Sweet not so sweet


I'm an owner of the Innersound Eros ESLs and while I love the sound while sitting in the "sweet spot", my "sweet spot" seat is between 2 sections of a modular sofa and is very uncomfortable. I have lived with this for 3 years or so, and now am looking for suggestions to get as close to the ESL sound as I can while having wider dispersion. My room is 20'x14' with the speakers positioned on the short wall and out no more than 3 feet. Physical size is not a problem as my wife will happy with anything smaller than the Eroses. The only restriction is that they cannot be out more than 3' from the short wall. Replacing the sofa is not an option (unfortunately).

My current "short list" includes:

Tyler Linbrook Sig System
Silverline Sonata
Dunalvy Canata/Aletha
Reimer Wind River
Von Schweikert VR4 jrs
Hyperion 938s
Usher AC 10/ 8871

Please suggest any other models that I may have overlooked.

All opinions welcome!


I would check out JM Lab Electra speakers. I have the 926 and Sam Tellig thought they were as fast and dynamic as his electrostatics (I think they are Quad 988). I have listened to electrostats often and agree. The electra's dispersion is not huge (but significantly better than ESLs) which saves the imaging from getting out of focus. Anyway, good luck. Arthur
Mike, I once owned the Innersound Eros MK II and I agree with you concerning the sweet spot ---- way too small. On the other hand, the sound they produced was exceptional. I've gone from the Eros to Von Schweikert VR4 Gen III's, Meadowlark Osprey's, Source Technology and others ----- all good speakers but none of the 'cone' speakers captured the magic of the Eros.

I sold my Von Schweikert's to a fellow Audiogoner who also owned a pair of Martin Logans --- he had the Von Schweikerts up for sale and sold within a month.

I am currently waiting for a demo of the Eminent Technology VIIIa's.

When going form an electrostat to a cone speaker, I would make darn sure you listen to all of them at length (if possible) before you commit to purchase.

Best of Luck
Arthur -- thanks for the reply. I'll check into the JM Labs.

Sedona -- that is what I'm afraid of -- not being able to come close to recreating the magic that the Eros produces (in the sweet spot that is).

What made you choose the ET VIIIs?


You dont want Dunlavy, as they are time aligned and have a tiny sweet spot.

Good speakers, but tiny sweet spot.
I had the same problem with my Acoustat 2+2s. The problem was solved by a single Argent Room Lens between, and behind the plane, of the speakers. The sweet spot became the entire couch. Still preferring to sit in the middle, I replaced the couch with an Ekornes Stressless chair.
I would suggest Sonus Faber Grand Piano Home.
I haven't chose Eminent Technology VIIIA's ---- yet, still waiting to get a demo. But I've heard nothing but good about them from those whose opinion I trust, and yes they take some power but supposedly have the Eros magic.

As a personal preference, I try to stay with American made loudspeakers and I've heard very good things about Reimer and Tyler Acoustics.

I would also suggest you look into VMPS (RM30) speakers --- they have flat panel tweeters and midrange married to cone woofers -- I'm going to listen to a pair in a month or so.

My thinking is once someone owns an electrostat or flat panel ribbon speaker they might have a little trouble switching to box speakers. You might as well which is why I strongly recommend you audition your short list before you purchase.
Hi All,

Thanks so much for the replies.

Raquel -- I wasn't aware that the Dunlavy's had a small sweet spot. Do all time aligned speakers have a small sweet spot?

Elgordo -- thanks for the simple suggestion! However, as my listening room and family room are one and the same, I cannot install room lenses, tube traps and the like :(

Eldragon -- I'll look into the Grand Piano. I'm sure my wife would like their appearance!

Sedona -- I know I'll have sacrifices involved, and I'm willing to give up some of of the Eroses' strengths. Frank Alles has written a very glowing review on the VMPS RM30s and I will have to look into them as well.

Thanks again!

Mike: Generally speaking, yes, time-aligned speakers have small sweet spots and could sound better if you are listening off-axis (but not like a classic electrostatic, which can sound broken off-axis).
The Room Lens can be kept in a closet when not in use. It weighs about 15 pounds.

