ESS speakers "Translinear" Transstatic

These were speakers designed by California based company called ESS, that is, Electro Static Sound before they used the Heil Air Montion transformer. These models were current in 1970-1975. I am curious if any one still owns either of the above models, or has seem them listed on any of them listed in the used audio web sites. They were incredible speakers for their time,and sounded as good as many of so-called elctrostatics of today. They used good driver elements, for example, the KEF B-139 oval driver for the bass response.If anyone has knowledge of either of these above vintage speakers,please leave info on this Web page. Thank you!!
I was the factory representative for this line in 1971, and took these speakers around to audio dealers for demo. I believe that the electrostatic element was at that time, manufactured by RTR, the same company that made the elements for the Crown ESL (Elkhart Indiana), and the original Infinity Systems Servo-Static. You are correct about the oval driver being built by KEF. This woofer was totally flat in appearance, and behind it was a long labyrinth, forming a complex transmission line network within the cabinet. It was precisely tuned to be in near perfect phase with the front (output) of the KEF woofer. I remember the sound of the very deep bass, passing thorough walls of the sound room and into my office, while I was speaking to customers on the phone. This design was indeed way ahead of it's time, and delivered remarkable sound, especially considering it's relatively small size. As far as being as good as electrostatics of today, I think that the Maggie, Quad and Soundlab all have better mid and top than the ESS. As far as bass, my memory is probably blurred, but I would guess the ESS to be better than the Quad, but certainly not equal to the output of the Soundlabs.
Wow, i bet that post brought up memories, huh Albert ??? : )

Thanks for filling us in on that. I have a good sized batch of the RTR e-stat tweeters that i'll be working with quite soon. Your comments about the Soundlabs' bass. From what i know of these, they are an all E-stat design, correct ? Maybe i'm misinformed and they are a hybrid. If they are completely electrostatic, I will HAVE to hear these things if they've got bottom end "oomph" that can compete with dynamic drivers. Sean
Sean, you are right about the memories, it was pleasant thinking about the ESS again. Your question about Soundlab, all the large speakers in the line have excellent bass, and are exclusively electrostatic. The mylar driver has very low excursion, but is ultra fast and phase accurate. For what it lacks in deflection, it makes up by radiating area (in excess of 15 square feet). Properly set up, you are assured to get the "oomph" you describe. Electrostatic bass still "sounds" different from a traditional piston woofer, a music session with your favorite software should determine if it has the sound you like.
Very entertaining comments Albert. Were you still at ESS when they went to the Heil AMT technology? I know a lot of people love to knock those speakers. My father has a pair(in my home no less), and it has always intrigued me to take them apart, modify them, and see what happens. While I have never really given them a lot of time in the past years, I remember some good qualities of the driver. Thanks for your information!
ESS is still in business. You can view their web site at Their product line has not changed very much of the years. I used to own a pair of AMT-1As with the Heil. I thought the Heil was a great driver. Unfortunatly, it was not well integrated with the 12 inch woofer used in the speaker (hard to do). The Heil AMT is being used in speakers other than ESS. There are 2 Swiss speakers the Oscar Aulos and Kithara (the former was recently well reviewed in Soundstage e-mag. There is also a British company called Orchid that is using the Heil.
Hi, I owned a pair of ESS AMT 1A's in 1975 through about 1980. I gave them to my sister and she still has them and loves them. The woofer surrounds disintegrated about 12 years ago, but the dealer (a local TV store) ordered new ones for me and as far as I know, they are still functioning well. My sister likes them, anyway. They are the highest-end speakers she has ever had.
I remember the day I had these speakers delivered, I thought I had way overdone it in size and cost. However, 30 years later, I see I had many more extreme excesses to go, audio-wise.
Trelja, no, we lost the ESS line about that time, and instead picked up the more popular JBL commercial line and Infinity Systems. I had a hell of a time learning all the technical materials and specification sheets required for JBL. I quoted parts and power requirements for commercial sound applications such as auditorium reinforcement and rock band equipment. It is nice though, to have owned and lived with so many technologies, it does however make me even more committed to my Soundlabs, which I consider to have the fewest compromises.
Thank you Albert. Your postings are always very well written and thought out, not to mention insightful.
By the way, it's been a long time, but I have never hated those ESS speakers the way so many have. The 12" woofers did need to be replaced, due to the surrounds rotting out. It's in the back of my mind to go through them, and see what happens. Does anyone know the crossover point of the speaker? How low the Heil AMT can be crossed over? Any other bits of wisdom? Thank you, Joe
In response to Trelja's question - the crossover of the orignal ESS AMT speakers was set at 1,000 HZ. The most recent version use 800 HZ. The Swiss made Oscar Kithara has a crossover at 730 HZ. While the ESS speakers had midrange problems, I'm not sure why anyone would hate these speakers. The clarity and openess of the Heil puts a lot of high dollar speakers to sham and works wonderfully for a lot of rock and electronic music. The midrange deficiencies of the ESS designs caused by blending a large slow woofer with the ultra fast Heil just made the ESS a poor choice for jass and vocal enthusiasts. I understand that some the recent designs that use the Heil do not have this midrange problem. Alas they are not easily avaialbe in the U.S. The Swiss company Precide distributes the speakers.
I bought the AMT-3 Rock Monitors in 1975, and still have them in my basement being driven by a Pioneer receiver. I've twice replaced the two 10" woofers and Heil diaphrams. The mid-range is still the original. With a sub-woofer, it still sounds very good. It was my main speakers until about 5 years ago. I now have Legacy Focus speakers in my SACD based main system.
Thank you for your information Rurdangaray. I am most appreciative, Joe

