Although the debut of Andrew Jone’s Adante line took place at CES this year, the public is still hungry for more acoustic samples of the upcoming loudspeakers from the man who has created a monster of a audio movement with his budget Debut and Uni-Fi products.
The Adante line is still a bit a departure from the Debut or even the UF5 bookshelf at $5,000/pair for the AF-61GW floorstander. But Jones has proven himself time and again as one of the best creators in his field, having a deep background in hifi tracing back to days at companies from the likes of KEF to Pioneer. While he isn’t fully responsable for ELAC’s flagship Concentro, he does have plenty experience with loudspeakers that extend far beyond the budget realm.
Listening to the track North Dakota it was clear that Andrew still knows his way around high end speaker design. The reach downward was deep but still aplomb and totally believable, perhaps even better than real life in some respects. The other end of the spectrum was equally delightful, with clear articulate highs without any sort of pierce or scrape to be found. But the juice was really laid out in the mids, where texture and timbre carried loads of information partnered with realistic tonality, a real win in the department. The collective results were big sound that fully engulfed the room and far exceeded the imaginary boarders of the loudspeakers – a true sign of next level products in audio. The oldest cliche in audio writing is a comparision of any product “outperforming a speaker 2X the price”. I would offer up a different equation for ELAC recent success. ELAC sound = ELAC price + $5k. For the UnFi UB5 its a potential $5.5k draw if you put aside the finish aesthetics. For those looking to keep the sound but bump up the looks one can opt for either the slim versions or the Music Direct exclusive in walnut. In the case of the Adante, its that interesting threshold of $10k that appears to be hurdled with ease. Mind you, it is worth noting that many systems containing components even higher than this luxury pricetag often fail to impress at audio shows, but lets consider this theoretical scale derived from a grand sum of averages. Win + Win = Win.
In terms of specs perhaps one of the more interesting talking points is the lack of any external porting for the either the AF-61 Floorstander ($5k) or AF 61 Stand Mount ($2.5k). ELAC will also make a center channel for home theater applications that will retail for $2k. The mid to highs are still constructed from some of the same concentric driver tech that graces the budget products, but those drivers (along with a collection of woofers) are housed in individual enclosures within the cabinet this time around. From the company website:
“Each Adante cabinet is actually multiple enclosures in one. The concentric midrange/tweeter is isolated in its own space within the cabinet, and the woofer complement, comprising an active and passive driver, occupies a divided chamber vented internally with dual ports. In the case of the Center and Floorstanding models, two and three double chambers respectively isolate each woofer pair from the other. Instrumental to the design benefits of an Interport-Coupled Cavity is that the entire enclosure is not externally ported at all, because such external ports will produce noise and other distortion artifacts if the speaker is overdriven.”
Yes, each sub exclosure actually houses two drivers, one active 6.5″ aluminum cone paired to a 8″ passive radiator. The concentric drivers utilize 1″ soft dome tweeter mounted inside a 5.25″ aluminum mid driver.The whole thing feels distinctly high end, even if the total cost for the speaker isn’t a fair substitute for a car.
Shipping dates for the Adante are slated for August of this year. More info: ELAC