How loud do you intend to play 'em? What is the electrical phase angle and the frequency of the low impendance dip?
Under moderate phase angles and at high frequencies where there is lower musical energy, you should be able to get away with nearly any good amp which will not meltdown into 4 ohms.
If it measures something weird, like 60degrees from 100hz to 600hz with the impedance dip in that range, you'll need some substantial amp to back it up.
Never heard 'em, but simply speaking from an electrical / engineering view.
Hello Mr elusive:
In the interest of full disclosure, let me say that I am a dealer for ELAC speakers and highly recommend these understated given fairly specific sonic taste and gear. The Elacs are clearly not for everyone, but, like most great products in our hobby they each, respectively, have great attributes that appeal to various personal preferences.
That said, I've heard Elacs sound horrible in some systems, and sound absolutely glorious in others. IMO, this disparity may be greater with this line of speakers than many other brands.
The subject of your post is at or near the top of the list of criteria that most effect your prospective success with Elacs. Yes, they will drop down into the low 3 ohm impedance range with some regularity. Nominal impedance is not much better at a fairly realistic 4 ohms. Sensitivity, as you have probably researched is in the upper 80s depending upon the measurement criteria. (I think the rated 90db Elac rating may be a bit high.)
Magfan makes a great point and his comments do apply to the Elacs, at least in part. I have found that the Elacs benefit from "fast" high current, high power solid state amps. While the manufacturer ratings are as low as 30 watts, I would recommend a minimum of 100W or more as long as it is "good quality, very clean" power. A high dampening factor will help with the Elacs
The Elacs are extremely revealing and will also bring to light blatant deficiencies in your system. Cabling and source components will be revealed more with the Elacs than with many systems, but keep in mind that if your get the system right, you'll be highly rewarded.
I'd be happy to share additional insight into these wonderful speakers if you have any more questions. Thanks for the opportunity to "chime in".
Auaravis Systems LLC
So what IS the phase data for the Elac speakers? You can phrase it and post it as either a curve, Smith Chart, any other graphic, or just give the peak phase angle at a frequency.
Sorry, but I'm a #s kind of guy. Hi 80s sensitivity doesn't scare me. Watts are fairly inexpensive, though 'good' watts are by no means cheap!
Vacuum tubes typically don't like one kind of reactive load.....I simply don't know if it is capacitive or inductive so adding power to this kind of load is, if not futile, than more expensive than need be.
Just my strongly held opinion, but giving just impedance data is incomplete.
My Panels are pretty much straight across at just over 4 ohms with a substantial peak near the x-over. But....and this is more important, the phase angle is fairly benign, going from inductive to capacitive thru the x-over region at moderate angles.
Again, speaking simply from an engineering / electrical perspective.
In spite of being an engineer by original trade, I can't say that spend quite as much time analyzing empirical data associated with gear as I should. It's often confusing to the average, prospective client, but I do believe that this approach is very valuable assuming the testing is performed properly. Cudos...
That said, I was able to find an impedance graph in "Australian HIFI" magazine of all places. (The full written test can be found on the Elac Site.)
A PDF of the frequency response and impedance graphs can be found at:
Keep in mind that the test is for the Elac FS249. This is essentially the higher cost audiophile version of the 208 referenced by Mr Elusive but should behave similarly given the same basic design. The curves do indicate a dip in the 20-40Hz range and a significant dip again in the 60 - 200Hz range. I believe this would support my observed demanding nature of the speakers for high quality amplification, in spite of the fact that the sensitivity rating is fairly "friendly".
Thanks for the technical prospective. It's a reminder that we should consider more than one prospective on how we evaluate products in our business. BTW: My experience with tube gear with the Elacs supports your assumptions as well. I have not had good luck driving Elacs with the several lines that I carry.
My apologies! .... KUDOS! ( I apparently I'm better at Audio than spelling.)
I used to have a pair of Elac CL142 floorstanders with 4ohm imp. As it's already been said by the others, it's very revealing, so it's hard work trying to put the right system together. For me it was difficult to get the bass right because my was entry level CDP didn't have much bass, and my amp although solid state, not quite powerful enough to drive Elac.
