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

AM88

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Three that I would look at right off the bat are the Kef R3 Meta, the March Audio Sointuva, and the Ascend Sierra LX. Inasmuch as the LX goes for $1400/pr, is made in the US, and has been out there for at least 18 months, it's a mystery to me why a single pair hasn't found its way to either Amir or Erin for review.
I am pretty sure that Erin mentioned in with one of his recent videos that he’s going to get a pair of ascend acoustic speakers in,( the Sierra lx?) and that they are form the company itself, if I am not mistaken. It was in a video where he talks about what is upcoming….
 

YSC

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Come on! This „third party measurements“ were from a Czech HiFi magazine. I read a little bit via deepL.
It was more kind of joke and the measurements were from a very long distance made in their hearing room. They said, that it just tells something about the speaker at THEIR listening seat…… Nothing you have to take serious.
The Epos EOS 14 N is a flat speaker. As flat as it can get with a Spinorama ranking of 6.5
But it’s diffraction characteristics (even without waveguide or BECAUSE of the lack of the waveguide) makes it possible to tune it up to 7.4 - more than Neumann KH 150 which is also on my shortlist (as the Ascent Acoustics Sierra LX!).
Well, but vendor data are more often a complete joke than trust worthy, for example I recall the exmachina pulsar measures pitch perfectly flat and with perfect
IMG_6441.jpeg



And then Erin measures it
IMG_6439.jpeg


See how big the difference is? When a decent speaker have only vendor measurements, I always put in a huge grain of salt with it, especially considering the preference score. Also the directivity of the ES14N really have a significant mismatch, that alone stops it from being very EQ friendly. So after all those justifications you can’t possibly convince me that it’s THE best speaker ever, just a good speaker at best, I will take the Neumann or genelec the ones or any kef meta any day instead
 

dogmamann

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Well, but vendor data are more often a complete joke than trust worthy, for example I recall the exmachina pulsar measures pitch perfectly flat and with perfectView attachment 318625


And then Erin measures itView attachment 318624

See how big the difference is? When a decent speaker have only vendor measurements, I always put in a huge grain of salt with it, especially considering the preference score. Also the directivity of the ES14N really have a significant mismatch, that alone stops it from being very EQ friendly. So after all those justifications you can’t possibly convince me that it’s THE best speaker ever, just a good speaker at best, I will take the Neumann or genelec the ones or any kef meta any day instead
Epos uses Klippl for their measurements. So it must be atleast faithful. Also, the company is kot claiming anything out of the world. But it’s a very good decent speaker.
 

YSC

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Epos uses Klippl for their measurements. So it must be atleast faithful. Also, the company is kot claiming anything out of the world. But it’s a very good decent speaker.

I just saw this in the first page, it’s good to excellent in deed, but to say it’s the best passive with that directivity error won’t even be close to it… pure spins alone I can think of March audio and KEF reference meta to be better than it, I didn’t say or want to imply they cheated or is scam like, just can’t agree it’s the best passive as OP suggests it to be
 

dogmamann

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I just saw this in the first page, it’s good to excellent in deed, but to say it’s the best passive with that directivity error won’t even be close to it… pure spins alone I can think of March audio and KEF reference meta to be better than it, I didn’t say or want to imply they cheated or is scam like, just can’t agree it’s the best passive as OP suggests it to be
Probably best for his ears. Not for everyone :) and that’s possible.
 

YSC

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Probably best for his ears. Not for everyone :) and that’s possible.
yea it probably is the case, I just have access to proper computer and go spinorama.org. that measurement is indeed typical klippel look so I would take back my huge grain of salt, but then tthat one don't look like too out of the worldly good as expected, and going for the preference score within 0.5 points is pretty pointless to me yet comparing it with sub and EQ score... just by directivity which showing how well it respond to EQ, it's worse than 8030C, KH120, KEF reference 1, March sotinova etc. if combine everything else it's the choice of him personally among all similar to slightly better objectively performing speakers, I say it perfectly fine, but just keep on arguing it's the best ever is.. well.. out of my understanding;)
 

Soniclife

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I think actually more stiffness increases the frequency of resonance, but mass per se (with the same bracing pattern or whatever) tends to absorb more energy overall? With sheer mass I think more is more, although what you really want is damping or more internal reflections via well-thought-out layering, not just a big dumb block of stiff material, which doesn't necessarily help a lot.
The documents on the BBC thin wall approach are well worth a read for anyone interested in how to lower resonances, they don't produce the best results these days, but there are some unintuitive ways of improving things.