I have owned the ESS AMT-3's since 1975 and have the foam rotting problem. I prefer to purchase equivalent drivers (10's and 6's) rather than refoam. Greatly appreciate driver specification data and/or any info on replacement driver manufacturer and p/n. Thanks.

Hello,my name is frank .I was looking through the net an came across your forum.I bought in 1997 a pair of ess amt 4"s and am in the proces of replacing the drivers ,I'm searching the net for the replacements, i completely re- finished the cabinets and have been very satisfied with their line of speakers. And have just recently purchased a pair of Transtatic 1's in great shape except for one rtr electrostatic panel is blown.They came with three RTR6 electrostatic panels, one 9"x12" KEF flat oval woofer and a 5" midrange per speaker.They are 4 ohm speakers so you need a pretty high end amp to run these babys, recommended power is 60 watt rms min stable into reactive loads and they will handle greater than 650 watts musical peaks without distortion and they are fuse protected.They are 42x20x16 and very heavy 110 lbs per speaker.I run them with a Dynaco st400 amp, 200 watts per channel and these guys sound awesome to say the least, I would recommend that if any one comes across a pair of these rare brutes do not hesitate to purchase them.I know for me i own the last pair of speakers i'll ever purchase. And if any one knows where i can buy a replacement rtr6 panel please e-mail me and let me know.And in case you,re wondering who i bought these from is the same person i got the amt4's from, for a price of $650.00 a pair, they originally sold for $1200.00 a pair in the 70's.ESS also made a top of the line system called SuperQuads which are even rarer, they cost $3000.00 apair which was a lot of money back then.Well thanks for listening and to all happy searching.And if anyone wants to they can e-mail me. Frank J. Rustay
I have a pair of ESS Heil AMT 1a since '72 and love them. Had the woofers re paired in Portland, OR in '91. I wouldn't give them up for nothing. The sound is rich and surounding. Great sounds for jazz, blues, panio etc
Hellow my name is ed. I recently picked up a pair of ess tower speakers. I would guess they are early 70s. They are 42" x16" x14" and weigh over 100lbs each.The name on them is ElectroStatic SoundSystems...INC. Sacrmento Calif. Trans-Linear II. They have a 9x12 Oval woofer & 5" MIDRANGE & 2TWEETERS .tHESE SOUND AWESOME AND REALLY HANDLE SOME POWER. DOES ANY ONE HAVE ANY MORE INFO ON THESE BABYS.
I just wanted to let everybody know that ESS is still around, it was bought by a German company a few years back and they have some new exciting speakers and is just now being introduced back on the US market.

