ELAC Custom Install Speakers and Subwoofer at CEDIA 2016 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 26 Old 09-23-2016, 09:11 AM - Thread Starter
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ELAC Custom Install Speakers and Subwoofer at CEDIA 2016

CEDIA is all about the custom-install channel, and when it comes to audio that means there is a focus on architectural speakers. 2016 marks ELAC America's debut at the annual industry expo, and among the goodies it brought to the party were all-new in-wall and in-ceiling speakers, plus subs.

The speakers in particular were derived from drivers used in its Andrew Jones-designed Debut and Uni-Fi lines. Meanwhile the low-profile in-wall subwoofer takes a clever approach to optimization, with EQ that allows it to be used in walls without an enclosure.

According to Andrew Jones, the well-known speaker designer and VP of engineering at ELAC America, the impetus for tackling the custom-install speaker market segment was a demand from customers of his Debut and Uni-Fi speaker lines. Whether it's for OCD reasons, aesthetic reasons, or because timbre matching is high on the priority list, people who by a pair of towers and a center channel and wish to add surround-sound using in-wall speakers prefer to stick within the same brand. It's only logical to meet demand where it exists, hence these new speakers.

Andrew went on to note that you typically find in wall speakers sporting either 5-inch or 8-inch mid/woofers, and that his 6.5-inch Debut IW-D61-W offering is something you don't see often. There's also an IW-C51-W with dual 5.25" mis/woofers that can serve as a center-channel. The JET Series IW-J61-W also has a 6.5" mid/woofer, but swaps out the Debut's dome tweeter for an AMT-style tweeter (the JET 5 Air Motion Tweeter).

When it comes to Atmos and DTS:X installations, ELAC offers the in-ceiling and angled Debut IC-DT61-W that takes the 6.5" woofer and the dome tweeter from the debut lineup and puts it in a recessed, padded waveguide that lets you aim the sound at the listening area much more effectively that pivoting tweeters do.


The ELAC Debut Series angled in-ceiling speaker. Photo by Mark Henninger


For fans of concentric two-way drivers (an Andrew Jones specialty), ELAC showed a couple of in Uni-Fi in-walls. The IW-UC51-W matches the 2-way concentric with twin 5.25" woofers for a center channel-friendly form factor, whereas the IW-U61-W features a 6.5" mid/woofer.


ELAC now offers Uni-Fi in-wall speakers. Photo by Mark Henninger


I was fascinated to hear how the 10-inch subwoofer driver works in conjunction with its rack-mounted amp to calculate a correction for the driver's response by measuring impedance. With this approach, a back box is not necessary, according to Andrew Jones the impedance measurement technique comes within 0.5dB of a microphone measurement. Once the system understands the response of the wall-mounted subwoofer driver, it can create an optimal room correction profile. Neat stuff!


ELAC's shallow-mount 10-inch in-wall sub does not need a back box. Photo by Mark Henninger


Here's the amp that drives the sub(s). Photo by Mark Henninger
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Last edited by imagic; 09-23-2016 at 09:53 AM.
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post #2 of 26 Old 09-23-2016, 10:08 AM
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So the shallow mount subwoofer is mounted directly to the drywall?

Never built a subwoofer box out of drywall but maybe the actual performance of the ten won't crack it so all is well. Any actual specs on the sub such as max SPL at specific frequencies? It should be OK if they glued the drywall to the studs but I'd be a little nervous if it was just stapled in.

