Bob Heil, all-round inventor dude, honoured

Erick writes from Belleville, Illinois, with this wonderful clipping from his local newspaper. It's a profile of Bob Heil, who invented the Talkbox for Peter Frampton, uses 30-inch speakers, built a quadraphonic sound system for The Who and generally made gigs in the '70s louder and better-sounding. He's being given an spot at the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland: "I told the curator from the Hall of Fame that I would clean everything up really good for him and he freaked out. He told me not to clean or fix anything." Heil started out running 'Ye Olde Music Shop', but got his big break when the Grateful Dead arrived in town after their sound man had been busted by the FBI. Bob supplied the gear and did the sound, and they liked him so much they took his gear on tour and told everyone about him. In 1980, he gave up engineering gigs because he hated punk so much. He's a ham radio enthusiast (like his buddy Joe Walsh from The Eagles), and Heil Sound now makes microphones for radio stations. He also plays theatre organ. Rock'n'Roll!


Comments:
Just a little note... Heil's mics are far from being just for broadcasting. I bought a couple for use on recording drums and guitar and they are absolutely amazing. I highly recommend them.
 
Hey Awesome blog! lots of good info!

You can check mine out:

guitartechniques.blogspot.com
www.freewebs.com/guitarheroe
 
I used to own a pair of Heil speakers. 2x12 in each cabinet with a cool fiberglass scooped shell in the front. Pretty innovative. Wish I had kept them.
 
i have a pair of a more vintage version of the speakers on the right --
http://www.essspeakers.com/heil_air.htm

handed down from my dad. i will never, ever part with them.
 
I still have my old pair of Heil AMT-1b's too, great speakers as long as you take care of them and make sure to have the drivers and passive radiators refoamed. The Heil air motion transformer has a sound like none other...

And by the way (unrelated but triggered by the Bob Heil w/ 30" speaker pic), does anyone know of a modern company producing speakers close to this size? I was watching a late-night talk show and saw two different bands with bass players using a single driver cabinet that looked like a single 24" or larger driver in a huge cabinet. I know Beyma makes a 21" (used in the Turbosound TSW721) and Precision Devices makes a 24" but whatever these cabines were loaded with, they looked like they had an 8" or 10" dust cap on them.
 
Let me be the first to say
"Heil Bob"...
 
ESS AMT Heil speakers were not engineered or made by Bob Heil. He made beautiful white fiberglass belled loud speakers. They are the coolest looking loud speakers you will ever see. The only other company that came close was Sunn with the Model 15 speakers. If you look at any of the Who pictures from the Quadraphrenia tour the white belled speakers are all Heil Sound.
 
The Heil Troff speakers were not designed by Bob Heil, but, rather, lifted from a design developed by Bob Bruss at Freedom Electronixs in Minneapolis, MN around 1971.
 
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