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Chris A

Double Stack ESS AMT-1 with Wings--Possible Kit for Heritage

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26 minutes ago, Randyh said:

----just a quick question -----were the rear wings also needed ,  or are they just cosmetic -my question is whether  you could have tapered  off the wings and removed the rear wings -

 

If you look throughout the earlier posts, you will note comments during our testing by @Chris A indicating that a symmetrical setup is of benefit.  My initial build was not symmetrical.  Subsequent builds on my part have all been symmetrical.

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Sure. The lighting is not the greatest. It’s been a little overcast here the last few days.
 
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Wow absolutely stunning, incredible work, well done, well done

Sent from my VOG-L09 using Tapatalk

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Thank you for all the kind words. My project would not have been possible though, without all of the valuable input from everyone who contributed to this thread especially @Chris A @Rudy81 and @Thaddeus Smith . Thank you guys!!! 

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2 minutes ago, No.4 said:

Thank you for all the kind words. My project would not have been possible though, without all of the valuable input from everyone who contributed to this thread especially @Chris A @Rudy81 and @Thaddeus Smith . Thank you guys!!! 

 

The best part of all of this is that we have found a really good method to create a very nice sounding 2-way speaker.  Very versatile and a great DIY project!

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5 minutes ago, No.4 said:

Thank you for all the kind words. My project would not have been possible though, without all of the valuable input from everyone who contributed to this thread especially @Chris A @Rudy81 and @Thaddeus Smith . Thank you guys!!! 

 

How'd you handle wiring from the drivers to the binding posts?

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2 minutes ago, Thaddeus Smith said:

 

How'd you handle wiring from the drivers to the binding posts?

If you look closely at the picture you can see that the heils go in to the waveguides from the bottom. The heils are attached to the bow tie and they slide in as one piece, and mount to the bottom side of the wave guide. The wires are all connected and taped along the beveled edge of the heil. The beveled edge creates a small void for the wires to pass between the inside wall of the waveguide and the heil. I ran the wires through a small hole on the inside of the waveguide where the heil meets the waveguide. This passes through the void of the wings out to the binding posts. The wire is a little long so I could feed it into the void and pull it through slowly as I lower the heil assembly into the wave guide. The wires then attach to the binding posts and the post plates are screwed to the side of the wings. If I ever decide I want to hide the wires I can just swap the wing assemblies from one side to the other. I should have taken more pictures!

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As this link (*.BS) clearly shows

    AMT-1 has been directly linked to COV-19. Even more so than 5G.

 

And only your EXTREME  Centric bias leads you to believe that this would sound better than the set up endorsed by my favorite heroic political leader. Furthermore....

 

oh, sorry. This belongs in the Covid thread. My mistake.

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2 hours ago, Thaddeus Smith said:

Any news from ESS? Everyone still liking their setups? (I sure am)

 

Love mine. Haven't heard anything from ESS, not that I expected to.

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Man, so do I. We use the system for several hours, daily. TV, movies, and casual/critical music listening. Poor source material sounds like a dumpster fire, but everything else really shines. It's probably a combination of the new drivers, transitioning to active XO, and focused measurements + PEQ, but regardless I still have no regrets for jumping feet first into this system evolution.

 

We've grown accustomed to the raw birch x-wings and I've moved on to farm/garden/greenhouse projects for the time being - so I think the two-tone mains are here to stay for the foreseeable future.

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On 5/1/2020 at 3:59 PM, Thaddeus Smith said:

 Everyone still liking their setups? (I sure am)

Absolutely! 
 

 

On 5/2/2020 at 9:46 AM, Thaddeus Smith said:

We've grown accustomed to the raw birch x-wings and I've moved on to farm/garden/greenhouse projects for the time being 

It’s amazing how much I actually get done around here when I am almost always home. I am allready done with a summers worth of chores! I do get about the same amount of listening time though sadly. For example, I downloaded new firmware for my Parks puffin on Friday, loaded it to my puffin yesterday, and am finally listening tonight. The scarcity makes each session special right? Or maybe the double stack heils do.....

