About the ELAC Navis™ ARF-51
Powered tower speakers for audiophiles
Powered tower speakers for audiophiles
We've been enjoying the open, transparent sound of ELAC's ARB-51 bookshelf speakers for a while now, so we were excited to see the company expand on that success. The floor-standing ARF-51 offers a total of three 5-1/4" aluminum woofers, plus a 4" midrange with concentrically mounted 1" soft-dome tweeter. It's basically more of a very good thing.
Note: Navis ARF-51 powered speakers do not have a volume control. If connected directly to a fixed output source, the volume will be at maximum level and may damage the speakers and your hearing. Only use these speakers with variable output sources and/or a preamplifier like the NAD C 165BEE.
The ELAC Navis speaker features handy EQ switches on the back panel, so you can tweak the sound to suit your unique listening space.
In audio-design lingo, these speakers are "three-way" — with dedicated woofers handling the bass frequencies, plus a separate midrange and tweeter. To make sure each driver section does its job with maximum efficiency and precision, ELAC gave them individual amplifiers, each with their own power supply. There's 160 watts for the woofers, 100 watts for the midrange driver, and 40 for the tweeter.
All analog, all the way
ELAC's Navis lineup makes one major departure from the usual design approach used by others in their class. They don't use DSP (digital signal processing), so input from an analog source — like a nice turntable — never gets digitized. This approach keeps the signal as pure and uncolored as possible.
Wired and wireless connectivity
Ever the innovators, ELAC created their own wireless protocol called AirX that helps solve a specific bothersome issue: "Usually when you're on Wi-Fi, the only way to synchronize the left and right speaker is to run a cable between them," said Andrew Jones, ELAC's chief designer. "We don't have to do that." The ELAC Discovery Connect (not included) provides a robust streaming platform for Spotify® Connect, Bluetooth®, Apple® AirPlay® and Roon, so you can eliminate one more wire from your system.
For making wired connections to your preamp or audio source, each speaker has a single unbalanced RCA input and a single balanced XLR input.
The final piece of the puzzle when trying to get the best sound out of any pair of speakers is finding out how they sound in your unique listening space. Each ARF-51 comes with its own separate EQ switches on the back for adjusting high-, mid-, and low-frequency response. "You can match the sound to your environment," said Mr. Jones.
Each individual tower also has a switchable high-pass filter that can be set "flat" to get the most out of the speakers alone, or switched to cut off at 60 Hz or 80 Hz for easy integration with a subwoofer. A subwoofer can be added to your system via your preamplifier's subwoofer output.
- powered floor-standing speaker
- three 5-1/4" aluminum woofers
- 4" aluminum midrange driver with concentrically mounted 1" soft-dome tweeter
- 300 total watts of amplification per speaker
- 160 watts total bass amplification (BASH amplifier)
- 100 watts to midrange driver (BASH amplifier)
- 40 watts to tweeter (pure Class AB amplifier)
- bass-reflex cabinet design with rear-firing ports
- frequency response: 43-28,000 Hz
- add ELAC Discovery Connect to wirelessly stream Spotify® Connect, Bluetooth®, Apple® AirPlay and Roon
- three EQ switches for adjusting low-frequency, mid -frequency and high-frequency response on the back of each speaker
- switchable high-pass filter: flat, 60 Hz, or 80 Hz
- one unbalanced RCA input
- one balanced XLR input
- switch for selecting RCA, XLR, or wireless input
- selectable high/low input gain
Dimensions and warranty:
- 7-1/2"W x 40-3/8"H x 9-1/2"D
- weight: 46.3 lbs. each
- warranty: 3 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- MFR # ARF51-GW
What's in the box:
- Powered floorstanding loudspeaker
- 8' AC power cord
- Base plate
- 4 Spikes
- 4 Isolation pucks
- 4 Screws
- Operating Instructions
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More details on the ELAC Navis™ ARF-51
Discrete Powerful Amplification: Inside the Navis FS51 floorstanding speaker is a Tri-Amp Pure Analog Amplifier, employing three separate amps for each transducer - a 160-watt BASH AB amplifier for the three woofers, a 100-watt BASH AB amplifier for the midrange driver, and a 40-watt Class AB amplifier for the tweeter. A total amplifier power of 300 watts ensures that the floorstanding speaker is optimally powered, eliminating clipping and crossover distortion, and driving each transducer with authority.
Custom-Designed Drivers: One reason the Navis FS51 powered speaker sounds so natural is because of its in-house developed transducer, a 4" aluminum midrange driver with a concentrically mounted 1" soft-dome tweeter. Combined, this signature configuration lets Navis set the performance standard for its class. Three woofers reproduce bass with authority, thanks to the special design of its driver. Developed in-house, the 5.25" aluminum cones are the ideal structural material, specified for its ability to deliver punch and accurate low-frequency fundamentals.
Elegant Cabinet Design: The Navis FS51 powered speaker's elegant cabinet design integrates perfectly with any interior or decor. Its enclosure has a fine-furniture finish, available in Gloss Black, Gloss White, and Wood Veneer. No grilles are included. Three rear-firing flared ports on the back of the speaker cabinet provide smooth bass response.
Balanced XLR and Unbalanced RCA Inputs: Connect the variable outputs of your preamplifier or external audio source to either the balanced XLR or unbalanced RCA inputs on back of the powered speaker. There is an input switch on the back of the speaker to indicate an XLR or RCA type connection. Balanced XLR connections guard against induced noise and allow long cable runs without compromising sound quality. There is also an input Gain switch that can be set to High or Low depending on the incoming audio signal.
Note: The Navis FS51 powered speaker does not have a volume control. If connected directly to a fixed output source, the volume will be at maximum level and may damage the speaker and your hearing. Only use thisspeaker with variable output sources and/or a preamplifier.
