The system when I bought it was the best that I could afford, and obviously gave a sound that was very much to my taste. There really was something special about the ES14s that I preferred over anything else in my price range (including options from Spendor and Harbeth).
Were it not for the requirement to maintain domestic harmony, I would have just kept the ES14s, has the stands refinished, placed them about 10-14" from the wall and enjoyed the music! As I have said, the stands alone are too much for SWMBO to tolerate, and I strongly suspect that optimum placement would have also caused issues!
With a very different listening room to the one I had back then, and indeed a pair of ears that are over 30 years older (not to mention the effects of occasional DJ gigs playing trance music very loud indeed) I am open to a slightly different sound, possibly a bit more detail, but hopefully not losing the involvement in the music that I have now.
Photos will definitely follow once I have got the various bits and pieces serviced.
Your logic is completely sound, unfortunately this won’t overcome her aesthetic sensibilities.
For a bit of context, I should mention that we both have Mediterranean roots, mine Italian and Greek (overlaid with the thick veneer of a public school education) and hers are pure Italian. There is a very Italian preference of form over function, which is why historically they made stunningly beautiful but completely impractical cars!
See the picture of the ES14’s on their stands, reminds me that in their ‘look’ they are very similat to Kan’s - and the stands are near identical to the Mk2 Kan Stands, just adjusted for the footprint of the ES14’s.
Many, many years ago I had an 1960’s vintage Giulia in red. The engine had been thrashed by the previous owner, the brakes were positively dangerous, the lights were feeble, the roof leaked, and the windscreen wipers only worked if it wasn’t raining. BUT, it was genuinely beautiful and on the few days when it could be driven with the top down young me felt like a film star in the Riviera.
Almost, but not quite, the footprint of the Kan stands being a little bit smaller. What I do find odd though with the Kan Mk2 stands is that the Mk1s had open top plates whereas the Mk2s are solid. The Epos stands are open at the top as, IIRC, it was felt that solid tops introduced an unwanted colouration to the sound. If that’s the case, it seems like a backward step for the Kan Mk2 stands to change to a solid plate.
I recall that the Mk1 Kan Stands had a 'frame work at the top - of the same/similar tube to the ‘legs’. Whereas I am very sure that Mk2 stands - which I owned - had (as you say), a flat, solid plate (about 3mm thick…?). Cost wise, this would likely be a cheaper way to go…
I was a customer of Sound Advice, at this time. They told me they were involved in the design and/or manufacture of these Kan stands. No idea if this was correct, or not…
Excuse the ghastly wallpaper . On the bright side, getting rid of it for something cleaner and more contemporary is the impetus that has allowed me to get the system out of the loft! Note the vast quantity of NACA5 in the background that gives an idea of just how big my previous room was, once I have everything finally in position I will shorten it to make it more manageable. (Don’t worry, I will keep it at least the required 3.5M in length but then sell the excess).
Negotiations are proceeding apace with the Domestic Authority. Without wishing to appear smug, I think that I have handled these with great aplomb. In short, I have tentative approval for a pair of SBL, with the proviso that (as expected) Black Ash is not an option. The floor footprint is slightly less than the Epos stands and the overall height is a few inches fewer. The fact that they will be hard against the wall was a key selling point.
I have found the user manual for the SBL online, and despite the horror stories I remember, it all looks pretty straightforward. I have also discovered that the gasket kits are fairly widely available at a reasonable price.
My one remaining concern is that the NAP140 might not be up to the task of driving them.
Once that is allayed, the hunt will be on for a pair of MK2s in the right finish in reasonable condition (and for the right price).
Now all I need is boxes to get my electronics up to Class A, and to make a decision over the Karousel!
Great decision imho re the SBLs. You already know that late Mk2s will be best. The grills are likely to be in poor condition. They are available cheaply on the Bay, and also from Tom Tom. The latter are expensive but are really superb. Tom Tom also usually have a range of SBLs in stock so worth a call.