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post #1 of 19 Old 04-21-2009, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I just picked up a pair of EPI Bookshelf speakers for $5.00 at a thrift shop, and I was wondering how well regarded EPI was for speakers. I do know that they went out of business years ago.

The grilles are not removable but there is a "1" tweeter and a "6" woofer, and the foam surrounds are still pliable, there is some kind of lable under the grille near the tweeter, but you can't read it.

They also appear to be of an acoustic suspension design, I gave them a listen, so far so good.

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post #2 of 19 Old 04-21-2009, 01:57 PM
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The original EPI 100s were excellent speakers at the time (early 70's) and well regarded. They were, as you observed, basic 2 way acoustic suspension. The inverted dome tweeter was unique. Set up properly they were fairly linear and very neutral with tight bass. They reminded me of the early ARs.. nicely balanced but a bit more transparent. My buddy owned a pair at the time that I had KLH 17's... the EPIs were far superior in all regards.

Unfortunately, like many speaker manufacturers, they we bought out and turned to crap after their initial offerings.
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post #3 of 19 Old 04-21-2009, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Johnson View Post

The original EPI 100s were excellent speakers at the time (early 70's) and well regarded. They were, as you observed, basic 2 way acoustic suspension. The inverted dome tweeter was unique. Set up properly they were fairly linear and very neutral with tight bass. They reminded me of the early ARs.. nicely balanced but a bit more transparent. My buddy owned a pair at the time that I had KLH 17's... the EPIs were far superior in all regards.

Unfortunately, like many speaker manufacturers, they we bought out and turned to crap after their initial offerings.

I had a very early set of AR speakers, air suspension, I forget the model #. First pair of speaker I ever owned. They sounded pretty good with a Sansui 500a, 20wpc receiver.
The speakers had a tweeter and an 8" driver IIRC. That was back in the mid 60s, so thats earlier than these even. The grille was stapled on and appeared to be a good grade of gunny sack. Run your hand over it at you could get slivers!

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post #4 of 19 Old 04-21-2009, 06:26 PM - Thread Starter
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I was thinking they had a cone tweeter, they are black and appear to be from the 80's.

Turns out they are EPI EPICURE MODEL 110 SERIES speakers.

I ran them with a simple 12WPC Centrex by pioneer unit, which I had gutted the Crappy BSR record changer and they performed well, I ran them with a 10WPC masterwork Receiver, they sound even better.

They even sound a bit better than my Sony SSB-3000's, that are in my home theater setup although they probably cannot handle as much power without blowing.

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post #5 of 19 Old 04-22-2009, 07:00 AM
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I still have my pair of EPI 120C speakers that I bought in 1979. They were a very good sounding speaker then and still are but new technology makes new speakers sound better IMO. In fact I was just looking at the receipt and I got one pair of EPI 120C, a Pioneer SX-780 reciever and a Sanyo turntable for $640 in 1979. It was a great buy.

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post #6 of 19 Old 05-02-2009, 07:01 AM
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I still have a pair of 100s and a pair of 180s (which were essentially two 100s in a single cabinet - w/ dual woofers + dual tweeters). I still enjoy listening to these speakers 30 yrs after I bought them while in college (with new foam surrounds, of course). The 180's have found their way to a secondary bonus room system and don't get used too much, but the 100s are in my daughter's college apartment and get used every day for music and 2.0 TV audio. These are speakers you can listen to for hours on end and sound good the whole time.

BTW, all of mine have removable grills... not easy to get off but its just Velcro if they are like mine.

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post #7 of 19 Old 05-02-2009, 10:00 AM
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I have a pair of EPI 500 towers that I got from my dad that were originally purchased in 1979. I originally had them hooked up in the movie room but recently moved them out for a 2ch audio setup. The more I listen to the speakers the more I love them; a very nice and neutral sound. They sound great for music and I couldn't be happier.

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post #8 of 19 Old 05-02-2009, 11:21 AM
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The 1" inverted dome tweeter was an EPI feature on all their speakers. I owned a pair of 100+ speakers that I bought from Illinois Audio for $205 in 1981. Good sounding speakers, but not a lot of depth in the image they threw into the room.
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post #9 of 19 Old 05-06-2009, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Johnson View Post

The original EPI 100s were excellent speakers at the time (early 70's) and well regarded. They were, as you observed, basic 2 way acoustic suspension. The inverted dome tweeter was unique. Set up properly they were fairly linear and very neutral with tight bass. They reminded me of the early ARs.. nicely balanced but a bit more transparent. My buddy owned a pair at the time that I had KLH 17's... the EPIs were far superior in all regards.

