Epos Aims High With the Encore 50

Since the ES14 from the mid-1980s, speakers from the English Epos company have been renowned for their midrange magic, not for ultimate dynamics. But Mike Creek, Epos's owner, is aiming for both with the Encore 50, which made its debut at CES. This three-way floorstander, priced at $9995/pair, uses two port-loaded 9" woofers with Kevlar/carbon-fiber/pulp-composite cones, in a large cabinet to achieve a high 90dB sensitivity, while the metal-dome tweeter uses an injected-molded roll surround to give high excursion. The midrange is fed by a tapped autotransformer to allow adjustment to a tight tolerance in production.

The sound of the Encore 50 had a generous sweep to its dynamics, and it played loud without strain. But what is even more intriguing is that as manufactured, it can be both used in conventional tri-wired or tr-amped passive mode or, with the passive crossover bypassed with jumpers accessible at the base, in tri-amped active mode.

For the dem when I was there, Mike was driving the Encore 50s with three Creek amplifiers—two of them the excellent Destiny integrated—and realizing the crossover in the digital domain, using an 8-channel DSP module from Diodes-Zetex.