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Epos ES 14 N - best passive Speaker in SpiNorama.org so far? (7.4/10 with equalisation without subwoofer)

totti1965

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The brief but exciting listening experience with the Wilson Sasha V on Saturday (Deutsche HiFi Tage 2023 in Darmstadt, Germany) got me thinking.
Why does it sound so pure in tone?
Then I thought about the one-hour german podcast
kHz & Bitgeflüster Episode #12: The perfect loudspeaker - And why it doesn't exist - with Karl-Heinz Fink
hifi.de

or the half hour YouTube video with Karl Heinz Fink; I listened to the podcast completely at that time.....

Important: From 17.35 min on it gets really interesting in the video below (completely in german)!

Karl-Heinz Fink: the speaker whisperer | development in the smallest detail
youtube.com


Fink outed himself as a huge fan of Wilson Audio - because of the pricelessly thick cabinet walls and the extreme resonance poverty of the expensive cast stone cabinets.

Then there was something with Epos?
Fink bought the company in 2020.
Torsten Roscher (my Guru in the 1980 ies) loved the Epos from Robin Marshall (England) when I asked him in 1987 or so if there were any speakers that were in Frankfurt that he liked.
He named Beveridge (I thought they were stupid in the demo) and Epos.

Fink resurrected the ES 14 from Epos in 2022 as the ES 14 N.

Then look at the unbiased database www.Spinorama.org

Damn: Its new Epos ES 14 N is the best passive speaker in the entire database (over 300 passive speakers - you have to choose: Measuring Quality high!).
Anyway, if you click that even a little equalizing is allowed.

Even without equalizing still top ten of the passive speakers.

Why is it so good?

1.
The radiation into the room is wonderfully even. So it can be corrected perfectly. So with Fink's boxes, the room also has a harmonic frequency response. Everything seems more natural. Some frequencies are not preferred at certain radiation angles - which ruins the localization with many loudspeakers.

Studio monitors are often only clean on axis. They need an extremely damped room to sound really good. Gregor and I heard this among other things in the room acoustics lecture.

Fink's Epos ES 14 beat even the Neumann KH 150 (also with some frequency response correction) In the living room, the Epos are winners!

2.
The cabinet walls are thick and the baffle is 4.5 cm (1.75 inches) thick.
Wilson sends its regards here as well!

3.
The speaker is slanted a few degrees so that the acoustic centers of the midrange are at least a few cm in front of those of the woofer and everything reaches the listener at the same time.
Also Wilson philosophy.

4.
The magnet systems of the drivers are made in such a way that distortion is minimized via shorting rings.
Also, crazy mix of materials for the magnets and most elaborate design of the drive.
Again, Wilson: Gregor, a friend of mine, did note that the drivers are off-the-shelf externally (Top Scan Speak series). In fact, Wilson emphasizes modifications and their own ideas in the drive.

5.
Impedance:
Michael, a recent Speaker guru from the Frankfurt area (the one with the anti-fascist past in his family history) is right:
Impedance is everything. Even in the dynamic range!
Even during the oscillation process the impedance of a chassis changes constantly.
No amplifier can compensate for this.....
Brings impurities....
That's why the shape of the magnet system has to be tweaked,
until the impedance is exactly the same for every membrane position of the chassis.
Then the magnet(s) may look a bit messy and oddly shaped, but the music will not.

6.
Distortions:
The distortions of the Epos ES 14 N are, due to the massiveness of the speaker and the great magnet systems, the lowest I have ever seen in a measurement write-up in my life - and I have been reading stereoplay for 40 years! All distortions at 87 dB below 0.4% - and even in the bass down to 60 Hz. (Klippel System used!) Mostly even below 0.1 %. The Geithain ME 901 is perhaps similarly clean and comes down an octave in the bass - but otherwise I can't think of such a clean speaker. Even the best Neumann studio monitors, at least the record holders from Amir, have about twice as much distortion between 60 and 120 Hz!