Unfortunately, like many speaker manufacturers, they we bought out and turned to crap after their initial offerings.

Memories. These were the first speakers I ever bought, around 1975. I loved them. Just a good basic speaker with an accurate, natural sound. By today's standards, that 8-inch woofer was a monster for a bookshelf!

Had them about ten years before moving up to some tower ARs with the side-firing woofers. The next few decades saw a downward spiral into Bose and even cheaper HTIB.

When I bought my new home theater last year, I wanted something small, but not mini. I got four Infinity 162s for fronts and surrounds, and immediately noticed something familar about the sound--clean and natural just like my old EPIs.

Ironically, both of these speakers were rated number one by Consumer Reports, albeit over a quarter-century apart!
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post #10 of 19 Old 05-06-2009, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto Hemi View Post

Memories. These were the first speakers I ever bought, around 1975. I loved them. Just a good basic speaker with an accurate, natural sound. By today's standards, that 8-inch woofer was a monster for a bookshelf!

Had them about ten years before moving up to some tower ARs with the side-firing woofers. The next few decades saw a downward spiral into Bose and even cheaper HTIB.

When I bought my new home theater last year, I wanted something small, but not mini. I got four Infinity 162s for fronts and surrounds, and immediately noticed something familar about the sound--clean and natural just like my old EPIs.

Ironically, both of these speakers were rated number one by Consumer Reports, albeit over a quarter-century apart!

These EPI's are certainly good speakers, I listened to them again and they definitely are better sounding than the sony's, that I've had seince last year. EPI model 110 S.2

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post #11 of 19 Old 05-06-2009, 08:02 PM
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A second hurah.....years ago a friend and I purchased pairs of speakers to match our mutually constructed DIY subwoofers. I choose a pair of AR's, he choose a pair of EPI 100's. I went through what seems like dozens of speakers since...he still has his refoamed 100's that still sound as natural and pure as anything I've gone through since.
He's a musician / song writer and I should have trusted his judgement over my tin ear then.
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post #12 of 19 Old 11-29-2012, 02:25 PM
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I have a pair of all original EPI 100 walnut (first version) purchased pre-1970 in storage. They worked fine when I put them there. I need to check them out, I would imagine the woofers may need a new surround.
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post #13 of 19 Old 11-29-2012, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post

I have a pair of all original EPI 100 walnut (first version) purchased pre-1970 in storage. They worked fine when I put them there. I need to check them out, I would imagine the woofers may need a new surround.

Man... been a long time since I've seen activity on this thread!

My pair of 100Vs (purchased ~1977) are still used regularly in my basement family room and still sound great. I re-foamed them back around 1998.

I also have a pair of 180s (essentially dual 100s in a single cabinet) that were purchased ~1976 and were re-foamed around 1995. These were my main system speakers from when I purchased them until about 1990, when I upgraded to Boston T1030s. The 180s stayed in use in various rooms until my son took them off to college and abused them for a few years. They still sound fine except that the rear connection terminals didn't survive college duty intact. I just received (but have not yet installed) a new set of binding post rear panels with updated crossover caps and wiring from Human Speakers. Hopefully, they will be as good as (or better than) new.

Obviously, I'm not one to upgrade speakers willy-nilly... electronics have been upgraded multiple times but the EPIs and Bostons are all still in service and all still sound terrific.

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post #14 of 19 Old 11-29-2012, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcalabria View Post

Man... been a long time since I've seen activity on this thread!

Surprised me too!

My two pairs of Harman/EPI 110 Series 2 "wall planes", dating from the early 1990s, have been doing continuous duty as the Front Presence (aka Front Height) speakers delivering Yamaha CinemaDSP for two decades now . . . and I hope for a while longer!

