EPI Speakers

airdronian

Radar Member
A completely rebuilt CA-1010 with all of the good caps in it at that!

First generation EPI and Yamaha of that vintage is a "natural" pairing (pardon the in-joke). My first "good" stereo back as a university student was a CA-410 and M50s (actually not quite true - I had a CA-400 and Dynaco A-10s for a few weeks before they were stolen). I tried every speaker in the shop I could afford and the EPIs came out on top with the Yamaha. The 100s actually do real justice to the CA-1010 to my ears. The top end is really smooth and sweet (as one expects with those tweeters) and the bass is quite palpable. What I wasn't expecting was that the mid-range would be so nice as well. Female vocals come across very well indeed.
That CA-410 - was the first integrated amp I purchased back in the day. Learned about clipping (took out a tweeter in my JBL L40) and then moved up the chain to the CA-810 which I had for a number of years.
 

HepcatWilly

Junior Member
Hmm. I'm really happy with my AR-LST2 right now, but I've got a pair of Epi 150 that I should pull out. Come to think of it, I've got a Genesis III+ that need a new crossover...
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
I wasn't disagreeing, just amplifying.

;)
I really do think that the choices of pairings were pretty regional, especially back in those days. Even between cities I noticed differences, probably due to the influence of whoever the local audio shops were.
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
That CA-410 - was the first integrated amp I purchased back in the day. Learned about clipping (took out a tweeter in my JBL L40) and then moved up the chain to the CA-810 which I had for a number of years.
I never managed to get mine to clip, even playing the little M50s so loudly that they would walk across shelf they were on and I'd have to catch them before they jumped right off! The CA-810 is a really nice amp, pretty durned close to the 1010 and (to my ears) a fairly big step up from the 610. I guess there were other similar models in different markets, but we had the 410, 610, 810, 1010 and the 2010 as well, though I never actually saw one in a shop for sale. I wanted the 1010, but could afford the 410. Funny thing is that my 1010 was a rescue, found just before it was headed to the dump.
 

Try1256

Very Special Member
Had a CA-810 for a while. It was a sweet sounding amp. I just remember turning it up and thinking that it didn't sound loud. Until I walked out of the room and realized that it was pretty loud after all. Just clean and smooth.
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
Had a CA-810 for a while. It was a sweet sounding amp. I just remember turning it up and thinking that it didn't sound loud. Until I walked out of the room and realized that it was pretty loud after all. Just clean and smooth.
They really are incredibly low distortion amplifiers.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
A buddy of mine had a pair of EPI 3-ways in college.

I no longer recall the exact model # or any other specifics on them except that they were 4 Ohms, and they played at concert level loudness driven by his 60 watt Adcom GFA-535 amp.

Unfortunately, he got talked into bringing them to his Rutgers University fraternity house for a party. After the drunkenness reached its typical over the top levels, one of his dumb-ass frat brothers pushed things too far and apparently the speakers were blown, or at least that was my buddy's summation at the time.

He for whatever reason instantly concluded they would never be useable ever again, no consideration for further testing or future repair was given. Instead, he and his frat brothers hauled them up onto the roof of the frat house in order to throw them off and smash them to pieces, and that's exactly what they did.

The story didn't quite end there, as apparently one of the speakers landed dangerously close to a campus police officer who had arrived on the scene, they were very lucky no one was hurt in tossing these speakers off the roof of that frat house. Miraculously, no one was hurt or arrested.
 
EPI Speakers... Yup they are something special... Bought my first pair in 1974. Went to a local "Tweeter" and fell in love with the EPI M100s and came close to walking out with a pair... Then I heard the EPI M150 with a slightly richer lower end (bigger cabinet) and ended up with them. Dragged them all over the world during my 25-years in the US Military. Last 10 years they sat forgotten in a storage closet with beat-up cabinets (movers can be brutal) and grills subjected to actions by several cats long gone.
COVID came along and I started dragging old gear out and going through them... The M150s were resurrected first... and then I got the bug. I soon rehabbed three EPI M180Vs, One EPI M100Ws, four EPI M50Ws (my new favorites) and two EPI M100s with water-damaged cabinets I am slowly pulling apart to try to restore.

