HILL PLASMATRONIC: Dedicated to the World’s Finest Speaker, the 1A

The Flame Still Burns

Imagine a speaker with no moving parts.  No mass, no cones, no ribbons, no diaphragms, no enclosure, no Doppler shift, no resonances- just the ability to modulate the air directly.

Now imagine a perfect audio point source (the ideal pulsating sphere) radiating uniformly with constant phase.  This has been the dream of physicists for at least a century.

There has been only one speaker that has ever come even remotely close to those lofty goals- the Hill Plasmatronics 1A, built in New Mexico by one of the world’s preeminent laser physicists.

Chances are you’ve never heard a Plasmatronics speaker.   Not surprising, as only around sixty pairs were made thirty plus years ago.  You had to be a dedicated hi-fi nut to have heard them even back then.

The Hill Plasmatronics 1A was expensive- no doubt you could purchase a home in some parts of the country for the same price.  It was complicated- vacuum tubes, helium tanks, an electronic crossover, multi-amplification, and even a rock inside each speaker.

Yet it was remarkably simple to explain its key virtue- if you played back a recording of a telephone ringing, someone in the house would come in the room and pick up the telephone.   The Plasmatronics 1A did not require an extended listening session to prove its inherent superiority.

Lynn Olson once compared Alan Hill’s speaker as an SR-71 Blackbird lurking in a world of Cessnas, a claim many owners would agree with wholeheartedly.

This site is dedicated to the enjoyment and preservation of this technological masterpiece.



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