View Full Version : Epos ES14 (MK1) equal or better out there?


graeme h
17-12-11, 04:26 AM
I'm sure it exists.....incase my drive units give up I'd like to know their is something out there circa £2k and stand mount preferred.

Thoughts?

G

Gaius
17-12-11, 04:32 AM
Well as you know I changed mine for Revel M22, a very fine American stand mount that retail around £2K.

flatpopely
17-12-11, 04:48 AM
I'm sure it exists.....incase my drive units give up I'd like to know their is something out there circa £2k and stand mount preferred.

Thoughts?

G

Not heard anything that will replace them yet!

(although I have MKIIs)

MVV
17-12-11, 06:46 AM
Neat MFS are getting older now so 2K ish may get closer SH soon.

YNWOAN
17-12-11, 06:59 AM
It depends what your priorities are - the benefits of source and amp upgrades will be easily revealed by your speakers as it is.

sq225917
17-12-11, 07:00 AM
Any of the stand mounts from Ref3A direct wired midbass no crossover. Ace sound.

Mignun
17-12-11, 07:01 AM
Have a late pair with stands - still enjoy them very much but now in a second system. Main system uses Naim SL2s, so that may give you a clue...

graeme h
17-12-11, 07:52 AM
It depends what your priorities are - the benefits of source and amp upgrades will be easily revealed by your speakers as it is.

.....err, but if the drivers give up I'd be looking for a modern equivalent, that was the question. G

david ellwood
17-12-11, 07:53 AM
No other speaker manages to be as uniquely terrible as the ES14.

If it were a little girl it would have a little curl.





(I might change my moniker to exES14ie.)

flatpopely
17-12-11, 07:57 AM
No other speaker manages to be as uniquely terrible as the ES14.



What is it about them that makes you say this?

Darth Vader
17-12-11, 08:06 AM
When they are good they are very very good but........

Do you know the rest?

Cheers,

DV

graeme h
17-12-11, 08:15 AM
No other speaker manages to be as uniquely terrible as the ES14.

If it were a little girl it would have a little curl.





(I might change my moniker to exES14ie.)

OK, Which modern loudspeaker circa £2K has all the uniquely terrible characteristics of the esteemed ES14 MK1 as I'd be perfectly happy to own them. G

Elephantears
17-12-11, 08:32 AM
I've only ever heard ellwood pour scorn and bile on eveything; would be interesting to hear some more positive suggestions on this thread. I don't know ES14's well enought to make them.

YNWOAN
17-12-11, 08:58 AM
What is it about them that makes you say this?

A unique comination of being deaf as a post and bitter that he has to listen to the painfully opaque Briks :)

You could get a pair of David's beloved wardrobes for well under budget, but then you would have to spend spend thousands on amplification and active cross-overs to make them sound half way acceptable....it's a lot of effort to get half way.

If the ES14 had a Linn badge on it David would be falling over himself telling us how amazing they were and sharing 'insider' insights...
________________________________

.....err, but if the drivers give up I'd be looking for a modern equivalent, that was the question. G

Well, you would indeed be stuffed unfortunately. When one of my MK2 bass drivers gave up I auditioned quite a lot of speakers at 2K and didn't find anything I could live with. In the end I bought a second pair of ES14's and used them for spares (harder to find Mk1's though). They sound so uniquely terrible that two friends felt compelled to also buy a pair.....;)

david ellwood
17-12-11, 09:19 AM
acoustic energy AE1 is a speaker that I feel offers everything the ES14 does and more.

how much are they (cant be over £2k?)

or maybe some nice second hand (but current) b&w's

or maybe some old SBL's?


as mark says isobariks end up costing lots.

sq225917
17-12-11, 09:39 AM
The midband on the Ae1 doesn't come close and the bass is tighter but not as deep.

Cheese
17-12-11, 10:49 AM
Once they pass away, my ES30 and ES14 will probably both be replaced by Dynaudio speakers.

A friend of mine owns a professional recording studio and uses Dynaudio as main speakers, all setup by people who know a fair bit more about music reproduction than most HiFi guys, of which many are crooks. The absolutely most awesome sound quality heard anywhere, except maybe the Berlin Philharmonic at the Philharmonie.

Robert
17-12-11, 10:54 AM
I think the stand out quality off the ES14 is the hear-through mid and excellent sense of coherence.
That also happens to be the one area where many loudspeaker monumentally fall down, so this alone puts the ES14 on the map with very few others as being timeless.

many of the classic larger BBC designs share that property, though the overall balance is a little gentler and more distant.
Perhaps look at a late pair of Spendor SP1s or even the new Stirling LS3/6 though that is a little over budget. Designed by Derek Hughes so likely very good.

TheDecameron
17-12-11, 11:15 AM
It's so long since I heard ES14 s I cant remember what they sounded like. What's the nearest equivalent today, character wise?
BTW how much are the new Strelings?

graeme h
17-12-11, 11:47 AM
Hmmmm......I've had AE1 mk2's in the past and they are fairly good but a little congested in the middle compared to the 14's. The newer mk3 AE1 has had a horrible 'art-deco' make-over which I just could not live with.....sprayed silver bleurgh!

So, no contenders then?.......G

Ginger
17-12-11, 11:51 AM
I had ES14's a long while back with an LP12 and 42/110. I really can't remember them at all now. Did I let something great go? The only speakers I remember were Kans (sorry) and the Gales with the metal grille. Used a modded Claymore with them. They were as sweet as anything and I'd have them back tomorrow if I could.

graeme h
17-12-11, 11:54 AM
Ginger....with the right amplification and room......yes you did. G

deltaunit
17-12-11, 11:58 AM
Anyone know how the Roksan Darius compares?

Robert
17-12-11, 12:05 PM
Nasty sounding things.
IIRC they also feature a directly connected mid/bass, but unlike the Epos the driver wasn't intended for such use. The ES14 driver was specifically designed for direct connection.
Grossly coloured and shouty is my recollection of them.

RustyB
17-12-11, 02:07 PM
Yoiks, a Kef B200 used without a crossover, now that's brave, or stupid.

The "Gales with the metal grille" are the GS301.

Robert
17-12-11, 02:28 PM
Yoiks, a Kef B200 used without a crossover, now that's brave, or stupid.



Fantastic thwack to the snares :)

1000RPM
17-12-11, 02:49 PM
I tried ProAc D2s and Revel M22s when I was looking to replace my ES14s.

The M22s, rear ported like the ES14s are a bit more refinded across the mid and hi, which for me robbed them of a bit of character when heard against the ES14s. The M22 does do great bass (the one area of mild frustration with ES14s). The D2s offer a similarly higher level of refinement and a very articulate (but not sharp) top end. Front ported of course, so a bit more foward in the bass dept.

I could have lived with either, but then either are price at 2k new, so I stuck with my ES14s. As soon as I plugged 'em back in, I knew I'd made the right decision ;)

should my ES14s go belly up, I'll just buy another pair of ES14s.

delab
17-12-11, 09:13 PM
Whenever I read threads singing such praise for 'old' pieces of equipment I keep asking myself...... why don't, in this case Epos, make them new, today.... exactly like they used to? Am I missing something here?

david ellwood
18-12-11, 01:14 AM
I had es14s with a 42.5/110 and a roksan xerxes it represented the best imaging and clearest hifi I have ever owned.

I can hear little merit in 80 percent of the speakers linn have ever produced.

I love kabers kans and isobariks.

I got rid of the es14s because I got a handle on what they don't do.
( tunes,rhythm,bass)

If you can live with these compromises (or don't hear them) they are phenomenal in other areas.

graeme h
18-12-11, 01:32 AM
I had es14s with a 42.5/110 and a roksan xerxes it represented the best imaging and clearest hifi I have ever owned.

I can hear little merit in 80 percent of the speakers linn have ever produced.

I love kabers kans and isobariks.

I got rid of the es14s because I got a handle on what they don't do.
( tunes,rhythm,bass)

If you can live with these compromises (or don't hear them) they are phenomenal in other areas.

The 110 might have been the weak link there in terms of tunes,rhythm,bass. With a 300 they sing their hearts out!

sq225917
18-12-11, 01:34 AM
delab, Totem are just introducing a new range of speaker, in house mid-band drivers built on an alloy plate, run wide open with only a capacitor on the tweeter, similar design ideals and implementation to the ES14's- they aren't cheap.

Totem 'fire' speaker.

The best 2 ways I've heard lately are those German jobs with the ribbon tweeter, Quadrals, not their av stuff.

david ellwood
18-12-11, 01:49 AM
"The 110 might have been the weak link there in terms of tunes,rhythm,bass. With a 300 they sing their hearts out!"

If I could go back in time and change Only one part of the system I'd have put a 52 in.

graeme h
18-12-11, 01:57 AM
"The 110 might have been the weak link there in terms of tunes,rhythm,bass. With a 300 they sing their hearts out!"

If I could go back in time and change Only one part of the system I'd have put a 52 in.

Originally I used Mk 2 'biwire' versions in an olive 250/52 set-up and it had some of the characteristics you describe David. On the whole good but not as nicely refined as the Mk1 252/300 combination, a bit strident in places and sometimes 'one-note' in the bass. I keep expecting something musically to trip them up but nothing yet........and I have a wide taste. G

graeme h
18-12-11, 02:00 AM
delab, Totem are just introducing a new range of speaker, in house mid-band drivers built on an alloy plate, run wide open with only a capacitor on the tweeter, similar design ideals and implementation to the ES14's- they aren't cheap.

Totem 'fire' speaker.

The best 2 ways I've heard lately are those German jobs with the ribbon tweeter, Quadrals, not their av stuff.

Thanks - The Totem Element 'Fire' certainly look very nice. Similar proportions too. G

darrylfunk
18-12-11, 05:33 AM
Nasty sounding things.
IIRC they also feature a directly connected mid/bass, but unlike the Epos the driver wasn't intended for such use. The ES14 driver was specifically designed for direct connection.
Grossly coloured and shouty is my recollection of them.

are you talking about the darius?

graeme h
18-12-11, 05:41 AM
Thanks - The Totem Element 'Fire' certainly look very nice. Similar proportions too. G


Just noticed they are Nearly £4000 though. Ouch! G

YNWOAN
18-12-11, 05:53 AM
The mid/bass driver in the Totem looks interesting:

http://canadahifi.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Totem-Torrent-Driver.jpg

The Totem's do read very like a modern re-make of the ES14; to achieve the desired results you really need to custom design the drive units as Totem have done.

(I'm not sure why the Totem uses two capacitors to the tweeter - perhpas just to get the right value?)

graeme h
18-12-11, 06:03 AM
The mid/bass driver in the Totem looks interesting:

http://canadahifi.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Totem-Torrent-Driver.jpg

The Totem's do read very like a modern re-make of the ES14; to achieve the desired results you really need to custom design. the drive units as Totem have done.

Nice. I guess circa £4k is what you would pay nowadays for a Bespoke design like the 14. Looks like they will be with me for a while! Lets hope they hold out. G

david ellwood
18-12-11, 06:11 AM
http://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/catalog/images/userimages/15wu_rear.jpg

a bit like these scan speaks?

YNWOAN
18-12-11, 06:19 AM
Not really - quite dissimilar (although the Scan-Speak also looks interesting) - it's not been custom designed to mechanicaly X-over to a specific tweeter though, without the need for a X-over.

________________________

Nice. I guess circa £4k is what you would pay nowadays for a Bespoke design like the 14. Looks like they will be with me for a while! Lets hope they hold out. G

Yes, unfortunately that is the case. Even many high-end speakers use what are effectively 'off the shelf' drive units (good quality ones), married together with a X-over (passive or active).

deltaunit
18-12-11, 06:24 AM
Diapason also sell 'direct drive' speakers and they seem to have some with 17cm mid/bass drivers which must be a similar size to the Epos.