The current stable is EPI heavy with a few Advents, AR, KLH, and a few other speakers hanging around.

M150_for web.jpgEPI M150-small.jpg20201012_090023.jpg20200503_100310.jpgEPI M180 Modified Crossover-1.jpgepi 180 crossover-2 Schematic.jpg20201012_090005.jpg20200824_153345.jpg20201010_185603.jpg20201008_124401.jpgSX-1010 enhanced.jpg20201126_073113-2.jpg20201114_152623.jpg20200619_164535.jpg20200707_153212 (1).jpg20200925_125002.jpg20201126_073328.jpg
 
Last edited:
stacked advents!
well ya... But there is at least one EPI in the photos too. even on the test bench, there is an EPI M180 (Center Channel) in the mix with some AR-18s... ok I'm sorry they snuck in there.
(The next evil project involves setting up a mostly all EPI and Denon 9.2 surround sound playroom with EPI M180s as the Front and Center, EPI M100 speakers as surround sides, and M150 as rear channels, and a pair of M50 as Front Highs. I have just restored a pair of Klipsch RPW-10 Subwoofers... ....not sure if they will add much to the overall presentation other than REALLY PISSING OFF MY BETTER HALF as she tries to watch TV in the room above)

EPI Surround Sound-2a.jpg
 
Last edited:

adaug

Awaiting Updated Member Status.
stacked advents blew my mind a few years ago. in a good way. have been wondering if stacking other speakers would have similar effect. have you tried stacking epi's?
 

adaug

Awaiting Updated Member Status.
ps one of the epi's that you posted appears to have 2 woofers and 2 tweeters, so is sort of "internally stacked", right?
 
I think staking any speakers ALMOST doubles the entire sound field. This is a very subjective subject. I have been massing speakers down the end of my 30ftliving room all of them being driven as stereo using Niko Alpha 230 amplifiers. One Alpha is driving 8-ohm speaker pairs in A+B mode and the other Alpha driving 4-ohm speaker pairs in A or B mode (see diagram). This arrangement is fairly typical of most amplifiers that drive two sets of Primary speakers (A and B Front).
Stacking speakers in general on one wall increases the "Sound Stage" or overall "Presence". Advents were particularly impressive as many stereo shops did this before anyone else to showcase this phenomenon of "Sound Stage" to sell more speakers and thus the stacking legend began. Having stacked several different speakers myself, I do think the Large Advents, the NLA, and Advent/1 does sound a bit sweeter stacked than other speakers. Not sure why... but maybe living the "Legend" helps.

I might add the biggest factors are: *stacking at the best height for the listening position, *the position (finding the SWEET SPOT) of the stack relative to the room layout, and the *acoustics of the listening space.

*Note: these three factors impact any speaker "soundstage" within a given "room" A speaker pair, setup, or stack that is poorly placed, at the wrong height relative to the primary listening position, and placed in a room with bad acoustics (clutter, a low ceiling, too much furniture, or no acoustical dampening, and lots of wall angles will end up sounding like crap.


One of to results of speaker placement that knocked me off my feet was placing a pair of the smaller EPI M50's up high in the corner near the ceiling in my living room. The corner of the ceiling and long walls made these small amazing little speakers sound "ENORMOUS" with some of the instruments seeming to come at me from the sides. Quite by accident, I had found the sweet spot for these little mites. It is interesting that low tone frequencies generate a sound wave that can be 20 to 30 feet long. This placement of the "Mites" allows the walls and ceilings to enhance these lower frequency sine waves to "emerge" from a speaker that does not have the adequate cabinet volume to reproduce these frequencies without outside help.

This is why speaker designers use specific cabinet volumes to match the characteristics of the low-frequency driver system to tune at 1/8 wave, 1/4 wave, 1/2 wave harmonic levels in an attempt to reproduce "some" of these lower frequency sine waves. Frequencies that far exceed the capability of a given speaker to reproduce a full sine wave at frequencies less than 50hz.

