ESS is the company that originally utilized the Heil Air tweeter, at least to my recollection. I heard speakers like, again from memory, the AMT 1 quite a bit. The tweeters were pretty spectacular sounding. ESS is still in business in the Sacramento area, but I don't recall any of their speakers looking as good as the ones in that auction.
One of the problems, again from memory, was that the bass they incorporated into the ESS speaker was not as nice as the heil driver.
Dana, Hey, I remember ESS.....they are still in business? I lived in Rancho Cordova a few(10 or so) years back & they were based there...but I never see any of their speakers anymore so I just assumed they were defunct. My borther still has some AMT1's & about 10 years or so he had to replace the woofers, that is the only reason I knew they were still in business...because I havnt seen ESS speakers for sale in like 20 years....at Leo's stereo(AKA Pacific stereo)
my roommate in college (many many moons ago) had some very impressive jantzen(sp?) electrostatic hybrids with an electrostatic tweeter and conventional woofer that i always thought were the best of both worlds. that's why these heils caught my attention.
I haven't seen them in stores for ages either. Here's a Link to their web site. I've been tempted to call to see if they'd be willing to allow me an audition, but it would probably just be out of curiosity on my part. Still, I used to love the sound of that heil driver. I first heard them at Federated, if anyone remembers them, then had a friend who owned some.
Haha.....I remember Federated. I bought some BES (Bertagni Electrocoustic Something) speakers from them in the early 80's. Remeber Stereo showcase or Neil's speakers? I checked out ESS's website....no prices or dealers? I can't believe they are still around...in Sacramento.
Hey Dana, I am looking to get some people together to form a Sacramento Ht club. Would you be interested?
Coincidences abound. I bought my first real receiver from one of the places you mentioned, Pacific, but in West Los Angeles. It was a brand called Quadraflex. And, unbelievably, Leo's in West L.A. is where I first heard the Klipsch La Scala. At the time, they were mostly car audio, at least down there, but I do remember seeing them up hear...perhaps somewhere around Howe or Arden?
Anyway, thanks for the invite for a local group. Problem is, until we eventually get a new house, I'd not be able to host in that I have my home theater in my bedroom and my wife said that's a "no-no", even for neighbors.
But, even if I'm not in the group, I have a place you should all visit in the event you get a club started. I found this guy in Rocklin who runs a HT sales business out of his house. He has worked with certain companies that build speakers that are pretty amazing, like top of the line speakers that literally weight something like 5,000 pounds, stand 12 feet tall, and cost like a half a million dollars...I don't think any of this is an exaggeration. I'll do a link after this post.
Anyway, he's started building his own speakers/subs. $5,500/pair seems pretty costly, but he's trying to emulate the sound of the line I'll link you to. Think he said the crossovers by themselves cost $950. Spent quite a bit of time listening over there and was flat out floored by the sound. His subs are MAJESTIC!!!, although I didn't listen to them. He did however show me the individual components. This guy puts his perfectionist heart into these things. You might want to go by for a look/see.
Be back in a minute with a link to the speakers which are his inspiration.
Here's the link. The ones he's trying to build something equivalent to are the M-50's, but, for fun, you should take a gander at their $600,000 speakers. Individual drivers weighing as much as 450 pounds, a frequency range from 8-35,000 +/- 3 dbs. The prototypes I heard sent chills up my spine.
Dana, well I'm sure that just because we can't go in your bedroom, it doesn't mean you couldn't be a part of the group.....I am sure their are others that wouldn't be able to host either......& that is ok with me as I don't have my room quite finished yet...I have the walls but it still needs a lot of work....I am just soliciting if there is some interest as I have seen alot of people from the Sac area on this & other forums....I know the Bay area has its own club & I was hoping to get a few together for a couple of meets a year or something, just to share info & their systems, have a good time, BS,....etc.
I have a couple of guys interested..I posted a thread in the "National & Local HT forum Meets" forum here.
For about 7 years I had a pair of ESS Monitors. These were the top of the line. About 40 inches tall. What made these special is that they used a transmission line bass set-up, and the Heil bi-polar sat at the top firing front and back, (adds spaciousness to the sound).
Transmission line bass is rare because it is expensive to construct the cabinets. All speakers need to deal with the back pressure of the woofer. In other words, the movement of the woofer creates not only sound coming from the front of the woofer but also from the back of the woofer. These days the majority of speakers are using ports to handle the back wave. Other speakers are sealed and that pretty much quells the back wave but is takes more power for a given SPL.
Transmission lines use a convoluted internal path lined with absorbent materials to minimize the back wave. By the time the back wave has gone through the maze it is pretty much inaudible. I believe there is a modest opening to vent the last of the back wave.
I do miss the mid-tweeter sound of the ESS driver. Very rare that a single driver can cover 800 Hz to 20 KHz