ELAC - Adante... what’s the verdict?

Heard these at Axpona...  

However I’m amazed no one is talking about them, now that they’re out at dealers.  
That doesn’t sound good.  They should sound 90% of what they will sound like broken in....  no impressions yet? 
Changed some speaker cables out. These speakers are amazing. Better than I expected - took a gamble and bought based on the feedback from the shows without auditioning. I was a die hard B&W fan before. These speakers have exceeding my expectations . 

So you weren’t that impressed until you changed the speaker cables out?  Care to go into more detail?
I was using AQ Type 4 and switched to AQ Rocket 44 with nordost jumpers. The speakers sounded great at set up. I've had a few days to absorb what these speakers can do. Simply amazing. Low end is exceptional. These speakers benefit from the soft dome tweeter, I know this was a design change from the original debut in Jan 2017. I was planning on purchasing B&W 705 S2 but wanted a stand mount with deeper low end. These speakers best the 705 S2 IMHO. 

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Audio Doctor update, our Elac AS 61 just arrived!

So lets answer a few of these points:

Seanheis1, this review was kind of a snippet more of a preview, if you read the review, Steve, listened to the speakers in the CNET office with whatever gear was there, he had a few choices, but who knows the quality of the cables, and the source quality which was used, as well as the setup in the room, if I remember the review it didn't go into that much detail. Steve really liked them but found that there were a few things he prefered in the B&W. B&W is generally sold with Rotel, so perhaps the two products were voiced together?

Your comment as some of these are allready showing up used. That is another easy answer, the speakers are frigging huge, they also have way deeper bass then the frequency cut off of 41hz, they positively shake the room. So the combination of very deep bass and way bigger size is going to mean that many people are going to mistakenly think these are going to work in rooms and places that they won't.

When we looked at ordering the Elacs,  the speakers especially the stand mounted AS 61 didn't look that big based on the dimensions, but in person they are like the Kef Ref 1 huge for what is called a "stand mount."

Right now we don't know what they will sound like. but with so much hype about them and liking Andrew Jones's designs, we signed on without ever hearing them. 

The other reason was to be able to offer our clients one of the best selection of monitors in the New York Tri State/NJ area.

We now have the KEF LS 50,  LS 50W, ATC SCM 11 and SCM 19, The Elac Adante S61, the KEF Ref 1, and the Paradigm Persona B,  hows that for some cool monitors. 

We will update you guys after we have burned in our AS 61s.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
Completely agree with Audio Doctor. These are special and unique speakers. I have them partnered with Parasound gear with Audioquest cables and they are dynamic and truly sing in ways I could not have imagined at this price point. 

Audio Doctor will of course happen to think the speakers are amazing since he now sells them.

Let’s be realistic here.

I don’t want to down talk the speakers, because who knows — maybe I’m an elac dealer myself. However, I will say this... the Debut and Uni-Fi series are dramatically more impressive for their price.

I think there is a reason we aren’t seeing many reviews for these HIGHLY anticipated speakers. I respect CNET for posting an honest review. People should not be buying a speaker based on hype.

Also — hificrazed — try not to be so obvious that you work at ELAC or are a dealer.  One look at your post history makes it GLARINGLY obvious.  Please don’t insult everyone’s intelligence by denying it.  I’m sure there’s a chance that you aren’t, but it’s highly unlikely.
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Sure. I’ll take some tomorrow.

Pay attention though — I never said I owned them personally. I do however likely have more time spent listening to them, setting them up in various rooms, setting up an entire theater based on them, etc than anyone in this thread.
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I was a bit surprised by Steve Guttenberg's review. It seems that he loves almost everything that comes through his room and usually comes off as a Kool Aid chugger.
I was surprised by it only due to the fact that I am under the impression that reviewers aren’t really “allowed” to truly down talk speakers they review for various reasons. I bet his impressions of the speakers are actually worse than he wrote, but he had to tone it down as to not trash or bury the company.  Usually reviewers use “read between the lines” negatives, like the other review that was posted right after by another member that mentioned the bass being nothing special (you have to wonder why no one else has done the same active/passive design after it was tried at KEF) and the response variances between the review pair being pretty bad.

