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A timeless classic: the EPI 100
also known as M100, 100V, or 100W
(build a pair yourself using HUMAN parts!)
The EPI 100 loudspeaker is a timeless classic indeed. Originally designed in the late 1960s by Winslow Burhoe, it was his first "module" speaker. The module concept was a woofer and tweeter that had the same efficiency, and a frequency reponse that matched each other. The woofer was designed to roll off on its own at 1800 Hz. The tweeter was designed to do the same thing. The only need for a "crossover" was something to protect the tweeter from bass frequencies, hence the incredibly simple use of a ten microfarad capacitor to do the job.
This model stayed in production into the 1980s, and for several years was highly recommended by Consumer Reports.
There were three distinct generations - the first featured a tweeter built on a 5 inch round Masonite faceplate, with a paper concave dome. This version's woofers also usually had butyl rubber surrounds, which are often still working forty years later. The grills were glued and nailed on, and sported the brass badge with the round, stylised "EPI" logo.
The next generation upgraded the tweeters to a phenolic dome, and incorporated Ferrofluid cooling and damping. These were built on a five inch round black plastic faceplate with two gold rings and the EPI logo. The woofers changed over to foam surrounds, and the grills were held on with Velcro. The logo changed to a gold plastic bold face "EPI" with a horizontal line crossing all three letters featuring a stylised sine wave in the middle of the P.
Finally, in the early 1980s, the whole model line got a facelift, and all but the 100 acquired an "A" prefix to their model numbers. The tweeter was slightly smaller in diameter, at about 4 3/8 inches, with a red ring visible around the dome and the EPI logo molded into it. The grills were attached with plastic pegs and rubber sockets. For some reason I gave this version its own page even though technically it was never called the A100.
Often seen wired as:
The following is copied from the "Brown Booklet":
The Model 100 was EPI's first and most popular speaker. Winslow Burhoe designed it as the ultimate bookshelf loudspeaker. As an acoustical engineer, his technical criteria for performance was extended frequency response (the ability to reproduce the very lowest and very highest musical frequencies), extreme linearity (the speaker's ability to reproduce any signal fed to it accurately with no exaggeration or deterioration), excellent dispersion (filling any listening room with equal musical energy over the whole range of the speaker), minimum distortion, both harmonic and intermodulation (to eliminate listening fatigue), and a cabinet compact enough to fit on any bookshelf.
The fact that Winslow Burhoe achieved all his goals in a speaker selling at a modest price is proof of his status as one of the foremost speaker designers in the audio industry. The Model 100's accurate tonal balance combined with exceptional dispersion makes it an ideal speaker for people who really enjoy live music. Whether you are listening to a full symphony, thunderous rock or progressive jazz, the Model 100 almost disappears, leaving only the music; an accomplishment very few speakers, regardless of price, can equal.
"The sound quality of the EPI 100 was very natural and "easy". The more we listened to it, the better we liked it, and it was one of the most faithful reproducers we have had the pleasure of hearing ... the EPI 100 is comparable in most respects to some of the best - and most expensive speaker systems we have tested ..." Stereo Review, May 1970
Its compact size allows it to be placed almost anywhere in the listening room. However, EPI strongly recommends, for optimum performance, locating this speaker in any two sided plane (on the floor or ceiling against a wall or in a bookshelf, closest to either side wall). Hand rubbed walnut cabinets and rich black grills give this stereo pair a handsome, contemporary appearance that should blend well with any decor. The Model 100's extremely high power handling ability enables it to fill even the larges of listening rooms with surprising ease.
As proof of each Model 100's performance, EPI packs an individual frequency response graph with each speaker, showing the extension of its frequency response and its linearity. No other speaker manufacturer that we know of does this.