I have been looking into new speakers for a while, possibly changing my Dynaudio Focus 160 for their Contour 20 or Special 40. However, I have just replaced the crossover capacitor in my ancient Epos ES14. They sound pretty decent, so it made me wonder if these old wonders can hold a candle to modern mid range speakers?
My ES11s are in the garage but we’re in use until 8 years ago and it took a 3 year search to find something which bettered them in any major kind of way.
Would love to know the answer too.
I had cheap B&W speakers as a student and got Epos ES14’s in the early 90’s which were utterly fantastic.
Went active with SBLs in late 90’s, ended up using those in AV room as front/stereo speakers and the Epos as rear speakers.
Had to stick things in storage for some work on the house, the SBLs are still there, and retrieved the Epos speakers first - the ES14s are sublime with my current LP12/Nova/282/250 setup.
The Epos 14 is a fantastic speaker paired with an Olive 72, 82 or 52/250. I personally only heard it with both 72 and 82 paired with a 250 and with a 122x/150 and it is capable of great reproduction exceptionally fast and with a super midrange the only thing it lacks IMO against modern speakers like Dynaudio, Kudos or PMC is in Dynamics and in the lower regions but of it’s time it was a great speaker.
I ran ES14s from 1985 or 1986 until 2007, when a lightning strike left me short of a woofer. The amps ranged from a Nait, through 62/140, 72/140, 72/Hicap/135s and for the last 13 years 82/Hicap/135s. They were fantastic speakers in their areas of strength, and I loved every minute of listening to music on them. Bob describes my memory oftheir sound well, yep more modern speakers (even my 12 year old B&Ws) do some things better, but the ES14s bring the music out so well.
Very interested in the thoughts on this. At the moment I am running my 25 year old 14s on the end of a 272/555/250 DR combo (previously 52/250) and am happy with the sound that I still get; the balance feels just right and it gives a very natural, balanced, unforced sound. I do agree with Bob’s thoughts however and more than curious to do a few home demos with a few of the forum favourites just to see…or rather hear…any difference (Totems have always piqued my interest from when I first heard them at a show over at Heathrow many years back!). At the moment I am having to do more headphone listening due to family considerations so this will have to remain just a curiosity remain for some time.
Great to read others are also enjoying Epos ES14’s. I’m still enjoying mine. A lot.
Although, I have been tempted to replace them - auditioning usual suspects - Focal / Neat / PMC etc - I’ve yet to hear anything at less than £3k that comes close. Other speakers offering advantages, but also shortfalls. So, it’s always a trade off.
Although I’ve improved other bits of my system, the Epos just keep giving and allowing more.
So, I’m sticking with my Epos ES14’s for a while yet.
Recently bought a second pair for spares…
I’ve got my set up on their original floor stands, using Naim NAC A5 speaker cable. Works a treat for me.
The first serious speakers I ever had and at the time driven by an Exposure 6/7/8 combination which beat Naim in a demo - at least on that occasion. I moved to ES25s which were also very good. You don’t see many of those for sale which might tell something. I got some teeny tiny Epos speakers for my daughter’s first system recently and they don’t sound bad at all for the price…although sadly they’re no longer made in the UK.
I have a buddy with a 72/250 cd5i, and a set of es11’s and a set of es14’s (he’s a nut for hifi he has 3 systems setup and a bunch more in storage) omg what happened to the hifi Industry? They are completely amazingly the es11’s are just mind blowing. The 14’s have had the woofer surrounds replace with some aftermarket rubbers. He tells me that ozone kills the original surrounds. what I can say is bring back epos es speakers of old, flat earth all the way. Completely fantastic speaker and probably the best ever of all time imo they VFM speaker ever made they just keep on giving not matter what you feed them…to a point which brings me to the bottom end as Bod said. It’s nice but you can do better but at a much greater price. I would happily live es11’s/14’s if that was my curse.
Yeah, it is great when you find these old timers that still hit the spot. Excellent design, fantastic components and put together properly. The internal wires look a similar gauge to NAC A5. It is not just the stuff that you can see that has been taken care of. I am playing with placement and stands. Got them perched between two solid stands each to test the theory that an open stand sounds best. Not about to argue, and wondering if I save my speaker upgrade money, get my 250.2 DR’d and a set of open stands. Perhaps my ES14s are back!
I always wanted a pair of these back in the day
Nac 72/NAP 250/HiCap and LP12 to Epos ES14’s in the early 90’s I think gave me the most musical enjoyment ever. A real classic combo and value for money sweet spot I think in Naim history.
Always liked these speakers but never got to own a pair, a modern day speaker similar has been said to be something like the Russell k 100 speaker, would be interesting to know is any owner of the Epos ES14s has heard these to compare or any other modern day speaker.
I still have a pair of ES14s. These days they play in my office driven by a UQ2. Open topped stands are a must and the drinking straw tweak to time the port is well worth trying.
I love threads like this. Having heard a few modern designs from Linn and Kudos I am very sceptical of the advances made in the last 20 years in L/Ss. ES14s, Bricks, Kans, Ibbles, they didn’t stop sounding great because they had been replaced by more modern designs. Any real progress seems to have been made in the digital realm of which I hold little interest. YMMV of course…
Speaker manufacturers are now using more exotic materials, extolling their virtues but it could well be that much of this is to try and stand out in a saturated market sector. I believe that speakers have three key areas; design, materials, construction. Design is now mostly done by computer, I guess, whereas in the past it would have been an art form and more reliant on the house experts. Regardless, design will always be a compromise and it is arguable whether a man or machine makes a better judge of the sweet spot. Materials are better, for sure, more use of rare metals for magnets, plus far tighter production tolerances. You should no longer get good and bad examples, but they are all matched to their price point and so that has not changed. You will not get the most exotic stuff on the budget models. Finally, construction has probably changed the least, although I am sure that the mass market items will scrimp on the bits that you cannot see.
At the end of the day, classics got their reputation the hard way, by standing out from the crowd. There is a lot of very decently priced quality hifi out there, if you are prepared to search the second hand market and not get the shiny new boxes.
QU2 and I always thought thar ES14s needed real grunt to drive them…mind you when I first got mine they were on the end of an A&R A60 for a few weeks before I got my Exposure 6/7/8 combo. The A60 didn’t blow up in that time either!
Thinking back I originally had them powered by a Linn Intek which was ok but hardly inspiring, Nac 72/HiCap and olive NAP 250 solved that once and for all
Does anywhere describe the drinking straw tweak? I’d be worried about losing them in the enclosure!
Bought a load of cheapo straws last year before they’re banned to try this one day.
Does colour make any difference
Trick is not to suck too hard!