Just caught this thread..I had back in the day a pair of ESS Translinear2's with the Kef 9/12 oval woofer as Vintage described..These speakers had incredible bass clarity and speed because of the styrofoam material of the woofer made a great linear piston. The enlosure was very stout and was a transmission line type. I latter built a larger transmission line subwoofer enclosure using this same Kef driver based on a design published in a English Journal..I found it difficult to stay in the room with this woofer playing seemed to reproduce the fundamental resonance of my then Sony TT and Vestigal tonearm equiped with a ADC XLM cartridge..Tom
I too have just come across this thread. My first experience with true hi-end sound was back in 1972 and the ESS Translinears. I heard ELP's Trilogy album being played (it was quite a popular hi-fi demo record in those days!)and there was a cut where this LOUD kick drum enters and I was absolutely flabbergasted by the huge (in those days) bass impact. I haven't heard this speaker in all these years but I agree with what was said here. Transmission lines load the bass into the room instead of an enclosure. They sound very refined and are better for music than home theater. I later heard the Transtatic I and it was even better! I remember the salesman explaining about the Translinear II that ESS was using this fantastic flat woofer which was immune to cone break-up loaded into an EXCELLENT transmission line enclosure. He also mentioned that the midrange was also from KEF (as was the B139 woofer) and the tweeters were made by Peerless with a radical approach for that time of a tweeter facing to the back as well as front to mimic electrostatics. An ad from that time claimed "the closest likeness to electrostatics yet achieved with dynamic drivers" They were right! The Transtatic I did have the RTR panels (actually from a Janszen design).
The orignal Heil AMT ( I still have the sales brochures for all these speakers!) had a crossover of 700 hz but this proved too low and caused 'ribbon-slap' in the Heil so it was later changed to 900 hz before finally setteling on an 800 hz crossover. The early Heils had crappy ported enclosures with a wimpy 10" paper woofer. I was poor back then so I finally bought a Heil speaker made for "Lafayette Radio" by ESS with a "power ring" version of the Heil but the same woofer and enclosure. It did not have the qualities of the 'big' AMTs. ESS did make a really good version of the AMT with the 10" woofer mounted in one of their top-notch transmission line enclosures and the difference was GREAT! This speaker was discontinued shortly because the cost of that type of enclosure (and the increased shipping costs by that time)were too high and people preferred the "Rock Monitor" version that had a big ported enclosure. By the time I scraped together enough money to buy the was gone. So then..the "Lafayette".

I wish these things would show up on the auction sites so I could finally get my hands on one, but I guess that is a testament to the great sound of all ESS speakers from the seventies that they still sound good enough to make audiophiles want to KEEP them!
Good data nexusstudio. I visit this thread every time someone posts new comments.

I would love to hear one of these today and see how reality fares, when compared to my rosy memories.
Ahh..I know what you mean Albert! Maybe we are 'romanticizing' the sound of those early speakers because they were so advanced. I have bi-amped Carver Amazing Silvers now which probably are much better than an old ESS? It does seem odd that there is so little info on the web about the early ESS speakers. I will be checking this thread from time to time myself!
I have a pair of Ess speakers that I purchased back in 1972, I still play them everyday. I had to redo the rounds on the woofer but a side from that they sound as good as ever
ESS memories. In the 70's, I had a pair of the AMT 4's, the Heil unit was about 1/2 the size of the AMT 1's. I thought they were great, but I sold them and moved on to Kef 104ab's. About two years ago, I got a pair of the AMT monitors(the foam surrounds were all shot). I always felt it didn't make sense to pair the heil with a 12" driver so I paired the 6" heil with a 6" Peerless mid/bass in a new cabinet (sized for the proper Q). I also have a subwoofer using a pair of the Kef B139's crossed over at 100hz. The sound still stuns me.
I purchased my ESS AMT Monitors in 1982. I used them in a large room with thick carpeting, absorbent ceiling panels and curtains on three side from ceiling to floor. I listened to them with a powerful SAE amplifier usually running pretty much flat out. There were no room reflections or standing waves. The sound was extraordinary in that the the ambience in the recording (if any) was faithfully reproduced. For twenty years I never heard anything to beat this system. When I played "The living Daylights" LP then my *neighbours* spoke of the realism of the train (Note brick houses 65m apart).