Has anyone heard them or even know what the house sound is like?

YNWOAN
18-12-11, 06:34 AM
I suspect I probably have heard the Diapson's at some point:

6moons have a review here (Adamante MkIII) http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/diapason/adamante.html.

I see they claim direct connection, but a quick look at the review pics show the X-over and it clearly has a cap, a resistor and an inductor.

darrylfunk
18-12-11, 06:38 AM
I suspect I probably have heard the Diapson's at some point:

6moons have a review here (Adamante MkIII) http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/diapason/adamante.html.

I see they claim direct connection, but a quick look at the review pics show the X-over and it clearly has a cap, a resistor and an inductor.

doesn't look to be coupled via a crossover to it's bass unit.

i vaguely remember the mordaunt short ms100 and ms300 being direct coupled bass units but i think it is over stated if the cabinet loading and driver materials are not optimised....it's just one more area for an error.

lexi
18-12-11, 06:46 AM
The man who made these speakers basically said that they were like comparing a Morris Minor to Modern VW Golf?

He made them, but prattle overates them. If they are circa 4k speakers then it is no wonder this hobby is in decline.

YNWOAN
18-12-11, 06:53 AM
Well, I would agree that the Golf is over rated (particularly these days). The Totems look promising, but looks can be deceiving and they may not realise their initial promise - as always, an audition would be required to separate the 'tittle-tattle' from the facts :).

lexi
18-12-11, 07:52 AM
That would be a business project for you YNOAN.

Source the driver manufacturer (maybe unobtainiun) and go into production small scale?

Fancy it? I am confident of your sales ability:D Prolly got enough on your plate I suppose. ;)

Robert
18-12-11, 08:01 AM
are you talking about the darius?

Yes, the one that sat in the tubular metal stand.

Just a point on the ES14 and other models with directly connected bass drivers.
They aren't crossover-less. Inductance within the driver motor rolls off the top end in exactly the same way as using an external inductor coil. If you examine the circuit formed by amp output, cable, woofer in terms of LCR you find the same properties forming the same filters.

The ES14 method should certainly be better and the main driver is excellent, but if you correctly view the crossover as a filter, it still has one.

lexi
18-12-11, 08:19 AM
Nobody as I know ever got to the source of bass driver. It has Celestion, Richard Allan and Spendor looks all over it (anorak off now).

Robert
18-12-11, 08:36 AM
I thought it was produced in-house.

sq225917
18-12-11, 08:55 AM
Robin Marshall likes to talk down his design work in the ES14's, he's very self depricating, yet here we all are talking about them still. They aren't perfect but they still do some things better than any other speaker.

graeme h
18-12-11, 08:57 AM
I thought it was produced in-house.

So did I.

graeme h
18-12-11, 08:58 AM
B&W PM1 any competition? G

darrylfunk
18-12-11, 09:17 AM
Yes, the one that sat in the tubular metal stand.

Just a point on the ES14 and other models with directly connected bass drivers.
They aren't crossover-less. Inductance within the driver motor rolls off the top end in exactly the same way as using an external inductor coil. If you examine the circuit formed by amp output, cable, woofer in terms of LCR you find the same properties forming the same filters.

The ES14 method should certainly be better and the main driver is excellent, but if you correctly view the crossover as a filter, it still has one.

hi rob....r.e. darius... you do know it went through several crossover series....i don't ever remember a production one with no bass crossover.....i used them active when i had mine.

pure sound
18-12-11, 09:18 AM
Robin Marshall likes to talk down his design work in the ES14's, he's very self depricating, yet here we all are talking about them still. They aren't perfect but they still do some things better than any other speaker.

Really? Which things?

darrylfunk
18-12-11, 09:19 AM
Really? Which things?

i'd like to know too....i had a set but kind of grew out of them although they were good.

YNWOAN
18-12-11, 09:22 AM
Nobody as I know ever got to the source of bass driver. It has Celestion, Richard Allan and Spendor looks all over it (anorak off now).

Utter nonsense (best not take your anorak off just yet).

I thought it was produced in-house.

Yes, it was; it's all well documented.

darrylfunk
18-12-11, 09:28 AM
i thought celestion supplied certain parts for the speaker....assembled by epos.

graeme h
18-12-11, 09:29 AM
i'd like to know too....i had a set but kind of grew out of them although they were good.

C o m m u n i c a t e

A quality I'm happy I've not grown out of in 30 years listening.

mmaatt
18-12-11, 10:10 AM
hi rob....r.e. darius... you do know it went through several crossover series....i don't ever remember a production one with no bass crossover.....i used them active when i had mine.

I was confused by this statement too - I can't believe the large external crossover box just fed the tweeter. I remember really enjoying the Darius at a demo many years ago.

mat

david ellwood
18-12-11, 10:22 AM
The darius that has the problem is the danesh.

graeme h
18-12-11, 10:35 AM
Is't it Dynaudio that are made by the Danesh......? G

Yank
18-12-11, 10:39 AM
Yoiks, a Kef B200 used without a crossover, now that's brave, or stupid.



Even with a filter, using the KEF B200 was a challenge suited only for the courageous or impaired. I think the only production design using that woofer that was even close to acceptable was the Tangent TM1/TM3.

lexi
18-12-11, 10:58 AM
i thought celestion supplied certain parts for the speaker....assembled by epos.

Sounds more plausible. Lest he set up a little casting plant. The driver looks like so many others with far more casting expertise. Bit like Naim with their first forays in speakers where they got MS stuff in. YNWOAN will know.

Last time interview with Robin Marshall suggested he had no interest whatsover in Hi Fi..........like he had grew out of it really.

lexi
18-12-11, 11:03 AM
Utter nonsense (best not take your anorak off just yet).

Just meant that it looked similar in basket webs to some others which are usually the give away? No need for shirtyness?

david ellwood
18-12-11, 11:30 AM
I always thought the es14 was somehow related to the celestion sl6?

I say this because they look and sound so similar!

Harry1212
18-12-11, 11:47 AM
I always thought the es14 was somehow related to the celestion sl6?

I say this because they look and sound so similar!

Sound similar; you have to be joking . . . . .

How about B&W 805's, we use them at work and they do a great job.

Cheers, H.

Andy21
18-12-11, 12:25 PM
Nobody as I know ever got to the source of bass driver. It has Celestion, Richard Allan and Spendor looks all over it (anorak off now).

Epos were not connected in any way with Celestion, Richard Allan or Spendor and did not use parts from any of these companies. The ES14 bass driver was built entirely in-house with every major part coming from custom tooling owned by Epos. Epos did not cast the chassis in house, of course. They were cast at a specialist foundary using dies designed and owned by Epos. The only parts which were generic and externally sourced were minor things like the tag panel and the braid connecting it to the voice coil.

The tweeter was also built in-house until Epos was sold to TGi and became a division of Mordaunt-Short. At that point the dome assembly was sourced from SEAS and assembled into the Epos chassis and magnet system.

I always thought the es14 was somehow related to the celestion sl6?

I say this because they look and sound so similar!

There is no manufacturing relationship between the ES14 and the Celestion SL6, nor is there any real design similarity. Do you really believe that they sound similar? Iíd be surprised if you did. I would say that it would be hard to find two speakers more sonically different than these.

graeme h
18-12-11, 12:33 PM
Thanks Andy. I thought this myself from various readings but would have been afraid to state it so definitively. The later sourced hf unit assembly plus other mods to cabinetry, biwire terminals etc were a retrograde move in my experience.

There is a review somewhere online between the Celestion, Epos and an other, I seem to recall the Epos coming out well ahead even then fwiw. G

flatpopely
18-12-11, 12:58 PM
I always thought the es14 was somehow related to the celestion sl6?

I say this because they look and sound so similar!

They sound nothing like each other. What parts of the sound do you think are similar?

lexi
18-12-11, 01:26 PM
Thanks Andy . Very few speakers are built totally in house from scratch.

Robert
18-12-11, 01:31 PM
They sound nothing like each other. What parts of the sound do you think are similar?

LOL - yes, one probably rates as the worst loudspeaker ever inflicted upon mankind while the other has already entered history as one of the best.

Robert
18-12-11, 01:36 PM
hi rob....r.e. darius... you do know it went through several crossover series....i don't ever remember a production one with no bass crossover.....i used them active when i had mine.

This was mid 1980s so very early. With a passive filter on the B200 or active it should certainly sound very different.

James
18-12-11, 01:46 PM
I always thought the es14 was somehow related to the celestion sl6?

I say this because they look and sound so similar!
David, you really should get your hearing checked.

Robert
18-12-11, 01:48 PM
Really? Which things?

ES14s have a real hear-though transparency in the mids and especially in the vocal range where many loudspeakers sound oddly phasey and coarse.
There is also a top to bottom coherence when you mount them correctly and use the correct bungs to align the bass.

Used in this way they approach the best BBC thin wall designs for mid range quality, though they are less distant in balance. Bass is tauter and more dynamic than those designs, again assuming you don't run the ports open which isn't correct.

At the time I ran my Mk1s I used them with LP12, black Ittok, VDH Decca Gold into Naim 62/Hicap/NAP140. Wonderful synergy and probably one of the best sounding systems I've owned over the years, or heard.
At the same time a friend had a pair in a very small room with a similar front end but running a pair of Radford MA15s. Given the room effects at the bottom end they sounded wonderfully open, transparent and liquid.

The little ES11 is also very capable and great for those who can't get the ES14 bass to work in their room.

9designs
18-12-11, 03:06 PM
Thread is bit like my speaker history, started with Celestion Ditton 110's then went to SL6S, the aluminium tweeter updated SL6 with it's original copper dome tweeter.
Used the SL6S with my Incatech Claymore amp, considering the SL's weren't easy to drive, but the Claymore did great job. Front end was LP12' Ittok and Asaka or K18.
The SL6S were pretty good, set up on good stands, mine were made from kerb stones !!!

I then moved to ES14s, single wire with phase plug on the driver. Only thing the two had in common was both had listenable metal dome tweeters, most brands would take your ears off in those days.
Can't remember what drove me to replace the ES14s, do remember them having a one note bass, the port chuffeed without the bung, and they were lightweight with it in, also the bass was a bit boxy, so I added few extra deadening panels inside.

At the time I was helping out in a Linn dealership, so borrowed both Kaber and Keilidh, both were good in ways, but neither were what I was after.

What found and bought to replace the ES14s was a Dynaudio Kit called the Gemini. It is a mid tweeter mid design, with about 5inch drive units and soft dome tweeter.
In summary these had better mid than Epos, faster than a Kaber, more bass than a Kaber, not boxy, no booms, increadably tunefull and live sounding.... 18 years on I still use them in the lounge, tweaked and reworked several times to keep them improving...

Which made finding a speaker I liked as much or more became dam near impossible...... In the end found the PMC Fact8... Again has mid range like most designs don't achieve or ignore !!! ... As tight and fast again unlike most designs about.....
Did the ES14 set the standards for me ? ........ Try the new PMC twenty series, they are a spin off from the Fact8.

david ellwood
18-12-11, 03:38 PM
LOL - yes, one probably rates as the worst loudspeaker ever inflicted upon mankind while the other has already entered history as one of the best.

