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Yep. They're back at it in the L.A. area. They've put together a new line up of exclusively 2-way systems from book shelves to floor standers, including a modern interpretation of that AMT1 called the AMT Limited. I've got a pair of 1975 first generation AMT1's sitting about 12 feet from me as a write this. They're the originals, with the 10 inch alnico magnet drivers, ported cabs, and boxed in AMT unit. They most certainly have a mid-range weakness. However, that giant dipole AMT does something my 40 year newer Focals don't. Properly placed, they create an amazingly spacious sound comparable to what you might get from a big dipole planar. That lack of mid-range is hard to get past though. I'm not sure if they've solved that problem or not.
ESS Sacramento, when I worked there, had a once a year employee sale. Everything for sale was placed in the parking lot. Salary employees got the first pick. Us hourly employees had to wait till we were off of work. I scored a pair of 4-12T (tower) speakers for 30 dollars each. Happy days, only to have them stolen 6 months later. R and R. (Research and development) had speakers from other companies.... to see what made them tick. Had so many there I asked them if they had any they wanted to sell. Happy days again. They did not give them away (almost) but I paid much much less than in retail stores. I bought a few speakers that were in dusty box’s. I met Mr. Oscar Heil there. ESS also had a live band there once set up in the warehouse. They also paid for get together’s (food and drink..... mainly drink) at a local park every now and then. Those were the days.
The ESS speaker I would still like to find is the Super Quad. It used the original Quad ESL for the midrange, with the same transmissionline-loaded Kef B-139 woofer and RTR tweeters as did the Transtatic. Not many were made---it retailed for $2000 in the early 70's, same as the Infinity Servo-Static, to which it was intended to provide competition.
I worked at ESS in the early 80s on the assembly line. I still play a bit with custom builds today. More recently, last week I had the opportunity to evaluate some of the newer version speakers made by ESS and visited SoCal location a few months ago. Right now ESS has a focus on headphones.
Over the next few months hope to work on some new designs and configurations. Good fun.
I was there mid '83 at Oates at the main bldg far area assembly. Don't recall a cafeteria. That must have been part of the glory days there before my time I guess. I heard stories about how it was before I got there, but missed some of that fun stuff I guess. We cranked up the music a bit, stood on the assy line with air lines/tools and just assembled speakers as they came on down the line. Was there a short time that year but it was fun.
I had a long relationship with ESS AMT1 towers 1975-1989. Spent most of my summer income between college years on those speakers. I’ve heard the "new" models at several recent shows. Their performance doesn’t measure up to memories of youth... but what does?
I sold them to a fellow whose cats destroyed them by using the tall wrap-around grill cloth as climbing posts.