The woofers have had surrounds replaced twice and the diaphrams in the EMT units have been replaced once. Another set of replacement surrounds and diaphrams are on order.

They are now being used as rear speakers with two Tannoy D900 speakers in front and Musical Fidelity amplification. People still jump to answer the phone when a DVD soundtrack rings in the background.

I have just taken delivery of a stack of equipment to biamp the Tannoys, and if that works well then I might do the ESS Monitors as well. This will allow me to streighten out the response curve a bit and match the back and front speakers better.
I have pair of ESS speakers Monitor Series 4 in very good condition.What do you guys think how much should I sell them for??
i have heard kithara loudspeakers they sounds good
i want to make a clone
is there somebody who know what woofer model they use?
Sunnyjim,interesting stuff.I have some Crown ES212s which use similar RTR made stat panels.The Crowns use 12 5inch stat panels arranged in a curved screen 3 high by 4 wide.The bass [below 350hz] is handled by two ten inch woofers in a sealed box.Even by todays standards they sound superb.They are clearly better than the older Quads and many of the Martin Logans I have heard.They are surprisingly dynamic and have real world loudness capabilities.Apparently they cost the same as a family sedan in the mid 70s so they should be good.

Holy moly i love this type of talk! I have owned a multitude of pairs of the ESS AMT line of towers, pyramids, bookshelfs, etc. Whence first i heard the AMT MONITOR towers, i was sold on the sound of the Heils. The owner, a youngster, had removed the cast 12" front firing woofer radiator combo, and replaced them with generic ribbed-pulp 12's. While removing the phase coherence of a single 12 and a bass radiator, he was essentially phase-cancelling bass, enhancing midrange production, increasing power handling, and biasing power levels of two 8ohm woofers and one Heil diapragm, towards the woofers. Something about that combination, or having never heard the AMT ESS line of loudspeakers, threw me for a loop. I had never in my life heard a pair of house speakers, floor standing or otherwise, sound that brilliant and punchy. Today, yes, this very day the 7th of August yr 2006, i currently own ONE pair of the AMT-1B pyramids / ONE pair of the AMT-3 Rock Monitors / ONE pair of the AMT MONITORS / ONE pair of the AMT-1C pyramids / ONE pair of the AMT-1D bookshelfs / ONE pair of the AMT-1D pyramids / ONE pair of the AMT-II pyramids / ONE pair of the M6 mini-bookshelfs (non-Heil) / ONE pair of the PS-820 bookshelfs / and ONE pair of the PS-920 bookshelfs. Can you tell i was adversely affected by the one experience??? lol... i love the Heil line-up, i listen to the whole lot of them, regularly!
Just came across this thread and thought I'd comment. I sold stereo in the mid 70's for a company called Atlantis Sound in the Wash DC area and grew quite fond of the ESS line, especially the AMT-1A and AMT-1T's. I owned a pair of the AMT-3's for a while, but never could get them to sound even remotely coherent. The AMT-1T's were (and are) special, though. I recently acquired a pair and had the woofers rebuilt (surround rot) and am still amazed how well they hold their own against many more modern designs.
Thanks for the trip down memory lane.
I don't know what made think about ESS's today, but it lead me here. I have had a set of 7's ( they have the flat oval woofer) since the early 70's, with the Rosewood tops. My brother currently uses them. Do they have any value?
I have a pair of AMT-1b's that I want to sell (South Florida, in use since purchase in 1970's or so.