Optional Wireless Audio Transmitter: The Navis FS51 powered speaker features a built-in wireless receiver that is compatible with ELAC's AirX² wireless audio transmitter (sold separately) which allows you to wirelessly transmit an audio signal from an external source device or preamplifier featuring a line-level output and variable volume control to the speaker.
- Press and hold the "Wireless Pair" button on the Navis FS51 speaker until the LED begins to flash rapidly (around 2x per second).
- Press and hold the "Wireless Pair" button on the back of the AirX² wireless transmitter until the wireless pair LED on the Navis FS51 speaker stops flashing and goes off (no LED means the speaker is wirelessly paired.)
Note: You can connect up to three ELAC Navis FS51 powered speakers to one AirX² wireless audio transmitter.
Optional Discovery Connect: ELAC's Discovery Connect wireless transmitter (sold separately) gives you the ability to wirelessly stream Spotify Connect, Bluetooth, AirPlay and Roon audio content to The ELAC Navis FS51 powered floorstanding speaker. ELAC's companion Discovery app (for Apple iOS 9.3+ and Android OS 5.0+) provides setup to your home's WiFi network and control of the Discovery Connect.
- Bluetooth: Bluetooth connectivity means you can easily stream audio from your Bluetooth enabled smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer to the ELAC Discovery Connect and Navis powered speaker.
- Spotify Connect: The integration of Spotify Connect will enable Spotify Premium users to instantly select and wirelessly stream music to the ELAC Discovery Connect and Navis powered speaker from within the Spotify app (Apple iOS or Android). Subscription & fees will apply.
- AirPlay: Apple AirPlay allows you to wirelessly stream your iTunes music library from your Mac computer, Windows PC or Apple iOS device to the ELAC Discovery Connect and Navis speaker . You also be able to wirelessly stream music apps from your Apple iOS device to the Discovery Connect and Navis speaker. Your Apple iOS device must be running 4.3.3 or better, and your iTunes music software must be running 10.2.2 or better.
- Optional Discovery Music Server w/ Roon & Tidal: When used with ELAC's Discovery Music Server (sold separately), the Discovery Connect acts as a Discovery endpoint and allows connectivity to your networked music collection on your Windows PC or Mac computer using Roon, and gives you access to Tidal (subscription and fees will apply).
Sound Adjustments: The Navis FS51 powered speaker provides several adjustments to tailor the sound to your specific environment or taste. Please note these settings should always be set the same on both speaker (except for Right/Left Setting).
- Right/Left: You can designate which speaker will be used at the Right channel and which one will be used as the Left channel.
- 3-Band EQ: The Navis FS51 speaker provides a 3-band EQ with Low frequency, Mid frequency, and High frequency adjustment. You can increase or decrease the Low, Mid, and High frequencies to best match your listening content and the room. The Low frequency can be set to +1dB if you like a little more bass or -4dB if the bass is too boomy. The Mid frequency can be set to +1dB to increase detail and vocals or -1dB to offset a room with overly bright acoustics. The High frequency can be set to +1dB to add an extra sense of air and crispness or -1dB to tame harsh sounding rooms.
- High-Pass Filter (HPF): The HPF adjustment allows the addition of a subwoofer to the Navis FS51 speaker system through your preamplifier's subwoofer output (the Navis FS51 speaker does not feature a sub out). The HPF setting provides a choice cutoff filters (80Hz, 60Hz, or Off) to allow optimum match with your powered subwoofer's capabilities. This setting should be set to "Flat" when no subwoofer is being used.
- Gain: The Gain adjustment allows you to match the input sensitivity of the Navis FS51 speaker to the gain of your preamplifier or external variable source. If when setting your volume level you cannot turn the system up loud enough use the "High" setting, if alternatively you find that the speaker is too loud at a moderate volume control setting then use the "Low" setting.
Note: The Navis FS51 powered speaker does not have a volume control. If connected directly to a fixed output source, the volume will be at maximum level and may damage the speaker and your hearing. Only use these speaker with variable output sources and/or a preamplifier.
Rubber or Spike Feet: The Navis FS51 comes with a heavy duty plinth (base) that screws into the bottom of the speaker cabinet. The included spike feet then screw into the bottom of the plinth (base) and are designed for carpeted flooring. The supplied isolation pucks can be placed under the spike feet to protect hardwood, tile, vinyl, and laminate flooring.
- Dimensions with Spike Feet: 9.6875" (w) x 42.125" (h) x 11.5625" (d)
- Dimensions with Spike Feet & Isolation Pucks: 9.6875" (w) x 42.375" (h) x 11.5625" (d)
Note: The floorstanding powered loudspeaker should always be used with the plinth (base), spike feet, and isolation pucks installed for optimum sound quality and maximum stability.
Placement Options: For the best results and the most realistic stereo image and lifelike sound, place a pair of Navis FS51 speakers so that an equilateral triangle is created between the speaker and your favorite listening position. This set up creates the optimum imaging performance. If you find that the Navis FS51 left and right speakers are too far apart, angle or toe-in the speaker toward the listening position to gain a more focused central image. Place the speaker approximately 1' to 2' away from boundaries such as wall(s) and especially corners. Close proximity to a side or rear wall will enhance bass performance (output), but being too close (particularly to a corner) may result in bass that is unnatural. If a corner location is unavoidable, try to position the loudspeaker so that the distance to the rear wall is not equal to the distance to the side wall.
AC Power: The Navis FS51 powered floorstanding loudspeaker comes with a detachable 8' AC power cord that will need to be plugged into the back of the speaker and into an AC wall outlet or surge protector (sold separately).