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-   -   ELAC Uni-FI B5 Bookshelf Speaker at CES 2016 (https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-speakers/2282746-elac-uni-fi-b5-bookshelf-speaker-ces-2016-a.html)

imagic 01-09-2016 01:47 PM

ELAC Uni-Fi B5 Bookshelf Speaker at CES 2016
 
Andrew Jones is one of the best-known speaker designers out there, and his reputation is secure at every end of the price spectrum. From his work at TAD and KEF, to his recent tenure at Pioneer, Andrew’s designs often outperform the competiton. At CES 2016, Andrew demonstrated a prototype of his latest speaker design, the ELAC Uni-Fi B5 ($500 per pair), and quite frankly it sounded stunning.

The Uni-Fi B5 is a 3-way bookshelf featuring a 2-way concentric driver as well as a 5.25” woofer, priced at a rather remarkable $500 per pair; when you hear ‘em, you’ll understand why that price point perpetuates Andrew’s reputation for delivering some of the very best sound you’ll get from an affordable speaker system.

I heard the Uni-Fis playing full-range, and they did justice to “trouble is What You’re In” by Fink, and “El Macho” by Mark Knopfler. Yes, a sub would have elevated the experience, but this was serious performance for a compact pair of bookshelf speakers that will surely appeal to any audiophile on a budget. To hammer home the point about the bass response, Andrew played some Deadmau5, and the tight, deep bass was notable for a speaker of its size.

Although I already have a pair of Elac Debut B6’s in for review, I was sort of wishing that Andrew’s prototypes were already available, so I could trade up. In addition to the $500 per pair UB5 bookshelf, ELAC will offer a UF5 floorstander at $1000 per pair, as well as a UC5 center at $350 each. Simply put, Mr. Jones has done it again.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/imageh...18196e2dc9.jpg
Andrew Jones and his ELAC Uni-Fi B5 prototype speakers.

KC_Crunch 01-09-2016 01:58 PM

Do you happen to know dimensions of the speaker cabinet? Trying to find out if it's small enough to work where I want it to, and thus worth waiting for its release.

imagic 01-09-2016 02:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KC_Crunch (Post 40489330)
Do you happen to know dimensions of the speaker cabinet? Trying to find out if it's small enough to work where I want it to, and thus worth waiting for its release.

I can get the dimensions from Andrew, but not at this moment.

helvetica bold 01-09-2016 02:52 PM

This looks awesome. I was thinking of upgrading my Take Classic to the B5 but Im going to wait for these. I need a small size speaker for my NY apt.
Will the ELAC Uni-FI B5 work with the A4 Atmos Modules?

18Hurts 01-09-2016 04:16 PM

The Center option seems decent

Basically the bookshelf version but with two woofers? A great system for desktops, bedrooms etc. that won't break the bank. Good to see Andrew playing with his first love, concentrics... :)

freeman4 01-09-2016 07:27 PM

I've heard nothing but good reports on these new speakers. They seemed to be the darlings of the audiophile section at CES.

Shadowed 01-09-2016 07:35 PM

59 Attachment(s)
Are the UB5 2 way speakers ?

Mescalito 01-09-2016 09:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shadowed (Post 40497274)
Are the UB5 2 way speakers ?

The Uni-FI B5 is a 3-way bookshelf featuring a 2-way concentric driver as well as a 5.25” woofer,

Mashie Saldana 01-10-2016 05:20 AM

They should reconsider the name as UniFi is trademarked by Ubiquity Networks.

imagic 01-10-2016 07:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mashie Saldana (Post 40503514)
They should reconsider the name as UniFi is trademarked by Ubiquity Networks.

So Ubiquity networks makes speakers? Also, did you forget to include the hyphen or is that spelling different? ;)

zibanez 01-10-2016 08:24 AM

Look like Uni Q driver from KEF + woofer. Can't wait to listen to this speakers.

sdurani 01-10-2016 11:37 AM

The demo was remarkable, not just for the stunning imaging and soundstage, but also for the bass. When I pointed out to Andrew that the advertising banners behind the speakers were rippling during bass-heavy moments, he clarified that they were "dancing" along with Deadmau5. It was Vegas after all (if you're gonna put on a show, there's going to be background dancers).

The ability to go down to around 40Hz is useful, even if the B5s ended up being crossed over at 80Hz (helps to have another octave of performance past the crossover point). These bookshelves struck me as LS50-killers, what with them being 1/3rd the price of those Kef monitors (which, for the sake of comparison, I've heard in plenty of similarly sized hotel rooms as well).

helvetica bold 01-10-2016 12:37 PM

Are these more suited for music listening or can be used for home theater? Both correct? Also does the ELAC Atmos modules work with this?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

beauzooka 01-10-2016 01:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sdurani (Post 40513042)
The demo was remarkable, not just for the stunning imaging and soundstage, but also for the bass. When I pointed out to Andrew that the advertising banners behind the speakers were rippling during bass-heavy moments, he clarified that they were "dancing" along with Deadmau5. It was Vegas after all (if you're gonna put on a show, there's going to be background dancers).