Can anyone recommend a venue or price?

I do interesting , please send me the photo
Hello fellow music lovers,
I bought my first pair of ESS speakers back in 1975-76 they were called "Tempest" and sold for $500.00 per pair. Last month November 2006 I just bought a set of AMT3 Rock Monitors from a seller on ebay who lived in New Hampshire. I'm from Albany, New York but since 2001 now living here in Germany. Anyone want to guess the cost to have these monsters shipped by air to Germany? $750.00 plus the $855.00 winning bid.

Took them out of the box yesterday and found dust for speakers - four woofers - two midrange, all of which need to be replaced. Inside the housing I also found the missing pieces of the speaker cover frame-work - made of particle-board - that someone tried to use for handles in order to try and pick these babies up off the ground!!! Dumb move.

They've been well used but not abused by their owner - but someone got into the housing and played with the hardware. As both AMT were loose - the plastic on top cracked, the plastic sides were flopping around inside as well.

At first I was disapointed, as I just wanted to hook them up and zoom off into sonic-heaven....but the reality is, it's worth the investment and the time and patience needed to perfect this Winter Project. Also, the good news is that the outside housing is in mint condition, with a little wash and polish they'll make any owner proud.

So that's the story of my dream speakers. I couldn't afford to buy them back in 1975 and now I cant afford not to have them. You ESS lovers know what I mean!

Much respect from Dave in Germany,
Host of the following websites:

www.ten-years-after,com (Now) (Tribute)

Enjoy our work!
I sold HiFi gear in the late 1970's and had the opportunity to try every speaker out there. In the end, I bought a pair of ESS 7's to mate to my Marantz 2270. The speakers(and Marantz) are still going strong after all these years. Everytime we have guests, they always complement on the sound of the speakers. You will not find a better, more realistic bass reproduction and the overall image those speakers produce is still competitive today. I love my 7s and would love to grab a pair of Translinears.

I saw your post and would like a bit of advice, please.

I am the original owner of some ESS AMT1 Towers, which need some work, as
the bass sounds muddy. I've got a friend who will be replacing the old
capacitors for me to see if that will help. Now, I've got the chance to
pickup a pair of ESS (Electrostack Sound Systems, Inc.) variable omni
translinear I towers. They'd be $125 and I cannot hear them before I buy
them. Do you have any thoughts on these speakers? I bought mine in 1974
and these, I assume, are older. Any feedback will be appreciated. Thanks.


