A Great Debut for Hi-fi and Home Theater
by Venoth Nair
The name Andrew Jones is one notoriously known for engineering and designing some of the most desirable speakers from a host of amazing high end audio companies like TAD and KEF. His design principle and audio engineering prowess has created quite a following in the audio world when any speaker bearing his name is put out into the market. Recently, Andrew Jones has taken up the helm as the chief engineer with German audio stalwart, ELAC. His first mission as the chief was to design and engineer an entry level range of speaker that will provide superior audio performance at a price that will be accessible to all. The product of this mission is the new Debut range.
The new ELAC Debut B6 is the largest of the bookshelf speakers in the new Debut range featuring a 6.5 inch woven aramid-fiber cone mid bass driver paired up with a 1 inch cloth dome tweeter. The silk dome tweeter sits inside a deep spheroid custom waveguide designed by ELAC to help shield the driver from cabinet based diffractions due to the traditional flat box design of most budget speakers. The profile of the waveguide also improves the directivity of the driver allowing for a broader sweet spot making placement of the speaker a breeze. Additionally the meshed surface helps protect the sensitive driver from little hands that usually like to poke at the soft tempting surface.
On the rear of the B6 lies a single reflex port which sits at the top half of the cabinet. Below the port is the speaker connectors which are five way binding posts made of metal. The choice of material is nice as many budget speakers usually go with plastic. Sensitivity sits in a comfortable 87 dB at 2.83 v/1m and ELAC recommends that the speaker be driven with amplifiers with an output between 30 to 120 watts. Given the specifications, the B6 can be used in a multitude of roles but do remember that the speakers are not magnetically shielded, so keep that in mind if you plan to position these speakers near an older CRT television.
The B6 has been designed from the ground up, meaning that the internals such as the crossovers were also reworked to use a new custom multi element system that was made using high grade components. The crossovers are built with a concept of simple and straightforward build, giving components critical to sound, the quality it needs to maintain superior output. This concept of using the best mix cost effective and premium components is a design philosophy found throughout the B6 speaker. Andrew Jones idea behind this concept was to maximize performance without exceeding the budget.
The design team didn’t just stop with the performance when it came to maximizing the ratio between budget and materials, the concept was also used in the physical build of the speaker. The entire exterior of the MDF cabinet is wrapped in a textured vinyl that feels luxurious and is finished beautifully. Even the fabric grill is well made even though done using simple basic materials, a testament to ELAC’s focus on giving the best bang for buck. The only real drawback is that for now the Debut series is limited to just one finish and that’s black.
Given all its design elements, its size and the fact that Andrew Jones was involved in the development of this speaker, the Debut B6 sets itself to be a highly capable speaker able to deliver excellent sound at an affordable price. The speakers design also means that it is flexible and can be used in a typical straight firing hi-fi setup or a multichannel home theater system. The possibilities are endless with this inexpensive wonder. If you’re in the market for a pair of speaker to either complement or complete a system for any application or just out to get yourself an “Andrew Jones experience” do give this speaker a shot. The ELAC Debut B6 retails for RM 1699 and can be auditioned at the upcoming KL International AV Show 2016 this 22nd – 24th July at JW Marriott Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.