About the ELAC Uni-Fi UB5
Ridiculous performance for the money
Ridiculous performance for the money
"Speakers in this price range have no right to sound this good." That was the pithy opinion of my long-time Crutchfield coworker and audio guru, Dave Bar. We'd just heard the ELAC Uni-Fi UB5 bookshelf speakers for the first time at our Charlottesville headquarters. This modest-looking stereo pair blew some people's minds that day, including ours.
If you're after a taste of the high-end audio experience, these speakers can deliver it. A word of caution: these are not the most efficient speakers in the world. You'll want to use a pretty decent amplifier. But if you do, the UB5s will reward you with deep, tight bass, natural, uncolored midrange, and sweet-sounding highs.
What's their secret?
The ELAC concentric driver places its tweeter at the center of its midrange cone for enhanced imaging and clarity.
In part, the UB5s owe their clear, detailed sound, impressive imaging, and deep soundstage to their custom-designed concentric drivers. Conventional speakers place the midrange and tweeter in different locations on the front baffle — causing their sound to reach your ears at slightly different times, and smearing subtle details. Instead, the UB5's concentric driver places a 1" soft dome tweeter directly in the center of a 4" aluminum midrange cone. This precise alignment creates a "unified source," ensuring that all frequencies arrive at your ears at the same instant, producing a more coherent and accurate sound.
How about that bass?
The UB5s use a custom-designed 5-1/4" aluminum cone woofer to supply articulate bass that blends in precisely with the concentric driver. The woofer's large magnet and vented pole piece increase power handling for bass that's clean, clear, and powerful. A rear-firing port extends bass performance, but keeps it tight and tuneful.
- true 3-way bookshelf speaker design
- custom-designed concentric driver with 4" aluminum cone midrange and 1" soft dome tweeter for clear, accurate mids and highs
- custom-designed 5-1/4" aluminum cone woofer
- frequency response: 46-25,000 Hz
- sensitivity: 85 dB
- impedance: 4 ohms
- maximum power input: 140 watts
- sophisticated multi-element crossover with high-grade components to ensure smooth transition between drivers
- bass-reflex (ported) cabinet design
- thick MDF enclosures with internal bracing reduces cabinet vibration that causes unwanted sonic coloration
- binding post speaker terminals
- magnetically attached cloth grilles
- black brushed vinyl finish
- 7-7/8"W x 12-3/4"H x 10-3/4"D
- weight: 16.5 lbs. (each)
- warranty: 3 years
- MFR # UB51-BK
What's in the box:
- 2 Bookshelf loudspeakers
- 2 Grilles
- Operating Instructions
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More details on the ELAC Uni-Fi UB5
Features & specs
|Tweeter Size (inches)||1|
|Midrange Size (inches)||4|
|Woofer Size (inches)||5.25|
|Frequency Response||46-25k Hz|
|Recommended Stand Height (inches)||24-31|
|Parts Warranty||3 Years|
|Labor Warranty||3 Years|
3-Way Speaker Design: The Elac Uni-Fi UB5 bookshelf loudspeaker employs a 3-way design with a new in-house developed concentric driver. A 3-way speaker offers many advantages in the design of a full-range system. By assigning dedicated drivers to high, midrange, and bass frequencies, each is optimized for the frequency range for which its design and material composition is best suited. The UB5 bookshelf speaker consists of a concentric midrange-tweeter driver for high and midrange frequencies, while one aluminum-cone woofer handles lower-frequency midbass and bass. At the same time, a 3-way speaker allows for a more straightforward crossover and cabinet design.
Custom-Designed Concentric Driver: The Elac Uni-Fi UB5 bookshelf loudspeaker employs a concentric driver design, combining the 1" soft-dome tweeter and 4" midrange cone diaphragm within a single voice coil. Because of its ideal time-domain characteristics, a concentric driver design delivers the most coherent and accurate reproduction across the treble and midrange frequency spectrums. Positioning the tweeter concentrically within the midrange voice coil achieves a uniform directivity pattern, for flat frequency response and formidable power handling, along with enhanced imaging for both on- and off-axis listening positions.
5.25" Aluminum Woofer: In addition to the concentric midrange-tweeter driver, the Elac Uni-Fi UB5 features one 5.25" aluminum cone woofer. Through the use of aluminum, resonances that affect the linearity of common paper cones can be placed beyond the driver's operating frequency range. An extended size magnet with vented pole piece increases power handling, for accurate reproduction of bass frequencies that are clean, clear and powerful.
Sophisticated Crossover: One secret to the great sound of the Uni-Fi series loudspeaker is the high quality, audio-grade components specified in the manufacture of each custom, 3-way crossover. This careful 3-way crossover design provides a smooth transition between the high, mid, and bass drivers.
Bass Port: The Elac UB5 bookshelf loudspeaker utilizes a bass reflex enclosure with one rear-firing flared port for greater efficiency and bigger bass response.
Robust MDF Cabinet: The Uni-Fi speaker enclosure is engineered for the long run with thick MDF outer walls and a luxurious textured vinyl finish. The Uni-Fi series cabinet incorporates specially designed internal bracing to add stiffness and strength to the cabinet's outer walls. This bracing greatly reduces cabinet vibration, which causes unwanted coloration to the sound. ELAC believes that the only parts of a speaker that should be moving are the speaker drivers themselves.
Magnetic Grille: When the protective grille is removed, hidden magnets beneath the surface of the cabinet keeps the front-panel free of attachment holes, for a clean appearance.
Binding Posts: The Elac Uni-Fi series bookshelf loudspeaker is fitted with a set of heavy-duty, binding-post terminals which will accept bare-wire (up to 10AWG), pin-connectors, and banana plugs (single only).
Applications: The Elac Debut UB5 bookshelf loudspeaker can be used in a 2ch stereo application, or used as your front speakers and/or rear surround speakers in a multichannel home theater application.
- 2Ch Stereo or Front Speaker Placement: For optimum stereo imaging, place the speakers so that an equilateral triangle is created between the speakers your main listening position. You can also angle ("toe in") the speakers towards the listening position to gain a more focused central image.
- Rear Surround Placement: In a 5.1-channel surround setup, avoid placing the speakers forward of your listening position. The speakers should be spread apart wider than the front speakers. In addition, try to elevate the speakers to the same height or slightly higher as the front speakers for the most enveloping soundfield.
Note: In either application, the speakers should be placed 1' to 2' away from boundaries such as wall and corners. Close proximity to a side or rear wall will enhance bass performance, but being too close may result in bass that is unnatural.
Mounting Options: The Elac UB5 bookshelf loudspeaker can simply be placed on a flat surface; like a table-top, stand, or shelf. The bookshelf speaker does not offer any wall-mount options.
Elac Uni-Fi Series: The Elac Uni-Fi series family of loudspeakers consists of a floorstanding loudspeaker, a bookshelf loudspeaker, and a center-channel loudspeaker (all sold separately). All of the Uni-Fi series of speakers feature concentric driver technology. The Uni-Fi series can be the basis of an outstanding two-channel system, or used to build an awe-inspiring multi-channel surround-sound system.
Optional Powered Subwoofer: Add an ELAC powered subwoofer (sold separately) to the Uni-Fi series to bring more bass to your movie and music soundtracks.
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