You will have to be more specific!

pure sound
18-12-11, 03:50 PM
Interesting viewpoints. I've only heard Andrew's pair recently & a pair at the first Scalford show (?) I do also remember hearing them quite alot back in the late 80's. I find there to be much too obvious a driver sound, a rather uneven bass character & I have to say I've not been that taken with the tweeter either. Horses for courses I suppose. Back in the day, for that sort of price I'd always have chosen a pair of Snell J/II's. The Epos would perhaps have been a better match for Naim electronics.

flatpopely
18-12-11, 04:00 PM
Interesting viewpoints. I've only heard Andrew's pair recently & a pair at the first Scalford show (?) I do also remember hearing them quite alot back in the late 80's. I find there to be much too obvious a driver sound, a rather uneven bass character & I have to say I've not been that taken with the tweeter either. Horses for courses I suppose. Back in the day, for that sort of price I'd always have chosen a pair of Snell J/II's. The Epos would perhaps have been a better match for Naim electronics.


I'll get some Snells for the next bake off, just for you!

pure sound
18-12-11, 04:01 PM
I'll bring some!

flatpopely
18-12-11, 04:21 PM
I'll bring some!

Perhaps time for a 'speaker fest' rather than a TT bake off?

In your opinion are the Snells better than ES14s? I remember your comments about the ES14s last time and I admit they have validity.

Robert
18-12-11, 04:26 PM
A nice new alloy tweeter plate with a sweet isoplanar tweeter would be interesting.

....and Audiosmile now has a nice new CNC machine

Now there's a thought :)

flatpopely
18-12-11, 04:27 PM
A nice new alloy tweeter plate with a sweet isoplanar tweeter would be interesting.

....and Audiosmile now has a nice new CNC machine

Now there's a thought :)

Do you need a test site?

Andy21
18-12-11, 04:31 PM
. Back in the day, for that sort of price I'd always have chosen a pair of Snell J/II's.

A student buddy of mine at Essex University owned a pair of Snell J/IIs which he used with a small home-built valve amplifier. I didnít have any opportunity to make a direct comparison with the ES14, but I remember thinking that they were leaner in overall balance. Informative and more than pleasant, but perhaps a tad too bright for me

I believe Iím correct in saying that the designer was Kevin Voecks, a man generally reckoned to be among the more able designers. Interestingly, he eventually found his way into the Harman operation, as did Robin Marshall.

Robert
18-12-11, 04:35 PM
Do you need a test site?

I might take you up on that.
A friend reasonably local has a pair in the attic - or did - I'll check.

Electron
18-12-11, 04:36 PM
Went from Mk1 ES14's to Roksan Darius Mk2 (post exo-skeleton) in the late 80's. These are the ones with the cross-over boxes suspended within the base of the stand which have a vertical 'spine' containing the speaker wiring. I still use these in my main system powered by a Bryston 4B amp. Very musical and agile speakers. IMO they built on the strengths of the 14s with transparency across the range. Very agile and 'quick' sounding with superb imaging underpinned by deep solid bass. They are sealed box speakers but room placement is slightly idiosyncratic with a suggested toe-in so that the sweet spot appears just in front of the listener. Current driver technology has probably left these behind and they do benefit from an amp with plenty of power but they are still highly engaging and communicative speakers. Only downside as far as I'm concerned is in the looks department - at least in the black ash finish.

NeilR
18-12-11, 10:57 PM
The little ES11 is also very capable and great for those who can't get the ES14 bass to work in their room.

I owned ES11s and sadly I could never get the bass to work in my room. Too boomy and loose. Shame.

darrylfunk
19-12-11, 12:41 AM
There is no manufacturing relationship between the ES14 and the Celestion SL6, nor is there any real design similarity. Do you really believe that they sound similar? Iíd be surprised if you did. I would say that it would be hard to find two speakers more sonically different than these.

they certainly do sound very different to each other.

graeme h
19-12-11, 01:50 AM
Info and Snell/Celestion/Epos review here:

http://picasaweb.google.com/ali.makinen/EposES14ArtikkeleitaKuvina#

pure sound
19-12-11, 02:12 AM
Info and Snell/Celestion/Epos review here:

http://picasaweb.google.com/ali.makinen/EposES14ArtikkeleitaKuvina#

Chris Frankland :D Forgive me for not taking that too seriously!

graeme h
19-12-11, 02:59 AM
Chris Frankland :D Forgive me for not taking that too seriously!

I should have prefixed this with FWIW, which I did earlier. G

S-Man
19-12-11, 05:36 AM
I had a pair of early single-wire ES14s for about 10 years. I popped a bass unit (they could not handle much power) and had both bass units replaced by the phase plug version - much more coherent in the midrange. I always thought the bass (with foam bungs) was rather good and that the treble was the weakness of the design. I ran them with LP12/Grace 707/Supex 901 and JLH 80W mosfet amps (with my own PS design) and this system certainly had some real magic to it.
When I moved house I decide I wanted something more modern looking and bought a pair of Linn Stinkas, then spend some dosh going active to try to get them to sound half decent. Still regret selling the ES14s but I'm not going back... maybe my memory is rose tinted because the 2 or 3 pairs I've heard in the last 3 years sounded OK but a bit "80s".

Gale 401s are a good (but different) alternative to ES14s.

I now run these:
http://murphyblaster.com/content.php?f=CAOW1.html
with an active crossover to a rather special LF system. They are miles ahead of 401s (having compared directly) and I strongly suspect ES14s (from memory).
I've had Neat Elite SEs on home demo - too nasal in the mids, and owned Kensais - just too small and a bit thin sounding. B&W 801S was probably on a par with the CAOW1s but unfortunately I compared then using a £5K Naim system whcih sounded quite poor to me.

I'm not afraid of crossovers, either using opamps or the passive variety. Like all aspects of hifi it's not the technology that is used that matters, it's the implementation.

graeme h
19-12-11, 05:47 AM
[QUOTE=S-Man;1547428]I had a pair of early single-wire ES14s for about 10 years. ....... Still regret selling the ES14s but I'm not going back... maybe my memory is rose tinted because the 2 or 3 pairs I've heard in the last 3 years sounded OK but a bit "80s".
QUOTE]

Synthesised?

Markus S
19-12-11, 05:53 AM
I always thought the bass (with foam bungs) was rather good and that the treble was the weakness of the design.

Seconded. I ran the ES14 for a long time and liked them a lot. Ultimately, I found the treble reason enough to change.

If I was less crap at diy, I'd be building a pair of Nadas. (http://www.hifisound.de/oxid/oxid.php/sid/fafaa3bc41895d8c3bd3ce9038f48337/cl/details/cnid/e714e15a7fcde2b88.65431829/anid/e714e15aa44b74b60.63073586/KLANG-+-TON-NADA-%96-KOMPLETT-BAUSATZ/)

http://www.abload.de/img/nada_accuphase_7090jan.jpg

MVV
19-12-11, 07:09 AM
I found it hard to escape the gravitational pull of both the 14 and 11, having sold and re-bought them both. However it was the treble that always drove me away in the end. Ended up with Neat Vito Ultimatum SE which were much more expensive. Any 14 owners heard the Neat MFS Ultimatum?

graeme h
19-12-11, 07:20 AM
I found it hard to escape the gravitational pull of both the 14 and 11, having sold and re-bought them both. However it was the treble that always drove me away in the end. Ended up with Neat Vito Ultimatum SE which were much more expensive. Any 14 owners heard the Neat MFS Ultimatum?

Interesting issue with the hf here. My first pair of MK2 14's were a little strident up top but my current MK1's are sweet as a nut!

I wonder when the outsourcing started......? G

Markus S
19-12-11, 07:36 AM
I had Mk 1 and didn't like the treble.

david ellwood
19-12-11, 07:38 AM
but apart from the bass and the treble they are fantastic!

MVV
19-12-11, 07:46 AM
but apart from the bass and the treble they are fantastic!

Never had a problem with the bass and it is a big room. Bungs in of course. The treble isn't strident just splashy and artificial sounding sort of one note treble.

Andy21
19-12-11, 08:28 AM
I wonder when the outsourcing started......? G

Immediately on the introduction of the MkII.

Tweeters before that where in-house, although it has to be said that there were small production changes even during the life of the Mk1. The early tweeters had domes which were drawn in-house, with the coil former integral with the dome. The process was laborious because the aluminium foil was rolled to thickness and then formed in several stages, each one of which was separated by an annealing operation. When the sales requirement began to outstrip the in-house manufacturing capability the dome was given to an outside contractor to produce. The contactor did not have the capability to achieve the very deep draw needed for an integral coil former and so the dome and the coil former were made as separate pieces and adhesive bonded together. A change of material from relatively pure aluminium to MG5 alloy was made at the same time because MG5 is much easier to draw. The two domes certainly showed some frequency response differences. The dome with the integral coil former extended a little further before breakup and was more linear in the region above about 10kHz.

Robin himself was not at all happy with the performance of the tweeter and a totally new replacement was already at an advanced stage of development when Epos was sold to TGi. Who knows what happened to it.


but apart from the bass and the treble they are fantastic!
I believe that ďshiteĒ was the descriptive term usually applied to the ES14 by the Linn crowd of the period. Whether this applied to the bass or to the treble, Iím not certain.

graeme h
19-12-11, 08:32 AM
but apart from the bass and the treble they are fantastic!

heh heh heh. Well, I've had a motherlode of 'speakers over the last 30 years but, somewhat surprisedly, find this pair of 14's a kind of reference point for any subsequent purchase should things go awry. I'm the first person to get irritated if some aspect of a speaker begins to grate over time and would not tolerate one note bass or splashy treble given the front end investment. Must be the room that is perfect!

Thanks Andy - We cross posted but that may explain why I've had one strident and now one sweet pair I guess. G

S-Man
19-12-11, 09:02 AM
Mine were Mk1, but as stated had later bass units fitted. Probably the best of both worlds!

Also, just noticed I put "B&W 801S", should have been 805S.

RustyB
19-12-11, 11:42 AM
I believe Iím correct in saying that the designer was Kevin Voecks, a man generally reckoned to be among the more able designers. Interestingly, he eventually found his way into the Harman operation, as did Robin Marshall.[/QUOTE]


No, KV was responsible for the J/III, which was technically more accurate but not regarded as being as musical in some circles.

James
19-12-11, 11:51 AM
However it was the treble that always drove me away in the end.

I had Mk 1 and didn't like the treble.
In my experience, a single cap on a tweeter - particularly with a value that effects transfer within two octaves of its fundamental resonance (fs) - is a recipe for mistermination. This causes a peaking in the lower reaches of the tweeter that is manifest as artificial presence (at best) or sibilance and harshness (at worst).

Judging by the size of the mid-woofer (8"?), the tweeter would need to be crossed no higher than 2.5kHz, and maybe ideally 2kHz. This would require the tweeter to have an fs of around 500Hz or lower. To have a low fs and extended top-end would call for a world-class (expensive) tweeter from the likes of the Scan-speak Revelator range. Maybe the ES14 has such a tweeter, but then again maybe it doesn't.

James

flatpopely
19-12-11, 12:22 PM
In my experience, a single cap on a tweeter - particularly with a value that effects transfer within two octaves of its fundamental resonance (fs) - is a recipe for mistermination. This causes a peaking in the lower reaches of the tweeter that is manifest as artificial presence (at best) or sibilance and harshness (at worst).

Judging by the size of the mid-woofer (8"?), the tweeter would need to be crossed no higher than 2.5kHz, and maybe ideally 2kHz. This would require the tweeter to have an fs of around 500Hz or lower. To have a low fs and extended top-end would call for a world-class (expensive) tweeter from the likes of the Scan-speak Revelator range. Maybe the ES14 has such a tweeter, but then again maybe it doesn't.

James

The ES14s don't have harsh or sibilant treble, or at least the ones I have heard don't. Measurement is not always the be all and end all of design.

graeme h
19-12-11, 12:30 PM
Thanks everyone for contributing and making this such an interesting (to me anyway) thread. G

Robert
19-12-11, 12:32 PM
In my experience, a single cap on a tweeter - particularly with a value that effects transfer within two octaves of its fundamental resonance (fs) - is a recipe for mistermination. This causes a peaking in the lower reaches of the tweeter that is manifest as artificial presence (at best) or sibilance and harshness (at worst).

