Best of CES: ELAC Adante Speakers by Andrew Jones

Speaker designer extraordinaire Andrew Jones is fond of concentric drivers and creates speakers that deliver an exceptional price/performance ratio. ELAC Adante is a new, high-performance speaker line designed by Jones. It presents an elevated-performance option over the company’s ultra-affordable and critically acclaimed Debut and Uni-Fi models.

There are three new speakers in the series, the AF-61GW tower ($5000/pair), AC-61GV center channel ($2000 each), and AS-61GB stand-mount ($2500/pair).

All three models are three way designs featuring a concentric midrange/tweeter. The stand-mount model, which is rated at -3dB at 40 Hz, was demoed at the show and sat atop dedicated stands.

ELAC Adante by Andrew Jones

The demo kicked off with Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” and there is no doubt this speaker system is a major contender for best speaker in its class. Andrew is not shy, he cranked the system and it poured out dynamic, rich, full, sound that had real impact.

“La Habanera” by Yello brought phenomenal acoustical energy to the room, really bringing the party to the show demo experience. “If You Wait” by London Grammar demonstrated prowess with female vocals and a capacity to render a grand sound stage.

Next up was “Drifting” by Lee Ritenour. It’s a very clear recording, every instrument came through to proper scale, the bass had deep impact, and overall the feeling was of a system that was dynamically unconstrained.

At this show, I kept insisting on hearing Infected Mushroom and Andrew obliged. “The Pretender” from Army of Mushrooms shook the room a lot. It was “where is the high-end subwoofer” bass. The AS-61GB stand-mounts are absolute ass-kickers. “Wanted To” from Army of Mushrooms continued to pour on the excellence.

While it’s amazing what Andrew Jones can do with a budget speaker, at this price point he’s able to deliver the true high-end goods without forcing audiophiles to take out a second mortgage.

Expect the ELAC Adante line of speakers to ship sometime in spring or early summer. Here’s
the video: