Stereophile's Products of 1997 Budget Component of 1997

Budget Component of 1997

Epos ES12 loudspeaker ($1095/pair; reviewed by John Atkinson, Vol.20 No.4, April 1997 Review)

Finalists (in alphabetical order):
Acarian Alón Petite loudspeaker ($995/pair; reviewed by Wes Phillips & Robert J. Reina, Vol.19 No.1, January 1996; & Vol.20 No.2, February 1997 Review)
B&W DM302 loudspeaker ($250/pair; reviewed by Wes Phillips, Vol.20 No.10, October 1997 Review)
Mission 731i loudspeaker ($249/pair; reviewed by Robert J. Reina, Vol.19 No.11, November 1997)
NAD 515 CD changer ($499; reviewed by Robert Harley, Vol.20 No.3, March 1997)
Parasound HCA-1000A power amplifier ($595; reviewed by Barry Willis, Vol.20 No.8, August 1997)
Platinum Audio Studio 1 loudspeaker ($995/pair; reviewed by Sam Tellig, Vol.20 No.7, July 1997)
PSB Alpha Mini loudspeaker ($199/pair; reviewed by Lawrence B. Johnson, Stereophile Guide to Home Theater, Vol.3 No.3, Fall 1997)
Rega Planar 3 turntable ($695; reviewed by Sam Tellig & Michael Fremer, Vol.7 No.1, January 1984; Vol.8 No.6, October 1985; & Vol.19 No.12, December 1996 Review)
Shure V15VxMR phono cartridge ($300; reviewed by Michael Fremer, Vol.20 No.7, July 1997 Review)
The Parts Connection Assemblage DAC-2 D/A processor ($499–$648; reviewed by Muse Kastanovich, Vol.20 Nos.1, 6, & 7, January, June, & July 1997)

It may seem odd to call an $1100/pair loudspeaker our "Budget Component of 1997," but, as we stated last year, we've always felt it takes more than a low price to define a bargain. The Epos ES12 qualifies because of its "unexaggerated sense of musical communication," as JA put it. A small but definitely not unambitious design, the ES12 made fans out of listeners at both HI-FI '96 and HI-FI '97—as well as at WCES '97 in between. At each of those events, wherever two Stereophile writers met, a conversation about this amazing performer ensued. Granted, it doesn't have truly deep bass, and will protest extreme spls—but where it counts, it delivers. The ES12 charted votes at a rate nearly twice that for its nearest competitor. Ignore the sticker price; the Epos deserves its designation of "Budget Component of 1997."

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Editors' choice 1997, B&W DM302 speakers, $250/pair :-) .......

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Now in 2020, we can get Elac Debut DB52 for $260/pair :-) ......

tonykaz's picture

He was kinda "Tyll the Great" to me.

Someone said they saw him at a Nomad Event in Arizona.

He gets to follow his dream.

I know another fella that ended his career to sail a Contessa 26 around the world.

I get to live in Paradise and support Political progressives.

I miss Tyll but I'm happy for him.

I didn't realize his little Amp made such a nice impression on Stereophile.

I'm hoping that we get to read more Tyll, one day.

Tony in Venice

Presence's picture

There are a few select reviews for me that over the decades have stood out as thrilling to read... The Genesis II.5 by RH, the Dunlavy SC VI by SS and the MC review of the Krell FPB600. I must have read them each ten X. I traded in my ML 333 for the FPB 600. Great products/great writing!

Bogolu Haranath's picture

What loudspeakers were/are you using with FPB 600? ....... Just curious :-) ........

Presence's picture

At the time, the Dunlavy SC V.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Do you still have FPB 600 now? ...... If so, what speakers are you using them with? :-) ......

Presence's picture

Krell Evolution One Monoblocks / Dunlavy SC VI with TC Sounds 15" replacing the stock 15" Eminence woofers due to flooding.

Since I know you are well versed in the equipment, I thought I'd add a few pearls from experience with the Krells...

MC in his FPB 600 review mentions the AC voltage being modulated by the amplifier from the demands of the music...
Adding regulation in the amp I suspect modulates the AC line voltage even further which likely adds even more harmonics going to the rest of the equipment - perhaps most detrimentally to the source components. After reading the AC Wiring whitepaper by Vince Galbo, I found it easy to convert my Krell Theater Amp fed by 60' of 10AWG to 240V. The sense of ease of the music delivery was readily apparent. The Evolution Ones were already fed by 240V so I took on replacing the two dedicated 60' feeds of 10AWG with 6AWG. Once again, the gains in ease of delivery were readily apparent. From the hip, I'd say a 25% improvement in soundstage expansion, space and ease. Was this an effect of lower wire impedance minimizing the music-modulated line harmonics and to what degree does the amp re-ingest those harmonics [as Galbo suggests] or to what degree are these harmonics passed on the the rest of the components [or is it a combination of both]? But there is at least positive correlation between lower wire gauge to the current-hungry Krell amps and sound quality in the context of my system. For what it's worth...

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Krell Evolution One mono blocks cost some big bucks ...... Are you a Rap musician? ...... Just kidding :-) .......

Of course, there are more expensive amplifiers available now :-) .......

Bogolu Haranath's picture

The new improved power supply in your listening room, should be able to supply enough power to the D'Agostino Relentless mono-blocks ....... See, Hi-Fi News review :-) ........

Bogolu Haranath's picture

One more thing ...... Steve Jobs re-joined Apple in 1997 ....... How many of us bought Apple stock in 1997? :-) ........

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Amazon went public in 1997 ...... If someone invested $10,000 in Amazon in 1997, that money would be worth $12 million as of May 2020 :-) ......