I think ELAC has done the right thing for the wrong reasons in its VX-JET control. It’s not a tone control or a ‘studio/domestic’ control, it can be used to make the installation of the loudspeakers so much easier than usual. Have the loudspeakers positioned in the room (each speaker a metre and a half from the centre-line of the room and a metre from the rear wall is perfect), and instead of minute adjustment of the whole loudspeaker, moving the vernier scale on the VX-JET allows incredibly precise tweeter time alignment in room. It’s best done with a solo female voice in the middle of the image and having you in the listening chair while a friend adjusts the scale forward and back slowly, until everything snaps into focus.
A hidden joy of this – plus the overall taut bass presentation – means the loudspeaker can slot into some surprisingly small spaces without complaint. Of course, a loudspeaker as physically big as the 509 doesn’t necessary make for an easy installation into very small rooms, and even the best installation doesn’t solve the intimidation factor of staring down very big, very black loudspeakers in a small room, but dedication to audio can overcome all sorts of things.
The ELAC FS 509 VX-JET is an uncompromising loudspeaker. It’s the rare combination of flagship design and a loudspeaker that can act as everyman; it’s not the kind of loudspeaker that limits your musical tastes. The loudspeaker does have its character – and that clean character defines the sound – but that does not affect your choice of music. In fact, it makes that music appear impressive no matter what’s playing. If the musicians and recording engineers know what they are doing, the recording will sound remarkable, whether that music was written in a church a thousand years ago, or on the back of a tour bus last week. In other words, an all-round goodie that comes strongly recommended.
Type: four-way bass reflex floorstanding loudspeaker
Drive unit compliment: 1x JET III AMT tweeter, 1x 50/105mm AS-XR ring radiator upper-midrange, 1x 180mm AS-XR midrange driver, 2x 220mm AS-XR bass driver
Crossover Frequencies: 120Hz, 600Hz, 2.8kHz
Frequency Response: 24Hz-50kHz
Nominal impedance: four ohms
Minimum impedance: 3.1 ohms at 75Hz
Dimensions (HxWxD): 137.3x33x46.6cm
Price: £15,000 per pair
Manufactured by: ELAC
Distributed by: ELAC UK
Tel: +44(0)1455 283251