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ELAC Adante AS-61

Stand-mount speaker (Rosewood Veneer)

3 Reviews | 1 question - 1 answer

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Item # 970AS61RV

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Overview

Our take on the ELAC Adante AS-61

It's not every day that a speaker grabs my attention the way that ELAC's Adante AS-61 has. For starters, this stand-mount titan features an incredibly unique design. That massive 8" woofer on the front? It's completely passive — the active bass driver is hidden from view inside its own internal chamber. And that's just the beginning of the story. Read on for insight into the AS-61 from its creator, acclaimed speaker designer Andrew Jones, along with my first-hand impressions.

A truly innovative speaker design

It's not every day that a speaker grabs my attention the way that ELAC's Adante AS-61 has. For starters, this stand-mount titan features an incredibly unique design. That massive 8" woofer on the front? It's completely passive — the active bass driver is hidden from view inside its own internal chamber. And that's just the beginning of the story. Read on for insight into the AS-61 from its creator, acclaimed speaker designer Andrew Jones, along with my first-hand impressions.

ELAC Adante AS-61 stand-mount speaker

Crutchfield training manager JR literally sawed an AS-61 in half to get a close-up look at this speaker's innovative design.

The inside of the cabinet speaks volumes

I first met the AS-61 when we sawed it in half to see how this crafty speaker was put together. As you'd expect from a no-compromise Andrew Jones design, the enclosure itself is formidable. It uses thick, reinforced walls to resist vibration that can color the sound.

High-quality, heavy-duty crossover

With access to the speaker's "guts," I took the opportunity to check out the crossover. It's got some serious weight to it, which reflects the care and thoughtfulness that went into its 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.

A unique, high-octane driver arrangement 

I mentioned earlier that the 8" front-facing driver is actually a passive radiator, and there's a 6-1/2" woofer mounted inside the cabinet. The passive radiator moves in tandem with the active woofer, reinforcing low-frequency output for impressively accurate and tightly controlled bass.  

The AS-61 has no external ports, instead using internal ports in what's called a "coupled-cavity" design. The concentrically mounted 1" tweeter and 5-1/4" midrange are completely isolated from the woofer, ensuring smooth, natural sound from each driver. 

ELAC Adante AS-61 Stand-mount speaker

Andrew Jones on coupled-cavity design

"I came up with a new version of coupled-cavity which I call 'interport.' The way I like to describe it is instead of putting an extra box over the front of a sealed-box loudspeaker, you put an extra box over the front of a ported-box loudspeaker. So both the driver and the port drive into the front chamber, which is then either ported, or in this case, taken further, by using a passive radiator."

— Andrew Jones, Vice President of Engineering for ELAC America

You'll want a powerhouse amp to drive it

Perhaps more than any speaker I've auditioned in recent years, the AS-61 requires a lot of power. It's officially listed at 6-ohms nominal impedance, and at 85 dB efficiency it's a gas-guzzler.

Just a friendly heads up: you may be disappointed in the performance of this fine speaker if you aren't using a suitably strong amplifier. I recommend a high-output power amp or integrated amp to drive the AS-61s. In the majority of my time listening to these speakers, they were powered by the NAD Master Series M22 power amp. At 250 watts per channel, the M22 is a beast, but I had it cranked fairly wide open to get the level of volume and control l wanted.

Final verdict

I found the AS-61s to provide a rock-solid center image, as well as a full, realistic soundstage. Their strongest trait, in my opinion, is the ability to reveal every nuance and detail of a recording. That's fantastic for high-res tracks where the production quality can shine. But these ultra-revealing speakers can make compressed tunes sound, well, like they're missing something. I found streaming from Spotify to be less than desirable in the midbass, while well-recorded CDs absolutely sparkled.

Give these stand-mount speakers a firm foundation (like ELAC's custom-built speaker stand), robust amplification, and good source material, and you'll see just how capable they are. 

Product Highlights:

  • 3-way design
    • 1" soft dome tweeter (concentrically mounted with the midrange driver)
    • 5-1/4" aluminum cone midrange driver
    • 6-1/2" internally mounted aluminum cone woofer
  • 8" front-firing aluminum cone passive radiator
  • frequency response: 41-35,000 Hz
  • sensitivity: 85 dB
  • nominal impedance: 6 ohms
  • advanced crossover network provides smooth frequency distribution between each driver
  • tweeter and midrange are completely isolated from the woofer and passive radiator 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 ELAC's custom-built AS-61 speaker stand
  • 9-11/16"W x 19-1/16"H x 15-13/16"D
  • weight: 35.3 lbs.
  • warranty: 3 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Stand-mounted loudspeaker
  • Grille
  • 2 Binding-post straps (pre-installed)
  • Pair of white cloth gloves
  • Operating Instructions
Reviews

ELAC Adante AS-61 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(3 Reviews)

Fantastic all-round speaker with fast, clean bass!