The ability to go down to around 40Hz is useful, even if the B5s ended up being crossed over at 80Hz (helps to have another octave of performance past the crossover point). These bookshelves struck me as LS50-killers, what with them being 1/3rd the price of those Kef monitors (which, for the sake of comparison, I've heard in plenty of similarly sized hotel rooms as well).

Thanks for the review! The Debut line didn't seem like they would be an upgrade over my Epos Epic 2's. The Elac UB5's and the rest of the Uni-Fi line looks like they will be a different story! Hopefully there will be a UB6 too.

imagic 01-10-2016 02:09 PM

What is truly amazing about these speakers is that Andrew himself was getting his first opportunity to really hear what the speakers could do because they really are prototypes that he (almost forgot to) bring to the show.

Shadowed 01-10-2016 05:34 PM

59 Attachment(s)
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/attach...1&d=1452476050


For such a nice guy, he seems kind of villainous...

"soon Gotham will hear my speakers!"

Viche 01-10-2016 06:01 PM

Any opinion on the uni-B5s for F/L/C channels in a home theater vs. the F5 or F6s assuming you have a decent sub?

Also, any notes on how the uni's sound off access, either horizontally or vertically vs thr B6s? Review have said that thr B6s tend to have a narrow sweet spot.

postrokfan 01-10-2016 06:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shadowed (Post 40523906)
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/attach...1&d=1452476050


For such a nice guy, he seems kind of villainous...

Hmm...Why so serious?

Shadowed 01-10-2016 06:07 PM

59 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by postrokfan (Post 40524778)
Hmm...Why so serious?

I think he's wiring up his new speakers...

postrokfan 01-10-2016 06:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shadowed (Post 40524914)
I think he's wiring up his new speakers...

Sorry, couldn't pass up a random Joker reference from the Dark Knight (your rendering sort of looks like the Joker).

steveting99 01-10-2016 06:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sdurani (Post 40513042)
The demo was remarkable, not just for the stunning imaging and soundstage, but also for the bass. When I pointed out to Andrew that the advertising banners behind the speakers were rippling during bass-heavy moments, he clarified that they were "dancing" along with Deadmau5. It was Vegas after all (if you're gonna put on a show, there's going to be background dancers).

The ability to go down to around 40Hz is useful, even if the B5s ended up being crossed over at 80Hz (helps to have another octave of performance past the crossover point). These bookshelves struck me as LS50-killers, what with them being 1/3rd the price of those Kef monitors (which, for the sake of comparison, I've heard in plenty of similarly sized hotel rooms as well).

Would like to know how these compare to the KEF LS50. Is 40Hz the F3 point of the Uni-FI B5?

Hifisound 01-10-2016 09:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sdurani (Post 40513042)
These bookshelves struck me as LS50-killers, what with them being 1/3rd the price of those Kef monitors (which, for the sake of comparison, I've heard in plenty of similarly sized hotel rooms as well).

Strangely, earlier of his TAD speakers, though much costlier, don't seem to have a very smooth polars

http://www.stereophile.com/content/t...oQoKEIbGcjd.97
http://www.stereophile.com/content/t...PsxQK9UqhH3.97

LS50 on the other hand has much smoother polar
http://www.stereophile.com/content/k...F4UwtOZrQ80.97

Although the roughness (in TADs) is only in very high freq region..

Couldn't find polars for Pioneer Elite
http://www.soundandvision.com/conten...IvKBDAv4JRE.97

So may need to see how the new Elacs measure.
Although price is great !

Btw, my intent is not to denigrate any design and Andrew is a highly respected speaker designer. But just an observation.

DS-21 01-11-2016 06:01 AM

ELAC Uni-FI B5 Bookshelf Speaker at CES 2016
 
Those Stereophile off-axis graphs are normalized to the axial response. That means an narrow axial dip that quickly fills in off-axis looks like giant spikes in the off-axis response. The actual behavior is a narrow cancellation notch on axis, due to the round waveguide, and overall smooth and on-level off axis response.

KEF's phase plug does do a great job of eliminating that behavior, though.

Hifisound 01-11-2016 06:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DS-21 (Post 40534450)
Those Stereophile off-axis graphs are normalized to the axial response. That means an narrow axial dip that quickly fills in off-axis looks like giant spikes in the off-axis response. The actual behavior is a narrow cancellation notch on axis, due to the round waveguide, and overall smooth and on-level off axis response.

