A new speaker line from Andrew Jones
It is now a sight that the general audio press is becoming more familiar with, but still enjoys at much as the first release (at least for this individual). Andrew Jones and the Elac team crowded into a listening room talking about a new loudspeaker series. At CES this year its a new take on the formula with the addition of a JET folded ribbon tweeter called Carina.
The Carina series starts with 5″ bookshelf for $1.2k (per pair) and includes a center ($849) and floorstander ($1.2 each). You may remember this pricing formula from the some of the other launch products from ELAC, as the cost game is usually pretty straightforward from the value-centered company. It’s important to remember that Jones HAS designed for the high end of audio already, but under the ELAC brand things have been really soaring with the bang/buck flag flying in the past few years.
Ribbon Tweeters and Curves
While Jones has been know to dabble extensively with a concentric-driver 3-way design in the Uni-Fi line, the newest Carina line moves to a JET tweeter and a new curvature for the woofer driver for better synergy between the two. Also new for the bookshelf is the inclusion of a down-firing port, as opposed to some of the rear (or even front-firing) options of other speaker products they currently have in production.
Listening to the new BS243.4 Carina bookshelf started with a somewhat quiet passage of vocals and mild backing instruments. Transparency and texture appeared well groomed, even at the low levels of play. Having attended more than one of Jones’ demonstrations, I could kind of predict where the next sample would lead us, especially after he announced the song was by Infected Mushroom. As with the Uni-Fi line, the low end control, punch and just sheer capabilities blasted out from the Carina in a stark contrast to the previous track. It’s an impressive trick, even if one who attends far too many audio shows has seen before. Impressive bass, and not just volume, can be had from smaller boxes.
The Discovery & Alchemy Series
It was more than just Jones pumping away in the corner of the Venetian suite that day. Elac was also introducing two new front end products, the first of which was an update to the discovery lineup of amplifiers. The new all in one unit is the DS-A101-G for $750 and is both a digital streamer and 2×80 Watt amplifier. The second is a higher tier PRE/DAC/Streamer by designer Peter Madnick called the DDP-2-BK ($2.5k). The newest addition to the Alchemy series touts serious digital compatibility including Apple Airplay, Roon, full MQA unfold, DSDx4, BT and more.
All good things from the team at ELAC. Its more pure performance and less fluff than your average audiophile room, and always a welcome change to the hectic pace of the show day. CES can be a tornado of paper handouts, USB sticks and slick talk, so the Game of Jones was a welcome distraction from the rest of the long day. One of the show highlights for us.