Judging by the size of the mid-woofer (8"?), the tweeter would need to be crossed no higher than 2.5kHz, and maybe ideally 2kHz. This would require the tweeter to have an fs of around 500Hz or lower. To have a low fs and extended top-end would call for a world-class (expensive) tweeter from the likes of the Scan-speak Revelator range. Maybe the ES14 has such a tweeter, but then again maybe it doesn't.

James

A few isoplanars are good candidates.

Andy21
19-12-11, 12:46 PM
In my experience, a single cap on a tweeter - particularly with a value that effects transfer within two octaves of its fundamental resonance (fs) - is a recipe for mistermination. This causes a peaking in the lower reaches of the tweeter that is manifest as artificial presence (at best) or sibilance and harshness (at worst).

Judging by the size of the mid-woofer (8"?), the tweeter would need to be crossed no higher than 2.5kHz, and maybe ideally 2kHz. This would require the tweeter to have an fs of around 500Hz or lower. To have a low fs and extended top-end would call for a world-class (expensive) tweeter from the likes of the Scan-speak Revelator range. Maybe the ES14 has such a tweeter, but then again maybe it doesn't.

James

The fs of the Mk1 tweeter was around 600Hz. I canít speak for the MkII, but I would imagine that the fs would be a higher, given that its SEAS dome/coil/suspension was much more conventional than the Epos built Mk1.
The Mk1 tweeter did not rely on just the series capacitor for the high-pass filter. There was some mechanically contrived assistance from the dome suspension. The suspension had a very narrow convolution with compound curvature and varying cross-section thickness (it was a moulded part) and began to stiffen significantly below the crossover point. The effect was to introduce an additional pole into the inherent second order characteristics of the tweeter.

flatpopely
19-12-11, 12:56 PM
A few isoplanars are good candidates.

Just send me a pair!

RustyB
19-12-11, 02:22 PM
The crossover point is at 3.5k, and the response decays smoothly at 12 dB/octave.

Above that, however, the response is very uneven, with a prounced peak at 10k.

The Seas ali domes of that era have very smooth published FR's, and to me sound a lot nicer than the ES14 mk2 tweeters.

I have some in my Alexander Auroras, which also feature a direct-coupled mid-bass, in this case a bog standard Seas poly driver.

MVV
19-12-11, 02:43 PM
Hey dudes, I'm not criticising I more than anyone want to find the ES14's successor. That mid is fantastic. I'm just irritated that I sold my last pair when they were happily boxed in a cupboard. I could have had a ES 14 Christmas!

sq225917
19-12-11, 03:11 PM
The fs of the Mk1 tweeter was around 600Hz. I canít speak for the MkII, but I would imagine that the fs would be a higher, given that its SEAS dome/coil/suspension was much more conventional than the Epos built Mk1.
The Mk1 tweeter did not rely on just the series capacitor for the high-pass filter. There was some mechanically contrived assistance from the dome suspension. The suspension had a very narrow convolution with compound curvature and varying cross-section thickness (it was a moulded part) and began to stiffen significantly below the crossover point. The effect was to introduce an additional pole into the inherent second order characteristics of the tweeter.

Yes, seems like there is truly a world of difference between those who simply slap some OTS drive units into a box and add a crossover and those designers capable enough to scratch build.

Andy21
19-12-11, 03:16 PM
The crossover point is at 3.5k, and the response decays smoothly at 12 dB/octave.

Above that, however, the response is very uneven, with a prounced peak at 10k.

The Seas ali domes of that era have very smooth published FR's, and to me sound a lot nicer than the ES14 mk2 tweeters.



I donít think that your observations are too much of a surprise. Iím not an expert in acoustics or speaker design by any stretch of the imagination, but I believe that itís necessary to optimise the shape and dimensions of the aperture that a tweeter dome looks out from. At higher frequencies the aperture is almost certain to act as a waveguide if it has any appreciable thickness. Iíve not looked very closely at a MkII ES14, but I doubt that any changes were made to the tweeter front plate to optimise it for the SEAS dome. The peak at 10kHz that you mention certainly points toward something not being quite right.

The fact that the MkII tweeter response rolls out smoothly at 12dB/octave indicates that the SEAS dome and suspension applied no particular constraints on the dome excursion. The Mk1 tweeter, with its restraining surround, had roll-out characteristics which began to morph into a sort of quasi third-order as the frequency decreased.

On the question of the Snell J, who did design the J/II. From what you say about Kevin Voecks not being responsible, I guess that it must have been the J/III that I heard.

Mr Tibbs
19-12-11, 03:19 PM
Gale 401s are a good (but different) alternative to ES14s.



A good set of 401s driven by a suitable amp are a completely different proposition to ES14s. IME they are just as cohesive and transparent in the midrange as 14s and have a smoother treble response. Almost goes without saying that the 401 bass response makes ES14s sound decidedly broken. I could go on, but it always upsets the natives when I do.

Mr Tibbs

James
19-12-11, 03:31 PM
The ES14s don't have harsh or sibilant treble, or at least the ones I have heard don't. Measurement is not always the be all and end all of design.
I made no reference to measurement; just pointing out a fact that a single cap on a tweeter *can* result in mistermination under certain circumstances. I also made no reference to whether the ES14 was harsh sounding or sibilant.

I know you love your ES14s. But seeing that I did not comment about their performance, I'm somewhat surprised at your defensive response.

flatpopely
19-12-11, 03:42 PM
I made no reference to measurement; just pointing out a fact that a single cap on a tweeter *can* result in mistermination under certain circumstances. I also made no reference to whether the ES14 was harsh sounding or sibilant.

I know you love your ES14s. But seeing that I did not comment about their performance, I'm somewhat surprised at your defensive response.

I suggest you re-read your post. I'm not being defensive just stating my opinion about ES14s.

James
19-12-11, 03:52 PM
I suggest you re-read your post. I'm not being defensive just stating my opinion about ES14s.
I have, and I still don't understand your counterpoint, especially about "measurement is not always the be all and end all of design".

Care to explain?

S-Man
19-12-11, 03:53 PM
A good set of 401s driven by a suitable amp are a completely different proposition to ES14s. IME they are just as cohesive and transparent in the midrange as 14s and have a smoother treble response. Almost goes without saying that the 401 bass response makes ES14s sound decidedly broken. I could go on, but it always upsets the natives when I do.

Mr Tibbs

401s have a slightly boomy bass and plenty of it. ES14s have pretty tight and tuneful bass, but not much of it. ES14s have a more immediate sound and 401s have a wonderful room filling effect. Both are great speakers when driven properly.
There are (a few) greater things out there though. IMO.

flatpopely
19-12-11, 03:58 PM
I have, and I still don't understand your counterpoint, especially about "measurement is not always the be all and end all of design".

Care to explain?

One needs to listen to any design in conjunction with theoretical application of the component specifications.

david ellwood
19-12-11, 04:15 PM
ES14s have pretty tight and tuneful bass, but not much of it

Have you been drinking?

flatpopely
19-12-11, 04:19 PM
Have you been drinking?

David, open invite for you to pop over during the Christmas hols and have a listen. I will, if ok, pop over to listen to the Briks. Perhaps we will both then have a reference point.

Honest offer, no agenda.

david ellwood
19-12-11, 04:32 PM
look forward to it!

are you still running the kans?

Gaius
19-12-11, 04:33 PM
The Briks will be better. ;)

flatpopely
19-12-11, 04:36 PM
look forward to it!

are you still running the kans?

Yes, but at work.

How about 29th in afternoon?

flatpopely
19-12-11, 04:36 PM
The Briks will be better. ;)

Never heard any!

david ellwood
19-12-11, 04:37 PM
thats thursday , sure!

RustyB
19-12-11, 04:42 PM
On the question of the Snell J, who did design the J/II. From what you say about Kevin Voecks not being responsible, I guess that it must have been the J/III that I heard.[/QUOTE]


Peter Snell, I believe.

KV took over Snell design after Peter's untimely passing, and revamped the range.

The last of the J's had a Vifa tweeter in place of the Tonegen, and doubtless other mods. I've owned a pair of J/III's, but have had nothing but a quick listen to their predecessor, as part of the Audio Innovations/Voyd/Snell trilogy.

Gaius
19-12-11, 04:43 PM
Never heard any!

You'll like them I'm sure, like being at a gig, all the Kan does and them some, I'm still liking my Kans and I DO still like the 14s, IMO they are just not the ONLY speaker.............

flatpopely
19-12-11, 04:43 PM
thats thursday , sure!

Come on the bus. I may have some booze!

Pm me your email addy and I will make contact.

Bring some vinyl.

Andrew.

Mr Tibbs
19-12-11, 04:55 PM
401s have a slightly boomy bass and plenty of it.

Easily avoided with careful setup and a suitable amp.

ES14s have pretty tight and tuneful bass

<words fail me>

Mr Tibbs

flatpopely
19-12-11, 05:08 PM
Easily avoided with careful setup and a suitable amp.



<words fail me>

Mr Tibbs

My house on the 29th :D

Honestly my perception of what's tuneful bass must be wrong. I'd love to listen to your opinion of my ES14 setup.

James
19-12-11, 09:21 PM
One needs to listen to any design in conjunction with theoretical application of the component specifications.
Most designers do this, but I think we're talking past each other.

graeme h
19-12-11, 11:42 PM
401s have a slightly boomy bass and plenty of it. ES14s have pretty tight and tuneful bass, but not much of it. ES14s have a more immediate sound and 401s have a wonderful room filling effect. Both are great speakers when driven properly.
There are (a few) greater things out there though. IMO.

Which I suppose was my original question - the greater (or equal) things out there circa £2k stand mount? G

sq225917
20-12-11, 12:20 AM
I've heard a lot of ES14's over the years. I've owned them twice. The bass can be tuned anywhere from lacking in bottom end and as dry as a witches tit to overblown and boomy depending on the version, the port tuning, siting and room interaction. They are like many speakers somewhat of a moving target.

Certainly Andrew's don't sound boomy, but they aren't as tight as Ynwans, despite being the same version, driven by the same amps- room interactions abound.

S-Man
20-12-11, 12:48 AM
Which I suppose was my original question - the greater (or equal) things out there circa £2k stand mount? G

Already answered in post 91. Unfotunatley you have to build them and then to hear what they can really do you need to actively cross them over to a very high perfomace bass system. In addition, Naim amps (not tried the > £5K ones) are not good enough to get the best form them. All IMO of course.

MVV
20-12-11, 01:44 AM
If you think the treble is a bit rough with ES14s you haven't heard Briks.

Markus S
20-12-11, 01:51 AM
The comparison between Briks and ES14s is interesting. If, like me, you're interested in voices and vocals, I expect you to prefer the ES14 which has a far, far more lifelike reproduction of vocal inflection, consonants and the like, text intellegibility is far better. If you are interested in big, enveloping sound, with good bass extension and often excellent room integration, the Brik has its charms.

Personally, I think both designs sound rather dated today. drive unit technology has moved on considerably (even though the ES14 bass/mid driver was a superb construction for its day, I'm sure that a thorough Klippel analysis would find a lot of areas where it can be outdone by reasonably cheap contemporary drivers).

graeme h
20-12-11, 02:55 AM
(even though the ES14 bass/mid driver was a superb construction for its day, I'm sure that a thorough Klippel analysis would find a lot of areas where it can be outdone by reasonably cheap contemporary drivers).

