Back to the Future with the Epos ES14N !
Epos were founded in 1983 and since then they made some superb speakers at varying price points, the original ES14 was one of their most iconic designs. Over the years the Epos brand name changed hands a few time and in 2020 Creek Audio sold the brand to Karl Heinz Fink.
Fink Audio Consulting have essentially gone back to the drawing board with the ES14N to reinvent it for todays market. Visually the ES14N certainly looks like a classic Epos design, they are available in 3 finishes, walnut, semi-matte white and semi-matte black.
As with the original ES14 these new speaker are a large 2 way standmount, dedicated stands are available for them which stand at approximately 520mm with the spikes fitted so the speaker isn’t too top heavy, total height is just over 1 metre.
One difference with the new design is that the cabinet is tilted backward, to time align the tweeter and the mid-bass driver. The cabinet has the same internal volume as the original, which is a direct result of the driver configuration and the defined bandwidth of the speaker.
The mid/bass driver is a 7 inch unit and the tweeter is a 28mm aluminium/ceramic compound design. The tweeter sits in its own cavity within the cabinet and is protected by large metal perforated grill (the speaker was voiced with this in place). The large metal plate of the tweeter is only touching the cabinet on 4 points around the screws (an idea taken from Roy George of Naim Audio with his blessing) to reduce the transfer of energy between tweeter and cabinet baffle.
It is a rear ported reflex design, if you look at image of the port tube you will see small openings on the tube to aid airflow and reduce unwanted resonance.
The cabinet itself is fairly substantial weighing in at 16kg, constructed using double layer mdf, additional bracing has been adding to keep cabinet radiation as low as possible.
The front panel is solid and is glued and screw into place on the cabinet, if you look carefully at the front baffle you will see it has a 45 degree chamfered edge – this is for sonic purposes and isn’t cosmetic – it aids with diffraction and off axis response.
As per advice from Epos the ES14N definitely sound best their grill removed.
They are a superb sounding speaker, they aren’t particularly difficult to drive and they aren’t too fussy about partnering electronics, but if you put behind a good amplifier behind them they respond magnificently. I’ve used the Gold Note IS 1000 Deluxe and the T+A PA 1100 E integrated amplifiers with great results and I’ll also be putting them through their paces with the T+A 200 Series and the Alluxity Int One mk2. I may even given them an outing with an RI-101!
They are a very open sounding, dynamic loudspeaker and given their cabinet size (coupled with that 7 inch bass driver) they have plenty of depth and scale as well so if you appreciate bass you won’t feel short changed even though they are ‘only a stand mount speaker’
The build quality is superb and the walnut finish on my demonstration pair is fantastic!
The speakers are £4400 including the dedicated stands or £3750 without stands, the stands can be purchased separately for £800 so it makes sense buy them with the speakers.
40Hz – 23kHz (-6dB) 33Hz – 25kHz (-10dB)
> 6 Ohm
4.3 Ohm @ 160Hz
87dB @oe2.823V / 1m
0.2% THD @ 1W
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.
28 mm tweeter with Aluminum/Ceramic compound dome and no Ferrofluid
491 x 250 x 385 mm (HWD)
Stand: recommended height 515 mm
16 kg without stand
Walnut, White semi matte, Black semi matte
Reflex loaded, damped Sandwich panels, one dimensional braces, Low Noise Port, Duo Frontpanel
German made Low Metal Mass 4 mm Banana terminal