Many speaker designers us larger cabinets with chambers and baffles in an attempt to recreate and enhance the woofer's ability to reproduce these lower frequencies. Klipsch uses these design principles with great success in the LaScala and Klipschhorn high-end speaker lines for instance. The ESS AMT-1 Tower speakers use a 6ft long "linear transmission line". (see the second diagram) to also perform this feat.

Sorry I am not even sure that I answered your question at this point... I got carried away. There are folks in this forum that know far more about these elements of speaker design and placement that I do. Maybe they will jump in to add or correct things on this subject I was not clear on.




1610631651740.png

1610634757782.png
 
Last edited:
ps one of the epi's that you posted appears to have 2 woofers and 2 tweeters, so is sort of "internally stacked", right?
To a degree you are correct. The downside of this arrangement is each speaker pair is sharing the same cabinet space. Since these designs are acoustically sealed, while they do work together to move air or double the sound presence, they are fighting each other to a small degree as they attempt to reproduce a given tone.

If we focus on the Earlier EPIs that I am interested in... the ones famous for the original "New England Sound". The M50, M100, M150 used a two-way setup. The M180, M201, M201A, and M202/M250 are double "module" eight-inch two-way systems. The rare M400 (a quadruple "module" six-inch two-way omnidirectional system), and very rare M601/M602 (have two angled, rear-firing eight-inch two-way modules combined with a six-inch two-way on the front). Lastly, we have the amazing EPI M350 ( this critter has a triple module, eight-inch two-way speaker. One woofer/tweeter module is mounted on the top). There is no way to stack this one... lol
 

MikeT.

Senior Member
When & where I came from (Baltimore), the canonical pairing was Yamaha and Polk Audio. :)

When I was selling hifi, let’s not talk about how long ago, our competition was a store that probably sold a bazillion Yamaha/Advent combinations. Tough to compete with but we did carry EPI for a while and the 100’s were/are very special loudspeakers. Beautiful, accurate, moving, emotional and all from a very small package.
 
My first stereo in college consisted of a Scott 342B, an AR turntable, and Dynaco A25 speakers. I suppose I never heard the A25s at their best as they were very power hungry. I first heard the Epicure 100s at a hifi show in Montreal, and thou they weren't optimally set up, I loved their openness and dynamics. The next summer I sold the Scott and Dynacos and, as I was then working selling electronics, I was able to get a deal on a Sony STR-7065 and a pair of Epicure 100s. Sold the set with the AR in Montreal for a modest profit, then bought another set here. I kept the 100s for a few years, then sold them when I had the opportunity to buy a set of Epicure's 400 "Minitowers". They were only Mini in comparison to the 1000 Towers, but included the driver set of the 100 on each face. (Having the speaker taps on the bottom was a major pain.)

My time with Epicures ended when I sold the 400s and moved to Allisons. Much easier to place than the 400s. First a set of Twos, which were stolen in transit to me in DC, then a used set of Ones, followed by CD-7 and CD-6. (I still have the CD-6, but these days have Revels, Snell, and Quad.) Looking now for a set of Meadowlarks.
 
My one set of M150 that went through here a few years ago. Cleaned up nicely with the brass inserts. I didn't go hog wild on the cabinet refinish but compared to where they were before and the brass trim and inserts kinda being in the way of things like SANDING...
0712150728.jpg0712150724.jpg0712150724a.jpg
1119161013_resized.jpg0717151341_resized.jpg1121161846_resized.jpg
 

Andyman

Junior Member
EPIs are almost always buys for me I've had most of the 100 variants pass through here and currently have a set of 70s awaiting refoam. A set of 100s were my bedroom speakers for a while, but got replaced with a smaller set of ADS L300s. My daughter has a set of 100s I refoamed, recapped and upgraded inputs on. I've also had 200s, 201s, 202s, 350s, and a couple sets of 500s, one which was my garage set for several years until I built some econowaved Advents. I also currently have a set of Burhoe's Silent Speakers from my wife's cousin who got them from Burhoe when she was friends with him in Cambridge.

