There’s are more urban legends surrounding the Hill Plasmatronics 1A than most any other speaker. Perhaps this is a result of so many wanting to hear a pair, but so few actually having the opportunity to do so.
Perhaps it’s time we some of the “legends” to rest.
“The Ozone Generator”
False. “I was a dealer for Plasmatronics and have heard many wild tales about this speaker. First. It was not a health hazard. The odors produced by the arc were not ozone which I was told was not produced in quantities large enough to be harmful, said Dr. Hill, but was mentioned by jealous competitors to restrict sales of this speaker by making it appear as producing unhealthful gas.
I listened to them for over four years and suffered no ill effects. They did produce an odor, but it was not ozone. My demo room was not well ventilated and I can assure you that a man of Dr. Hill’s integrity would go broke rather than market a speaker dangerous to a person’s health!
You can bank on the word of Dr. Hill and my experience over several years as a reference to their safety. I have never seen a testimony or legitimate fact sheet which proved they were unhealthful. Some competitors and critics were simply uptight about the Hill accomplishment and resorted to untruths to defeat sales of this radical but ingenious design.” – Carl Miller
“That’s correct, virtually no ozone. Now here’s an example of something that made lots of ozone…” - Nelson Pass
It never went into production…
False. According to one who was there, 52 pairs were built in total. Four
pairs were packed off to a disco in Singapore. Many of the others
were sent to California, Chicago, White Plains, and Coral Gables.
Alan Hill always said most speakers were shipped overseas. At one time there
were at least 14 pairs in the US. Thirty years on, who knows?
But we know of at least five sets still running in the USA!
“I owned 2 pairs, and one of my business partners had a third pair”- Nelson Pass