reconed the speaker and passive radiator.

With lots of headroom a powerful amplifiers two Crown Comm-Tech 800 and Adcom GFP-1A preamplifier. I have a Sony TTS-3000 Turntable amzaing paid $60.00 at a vintage audio replay with Shure V cartridge.

The speakers provide surperb midrange and high ends are clean, crisp and clear. The speaker and passive radiator adds a nice punch to the lower frequencies with adequate response. I have two ADC SS-II equalizers totaling 24 frequencies to tailor the sound to my speakers.

The original ESS AMT-1B I have had the all speakers surfaces reconed, better than factory specifications (Go ATC Audio West Springfield, MA). I replaced the speaker tops with 1D models. I also placed felt pieces on each of the corners for a better fit, especially at high wattage. I am driving the ESS-1B with two Crown CommTech 800 amplifiers. I have two sets of speakers downstairs in my listening area.
I listen to this day with my Akai 635D reel to reel, put to same an CD produced over the past 10 years.

I recently applied new veneers to all four speakers and tops. Would not recommend that to the weekend carpenter. I matched all the veeneers on each side on the speakers and speaker tops. Applied tung oil and every week use lemon oil to protect the veneer and clean the speakers.

The only drawback is the footprint of the speaker. An advantage is the speaker can be placed within 3 inches of back wall.

I am still a huge tube amplifier advocate. Can not beat that warm rich sound from a amplifier. Some day will be able to buy Big Blue McIntosh amplifers, (last thing my better half wants to hear.

Bottom line: ESS AMT-1B/C models for the price range, to date have not heard a better sounding speaker. Keep in mind with high end equipment your listening experience will be enhanced dramatically. I only crank up the system when the kids are and wife are gone. My neighbor accross the street who is a drummer professionaly, enjoy hearing music filter his way.

I

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995



Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Nathaniel a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: March 3, 2012

Bottom Line:   
All in all the old style of these cabinets does not suit modern decor. When people see my speakers they think i just popped out of the 70's. While i do not really agree, it's a common theme amongst all who see them. They truly are a sweet spot in my house listening wise. The new cabinets now for sale haven't changed at all i noticed. Too bad the company can't redesign anything from 35 years ago as they currently only offer this style of cabinet. Good old sound from good old speakers never hurt me one bit and i wouldn't personally trade them in for newer speakers but i wish something else was offered so i do a side by side comparison and look at possibly trading up "style" without trading in sound.

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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 ess and onkyo wed '76 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 4, 2012

Bottom Line:   
When I was 17 in 1976 I figured the best way for me to get credit was to take out a $2000 loan for a stereo. (had a car) I spent 3 months studying specs. Output, response, harmonic distortion....And listening. I heard a pair of amt1b's in the first store I went to. Didn't care for the sound. I listened to Klipsch, Altec's, Bose, all the top ,most expensive speakers around then. They all sounded great but something was missing. I went back to the first store. I told the guy I wanted to hear the ESS's again. The top end was more crisp and real as I had ever heard but not enough bass. The salesman finally ran those 75lb bass magnets up to 1/2 and that was all it took. He'd had the bass off. The pair I bought were used by the "Stones" in their studio..paid $500 apiece. Picked up a perfectly matched Onkyo 100watt per channel TX6500. Best 2 grand I have ever spent!!!!! Still rocking the neighborhood to this day!

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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 MANNY a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: September 20, 2011

Bottom Line:   
I agree the people who enjoy the ess heil. I don't agree with any of the critics. These are the most lifelike loudspeaker I have ever encountered and I am a loudspeaker collector from electrostats to planars and dynamics. For anyone to say these aren't accurate, they need their ears checked. For anyone to think they knew more then the late physicist dr oskar heil who will claim themselves as audiophiles are a joke. what he invented was definitely revolutionary. I thought ribbons were accurate and until I heard the heils, it's in another level. Don't even think that the crappy dome design can even match these heils you would be out of your mind. Modifying the ESS makes it even many times better. I have an AMT 1D on steroids. I have two ess 12 inch woofers firing on both sides with no radiator. I decided to place 3 ess heils on a line array or linesource design and using dakiom feedback stabilizers on the crossover, the sound is beyond spectacular but the most lifelike loudspeaker I have yet owned or heard in showrooms and as a former high end home theater installer and electronic tech, nothing comes close to the sound of the ESS HEIL 1D in my configuration. The ESS as great as it is stock, it's even greater MODIFIED.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2003




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