Should I change my 30 year old EPOS ES14 based 5.1 system?

Orraman

Novice Member
I have a Denon X3300W receiver, but my speakers are old and are mismatched. I bought them before matched systems came out. They are a pair of 30 year old Epos ES14 on Partington Dreadnought stands, B&W CC6 centre from around 1999 and my rears are Mordant Short 10i from around 2001. I have a BK subwoofer. Sometimes my EPOS sound amazing, sometimes they sound harsh especially at higher volumes.

My room is 5mx5m and my main speakers are either side of my 55 inch TV between the chimney breast and front wall, so each speaker is near a side wall and one metre from the rear wall. I listen to both music and watch movies. I have used the pre-out of the Denon to feed an Arcam A85 which drives my two main stereo speakers.

Three questions:
  1. Will my EPOS still be OK or will the electronics and speaker be at the end of their natural life?
  2. I don’t want to spend a fortune and the Dali Oberon 5.1 is about my limit and I can’t have larger floorstanders. Will the Dalis be as good as my current speakers (or better?)?
  3. Should I update my Denon to the AVC-X3700H?
Thanks for any views you can give me.
 

ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
I have a pair of Epos ES22 and the only speaker I've heard which I feel comfortable with are the Amphion Argon 7LS. The real problem you'll find is the pace plus that exquisite stop start mid-range from the old Epos speakers are almost impossible to match and you need a very powerful amp to grab the bottom end. I've tried many speakers at home up to a value of £6k and those are the only ones that deliver anything like my old Epos speakers. So if you are going to replace you'll need to look at something like the Argon 3S

One of the issue you're hearing is inadequacies of the AV Receiver, it's just isn't up to the job and I'd say you really need to look at upgrading it to hear what they have to offer. If you are looking to move to an alternative speaker like the Oberon then you will be taking a step down in quality, but it will certainly be more in line with the amp that you are looking at

If you are looking to update the amp, I'd say look to Marantz SR8012 as this will have the ability to bring your Epos Speakers to life. If that's a step to far, then you are only open to the option of replacing them. To give you an idea on the quality of amplification required, I have an old AVR600 and that's just on the cuffs of being able to drive them. I've also used a Lyngdorf TDAi 3400 (room correction set to bypass) and on it's own, it delivered an almost identical sound as my Arcam and Teac DAC which I have to say is a testament to the musical ability of the Lyngdorf. It's very special piece of kit indeed. In reality though, this should give you an idea of what is required to really bring the Epos speakers to life

You've probably got a few more years before you hear a sub £1k speaker outperform them and believe it or not, I've based that on customers who came through my old place of work who owned the Kef Reference 104 and were finally happy to replace them with the last generation of Kef Q900. What's more is I tried the final edition of last gen off Kef Reference floorstands and found them to be slow and a little lifeless in comparison to my Epos ES22.
 
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Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
One of the issue you're hearing is inadequacies of the AV Receiver, it's just isn't up to the job and I'd say you really need to look at upgrading it to hear what they have to offer.

I understood that he is driving the Epos speakers with Arcam A85 flagship integrated amp connected to X3300W. :) Looking at the Stereophile measurements for Epos ES14 they are rather easy to drive, sensitivity 87db and the impedance barely drops to 7ohm in the working range, phase angles didn´t look bad either. Tube amp suggested to those, so the Arcam below should be good.

Orraman said the issue was " sometimes they sound harsh especially at higher volumes." Is this due to speakers and/or hard reflective walls/floors without soft furnishing/curtains/rug etc? Dali Zensors were quite bright the last time i heard them and Oberon should be very similar atleast the reviews claim the top end sparkle is still there so not sure are they best choice for movies played loud? Home demo would of course give answers.

There is no reason to change X3300W to X3700H, unless one would need newer connections/features/more channels. It won´t sound any different really.

At least for movies in mind i would swap the B&W to something better quality cause the center channel is one of the most active speaker. Assuming the Eposes are 1400$ speakers, the CC6 isn´t really anywhere near same level.

" B&W CC6 centre from around 1999 "
 

BriD

Well-known Member
I also have a pair of Epos ES22s that I've had since 1997. As @ShanePJ says, I think you'll not match the lovely midrange easily.

I'd look in to room treatment a bit, or maybe a tiny bit of fabric over the tweeters which is something we used to do for Epos customers when I worked in the industry if they were putting them in a very harsh room. Saves using the rubbish velcro on grills ! ;)
 

ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
You're both absolute correct about the furnishing @Gasp3621 and @BriD, a poor room can destroy a speaker sadly. I just think some of the issue is poor power as they need a lot to make them sing with many types of music. Remember this model really doesn't have a crossover (or a very basic one due to it's design) and that woofer driver is a very unusual to say the least with a massive travel distance which sadly needs power to make it work correctly :)
 

ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
@BriD I bought mine from my uncle who had an 8 piece Cyrus system with 6 of those parts being power amp's. Never heard them sing so well. From that point I just knew I wanted them and told him, when he's ready to let them go, I'll have them (i've owned them ever since. Still have the boxes, manual and official brochure plus those naff grills :facepalm:). He still comments about them being the best speakers he's ever owns for mid-range and he's jumped up a few levels since from Cyrus Epos Days to with a few bits of Bryston hi fi plus a pair of Wilson Benesch speakers

Amazingly, He didn't really start buying hi-fi until I got my first one at 18 which is almost 30 years ago and I dragged him into my bedroom to show him my new toys. A few months later, he had a Linn CD player and a Cyrus integrated amp (cannot remember the speakers)

I've just giggled to myself that I've owned my speakers longer than I've been married to my wife :eek: and I love the fact that with the ES22's, each and every one was signed off Robin Marshall after he had auditioned and tweaked where needed before they left the factory (something I heard from the Creek Rep many years ago when I told him I owned a pair).
 

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