Great. But who is building them into a complete loudspeaker to equal or better the 14? I'm genuinely interested in a home bake-off! G

smithy
20-12-11, 04:07 AM
I stopped using my 14s when I made up the old WAD KLS8 kit loudspeaker.10 inch Audax pro bass unit and horn loaded Audax soft dome tweeter, made the 14s sound small in comparison .

mmaatt
20-12-11, 08:00 AM
If you think the treble is a bit rough with ES14s you haven't heard Briks.

That's the nasty Linn crossover IMO - my Briks (with rebuilt x-overs) sound extended and transparent with no roughness with whatever music you shove through them.

mat

david ellwood
20-12-11, 08:10 AM
the hyquphon ow1 is certainly the isobariks achilles heel!

Andy21
20-12-11, 08:55 AM
The comparison between Briks and ES14s is interesting.

Personally, I think both designs sound rather dated today. drive unit technology has moved on considerably.

Thereís no question that drive unit technology has moved along by leaps and bounds since the ES14 saw the light of day. The design and measurement software packages that are readily available at almost beer-budget prices permit analysis and evaluation precision which simply wasnít possible in the early Ď80s. Couple that with rapid advances in materials technology and the low-cost precision engineering capacity that is available from Korea and China and it ought to be an easy task to build something that leaves the ES14 looking distinctly stone age.

Iíve looked recently at some of the drivers that RM considers to be every-day objects and been astounded by the technology on offer. Iíve not been lucky enough to try any of them, but Iím assured that the linearity and the distortion performance are an order of magnitude better than the best that the ES14 era could offer.

There is, of course, an inexplicable charm in owning and using vintage products, even though their performance can probably be beaten by something bought today for loose change. I myself am very happy when I listen to my old Tannoys or take snaps with my Leica M4 camera.

Leicaron
20-12-11, 09:15 AM
or take snaps with my Leica M4 camera.

Like !

MVV
20-12-11, 09:24 AM
That's the nasty Linn crossover IMO - my Briks (with rebuilt x-overs) sound extended and transparent with no roughness with whatever music you shove through them.

mat

That's a little irritating I wish I'd heard it a few years ago. When I was struggling to make mine work all the advice I got was better arm, bought an Ekos. Better cart, bought an Arkiv B, Better pre, bought a 52. Mana stands, check. Eventually I gave up and went back to ES14s. What a relief! Then back to Briks but Neat's Ultimatum version. (the Vito is Isobaric and it has a half decent tweeter)

mmaatt
20-12-11, 10:04 AM
That's a little irritating I wish I'd heard it a few years ago. When I was struggling to make mine work all the advice I got was better arm, bought an Ekos. Better cart, bought an Arkiv B, Better pre, bought a 52. Mana stands, check. Eventually I gave up and went back to ES14s. What a relief! Then back to Briks but Neat's Ultimatum version. (the Vito is Isobaric and it has a half decent tweeter)

I do sympathise having gone through a similar path with Kans, Saras, Briks, Nac 32-5 to 252, Xerxes to TMS (with numerous upgrades). The advice I got was it's the turntable, it's the pre-amp, it's the nap 250: no it's the crummy crossovers which added distortion, coloration, smearing, glare; you name it. It is a lot of work as there is so much wiring and components, but I don't regret the time or money.

mat

9designs
20-12-11, 10:33 AM
I think the biggest advances have been in crossover design and computer simulation software, before the final tuning by ear. It allowed much more finely tuned and balanced passive crossovers. When the Keltik came out Linn claimed it would be to difficult and require too big a crossover to make them passive.... We now have passive Majik isobariks and 5 way 242s... Try designing them without a good simulation program !!!!

graeme h
20-12-11, 10:41 AM
I just notice on the Epos website twitter feeds regarding a new 'Elan' range.....heres hoping. G

graeme h
20-12-11, 10:58 AM
Like !

Like too, but I'll keep to my M8! G

Mr Tibbs
20-12-11, 11:09 AM
My house on the 29th :D

Honestly my perception of what's tuneful bass must be wrong. I'd love to listen to your opinion of my ES14 setup.

You'd be better coming to my house to hear 401s do their thing.

On second thought maybe not - you'd only go home and kick your ES14s off their stands.

I've owned a pair of 14s from brand spanking new and tried every setup option in the book and then some. The bottom line is you can get them to sound OK in the bass but not without significantly reducing depth to the point where they sound lacking in bass. If you heard the depth and quality of bass from either my Ergo IIIs or 401s your jaw would hit the Axminster.

Honestly, with the kind of money some of you guys have invested in your sources and amplification you really need to start thinking outside of the ES14 box. They are a fairly competent two-way with a clean midrange, so long as the volume is kept lowish and the music is not too grungy or complex. A good three-way simply makes them sound second rate in areas that are IMO hugely important in terms of what a really good hi-fi system should be capable of.

Mr Tibbs

darrylfunk
20-12-11, 11:32 AM
You'd be better coming to my house to hear 401s do their thing.

On second thought maybe not - you'd only go home and kick your ES14s off their stands.

I've owned a pair of 14s from brand spanking new and tried every setup option in the book and then some. The bottom line is you can get them to sound OK in the bass but not without significantly reducing depth to the point where they sound lacking in bass. If you heard the depth and quality of bass from either my Ergo IIIs or 401s your jaw would hit the Axminster.

Honestly, with the kind of money some of you guys have invested in your sources and amplification you really need to start thinking outside of the ES14 box. They are a fairly competent two-way with a clean midrange, so long as the volume is kept lowish and the music is not too grungy or complex. A good three-way simply makes them sound second rate in areas that are IMO hugely important in terms of what a really good hi-fi system should be capable of.

Mr Tibbs

i'd agree with that pretty much.

RustyB
20-12-11, 11:42 AM
the hyquphon ow1 is certainly the isobariks achilles heel!

The Hiquphon OW1 is actually a state of the art device.

What you might find in a Brik is the D20.

And you could replace them with the OW1/92.

Then you'd be a happy bunny.

James
20-12-11, 11:54 AM
the hyquphon ow1 is certainly the isobariks achilles heel!
It's Hiquphon, and the OW1 is the best 19mm tweeter in the world - bar none. If the 'Brik has the OW1 (which I very much doubt) and its HF qualities are poor, then it most certainly would be the fault of the crossover network.

david ellwood
20-12-11, 11:56 AM
Why would you doubt me James?

James
20-12-11, 12:36 PM
Because I'm intimately familiar with the OW1, and you think the SL6 and ES14 sound similar.

sq225917
20-12-11, 01:03 PM
lulz

david ellwood
20-12-11, 01:14 PM
Give Oscar a bell he will confirm

graeme h
20-12-11, 02:07 PM
Give Oscar a bell he will confirm

.....and my hovercraft is full of eels.....

S-Man
20-12-11, 02:37 PM
So in summary:
sq has had ES14s and moved to Focals (happily it seems)
Flat and graeme h love their ES14s
Tibbsy has had both and much prefers his 401s
david ellwood has some "interesting" opinions
I prefer my CAOW1s running 3-way versus 401s and (distant memory) ES14s
James likes his own creations

Seems we're all happy!

david ellwood
20-12-11, 03:06 PM
Because I'm intimately familiar with the OW1, and you think the SL6 and ES14 sound similar.

I think they share similar problems.

Mr Tibbs
20-12-11, 03:40 PM
So in summary:
sq has had ES14s and moved to Focals (happily it seems)
Flat and graeme h love their ES14s
Tibbsy has had both and much prefers his 401s
david ellwood has some "interesting" opinions
I prefer my CAOW1s running 3-way versus 401s and (distant memory) ES14s
James likes his own creations

Seems we're all happy!

Must be Christmas or something.

Monsieur Ellwood was making some good sense earlier in the tread (all the trashing of ES14s) but now seems to have gone off the rails somewhat with the recent revelations of Hiquphon OW1s being a bit dodgy.

Still, for a Epos 14 thread it's all going quite smoothly so far.......

Mr Tibbs

sq225917
20-12-11, 03:57 PM
I was lucky enough to oick up a 4k full ranger for £900, not surprisingly I dropped the Es14s. They are however the only speaker I would buy again.

flatpopely
20-12-11, 03:59 PM
I was lucky enough to oick up a 4k full ranger for £900, not surprisingly I dropped the Es14s. They are however the only speaker I would buy again.

I've got a spare pair :)

Robert
20-12-11, 04:04 PM
Must be Christmas or something.

Monsieur Ellwood was making some good sense earlier in the tread (all the trashing of ES14s) but now seems to have gone off the rails somewhat with the recent revelations of Hiquphon OW1s being a bit dodgy.

Still, for a Epos 14 thread it's all going quite smoothly so far.......

Mr Tibbs

It's actually quite a funny thread.

To the casual reader of this thread, ES14s are boomy and bloated, thin and lacking bass, easily integrated into the room, difficult to position, very transparent, suffer from plastic cone coloration, have a smooth tweeter, have a shitty gritty tweeter, sound very coherent, often sound disjointed and sometimes sound rather like a Celestion SL6.

Very informative (not) :)

flatpopely
20-12-11, 04:11 PM
If you read enough on the interweb you always come across a viewpoint that backs up your own belief.

RustyB
20-12-11, 05:00 PM
[I]I prefer my CAOW1s running 3-way versus 401s and (distant memory) ES14

I have OW1's and CA15RLY's gathering dust in the workshop, maybe I'd better get a into g and build these.

What do you use underneath the CAOW1?

Rana
20-12-11, 05:25 PM
Graeme

I can recommend the Shahinian Super Elves (Elf) if your room isn't too huge. "Norman Green" and "AlexS" variously of this parish also rate them very highly. In my small'ish listening room they were as good (if not better) than the Arcs that preceded them! Great integration and cohesiveness - with a surprising drum thwack when you need it.

Regards

Rana

sq225917
20-12-11, 05:25 PM
I've got a spare pair :)

Andrew i'd have them off you in a second if i was in the old house still, sadly the current hifi room can't take a sub, so ES14's are a no go.

Gaius
20-12-11, 05:55 PM
Do the 14s need a sub?

Is the OP any closer to his question?

Poped in some Saras today, enchanting...........

RustyB
20-12-11, 06:57 PM
Poped in some Saras today, enchanting...........[/QUOTE]


Upgrade at the Vatican? :)

Gaius
21-12-11, 12:09 AM
:D:D:D

Harry1212
21-12-11, 12:55 AM
So in summary:
sq has had ES14s and moved to Focals (happily it seems)
Flat and graeme h love their ES14s
Tibbsy has had both and much prefers his 401s
david ellwood has some "interesting" opinions
I prefer my CAOW1s running 3-way versus 401s and (distant memory) ES14s
James likes his own creations

Seems we're all happy!

I bought my 14's in 1988 and am still delighted with them, so I'm Spartacus too . . .

And a REL Stadium if i really want to piss off the neighbours.

Cheers, H.

sq225917
21-12-11, 01:57 AM
If you want full range then they need a sub, there's an awful lot of Pink Floyd doesn't come out of the midbass on an es14

graeme h
21-12-11, 02:15 AM
Graeme

I can recommend the Shahinian Super Elves (Elf) if your room isn't too huge. "Norman Green" and "AlexS" variously of this parish also rate them very highly. In my small'ish listening room they were as good (if not better) than the Arcs that preceded them! Great integration and cohesiveness - with a surprising drum thwack when you need it.

Regards

Rana

Thanks! G.

I'll also check Epos's new 'Elan' range when it fully appears.

pure sound
21-12-11, 02:21 AM
there's an awful lot of Pink Floyd doesn't come out of the midbass on an es14

I wonder if they can be tweaked to remove the rest? :)

Andy21
21-12-11, 02:50 AM
It's actually quite a funny thread.

