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ELAC B5 Debut Series 5.25" Bookshelf Speakers by Andrew Jones (Pair)
- Custom Drivers
- Woven Aramid-Fiber Woofer
- Deep-Spheroid Custom Waveguide and Intricate Crossover
- Nominal/peak power handling: 50 / 120 wpc , Nominal impedance: 6 Ω; minimum 5.4 Ω , Recommended amplifier power: 30 to 120 wpc
- Sensitivity: 85 dB at 2.83 v/1m , Woofer: 1 x 5.25-inch woven aramid-fiber cone , Crossover frequency: 3,000 Hz , Frequency response: 46 to 20,000 Hz
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From the manufacturer
2015 The Absolute Sound Product of The Year Winner
The Show Newport 2015 coverage.
Best Sound (for the money): The Andrew-Jones-designed ELAC Debut B5 may not only be the greatest bargain at the Newport show, but may turn out to be the greatest bargain in the history of audio. This tiny econo-box was spectacularly, stunningly, amazingly great for the price. I can’t wait to hear the higher-end speakers Jones is developing for ELAC. – Robert Harley, The Absolute Sound, April 2015.
Superior Build Quality & Custom Designed Drivers Are Key In Delivering A True Audiophile Experience
Custom-Designed Woofer With Aramid-Fiber Cone
Aramid fiber is employed in the woofers of all ELAC Debut passive speaker systems. Aramid fiber offers a superior strength-to-weight ratio and improved damping characteristics over conventional paper or plastic drivers. This added strength means arriving at designs that achieve a broader bandwidth with smoother response.
Cabinet Engineered For Sound
Every ELAC enclosure is engineered for the long run with thick MDF outer walls and a luxurious textured vinyl finish.
Silk-Dome Tweeter With Deep-Spheroid Custom Waveguide
The waveguide surrounding 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.
It's All In The Details
Gold Plated 5-Way Binding Posts
5 - Way binding posts are utilized allowing for a wide variety of connection possibilities. Gold plating has been applied for improved connectivity.
Dual Flared Vent
All ELAC speakers employ a dual flared vent to greatly reduce air turbulence which can cause unwanted noise.
An intricate 8 - element crossover optimizes performance and blending between the drivers for superior accuracy.
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This item ELAC B5 Debut Series 5.25" Bookshelf Speakers by Andrew Jones (Pair)
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|Sold By||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Music Direct||Amazon.com||Fluance Audio|
|Color||Black||Black||Black||Walnut||Black||CLASSIC ELITE Series - Natural Walnut (SX6W)|
|Item Dimensions||7.87 x 8.75 x 12.75 in||8.5 x 10 x 14 in||7 x 8.5 x 11.5 in||8.5 x 10 x 14 in||7.87 x 10.75 x 12.75 in||9.1 x 13.5 x 8.3 in|
|Item Weight||11.5 lbs||32.6 lbs||9.3 lbs||—||35.9 lbs||23.2 lbs|
|Speaker Type||Bookshelf||Bookshelf||Surround||Surround, Bookshelf||Bookshelf||Bookshelf|
Does the Debut B5 change the game for bookshelf speakers? Absolutely. It's not just its size-to-performance ratio that sets a new standard. The B5 may be the best value in the world of affordable speakers, with sound that surpasses speakers costing many times more.
Top customer reviews
I agree with several of the other reviewers of the renowned Andrew Jones designed B5s. The speakers image well, have excellent bass response and dynamics, can play plenty loud and are very solidly and attractively built for a great price (mine were less than $200 because the box had been previously opened). When matched with the ELAC S 10 sub it makes for a wonderful combination. The tweeter has a slight sibilance on the "s" sounds, especially with female vocals. I noticed also a slight veiled sound in the high end. The afore mentioned ribbon speakers (even the small inexpensive Philips MCD 708 ribbon speakers) have a much more transparent, and detailed sound than the soft dome tweeters that are in the B5s. I would give the B5s 4 1/2 stars because of this. I would love to see Andrew Jones design a series of small speakers with ribbon midrange and/or tweeter drivers. Just a friendly suggestion, Andrew.
These were the third pair of speakers I bought after I developed some taste for music.
I owned Polk RTI A1, Klipsch B 20 before.
I am surprised by the nice feel of bass these little monsters pump out.
Midrange is very clear, and soundstage is very good.
Only thing I felt could improve was that the treble appeared a bit recessed.
Build quality is good and worth mentioning.
