I just hooked up my B5's and C5 yesterday. I've spent about 2 hours listening and played a few movie selections. So far I'm impressed. I wouldn't call myself an audiophile but I like quality products and am picky about sound. I've listened to and owned a few speakers ranging from Salk Songtowers and Wow1's to Wharfedale Diamond 10.1s, Paradigm, Totem, Kef's, PSB's, etc. I would say these would easily compete and sound better than many speakers I've heard for over $500. I still have my Wharfedales and will probably hook them up for a side-by-side comparison. I use my Wharfedales with my Peachtree Nova 125 and it sounds good, dynamic, but not as detailed and open as the Elacs, and I'm just using a Pioneer SC1323 receiver with the Elacs. Curious to hear them with the Peachtree. Sure, they're not perfect and they're not in the same league as the Salks, which were wonderful, but unless you're doing critical listening these are highly enjoyable and would meet 90% of most people's needs in my opinion. I do like them more than the LSA .5's I used to have, which sounded a bit veiled and restrained compared to these (but those were gorgeous to look at). The fit and finish on these is good for their price. The cabinets aren't the most solid, but the sound is tight for such a resonant box. I'm thinking these would be amazing in a better cabinet. The look is clean and modern and I like the gray vinyl wrap better than fake wood or matte black, but it is on the masculine/modern side. The only issue is that I'm either hearing some sibilance or something is wrong with one of the tweeters. When I hooked them up I first played Melody Gardot and there seemed to be a ringing sound from the right speaker. I couldn't hear it during movies, but just in the higher frequency vocals at higher volume. I was going to swap L/R speakers to see if the ringing followed the speaker, but I just sat down and I'm listening again and I'm not hearing it. Maybe they needed a little break in, but I'll keep listening and testing. The imaging, detail, texture is excellent for the money. It sounds like music is coming from the C%, but its off right now. The bass is tight and detailed. I was going to get the B6's but since I have a sub I figured the B5's are enough, and so far they are. The tweeters are surprisingly not harsh, maybe a slight touch bright, but very good and not fatiguing. For movies, I'm impressed. I've used a Paradigm Cinema 70 system for years and they were fine, but no mids and a bit bright. The Elac system is my front stage and I'm using the Paradigms for surrounds. I have a Reaction Audio sub, forget which model but it was one of the early builds with opposing 12" drivers and I think 500w. Its more than enough sound. Played the opening scene to Avengers and even though my kids have seen it many times my 3 boys were all riveted like they hadn't seen it before. They all had a few "wow's" and "that sounds amazing" that they hadn't said before.
In the next few days I'm hoping to test them against my Wharfedale Diamond 10.1's using my Peachtree Nova 125. If the ringing continues I'll swap L/R speakers and if it is a bad tweeter I may just try the F5's since I hate speaker stands. I also have to exchange the C5 because the corner was damaged in shipping, but that happens. If you're getting into HiFi and want a great starting speaker these are hard to beat.