All are nice speakers and quite listenable. I'd recommend them to anyone in a heartbeat.
 

opa1

Moderator
Staff member
Having seen a few mentions on forum of EPI speakers lately and having just got my 100s back from my tech I though maybe it was time to get a thread going. I'm not going to narrow the topic to strictly the early generation models with the "masonite" tweeter, though that is as far as my personal exposure extends.

My first EPIs were a set of M50s that I got with a Yamaha CA-410 back in the mid-70s and this was my only stereo system for the next dozen years or so. I auditioned a quite a few combinations at my limited entry-level budget and I thought the pairing had the most realistic sound for the funds available. Of the early models I've also owned 202s and the 100s (more on them shortly) and have had extensive time listening to the 400 "mini-towers" and 1000 beasts. The 202s were paired with a nice 100 w/ch Yamaha receiver and CDP for my daughter's birthday a decade back, the 50s reside in a kitchen system.

So, on to the 100s in question - nice condition walnut veneered cabinets on these. I got them for next to nothing in a pawnshop 25 years or more ago ($5? $10?), got them home and discovered that the cheap non-original drivers were toast masonite tweeters were fine. A friend took a shot at reviving them with some other non-EPI woofers and they soldiered on in various systems do yeoman service.

I pulled them out awhile back and noticed that is seemed like one of the tweeters had been fried when my ex tried blow them up when I was out (toward the end she had a shot at a few pair of speakers what way). So after residing in the back of a closet for a few years I decided recently I either had to get them completely renovated or pass the, on to someone else.

Glenn (Audio Two) had some spare masonite tweeters listed on his website so I bought the lot, all three. I also got a pair of proper woofers from Huw at Human Speakers, a pair of nice Mundorf caps for the crossover (one cap, that's all there is to it) and some good binding posts to replace the stupid clip things EPI used back then - not that they were the only ones guilty of such!

So I took the lot over to Dennis, my tech, to deal with. The first thing he discovered was that there was nothing wrong with any of the tweeters, it was a crossover had burned up. I now have five masonite tweeters, a lifetime supply! It was decided to eliminate the iffy level controls in the assembly as they can't be doing anything good for the sound. Once everything was together Dennis wasn't happy with what was coming out of the tweeters so he pulled them out and had a look. It turned out the brass clip/steel post interface had gone sour on them. He checked the other three tweeters and found the same to be true, so he sorted them all out and then picked out the best matched pair to install, from the same production batch as it turned out.

In measuring the output from each of the tweeters Dennis also discovered something interesting about the dispersion pattern of the inverted dome tweeters. They produce less right on centre and have a great wide pattern. Between that and the single cap crossover it would explain why the speakers image so well I'd reckon. Dennis also reckons that all of the improvements have also raised the efficiency to at least 90db. Interesting.

So, how do they sound, you ask? Quite magnificent, even with only 3 hours of burn-in on brand new woofers and caps. I took them over to my wife's art supply shop and paired them with the Yamaha CA-1010 and they immediately sounded wonderful. Vintage Yamaha and EPI are an excellent pairing. My wife is audio-friendly, but doesn't pay particular attention to how things sound (I think she's now just used to everything sounding decent) but she commented immediately on how fine the speakers sounded. I'll have to stop back at the shop in a few days and see how things are sounding with having been run 8 hours a day for awhile.

Interesting observation - over the years when I've run different speakers I've always had women in particular comment on how much they liked the EPIs. Wonder why that is?

So, anyone care to comment on their own EPI experiences?
Are the speakers vented or sealed? I've been looking at the Human drivers to go with the tweeters I bought from @Dan ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ . Can't make up my mind to use a 8" pro005 or 10 pro031. I have some old Coral BX1001 cabs that are about 1.3-1.5 or so.
 
Top