The make things super heavy approach is what you get taught in the "more better" module of armchair engineering.
 

sigbergaudio

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yea it probably is the case, I just have access to proper computer and go spinorama.org. that measurement is indeed typical klippel look so I would take back my huge grain of salt, but then tthat one don't look like too out of the worldly good as expected, and going for the preference score within 0.5 points is pretty pointless to me yet comparing it with sub and EQ score... just by directivity which showing how well it respond to EQ, it's worse than 8030C, KH120, KEF reference 1, March sotinova etc. if combine everything else it's the choice of him personally among all similar to slightly better objectively performing speakers, I say it perfectly fine, but just keep on arguing it's the best ever is.. well.. out of my understanding;)

At least two those are active? Also looking at the graphs most of those are not obviously better either.

Not saying which is better, so agree with you that this speaker isn't obviously better than the one you listed out, but it's not clear cut that it's worse either. Based on my own preference and just eyeballing the graphs, overall it looks like the tonality of the Epos would probably be subjectively better to me than most if not all on your list.
 

dogmamann

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Who did these MLSSA measuring? Can‘t find them in the web. Something wrong with the internal wiring?
Those are audio+stereoplay measuring. The Wilson audios you heard are not accurate. And if you and Gregor liked it, it’s just means you prefer something not so accurate but something that suits your taste. And that’s alright. They would look great in a living room, and Wilson has the brand value so that it uplifts the feeling of owning exotic.
 

dogmamann

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The Epos EOS 14 N is a flat speaker.
Mr. Fink chooses to disagree! He himself mentioned in older post here that, he target wasn’t flat but bit of a dip in upper mids. Anyway, if the directivity was even, it would have been possible to eq it out to flat for those who needed it that way. But it doesn’t have uniform directivity. The best Passive speaker in 2023 technically under 5K is the KEF R3 meta. Subjectively many people may find lot of speakers better than them. But objectively not.
 

thewas

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Based on my own preference and just eyeballing the graphs, overall it looks like the tonality of the Epos would probably be subjectively better to me than most if not all on your list.
I don't agree there, as said already several times in the thread the on-axis tonality is just one part which is not enough to fully describe an excellent loudspeaker, the directivity is another one and in this case isn't great, all others in his list don't have such a large directivity mismatch at the crossover region.
 

sigbergaudio

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I don't agree there, as said already several times in the thread the on-axis tonality is just one part which is not enough to fully describe an excellent loudspeaker, the directivity is another one and in this case isn't great, all others in his list don't have such a large directivity mismatch at the crossover region.

But how do you know this will lead you to prefer the others if you actually listened to them all?

And I was looking at the listening window, not the on axis response.
 

test1223

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Sorry but most of the "measurements ultras" ;) aren't able to do an accurate interpretation of the spinorama measurements. You don't consider things like the deviation between the on axis frequency response and the early reflections and so on...

You are right that a bit less smoothing can increase the score but if you go from 1/12 to 1/20 that is minimal about 0.1 to 0.2 point should be the impact.

Than it is contradicting that you on the one hand claim that the spinorama data and science behind it is that important, so no small deviation can be a good thing, but on the other hand you dismiss the high predicted preference score which is a result from exactly this research direction. So you essential claim to be better at judging a speakers tonality than the algorithm of the research you ironically praise. Disclaimer you are most likely not.

