I owned them for a couple of years, the Eros Mk 3. This is THE reason I sold them. They are so dull sounding unless your head is in the sweet spot. Even laying down or back on the couch the magic was lost. If you don't like to sit alert and attent with your head in a 1 ft square space, you might not like them so much.
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Mine are for sale for same reason too much head in the vise, but when you are in that very small space they can really thrill. I went with VMPS for Hybrid with Dynamic woofers and Planar mids and Riboon tweets feeling like I had the speed and detail of Innersound but better bass and real world sweetspot, some dont have issue with sweetspot so you really need to try before you buy, more so with this speaker than most.
i think a bigger problem with hybrid speakers is the discontinuity or lack of coherence between cone and ribbon or electrostatic panel. time and again, when i listened to several versions of the vmps, the eros, the kaya, kachina and now roger sanders latest opus, i was bothered by the lack of integration.
i am not bothered by listening off axis.
Like anything else, one must pick their poison. Decreased off axis performance is one that Roger Sanders freely admits to. He consciously makes this design tradeoff. Every loudspeaker, or audio component, is a series of compromises, and every cognizant (as opposed to someone who does not understand what they are doing) audio designer makes the decisions he makes in the interest of producing the best product he possibly can. Roger is a refreshingly honest in his ability to provide a world of background on the topic, then cogently lay out why every decision he made along the way was done the way it was done.
I will take issue with Mrtennis' assertion above. Again, I would like to say that I was in the room during his audition of the loudspeaker at CES2008, and my own take on the situation is quite different than that which he lays forth...
My biggest problems with what Mrtennis puts forth are that he entered into the audition already convinced of what the loudspeakers did and did not do. My statement is based on what I felt was his jumping up in protest in literally less than one second into the playing of the music to complain about the poor integration of cone and electrostatic drivers he expressed in his post above. Prejudice in life results in the one who holds it being harmed in that they are unable to experience a situation for what it is. The Chinese proverb of emptying one's cup so they can taste the tea seems most apropos.
Instead of sitting back, and giving the speakers and the man the courtesy of a true audition, he then entered into a philosophical discussion with Roger, taking the tact of trying to teach the teacher, which, in my opinion, is always the very height of arrogance, combined with ignorance.
Once Roger then accepted Mrtennis' position as being what he honestly felt (which every person is entitled to - whether or not you agree with their opinion or how they arrived at it - hey, if he hears poor integration, OK), Mrtennis then began asking questions of whether this, that, and the other thing were feasible, possible, or practical.
The hypocrisy alone of this turn of events should not be lost on us, as one would not think that a rational person can go from having all the answers and being completely and totally unaccepting of the views their counterpart holds one minute, and then asking that same person along the lines of someone having no real confidence if certain things that the person clearly disagrees with can be accomplished the next. This is where the "ignorance" factor in the equation I just laid out shows itself.
To his credit as being a true professional, Roger engaged Mrtennis in this discussion, answering the questions in terms of both the objective as well as the tangible. As I laid out above, Roger understands this craft from A to Z, and that everything is a question of tradeoffs. So, in order to provide an answer to the yes/no question of can you build me a loudspeaker, he needed to ask Mrtennis to provide him with the parameters/requirements of that end product - in this case, a purely electrostatic loudspeaker.
For example, tell me how loud you want to listen and the lower limit frequency that you require. Based on that, I can tell you how much power you will need. Or, tell me how loud you listen and how much power you have, and I will tell you how low the speaker will go. In other words, provide me A and B in terms of the two things that you cannot give up, and I will give you my assurance of what C will be, all based on the laws of physics - at which point, you make a yes/no decision of me building it for you.
Mrtennis more or less refused to answer the question ala being utterly unable to provide Roger with two parameters that were most important to him, in that he was unwilling to accept any compromise of the third. He hopes for all three things to be achievable at the same time. We all know that one cannot have everything in this equation. Otherwise, how many of us would be basking in the glory our loudspeakers producing 20 Hz tones at our normal (for me, 90 - 95 dB) listening levels, driven by 2 wpc 45 SET amplification?
A few other wrinkles and tangents were a part of the discussion, but I feel I've painted enough of the picture already, and don't have to describe them here so as not to make what is already too long a post even longer.
Roger's judgement call is putting forth this design - it uses a 10 cone driver in a true TL bass alignment, driven by a 600 wpc solid state amplifier that he provides with the package - you drive the electrostatic panel above 360 Hz with the amplifier of your choosing. The one true statement that can be made is that Roger has done his best to produce the best loudspeaker he feels he can produce. If he felt he could improve upon it within the tools and technology without driving the cost beyond all sense, I can assure you, it would have already been done. Whether or not it is the right speaker for you is the question.
