Welcome to Tribute Audio
Home for EPI/Epicure repairs and upgrades
Tribute Audio offers the best replacement/upgrade crossovers for most models of EPI and Epicure Speakers. If you are looking for new drop-in replacement woofers and tweeters check out www.humanspeakers.com
October 25th, 2015: Do interconnects matter? No question, they do. The silver tape ICs have building for years were very well received and a great value. But they are gone, they evolved, replaced by a better sounding cable that also looks better and is MUCH more rugged. Yes they cost more, but you are getting more, much more. They are being sold at www.darwincables.com. Tribute Audio customers can get 15% off on their first purchase at Darwin Cables. Do yourself and your system a favor and investigate Darwin Cables.
The Story: Back in 1982 I was a typical drunken college student searching for a stereo to enjoy my vinyl and hold my own in the dormitory stereo wars. I listened to many speakers and the only thing that I liked and could afford was a pair of EPI 100s. I also bought a Kenwood receiver that I promptly returned for a Harman Kardon 570i. I was a Sophomore when I bought those speakers and I had three years of great memories having fun and enjoying the music of my youth playing far too loud.
Of note, I am not a sound engineer or anyone with any formal training in speaker design. I am just a DIY guy who read a few books on theory and loves tweaking things in an effort to make them better.
Flash forward to 1996. I still have that same stereo system. The HK receiver is broken, but I don't have the heart to throw it away. I replaced it with an NAD that along with the EPI speakers, I am about to lose in a divorce. So I carry off the broken HK receiver and pout about the lost 100s. Over the next five or six years I don't have much time for music listening and I fall away from my love of stereo. The next point of interest is around 2002 and the stock market doing badly. I am losing money every month and I decide that before it is all gone, I will buy myself something nice so I decided to get a home theater sound system. I started with a monster Denon receiver which I returned in favor of a more affordable HK. I then bought some Infinity Interlude speakers and had a pretty nice system. Then I bought some Axiom Audio speakers, and a pair of Quad speakers (22Ls). I have been bitten by the collecting bug. Next, I went and fetched a pair of EPI 100s off of E-Bay for about $60 delivered. This is where the story gets interesting. I am comparing these 30 year old bookshelf speakers to new towers in the $1000-1500 price range and the results were startling. The new speakers had slightly better detail and more bass since they were bigger. BUT, they did not sound as much like real live music. I had also started building speakers before this just so I would stop buying so many. So now, the mission changed. Now I wanted to take the old EPI gems and make the most out of them.
The basic EPI design is the brain child of Winslow Burhoe. Winslow has many credits and is a legend in the speaker industry. He is still kicking around and selling his Silent Speakers at Direct Acoustics. By the way, I own a pair, and they are superb. So Winslow designs a speaker where the woofer and tweeter work as a team and require only a minimalist crossover. The inverted dome tweeter is just remarkable and what provides the magic to the sound. The down side to EPI was that like every other company in crowded market, they were needfully cost conscious. As great as the speakers sounded, [most of] the cabinets were made from particle board, not medium density fiberboard. The caps and resistors used in the crossovers were pretty cheap except for the premium models like the 400 and 1000, and the wire was also on the cheap side. There was a lot of price pressure to produce a good speaker and sell it profitably at a given price point.
So, returning to the story, how do I get the great musical nature of the EPIs with the tighter sound of the newer speakers? I am not going to mess with Winslow's design, nope. I am just going to take what is there and try to make it better. The approach is to make the same crossover but with better materials and also to treat the cabinet to reduce vibration and ring. If you want to know more about how that plays out, go to the crossover page. But the real punch line to the story is, I still have that original HK-570i receiver, it is not the best piece I own by far, but it has sentimental value. I got it fixed and paired it up with the 100s I bought on E-Bay. So I basically got my college system back. When I hear a great song from the early 1980s playing through that system, it is a very emotional experience. It is much more than just a stereo playing music. It is a pulling back memories and enjoying a good time once again.
There is a treasure out there in old vintage gear. Much of it still works fine, some requires some love and care to fix it up, but it is a superb value compared to buying new gear. If I can help you with a restoration project I am happy to offer advice. Aside from work on EPI/Epicure I have also done work on Advent, Genesis, and a few others to a lesser degree. I have built up contacts who can help with the things that are over my head or involve other brands. Don't toss out those old speakers you had in college, you will miss them.
Click the Gallery link to see a photo gallery of some of the EPI and related speakers I have collected. GALLERY
265 Doney Drive
Palmerton, PA 18071