Author Topic: Elac Debut A4 Atmos enabled speakers have arrived!  (Read 19019 times)

Offline desray

  • Global Moderator
  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 18817
  • Bring the "Cinema experience" back home...
Elac Debut A4 Atmos enabled speakers have arrived!
« on: April 27, 2016, 21:20 »
My thanks to Alpha Audio for providing 2 pairs of the new Elac Debut A4 AE modules for my review. As I am quite busy for the next one week or so, I will not be able to come up with mini review so soon. But rest assured that I will post my impression on this new Elac Debut series as soon as I get the chance. As usual, I will not reveal the price here. For pricing, pls call Alpha Audio for more details.

Here's a picture I took comparing the 3 AE speaker modules currently available at Alpha Audio.



Here's the close-up view of the module itself. As you can see, it has a much bigger surface area than the Pioneer AE modules.






For specs, pls see: http://www.sas-audio.dk/documents/00435.pdf

« Last Edit: April 27, 2016, 21:37 by desray »

Offline Doggie Howser

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • Posts: 21724
Re: Elac Debut A4 Atmos enabled speakers have arrived!
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2016, 22:35 »
Nice
End of Line - Derezzed

Offline sje4182

  • Trade Count: (+2)
  • Full Member
  • Posts: 365
Re: Elac Debut A4 Atmos enabled speakers have arrived!
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2016, 22:44 »

Great!!

Offline desray

  • Global Moderator
  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 18817
  • Bring the "Cinema experience" back home...
Re: Elac Debut A4 Atmos enabled speakers have arrived!
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2016, 23:00 »
Couldn't resist...so set it up to run some stock demo clips to have a listen.



Initial impression is very good...more to come after I do a more thorough testing.

Offline kevtomin

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • Posts: 139
Re: Elac Debut A4 Atmos enabled speakers have arrived!
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2016, 07:55 »
Looking forward to your detailed review :)

Offline congsterz

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • Posts: 876
Re: Elac Debut A4 Atmos enabled speakers have arrived!
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2016, 22:37 »
Can't wait! can this pair with UB5?

Offline desray

  • Global Moderator
  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 18817
  • Bring the "Cinema experience" back home...
Re: Elac Debut A4 Atmos enabled speakers have arrived!
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2016, 10:25 »
Sorry guys for the super late review...Really quite tied up with my personal things of late. So I will just do a quickie here.

Here's the detailed specs for those who are interested.

Speaker Type Closed-box
Frequency Response: 180 to 20,000 Hz
Nominal Impedance: 6 Ω
Sensitivity: 85 dB at 2.83 v/1m
Crossover Frequency: 5,000 Hz
Aximum Power Input: 80 Watts
Tweeter: .5-inch polymer dome
Woofer: 4-inch woven aramid-fiber cone with oversized magnet
Cabinet: CARB2 rated MDF
Cabinet Finish: Black brushed vinyl
Binding Posts: 5-way metal
Dimensions (WHD): 7.87" x 4.83" x 8.75"

As you can see from the Frequency response, the Elac Debut A4 AE speakers certainly have a higher frequency range to start with. This conforms to the Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers at a much higher rate. At 180Hz, it is "clear-as-sky" that this is a "dedicated" AE speakers meant chiefly for Atmos reproduction and nothing else. This is good thing IF we intend to use this solely as Atmos effect speakers and nothing else. There is no room for this pair to double-up as a height/surround speakers like what the SVS Prime speakers did. So the "so-called" dual-purpose speaker set-up is out of the question here. The point is simple, get it for its Atmos capability and nothing else. Period!

Now with that out of the way, let's talk about real "deal"...Can it deliver? The simple answer is "Yes". It can. I am comparing the new Elac Debut A4 AE speaker modules with other AE modules I have had the privilege to play with in the past. So my review on the performance derives its basis from those. Compared to the Pioneer AE speakers (just before Andrew Jones depart from Pioneer and joined the German counterpart), this is a much more "refined" product in my opinion. The Pioneer AE speaker modules is definitely a big step up from the some of the lower-tiered AE modules such as the Def Tech A60 and the Onkyo SKH-410. But the "small footprint of the Pioneer AE speakers is unable to deliver the much-required SPL (for high frequency range) to get the Atmos effects to bounce off the ceiling effectively. To overcome this, you will need to compensate by placing the Pioneer AE modules higher than your ear-level so that the "reflective" sound of the speaker can "bounce" off the ceiling and onto the MLP (Main Listening Position).