To the casual reader of this thread, ES14s are boomy and bloated, thin and lacking bass, easily integrated into the room, difficult to position, very transparent, suffer from plastic cone coloration, have a smooth tweeter, have a shitty gritty tweeter, sound very coherent, often sound disjointed and sometimes sound rather like a Celestion SL6.



All of which proves that the ES14 is truly a speaker for all seasons. Thereís pleasure and displeasure in equal measure. How could any design be more balanced than that?

S-Man
21-12-11, 04:54 AM
I have OW1's and CA15RLY's gathering dust in the workshop, maybe I'd better get a into g and build these.

What do you use underneath the CAOW1?

They are very good as a 2-way but going 3-way is a revelation (reduction of intemodulation and getting rid of ported bass).

The stereo LF system I use is unique. It was designed by a friend after many years research therefore I'm not at liberty to provide any technical details. The result is a system that has essentially flat response <20Hz to >120Hz with excellent time domain behaviour. Assuming all goes to plan, we will demo it at the Scalford Show (unfortunately Rusty I thnk you are in the US, so this is no use to you).
I am hoping to try the LF system with a pair of ESL57QAs this evening.

graeme h
21-12-11, 06:06 AM
Mine are serial number circa 2000. Anyone able to pinpoint year of manufacture.....I'm guessing a fairly early pair?

Playing Forcioni Live at the moment and they are putting the guitar and space around it right inside my head. It's like listening through really good headphones! G

S-Man
21-12-11, 06:38 AM
Playing Forcioni Live at the moment and they are putting the guitar and space around it right inside my head. It's like listening through really good headphones! G

Yes unforunately the bland pass filter in the ES14s that allows a bit of Floyd through does not restrict Forcioni.:)

Mr Tibbs
21-12-11, 11:10 AM
Yes unforunately the bland pass filter in the ES14s that allows a bit of Floyd through does not restrict Forcioni.:)

Little known fact about Forcioni - he gets very car sick if he sits in the back.

I saw him play live once, but I was there primarily to see Colin Reid who was gigging along with the guitar slapper for a while. Entertaining enough for an hour or two (though I'd had a few Guinness I must admit).

Oh - I should say that 401s do guitar (plugged/unplugged) about a million times better than ES14s could ever hope to ;-)

Mr Tibbs

James
21-12-11, 11:25 AM
All of which proves that the ES14 is truly a speaker for all seasons. Thereís pleasure and displeasure in equal measure. How could any design be more balanced than that?
I think both Linn Kan and Sara elicit a wider continuum of displeasure to pleasure. The ES14 is a pussy cat in comparison.

9designs
21-12-11, 11:25 AM
Would those still using and supporting the ES14 also happen to be using Naim amps ?

James
21-12-11, 11:31 AM
They are very good as a 2-way but going 3-way is a revelation (reduction of intemodulation and getting rid of ported bass).
I still think a good two-way system trumps a three-way for coherence. In that department, my little E-IX is better than the mighty full-range E-X.

(unfortunately Rusty I thnk you are in the US, so this is no use to you)
Rusty's in NZ, and is more than capable of designing his own LF system. I think he's curious about the (sub)woofer driver that you use in your system.

James

audioflyer
21-12-11, 11:44 AM
Would those still using and supporting the ES14 also happen to be using Naim amps ?

No I only use Leak TL12.1(KT66 versions) or Electrocompaiet 25 watt class A.

A Linn Intek is used for my own sanity and safety when the missus wants to play her music.:D

graeme h
21-12-11, 11:47 AM
Would those still using and supporting the ES14 also happen to be using Naim amps ?

Yes from me. The 14's on the end of a 300 is quite a combination and, I think, a good split of the overall budget. G

Harry1212
21-12-11, 11:54 AM
Would those still using and supporting the ES14 also happen to be using Naim amps ?

62/HiCap(modded)/250

All recently serviced by Mark a.k.a. WitchHatAudio of this parish.

:rolleyes::cool::o

ps and a pair of ex-BBC TL25 Leak monoblocks when it dips below freezing outside . . .

Mr Tibbs
21-12-11, 12:06 PM
Yes from me. The 14's on the end of a 300 is quite a combination and, I think, a good split of the overall budget. G

That's like putting a Porsche engine in a Morris Minor - good for bragging about but a big waste of resources. A 250 is only marginally better at driving them than a 110, they are such an easy load.

Mr Tibbs

graeme h
21-12-11, 12:33 PM
Been there Mr Tibbs. I hear what I hear. Not interested in 'bragging'.......why would I with such apparently 'uniquely terrible' speakers? G

Harry1212
21-12-11, 12:33 PM
That's like putting a Porsche engine in a Morris Minor - good for bragging about but a big waste of resources. A 250 is only marginally better at driving them than a 110, they are such an easy load.

Mr Tibbs

disagree

BTW what'e wrong with a Morris Minor GTI turbo . . .

Mr Tibbs
21-12-11, 12:49 PM
Been there Mr Tibbs. I hear what I hear. Not interested in 'bragging'.......why would I with such apparently 'uniquely terrible' speakers? G

I'm not claiming there's nothing to be gained by using better amplification - just that the gains are tiny compared to what could be achieved by changing to a better loudspeaker. The compromises of the ES14 are just too severe in the context of very expensive upstream kit (like a NAP300 for example). What's the rest of your system?

Mr Tibbs

MVV
21-12-11, 01:03 PM
Graeme, with your amps you owe it to yourself to hear the Neat MFS Ultimatum. It is a stand-mount about the same size as the 14 and the speaker I see as the successor. (but can't afford)

graeme h
21-12-11, 01:04 PM
Not wishing to be drawn in on this but your point is, in a way, my original question to which I've not had an exactly exhaustive list of alternatives 'equal or better'. G

sq225917
21-12-11, 01:11 PM
I'm not claiming there's nothing to be gained by using better amplification - just that the gains are tiny compared to what could be achieved by changing to a better loudspeaker. The compromises of the ES14 are just too severe in the context of very expensive upstream kit (like a NAP300 for example). What's the rest of your system?

Mr Tibbs

Really, I heard them out of a pair of 135's just last week and they sounded stellar. Strangely enough they always have at Mark's so much so I bought my own and kept them until change of house precluded the use of a sub.

Harry1212
21-12-11, 01:23 PM
Really, I heard them out of a pair of 135's just last week and they sounded stellar. Strangely enough they always have at Mark's so much so I bought my own and kept them until change of house precluded the use of a sub.

I kept the house & shipped the 2nd ex wife out . . .

Seemed a bright idea at the time.

Cheers, H.

graeme h
21-12-11, 01:33 PM
Graeme, with your amps you owe it to yourself to hear the Neat MFS Ultimatum. It is a stand-mount about the same size as the 14 and the speaker I see as the successor. (but can't afford)

Thank you! £4k.......ouch. Had little Mystiques many years back and they were great I remember. G

MVV
21-12-11, 03:09 PM
Thank you! £4k.......ouch. Had little Mystiques many years back and they were great I remember. G

Yes well, I do take your point. I'm on the look out for a (very rare) SH pair.

flatpopely
21-12-11, 05:35 PM
I'm not claiming there's nothing to be gained by using better amplification - just that the gains are tiny compared to what could be achieved by changing to a better loudspeaker. The compromises of the ES14 are just too severe in the context of very expensive upstream kit (like a NAP300 for example). What's the rest of your system?

Mr Tibbs

ZAP250 to 135s proved a massive improvement driving 14s.

S-Man
22-12-11, 03:07 AM
I still think a good two-way system trumps a three-way for coherence. In that department, my little E-IX is better than the mighty full-range E-X.


Rusty's in NZ, and is more than capable of designing his own LF system. I think he's curious about the (sub)woofer driver that you use in your system.

James

Firstly apologies to Rusty. Thank goodness I did not actually accuse him of being American :)

Secondly, James, yes I used to agree but I have recently changed some of my long held beliefs. One of these is that opamps are nasty. Last night we compared my preamp/active XO to an EAR preamp - not a lot in it to be honest and easily outweighed by the benefit of going active 3-way for both the CAOW1s and the ESL57QA.
For the LF system (I won't insult it by calling it a sub) it's not conventional and its performance has little to do with the actual driver(s) used, other than sufficient cone area is needed to move enough air.

S-Man
22-12-11, 03:11 AM
disagree

BTW what'e wrong with a Morris Minor GTI turbo . . .

Depends if you want creature comforts:
http://www.beardmorebros.co.uk/website%20pages/new_project.htm
Hand built by a friend of mine.

This one was a Porshe eater (at least in a standing start):
http://www.beardmorebros.co.uk/website%20pages/reliant_kitten.htm

Mr Tibbs
22-12-11, 03:22 AM
Heads in sand as usual.

Mr Tibbs

S-Man
22-12-11, 03:49 AM
No I only use Leak TL12.1(KT66 versions) or Electrocompaiet 25 watt class A.

A Linn Intek is used for my own sanity and safety when the missus wants to play her music.:D

Funnily enough the owner of the ESLs has an old EC 25W amp, gave it a try versus 509 Anniversarys, KT88PP and my own mosfet amps.
IMO, best to worst:
KT88
509
EC
my mosfet amps :(

The EC was excellent other than a rather weak bass (even though it did not have to do anything at LF) and a lack of dynamics. I reckon the 29 year old EC is due a recap though.

Harry1212
22-12-11, 03:52 AM
Heads in sand as usual.

Mr Tibbs

& arse in the air . . .

graeme h
22-12-11, 11:12 AM
....Before we completely lose the plot and to make it a nice 200 'Merry Christmas!' G

RustyB
22-12-11, 11:58 AM
[QUOTE=S-Man;1549858]Firstly apologies to Rusty. Thank goodness I did not actually accuse him of being American :)


That's OK. I would have only felt insulted if you'd called me a Republican. :)

bottleneck
23-12-11, 02:30 AM
cant be arsed to read entire 14? page thread.

Epos speakers - my knowledge of them is this - practically no crossover, just the tweeter is damped down to the bass.

No wadding in there.


This reminds me most of ''totem'' speakers, so if you want something of a similar recipe that would sound like a place to try.


There's no magic recipe's... there are only recipe's.

graeme h
23-12-11, 03:10 AM
Totem - Thanks! G

bottleneck
23-12-11, 03:20 AM
Hi - it should be noted I haven't opened any Epos or Totem speakers, this is just what I've heard from enough people to form a view that ''this is probably how they are made''.

flatpopely
23-12-11, 03:26 AM
They do have internal wadding. There is a tension bar across the cabinet as well.

graeme h
23-12-11, 03:29 AM
They do have internal wadding. There is a tension bar across the cabinet as well.

The 14's I assume you mean - or do you mean the Totems share this feature? G

flatpopely
23-12-11, 04:02 AM
Its the ES14s Graeme:-

http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w258/Andrew_Popely/Hi%20Fi/EPOS%20ES14/Rebuild/DSC_3989.jpg

9designs
23-12-11, 04:57 AM
Should replace the foam, which I've found in the past makes bass sound unnatural, think of a drum made of a polypropylene ice cream tub, has a plasticky thud thud sound. I use deflex panels and lambs wool.

graeme h
23-12-11, 05:09 AM
Should replace the foam, which I've found in the past makes bass sound unnatural, think of a drum made of a polypropylene ice cream tub, has a plasticky thud thud sound. I use deflex panels and lambs wool.

Better baaaaa ss!

Mr Tibbs
23-12-11, 05:23 AM
Better baaaaa ss!

Aye and pigs can fly.

You didn't tell us what other kit you've got, but as you've got a NAP300 I'll hazard a guess you have a £20k system driving £200 speakers. Get your card out and spend a few grand for gawds sake.

Mr Tibbs

Merry Crimbo by the way!

graeme h
23-12-11, 05:40 AM
Aye and pigs can fly.