I’m really curious to see how the Argo speakers sound, because right now there is just no synergy or house sound with ELAC. Each line has almost noting in common looks/sound wise. Maybe it’s just due to the driver layout on the prototypes, but I’m hoping the Argo changes that. I still absolutely do not understand why they would not also make passive versions of the Argo either.
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I thought they sounded great at Axpona.

Based on that I recommended them, stupidly, based on the little I heard and the hype (like Audio Doctor, who just brought them in, without even hearing them).

I heard a lot of promise with them, but kept noticing lots of things that bothered me about the sound. Part of what kept me going was the hype, and what I heard at Axpona. However that was carefully selected tracks in a noisy environment with tons of people. Also the psychological aspect of expecting Andrew’s new speaker to kick ass gave me expectation bias.

I’m really happy you got the speakers without listening to them and want to like them, and I can tell you’re trying hard. Why don’t you, instead of trying to “debunk” me and question my credibility, go listen to them some more?

I’m sure you will have zero issues with anything our resident advertiser (Audio Doctor) has to say, because it will of course be positive, making you feel better about your purchase.  Funny how that works.

Looking forward to a 43 paragraph response from him soon too... 
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James, you seem like you have some comprehension issues. Are you REALLY suggesting I haven’t had the extensive time spent with the speakers I am saying I have? I told you I will show photos tomorrow if you’d like.

You took me saying “I heard them at Axpona” and assumed that’s all the exposure I have with them.  Not very smart.

I have had easily 30+ hours of ACTIVE listening and tweaking of these speakers. That doesn’t include the 200+ hours of break in (XLO break in disc) they have had.

I’m really curious to see how the Argo speakers sound, because right now there is just no synergy or house sound with ELAC. Each line has almost noting in common looks/sound wise.
I agree. The UB5 was created to undercut the LS50, which it has. 

The Adante wants to be a budget Reference 1, but it appears to be voiced to excel in a Best Buy/Magnolia Hifi showroom next to B&W 705s. 

ELAC is not really a big enough brand in the US to be able to rely on a house sound to sell speakers. Their strategy seems to be to attack the front runners by undercutting and borrowing from their designs. 
As an owner (who is selling) and an owner of the Unifi series for years I have advice for anyone thinking of the Adante's. I plopped them into my system that was built around speakers that are much more mellow sounding and realized they will show you exactly what your system sounds like. That's a double edged sword because if you just plop them into your system built around other speakers, it may not be the perfect match. These speakers are worthy of building a system around. The speakers are absolutely engaging and command your attention so if you are looking for a pair of "pipe and slippers" speakers you are in the wrong place. That being said, for anyone willing to build a system around them, they have the potential to be revelatory. As with all systems matching is critical and the Adante's are certainly no exception. I wish I still had my Quicksilver amps or Primaluna as I would bet they would be a fantastic match for them. Choosing sterile solid state with them would certainly be a mistake. Compared to the Unifi UB5's they are much more extended with a lot more treble energy. They are also far more transparent and dynamic as well. Bottom line is that these speakers are probably best put into the hands of a seasoned audiophile that really wants to create a special system around them. Just like you wouldn't want to hand the keys to your Ferrari over to your 16 year old, these are not for the unanointed system builder.
That must be it.  I must be an “Unanointed Sustem Builder.”  Let me find my cape...
OK, so let's ditch the Elac and go back to thinking about some of the Ryan floorstanders as a possible alternative.
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@Contuzzi-Sorry my comments weren't aimed at you so I apologize if you were offended. I've been doing the audiophile system building thing for almost 20 years now(don't post frequently) and when evaluating the Elacs I had 2 choices.
1. Sell off the rest of my system and rebuild around the Elacs.
2. Find a speaker more similar to previous setups and keep the rest of my system.
   I chose option 2 because it's where I am in life right now and simply son't have the time to play (4 and 2 year old kids). I agree with James_w514 that the underlying presentation is likely going to lean in the detailed, exciting, edge of your seat experience even with good system matching. You will never confuse them with Harbeth or Audio Note.  I have lots of friends that prefer that presentation and that variation in presentation among different systems is what keeps the hobby fun and interesting. Speakers are such a personal decision it's whatever you like. I hesitate to anoint a speaker as great (because there are so many variables inside the context of a system) and hesitate to disparage them as well. No doubt Andrew Jones is a brilliant designer and if I were inclined to take the time and effort to experiment with them, I could create a fantastic system...No doubt. I'm sure @Contuzzi could as well.
I have had mine for almost two months and they have really opened up nicely. I did some swapping during this time as well which made a difference. Love these speakers but agree they may not be for everyone. But really what speaker is ? We all have different tastes in how, when and where we listen to music. This is what makes this hobby so great!
OK, so let's ditch the Elac and go back to thinking about some of the Ryan floorstanders as a possible alternative.