Personally, I feel that the speakers that Roger has put forth are one of the finest products available on the market, sonically. Do I hear poor driver integration in this product? Honestly, I do not. Am I sensitive to it in other products, and feel it is a topic worthy of discussion? Definitely. Is Mrtennis entitled to his opinion that he hears it in this product? Absolutely. Are these loudspeakers perfect? No, of course not. No loudspeaker is or probably ever will be.
Of course, there are two sides to every story. I wanted to lend my own perspective to in the interest of adding balance to folks who may read about the driver integration here enough times that it becomes accepted as truth, as opposed to an opinion. I have no financial stake or otherwise in Roger's business or relationships, but I will say that I hold him in the highest regard as a person and loudspeaker designer/builder, and what I am proud to say - a friend. Take whatever grain of salt in my commentary you wish based on all of that.
the defendant replies:
i walked into the room and requested an audition of a cd.
within 30 seconds i heard cymbal, kick drum , acoustic bass and electric guitar. i heard the difference between cone and panel. it doesn't take long. my mode of audition in general, even in my own system is short listening of familiar music.
i commented on what i heard and roger suggested that i listen to a cd of willie nelson. i listened and i again heard the lower register coming from the cone and some of the higher notes coming from the panel and i heard the difference between the two. to my ears , the integration was not seamless.
i am looking for a speaker now. what reason would i have to come into a room, if i assumed i would hear a difference, before i actually heard it ? i wouldn't have listened if i already decided that hybrids were of no interest to me.
trelja, would you be willing to make a wager, if i were blindfolded, to test my hearing, if you believe i didn't detect the difference between cone and panel ?
i then discussed with him my interest in a full range electrostatic speaker and specified that i don't listen loud, no more than 85 db and wanted to achieve bass reponse extending to the about 35 khz. he replied that he would have to double the width of the panel, double the height and include a dsp. we discussed the affect of including the dsp in the signal path upon the performance of the speaker and i expressed my concern that it would add distortion and he asserted that i wouldn't hear the dsp even though it was in the signal path. i was not convinced, nor did i want to take a chance for $10,000 to have him build it, without obviously listening to it.
trelja, you are partially correct and partially incorrect about the facts of the situation.
at issue is my ability to detect discontinuity in cone or pnale within less than one minute and/or needing more time to give the speaker a chance to play a variety of music, before making a judgment.
having heard many examples of hybrid speakers, i believe i am experienced enough to observe in a very short period of time.
i will also admit to a certain point of view having heard a variety of hybrids, including electrostatic tweeter and bass/midrange cone, heil tweeter and cone, ribbon and cone and planar magnetic and cone.
i am not prone to falsify what i hear. there is no reason for me to do this.
the panel on the innnersound speaker is fine. i enjoy listening to it. i would like to hear a full range version of it without having to pay for it in advance.
I've owned EROS MKIIIs for about 3-4 years. I don't mind the small sweet spot, most speakers have one and I don't find off axis that bad. I listen to music by myself 95%+ of the time so it's not really an issue.
I'm lucky, I don't hear a discontinuity between the woofer and the panel. I would be surprised if Roger could build a speaker twice as wide and tall with DSP for 10K. But, you probably still wouldn't have any deep bass, IMHO.
You're going to have to go the SoundLab route and it WILL cost you in excees of 10K not counting the amplification, maybe even used. For your acuity, you have narrowed it down to one brand and a lot of money. FWIW, I've heard most of the hybrid designs over the last 40 years.
I think this forum is very lucky to have two people experience the Sanders speakers and post differing opinions about the same event. Wish I could have been there.
Clearly, I have my version of what happened, and you have yours, "trelja, you are partially correct and partially incorrect about the facts of the situation."
"within 30 seconds i heard cymbal, kick drum , acoustic bass and electric guitar. i heard the difference between cone and panel. it doesn't take long. my mode of audition in general, even in my own system is short listening of familiar music."
As stated above, my recollection is that it was 1 second, not 30, which I laid out in my feelings regarding your prejudice.
"i am looking for a speaker now. what reason would i have to come into a room, if i assumed i would hear a difference, before i actually heard it ? i wouldn't have listened if i already decided that hybrids were of no interest to me."
Again, prejudice. I believe your goal was not to listen to the product Roger believes in, but to have someone who has demonstrated the mastery of electrostatic loudspeaker buildingsince the 1960s make you something you feel is better than what he builds - see my comments on teaching the teacher.