You didn't tell us what other kit you've got, but as you've got a NAP300 I'll hazard a guess you have a £20k system driving £200 speakers. Get your card out and spend a few grand for gawds sake.

Mr Tibbs

Merry Crimbo by the way!

Did that this time last year.......and then went back to the 14's. A reverse mullett I grant you but it sounds damn fine!

Merry Crimbo to you too Mr Tibbs (sounds positively Dickensian!) G

Mr Tibbs
23-12-11, 06:07 AM
Did that this time last year.......and then went back to the 14's. A reverse mullett I grant you but it sounds damn fine!


They do have a certain something I must admit, but what ultimately spoiled them for me was that I ended up not playing some of the music I like best.

Mr Tibbs

graeme h
23-12-11, 07:01 AM
They do have a certain something I must admit, but what ultimately spoiled them for me was that I ended up not playing some of the music I like best.

Mr Tibbs

Nothing has tripped them up with me yet but I'd be interested to see if I can catch them out.

Any clues as to what you couldn't play and why? G

Mr Tibbs
23-12-11, 08:35 AM
Nothing has tripped them up with me yet but I'd be interested to see if I can catch them out.

Any clues as to what you couldn't play and why? G

Well, a lot depends on your personal trip-up-o-meter doesn't it?

An extreme example of where they fail the test badly is practically anything by ZZ Top. They can't do the scale or loudness or clarity at the volume required to make that trio sound as effortlessly tight, rhythmic and lyrical as they do.

There are much less obvious occasions when they don't IMO cut it particularly well and leave me feeling shortchanged. Take something like Fagan's The Nightfly; Here we have an album where ES14s can appear to be in their element, but then when I hear it via a speaker that can really do bass well, I realise I missed the fact that the bass playing actually drives the whole album from start to finish. Even though the bass line is mostly still present via the 14s, it doesn't have the pep and presence I think is needed to make the album come to life.

Mr Tibbs

flatpopely
23-12-11, 08:42 AM
This is where I think we can't be hearing the same things.

On loud rock like Porcupine Tree 'Strip the Soul' they go really loud and stay in control. On Sacre du Printemps they handle the huge dynamic swings with ease. One listener at my bake off last year said he had never heard such scale and dynamics before.

On The Nightfly the bass punches along really well and I can hear what the bass is doing all the way through.

Gaius
23-12-11, 08:48 AM
A superb bit of very glossy production from Mr Fagen, a favourite dem record for many as it sounds good on anything!

Same goes for the super slick Gaucho and Aja. ;)

graeme h
23-12-11, 09:00 AM
No zzzzz top in the collection but will spin 'nightfly' and report back. Playing Lindsey Buckingham Live at Bass Performance Hall just now and he is in the room. Second Hand News is propelling along loud and fully under control. It is 'awesome' to use a horrible Americanism. Fantastically engineered disc. G



Well, a lot depends on your personal trip-up-o-meter doesn't it?

An extreme example of where they fail the test badly is practically anything by ZZ Top. They can't do the scale or loudness or clarity at the volume required to make that trio sound as effortlessly tight, rhythmic and lyrical as they do.

There are much less obvious occasions when they don't IMO cut it particularly well and leave me feeling shortchanged. Take something like Fagan's The Nightfly; Here we have an album where ES14s can appear to be in their element, but then when I hear it via a speaker that can really do bass well, I realise I missed the fact that the bass playing actually drives the whole album from start to finish. Even though the bass line is mostly still present via the 14s, it doesn't have the pep and presence I think is needed to make the album come to life.

Mr Tibbs

Mr Tibbs
23-12-11, 09:51 AM
This is where I think we can't be hearing the same things.

On loud rock like Porcupine Tree 'Strip the Soul' they go really loud and stay in control. On Sacre du Printemps they handle the huge dynamic swings with ease. One listener at my bake off last year said he had never heard such scale and dynamics before.

On The Nightfly the bass punches along really well and I can hear what the bass is doing all the way through.

I can only assume the obvious - you haven't heard this music over a speaker that is significantly better at doing scale and maintaining absolute clarity while playing loudly. If you had then you'd know exactly what I'm banging on about. Same goes for the bake off listener.

No zzzzz top in the collection but will spin 'nightfly' and report back. Playing Lindsey Buckingham Live at Bass Performance Hall just now and he is in the room. Second Hand News is propelling along loud and fully under control. It is 'awesome' to use a horrible Americanism. Fantastically engineered disc. G

See above. By all means spin Nightfly, but the effect here is much subtler therefore won't be particularly illuminating, plus you'll be focusing on the bass line and will hear the significance of it now. What struck me about Nightfly was that I'd never found it that interesting via the ES14s, but didn't know why at the time.

Anyway, if you guys are enjoying your ES14s (and clearly you are) then long may it continue. It could be that I just never managed to get them to work as well as it appears you have.

Mr Tibbs

graeme h
23-12-11, 11:04 AM
Mr Tibbs re. Nightfly. You certainly make a valid point in that the bass is there and tuneful, but it by no means drives the music along. Polite and musical on the 14 and so I can concede that something with more ' deft heft ' might be required to fully appreciate the recording. Saying that Ruby Ruby is sounding wonderful as I type and is 'plummier' than the S600 I last played this on.

Are you listening to cd or vinyl? G

sq225917
23-12-11, 12:12 PM
Without a sub they are lacking as you'd expect for a two way. With sub though they are as full range as either my kef203's or my current focal 1027Be's are.

Mr Tibbs
23-12-11, 04:16 PM
Mr Tibbs re. Nightfly. You certainly make a valid point in that the bass is there and tuneful, but it by no means drives the music along. Polite and musical on the 14 and so I can concede that something with more ' deft heft ' might be required to fully appreciate the recording. Saying that Ruby Ruby is sounding wonderful as I type and is 'plummier' than the S600 I last played this on.

Are you listening to cd or vinyl? G

CD here - played on a Karik/Numerik

Ruby Baby is a great song, but have a good listen to New Frontier (the intro & outro in particular) and Nightfly - crank it up a bit and see how well you can follow the bass lines. There should be real body in those low notes, yet still you should clearly hear every bass note without having to consciously listen, if you see what I mean.

I've no idea what S600s sound like, or many of the latest and greatest new speakers for that matter as I hardly go near a hi-fi shop these days. The last speakers I heard that could match my 401s in the bass were James' Ergo-IIIs (a little better in fact), and a pair of Mezzo Utopia's - they were great too.

Mr Tibbs

BenS
24-12-11, 12:57 AM
I own a pair of ES 14 mk2 and for the money they are very good speakers, however, I think that they are pretty limited in what they can do. At they moment they live in my second system and I have a pair of IMF RSPM mk vi in my main system (MacBook pro, audirvana, young DAC, Avondale power supply, Bent Audio reference TVC, Plinius SA100 class A power amp).

I recently had the crossovers in the IMFs updated and ran the ES 14s in the main system while the IMFs were out of action. As you can imagine they sound quite different... In some ways, and at first, I thought they sounded better than the IMFs - cleaner and more brightly lit in the mid, more focussed image. However, they sounded pretty anaemic in comparison to the IMF and obviously lacked a couple of octives at the bottom. As time went on though, I became more and more dissatisfied with them. I felt that I was getting only a fragment of the music, and that wasn't only to do with the lack of bass. I never felt like I was inside the music - it was as though the atmosphere had been stripped from the recording. I haven't looked back since my IMFs went back into action.

The two best speakers I have owned are Spendor S100 and the IMFs and perhaps it is unfair to compare them because either would have cost at least 5 times as much as the Es14. But in my system and to my ears either comprehensively wallop them. Es14 are good for what they are. they are by no means the ultimate speaker, they do somethings very well, but are too limited in my experience.

Ben

graeme h
24-12-11, 02:10 AM
I might think about adding a small sub but I'm wary of slowing down and distorting the whole balance. G

sq225917
24-12-11, 02:37 AM
G add a rel stadium or better, there was a B3 in the classifieds on the Sam last week, you'd lose no cash at the price it was advertised.

Andy21
24-12-11, 02:41 AM
The two best speakers I have owned are Spendor S100 and the IMFs and perhaps it is unfair to compare them because either would have cost at least 5 times as much as the Es14. But in my system and to my ears either comprehensively wallop them. Es14 are good for what they are. they are by no means the ultimate speaker, they do somethings very well, but are too limited in my experience.

Ben

A comparison between speakers at such different price points is neither fair nor meaningful. Nobody, surely, would ever suggest that the ES14 is the ďultimateĒ speaker. Itís one of the better mid-price products from the Ď80s and nothing more. A meaningful comparison would be between the ES14 and the equivalently priced Kef or B&W products of the period.

Iíve said before in this forum, when the ES14 has been compared with more expensive products, that my wifeís Mazda MX5 is nothing like as good as a Porsche Boxster. Iíd need to make the comparison between the MX5 and an Aston-Martin to give the equivalence of pitching an ES14 against an IMF RSPM.

BenS
24-12-11, 02:53 AM
A comparison between speakers at such different price points is neither fair nor meaningful. Nobody, surely, would ever suggest that the ES14 is the ďultimateĒ speaker. Itís one of the better mid-price products from the Ď80s and nothing more. A meaningful comparison would be between the ES14 and the equivalently priced Kef or B&W products of the period.

Iíve said before in this forum, when the ES14 has been compared with more expensive products, that my wifeís Mazda MX5 is nothing like as good as a Porsche Boxster. Iíd need to make the comparison between the MX5 and an Aston-Martin to give the equivalence of pitching an ES14 against an IMF RSPM.


I completely agree with you! But there are quite a few people who seem to be saying that they can't find better than the es14, even with a large budget, say £2000. I find the RSPM mk vi to be several leagues ahead of the es14, but for £2000 and a bit of patience you could get some IMF SACM which would be like comparing an MX5 to a Ferrari Enzo!

It isn't that hard to better the es14 for relatively normal money.

Ben

Mr Tibbs
24-12-11, 03:02 AM
Agree with BenS - particularly the bit about becoming more and more dissatisfied with ES14s over time, only in my case it was a long and lingering dissatisfaction lasting years.

I'm not sure adding a sub is the complete answer either. My take would be to have a listen to some really good three-way speakers where the full range capability is properly integrated into the design. In particular I'd narrow my list of possibles by looking at those designs that prioritise the importance of the midrange. My own 401s cross at 475Hz and 5000Hz so all of the critical midband is handled by one driver and I feel this is hugely important in making them sound cohesive - an area where three way designs can be found wanting.

Don't get hung up on the fact that some of these speakers have (necessarily) complex design - particularly the passive crossovers in them. The ES14 has a crossover too, you just can't see it because it's designed into the drivers. It is I think rather more important where the crossover points are, than how they are achieved.

Mr Tibbs

Mr Tibbs
24-12-11, 03:07 AM
I completely agree with you! But there are quite a few people who seem to be saying that they can't find better than the es14, even with a large budget, say £2000. I find the RSPM mk vi to be several leagues ahead of the es14, but for £2000 and a bit of patience you could get some IMF SACM which would be like comparing an MX5 to a Ferrari Enzo!

It isn't that hard to better the es14 for relatively normal money.

Ben

Fully agree. The OP has a very expensive system and should therefore start looking at some expensive speakers. I'm sure it wouldn't be long before he found one that wiped the floor with his 14s in all departments.

Mr Tibbs

James
24-12-11, 03:23 AM
I'd narrow my list of possibles by looking at those designs that prioritise the importance of the midrange. My own 401s cross at 475Hz and 5000Hz so all of the critical midband is handled by one driver and I feel this is hugely important in making them sound cohesive - an area where three way designs can be found wanting.
Hello Mr Tibbs,

The midband, known as the second decade, spans 200Hz to 2kHz. The human voice covers 80Hz fundamental to around 3.5kHz with harmonics. This is why a good two-way system, where the midwoofer reaches up to 2 or 3kHz, can offer better coherence than a good three-way. Of course, such two-ways systems cannot hope to carry off the bass stunts of a large three-way.

