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Norman Nicolai

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Just got back from the Delaware Valley Antique Radio Club Show in Kutztown. One of my finds was a pair of EPI M50 speakers that I purchased for $15. (They’re labeled as Epicure, not EPI) I’ve been looking for a pair of these for years. The cabinets need refinishing, the woofers need new foam, and they need to be recapped, but all the drivers work! 

I also scored a set of KLH 17’s in great cosmetic shape, but one tweeter seems to be dead.

The M50’s are going to be the priority. Can’t wait to hear them when they’re done!




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  • 1 month later...

I went through two pairs of Epicure 100s during my college years, then owned a set of Epicure 400 mini-towers before moving to Allison’s. I seem to recall an EPI 100 variant that had a vinyl wood, rather than a walnut finish. Maybe the different moniker broadly represents the different finish. 

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Just finished my restoration of the EPI M50’s.

The woofers were refoamed, the cap and resistor in each speaker was replaced, wiring upgraded, cabinets refinished, and binding posts replaced. I kept the original EPI grill cloths because they were in good shape after cleaning. 


You can compare the new photos to the older photos in my original post. I was unable to get rid of the black discoloration shown in the first photo. I tried paint remover, furniture refinisher, mineral spirits, alcohol, and baking soda. Nothing worked, including trying to hand sand it out. It detracts from their appearance, along with the slight separation at that corner of the cabinet, but the restored product  still looks miles better than the way they looked when I purchased them. 

Regarding the sound of the M50’s, I was disappointed at first, but that’s only because I was A/B ing them to my AR91’s. (I now consider the AR91’s my favorite, and my “reference” speaker.) When I repositioned them to the corner of a room to augment the bass response, switched to classical rather than rock, and stopped comparing them to my AR’s, they started to grow on me. Not as good as the EPI M100’s, but respectable for their size.

I’ll probably listen to them for a couple of months, but eventually sell them. I just have too many speakers right now, and I don’t think they’re good enough for my “permanent collection”. Still, it was a worthwhile project and I had a lot of fun working on them…It also help that I got them for only $25.


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  • 4 months later...


Tonight I bought a pair of these EPI M50's at a local thrift store for $16.00.

I've got to say they look very rough, but the cabs are solid and the foam surrounds are decent. Still, the only reason I bought them not knowing anything about them, was that they were so heavy for their size.

As soon as I got home, I discovered the Human Speaker webpage and learned they are at least worthy of restoration.

I am a fan of what they refer to as "the New England Sound" and can't wait to hear these.

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Update: Both the woofers are stuck.

Cones would not budge in nor out, and they even look tilted. I removed the drivers from the cabs and the dual magnets were shifted out of alignment. This probably has the voice coil jammed.

I tried to shift the mags back into alignment by hand and they did move enough to free up the voice coil a bit, but it still drags and hangs up. C-clamps got the edges flush, but still not good enough to free the voicecoil.

I will look around for replacement original drivers, but I fear I will be performing surgery on these.

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Right. Here are the pics of the drivers. They seem original to me, but the good condition of the surrounds have me wondering, now.

The numbers 39 and 40 written on the back plate are from me, so I know which cabinet each driver came out of.






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The woofers are probably the original EPI drivers. At least they look very similar to the woofers in my EPI M50’s. They also look in much better shape than the woofers I refoamed.

When you say that the speakers are “stuck”, what do you mean, precisely? What happens when you apply power to them and try to listen to them? What happens when you apply the power of a 1.5V battery across the two speaker terminals? Does anything move?

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Yes, when I try to gently push on the woofer cone, it does not move inward. When I reach through the basket to push the cone up (outward) it does not move.

I have not tried the battery because I simply cannot find my alligator-clipped leads. (setting up a proper workbench for this sort of work, and things are presently in a state of  disarray)

I had read that this is a not-unheard-of condition, caused by the glue between the two magnets failing with age, and allowing them to shift and interfere with the in-out movement of the cone, even to the point of pinching the voice coil.

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