ELAC Adante AF-61
Floor-standing speaker (Gloss Black)
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Our take on the ELAC Adante AF-61 by Crutchfield's Kramer Crane
A statement tower from a legendary speaker designer
Over the last few years we've been treated to a variety of high-performance speakers by Andrew Jones, the Vice President of Engineering for ELAC America. And it hasn't just been Crutchfield folks who love Andrew's speakers — our customers have been thrilled as well. Meet the latest addition to the ELAC family — the AF-61 floor-standing speaker. This massive tower features a unique design and powerful, lifelike sound. Read on for a closer look.
It's got a secret up its sleeve
The first thing you might notice about the AF-61 is its trio of 8" woofers. In most speakers, these drivers would work hard to produce bass. But the AF-61 uses a totally different approach. The three 8" front-facing woofers are passive — there are no wires connected to them at all. Instead, what drives the bass are three 6-1/2" powered woofers mounted inside the cabinet, totally hidden from view. The 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 AS-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.
Andrew Jones on his 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
Sparkling mids and highs
One of the more subtle design details of the AF-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 combined placement of these drivers provides a single-point source for the majority of the speaker's frequency range, giving you a full, realistic soundstage and precise stereo imaging.
You'll want a high-octane amp to power it
Though not as inefficient as its AS-61 stand-mounted baby brother, the AF-61 warrants a high-performance power amp or integrated amp to drive it. If you'd like personalized advice on matching the AF-61 up with an amp, give one of our Advisors a shout for a free expert recommendation.
A friendly heads up — this speaker is huge!
At over 4 feet tall, and weighing in at 101 pounds, the AF-61 is truly a "tower speaker." Just something to keep in mind as you're planning out the logistics of your new system. You'll probably want a buddy to come over to help you move and unbox this titanic floor-standing speaker.
- 3-way design
- 1" soft dome tweeter (concentrically mounted with the midrange driver)
- 5-1/4" aluminum cone midrange driver
- three 6-1/2" internally mounted aluminum cone woofers
- three 8" front-firing aluminum cone passive radiators
- frequency response: 39-35,000 Hz
- sensitivity: 87 dB
- nominal impedance: 6 ohms
- advanced crossover network provides smooth frequency distribution between each driver
- 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
- furniture-grade gloss black finish
- removable grille
- 13-3/4"W x 52-7/16"H x 18-1/16"D
- weight: 101 lbs.
- warranty: 3 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the Box:
- Floorstanding loudspeaker
- Outirgger base
- 4 Spike-feet
- 4 Protective discs
- 4 Knobs
- 4 Nuts
- 4 Rubber washers
- 6 Scews
- 2 Binding-post straps (pre-installed)
- Pair of white cloth gloves
- Operating Instructions
Very happy with these speakers they sound terrific and they were delivered very quickly and in great condition.
Paul, Ankeny, IA
ELAC Adante AF-61 Reviews
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Features and Specs
|Tweeter Size (inches)||1|
|Midrange Size (inches)||5.25|
|Woofer Size (inches)||6.5|
|Built-in Powered Sub||No|
|Connector Type||5-way post|
|Parts Warranty||3 Years|
|Labor Warranty||3 Years|
|Frequency Response||39-35k Hz|
|Subwoofer Amp Power||---|
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. In the case of the AF-61 floorstanding loudspeaker, three double chambers respectively isolate each woofer/radiator pair from the other. 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 AF-61 floorstanding loudspeaker is equipped with three 6.5" woofers and three 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.
- Three 6.5" Aluminum Woofers: Engineered specifically to work in concert with the elaborate Interport-Coupled Cavity cabinet design, the 6.5" active woofers offer wideband frequency response. Each woofer 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, the woofers remain invisible to the eye but their presence is readily apparent to the ear.
- Three 8" Passive Radiators: Partnering with each active woofer is a lightweight 8" passive radiator. Front-firing, they are mounted to the bonded-aluminum front baffle of the speaker cabinet and feature a stiff aluminum diaphragm and cast basket assembly. Its light weight design makes these passive radiators 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 AF-61 floorstanding 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.
Heavy-Duty Outrigger Base: A heavy-duty outrigger base design used for the AF-61 floorstanding loudspeaker provides a larger, more stable footprint and adds stability and optimum coupling of the speaker cabinet to the floor. Molded knobs dial in precise leveling of the four corners, which are supplied with spike-feet and protective discs, used according to whether the loudspeaker is placed on a soft or hard floor surface. The protective discs add approximately 0.25" to the overall height of the speaker.
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.
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