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ELAC Adante AC-61

Center channel speaker (Rosewood Veneer)

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Item # 970AC61RV

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Overview

Our take on the ELAC Adante AC-61

There are few center channel speakers I've seen that feature as much cool technology as ELAC's AC-61. And it shouldn't come as a surprise — this engineering marvel is the brainchild of Andrew Jones, a world-famous speaker designer with a track record of innovative breakthroughs.

The anchor of your Adante home theater system

There are few center channel speakers I've seen that feature as much cool technology as ELAC's AC-61. And it shouldn't come as a surprise — this engineering marvel is the brainchild of Andrew Jones, a world-famous speaker designer with a track record of innovative breakthroughs.

The AC-61 is the matching center channel for ELAC's acclaimed AS-61 stand-mount and AF-61 floor-standing speakers. This titan of a speaker measures nearly three feet wide and weighs in at 64 pounds. Read on for a closer look at how its unique design delivers powerful, lifelike sound.

There's more than meets the eye

At first glance the AC-61 looks like a traditional center channel. But those twin 8" cones on the front of the cabinet are actually passive radiators — there are no wires connected to them at all. Instead, what drives the bass is a pair of 6-1/2" woofers mounted inside the cabinet, totally hidden from view. 

The front-firing passive radiators move in tandem with the active woofers, reinforcing low-frequency output for impressively accurate and tightly controlled bass.  

A unique approach to porting 

The AC-61 has no external ports, instead using internal ports in what's called a "coupled-cavity" design. Andrew Jones goes into detail about his approach to it in a fascinating interview with Crutchfield Senior Editor Steve Kindig. If you like geeky details of speaker design, it's well worth reading.

Sparkling mids and highs

One of the more subtle design details of the AC-61 is its midrange and tweeter assembly. The concentrically mounted 1" soft dome tweeter and 5-1/4" aluminum cone midrange are completely isolated from the woofers, ensuring smooth, natural sound from each driver.

The placement of the tweeter inside the midrange provides a single-point source for the majority of the speaker's frequency range, giving you a full, realistic soundstage with crystal-clear dialogue and immersive center-stage sound effects.

ELAC AC-61 center channel speaker

I highly recommend using ELAC's custom-built ACST-101 speaker stand as the foundation of your AC-61 center channel.

You'll need a high-current receiver or amp to drive it

The AC-61 requires a high-current home theater receiver to drive it due to its size, driver configuration, and relative inefficiency. This is also a speaker that may warrant using a separate power amp to drive it if you're using a home theater preamp/processor.

Make no mistake — this center channel speaker produces excellent sound. But just like a high-performance sports car, it needs premium gas to reach its full potential. If you'd like personalized advice on matching the AC-61 or other Adante speakers with an amp, give one of our Advisors a shout for a free expert recommendation.

A friendly heads up — this speaker is huge!

The AC-61 is not going to fit in most entertainment cabinets. I highly recommend using ELAC's matching ACST-101 speaker stand. This high-quality, custom-built stand has screw holes that align with the speaker's bottom, allowing you to firmly anchor your speaker for rock-solid, vibration-free sound.

Product Highlights:

  • 3-way design
    • 1" soft dome tweeter (concentrically mounted with the midrange driver)
    • 5-1/4" aluminum cone midrange driver
    • dual 6-1/2" internally mounted aluminum cone woofers
  • dual 8" front-firing aluminum cone passive radiators
  • frequency response: 40-35,000 Hz
  • sensitivity: 86 dB
  • nominal impedance: 6 ohms
  • advanced crossover network provides smooth frequency distribution between drivers
  • tweeter and midrange are completely isolated from the woofers and passive radiators for minimizing vibration and sonic coloration
  • internal ports help reinforce bass response
  • dual pairs of high-quality binding post speaker terminals allow bi-amp/bi-wire configurations
  • removable grille
  • furniture-grade rosewood veneer finish
  • designed for use with matching ELAC ACST-101 speaker stand
  • 34-1/2"W x 9-11/16"H x 15-5/8"D
  • weight: 64.6 lbs.
  • warranty: 3 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Center-channel loudspeaker
  • Grille
  • 2 Binding-post straps (pre-installed)
  • 4 Angled feet
  • 8 Screws
  • Pair of white cloth gloves
  • Operating Instructions
Reviews
Details

Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Enclosure Interport-Coupled
Tweeter Soft-dome
Midrange size (inches) 5-1/4
Woofer size (inches) 6-1/2
Connector Type Post
Power Range 50-160
Sensitivity 86 dB
Impedance (Ohms) 6
Frequency Response 40-35k Hz
Height (inches) 9-11/16
Width (inches) 34-7/16
Depth (inches) 15-5/8
Weight 64.6 lbs
Parts Warranty 3 Years
Labor Warranty 3 Years

Product Research

Features

Interport-Coupled Cavity: The Adante Series of loudspeaker's advanced design starts with a precision-built cabinet that features Interport-Coupled Cavity bass loading to exploit the highest performance from new active and passive bass drivers. Hugely complex but with benefits that are immediately audible, an Interport-Coupled Cavity cabinet renders clearly superior performance in the reproduction of low frequencies. The inherent superiority of this design solution delivers some of the most authoritative, realistic bass around. The face of the cabinet is an elegant, bonded-aluminum front baffle for maximum rigidity, contoured to incorporate waveguides that ensure optimum dispersion from each driver.

  • Multiple Enclosures: Each Adante cabinet is actually multiple enclosures in one. The concentric midrange/tweeter is isolated in its own space within the cabinet, and the woofer complement, comprising an active and passive driver, occupies a divided chamber vented internally with dual ports. Instrumental to the design benefits of an Interport-Coupled Cavity is that the entire enclosure is not externally ported at all, because such external ports will produce noise and other distortion artifacts if the speaker is overdriven.
  • Invisible Drivers: The coupled-cavity design also means that the active driver remains invisible, mounted internally in its own rear box that vents bass energy through dual bass ports to a front box which encloses a larger passive radiator. The piston action of this front-firing passive driver delivers low-frequency information that is tight, tuneful, extended and with greater output capability than a traditional externally-ported enclosure. This Interport-Coupled Cavity cabinet enhances the linearity of the active bass transducer by reducing driver excursions.
  • Optimized Cabinet Volume: Optimized cabinet volumes allow for a crossover network tuned to take advantage of this type of design. An internally vented box, with another box in front housing a passive radiator means that acoustically, the front box becomes a second-order acoustic low pass filter, eliminating the requirement for two orders of electrical network, further reducing driver distortion. The result is clean, distortion-free, natural, accurate, authoritative bass that defies the norm and challenges far more expensive speakers.

Active Woofer/Passive Radiator Combination: Fundamental to Adante's superior performance are new low frequency drivers and passive radiators that are paired together to deliver extraordinary low frequency performance far superior to less complex driver and cabinet solutions. The AC-61 center channel loudspeaker is equipped with two 6.5" woofers and two 8" passive radiators. Together, this active/passive combination can handle all the power it takes to deliver crushing low-frequency crescendos with the dynamic realism of a live performance.

  • Dual 6.5" Aluminum Woofers: Engineered specifically to work in concert with the elaborate Interport-Coupled Cavity cabinet design, the two 6.5" active woofers offer wideband frequency response. They feature an aluminum cone and cast basket assembly with a substantial magnet and voice coil. The aluminum cone is fast, stiff and low in distortion artifacts that otherwise compromise bass realism. Mounted inside the complex cabinet structure, it remains invisible to the eye but its presence is readily apparent to the ear.
  • Dual 8" Passive Radiators: Partnering with the dual active woofers are two lightweight 8" passive radiators. Front-firing, they are mounted to the bonded-aluminum front baffle of the speaker cabinet and feature stiff aluminum diaphragms and cast basket assemblies. Their light weight makes these passive radiators faster and less prone to distortion artifacts than active drivers of similar diameter, so they move air more quickly, with minimal coloration.

