ELAC Debut B4 for desktop

BlueMDPickerBlueMDPicker Old PolkPosts: 6,983
Audio Advisor and others had a nice, $50 markdown on the ELAC B4 bookshelf speakers at year's end. I'd been toying with bumping up things a bit on my desktop rig - inspired by @Mikey081057 - and this looked like a good place to start.

My HTC HMS-100 amp came with a set of speakers I had been using and I was driving the little jewel from the analog audio output on my iMac. It didn't suck, but it left a lot to be desired. I also wanted to experiment with digital output from the computer through a DAC. My Schiit Gungnir and assorted cables were sitting idle, so what the heck?

Even before the new speakers arrived, just the switch to an external DAC brought marked improvement in depth and imaging that was encouraging. Bass still lacked tightness and control and highs were lackluster.

I inserted the new ELAC into the fray late yesterday afternoon. It was immediately obvious what "speaker break-in" is all about. The woven aramid-fiber cone woofers were booming terribly on the LF. The cloth dome tweeters were an instant improvement over what I had been listening to. So, I counseled myself to have patience, cued up an extensive playlist on TIDAL HiFi, kicked it off and shut the office door for the night.

This morning, I had a whole new listening experience. One of my "go to" test tracks is 'Crack the Window Baby' from Tony Joe White's "One Hot July". It has a tasty B-3 vibe layered in behind superb percussion and electric bass and all hoping to cut their way through White's husky vocal. Yesterday evening, it was literally unlistenable to me. This morning it was open and layered with all elements of correct weight. Alright! Next up was the late Eva Cassidy's breathtaking cover of 'Fields of Gold' from her "Live at Blues Alley" album. Notwithstanding her magical, ethereal voice, there is a very subtle electric guitar accompaniment to her acoustic guitar playing that can easily got lost in the shuffle. It was very clear, properly placed and weighted. It also informed me that the slight toe-in I was employing was unnecessary in this near field application.

I believe further break-in will exhibit other nuances, but 10 hours of play definitely let the ELAC prove their potential.

Enjoy the music!

Associated Gear

iMac (27-inch, Late 2009)
2.66 GHz Intel Core i5
12 GB 1067 MHz DDR3

PS Audio Prelude PC
Kimber Kable AG Silver USB B BUS
MIT Shotgun S1 SE IC
Kimber Kable 8TC speaker cables
5" home made stands (vinyl covered 4x4)

B4 Debut Specs

Crossover frequency: 2,500 Hz
Frequency response: 48 to 20,000 Hz
Sensitivity: 85 dB at 2.83 v/1m
Recommended amplifier power: 20 to 80 wpc
Nominal/peak power handling: 40 / 80 wpc
Nominal impedance: 6 ohms; minimum 5.8 ohms
Dimensions: 11.5" high, 7.0" wide, 8.5" deep
Net weight (each): 9.3 lbs.


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