Andrew Jones has done it again: Elac Adante AF-61

Discussion in 'New Gear - Performance' started by Tom Bombadil, Jun 28, 2017.

  1. Tom Bombadil

    Tom Bombadil AK Member

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    I haven't heard these but the reviews from the Munich and Los Angeles audio shows are raving about the new Andrew Jones designed Elac Adante AF-61. Not inexpensive at $5000/pr, but given as how the reviews state they sound like high-end audiophile speakers, that's a very good price.

    Has anyone heard them?

    Here's The Absolute Sound's take on them from the L.A. show:
    "The Elac Adante may be old news to Munich attendees but not to me. Sporting a bonded aluminum baffle, beefed-up cast chassis, and coincident midrange/tweeter, the AF-61 ($5000) steps up the resolution considerably over the company’s Debut and Uni-Fi efforts. It’s the unique configuration of the three separately enclosed internal 6.5” woofers mated to their own 8” external passive radiators that makes the speaker interesting. Called Interport Coupled Cavity, it has bandpass characteristics, with a higher frequency rolloff that simplifies the crossover. At 87dB sensitivity and a nominal impedance of 6 ohms, the AF-61 requires robust power, which happily was in abundance with the Alchemy Series by Elac DPA-1M monoblocks and associated Alchemy electronics. Sonics featured a grand and immersive soundstage, plus well-controlled bass with a tightly defined, punchy, acoustic-suspension quality. Another home run from Elac, this is an exciting speaker designed to fill larger listening spaces."

    They named them the Best Sound for the money of the show.
     

     

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  2. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    Yes, I should say I heard the stand mount model from that line. They sound like Audio Reviewer bait speakers. I had a chance to hear them at AXPONA and colour me not impressed. The highs were so sharp, almost to the point of ear bleeding . I prefer his cheaper Elac speakers to his new, more expensive ones.

    Those also got glowing reviews from TAS. I think reviewers have to listen to equipment not music and speakers that just present music well, don't seem to get good reviews any more.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2017
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  3. Tom Bombadil

    Tom Bombadil AK Member

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    There were several rave reviews of the new speakers from the Axpona show. Positive Feedback's reviewer wrote that they sounded "smooth." Would be fun to audition them.

    From Positive Feedback, "It was simply good fortune that I stumbled into the center seat in the ELAC/Audio Alchemy room. Designer's Andrew Jones and Peter Madnick were showing a room full of great, affordable, sound. Mr. Madnick's AA gear was a perfect foil for the smooth transparency of ELAC's new Adante AS-61 stand mounted monitor, the first in Mr. Jones new upscale line of loudspeakers. For $9K or so, this was a value hi-end system that made my heart flutter. One of my favorite systems at the show for sure. Who says you have to spend a fortune for great audio?"
     
  4. onwardjames

    onwardjames Hoardimus Maximus Subscriber

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    Interesting stuff. Another gem from Mr. Jones, tho Botty's less than sterling experience gives me pause.
     
  5. sqlsavior

    sqlsavior AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    One man's air is another man's tizz.

    Two reviewers who seem to hear what I hear are Art Dudley at Stereophile, and Paul Seydor at The Absolute Sound. Most others I take with a 20 lb. block of salt.
     
  6. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    Art Dudley is the guy who likes to hear glass break when listening to speakers. The new Elacs had me running out of the room at AXPONA. I think different pre, and amps would help but they did buy out Audio Alchemy.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2017

     

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  7. Erik Tracy

    Erik Tracy Super Member

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    Heard these at the LA audio show earlier this month.

    Impressive tonality and dynamic slam, big soundstage, immersive.

    $5K is too rich for me. But it did compete soundwise with some much pricier speakers I heard that day.
     
  8. racca

    racca Active Member

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    $5k is also a very crowded market, with some very, very good options in it. The Vandersteen 3A Sig and the Revel Performa F208 are the two that I'm most familiar with, but there are countless others. I haven't heard the Adante, but likely will at RMAF in October. It will be an uphill battle to convince me that they outperform some of the other great options at the price range.

    I will say, though, that starting with their inexpensive speakers and developing the line up, rather than the other way around, was a wonderful strategy that has helped them stand out from the crowd.
     
