Surround Sound Speaker Systems
- Written by Piero Gabucci
- Published on 01 November 2010
- Episode In-Wall and In-Ceiling Speakers
- Page 2: Design of the Episode In-wall and In-ceiling Speakers
- Page 3: Setup of the Episode In-wall and In-ceiling Speakers
- Page 4: The Episode In-wall and In-ceiling Speakers In Use
- Page 5: Conclusions About the Episode In-wall and In-ceiling Speakers
- All Pages
The ES-HT, or Home Theater LCR is what intrigued me most to consider permanently installing them in my ceiling. Although the enclosure is square, the front baffle and dual 5 ¼" woofers and 1" titanium tweeter are angled towards the listening position. Tone controls are provided for treble and for woofer crossover response, both with a plus/minus 3db adjustment.
The woofers are designed with what Episode refers to as NCS (natural cell structure), paper drivers combined with the strength of Kevlar. This is said to retain the damping qualities of open cell paper and rigidity (and speed) of Kevlar. With a sensitivity of 87 and produce 4 ohm loads, the more power you can throw at them the better.
Episode refers to the tweeter as a catenary dome unlike a conventional dome design.
The elongated design is thought to create a wider soundstage.
The front is angled 35 degrees towards the listening position in addition to the tweeter having a 17 degree pivot for precise aiming of the higher frequencies.
The enclosure is solid ¾" MDF. The overall size is 14" x 14" and 8" high, obviously designed to fit between standard framing at 16" on center. The depth was a bit problematic for me as my old house floor joists are a mere 2" x8" joists. Not only is a 2" x 8" more like only 7 ½", over time it shrinks and is closer to 7 3/8". I simply had some 1/2" thick frames made that lowered the speaker out of the cavity which just allowed the enclosure to fit.
The unit weighs almost 18 pounds and is nicely designed to clamp onto the drywall evenly distributing the load. The paintable magnetic screen is nicely flush to the ceiling.
The ES-700 would be considered more typical of in-ceiling speakers, round with a single woofer and adjustable centered tweeter. Like the larger HT speaker, it also provided similar tone controls.
The large 8" woofer is identical in construction to the 5" units in the HT speakers, paper and Kevlar. Similarly designed is the tweeter however mounted on a "spider" X-bridge spanning over the woofer. This allows for an easier installer-friendly adjustment in aiming the tweeter. In fact the installer was seriously considered in the design; allowing the installer to use one hand to wire the speaker, screw-clamp it in place and adjust the tweeter without coming down from the ladder.
The brand new passive ES-SUB sports dual 8" woofers, designed to be installed in a standard 2" x 4" stud wall with a depth about 3.75". By separating the amplifier and crossover module, (connected to the subwoofer via standard line level speaker cables) Episode was able to keep the enclosure simple. Meant to be installed vertically at almost 24" high, I was forced to mount them horizontally.
The EQ box is installed between the receiver and E-2100 amplifier, with only a setting for phase, while the remainder of settings such as volume, low pass/flat filters (set to flat if the bass management is done in the receiver) and bridged/stereo (the amplifier can be used as a stereo amp) is done in the amplifier.
I opted to power the ES-SUB subwoofer with the Episode E-2100 stereo amplifier and since the subwoofer is an 8 ohm load, the 2100 gives me 300 watts bridged.
Although it is not specific to the passive subwoofer, The E-2100 is a 100 watt 2-channel amplifier into 8 ohms; it is capable of driving 4 ohm loads with 150 watts. Typically used in a multi-zoned installation, bridgeable to 300 watts, SnapAV nonetheless has teamed it up with the ES Sub.
The rack-mountable amplifier is solidly built with from the toroidal transformer and discrete amplifiers, to the crossover and gain controls as well as a defeating low pass filter. Included is a low voltage trigger input, as well as a trigger output for other components.
The front has indicator LED lights for channel status, which includes indicating trouble such as thermal overload.