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Someone on Audio Karma linked this thread to an ESS rebuild thread which is how I am here. This was a great read and very informative for someone like me who is past technical tinkering.  I am very impressed with the technical abilities of the participants and the DIY projects are gorgeous. I have owned and collected ESS speakers for 45 years starting when I worked for an ESS dealer store in the mid 70s. It does me good to see others enjoying the Great Heil as I have all these decades even though we use it in different ways. I hope you will always enjoy your Heil setups.  Best  Dave

 

 

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On 5/9/2020 at 6:59 PM, jcidave said:

Someone on Audio Karma linked this thread to an ESS rebuild thread which is how I am here. This was a great read and very informative for someone like me who is past technical tinkering.  I am very impressed with the technical abilities of the participants and the DIY projects are gorgeous. I have owned and collected ESS speakers for 45 years starting when I worked for an ESS dealer store in the mid 70s. It does me good to see others enjoying the Great Heil as I have all these decades even though we use it in different ways. I hope you will always enjoy your Heil setups.  Best  Dave

 

 

 

Welcome! Any tidbits you've gleaned over the years?

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9 hours ago, Thaddeus Smith said:

 

Welcome! Any tidbits you've gleaned over the years?

I don't think there is too much I can tell you guys. You seem to have it all figured out pretty well.  All my Heils are attached to stock ESS speaker cabinets from the 70's with ESS passive crossovers.  I don't do any EQ or DSP.  It is an analog system playing vinyl.  I do have a passel of these speakers as there are 30 Heil units in the sound room. 

The diaphragms have changed over the years.  The substrate has changed and the pleating has changed. The earliest diaphragms from the early 70's had 17 pleats and I think used mylar as the substrate. At that time, they had no bridal veil across the surface.  Current diaphragms have 12 pleats. Don't remember the current substrate.  At one point in the early 2000's they used Kapton as the substrate. Don't know why they started using that, don't know why they stopped.  That was before Ricky's time at ESS. I have several pair of these earliest diaphragms in use today. I'm not hearing any deficiencies with them. 

 

In the attached pic, the diaphragm at lower right is a second generation. they put 3 rows of silicone across the surface to control pleats melting together. Then they abandoned the silicone and added the bridal veil.  There are also Kapton diaphragms in the pic. I have several pair of Kaptons in use with the collection. 

I think one would be hard pressed to find any other driver to sound as good as the Heil that can be repaired so easily or quickly by anyone with virtually no skills or special equipment. 

Sorry I don't have any experience with PK speakers.  I am friends with the brother of Gary Shinall.  I did hear his Shinall corner horns once briefly.  I thought they were pretty spectacular. 

 

 

ess diaphragms.JPG

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Posted (edited)

Hi No.4 , those AMT Speakers are absolutely Beautiful!  I was wondering if I could ask you just a couple of questions... back on page 28  towards the bottom you showed a Jig you had used , it had the basic shape of the AMT drawn on top of it , can I ask what tool you used, and how you cut those lines so straight and with such crisp edges of the jig, and then also the small straight line at the bottom of the "V" where the two angles come together? - ( It looks like maybe a table saw but if that were mine you could probably see the blade marks at the end of the cuts ) -- Also on the plywood piece that is all assembled before it was veneered how did you get the angles so perfect where the pieces of the star shape came together? ... ( mine would probably be filled with Spackle or Bondo -  LOL) -- Thank you for great looking workmanship and design ! It's very inspiring. - Dean

Edited by hallcon83
incorrect spelling

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I got through the first nine pages (of 29), so I don't know if this has been said in later threads, but I've got a little bit of ESS info.

 

- The ESS AMT-1 was the brand's first speaker using Oscar Heil's Air-Motion Transformer (AMT). The name ESS is derived from Electro-Static Sound, which predates the AMT (which is not an electrostat). The AMT-1 had a 10" front-facing driver and a down-firing port under the box. This first model is the red-headed stepchild in the line. It's weird to see people referring to Oskar Heil's mid-range tweeter as the AMT-1.

 

- ESS' most popular speaker is the AMT-1(A-D), the pyramid shaped successors to the AMT-1; the A-D models feature a 12" front-facing driver and 12" rear-facing passive radiator. While passive crossover changes fluctuated over the years, the woofer generally crossed over to the AMT at 800hz. The speaker itself is 6 ohm with a 91db efficiency, even though ESS has only ever used 4 ohm drivers in all its AMT lineup. Frequency extension ranges from 38-23,000.

- The flagship AMT Monitor was more of a tower but featured the exact same components; it had a crossover that could bypass the passive circuitry for bi-amping with an external and optional active, electronic crossover. The speaker was 93db, with extension down to 35hz. The AMT-1x models and this Monitor were exceptional speakers for the time (and even today), but generally thought of as fatiguing, lacking midrange presence, and with low frequencies that couldn't keep up to the "Great Heil."

