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September 2016
Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine
Best Audiophile Product Of 2016 Blue Note Award
Best Of 2016 Blue Note Equipment Awards

ELAC Debut F5 Floorstanding Speaker
Price: $558 per pair
Click here to read the complete review.


  ELAC's F5 floorstanding speaker is as much about the genious designer Andrew Jones as it is the speaker itself. ELAC's F5 is a three-way bass reflex design with four drivers. Three 5.25" woven aramid fiber for the two woofers and one midrange to be exact. Then we have a 1" cloth dome tweeter that is placed centrally within a carefully calculated waveguide surround. The waveguide keeps the sound radiating at a defined angle while also increasing the output a tad. "The new ELAC high-frequency driver features a custom, deep spheroid profile to improve directivity control and shield the dome tweeter from cabinet diffraction modes inherent in traditional box enclosures" says their website.



Then Andrew decided that for the crossover network he'd use Eye of Newt, Toe of Frog, and specially-harvested Hens Teeth. Didn't I write earlier that you could skip this section of the review; yet you persisted didn't you? In reality ELAC's Andrew Jones spent what must have been a fortnight, or 100, designing a custom multi-element crossover. Instead of Eye of Newt or that Frog stuff, there are high-grade components so that his fine-tuned ears heard a very continuous transition as the frequency is split up between the drivers. Oh, before I forget, ELAC does offer an optional bottle of the Hair Of The Dog That Bit You for an additional fee.



Enough with the jokes, because the ELAC F5 floorstanders are some serious speakers. If one didn't know the price, I'd guess they were $2000 per pair. So how do they sound? We had six guests come visit us during the holiday season; a total of two teens, three adults and a touch-everything-in-sight with dirty hands mischievous three years old. So I removed the grill and let the guests abuse these speakers for two weeks including touching them, putting glasses of ice water on them and play them loud during music and video games, etc. You know, that real-world test and not some white-glove treatment audio reviewers are supposed to do. Hey if the speakers got damaged I was out far less than half the cost of a mere oil change for my daily driver car (yeah, seriously). Guess what? I'm looking at the drivers / cabinets and months later they still look as good as new... and sound better than new because, you know, that whole break-in thing. The very durable supplied spikes I installed on the bottom of the speakers kept them in place too after being knocked round a bit.



"While this review is about the F5 floorstanders ($558/pr)," says Steven R. Rochlin, "I can say the same about ELAC's B6 bookshelf speakers too ($279/pr). In fact you could build a really nice home theater setup with a few pairs of ELAC B5 small monitors ($229/pr) and their S10 powered subwoofer ($249 each) for a very reasonable price and bask in the glory of how great it sounds... and so will your visiting neighbors and guests! Hope my cousins do not read this as they desperately need a stereo system. I debated giving them the pair of ELAC F5 floorstanders that are here for review, but screw them as these babies are staying here. They can buy their own ELAC F5 speakers!!!"

Click here to read the complete review.



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