Basically Elac loves lots of power, I heard that a brother brand called "Linear Acoustic" goes well with Elac.
If money is no object, Elac really does compliment high end equipment, like MBL for example. I don't recommend CDP+ amp with bright sound.
Indeed, good measured performance.
Also, if I read the graph correctly, the highest phase angles occur at or near impedance peaks. This may help, but still and all, 60 degrees is pretty brisk and corrosponds to a power factor of 0.5 (Cos 60) which means that at that particular frequency, only half the amplifiers power is available to do actual work. This occurs at a frequency range in which there is substantial musical energy.
In general, I prefer the Smith Chart for this presentation, since you can easily see displacement from the horizontal axis as phase angle data.
As a matter of fact, simply speaking from a measured / electrical aspect, this is indeed a somewhat demanding speaker. Good watts are a must.
If you were a Chemical or Mechanical engineer, you have a good reasonable excuse for not knowing about PF and phase. I work with a bunch of EEs, in a semiconductor manufacturing enviroment. At least one of 'em NEVER forgot anything he ever saw in a math class@!!
But the math is pretty straightforward. Most audiophiles get hung up on impedance and you can't talk 'em out of it!
I used to drive a Baracudo.
I had a chat with the local Elac dealer and he assured me my amplifier and CD player would pair up nicely with the 208's (of course he would say that, right?). I had a listen to them, it wasn't paired with the same amp I have, but with 50 watt Shanling tube mono blocks and I was pleased with it's performance. My amplifier is an Audio Space AS-6i [http://www.charismaaudio.com/AS_6i.html] and when I was A/B'ing amps, the Audio Space trumped the Shanling IMHO. I think I might just end up bringing my amp down there and have a listen for a piece of mind. I'm looking at the Elacs because I heard a few speakers like the ProAc studio 140's and they just seemed TOO laid back and coloured for me. I have a tube amp and tube cd player so I need something a little more lively to balance things out. The Elacs seem like they will bring a little "snap" and speed back, from what I've heard so far.
if you listen to mostly rock and jazz, Elac is difficult to beat, the separation of all the instruments and the quality of the tone is amazing, but if you like only acoustic or classical recordings, Elac can be a bit clinical, not saying it's boring but for long hour listening, i recommend a tubed equipment somewhere in your system.
I have gone from Elac to Spendor, i feel the timbre is much more true and alive than Elac, then again it's your taste, i really enjoyed my elac though.
You've got it. I'm an ME. I've got to see, touch, and listen. Never did too well with understanding those invisible electrons.
BTW: Was that Baracudo pretty fast?
Karmatogdral, which models did you have?
I'm a proud owner of a pair of 208A and I love them. I've moved up the Elac line from the 203.2 bookshelf to the 207.2 then to these and have enjoyed having all pairs of them. The 208A's ofcourse bested the others in it's relaxed, effortless presentation of the systems sonic flavours. I'm driving them with a pair of Red Wine Audio 70.2 mono's rated at 70w in to 4 ohms, 35 into 8. They have no problem taking it to very lovely db's and doing it cleanly, balanced, and naturally. Though honestly I can listen to the system at minute levels and still get a fantastic presentation of the sonic spectrum.
To match them in my experience it's better to have a bit more laid back source, a tube pre, and a high current, high dynamic amp set up. They are so transparent they will reveal any weakness. However even using iTunes via wireless connection the system sounds fantastic. It reveals the digititis found in some bad MP3's though. However in contrast everything sounds incredible, open, detailed, and 3 dimensional with a huge soundstage. I love the Heil tweeter as it doesn't need to be "toed in" like so many typical speakers. Soundstage does get better with a tube pre I've found however my Linar Pre sounds great with it as it's very controlled and smooth. Adding a McIntosh c220 really opened up the room though! My dealer uses the same speakers and amplification via a Modwright 36.5 and the speakers fully disappear!
I love that they are German designed and made and yet for their price can easily best many other lines out there upwards of twice it's price. And they look stunning.
Hi people, I have the Elac fs249 and love them to bits. I am using a Primare I30 amp and the synergy is brilliant. I use a Marantz SA11s1 SACD player. Imaging, soundstage, evrything is good. I read in another forum that Elac themsleves use Primare equipment when testing their speakers?