 

- The "Rock Monitor" is the only three-way in the AMT lineup and wasn't built for very long, but is often thought of as the best AMT speaker; it featured a 10" front-facing driver and passive radiator, but was coupled with a 6.5" mid-range driver. 

- In the earlier pages of this thread, someone showed the AMT-6 with its multiple AMT drivers, positioned vertically in a curved fashion along the top of the cabinet. This is a professional model that was built for movie theaters. Also, the version of the AMT on this speaker is not the same as what all of you are buying and referring to as the "AMT-1." The Great Heil, as it was nicknamed, is the only di-pole AMT in ESS' lineup. The multiple tweeters atop the AMT-6 Professional were taken from another non-di-pole line of CE speakers that ESS built. 

- There is another photo in this thread of Ricky Caudillo's Transar in the ESS showroom with a modified (convex) baffle plus triple di-pole subs and a horn-loaded AMT. This is the same non-di-pole AMT on the AMT-6 professional, but it's just one--not four. This tweeter and its blue horn come from a very special professional project--they are taken from a professional cabinet (among only a few that ESS possess) used by the Grateful Dead in the late 70s. 

 

- The ESS Transar is a weird, tragic story. It was the last project that Oskar worked on at ESS; reports say that the then-ownership rushed this project to market and, indeed, it was beset by quality and reliability issues. It did receive a successor--with improvements--but didn't sell well. Anyway, the Transar features the same AMT mid-range tweeter as the rest of the lineup, but sports a wild Oskar invention--a low-frequency AMT. The first Transar was a vertical, di-pole driver of five small stacked mylar pods connected by graphite rods. Rumor has it that the mad doctor was looking for a low frequency driver to keep up with the AMT. The five pods are the size of a man's hand, but in total equal more surface area than a large woofer. The pods are lightweight, stiff, and can play down to 150hz. The second Transar used a different material for the rods connecting the (now slightly larger) pods. This model could play down to 85hz with less reported "slap" and ringing (rods), and could be had with an optional subwoofer. Both models were passive and bi-amped--with an included high-current amp and passive crossover in one box (The user would supply an amp for the AMT tweeter) with 5-pin XLR cabling. It's said that the Transar is one of the last things that finally broke ESS and its poor business practices and mismanagement. Oskar soon left and took his AMT overseas to Precide. You can find more on the Transar on Youtube and on Audiokarma, or stop by the ESS factory after the pandemic subsides.

- Ricky's alteration of the first Transar sounds glorious, unlike anything you've ever heard. His management of the brand has given the small company a level of stability that it perhaps never had. While the Air-Motion Transformer patent belonged to ESS, the small non-di-pole AMT (used in ESS' Performance Series bookshelf speakers) lapsed several years ago and is now in use in scores of affordable and house-costing speakers around the world; ESS retains the exclusive use of the large AMT (as well as the name "AMT" and the slogan "Sound as clear as light.") that you all are referring to as the not-a-vintage-speaker "AMT-1." The naming structure on the website (I, II, III, denoting AMT size) is new. Still weird, though.   :) 

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On 5/13/2020 at 9:20 PM, hallcon83 said:

Hi No.4 , those AMT Speakers are absolutely Beautiful!  I was wondering if I could ask you just a couple of questions... back on page 28  towards the bottom you showed a Jig you had used , it had the basic shape of the AMT drawn on top of it , can I ask what tool you used, and how you cut those lines so straight and with such crisp edges of the jig, and then also the small straight line at the bottom of the "V" where the two angles come together? - ( It looks like maybe a table saw but if that were mine you could probably see the blade marks at the end of the cuts ) -- Also on the plywood piece that is all assembled before it was veneered how did you get the angles so perfect where the pieces of the star shape came together? ... ( mine would probably be filled with Spackle or Bondo -  LOL) -- Thank you for great looking workmanship and design ! It's very inspiring. - Dean

@hallcon83

 

Thank you, and welcome.

 

All of the vertical parts were cut with a table saw. There was some trial and error with the angles. I used small scrap pieces to help get the angles right. The jig is used to test fit the pieces and aid in glueing. You can see how the jig is used for alignment below.

 

 

F0A05BF4-1596-4B84-97DD-0215BAEFC25E.jpeg
 

then the parts could be glued and clamped.


 

 

C94FDB95-8AC1-4568-9C50-05F8E8A925FF.jpeg

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