Rivers and Roads (The Head and The Heart)
Drum and Bass Intro (Nils Lofgren, great demo track and the same track Andrew Jones used demoing the speakers at the RMAF)
Mira (Melody Gardot)
Amalia (Melody Gardot)
So Long (Melody Gardot)
Goodnite (Melody Gardot) I've recently fallen in love with Meldoy Gardot and could listen to her all day :)
I want to spend more time and hook them up with my Peachtree Nova 125 instead of my Pioneer SC1323, but the Pioneer is a good receiver, and I think most people will use these with a receiver. here are my initial impressions. The first thing that stood out is the cabinet on the Wharfedale's is better than the Elac's, IMO. My Wharfedale's are the rosewood finish and even though they are a vinyl wrap it is a pretty good one. The biggest difference is the weight and solidity of the cabinet, plus the Wharfedale is rounded and just has a more expensive look and feel to it. That doesn't mean the Elac's are bad and some might like the grayish vinyl wrap, but they are boxy and not as hefty and solid as the Wharfedale's. This isn't much of a surprise since even Andrew Jones talked about how he spent his time and budget mostly on driver development and not the cabinets. The Elac's cabinets are good for the money, but the Wharfedale's cabinet is clearly better. However, when it comes to sound its a mixed bag. The Wharfedales have a bigger sound stage, the mids are more pronounced, the hi's are smoother, but also don't have the occasional sparkle that the Elacs do. The reason I say occasional is because sometimes the Elac tweeter has some sparkle and "life likeness" that the Wharfedale's doesn't have, but with that also comes with some occasional harshness, while the Wharfedale's tend to stay more composed but also doesn't have as many "hair standing on the back of the neck" moments. The lower bass and bass clarity is better on the Elacs, but the Wharfedale's isn't bad, just not as much. In a smaller room both could get by without a sub for music, but the Elac's could make someone think there's a small sub in the room. One of the biggest differences I could tell is that the Elac's soundstage was more confined to between the speakers and was so concisely centered that it sounded like the center speaker was on, but it wasn't. The soundstage would extend beyond the center speaker but not beyond the speakers themselves (they're probably about 8 ft apart in my listening space). The Wharfedale's soundstage was much larger and extended beyond the speakers in both width and height. I think the difference in the soundstage may be a result of the superior cabinet construction. I also think the occasional harshness of the Elac's may also be due to the cabinet. I'm not smart enough and can't speak scientifically about it, but I just think the less resonant, more sold cabinet is allowing the Wharfedale's to have a bigger, wider sound stage. Maybe its something else, but the Wharfedale's clearly have a bigger stage. It would be hard to pick a winner between these because I think its more a matter of taste and style. You really can't go wrong with either. However, since the Wharfedale's are usually around $300 you can get the B6's for about the same price and still save a few $$. The tweeter is the same but I'm guessing its even more dynamic than the B5's with the bigger box and woofer. I guess the best way to sum up what I'm hearing is that sometimes the Elac's can sound spectacular, but then a bit harsh and unrefined, but then quickly back to spectacular. The Wharfedale's stay more composed and refined, but never quite hit the "shock and awe" moments (both good and bad) of the Elac's. They also have a bigger soundstage and look and feel better. Oh if the Elacs had a beefier cabinet I think they'd truly be amazing! If I had to pick to just one which would I buy at this point? Not quite sure yet..... I'll do more listening and maybe be able to answer that question. The good thing is I can keep both, until I get back to owning Salks or the new Philharmonitor, but that will have to wait a while :)
I think my final thought, for now, is that as a whole budget speakers have never been better. I've never seen so many options for around $300 or less that sound so good: Elacs, Pioneers, Wharfedales, Chane, HSU, KEF Q100's (now on sale), RBH, Wavecrest, Philharmonic Affordable Accuracy, HTD, etc. For those looking for great sound on a budget it seems we're in a renaissance of good design and great value, which is exciting for the hobby as it encourages people into it instead of pricing them out. I don't like comparing speakers and saying one is better since at this price point there are compromises that have to be made in the design and there are so many variables such as the recording quality, listening environment, style of music, electronics, and personal differences in hearing. This is about finding what works for you, not what is "best in show." When you read something like "these speakers sound better than those costing thousands more" that can be true, but they're still budget speakers, so keep your expectations in order. Given all the variables they may sound better, but more expensive speakers are generally that way for a reason: better materials, assembled by hand, better fit and finish, etc. Does that translate into better sound? Sometimes yes, sometimes no or sometimes the increase in sound isn't worth the increase in cost (diminishing law of return). So if you go into these or other budget speakers comparing them to speakers costing hundreds or thousands more you may be losing out. I think of them more as inexpensive speakers that get me close to and sometimes may be better than those costing more than I'm willing to spend right now and enjoy them for what they are. Enjoy!
DAC=Schiit Audio Gungnir Multibit
***its important to let them break in for a few weeks*****