Thanks for this info.

Though for TAD Evolution One, I see some additional spikes off axis (~8kHz) even though on axis its flat (they start from few deg off axis onward)

anetode 01-11-2016 08:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hifisound (Post 40534930)
Thanks for this info.

Though for TAD Evolution One, I see some additional spikes off axis (~8kHz) even though on axis its flat (they start from few deg off axis onward)

Look at the magnitude of the spikes and how far down their response is as you get further away from the on-axis curve, not to mention how high 8khz is to begin with. I could see the 10khz rise accentuating some background noise in recordings if you were listening directly on axis, but given the summed response and room interaction, I'd doubt that either would be anywhere near obviously audible.

fmalitz 01-11-2016 08:51 AM

Andrew's best work?
 
At the outset, let me first say that I have no commercial connection to Elac although after hearing the demo, I'm trying my damdest to get the line for my rep firm. Here's why: aside from the great people involved, not to mention Andrew, one of the world's few great speaker designers, I actually felt they had the best sound at CES! This is not hyperbole. I didn't hear every demo but to put things in perspective, they murdered the Vanderstein room with their Mercedes-level-of-cost system--positively murdered them, although the Vandersteins had incredibly deep bass. From the waist up, so to speak, no contest. Yes, I've heard these new vandersteins sound fabulous at a dealer but at the show, on that day, I was floored.

Polar response, schmoler response. They simply sound fabulous. Even the bass was remarkable (to a point). I never judge speakers (or almost anything else) by specs.

By the way, I've repped everything from Apogee to AR to a/d/s/ to Focal to Sonus Faber to Totem, etc. I've consulted for Jim Thiel and battled with Floyd Toole. The entire experience begs the question: What if Andrew designed a $10,000 speaker? These were indeed $500 per pair and no one could believe it. I want this line!

Yes, they'd make a great compact surround system albeit with imitations for the Transformer crowd. They're about the size of the little Kefs or the LS3/5a, give or take a couple of inches.

sludgeogre 01-11-2016 09:04 AM

Can't wait to see the rest of the lineup. Andrew Jones has always interested me as a designer because of the incredible value of everything he's designed. I recommended the Pioneer floorstanders and center to a co-worker and couldn't believe how good they sounded.

The only other set of floorstanders I've auditioned were the Verus Grands since I live sorta close to their office. Those REALLY blew me away, and now with the Version 2 upgrade I'm super excited about those as well.

I'm selling my house soon and will have a bunch of extra cash for the first time in forever. I can't decide if I want to go with the Uni-Fi set, which I will unlikely be able to hear anywhere, or get the Verus Grand V2 set. Agonizing.

sludgeogre 01-11-2016 09:05 AM

Can't wait to see the rest of the lineup. Andrew Jones has always interested me as a designer because of the incredible value of everything he's designed. I recommended the Pioneer floorstanders and center to a co-worker and couldn't believe how good they sounded.

The only other set of floorstanders I've auditioned were the Verus Grands since I live sorta close to their office. Those REALLY blew me away, and now with the Version 2 upgrade I'm super excited about those as well.

I'm selling my house soon and will have a bunch of extra cash for the first time in forever. I can't decide if I want to go with the Uni-Fi set, which I will unlikely be able to hear anywhere, or get the Verus Grand V2 set. Agonizing.

18Hurts 01-11-2016 09:29 AM

I've always found concentrics interesting as I was exposed to the first KEF Uni Qs around 25 years ago

Andy had something to do with those and I thought they were OK for their size. Preferred the 104.2 over them but it was a much larger speaker in comparison. For near field monitors, I preferred the concentrics so good to see one coming out that will fit on a desktop AND have the critical piece--a support woofer to keep it clean. The original KEF Unis would get nasty when you cranked them up to higher volumes which limited their use for my needs.

It all goes around in a circle, I view the ELAC concentrics as what the KEF Uni Qs would of been if he stayed at KEF. Any fool can make a $25K speaker sound decent, it takes serious R&D to do that same thing at $500 to $1K. Looking forward to what ELAC has planned for the HT market, maybe 6.5 and 8" concentrics with very high efficiency designs? Andrew might throw a bit of TAD at us in the future... make my 8" versions 94 to 95dB at 1w/1m so I can pick up some new surround speakers please.

Waltlicker 01-11-2016 12:48 PM

How do you think these would compare to the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR that he designed? The Pioneer's have a 4" woofer and 1" soft dome tweeter - I have had these for probably a year now and they seem pretty good - so I'm wondering if these would be a worthwhile upgrade.


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