The typical bashing of speakers like Wilson Audio is kind of silly. I guess almost no one who is bashing them had the chance to listen to them at home for a longer time. You have the review of the small ones here at asr but are ignoring the good subjective comments especially with a small amount of eq it sounded very good. Some qualities can't be displayed by measurements of the spinorama and you need other measurements to show the strength of such designs like Wilson Audio or B&W. E.g. they clearly have enclosures which minimize resonances and resonances in general is the number one cause of being a bad speaker.

You always have to be aware that in the end an actual preference score from a blind listening test is the objective truth and not the predicted preference score from measurements, which try to mimic the results of an actual listening test. Haven't you wondered why a lot of the JBL speakers don't score the highest predicted preference score but a lot of these where developed so they have a better preference score so they sound better in an actual listening test.

Do you (measurement ultras ;) ) really think the engineers at all these speaker brands are doing nonesense the whole day?
 

thewas

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But how do you know this will lead you to prefer the others if you actually listened to them all?

And I was looking at the listening window, not the on axis response.
Because the experience of the Harman researchers has shown that if all the other parameters the same, loudspeakers with smooth directivity are preferred, my comparably limited personal experience (have owned over 30 pairs of different loudspeakers in the past and have listened to much more) and from members here doesn't seem to disagree with that either. Of course if tonality and bandwidth of a loudspeaker with a smoother directivity are compromised than in a direct comparison the other loudspeaker might be preferred but tonality and bandwidth can be corrected via EQ and subs but directivity problems not.

Also listening window is in the end just a single response which can be equalised to any smoothness and target desired but that doesn't mean much, unless listening in the direct nearfield, as Dr. Toole says:

Equalization can address frequency response issues, but cannot fix directivity issues. Consider getting better loudspeakers. Equalizing flawed loudspeakers to match this room curve does not guarantee anything in terms of sound quality.

...

The simple fact is that a steady-state room curve is not accurately descriptive of sound quality - comprehensive anechoic data are remarkably capable, but such data are rare.

The Harman curve is not a "target" in the sense that any flawed loudspeaker can be equalized to match it and superb sound will be the reward. The most common flaws in loudspeakers are resonances (which frequently are not visible in room curves) and irregular directivity (which cannot be corrected by equalization). The only solution to both problems is better loudspeakers, the evidence of which is in comprehensive anechoic data.


Also about such designs like the ES 14 N:

In the crossover between a 6- to 8-inch woofer and a 1-inch tweeter, a directivity mismatch at crossover is unavoidable. Above crossover, the tweeter has much wider dispersion than the woofer, so there is an energy rise over a wide frequency range.

Source: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ut-room-curve-targets-room-eq-and-more.10950/
 

Karl-Heinz Fink

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It only counts if you can hear it in the speaker. Knocking on sculptures and musical instruments is useless. Everyone know what knocking on a stone and an intentionally resonant cavity will do. That’s a good example of dumb marketing talk.

Solid cabinets have higher resonances, but when they are triggered they ring persistently. There is another school of thought (espoused by those following in your own speaker’s designer’s footsteps) that speaker resonance should be damped at lower frequency to inaudible levels.

Either way, it shows up in measurements and does or doesn’t reach an audible level ( and even then may be masked). I’ve found three sets of Wilsons fatiguing. Probably just due to uneven HF response or dispersion.


There is a lot happening with cabinet vibrations, but most people here tend to ignore it, just looking at Spinorama pictures. Once you learn how to measure the radiation of the cabinet in relation to the active speaker output, you realise what kind of problem you have. What people like about Wilsons is the lack of cabinet output. I think they never have been great at making crossovers....something you can easily see on certain Stereophile measurements, but some of them are sounding not bad at all. To say it's only marketing without really having tested a few of them is not correct.
 
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sigbergaudio

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Because the experience of the Harman researchers has shown that if all the other parameters the same, loudspeakers with smooth directivity are preferred, my comparably limited personal experience (have owned over 30 pairs of different loudspeakers in the past and have listened to much more) and from members here doesn't seem to disagree with that either. Of course if tonality and bandwidth of a loudspeaker with a smoother directivity are compromised than in a direct comparison the other loudspeaker might be preferred but tonality and bandwidth can be corrected via EQ and subs but directivity problems not.

