ELAC FS247 - Well impressed!

DVL73

Active Member
Well ... it happened.

I was planning for a year or so to get my hands on Elac FS series and their famous Jet tweeters. As I'm not particularly compatible with stand mounters, FS247 was next best choice - aesthetically, physically and financially I would say.

As per title, well impressed and probably first time in years that I got proper goose bumps while auditioning favourable material. I'm not sure why Elac is not popular in the UK ... but maybe it's better that way. Some would say best kept secret ;) They are absolutely stunning visually and even my wife likes them. That would say something! Here is the photo album: (light is reflected even on the drivers aluminium parts - very unique look!)

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Now, what was the first audible impression? Incredibly clean, balanced and absolutely wide projection! They will feel the room with surprising 3D trajectory and on one particular occasion I did have unnerving feeling that such trajectory is projected even behind me! According to the FS247 spec, there is one peculiar marketing blob "Special attention has been given to three-dimensional sound radiation patterns with the aim of acoustically “energizing” the room in a consistent and harmonised way" . Honestly, not far from the truth and FS247 is perfect example of box liberating sound staging. Quite high speaker resolution combined with excellent timing and transience response will handle even most complex passages. I find them excellent for electronic music too!

I've heard Kef Uni-Q tweeters and Tannoy Dual Concentric drivers but Elac Jet III is definitely something else. It will dig into the music (even compressed one) and relentlessly present you with unheard details projected in airy, smooth and articulate manner. Speaking of smooth, some say that Elac speakers are bright and unpleasant but in may case it was perfect. Not sure if it's audio chain components matching ... but I could listen for hours without single hint of fatigue. Actually, it was quite fun to let that fine fine tweeter revive everything I didn't know or heard about my source material. It's brutal too ... and surely it will slap you in the face with badly engineered recordings. With such tweeter, voicing come alive and it's delicately present. Even when watching movies! FS247 is not midrange centric, but I guess that's part of the overall balanced sound signature.

Speakers are permanently attached to the base with the fixed down-port mechanism. As height from the base is always the same, designer is able to project and retain particular sound signature. Apart from that, certain degree of tuning is also possible! As speakers are rear ported too, you may use the supplied plug to fine tune the bass response. Additionally, Jet III tweeters come with the "Dispersion Control" tuning element. Basically, there are four metal clips attached around the tweeter holding up the circular foam element (looks like doughnut). That way, you may control tweeter behaviour - especially when room is not acoustically friendly (hard flooring, no curtains, bare walls etc). I didn't have problems in my case (same type of room), but certainly will fiddle more. Hey, those are free tweaks :)

Build quality, fit and finish are first rate. Speakers are very heavy, sturdy ... I guess nicely braced with minimum allowed resonance. Made in Germany! Absolutely every detail was taken with great care, including black gloss finish. Generally speaking, this is the first time that I noticed such complete accessories pack. They even include gloves for handling speakers because of the delicate gloss finish! As I have hard wood flooring, I was using height adjustable feet. Luckily enough, I had some 30mm Sorbothane hemispheres left ... so that was used as decoupling platform.

FS247 was tested with Rega Brio-R amp, Cantatis Overture dual 192 sound card (dual mono BB PCM1794A design ... got the ex-demo for £150 back in the days) and home made (speaker/RCA) cables. Cantatis is not very well known in PC audio world, but simply put I have no excuse to migrate to anything else! It's exemplary good source. Here is my version, with installed heatsinks: (card is running very hot and they are good EMI shield too)

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Surprisingly enough, Rega Brio-R was really nice match for FS247. I guess that warm, laid back, fully bodied Rega signature sound was quite nicely married with such precise German engineering :) Modestly rated 70W @ 4ohm Rega was driving FS247 surprisingly good either on high or very low auditioning levels. By the way, I'm quite baffled how Elac managed to engineer bass reproduction of such quality and depth from such modestly sized boxes. It's precise, fast, detailed ... but not annoyingly quantitative. I guess that's again due to FS247 balanced virtue. For heart stopping, body vibrating sensation you may definitely opt for matched high end sub.

I've talked too much! Hopefully it was an interesting read. The problem is that audio is very personal affair and then again each of us have own, subjective, personal journey. It would be even more interesting if anyone here can share their experience with Elac FS series (or Elac speakers in general) amps matching for FS series or anything else worth mentioning.

Thanks for reading!

(NB my English writing is not pin-point perfect, so I apologise for any mistakes)

Cheers,
Igor
 
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tazzo

Active Member
Glad to see ur enjoyin ur purchase, I demoed the 243 bookshelf's a while ago, they sounded pretty good.
 

DVL73

Active Member
Yeah, tremendously enjoyable listening sessions! Interestingly enough (and rather non-conventional for me) I bought them blindly. I had that fuzzy feeling that everything will be OK ... and it was :smashin: Actually, BS243 was original idea, but then I realised that for stand-mounters I would need to invest in proper stands, they will actually reserve the same space as floorstanders and really can't match their fully bodied sound signature ... so was just patiently waiting for the right FS247 offer. I got them for really exceptionally good value,from the official distributor and in excellent condition ... but with no option to return! Risky, but luckily enough it all end up well.

Anyhow, that JET treble is such never-ending fun! Speakers quite deserve price premium because of them alone and it's really good investment - long term. Analytically they have that ever lasting surprising factor but at the same time they are not clinically boring. They add just right amount of fun and integration is just perfect with those two mid/bass AS-XR cones. Nicely balanced they are.

Crazy busy this week was, so didn't have much time to fiddle with JET dispersion and bass control units. Will see how it goes this weekend. Also, I have BK XLS200 sub so may try to integrate via high level input (my preferable amp integration) . FS247 is already so nicely bass enriched, but integration would be fun nevertheless.

At this moment, I'm not sure if amp upgrade is feasible enough as Rega Brio-R is such a nice match - at least to my ears. Yes, Rega might not be "powerful" enough, but I don't usually opt for volume levels over 13 o'clock and for me matching is more important then brute amp force anyway. I would like to have some other amp as point of reference, so may consider at least to borrow one for a trial run.
 

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