All-New Concentric Midrange/Tweeter: Complementing Adante's custom low-frequency drivers is the all-new concentric midrange/tweeter, engineered expressly for the Adante series. ELAC's proprietary concentric driver technology has been taken to new levels of performance in the Adante Series with a brand-new design that delivers astounding point-source accuracy, linearity, power handling, speed and articulation on virtually all types of music. Additionally, the whole concentric driver chassis is mechanically isolated from the other drivers and the Adante cabinet itself with anti-vibration mountings that eliminate the transmission of vibration throughout the loudspeaker.

  • 5.25" Aluminum Midrange: The large, 5.25" diameter midrange cone, made of pure aluminum for maximum rigidity with lowest coloration, features a revised profile and generous 2" voice coil that results in greater output level and higher sensitivity than smaller concentric designs.
  • 1" Soft-Dome Tweeter: The larger 2" voice coil also provides more room for a newly-engineered 1" tweeter to be situated in the center. This soft-dome design uses new fabric material and employs a wide surround that results in improved lower-treble output, lower resonant and crossover frequencies.

Dual Sets Of Binding Posts: The Adante AC-61 center channel loudspeaker is equipped with a dual set of binding posts. A supplied link allows use of a single pair of speaker cables and only two posts, while dual posts allow the option of bi-wiring with a single amplifier, or choosing bi-amplification with the use of two amplifiers - one for the concentric midrange/tweeter and the other for low-frequency drivers. These heavy-duty binding-post terminals which will accept bare-wire (up to 10AWG), pin-connectors, and banana plugs (single only).

  • Bi-Wiring: Bi-wiring can provide noticeable improvements in the overall transparency of your loudspeakers. Run separate speaker wires to the low & high/mid frequency drivers from a single amplifier (the upper set of binding posts are for the high frequency drivers; the lower set of binding posts are for the low frequency drivers).
  • Bi-Amping: Bi-amping allows you to use separate amplifiers for the high/mid & low frequency sections of your loudspeaker for greater dynamic range & lower distortion. We recommend that your separate amplifiers have identical gain to preserve the speaker's voicing balance.

Furniture-Grade Finish & Magnetic Grille: To make sure the Adante Series speaker looks as good as it sounds, each Adante cabinet features a furniture-grade finish in a choice of gloss black or rosewood veneer. Magnetic black metal mesh grilles finish off the look of the front of the speaker cabinet.

Mounting Options: The AC-61 center channel loudspeaker can simply be placed on a flat surface; like a table-top, stand, or shelf. The AC-61 comes with angled feet that allow you to aim the center speaker up or down, if it is mounted too low or too high. An optional stand (see Accessories Tab) is available that has been specifically designed by ELAC to complement not just the AC-61 center channel loudspeaker's design, but to enhance performance. Aluminum center columns are hollow and can be filled with media (from cat litter to lead shot) for additional mass. Steel top plates are predrilled to correspond to threaded inserts in the base of the center speaker. The base plates are machined from solid, 8mm-thick steel for added stability. Custom-made, adjustable locking spikes are fitted at each corner.

Note: This center channel loudspeaker does not offer any wall-mount options.

Speaker Placement: The ELAC AC-61 center channel speaker is designed to produce dialog sounds and should be positioned above or below your television; align it with the center of the television. As much as possible, try to keep the AC-61 close to the same height level as your front speakers for a more even sound stage. Keeping the same height for the center channel can be very challenging, so it might be necessary to tilt the center speaker up (if too low) or down (if too high) to aim it towards the listening area (use the included angled feet).

Adante Series: The ELAC Adante Series family of loudspeakers consists of the AF-61 floorstanding loudspeaker, the AS-61 stand-mounted loudspeaker, the AC-61 center-channel loudspeaker, and the ASW-121 powered subwoofer (all sold separately). Each Adante speaker uses identical concentric midrange/tweeter and low-frequency drivers. The stand-mounted, center channel, and floorstanding models employ one, two, and three active/passive woofer pairs respectively. The Adante Series can be the basis of an exceptional two-channel system, or used to build an awe-inspiring multichannel surround sound system.

Our Product Research Team

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