Also listening window is in the end just a single response which can be equalised to any smoothness and target desired but that doesn't mean much, unless listening in the direct nearfield, as Dr. Toole says:

Equalization can address frequency response issues, but cannot fix directivity issues. Consider getting better loudspeakers. Equalizing flawed loudspeakers to match this room curve does not guarantee anything in terms of sound quality.

...

The simple fact is that a steady-state room curve is not accurately descriptive of sound quality - comprehensive anechoic data are remarkably capable, but such data are rare.

The Harman curve is not a "target" in the sense that any flawed loudspeaker can be equalized to match it and superb sound will be the reward. The most common flaws in loudspeakers are resonances (which frequently are not visible in room curves) and irregular directivity (which cannot be corrected by equalization). The only solution to both problems is better loudspeakers, the evidence of which is in comprehensive anechoic data.


Also about such designs like the ES 14 N:

In the crossover between a 6- to 8-inch woofer and a 1-inch tweeter, a directivity mismatch at crossover is unavoidable. Above crossover, the tweeter has much wider dispersion than the woofer, so there is an energy rise over a wide frequency range.

Source: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ut-room-curve-targets-room-eq-and-more.10950/

At the end of the day most listeners won't use subs or eq. Out of the box this speaker may well sound better than the competitors mentioned by some here, even the active ones, since they may have ringing or artifacts not visible in the measurements at all.

I'm not arguing your general points, I'm arguing the assumptions that one can take any two speakers and know which speaker sounds subjectively best to a given listener from the measurements alone.
 

thewas

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Sorry but most of the "measurements ultras" ;) aren't able to do an accurate interpretation of the spinorama measurements. You don't consider things like the deviation between the on axis frequency response and the early reflections and so on...
On the other hand also the Harman score doesn't do it in depth as its quite limited. ;)

The typical bashing of speakers like Wilson Audio is kind of silly. I guess almost no one who is bashing them had the chance to listen to them at home for a longer time. You have the review of the small ones here at asr but are ignoring the good subjective comments especially with a small amount of eq it sounded very good. Some qualities can't be displayed by measurements of the spinorama and you need other measurements to show the strength of such designs like Wilson Audio or B&W. E.g. they clearly have enclosures which minimize resonances and resonances in general is the number one cause of being a bad speaker.
Sorry but these kind of arguments are also kind of tedious, as first of all not few people here had owned in the past loudspeakers of such brands and discovered later that there are better to which they moved, myself for example owned several pairs of B&W loudspeakers sind 1992. Secondly really good loudspeakers also have enclosures with low vibrations and thus parasitic radiation (like for example Genelec., Neumann, KEF etc) so you don't need to compromise on the other metrics to have such.

Do you (measurement ultras ;) ) really think the engineers at all these speaker brands are doing nonesense the whole day?
Do the "Pauls" do nonsense from their business point of view? Of course not, the since the late 80s degenerated audio market gives them right and such a big percentage of poorly engineered or even snake oil products are successful, so this is not really an expedient argument.
 

Karl-Heinz Fink

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In the crossover between a 6- to 8-inch woofer and a 1-inch tweeter, a directivity mismatch at crossover is unavoidable. Above crossover, the tweeter has much wider dispersion than the woofer, so there is an energy rise over a wide frequency range.

Source: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ut-room-curve-targets-room-eq-and-more.10950/
Yepp, you know that and I know that...and it has been that way for ages. Again making a waveguide is easy, but not everybody likes the sound of them. Also, even the waveguide is a compromise, as it tries to compensate something "not so good" of the woofer (starting to beam) by making the nice radiation of the tweeter as bad as the woofer, so it's continuously bad. OK, this is of course a bit cynical....but maybe it can make you understand that there a people who don't think Sean Olive's way is the only one to go.
 
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