Epos ES12 loudspeaker System Context
The Epos ES12s were positioned some 3' from the rear wall of my room (which is faced with books and LPs) and approximately 5' from the side walls (which also have bookshelves covering some of their surfaces). The ES12s sat on 24" Celestion Si stands filled with a mixture of lead shot and sand and spiked to the concrete floor beneath the rug/pad.
The amplifier used was primarily a solid-state Pass Labs Aleph 3, with a Mark Levinson No.333, a tube Mesa Boogie Baron, a tube Cary Audio Design CAD-300SEI integrated, and a tube Audio Research VT100 also seeing service. The preamplifier was the remote-controlled Mark Levinson No.38S, with a Mod Squad Phono Drive EPS used to amplify LP signals from a Linn Sondek/Cirkus/Trampolin/Lingo/Ekos/Arkiv setup on an ArchiDee table. Digital source was a Mark Levinson No.30.5 HDCD D/A processor driven by a Mark Levinson No.31 transport via Madrigal and Illuminati AES/EBU cables and a Meridian 518 jitter-reduction unit.
Interconnects used were AudioQuest's AudioTruth Lapis X3; speaker cable was first a single-wire set of CableTalk Concert 2.1 from Music Hall—a high-value cable at $5.25/foot—then bi-wired sets of Cardas Cross and AudioTruth Sterling. All source components and preamps used in my listening room were plugged-in to a Power Wedge 116 Mk.II, itself plugged-in to a dedicated AC circuit and fitted with the Power Enhancer option. The amplifiers were plugged-in to a Power Wedge 110, again fitted with the Power Enhancer.
The speakers were broken-in before audition by being placed face to face and driven with out-of-phase, high-level pink noise for 36 hours, followed by the Burn-in Noise track on Stereophile's Test CD 3 for another 12 hours.—John Atkinson