Come on, Mark--chop a hole in your wall and test it for science!
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post #3 of 26 Old 09-23-2016, 10:27 AM
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I would guess it's the same as their 10" that they are currently selling with a bit more power. Frequency response: 28 to 150 Hz
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post #4 of 26 Old 09-23-2016, 10:51 AM
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The ceiling speakers have my interest for sure! Any idea when available and pricing?
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post #5 of 26 Old 09-23-2016, 11:00 AM - Thread Starter
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The ceiling speakers have my interest for sure! Any idea when available and pricing?
I have asked for those details, but they were not in the press kit. Will update if I find out more.
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post #6 of 26 Old 09-23-2016, 11:05 AM
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I have asked for those details, but they were not in the press kit. Will update if I find out more.
Thanks!
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post #7 of 26 Old 09-23-2016, 11:54 AM
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Why is it that an audio engineer like Andrew Jones cannot design a truly capable subwoofer? I'm sorry, but a 10" "sub" that barely cracks 30Hz is not, IMHO, a proper home theater sub. Is it because he doesn't care about home theater and concentrates on 2-channel stuff, or is he constantly restrained by the marketing structure of ELAC, or some other reason?
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post #8 of 26 Old 09-23-2016, 12:01 PM
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Sigh...right when I thought I was going the DIY route after my theater gets done. Elac has timbre matching ceiling atmos speakers to go with their UniFis. Very interesting. Elacs have jumped back up the ladder on my "must demo" list.
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post #9 of 26 Old 09-23-2016, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigpig View Post
Why is it that an audio engineer like Andrew Jones cannot design a truly capable subwoofer? I'm sorry, but a 10" "sub" that barely cracks 30Hz is not, IMHO, a proper home theater sub. Is it because he doesn't care about home theater and concentrates on 2-channel stuff, or is he constantly restrained by the marketing structure of ELAC, or some other reason?
It is not that simple. Elac has a market they key in on--and reference level HT is not it. To get a subwoofer down to 20Hz or lower requires a large enclosure or high power or both. Both of those requirements costs money at a level that is higher than the price point they compete.

To get a sub to go down to 20Hz and port it requires a huge port that is really long which takes up space so the box becomes quite large just from the port. If you make the port smaller in diameter, the port can be shorter to fit but leads to chuffing and port overload. The way around that is to use passive radiators, one on each side to put it in balance to keep the box size smaller. Elac does that in a way although they half-ass it by only using one at the bottom which causes sag issues but passive radiators cost money and look weird to most people.

Even if the performance works properly, if it looks weird it won't sell. So now you have a large box with either large ports or dual passive radiiators that you had to ship half-way around the world from China and it don't sell because it is too large/weird/expensive. Elac concentrates on the stuff that will sell and small/pretty sells--big things don't. They are trying to recreate their brand and are eying the mass market first--after that they might address the reference HT market.

To really get an idea why most consumer subs under $500 don't go deep, download a modeling program and plug in the numbers--you will be surprised how big things get the lower you go. They call it Hoffman's Iron Law and all designers are bound by it. OK, if you bring in marketing...leave out maximum SPL at specific frequency charts...all is good!

For the rest of us, just go to data-bass.com and look at actual testing of subwoofers. Click on the listing for 16 or 20Hz and you'll notice actual performance at that level requires some extreme size/weights along with cost. As they say, little, loud or low--you can only pick two.
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post #10 of 26 Old 09-23-2016, 02:10 PM
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@18Hurts - you're preaching to the converted. I'm trying to find someone who could build me an enclosure for my SI 18D2 to use with an NU1k (non-DSP)...
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post #11 of 26 Old 09-24-2016, 05:23 AM
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@18Hurts - you're preaching to the converted. I'm trying to find someone who could build me an enclosure for my SI 18D2 to use with an NU1k (non-DSP)...
Nathan Funk going do it for you. And he is based in Canada.
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post #12 of 26 Old 09-24-2016, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post
I was fascinated to hear how the 10-inch subwoofer driver works in conjunction with its rack-mounted amp to calculate a correction for the driver's response by measuring impedance. With this approach, a back box is not necessary, according to Andrew Jones the impedance measurement technique comes within 0.5dB of a microphone measurement.
Wow, that's pretty much the definition of brilliant: one of those things that, when first presented, seems obvious and intuitive. The impedance gives system Q, which combined with the known response of the driver should give very accurate results.

I bet there are dozens of speaker company engineering heads wondering why they or their departments didn't get that to market first.

That said, point B (back box not necessary) doesn't necessarily follow from point A, because it doesn't address the second issue with unenclosed woofers: sound leakage. I tried to make a high-mounted in-wall sub in my current house, with an un-enclosed Peerless XLS12. It worked great in room to smooth out a ~70Hz peak throughout the room. But it was intolerable upstairs when the system was on, and had to be patched up.