So today watched a few more youtube videos on the Epos ES 14 N (with in-ear monitors).
The Epos at the fair in Fankfurt: Count Basie plays "Blues for the Barbecue" - definitely listen to it with headphones!

FINK Team and the new Epos ES14N designed by Karl-Heinz Fink // HighEnd 2022 Munich
youtube.com


Mannnnnnnn, you notice even with such a fucking YouTube video how fucking natural and musical and pure this thing sounds!!!!

On his private blog the master personally explains why the Epos sounds so good (the impedance thing was totally new to me!), why it's hard to build speakers with 6 dB crossovers, how you can prove by measurements that a tilted baffle leads to more time-correct radiation etc. etc. etc.


Technical information at Fink: Someone who REALLY knows and likes to share his knowledge.

Quite similar to the sound engeneer I spoke with at saturday (Dominique Klatte from Jazz-on-Vinyl)
I am sure that the Epos speakers can bring a similar purity in sound as the Wilson......

A typical needle in a haystack!

Unfortunately or God-be-thanked (trade fair participations ruin prices, which the end consumer must then pick up again!) Epos and Fink was not at the fair the day before yesterday

Because of all of that - the Epos ES 14 N now is definitely on my shortlist!


Best regards,

thw
 

thewas

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Fink resurrected the ES 14 from Epos in 2022 as the ES 14 N.

Then look at the unbiased database www.Spinorama.org

Damn: Its new Epos ES 14 N is the best passive speaker in the entire database (over 300 passive speakers - you have to choose: Measuring Quality high!).
Anyway, if you click that even a little equalizing is allowed.

Even without equalizing still top ten of the passive speakers.

Why is it so good?
One of the reasons why it scores so high is that its spinorama.org plot comes from the vendor itself and it has some smoothing (also due to the scanning done by spinorama.org). which improves the score significantly. I am pretty sure that if it will be measured by Amir or Erin it won't be as high.

Also it is a bit selective to choose the option with optimal EQ but not with also subwoofer, in that case for example the much cheaper Monitor Audio Silver 50 7g and Polk Audio XT15 which were even measured by guaranteed quality sources (EAC) score even higher.

The radiation into the room is wonderfully even. So it can be corrected perfectly.
No, it's spinorama shows the typical problems/discontinuities of a typical large 2-way without a waveguide.

Now about the hype around Wilson loudspeakers, many people here (including myself) have a quite different opinion.

With all that I don't want to say that the ES 14 N is not a decent loudspeaker, but it also by far not the best passive, as of course also for the above mentioned Monitor Audio and Polk Audio models.
 
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totti1965

totti1965

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The Monitor audio Silver 50 7g scored 6.4 and the Polk Audio XT 15 just 6.2 with the typical adjustments you do with Roon which is lower than 7.4!
I choose without subwoofer because it would be for my Sleeping room ....:)
Anyway ... the adition of a PERFECT Subwoofer (or two of them!) is just a virtual thing. You can argue that there is no such thing as a perfect woofer!
The roon adjustments are a pretty much realistic thing.

The smoothing was just 1/12 of an Oktave so the measuring Quality is according to spinorama.org "high" nonetheless!
But you are right: I want to see these speakers measured by Amir (or Erin) and so I sent a message to Karl-Heinz Fink today!
I asked him, if he will send a pair to @amirm !

We will see......
 
Last edited:

maty

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EPOS ES14N

2023-04-30-TST-EPOS-ES14N-m2.png

2023-04-30-TST-EPOS-ES14N-m4.png

2023-04-30-TST-EPOS-ES14N-m9.png

2023-04-30-TST-EPOS-ES14N-m13.png

2023-04-30-TST-EPOS-ES14N-m14.png
 

thewas

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The Monitor audio Silver 50 7g scored 6.4 and the Polk Audio XT 15 just 6.2 with the typical adjustments you do with Roon which is lower than 7.4!
I choose without subwoofer because it would be for my Sleeping room ....:)
Anyway ... the adition of a PERFECT Subwoofer (or two of them!) is just a virtual thing. You can argue that there is no such thing as a perfect woofer!
The roon adjustments are a pretty much realistic thing.
The EQ as the scores are also idealisations which depend as said also on many parameters like smoothing. Also it should be kept in mind that score differences smaller than a whole point (1.0) lead to statistically non significant preferences in real listening tests, in real life other things can matter more like max SPL, low distortion, desired horizontal and vertical radiation width etc.
 

maty

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We are in 2023 year but €4,000 and 7“ woofer with Polypropylene cone

Well, not only Polypropylene

High Power 7“, 35 mm voice coil diameter, Hybrid Ferrite and Neodymium magnet, injection molded cone with variable thickness and Mica filling. Low hysteresis rubber surround.
 

nerdoldnerdith

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The March Audio Sointuva has a 7.3 with EQ and no sub, and that's with proper measurements that aren't smoothed by the vendor. I think the Epos would lose some points if it were tested the same way. You can see the same thing with other speakers like those from Perlisten where the only measurements we have are the smoothed ones from the vendor.
 
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totti1965

totti1965

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O. K. ; But: the 7.83 points of the Perlisten r5t is pure phantasy. Because of that, their measurements are rated as low.
I think, they are smoothed 1/3 Octave.
Yes, it‘s the same problem with many many KEF speakers. The factory results are -if not phantasy- so at least very optimistic because of some smoothing………
The Epos measurements are 1/12 Octave smoothed, so optically I don‘t see any difference between these measurements and those of Erin or @amirm - that is why they are ranked as high quality.
So I hope that a Klippel analyses from Amir will get also a 7.3 or 7.4 as a result!

Are you shure, that Erin and Amir don‘t use the 1/12 Octave smoothing? Pretty much the same look for me!
 

Karl-Heinz Fink

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Hi,

I published the measurements of ES-14N and I made them with the Klippel NFS.
So I think I did everything to be as transparent as possible. I can't see what would be different with a different Klippel NFS. The other measurement I saw above looks a bit strange, so I cannot comment, as I don't know how it was made. I trust my NFS .....and my ears.
Even so, I like Audiosciencereview and Erins Channel, it does not mean I always agree with what both conclude from the measurements. With a lot I'm OK, but a small valley in the 2-3kHz area for example is very easy to straighten out with a crossover, but sometimes you add it to avoid the speaker sounding aggressive and too forward. Designing a waveguide for a tweeter is not very complicated, but I like the way it sounds in the room without it and with an exposed dome. The speaker is a compromise in most cases, so my speakers are the result of my idea of a compromise.
I can accept if somebody thinks a speaker only has to be so and so......as long as I have the freedom to do it the way I like.
We have a lot of equipment around and we use it a lot......but in the end, we have to listen to it and so, final adjustments are done by ear.
So far, we have not established a distribution for EPOS in the US. it's a difficult market, as it is so large and the time is not very good for a new brand, even so, it's old. So we have to wait for better times and the right distributor.

Best regards

KHF
 

Karl-Heinz Fink

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We are in 2023 year but €4,000 and 7“ woofer with Polypropylene cone

Well, not only Polypropylene

What's wrong with PP in 2023? It's a nice material if you know what you do with it. All your wonderful modern materials that are sold as wonder materials are nice for marketing and often only made for marketing. You want Carbon in your marketing story....no problem, but make sure, it's only a little, so it does not destroy the nice behaviour of the basic cone material. A lot of those tales about cones are not true. Light and stiff? No. You need a certain moving mass and a certain BL in a woofer to get some useful output at low frequencies. A light cone does not help here. A stiff cone that only works pistonic, reduces the bandwidth. In real life, you use the modes in a cone to extend the bandwidth and the dispersion. That works very well with PP and paper.
Upps, I'm writing too much already :) .
 

Matias

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Just wait until March Audio releases the high res spin of the Sointuva AWG. Below is a preview.


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Soria Moria

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Just wait until March Audio releases the high res spin of the Sointuva AWG. Below is a preview.


index.php


index.php
Holy crap! Would I be able to afford it?
 
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