ESS of California has used the slogan “Sound as Clear as Light” for at least 40 years, and it still holds up in 2017. ESS has based their designs on Oscar Heil’s Air Motion Transformer since their beginning, and have honed and improved not only the AMT, but the woofer and its integration resulting in the current lineup. The use of similar AMT tweeters by many other speaker designers shows how adept Oscar’s invention handles the upper frequencies even in today’s market.

ESS’ Ricky Caudillo played the 12″ AMT floorstanding speakers ($4,499/pr) for me and I got a “clear” window into the music. The upper midrange and treble were detailed, extended, precise, and had a nice open quality. The transition to the 12″ woofer/mid was the best yet for ESS, owing to the implementation of the largest Heil AMT driver being crossed over at a low 800 Hz, the bass was strong and went deep. If you recall liking the AMT-1 from decades ago you ought to hear the latest from ESS, as it is well worth an audition. Channel Islands electronics drove the AMTs with great results.

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HEIL Air Motion Transformer, The Art of Sound
The Heil diaphragm, made of soft, quiet mylar to reduce background noice, is bonded with conductive aluminum strips. It is the equivalent in surface area to a conventional cone type eight inch band for better point source dispersion. The low mass diaphragm is suspended in a massive magnet structure concentrating an intense magnetic field around the diaphragm.

The Heil Air Motion Transformer (AMT) is recognized by the audio industry as the most significant loudspeaker breakthrough of the last half-century and is licensed exclusively to ESS. Once you’ve heard it, you’ll agree that the ESS Heil AMT indeed delivers “SOUND AS CLEAR AS LIGHT.”





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