ELAC’s Andrew Jones is a really intriguing guy. The esteemed loudspeaker designer could be engineering products for anyone at this point without concern for price, but his focus continues to be creating great sounding affordable loudspeakers that the average music lover can afford. His new range of ELAC Uni-Fi Reference speakers are another example of his engineering savvy and desire to create more with less.
High-end audio needs more people like him; Paul Barton of PSB Speakers is another example of a globally respected loudspeaker designer who has the resources to create anything he wants but would rather focus on great sounding loudspeakers that people can afford.
I know that sounds like a dirty word right now but “affordability” is the key to growing a new generation of music listeners who actually care about better sound quality.
It’s tiring reading reviews of $10,000 speakers called “bargains” by the press. A $10,000 loudspeaker can’t be a bargain if less than 1% of the human race can ever afford it.
Andrew Jones figured this out a long time ago. Most likely when he was at Pioneer and had to create budget-priced loudspeakers that were a lot better than the competition below $300/pair.
Audiophiles don’t want to hear this but we need to break up this exclusive club if we want it to survive and grow.
Nobody is telling anyone to stop manufacturing $50,000 speakers, $25,000 turntables, or $10,000 amplifiers; there is a trickle-down effect with some brands to more affordable products that more people can afford. Not enough brands, but there have never been as many excellent affordable high-end audio products as right now.
The new ELAC Uni-Fi Reference speakers are another attempt to offer more for less and push the performance bar even higher.
“This new line removes the price limitations of the Uni-Fi 2.0 series along with the technical barriers associated with that price point. The Uni-Fi Reference series offers significant performance improvements such as cast chassis for both the concentric and bass drivers, newly developed bass and concentric drivers, enhanced bracing, improved crossover design, along with luxury cosmetics” said James Krodel, senior vice president sales, ELAC.
So What’s Nu?
The ELAC Uni-Fi Reference speakers feature a newly developed 4” Concentric Driver with Cast Chassis: A wide-surround tweeter enhances its low and high frequency extension allowing for improved blending with the midrange.
An entirely new midrange driver with large diameter voice coil, vented rear spider and new neodymium magnet allows for better excursion and control of midrange frequencies. A new cast chassis was designed to minimize reflections back to the cone resulting in better clarity.
The entire range also features new 5.25” and 6.5” Aluminum Woofers with Cast Chassis: Drastically improving low-end reproduction, this newly developed bass driver features a single piece compound curvature aluminum cone with a large rear vented magnet delivering improved linearity and better low frequency response of any previous Uni-Fi bookshelf speaker.
A sophisticated 3-way crossover is part of each new speaker: An entirely new design improves response linearity, improves driver integration, and delivers a true 6-ohm nominal impedance for compatibility with virtually all AV receivers.
Inexpensive loudspeakers usually cut corners when it comes to the cabinet and bracing but the new ELAC Uni-Fi Reference speakers feature full perimeter bracing: Reducing the speaker cabinets influence on audio quality the Uni-Fi Reference line implements full perimeter bracing significantly reducing cabinet vibration and cabinet coloration.
Front Firing Ports – Placing the vents on the front of the bookshelf and center speakers allows for greater freedom of placement, even in restricted places like a cabinet or up close to a wall. Something that is super useful when setting up your loudspeakers if you want to avoid overloading the room with too much bass.
Price & Availability
All three new models will be available in late-June 2021 at ELAC retailers nationwide.
Model Number Description MAP Price
- UBR62-BK/W Uni-Fi Reference
- 6 ½” 3-Way Concentric Bookshelf Speakers $999.98 Pair
- UCR52-BK/W Uni-Fi Reference
- 5 ¼” 3-Way Concentric Center Speaker $599.98 Each
- UFR52-BK/W Uni-Fi Reference
- 5 ¼” 3-Way Concentric Floor Standing Speaker $999.98 Each
For more information: Elac Uni-Fi Reference