"trelja, would you be willing to make a wager, if i were blindfolded, to test my hearing, if you believe i didn't detect the difference between cone and panel ?"
See my comments on whether or not you are able to hear the difference. But, to answer your question more directly, even if I felt you could not, my first rule in life is that when you lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas.
"i then discussed with him my interest in a full range electrostatic speaker and specified that i don't listen loud, no more than 85 db and wanted to achieve bass reponse extending to the about 35 khz. he replied that he would have to double the width of the panel, double the height and include a dsp. we discussed the affect of including the dsp in the signal path upon the performance of the speaker and i expressed my concern that it would add distortion and he asserted that i wouldn't hear the dsp even though it was in the signal path. i was not convinced, nor did i want to take a chance for $10,000 to have him build it, without obviously listening to it."
As I have tried to say, the man gave you what he felt is an accurate assessment of the situation in terms of how to give you what you are asking of him - in the most professional and generous manner, I may add. And, again, via you not accepting that, you feel you feel you know more than he does.
You are also incorrect in that is NOT what happened next, as you left out what ensued previous to that which was what I described in my recount of Roger asking you about what your three requirements were. You continue to leave it out, as you need to include how much power you will provide via your amplification. I go back to your inability to answer his question.
As for you not wanting to take a chance for $10K, would you expect someone to go against everything they believe in to produce a one off component for someone who walks into your room and flat out tells you that your life work is invalid in their estimation, that they know how to do what you do better than you even if they have never done it before, and they can have you build a product for them that surpasses what you have spent 40 years working towards even if you disagree with it without having them pay for your efforts? Considering that he sells the loudspeakers that he puts his own name on for $13K, I'd say he offered you the most generous terms imaginable. You expect not to have to compensate him should you somehow decide that what you designed didn't end up as superior as you figured it would be?
"the panel on the innnersound speaker is fine. i enjoy listening to it. i would like to hear a full range version of it without having to pay for it in advance."
It sounds like you should get to work on building yourself a pair.
you are entitled to your opinion as to what occurred during my visit to the st tropez to listen to roger sanders latest creation.
we have disagreements as to what happened. however i question some of your hypotheses.
you have no evidence of any prejudice. i did not go into the room expecting someone to suggest the feasibility of building another speaker to satisfy my objectives. you have no way of knowing what is going on in my mind. however, in fairness to you, you said "believe". i strongly disagree with your beliefs. however, you are entitled to them.
by the way, why have you chosen to act as roger sander's defender/lawyer ? i'm sure he is speaking for himself.
my not accepting his proposal has nothing to do with knowledge--his or mine. i never claimed to have any knowledge. i just objected to paying for a speaker in the amount of $10,000, without auditioning it first.
by the way, i don't recall being asked about the amplifier i would be using to power a speaker. i would have provided that information. i own several tube amps. i aam aware of the capabilities of each. why would i refuse to answer such a quuestion ? it makes no sense?
either he did not answer the question, which is likely , or i answered it and you did not hear the answer.
i did not invalidate roger's creation. i said i can hear two drivers, cone and panel. i did not indicate any expertise at speaker building. you have misrepresented what i said and did not say.
i would not expect someone to build a speaker without paying for it, which is why i declined his proposal, because it wasn't a production speaker which i could audition prior to purchase.
the fact that i expressed a preference for a full range electrostatic speaker did not automatically imply that he he had to offer to build one. our conversation could have focused on his hybrid speaker. i did not ask him to build a speaker.
you also left out our brief discussion of the quad 57s.
by the way, it sounds like you are not convinced that i did not hear the difference between panel and cone. your allusions to dogs and fleas does not negate what i heard.
finally, martin logan will be producing a full range electrostatic speaker, then clx, later this year, and i am considering stacked quads unlimited quad 57s.
Going back to the original question, I came darn close to getting some Isis mkIII speakers. I auditioned them for several hours, and decided that off axis they did not loose that sense of live music being played in a realistic manner (which is the main thing?), but they did loose a lot of high treble. And of course imaging, but that is exactly the same with all speakers. The treble loss as you move away was more than with other speakers. In their sweet spot, as others have said, they are as good as speakers get as far as I've heard.
Since I made an on-topic comment, here is an off-topic comment.
In response to one very minor issue above, the dsp, it seems that graphic equalizers are coming back. The way to do it, however, is not necessarily associated with the speaker, but in your DAC. There are people who are really into that aspect that could explain more, but basically there is a new device, a sort of digital preamp/dac/digital graphic equilizer. These are very sophisticated and come with usb to your computer and you use your computer to equalize it and there are 200+ pg instruction manuals as to how to measure and adjust it for just your room. Apparently, if you get one of these and pay a lot lot of money for it, the eq doesn't hurt the sound.