TK from New York, NY on 11/25/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I purchased these about 2 weeks ago and have spent a good amount of time both listening to music and watching movies. In short: an excellent all-round speaker with almost holographic imaging and fast, clean bass. I recently moved into an NYC condo and I've been looking for a reasonably compact speaker that would be satisfying to listen to without a subwoofer in a ~12'x25' space . These totally fit the bill: their sealed design and novel bass driver arrangement really does produce crisp, satisfying bass for both music and HT purposes. I listen to a lot of electronic, jazz and music female vocals - these genres all sound wonderful. The concentric drivers naturally produce a vivid stereo image and the speakers work very well for off-center and casual listening too. I'm running them off a 50wpc Marantz NR1608 AVR, I briefly added a Wyred4Sound power amp to the chain, but it didn't really change the sound, and the AVR can already drive them to past comfortable listening levels so I'm sticking with just the AVR for now. My only criticisms are that they are a bit larger and heaver than you might expect for a "bookshelf" speaker - they really are designed to be mounted on stands and are heavy / large enough to require a bit of thought to get out of their boxes safely. I'd also say that if you do want to play them loud of listen to a lot of classical music you'll want at least a 100wpc amp to drive them properly.

Pros: Fast, clean bass Holographic stereo imaging Great all-round speaker Metal, magnetic grills offer good protection

Cons: Larger and heaver than you might expect. Need a powerful amp to play loud or in a larger space.

ELAC Adante AS-61

Everett from Broadlands, VA on 10/4/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This speaker is a big improvement over my Polk Audio RTi A7. Given the price difference, I'd expect that. The ELAC Adante AS-61 is good enough that will not be looking for another speaker for a long time. The speaker is physically larger than I expected, larger than most "bookshelf" speakers that I've. You will need a substantial stand for these. The next speaker up the line, AF-61, is said to have better bass. Well, the bass produced these is good enough for my two-channel situation and my listening room. For a home theater, YMMV.

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Impressive Detail and Dynamics!

Jared from Kansas City, MO on 2/11/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

After reading reviews of the Adantes and geeking out on the Andrew Jones design, I purchased these speakers without an audition. I'm still breaking them in and haven't yet attempted a tune with my miniDSP, but early impressions are very positive. The concentric mounted 1" soft dome tweeter and 5.25" mid gets it done. They deliver that airy ambient detail without being harsh, and the integrated waveguide baffle seems to achieve my goal of somewhat taking the room out of the equation. Running on my Parasound 2125v2, they're impressively dynamic without breaking up. Though I've received the catalog for 25 years, they're also my first purchase from Crutchfield. Thanks for the years of reading material - I've finally come through! ;-)

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Details

Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Enclosure Interport-Coupled
Video Shielded No
Tweeter Type Soft-dome
Tweeter Size (inches) 1
Midrange Size (inches) 5.25
Woofer Size (inches) 6.5
Woofer Composition Aluminum
Woofer Surround Rubber
Power Range 50-160
Sensitivity 85 dB
Impedance (Ohms) 6
Frequency Response 41-35k Hz
Connector Type Post
Bi-amp Inputs Yes
Height (inches) 19-1/16
Width (inches) 9-11/16
Depth (inches) 15-13/16
Weight (pounds) 35.3
Mounting Bracket Included No
Recommended Stand Height (inches) 18-24
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 two new low frequency drivers (one active woofer & one passive radiator) that deliver extraordinary low frequency performance far superior to less complex driver and cabinet solutions. 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.

  • 6.5" Aluminum Woofer: Engineered specifically to work in concert with the elaborate Interport-Coupled Cavity cabinet design, the 6.5" active woofer offers wideband frequency response. It features 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.
  • 8" Passive Radiator: Partnering with the active woofer is a lightweight 8" passive radiator. Front-firing, it is mounted to the bonded-aluminum front baffle of the speaker cabinet and features a stiff aluminum diaphragm and cast basket assembly. Its light weight makes this passive radiator faster and less prone to distortion artifacts than active drivers of similar diameter, so it moves 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 AS-61 stand-mounted 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 AS-61 stand-mounted loudspeaker can simply be placed on a flat surface; like a table-top, stand, or shelf. Optional stands (see Accessories Tab) are available that have been specifically designed by ELAC to complement not just the AS-61 stand-mounted 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. A steel top plate is predrilled to correspond to threaded inserts in the base of each speaker. The base plate of each stand is machined from solid, 4mm-thick steel for added stability. Custom-made, adjustable locking spikes are fitted at each corner.

Note: This stand-mounted loudspeaker does not offer any wall-mount options.

Speaker Placement: Achieve maximum performance and optimal sound quality from the ELAC Adante speakers with proper speaker placement and setup. While not all rooms are the same, using the following guidelines will help you configure the speakers for better sound quality and stereo imaging.

  • Place the Adante Series speakers approximately 1'-2' away from boundaries such as walls and especially corners. Close proximity to a side or rear wall will enhance bass performance output, but being too close (particular to a corner) may result in bass that is unnatural. If a corner location is unavoidable, try to position the speaker so that the distance to the rear wall is not equal to the distance to the side wall.
  • For the best results and the most realistic stereo image and lifelike sound, place the speakers so that an equilateral triangle is create between the speakers and your favorite listening position. This setup creates the optimum stereo imaging performance.
  • If you find that your front left and right speakers are too far apart, angle ("toe-in") the speaker towards the listening position to gain a more focused central image.

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

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Accessories
Articles

Looking for more? Check out the next model in this lineup.

ELAC AF-61 RV

Fill larger rooms with the Adante AF-61 floor-standing speaker

The ELAC Adante AF-61 offers these features:

fuller sound with more bass energy

higher sensitivity makes them easier to drive

three 6-1/2" internally mounted woofers and three 8" front-firing passive radiators

frequency response: 39-35,000 Hz