Epos, once a classic British loudspeaker brand, originally founded in the early Eighties. Considered an engineering maverick, Epos refused to follow many of the speaker design conventions of the day. The range was originally just two stand-mounted speakers - the ES14 and the ES11. Both models delivered exceptional sound quality thanks to a raft of clever engineering solutions, including ultra-simple crossover networks (that used just one capacitor), highly developed mid/bass drivers designed to roll-off smoothly at the top of their operating range, and cleverly constructed cabinets.
Now, under the new ownership of Karl-Heinz Fink – the founder of FinkTeam and in his spare time, an audio consultant to many of biggest hi-fi brands in the industry – Epos is back, and it's only fitting that the first product of this revitalised brand carries the ES14 name.
The Epos ES14N speakers reproduce every sound and note with perfect clarity and authenticity. Whether you’re streaming your tunes or spinning your LP’s, this speaker is designed to give you an unparalleled audio experience. Every detail of your music, every nuanced note is perfectly reproduced, setting the stage for you to fade out the day to day, and truly experience your music. Epos ES14N will give you a backstage pass to your favourite records.
A classic speaker returns to the future
The original Epos ES14 is considered a modern classic. In its day the ES14 lead the industry with clever engineering and circuit design. Fast forward 40 years, technology has advanced at a rapid pace, and simply recreating the original for nostalgias sake, was not good enough for Karl-Heinz and his team. The brief they came up with was, to build a 2-way speaker in a large and classic looking cabinet, to be used on a dedicated stand. The design should be classic, not lifestyle, only doing things that help with the sound and as straight forward as possible. Keeping the design as close to the original ES14, in a modern world, with modern expectations.
The cabinet uses more or less the same volume of the original ES-14 – this is due to the driver configuration and the defined bandwidth of the speaker. The shape of the cabinet is where things change, the front baffle is tilted backwards in order to time align the woofer and the tweeter, this tilt also helps manage the standing wave mode between front and back.
Designed as a reflex system, the rear port is shaped and “cross-drilled” to minimize air flow noise. To avoid losing low bottom end frequencies, those openings are covered with soft flexible material, tuned to eliminate the unwanted resonances of the port.
The cabinet is unique at this price point, using a double layer MDF construction (sandwich), glued together with the latest generation of damping adhesives. Additional bracing has been used to cleverly control any panel vibration modes and reduce any unwanted radiation of the whole cabinet.
While the original ES14 crossover was simple. The advancements in engineering and experience over the past 40 years, have proven that electrical parts are easier to control than old school methods of mechanical filtering in driver units. Many factors were considered in the modern crossover, not least of which modern music sources, digital converters and their treatment of noise in from the source.
Designed by Karl-Heinz, the 7” driver integrates perfectly into the ES14N’s brief. The choice of Polypropylene as cone material was set from the beginning (just like the original). Polypropylene has great properties – it is very consistent; it can be made with different filling material like MICA, and it can be injection moulded into non-linear shapes or even precise variations in thickness. Fitted with a low damping rubber surround, this driver delivers lots of dynamics with very low colouration.
The ES14N’s party piece is its 28mm tweeter. The dome itself is made from an Aluminium alloy with an additional ceramic coating increasing the stiffness. The magnet system uses Ferrite, a better choice for a tweeter if magnet size is not an issue. This design offers a lot more “air “behind the dome and the surround, avoiding compression and harmonic distortion. A copper cap in the magnet further reduces distortion and increases output level at very high frequencies. The oval asymmetric mounted perforated metal grill has been added to protect the dome, this part is not removable and was fitted during the voicing of the speaker. The high mass metal plate of the tweeter is largely isolated from the cabinet, only 4 points make contact to reduce the transfer of energy between tweeter and cabinet baffle.
For a loudspeaker to perform, it needs a solid foundation. Karl-Heinz has designed a dedicated stand for the ES14N to perform from. While you can utilise any 55cm (recommended height) stand, the Epos option takes stand design to another level. The column is designed like a laminated beam, combining 4 layers of wood, glued together with same damping adhesive used internally in the speaker cabinet. The top plate of the stand features a double layer steel plate with a Bitumen layer in between, and 4 perfectly aligned holes to bolt the speaker and stand together. The bottom plate is produced from thick steel, providing stability and housing adjustable spikes.
The ES14N speakers “… are beautifully balanced and insightful, delivering an all-round performance that we haven’t heard bettered at the money. Welcome back, Epos.” What Hi-Fi?
Frequency Response: 40Hz – 23kHz (-6dB) 33Hz – 25kHz (-10dB)
Average Impedance: > 6 Ohm
Minimum Impedance: 4.3 Ohm @ 160Hz
Sensitivity: 87dB @oe2.823V / 1m
Distortion: 0.2% THD @ 1W
Crossover Frequency: 2700 Hz
Bass Unit: High Power 7“, 35 mm voice coil diameter, Hybrid Ferrite and Neodymium magnet, injection moulded cone with variable thickness and Mica filling. Low hysteresis rubber surround.
HF Unit: 28 mm tweeter with Aluminium/Ceramic compound dome and no Ferrofluid
Dimensions: 491 x 250 x 385 mm (HWD) Stand: recommended height 515 mm
Weight: 16 kg without stand
Finish: Walnut, White semi matte, Black semi matte
Cabinet: Reflex loaded, damped Sandwich panels, one dimensional braces, Low Noise Port, Duo Front Panel
Terminal: German made Low Metal Mass 4 mm Banana terminal