T.H.E. Show Newport 2011 Side Dishes

Sides and Condiments for Your Aural Pleasure

ESS Laboratories

The novel "Transar" speaker designed by physist Oskar Heil.

ESS has long been the exclusive U.S. licensee for the production of Germain physicist Oskar Heil's "Air Motion Transformer" --- a novel pleated diaphragm driver that doesn't move air with an in and out motion, but rather by squeezing it from between the pleats as they move toward and apart from each other. Something like pinching a watermelon seed out from between your fingers. ESS uses the Heil AMT as the tweeter element in their speakers, but this type of driver is also used as the main sound source in Czech maker Precide's Ergo A.M.T. headphones.

Oskar Heil was a pretty prolific inventor, and in addition to his contributions with the AMT, he also developed the microwave generating "Heil Tube" which pre-dated the klystron devices still used to generate RADAR pings; and did pioneering work in field effect transistor operation with early theories on controlling resistivity in semiconductor devices with electric fields.

Well, old Oskar has evidently left a couple of novel ideas about audio drivers on the table for ESS to revive. I'll let ESS's CEO Ricky Caudillo explain their novel "Transar" driver in the video.

Audiodharma Cable Cooker ($799)

Okay ... I've got no friggen idea if this thing works. My needle tends to lean towards objective valuation, but I've got a healthy share of subjective sensitivities as well. I've heard cables make a difference --- not a "night and day" difference (I think that comes mostly from the active devices inside the electronics), but a difference nonetheless. And sometimes, in the best of gear, I've heard cables and isolation platforms make a sort of unquantifiable and somewhat magical difference.

I really don't care ... if old Oskar Heil can invent bubble speakers why shouldn't we play with gear that has a back panel for a front panel, and sends electrons whirring maddly round and round to nowhere conditioning our conductors. If we hear it work, does it? People send good thoughts to each other, right? Of what is love made?

Again, I've got no friggen idea if the cable cooker works. I'm just a geek who likes good connectors and am glad to know there are others like me out there.

Time for desert ....

Olivia84's picture

I'm glad that the show will be annual now! I love it and I'm glad to have an opportunity to wait for the show every year.