The Ryan 610 is about the same size. Great bass, also a bit analytical...not a coax though so imaging won’t be as good. I would say KEF would offer the closest alternatives.
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I don’t find the 610’s analytical at all and like james_w514 I would like to get some time with the 630’s or even the 620’s.
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Speaking of matching the Adantes with other speakers, I plan on moving my Kef LS50s to the back of a very large room for fill. Thinking similar tweeter/midrange design will play well.
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Hey Contuzzi, you just went down a whole heap in our book with some of your comments about us, and you like the Personas and Anthem gear and so we felt a kind of kin ship to you. 

We vet our products very carefully and only after testing them vs the competition and our other products as well as finding out which systems work together synergisitcally do we pass judegment on just how good the product actually is. 

Even without spending any real time with them listening to music seriously, we have been breaking them in with surround sound setup, the speakers do some things remarkably well, but we haven't passed any judgement other than they are a big set of speakers and they have prodigious bass and they do have a big soundstage. 

Funny they don't seem bright at all in our room with Wireworld Silver Eclipse speaker cables and they have been hooked up to an Anthem AVM 60 and a Parsound A23 amplifier. 

Just because a reviewer likes something doesn't mean it is the ultimate truth nor if the reviewer doesn't like something same thing as  well. 

I have been to three major reviewers homes and only one had a system we would say knocked my socks off. One of the reviewers systems was $400k and it wasn't that impressive.  One reviewer had a miss mosh of cables, no power conditioning, and his room sounded aweful.

So you have to take a snippet review like Steve's with a grain of salt especially when he was testing the speakers in the CNET offices and not his home setup. 

The English review was a total rave so  what does that say about the speakers.

Once we have suitably broken in our demo pair will we give you guys an accurate assement of their sound. 

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ

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I’m sure you will be totally honest.

The fact that you speak as if you are the only people capable of accurately assessing their sound almost made me laugh out loud.  

The hificrazed posts however, do make me laugh out loud.  Companies and dealers are getting desperate these days.
Contuzzi. Good to hear you can laugh out loud I was afraid you were containing all of your constant laughter inside. 👍  Time to kick back and listen to my Adantes on this fine Saturday - did that make you laugh out loud too? 

Post update,

Just played some Tidal on the AVM 60/MCA 50 combo and wasn't loving the sound. I could hear a hollowness in the midrange and could hear the upper octave emphasis that is probably what Steve was talking about.

I will say that I have never loved the DTS play fi and the lack of MQA also not loving the original MCA 50 either, but as we said in the earlier posts this is our process. 

We test with a lot of different gear and combos.  The Parasound amplifier is richer. We are thinking a warmer voiced integrated amplifier like the Micromega M100, or a Rega, or the Unision Reserach tube hyrbid may be the ticket. 

Also tube amplifiers may be the combo that works. 