That's not bad at all although it's the shipping that'll get you. You do know they weigh over a 100 pounds each? First thing where they are will determine the possible overall condition. The weather can destroy a good speaker not to mention what it can do to the cabinet it's housed in. I own a pair that I bought and am in the process of re-storing myself. In fact my B139 replacements for the original 6171 or low end drivers arrived today. So next I'll work on finding the other replacements. If you decide to buy these know this the older the unit the chances are they will be difficult to restore to original specs that is unless you have a bottomless checkbook. Good luck and happy listening. I also own a pair of ESS AMT1A since 1977. ZGRK
That's not bad at all although it's the shipping that'll get you. You do know they weigh over a 100 pounds each? First thing where they are will determine the possible overall condition. The weather can destroy a good speaker not to mention what it can do to the cabinet it's housed in. I own a pair that I bought and am in the process of re-storing myself. In fact my B139 replacements for the original 6171 or low end drivers arrived today. So next I'll work on finding the other replacements. If you decide to buy these know this the older the unit the chances are they will be difficult to restore to original specs that is unless you have a bottomless checkbook. Good luck and happy listening. I also own a pair of ESS AMT1A since 1977. ZGRK
I owned a pair of these speakers back in the early 70s. I found them to be far superior to the early ESS AMT-1. I would avoid the Transtatics as there are probably no replacement parts; especially the RTR drivers. By todays standards, they are nothing special.
A friend of mine just purchased a pair of TransStatics for $50.00! They are the most amazing speakers I have ever heard. Whatever you play through them sounds as though you are hearing it for the first time. He uses monoblock tube amps with his (KT-88s). The clarity is amazing. I wish I could find a pair. I know If I am lucky enough to find some I will be paying a little more than $50.00 for them!
I check in on this thread a few a times a year. I am always interested in the old ESS stuff. I am poor so I cannot partake of the spate of vintage ESS auctions this past year, there were some gems like a mint pair of restored Transtatics.
Shipping fee is the killer nowadays. I disagree with comments about the Transtatics being outclassed by todays's speakers. Unless one spends well over $10,000 these used Transtatic and Translinear speakers are a real barging even with the cost of restoration. They are "music lovers" speakers not "home theatre" boomers. I recently had the pleasure of spending an afternoon listening to a friend's restored Transtatic I's playing Beethoven quartets to big film scores to classic Pink Floyd and it is an excellent speaker. ESS really knew how to optimize a transmissionline labyrinth for good phase response and flat bass. This type of manufacture is gone now because of shipping costs. T-lines today are just 'faked' and are really no different than long ported rectangular boxes with a whole lot of stuffing inside to damp the bass and choke-off the real bass output. The RtR psnels have a nice smooth yet highly dynamic sound just as I remembered it from the early 70's. My friend did replace the KEF B110 midrange with a modern unit from Seas. He made a slight adjustment to the stuffing in the 'tunnel' out the back and also re-built part of the x-over and the supply to the electrostatics. I told him if he ever wanted to sell them I'd find a way to buy them...but I know he love's em as much as I do and these really were a "speaker for a lifetime" from those golden days in the early seventies, if only I had known that then. I have a nice system which I mentioned in another post on this thread here, but those ESS...get 'em if you can find 'em!
My husband owns two pair of ESS AMT 1 A speakers. Most of the grills are in bad shape and I wanted to buy some new ones for his birthday. Can anyone help me with a contact for this company?
Hi my name is Art Galvan, if you are interested in old ESS stuff you are going to love this. I found the original AMT prototype built by Dr. Heil it was sold to me by the west coast sales rep for ESS who happened to be in Palo Alto, CA. the same day Dr. Heil was showing his new AMT driver to the owner of the store where he was looking for factory reps to carry the ESS line. Dr. Heil met the Salesman from ESS and the rest is history. The original AMT is now in the R&D Lab at Moore Industries where I work. drop me an e-mail if you would like to see it.
My name is George. I bought a pair of ESS bookshelf speakers in 1979 while a sophmore in college. I think they were the model PS-8. I thought they sounded great except the AMTs failed. ESS sent me replacements. As I remember it, ESS was not very friendly about it.
What is it about old audio gear from the 70's that makes you so nostalgic? Was it that the equipment was better, or that the times were better, or both?
How efficient are the AMT-1 models?
I currently own a pair of ESS Eclipse B102 studio monitors.
I would love to get some infos about them because they were heavily modified and I would like to see them in their original state.