There still seem to be a number of [sites] offering repairs for Epi speakers, so I trust I'll be able to keep mine in service. biggrin.gif
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post #15 of 19 Old 03-26-2013, 02:14 PM
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I still have a pair of EPI 100's is use for over 40 ~ yes Forty ~ years. I had to glue one of the tweeters back together in1975 after a rough ride thru Detroit. I replaced a woofer in 1984, but they remained my main speakers until 2005 when I got a pair of NHT Evo's.
Trioed with an NAD preamp and a 120 watt/channel Dynaco Kit (also 40) they are functioning in my "vinyl" room exclusively dedicated to playing LP's. My 18 year old daughter is intrigued. These speakers, while power hogs, never need a subwoofer and indeed in their day produced lower clean bass than Advents, AR's or JBL's. Proof; play Greatful Dead Live(The first one) or The Allman Bros Live at Fillmore East (LP of course) and you'll hear what I'm talking about.
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post #16 of 19 Old 03-28-2013, 04:52 PM
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You just brought back some memories. My first pair of "good speakers", was a set of EPI 100v's, purchased in the mid 1970's. Little did I know then, how much time and money I would spend on "upgrades."biggrin.gif
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post #17 of 19 Old 01-18-2014, 12:40 PM
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I have a pair of EPI T/E 100s purchased in ~1985. Were they made as well then as in the 70's?  They are my only speakers, but the foam has crumbled, so I'm shopping for new speakers now. I'm considering the Pioneer SP-FS52, but I would also need a subwoofer.  The EPI 100's 8" woofer generated decent bass by themselves, no?

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post #18 of 19 Old 01-18-2014, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vlee8 View Post
 

I have a pair of EPI T/E 100s purchased in ~1985. Were they made as well then as in the 70's?  They are my only speakers, but the foam has crumbled, so I'm shopping for new speakers now. I'm considering the Pioneer SP-FS52, but I would also need a subwoofer.  The EPI 100's 8" woofer generated decent bass by themselves, no?

It is not uncommon for any speaker with foam surrounds to have the foam disintegrate after about 10-15 years... lasting longer than 20 years would be a near miracle.  It is quite common and relatively inexpensive to have the surrounds replaced, which will restore the speaker to it's original performance.  It can even be done yourself... kits are available all over the internet and it's fairly easy, but the risk is not getting the voice coil properly centered.  I've had refoaming professionally done on my EPI 100s, EPI 180s (essentially two 100s in a single cabinet), Boston T1000s and Boston T1030s.  The place I used (Speaker Doctor in Charlotte, NC) charged me $25 per 8" woofer (I pulled the woofers from the cabinets myself... it would have been slightly higher if they had to do that).

 

Another option would be to replace the woofers completely... Human Speakers has replacement drivers and components for most EPI speaker models, including the T/E 100.  I haven't purchased drivers from Human, but I have purchased other repair components (terminal boards/wiring/crossover kits for my EPI 180s) from them.

 

I've never had the opportunity to listen to any of the T/E series speakers, so I can't/won't make any recommendations as to whether their performance makes them worth repairing.  However, if YOU were happy with your EPIs before the surrounds deteriorated, you really should at least consider performing what is really routine maintenance on them and continue enjoying them for a fraction of what new speakers might cost. 

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post #19 of 19 Old 01-18-2014, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by jcalabria View Post
 

It is not uncommon for any speaker with foam surrounds to have the foam disintegrate after about 10-15 years... lasting longer than 20 years would be a near miracle.  It is quite common and relatively inexpensive to have the surrounds replaced, which will restore the speaker to it's original performance.  It can even be done yourself... kits are available all over the internet and it's fairly easy, but the risk is not getting the voice coil properly centered.  I've had refoaming professionally done on my EPI 100s, EPI 180s (essentially two 100s in a single cabinet), Boston T1000s and Boston T1030s.  The place I used (Speaker Doctor in Charlotte, NC) charged me $25 per 8" woofer (I pulled the woofers from the cabinets myself... it would have been slightly higher if they had to do that).

 

Another option would be to replace the woofers completely... Human Speakers has replacement drivers and components for most EPI speaker models, including the T/E 100.

 

If you were happy with your EPIs before the surrounds deteriorated, you really should at least consider performing what is really routine maintenance on them and continue enjoying them for a fraction of what new speakers might cost.

Thanks for the advice.  I just discovered the repair kits and Human Speakers shortly before my post. I think I will try a self-refoaming whether or not I get new speakers. Any general comments about what would be a comparable quality speaker in today's market? I know technology and packaging have changed a lot. Can I get better speaker system at a budget price (< $500)?

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