Not my piece of cake, I've got a tube pre that I love, but in these increasingly digital days, I can see it as a valid path to good sound quality.
Note that a Von Schweikert dealer I spoke to in regard to room adjustments (the larger VSs can be adjusted for the room) actually said he preferred people not be able to do that. He said he spends hours and hours setting them up properly, and then a year later goes back and invariably they are worse. If not the purchasers, often their kids, get in there and muck with all the settings and in both cases don't know what they are doing. Anyway, just an idea that if we buy speakers for the 'average' home then overall better sound might be had than people mucking around changing everything. Just an idea - as for me - I love mucking with things!
Mrtennis, your points are becoming less and less relevant. It seems instead of simply seeing a situation for what it truly is, and learning something from that experience, you soldier on, perhaps believing through the music of chance, you will come across as more insightful than you have previously.
Over the brief time I have known Roger Sanders, he has proven to me incredible knowledge, real world ability, and the highest degree of character.
Roger does not engage in these forums. However, you do. And, you have incessantly used this website to disparage his loudspeakers many, many times since CES2008. I believe his position is worth defending against that, and I will do so.
Your position, which you have laid out here time and again is that a single electrostatic panel is a superior loudspeaker than the one he produces. You ARE invalidating his creation, which is a direct reflection of his life's work. By refusing to accept the positions of someone with the resume he posssesses, and offering up counterarguments you defend so strongly in feeling your way is clearly the better one, your statement, "i never claimed to have any knowledge." puts you in an untenable position.
"you also left out our brief discussion of the quad 57s."
Again, if you go back to my initial post, which I keep pointing back towards, I made the statement that other things were discussed, but I didn't want to make an already too long thread even longer. I had made my point.
Is there really a need to recite chapter and verse of the entire surreal encounter? I believe it would have benefitted everyone had Arnie filmed Roger a second time for play on Audiogon, this one being your visit to his room.
Nevertheless, I can surely recount your Quad ESL57, a speaker which I hold in high regard. You quoted the modifier's claims of what they were capable of, and Roger's exact response was, "I'll simply answer you this way, he's lying to you." I'm not sure what that lends to your position, other than perhaps trying to call my memory into question. In a logical sense, it again displays the technical and real world knowledge Roger possesses when it comes to the field of electrostatic loudspeakers.
"finally, martin logan will be producing a full range electrostatic speaker, then clx, later this year, and i am considering stacked quads unlimited quad 57s."
Once again, I return to my first post. There is no perfect loudspeaker. Roger has designed his speakers in the way he feels will present the best sound possible, ready and willing to discuss the weakpoints of his own design with anyone who cares to listen to him. He is also more than capable of talking about the weakpoints of the products you mentioned (or any loudspeaker for that matter), and why he has chosen a different path. I hope you do not believe these other designs will not be without flaws. At the end of the day, the question which every audiophile faces when it comes to loudspeakers is whether or not they can live with the flaws the product they are interested in possesses.
One thing I neglected to discuss previously, DSP. A bit of looking into the Fletcher-Munson curve in the light of what your requirments are will save you a lot of disappointment and wrong decisions down the road.
it is ludicrous to say that because i criticize the design of a hybrid electrostatic speaker, i have validated his design. it is also illogical.
i never said that a full range electrostatic speaker is superior to a hybrid. i only stated my preference.
roger sanders is a nice person, but he is not the only designer of electrostatic speakers.
i did not denigrate his knowledge as a speaker designer, but it seems unprofessional to call someone a liar.
anyway, this entire situation seems to be a tempest in a teacup. it really has nothing to do with you, trelja, and now the case is closed. i have no more to say. the event happened about two months ago. i'll move on and i suspect, you will too.
by the way, i touched that you are concerned about my speaker selection.
I have been a member here for almost 7 years now and sometimes I just can't help but jump in a little....Boy, if I was back in the dirty dozen days here at AudiogoN and could come out as AJ; I'd jump in with both feet, but I need to behave, so I am taking a deep breath....and being a good girl... as best I can.
so instead, here's the intro right from AudiogoN's coverage page from T.H.E. Show this year and a link to the interview.
"Roger Sanders, inventor of the curved electrostatic loudspeaker, will make you rethink everything you always thought you knew about stats. He sure did (rethink everything) to the point of abandoning his own invention for a contradictory philosophy. His logic is irrefutable, his speakers are infallible, and his electronics are unstoppable. Check out this video for a crash course on electrostatic myths and mating."
