ELAC: My Favorite Room at RMAF 2015 ("Man, that's just crazy!")

"Excuse me, you were sitting in front of me in the ELAC room and I was wondering what you thought." Richard, who could not have been a nicer man, looked at me with eyes wide open and said, "That's just crazy! I mean, I was looking at some speakers that sounded really nice and they were $1300. I was thinking I'd treat myself. But man, that's just crazy!"

I responded, "I know, right? Two hundred and seventy nine dollars a piece for those F5 floorstanders. Man, that's just crazy!"

Richard, "I'm glad you stopped me because I was thinking I may have been in la la land." Richard gave me a nice big hug, which I returned with pleasure.

The ELAC room was my favorite room at RMAF 2015 because the music sounded great (my notes read, "holy crap!"), Andrew Jones knows how to put on a demo (notice he adjusts the volume level for each track he plays before hitting play and he strikes me as a helluva nice guy), and the speakers I was enjoying listening through so much cost $279/each. Man, that's just crazy!

The ELAC Debut F5s are rate at 42 to 20,000 Hz and yea, you really do look around for the sub. While the company offers three powered subs; the S10 10-inch 200-Watt* Powered Subwoofer ($249.99 each), S10EQ 10-inch 400-Watt* Powered Subwoofer with Auto EQ ($499.99 each), and the S12EQ 12-inch 1,000-Watt* Powered Subwoofer with Auto EQ ($699.99 each), they were not in use. There are also two bookshelf speakers, the B5 ($229.99 pair), yea two hundred and twenty nine dollars a pair, and the B6 ($279.99 pair).

Audio Alchemy was handling D to A conversion and amplification and I'll get into those details when we get to the Audio Alchemy room. Sitting on top of the rack was the prototype ELAC Discovery streamer ($995) which will come with Roon to control playback from your network-attached storage or Tidal and ELAC throws in a free lifetime Roon membership that would otherwise run you $499. That's just crazy, too!

I joked with Andrew Jones, formerly of TAD, the designer of the ELAC Debut speakers as I left the room, "Are you traveling with bodyguards?"

whell's picture

...Debut F5s resting on top of in the picture above? They look like little black foam blocks.

funambulistic's picture

I cannot be sure, but they look like the footers shown on the Elac website, only the website shows them in a silver color.

Michael Lavorgna's picture
They may be picking up reflections from the rug. The ELAC website has better photos.
AllanMarcus's picture

I too was blown away. I even went back on Sunday to hear them again, and asked them to play something else. I this case, Georgia on my mind by Annie Lennoz. Bottomline, they sound fantastic. Also note, there were room treatments in the room, so YMMV. Andrew also mentioned the next line up _might_ be shown, or announced at CES. I believe he also hinted at an integrated amp coming out at CES as well. I think there is a new player in town.

Hugo450r's picture

FYI Allen, there was no room treatment used in ELAC's room at the Newport show and it still sounded excellent.

There WAS a roomful of dudes looking stunned each of the 2 or 3 times I visited.

Hugo450r's picture

Puts on a hell of a good demo. Plus he's charming, funny and witty. ELAC was my favorite room at this years Newport show.

All that aside from the fact that the speakers were excellent regardless of price and spectacular with respect to price.

DH's picture

is the really interesting item to me. That price with a lifetime subscription to Roon sounds like a bargain. I hope you will get one to review.

Michael Lavorgna's picture
...as soon as they are available.
audiostreamuser2013's picture

Do you have any closer photos of the speakers other than the distant one at the top of this article? I can't tell which components belong to ELAC and which do not.

Michael Lavorgna's picture
...and the streamer, shown in the closeup picture, are from ELAC. The electronics are from Audio Alchemy. The two same-sized components on the bottom shelves are Shunyata Hydra Typhon power conditioners.
audiostreamuser2013's picture

and took a look at the new Debut speakers (B5, B6, F5). Good grief, those thing are ugly. They're the speaker equivalent of 1980s beige PCs.

"Who cares how they look, it's the sound that's important, yadda yadda..."

Sure, but couldn't the company hire a designer for a week's worth of work and make something worth looking at?

Michael Lavorgna's picture
The fact that you do not like the way they look does make the speaker ugly.