  9. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    The Vandy's are a 20 yr old design that haven't changed - nothing like resting on your laurels. The Revels are 5-10 yr old design that needs to be updated to tame that really sharp and brittle sounding aluminum dome tweeter. Neither speaker is worth it to me - I would prefer the Monitor Audio's or the Dynaudio's to the former speakers.

    The one thing I will give Andrew Jones is coming up with new ideas. I do not like the passive route he went, with the driver on the inside and then vented out back. It seems the bass is tubby compared to the other designs he did for Elac. But new ideas and designs push everything forward.
     
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  10. sqlsavior

    sqlsavior AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Maybe now, in his Altec Valencia "communicating force" phase, but he used to be very partial to his Quads. I relied on his opinion of the PrimaLuna Dialogue Premium power amplifier (with KT-120 tubes, in triode mode), which is exactly how I like mine.
     
  11. racca

    racca Active Member

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    There is some irony in complaining about a 20-year-old design on a forum dedicated to vintage audio. But that doesn't answer the question of whether you find the sound quality competitive at the $5,000 price point. For the Revels, at least you give a quantifiable reason for why you don't like them.

    I would like to ask, though, if you have any measurements for the home brew bookshelf speakers listed in your signature. Perhaps that would shed some light on why you don't seem to like certain speakers, even when most others report excellent sound.
     

     

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  12. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    I owned Vandy's and got rid of them because the voicing was horrible to me. Wooly, thumpy boxes.

    I prefer speakers voiced British-style.
     
  13. Tom Bombadil

    Tom Bombadil AK Member

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    I have not heard the new Audio Alchemy / ELAC amplification products. I do own the old AA OM-150 power amp outfitted with two outboard power transformers. One of the smoothest SS power amps I've ever heard. No SS edginess at all. But I have no idea how their new designs sound.
     
  14. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    New one is class D but it is the all digital pre-amp that I think is the culprit.
     
  15. Tom Bombadil

    Tom Bombadil AK Member

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    Those are indeed very different from my old OM-150. It's strongly biased into Class A, producing something like the first 20 watts as Class A. About time for me to pull it off the shelf and put it back in action in one of my systems.

    Is the only place one can audition an ELAC speaker at an audio show?
     
  16. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    There is a dealer in Fond du Lac.
     

     

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  17. onwardjames

    onwardjames Hoardimus Maximus Subscriber

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    Wait, hold on a sec.....Vandys are "wooly, thumpy boxes" but you've decried the harsh highs of the speaker in question on this thread?

    You're a confusing sort, Botty. :dunno::rolleyes:
     
  18. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    No I am not - Vandy are wooly and thumpy - in 20 yrs Vandersteen has not updated these speakers at all (I give him credit because he does stand behind his speakers). The wood work is pretty crappy also on them. You would think they would be better than they are.

    The new Elacs are very shrill and sharp on the high end (like bad horn speakers). On the low end, can be thumpy due to the extensive use of passive radiators.
     
  19. RGA

    RGA Super Member

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    I find simpler approaches tend to sound better and I see a lot of old established brands have brought back many of their old models and those old models are now their flagship line - Klipsch and Tannoy leap out. Some of those old JBL speakers are fetching gobs of money on the second hand market while the new stuff barely register sales.

    I never really get the appeal of narrow baffle speakers with 2,3,4 or 5 six inch drivers stacked up(covering the same frequency band) under some ribbon or metal tweeter. IME none of these present music particularly well - they all present audio effects very very well but music not so much.

    Then adding complexity typically lowers efficiency which rules out using the best sounding amplifiers - lowered powered SET. So right off the bat you are forced to use inferior sounding high negative feedback amplifiers and then you want the speaker to somehow fix poor sound. Which speakers can't do. So even if the speaker is good it is ruined by some hopeless 500 watt per channel amp with high feedback and Damping factors. Compounding bad sound on top of bad sound. Perhaps the older I get I want to listen to speakers that first can do a singer and piano properly first - then add to that. These big multi driver complex speakers can do car explosions - none of them can do Eva Cassidy properly. And the more the speaker costs that can't do this music properly the worse the value per dollar becomes.
     
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  20. onwardjames

    onwardjames Hoardimus Maximus Subscriber

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    Okay, man, lol. You win. OP asked for opinions, you've heard these speakers, and have stated what you hear. Fair enough.
     

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