My E-X has an active LF/MF cross at 150Hz. I guess I could easily shift the cross to 80Hz and see what effect that achieves at some stage when I feel an urge to experiment.

Have you implemented the E-IIIR mods yet? If you think the standard version is good, you'll be gob-smacked with the "R".

Merry Christmas to you and all in funkytown.

James

graeme h
24-12-11, 03:40 AM
Fully agree. The OP has a very expensive system and should therefore start looking at some expensive speakers. I'm sure it wouldn't be long before he found one that wiped the floor with his 14s in all departments.

Mr Tibbs

Well, I bought some 'expensive' 'speakers a year ago and, for various reasons, sold them to put cash into a pressing domestic project thinking I could 'slum it' with some old ES14's temporarily.......but......As I say I'm very pleased. My only concern is knowing that out there there is a modern alternative as good or better for sensible money should the drivers go.

No one has suggested anything yet for circa £2k new. A few £4k recommendations and £5k comparisons. I should also say DIY is not my thing...!

Sound of dead horse being well flogged..........Merry Christmas! G

flatpopely
24-12-11, 04:04 AM
I have heard lots of speakers in lots of systems and to date none have made me want to change the ES14s. I do hanker after some SBLs though. I think they might tick all the boxes for me!

NB. Not saying ES14s are the best speaker in the world just the best I have heard.

Gaius
24-12-11, 04:43 AM
James at Tom Tom has some nice SBLs!

graeme h
24-12-11, 05:01 AM
I have heard lots of speakers in lots of systems and to date none have made me want to change the ES14s. I do hanker after some SBLs though. I think they might tick all the boxes for me!

NB. Not saying ES14s are the best speaker in the world just the best I have heard.

The 1970's cocktail cabinet factor rules our SBL's for me! G

flatpopely
24-12-11, 05:03 AM
James at Tom Tom has some nice SBLs!

Cost?

Found em, OMG the sound perfect, wonder how much the 14s are worth?

9designs
24-12-11, 05:36 AM
[QUOTE=graeme h;1551896

No one has suggested anything yet for circa £2k new. A few £4k recommendations and £5k comparisons. I should also say DIY is not my thing...!
G[/QUOTE]

Hmmm thought I had, try the new PMC 20 series, spin off from the FACT8 which has one of the best mid range and vocal quality I've heard.... Hence I bought them ;) Transmision line design will also give good bass.

deltaunit
24-12-11, 06:11 AM
A PFM member from far abroad just contacted me inquiring about the ES14s I recently sold.

If anyone is selling a pair please offer them up! Would make someone a nice Christmas present.

Robert
24-12-11, 07:36 AM
All loudspeakers are pretty poor compared to live sound and technically pretty atrocious compared to good electronics. We just have variations of what poor looks like.
This is because they are by far the weakest link in the chain - certainly where the source is digital and often where it is analogue (LP).

So discussions about 'the best' loudspeaker don't really go anywhere useful and are little different to the other circular discussions we see.

All you can do is pick the balance of +/- that you prefer since nothing, given current technology and the the inherent difficulties of room integration will deliver perfection on a reasonable wide range of music genres - not even close.

I happen to like ESLs a lot because the good points are particularly attractive to me, however I also like what big ATC and PMC actives can do but the balance of vice and virtue is completely different. To some extent the choice must be dictated by your choice of music and how you listen. Small scale classical or jazz listened too in the near field at low SPLs has a fundamentally different set of requirements to drum n bass filling a large open plan house at realistic SPLs, and all of the shades in between. And by 'shades' I don't just mean listening levels and the acoustic space to be filled.

You might crave the best reproduction of voice that you can achieve and that might be the primary criteria in your choice of loudspeaker. This automatically rules out a vast number of contenders. Or you might crave maximum impact and excitement from percussion and that might be the driver for you music collection. This also rules out many potential candidates and you are unlikely to end up with the same model as those looking for the best voice reproduction.
You might like reggae/dub and like it loud - ushers in a while new set of requirements to maximise your enjoyment.

None of that is to say that many loudspeakers cannot do a reasonable job across the board, because many can and I'd include the ES14 & ES11 in that group. Where I might differ from what is perhaps the norm is in stating that you can, to some degree, bend the performance of a decent all-rounder by manipulating the signal you feed it. Loudpeaker preference often boils down to balance and while there are certain fixed qualities inherent to any design, you can adapt the loudspeaker to your personal preference in much the same way that the studio balance engineer would have done. I realise this doesn't often meet with approval in the audiophile world, but you can for example make a distant sounding loudspeaker sound more forward, one that sounds rather shut-in and dull sound more open and sparkling, one sounding a little slow and leaden more agile, and on it goes.

Doing this requires that you abandon what is to me the daft idea that you take delivery of your brand new expensive loudspeakers and accept that the performance available is fixed, when it clearly isn't. The designer has hopefully got the essentials right (as right as they can be) but the performance has been tuned either to his preference or to some notional market preference.
You don't have to accept that, and many a potentially good loudspeaker is damned because the owner considers it's performance to be immovable.

So make 2012 the year for experiment & tear-up the audiophile manual.

graeme h
24-12-11, 07:45 AM
Hmmm thought I had, try the new PMC 20 series, spin off from the FACT8 which has one of the best mid range and vocal quality I've heard.... Hence I bought them ;) Transmision line design will also give good bass.

You are right. I've had TB2, FB1 and AB2 and always thought they lacked snap and bounce....a bit slowwww. Maybe they need muscle amps to really get them going. The FB1 did not produce as good a bass as im getting now and the alu dome not well integrated.

Newer models may be better of course. G

Mr Tibbs
24-12-11, 07:50 AM
Hello Mr Tibbs,

The midband, known as the second decade, spans 200Hz to 2kHz. The human voice covers 80Hz fundamental to around 3.5kHz with harmonics. This is why a good two-way system, where the midwoofer reaches up to 2 or 3kHz, can offer better coherence than a good three-way. Of course, such two-ways systems cannot hope to carry off the bass stunts of a large three-way.

My E-X has an active LF/MF cross at 150Hz. I guess I could easily shift the cross to 80Hz and see what effect that achieves at some stage when I feel an urge to experiment.

Have you implemented the E-IIIR mods yet? If you think the standard version is good, you'll be gob-smacked with the "R".

Merry Christmas to you and all in funkytown.

James

Hi James,

Who said the midrange is 200Hz - 2kHz and why?

I think the upper crossing may be much more critical the the lower and therefore better placed an octave higher than 2kHz. The ear is very sensitive to what's happening at 2kHz and there is a wealth of musical information around that point. This is why I think the Gale 401s sound so good and can equal (or better at higher volume/more complex music) ES14 in the midrange, but with bass performance way better than the two-way 14. I'm sure there must be some modern equivalent out there that the OP can try, but he needs to be prepared to spend the time and money to find it.

Anyway, best wishes to you and yours this Christmas. Quincy and I will be partaking of a Guinness or three, spinning a few tunes and no doubt reminiscing old times at some point over the break!

Mr Tibbs

Tony L
24-12-11, 07:52 AM
No one has suggested anything yet for circa £2k new.

I'd take Audio Note AZ1, Harbeth Compact 7s (despite having a slight reservation about the crossover region (I have with the ES14 too)), Klipsch Heresy IIIs and ProAc D1s for sure (my choice would be the Klipsch or Audio Note, though I hate the vinyl wrap finish on the latter). I'm certain there are some Spendors I'd have at that price too, I just can't remember which are in range, and I'd want to hear some recent Neats at that price point too, i.e. I can think of plenty! I'm not slagging the ES14 though, they are a damn good speaker even though I'm no fan of metal dome tweeters. I'd like to hear a pair driven with tubes one day.

Mr Tibbs
24-12-11, 08:02 AM
Well, I bought some 'expensive' 'speakers a year ago and, for various reasons, sold them to put cash into a pressing domestic project thinking I could 'slum it' with some old ES14's temporarily.......but......As I say I'm very pleased. My only concern is knowing that out there there is a modern alternative as good or better for sensible money should the drivers go.

No one has suggested anything yet for circa £2k new. A few £4k recommendations and £5k comparisons. I should also say DIY is not my thing...!

Sound of dead horse being well flogged..........Merry Christmas! G

Well, 'expensive' is obviously no absolute guarantee of suitability to your requirements. I really only meant that the suitable speaker will most likely be expensive. You need to listen to as many different speakers as possible and start to narrow down the possibilities yourself - it can't be done by proxy!

Mr Tibbs

sq225917
24-12-11, 08:04 AM
The thing is a minty pair of ES14's cost no more than £300- that's stellar value any way you look at it. Those making proclamations about how well they Interegrate with a su. Should may e listen to those who have lived with such a set up for several years and had the opportunity to use them back to back with reference floorstander designs from other brands. If you can place them to get the bass right, which isn't an easy task, they are still unbeatable for anywhere near the mOney.

Robert
24-12-11, 08:07 AM
I'm not slagging the ES14 though, they are a damn good speaker even though I'm no fan of metal dome tweeters. I'd like to hear a pair driven with tubes one day.

Mk1s were wonderful with Radford MA15s in a small room.

9designs
24-12-11, 08:09 AM
You are right. I've had TB2, FB1 and AB2 and always thought they lacked snap and bounce....a bit slowwww. Maybe they need muscle amps to really get them going. The FB1 did not produce as good a bass as im getting now and the alu dome not well integrated.

Newer models may be better of course. G

Note I didn't mention any of those for the reason you found as well.... For me the B range doesn't do it. The FACT8 is a completely different sounding and voiced speaker, and the new 20 series is in that mould. More crips and open, with clean and detailed mid.

Another suggestion, Kudos speakers, will have ES14 licked easily ;)

Andy21
24-12-11, 10:04 AM
Not an answer to the question asked, Iíll grant, but Iíd spend my £2k on some used JBL Array 1500s rather than trying to buy new. John Bamfordís review said something like ďto hear them is to want themĒ and thatís exactly what happened to me. Shame that I don't have £2k.

James
24-12-11, 03:39 PM
Who said the midrange is 200Hz - 2kHz and why?
If the range of human hearing is notionally 20Hz - 20kHz, it's convenient to consider the lowest three and a bit octaves as bass, the middle three and a bit octaves midrange, and the last three and a bit octaves as treble. It's all arbitrary, of course.

I think the upper crossing may be much more critical the the lower and therefore better placed an octave higher than 2kHz. The ear is very sensitive to what's happening at 2kHz and there is a wealth of musical information around that point.
I agree that peaks and dips in the presence band will be easily heard, but I contend that phase alignment between the woofer and mid is equally important. This is one fundamental reason why tack-on subwoofer systems rarely produce an integrated result.

Quincy and I will be partaking of a Guinness or three, spinning a few tunes and no doubt reminiscing old times at some point over the break!
Indeed it is a time for family and close friends. I still have that bottle of Bushmill you gave me. I'll have a nip in the E-III shotglass tonight!

James

Yank
24-12-11, 04:52 PM
A well-integrated crossover at any frequency will sound better than a poorly executed crossover at some idealized perfect crossover frequency. I think these rules like "no crossovers in the crucial midband" or "no crossovers in the presence range" are rubbish. What matters is that the crossover fits the response, directivity, power handling and phase of the drivers being used.

Harry1212
13-09-13, 08:41 AM
Mk 1 ES14's rule OK

Cheers, H

P.S. thread from the dead - RIP Ray.