For people who have the AS 61 what are the combos of electronics, sources and cables are you using? How many hours of playing time was required before the speakers broke in?

Pros so far: Big soundstage, great bass, good clarity.
Cons so far: Slight hollowness in the midrange, slight tendency to coldness in the treble. 

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ

Do you work for Elac? You have 17 posts all about the Adantes and a very recent join date?

Does that make you feel better Contuzzi, we work with many products, unless we can come up with a combo that acutally works with the Adantes we will resign the line. 

At this point don't know if these issues are edemic with the product and that is how it is voiced or it is a setup issue?

We were affraid the Adantes would beat the ATC SCM 19 at $4k but the ATC's so far are way better. 

For a $2,500.00 set of speakers the Adantes are very good, the question is what will be the right combonation of gear that will make them sing?

My gut is telling me you need either cables or components with a fatter upper midrange, and  a slightly rolled off top end.

I am willing to bet Prima Luna gear and the Adantes will make a terrific match. 

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ

The Personas are way better than the Adante AS 61's. 

As I said earlier the Adante shows tremendous promise and so far is doing certain things very well, the amount and tightness of the bass is very impressive, so is the big soundstage. 

From our limited so far music demos vs home theater demos, it is quite apparent that the Adantes will require careful system matching and probably more expensive equipment than what many people with a $2,500.00 speaker budget might be thinking about.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
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While waiting for the Elacs to sell I decided to just let them play at low volume for the past 4 days. I ended up selling my reference speaker cables because I need a pair of biwired cables for the Vandersteens that I ordered so I threw in the old trusty Blue Jeans cables(slightly rolled off on top and a smidge grainy compared to reference cables) and decided to change power cords to Cerious(warmer than my Furutech’s) on my Aurender and Lyngdorf TDAI-2170...Wow. What I’m hearing now is incredible sense of space and tempo/timing. It still doesn’t have the tonal richness of paper drivers with SET but tonal saturation/warmth is vastly better. I spent about an hour absolutely glued to my seat tonight listening to music with absolutely zero fatigue. I pulled my listing for them. No doubt worth a little effort. I was thinking it would take both effort, time, and $$$ but like I said before I think Primaluna or Quicksilver el34 mid monos are potentially a great match (never know until you try).Cerainly my tweaks were all low cost and shockingly pleasing. The speakers were able to unravel densely layered music yet managed to have a very cohesive sound.
So far it seems there’s a consensus that these require careful gear matching. I wonder if the Audio Alchemy amps would work well. Wasn’t this the pairing at last year’s shows?

So far it sounds like they’re not the giant slayers that some might hope for...not a poor man’s TAD.
If memory serves, AJ swapped out the metal dome tweeter that was in the show prototype. 
The design lends a lot of interest as the approach is unique. Using a closed couple cavity with a band pass design to create an acoustic crossover of 12db per octave, which in turn lent to a simpler crossover design between the woofer and mid driver. A concentric driver to aid in creating better integration between the tweeter and mid driver. The passive radiator making speaker placement when dealing with boundary walls potentially easier. 

 A bit of effort went into the design to be a bit more clever than most, especially given the targeted price point, but the commentary thus far indicates further refinement will be required. Its measured characteristics also indicates careful paring. First, it has a rather low efficiency with a specified 85db and measuring a bit lower. The impedance plot isn't benign and the tweeter is crossed over somewhat low at 2khz, which can be a challenge for any tweeter to produce cleanly.  I know titanium and likely aluminium domes were tested, but fabric domes offer better damping properties and might have played a role in its selection. They are rather larger and heavy, which certainly isn't cheap to build and  are likely offering good value for the build.  Experimentation with power amps may be best. I also have some concerns about QC as pair matching wasn't very good.

A question remains if the engineering was complete? We know that Elac has been looking to be a benchmark products at their price points, do they achieve that here?

Time will tell, and feel I would be interested if they proved to be exceptional at their price, but initial impressions are not indicating as such. I do look forward in hearing what will be said about them as owners have more experience.