Elac Debut A4 sported with a much bigger enclosure. The "angle" of the baffle still retains the Pioneer AE speaker module design (approximately around 18 degree)...I guess this should not come as a big surprise for me since it is AFTER ALL, designed by Andrew Jones. I guess Andrew Jones can't "copy" wholesale of the design he did for the Pioneer AE modules during his stint in Pioneer lest being sued (although technically, it is his speaker design after all but the NDA stuff that he signed probably will have an impact here). What Andrew Jones did is to infuse the elements of modern design (to complement his Debut series of course) into this new Elac Debut A4 AE speakers. The use of a 5" polymer dome tweeter right in the middle of a 4" woven aramid-fiber cone woofer driver really (still a concentric design if I may say so) allows the speakers to churn out high SPL with minimum effort. What this mean is that you are allowed for greater placement and flexibility. For one, you can place the Elac Debut A4 modules atop the front main speakers slightly above ear-level and you can still able to discern t the Atmos effects with much greater ease. Sure, you still need to "pump up" that trim levels in the AVR by at least 4 - 6db gain but the overall effect is much more immersive and more importantly, the AVR calibration clearly showed that the Audyssey mic is really picking up a "dedicated" sound from another speaker (not the mains) arrays in the setup. How do you tell? Simple,just look at the distance (corresponds to the delay). In order to tell whether the Atmos-enabled speakers is indeed properly "received" by the AVR is to look at the distance. The distance HAVE TO BE HIGHER than the front main speakers even though it should be within the same distance from where your MLP is located. Mind you, you need to factor in the distance for the "reflective" sound from the AE modules to the ceiling and bounce off to hit the MLP - hence the longer distance registered in the post Audyssey calibration.

Compared to my KEF R50 which cost almost 4 times more than the Elac Debut A4 AE modules, I have to say that it certainly performed exceptionally well in terms of the price-to-performance ratio. For a more "balanced" and immersive Atmos effects, I would encourage prospective buyers to get not 1 pair but 2 pairs of this new Elac Debut A4 AE speakers. It is available now in Alpha Audio.

The other worthy contender is PSB Imagine XA AE speaker modules which looks impressive as well. But I doubt I will have a chance to review this model since Alpha Audio doesn't carry it.

Hope members here will find this rather brief review informative enough for your make a decision on which one to get - particularly for those on the fence between the Pioneer and the Elac AE modules.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2016, 20:30 by desray »

Offline kevtomin

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • Posts: 139
Re: Elac Debut A4 Atmos enabled speakers have arrived!
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2016, 12:40 »
Thank you Desray for this crisp review!
This is definitely going to help people like me who does not have an option for overhead speakers.

Offline bluepill193

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • Posts: 690
Re: Elac Debut A4 Atmos enabled speakers have arrived!
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2016, 11:57 »
Thanks bro Desray! Mychoice is between the PSB and the Elac but at the end of the day, deciding factor is size. Elac will stick out if i place them on top of my fronts, while the PSB is slimmer n shorter so will sit nicely on top.
For the rears though, the AE module will be on stands, so maybe still can use the Elac (cheaper....). I guess not so much issues with timre matching for these AE modules.

Offline desray

  • Global Moderator
  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 18817
  • Bring the "Cinema experience" back home...
Re: Elac Debut A4 Atmos enabled speakers have arrived!
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2016, 23:10 »
If you are using Audyssey, then timbre and tonal matching for different brand/make of AE speakers shouldn't be an issue.

Offline Yubaba

  • Trade Count: (+2)
  • Full Member
  • Posts: 1768
  • I Love Dynaudio
Re: Elac Debut A4 Atmos enabled speakers have arrived!
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2016, 09:08 »
Thanks for the review, Desray, i will be getting this pair of Elac Atmos Speakers this evening.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2016, 09:13 by Yubaba »


I have gone down to the path of Dynaudio and it has dominate my destiny

Offline Yubaba

  • Trade Count: (+2)
  • Full Member
  • Posts: 1768
  • I Love Dynaudio
Re: Elac Debut A4 Atmos enabled speakers have arrived!
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2016, 23:00 »
Desray, I just did the measurement, my main is 3.51m and my AE speaker is 3.57m
Is this alright?

Thanks


I have gone down to the path of Dynaudio and it has dominate my destiny

Offline desray

  • Global Moderator
  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 18817
  • Bring the "Cinema experience" back home...
Re: Elac Debut A4 Atmos enabled speakers have arrived!
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2016, 23:11 »
Desray, I just did the measurement, my main is 3.51m and my AE speaker is 3.57m
Is this alright?

Thanks

Is the distance between the MLP and the mains anyway near to the distance provided by the Audyssey? How high did you place your Elac A4 AE modules?

Offline Yubaba

  • Trade Count: (+2)
  • Full Member
  • Posts: 1768
  • I Love Dynaudio
Re: Elac Debut A4 Atmos enabled speakers have arrived!
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2016, 23:51 »
I just put my AE speakers on top my floorstander. All along i am using audyssey measurement for distance. I have not physically measure

Thanks


I have gone down to the path of Dynaudio and it has dominate my destiny

Offline desray

  • Global Moderator
  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 18817
  • Bring the "Cinema experience" back home...
Re: Elac Debut A4 Atmos enabled speakers have arrived!
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2016, 07:22 »
I just put my AE speakers on top my floorstander. All along i am using audyssey measurement for distance. I have not physically measure

Thanks

Sorry forget to ask about your height ceiling...that's the crucial part.