Well I may just be the guy to talk to on this one. I have had the Eros MK 3 in my living room for two years and have always been plagued by the exact thing you complain about, small sweet spot. I like to lay back to one side of the couch to say relax, but the top end rolls off too, and for the most part other areas of the house such as the kitchen, you would hardly think you are listening to a hifi system. Plus I was always really bothered by the feeling that I need a substation worth of power to really drive the Eros right. I sent my Eros back to Innersound as the paint was slightly cracking in the back, they had them picked up and are taking care of everything no problem (great guys)

In the meantime I picked up a set of VR 4Jrs. I also happen to also own the Silverline Sonatas, and have owned the Dunlavy 4s before those. In short, none can do the things you like about the Eros. I think of them you would like the VR 4Jrs better, as they have a very wide sweet spot and can really sound engaging throughout the house when playing. My gripe with them would be they just don't have the weight in the bass. I am playing mine in a room with a huge cubic volume, so that may be the problem, or I just haven't found that magic spot to put them in. For me I have to really pull the JRs out into the room to get them to stage right, mine are probably 5 ft to the front, where with the Eros they sounded super at only 3ft off the wall. I think the Silverlines would be even fussier in regard to placement and they have a small sweet spot, as with the Dunlavys though they don't roll off like the Eros out of the sweet spot. The Jrs will actually give you a window into the stage from off axis.

I think it really boils down to what you listen to. The Eros are to my ear a more refined sounding speaker with greater image specificity and depth. I have mine in a second system, so I'm not as eager to be glued to the sweet spot with mine, so I feel like I get more enjoyment out of the VR 4Jrs, because I listen more from outside the sweet spot. I feel that if this was my only system I don't think I would be willing to make to tradeoff from the Eros to the 4Jrs. The Jrs are more dynamic, and are funner to listen to with dynamic music for me.

I think the 3ft from the wall may be a big problem for you to overcome with most speakers, the Eros just happen to love that placement and was one plus for me on my decision to get them. You may not want to let the Eros go till after you see if the new speakers can fill their shoes.

I would also be intrigued with the Hyperion speakers and have thought of those myself.
If you can live with a physically wider speaker than the Eros, there are several Sound Lab models that will give you a very wide sweet spot along with all the things a good electrostat does well. Yup, I peddle 'em. Several of my customers are former Eros owners.
Hi All. Thanks for the replies. I am really grateful for your suggestions and help.

Elgordo -- since the Eroses are in my family room I have a big screen TV in between them so a room lens will not work.

Ryan -- Thanks for your insight. There has to be a dynamic speaker out there that I'll like that does not require placement more then 3' out from the rear wall. I just hope it doesn't take me very long to find it!

I heard the Hyperions at last year's Stereophile show and they really sounded great! I don't remember if the room was tweaked or not, however. I am somewhat skeptical now since there seem to be some quality issues nad Hyperion has already come out with a new model.

I will probably go the the HiFi Show again this year as I would like to hear the Vandersteen Quatro model which fits in between the 3C and 5A.

The 4 Jrs may be the ticket for me though. Are the 4 Srs out yet?

Duke -- Thanks for your suggestion however I'm not sure if I'll be able to a pair of speakers larger then the Eros into the room and still have a marriage ;) I'm hoping for something with a higher WAF!


I also have a big screen TV between my 'stats and had no image width and no depth. With the lens I've got a big wide stage and about 30 feet of depth in addition to a much wider sweet spot. No other room treatment is necessary. BTW, I recently bought an ESL 300 amp and I love it on 'stats, FWIW.

Where do you place the room lens? In front of the TV? I don't have any problems (that I know of) with soundstaging or imaging. The imaging is stable and the soundstage is sometimes as wide as my room, extending beyond the speakers on some recordings. My problem is the size of the sweet spot.

If a room lens increases the size of the sweet spot, perhaps I should purchase one (or 2) and then really take my in finding a pair of dynamic speakers. Would you recommend one on the speaker plane, and another behind the the listening position?

I really like my ESL300 also, and combined with my modified CJ PV14L they really make the Eroses sing!

Thanks for your help.
Yeah I'd like to know more about your room lens placement, if thats true I'm getting some for sure. I also have a big screen in between my Eros. With Eros I don't feel it as big a problem with the VR 4Jrs, though I do think the depth of soundfield seems to suffer.

I'm pretty sure you can order up the VR 4Srs at this point, though there may be a short wait for a pair.
Duke -- I replied to your email but it was returned. Perhaps your box is full?? Do you have another account?

Does anyone know about positioning requirements for the VR4 Sr?


The lens sits a few inches in front of the TV (Sony 36XBR). This puts it about 18 inches behind the plane of the speakers. Placement is critical. A 1/4 inch forward or back makes a huge difference, especially in depth. When watching TV I just move it to the side. I haven't tried one behind the listening chair. Lots of info on DIY can be found on the Asylum.