I just purchased a pair of elac FS 68 and I am having trouble getting enough bass from them...I agree they seem to need lots of power...anyone try Plinius? or simaudio?
I think they can double-down into 4 ohm
I've just ordered the Elac 248's and matching centre channel. Can't wait for these guys to come in. Very hard to find reviews (non UK) online for these
just a follow-up...my FS 68 have been breaking in and bass is better now...these need time to settle in but do like lots of current IMOP. I am using cables from purist audio design with the elacs and work very well with them. I dont understand why there are not more reviews of this company its been around for years and the product is excellent. I believe the British magazines are biased towards their own stuff.
The 208A's are great speakers for the cost.
I purchased two pairs of these in 1985 . I inverted the second pair on top of the others to increase the fullness and achieve a higher volume level.
It so happens they re made in Toledo, OH where I live. I toured their facory and purchased them for $265 a pair.
Bringing up an old thread. I have the Elac FS 247 SE (Sapphire Edition). These speakers are very nice looking. Check out some pictures. I have about 500 hours on mine. Like others have said, you have to invest in cables and compenents that are the right match. Not sure I am there yet and I'm not sure what their upside really is but it seems like it responds to changes moreso or to a different degree than other speakers I have owned. I really like the sound I am getting. I still have 3 other speakers (VSA Unifield 3s, WLM La Scalas, Fritz Carbon 7s) in house between two systems so I will still be using all of those as well. The Elacs certainly are a value in that they sound a lot better then their asking price IMO. I know they are not not well known in the USA but it would be nice to here from others that have heard ELACs updated lineup.
I moved up to the FS 249 Black Edition and have paired them with the Burmester 082 integrated amp. Sensational sounding combo. The thing is, while trading the 247s in, the dealer hooked my 247s up to the $30K Burmester MK III power amp. Those little speakers absolutely rocked!!! No sub, tons of bass, very spacious and lively. This just illustrates Elac's ability to play up to higher end electronics. Never knew a $4K speaker could sound so good. But who would pair a $4K speaker with electronics so expensive? I wouldn't have considered of doing something like that, but it worked and worked very very well. Anyway, as others have mentioned above this speaker line can be very rewarding if paired with products that compliment them.
Kclone-I appreciate your Elac update and keeping this thread alive since very little info from Elac owners are posted. My Focus Audio FS8 speakers do many things right but are limited mainly due to driver size. The Elac FS 249 is on a short list for my next speaker upgrade. Did you feel the upgraded crossover in the "Black Edition" is worth the extra $2k over the standard FS 249?
I was told the Black Edition is more full sounding then the standard FS 249, but I have not heard the standard FS 249 to compare so I can't say for sure. I have only heard the FS 247 Sapphire Edition from the Elac line. What amp do you have and are you in a position where can audition a pair?
I have a Valve Audio Predator which is a true overachiever. I upgraded the tubes(Mullard cv 2493) and I don't have any treble grain with the FS8. I realize the superior JET tweeter could expose this(grain) along with added tube hiss from the preamp section and phono preamp(Allnic H-1200). Would consider a demo a must at this price point. This would not pose a problem since Ontario(several dealers) is only a bridge away. FWIW i'm also considering... Focus Audio FS88se-Amphion 7L-Marten Django L-KEF 205-7/2(used)and Quad 2805(used). With the Quad I would go with a class A amp and tube preamp. Have heard the KEF 205 and the Quad 2805, IMO both are a steal on the used market.
Looks like you have some really good lineup of speakers to choose from. I have heard great things about Focus Audio. I used to own Amphion as well, the Xenons. Those were great speakers at their price point. Good luck and keep us posted.
For anyone going to Newport Beach, the Elac FS 247 will be featured with Burmester at the show. Just an FYI.
I'm interested in the FS249 as ELAC sounds like they have a long-standing relationship with Primare (i have the i30 / cd31 combo).
Unfortuneatly, there is no demo location in New York City. So I'm thinking about doing a 30 day via a dealer.
Can anyone comment on their ability to handle rock and world? How is the bass??
I'm about 50% rock with 30% of that being Psychedelic Rock (Pink Floyd, Sienna Root, etc ..) and then trickling down through Jazz, World, Reggae, Ambient, Classical, etc ...