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post #13 of 26 Old 09-25-2016, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigpig View Post
Why is it that an audio engineer like Andrew Jones cannot design a truly capable subwoofer? I'm sorry, but a 10" "sub" that barely cracks 30Hz is not, IMHO, a proper home theater sub. Is it because he doesn't care about home theater and concentrates on 2-channel stuff, or is he constantly restrained by the marketing structure of ELAC, or some other reason?
Give us some time.. Lots of additional products coming.........

Chris Walker
ELAC Americas
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post #14 of 26 Old 09-26-2016, 05:40 AM
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Smile

Time for another Scott Wilkinson and Andrew Jones show!!
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post #15 of 26 Old 09-26-2016, 11:46 AM
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Nathan Funk going do it for you. And he is based in Canada.
If you're referring to Funk Audio, I'm afraid that their prices are astronomically above my meager budget. Thank you for the suggestion though!
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post #16 of 26 Old 09-28-2016, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by gregoryperkins View Post
I would guess it's the same as their 10" that they are currently selling with a bit more power. Frequency response: 28 to 150 Hz
This new 10" driver uses the motor structure from our 12" woofer (Magnet and voice coil).

So far it works really well...

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post #17 of 26 Old 09-28-2016, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by 18Hurts View Post
So the shallow mount subwoofer is mounted directly to the drywall?

Never built a subwoofer box out of drywall but maybe the actual performance of the ten won't crack it so all is well. Any actual specs on the sub such as max SPL at specific frequencies? It should be OK if they glued the drywall to the studs but I'd be a little nervous if it was just stapled in.
]
Come on, Mark--chop a hole in your wall and test it for science!
The driver mounts to a frame which mounts to the drywall... Just like in-wall speakers...

Chris Walker
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post #18 of 26 Old 09-28-2016, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by audiofan1 View Post
The ceiling speakers have my interest for sure! Any idea when available and pricing?
We are targeting $399 a pair for the B6 in-wall speakers,$399 a pair for the in-ceiling B6 distributed audio/atmos speakers, $499 a pair for the B6 Angled Home Theater in-ceiling speakers and $999 for the in-wall sub with Amplifier.

Target available date is Jan/Feb.

Thanks,

Chris Walker
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post #19 of 26 Old 12-29-2016, 02:06 PM
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Chris, what's the pricing on the Uni-Fi in-walls? I'm surprised to see the B6's are more expensive than there bookshelf counterpart. Any input on that?
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post #20 of 26 Old 01-29-2017, 08:29 AM
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Any news on these items, especially the uni-fi series? Thx.
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post #21 of 26 Old 02-28-2017, 04:49 AM
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For 4 ceiling speakers, that price looks like uni-fi pricing and not debut pricing. Can I just mount a4 speakers into the ceiling or do they have delay for reflectivity built into their electronics? I have 3 UF5s for the front stage, but am not sold on using uni-fi for the surrounds/atmos yet. I think the debut series for the surrounds would be just fine - but I am discouraged from the pricing.

Does anyone know of cheaper alternative ceiling speakers that would match my uf4? If I can save $100/speaker that would be awesome!
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post #22 of 26 Old 03-03-2017, 02:04 PM
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It's now March and there's been no new information on these since they were announced. I'd be happy with a ROUGH ETA at this point. I PM'd Chris Walker last month but did not get a response. Need to finish my theater room.
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post #23 of 26 Old 04-20-2017, 11:58 AM
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The Debut Architectural Series is shown on Elac's website now. It doesn't look like any of the North American online retailers are listing them yet, but at least this is a sign that they actually exist!
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Same here, I've been waiting for the in wall center to match my b6 and now rethinking. Since my in ceiling for atmos are 4 polk mc80 and owm5 for rear surrounds I might just go with a polk center in wall and if it doesn't timbre-match with my b6 l/r fronts I can move them to another room and get some more polks for the l/r and be done with it. I feel like a traitor (lol!) and should be posting in the polk forums...
Gonna wait another month and check again.
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post #25 of 26 Old 04-27-2017, 01:29 PM
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The Debut Architectural Series is shown on Elac's website now. It doesn't look like any of the North American online retailers are listing them yet, but at least this is a sign that they actually exist!
You can preorder from Elac's website (link). The general in-wall speaker is $200/$400 a pair (so what Andrew predicted in his post above).
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post #26 of 26 Old 05-09-2017, 01:12 PM
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Wow those are awesome
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