Angela alias AJ
that's what happens when the axe meets the stone.
Joe, Angela(nice name butaway)
Agree with you 100%.
I have met Roger Sanders during CES in January.
He is a real gentelman, honest, down to earth kind of guy.
I listend to his new speakers and liked what I heard.
when the axe meets the stone, the axe gets sharper, or , the stone facilitates the sharpening of the axe.
i just spoke to roger today. discussed a possible full range electrostatic speaker. different ears in different gears.
roger is indeed a gentlemen. ijust find listening to cones and panels a problem.
Mrtennis, as you know, I also own Martin Logans Aerius i.
I am not atacking (or tring to) anyone.
It would NOT hurt
to be a little more open minded or understanding.
Have You tried that ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^??????????
Please give this idea a consideration. It might be worth it.
i wasn't aware that you own martin logan speakers.
i am not foisting my preferences upon anyone. i respect all points of view. i realize that taste is what it is and it varies . put 3 audiophiles in a room and you may get 4 opinions
i am open minded in that i have no opinion until after i listen.
as to the bass response of stacked quad 57s, i expect to hear 40 hz at 85db. a lot will depend upon my room.
i am confident in my perceptions.
Angela100 aka AJ, I enjoyed the video. I also enjoyed Roger's speakers at T.H.E. Show 2008; they were among my favorites.
Roger and I have somewhat divergent opinions on how loudspeakers should interact with rooms (if at all) - probably arising from differing priorities - but the design choices he has made do give the results he claims.
My only complaint is with the name. "Model 10-A". Eros and Isis were so memorable. How about something like "Hathor", which sounds Norse but is actually the Egyptian goddess of love, beauty, cheerfulness and music.
It's good to see Roger back doing what he loves.
"i am not foisting my preferences upon anyone. i respect all points of view. i realize that taste is what it is and it varies . put 3 audiophiles in a room and you may get 4 opinions"
Exactly Mrtennis - and there is nothing wrong with use of "IMO". And of cource we ALL have our preferences, as well as different tases. And that is FINE.
However it would be wise to choose our words more carefully
(not one of my strongest points) > trust me, on few occasions I have blow up my (Hi-Fi tuning) fuses.
As for that perfect speaker that you are looking for.....well - would not be just easier to enjoy some music
then occupying your mind with speakers that might not exist.
Maybe, just maybe one should ask:
WHAT, WHEN AND HOW MUCH IS IT GOING TO TAKE - TO ENJOY MY MUSIC ???
Some years ago I compaired the innersound eros mark 1 speakers with the then top of the line ML Requests (same room and electronics) and the innersound electrostats were much cleaner, faster and had much better bass. Since then, both innersound and ML have made improvements. While ML has a wider sound stage, I don't move around when I'm doing serious listening so innersound would be my preference. However, I do like some of the ML offerings especially the older CLS speakers and the SL3. The innersound electrostats were the only speakers (along with sound labs) that I've heard in a realistic price range that could compete with my now defunct modded Dayton Wright electrostats.
It's a pleasure to read and hear the different voices and perceptions on Dr. Sanders' ESL engineering. We currently use the Eros in our main system, driven by Henry Wolcott's CA-250 tube monoblocks. They do 225Watts per side and drive the Eros quite beautifully overall. I listened to various traditional cone drivers and electrostats over the years, including SoundLabs. Although the Eros are comparatively impeccable in woofer/esl integration and synchronicity of performance to the music, they do have an unbelievably acute sweet spot. But the engineer himself confesses to this trade-off.
As has been expressed already: Dr. Sanders -- the dedicated engineer and frank human being that he is -- reveals that life has its compromises. When I sit and listen to a beautiful piece by Miles Davis or the stunning vocal range of Renee Fleming, I listen in awe at the sonic precision. However, one can not get something for nothing.
My neck and head take quite the strain sometimes; but, imagine a fighter jet pilot or a formula one driver: cutting-edge high performance can tax the human body, whether it be a pilot pulling nauseating g's, a formula one driver forced into a cockpit smaller than an oil barrel, or a listener whose system requires that his head remain in a vise grip. Beautiful engineering, bleeding-edge performance: Costly demands.
Cheers and happy listening to all. Long live audio engineering in advancement of the Sciences & Arts!
Like Ejlif, I too had a pair of Innersound Eros. Mine were the Mk II Active version. And like Ejlif, I ultimately sold mine for the same reason he did. Too beamy a radiation pattern. They do sound very good if well placed in the room and if you sit in just the right spot. Like many people have said in these threads before me, it's a matter of picking your poison.