It reads that if they are paired well, they are a great speaker.
I listen to rock/pop and yes, Elac handles that genre very well. Before i had the Burmester, I had the new Primare amps, A32s and pre (Pre32) with the FS 249 BE's, they sounded great overall. The older Primare, which you have has a warmer sound, and despite less power, may be even a better match with Elac. Check out this user review of the I30 paired with the FS 249s. Claims they have synergy in spades.
I made some videos of my Elacs with my new YBA amp...here is a youtube link...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMO6qwubRAo
Dayglow, just curious. How is your search going? Did you ever get a chance to listen to the 249s?
Kclone-This would be a near future but not an immediate purchase. Hope to visit the Toronto area before years end and listen to various Amphion-Elac-Focus Audio-Marten and Gershman Acoustic speakers.
oohh, that sounds like fun. That is a great lineup. The thing with Elac is they can change a lot depending on what else is in the system. The same can be said about a lot of speaker lines, but IMO with Elac, that effect is more so. Hopefully the dealer knows how to optimize the Elac's at with other gear in your price range. I would imagine your Valve Audio Pred. should be very good with everything.
I drove my Amphion with a Cayin KT-88 Integrated. Great sound, there was no reason to get rid of that setup other then I just like to try new things and see what happens.
I drive my Elac 247s with the Musical Fidelity AMS35i and find that the pure class A AMS perfectly matches the 247s--clean, airy highs and punchy bass with reasonable mids.. Upgrading to the 249BE cos the 249BE is just better than the 247 in every department.. Wider, deeper soundstage and more full body mids and vocals. Better dynamics and the sound is less forward, makes for better long hour listening.. I listen mainly to classical, operas and vocals..
I tried the beryllium tweeter speakers and found that they lack the airiness and transience of the jet III..
The 249 Black Edition is VERY good. I have not heard and don't know the price, but have you looked into the new 400 Series from Elac? Looks interesting, I wonder how much of a step up it is from the 249BE's?
Kclone.. My local dealer was telling me that if I ran two speaker cables to the speaker, that is, in his words--the true bi wiring.. The speakers will sound even better!!! Dun know how true that is.. Going to test listen next tue.. Will update here after I auditioned..:-)
I was thinking of the 409 or the 507 too.. Thing is, they are not available where I am yet cos they are so new.. Anyone had tried them? I would be very interested to know how they sound compared to the 249BE...
Well, since you brought it up, I have the 507s on order. But I have not heard it. The North American dealer has them in stock. So I will should be able to tell you how they sound compared to the 249BE.
As for the 400 Series, HiFi Statement magazine has a very good review of the 407. HiFi+ also has an excellent review of the 407s.
Thank you.. I really appreciate that...shall await eagerly for your opinion on how the 507s are compared to the 249BE..
I meant to say North American distributer has them in stock, not dealer. Just wanted to clear that up since there is more then one dealer, especially in Canada.
Just a matter of interest.. Has anyone compared to the focals to the Elacs? Maybe the 1028BE or the 1038BE to the 249 or 249BE or something.. Will appreciate if you could share your opinion.. Thanks..:-)
Audiogon memeber "Maxen" went from the Focal Scalia Utopai lll to the Elac 607 CE. Hopefully he joins the thread with his insights.
That will be awesome..!!
Personally, I did listen to the Scala but came away feeling that the Elac's Jet III is a lot smoother and sweeter than the beryllium tweeter.. But the Scala did have glorious mids and more volumous bass even though the bass didn't feel quite as punchy or as rthymic as the Elac's..
It will be good to know if a higher range Elac can match or better the Scala's mids and vocals..
Tone Audio Review of the 249 BE.
Elac has made an improvement to the base 240 series. They are calling it the 240.2 (FS 247.2, 249.2 ect...) Best I can tell the main change is adding the Jet 5 tweeter to this series.
I have the Elac FS 409 coming in a couple of weeks(High Gloss White). It has the Jet 5 tweeter and new midrange driver. Has very good reviews so far. I will try and write my impressions after I get to know it some.
In other news they are/have replaced the 240 series with the 260 series.