Dayton Audio Epique CBT24 Speaker System Review Specs

Driver: 2.5-inch aluminum-magnesium inverted-dome full-range (24)
Dimensions (WxHxD, Inches): 3.5 x 60 x 25 (depth incl. base)
Weight (Pounds): 27.5 (each)
Price: $1,995 pr (assembled); $1,295/pr (kit); optional miniDSP 2x4, $105

Company Info Dayton Audio
(800) 338-0531

Dayton Audio
(800) 338-0531

John_Werner's picture

I hate to say this but I quit reading after the reviewer said he "opted for the assembled version" as he isn't paid enough or something along those lines. No wonder hobbyist kit audio died! Now in most ways that doesn't make the review of the speaker less pertinent as far as capabiliteies, but it completely misses the ethos of a segment of the audio market that is needing a big boost for a renaissance. And a speaker like this could be a kickstarter of a whole other generations DIY audio love affair. Nevermind...I should be glad the speaker exists I guess.

simon wagstaff's picture

These speakers appealed to me on many levels. I wanted something a little different than a traditional box design, I value imaging and sound staging. The value offered in a kit and the fact that they were on sale made it a no brainer for me.

The kit arrived in three boxes, one for the drivers and two long boxes with the assembled cabinets. Everything was laid out nicely, although they did forget 8 screws for the base, which were easy to get at Home Depot for a dollar. Finishing the cabinets took the longest time. I just painted them satin black but the MDF took three coats to look good. Cabinet walls were pretty thin so I applied a couple of tubes of silicone sealer to the sides and back to try to deaden them a little bit. Don't know if that did anything, but I felt better about it. A couple of things. The instructions say to attach the terminal cup first, if you do that you can't attach the wires to the terminals. Also, I would not use a power screwdriver for the drivers, it can be easy to strip the MDF, thought it took some time I did it by hand. The wiring harness was very nice and set up so you can't mess anything up, all numbered, and different sized connectors for positive and negative. I spent a couple of days finishing them, final assembly took about 5 hours. I certainly wouldn't expect a reviewer to go through this effort.

I have a Marantz AV processor with the current version of Audessey, and a pair of Infinity IM1.2 subs. Audessey set the crossover at 150 hz, which I expected. I have an Odyssey Kismet power amp, which seems to mate very well with these speakers.

I love the sound, unlike in the review I do get some sounds outside the edges of the cabinets, but the depth and detail of the image is superb. It's trite I know but I hear new things in recordings I am most intimately familiar with, such as Santana Caravanserai. King Crimson Island. The lack of floor bounce gives great detail to stand up bass. No problem with subwoofer localization, and with EQ the high end is very nice and extended, though perhaps not as transparent as a ribbon. They are VERY dynamic, with sounds seeming to leap from the speakers. Vocals are creamy, and float in front of you.

I like them a lot. I still need to play with the amplification. Part of the reason I bought these is that I have an HK990 amp, which has an EQ function optimized more for stereo and it uses near field measurements for speaker EQ and far field at the listening position for sub EQ. I am curious to see if it improves the sound.

I was thinking about re-doing the wiring harness with better wire and better resistors, but looked like more of a project than I wanted to embark on. I have ordered some snazzy rhodium speaker binding posts because the ones included are quite cheap, as you would expect. I don't think they will make any difference, but I thought what the heck.

These are not the most transparent speakers, like an electrostatic or ribbon, but the lack of floor bounce really adds to the bass detail. They are able to produce a large sound field that is enveloping and elicits that thing I seek, emotional involvement.

I am very happy with my pair.

davidrmoran's picture

>> Complete absence of “floor-bounce” thickening

1) There is no gravity involved and the sound does not fall: the floor reflections are no different from those off the front and near sidewall. (The near corner, in other words.) There are 7 such reflections in all. The so-called direct floor reflection, mislabeled bounce, is but a single one of the 7.

2) The Keele design acts no differently with regard to the absence of lower-midrange suckout (lower mid, not a bass issue) than any other speaker whose woofer(s) are near the floor. There is nothing magical going on here, in other words, although to my ear this design is pretty transparent, and yes, it is indeed helped by not having the common lower-midrange notch.

3) There is almost never any thickening going on; it is almost invariably a power response suckout or notch in the octave below middle C. Allison analyzed and designed around this problem 45 years ago, but it remains widely ignored, albeit recognized, by modern designers. It's easy to overlook with modern FFT/TDS-based measurement technologies, btw.