My speakers came with a completly new enclosure in walnut finish. The old cones and the passive radiators have been replaced and the speakers were recabled. There were also new cable posts added and the speakers and the bases got nice spikes and a partial sand filling.
To Gary dated 01/14/07. The best thing you can do with the AMT-1 is too ditch the woofer and visit your local Car Stereo driver dealer and buy the best 4 ohm Sub bass driver that he stocks ( not neccesarily the most expensive . Cast chassis, not too tight a suspension ( VERY IMPORTANT )and about 89- 92 db per watt efficiency should do the trick. I myself have chosen a 10 in Kevlar type driver with a huge magnet assembly, cast chassis and have also done the capacitors up with all polyprops used and rewire as well. The bass driver preferably will have a lightweight cone ie Polyprop, Carbon fibre or kevlar as it needs to ba able to respond to about 1200 Hz to intergrate with the treble unit. As the crossover and efficency levels and the treble unit is originally a 4 ohn load a car sub driver is actually a great choice - just ignore the horrible paint and bling of the car sub drivers. Stay away from pressed steel chassis as well. Mine are fantastically inproved with the new driver.
I have a pair of ESS AMT bookshelf speakers. Do you have or know how to get the specifications of the 12 inch woofers. I want to replace them.
I would like to hear what anyone has to say about this comment!! -- My Dad gave me a pair (of broke down Cabinets) of ESS Performance Series (Model 5) Heil Air Motion Transformer Loudspeakers... They sounded horrible, but me just being a kid, they gave me something to tinker with. For the specifications number: Each ESS cabinet consists of: one 5" tweeter, one 10" woofer, one 10" passive radiator at upper half of cabinet on the back[(flat-disk style)(rear firing.) and a snap on dark cloth-coverd grille with the small aluminum ESS name plate on bottom right-hand corner... On the inside of the Cabinets: Acoustic Baffling and a Crossover Panel. Crossover Panel used to provide overload protection and frequency ratio for the 5" Tweeter. The Cabinets still have a black front and back, but the sticky back vinyl "wood grain" covering for the top, bottom and sides has fallen off, (finally some 8 years ago)... So to get back to my story, Both of these ESS Loudspeakers were stored in my Dads moisture air filled garage, thus leading to all the foam surrounds on the woofers and passive radiators to become non-existent over time as well as the faux wood grain de-adhering from the Cabinets... So to make a long story short , I purchased new OME 10" woofers (with rubber surround this time) with same 125 watts RMS and purchased new OME replacement passive radiators (which means I'll have to rubber cement them to the existing octagon shaped aluminum frame on the back of the cabinet which holds the diaphragm into place)...with a couple coats of semi-gloss black spray paint to touch up the bare looking 3/8" Heavy Compressed (High Fidelity Grade) Particle Board (Pre MDF technology era ), not only will these Loudspeakers look good, but they will rock the house, just like they did in the 80's...these speakers will perform optimally when placed 45 degrees in the corners of a room...the bass from the passive radiator reflecting out from the corner and woofer firing at front, what an outstanding combination for low,low bass ...Now some trivia questions that I would like answers to: What year did the ESS Performance Series (Model 5) come out? How much money did a pair of these speakers cost when they first hit the shelves? Was ESS top-of-the-line for its time? Why did ESS shut down (go out of business)-(in Southern California?) Thank for for you interest in ESS Vintage AUDIO as much as I am -- Dave
"Sound As Clear As Light" was their slogan. I own a numerically matched pair of Rosewood units purchased as floor models from a Tacoma, WA in 1972. dealer. I got them from a friend who originally purchased them from Paulsens, then sold them to me for $600/pr. He decided to go with K-horns, so I became a proud recipient of the ESS Transtatic Is. I have replaced 4 of the original RtR es wafers. They are glued and riveted making them difficult to repair - My stereo guy is giving it a try. I purchased 8 replacement units on Ebay for $250 (1 bad one) from Infinity 2000A speakers. I will pass these ESS down to my offspring because they are truly wonderful in sound quality and quantity, and they are pleasing to the eye. I also have the instruction manual and sales brochure.
I just registered for this site as I was trying to remember the name of the speakers I owned that had an oval KEF woofer and electrostatic elements. I believe I was using a Phase Linear 400 to drive them and blew a lot of the RTR elements. I seem to recall the woofers did a strange thing when overdriven. You must remember the era that these speakers were available. My memory is decidedly fuzzy and it's not all due to advanced age. My roommate at the time had a JBL Paragon that sat between the Transstatics. When he got tired of the Paragon, we both purchased a pair of Infinity Servo Statik I speakers and stacked the panels in our living room. Talk about blown RTRs. I now own Thiel CS3.5s but this forum brought back a lot of memories.