Calling for opinions on Escalante Fremonts

Having read those extremely rave reviews on the Fremonts, i went to audition them. i wouldn't say i was "blown away" to the extent as those reviewers. I would appreciate folks who have listened to them extensively can share their thoughts on the strengths and weakneses of the Fremonts.Thanks.
Arn't those a like Isobaric dual 12 type config? Look good and compact with some serious punch, but unfortunatley the price is extremely serious too at 15 k a pair right?
What did you not like so much about them would be a start? I was interested in them myself, but then looked at the Audiokinesis Stormbringer which is very similar but at only 2800.00 which is suppose to be a real bargain on those with excellent sound.
Despite the use of that topline Revealator tweeter, in the installation i heard, they didn't quite have the HF extension and transparency i had hoped. the bass was a little underdamped and slowish. Perhaps it was the installation and the electonics.
Heard the speakers at RMAF in 2 different rooms and they sounded ENTIRELY different. I like the setup with the Pass Lab gear very much.

I guess the Fremonts are transparent enough to let the upstream equipment through; question is how much one has to invest in upstream equipment to get the best out of them. But this should an issue with all good high end spkrs out there.

Again take a look at the Audiokinesis, they have a high dispersion Waveguide, almost like a horn on the tweet... very nice, and very similar design, also it is a single 12 that goes pretty deep, without the Damped type dual driver push pull style iso chamber on the ones your talking about.. Mainly the stormbringer has a port system that is fully length adjustable that I understand will totally extend the bass when in a room with a backwall and just pulling the port in and out with many inch increments can really get full deep bass with power and punch.. Only reason I say take a look cause with a pair of real solid stands from like Tyler acoustics this could be truley the same footprint speaker you are looking at with all the capabilities you say were absent with the choice you have already heard, just a suggestion. I have just read a lot on them and seems they are show favorites lately.
Hi Undertow,

Well thanks for the positive comments on my speakers (the Stormbringers). To clarify one thing, the port system is modular - each port consists of an outer flared section, a short straight section, and an inner flared section. Possible configurations include outer flare only, outer flare + straight section, outer flare + inner flare, and outer flare + straight section + inner flare. Each of these will result in a different tuning frequency. My supplier is Precision Ports, To change the port length, the port must be removed (it's held in place by four screws). I use electrical tape to hold the sections together. So changing the tuning takes a few minutes, and the tuning is not continuously variable.

I'm flattered that my speaker is mentioned in a thread on the Fremonts. Let me just comment that the design of the Fremont is very innovative and advanced. Evidently its bass loading technique has some significant avantages over traditional isobarik boxes as far as efficiency and/or impedance goes, yet it retains excellent bass extension. The Fremont goes a lot deeper than my Stormbringer does. Now the tangent I tend to go off on is radiation pattern, and the Fremont is much better in this respect than you'd think at first glance. You see, in the upper end of its range the woofer's output is primarily radiated by the dome dusctap. So the woofer's radiation pattern characteristics transition from that of a 12" woofer to a 3" dome midrange! This is ingenious, and I tip my hat to Tierry for his innovative approach. The result will be much less radiation pattern discrepancy in the woofer-to-tweeter transition than most speakers have (not even taking into account the felt-treated recess for the tweeter, which will probably help some more).

I've only heard the Fremonts once, and liked them very much. Realistically their competition is other high quality fifteen to twenty grand ballpark loudspeakers, not my 2.8 grand speaker.


Very refreshing that you would give your opinion on a competitor's design, even at the risk of not flattering your own work. You don't find that type of honesty here, or anywhere for that matter, anymore. Here's hoping you have very good luck with your speaker line.

First, I would like to point out how incredibly refreshing it is to see threads that don't flat out insult other manufacturers, dealers, or people. It is a BIG change from some other threads that I've read, and I hope this continues.

Also, even though I currently own both the Fremonts and the Pinyon/Uinta combination, I never rule out acquiring additional gear to play with or to install in a different system. The fact that Duke from Audiokinesis was so honest and forthright makes me want to locate a pair of his speakers for a listening session (hint, hint: are they available for listening in NYC?).

Now, on to the Fremonts: I've heard them from their first public showing in 2005, and they have never been anything less than excellent.

HOWEVER, there are some very important caveats here: some of the rooms in which I heard them had horrible acoustics (big surprise there: bad acoustics in a hotel room). In those rooms, I heard them early on, when they were first installed, and they definitely sounded much different from what I heard later on in the show. They needed adjustments in terms of placement in order to overcome crappy acoustics -- one room actually measured, if memory serves, down 13dB @ 50 Hz -- not great for bass reproduction, yet the Fremonts were able to sound balanced after moving them around a bit.

Also, and probably more to the point, the associated electronics matters a lot, since the Fremonts tend to reveal the characteristics of the entire chain's synergy. Not in a harsh, analytical way, but you WILL hear MAJOR differences among the gear. You don't have to use the most expensive equipment, but the rest of the chain must be chosen with care to maximize the system synergy. For example, I heard some gear that retailed one-third the price of some alternate pieces, that sounded MUCH better, due to the system synergy.

Escalante's designer, Tierry Budge, builds speakers to sound natural across the widest range of equipment, but the speakers are SO revealing of both the music and the equipment, that small changes to either can yield big changes to the resulting sound. Whether this difference is better or worse is entirely up to the listener, and makes for some interesting conclusions: there were two rooms at the 2006 RMAF that used Fremonts, and they couldn’t have sounded more different. Both systems, to my ears, sounded musical and natural, but there were huge differences between the solid state room with Pass Labs gear, and the tube/hybrid room using the Butler Monads. The differences between the CHAIN were revealed, and whether people liked one or the other more, depended on their taste in amplification. I heard some people who swear by tubes say that the sound in the Butler room was “ten times” better than the Pass-equipped room, with “warmth” and an “expansive soundstage”; while solid-state advocates went nuts over the bass extension, “focus”, and “detail” present from the Pass gear. Go figure…

So, before coming to a conclusion regarding the speakers, try to arrange a listening session with a chain (including cables and interconnects!) that reflects your current system, or if you are planning to build or upgrade a system, speak to an Escalante dealer or owner to find out how things would “fit”. (This would be valid advice for any speaker – but the Fremonts do seem to be more accurate in allowing the “sound” of the rest of the system to come through). From my experiences in audio (since 1977), the Fremonts are outstandingly fast, dynamic, and musically accurate.

Would you be amenable to demoing your Fremonts?