ELAC vs. my wallet. Both win. A review of the Uni-Fi UB5 standmount speaker.

DC

Active Member
What, lost the timbre?

The timbre is still there. However, the GRs are back on the stands after many weeks of Elac listening. (Not ready to off them at 1/2 price yet, haha, perhaps in another system.) I think my ears prefer the GRs as my everyday, reference listeners, though props to the Elacs for being so very good for so little money. They're a hit for sure - a superb entry-level experience - and could make a fine destination speaker in many contexts.

As for specific critiques:
- I find that they can become too harsh with high, strident strings and brass, and I listen to a lot of that stuff.
- I am wont to get up to concert level listening on occasion and they do, to my ears, start yelling, especially very high midrange frequencies. I think it might be more the aluminum mid rather than the soft-dome tweeter that I'm "hearing" and disliking, but that just could be my bias (see other thread).
- Bass is just a tad too loose, but not a "problem" in my room/setup; see bung-hole inserts above for possible solutions.

I think I'm going to try them downstairs in the Family Room (push-pull EL84 amp, so we know that won't work well).
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
Now I got these things on my modded Stereo 70 and they're really singing. I was worried there for a bit, they really didn't work well with the VAC. As said above they got "shouty". They certainly have their limits, not a surprise at this price point. But stay within them and they're a fun ride.

The bungs are still in FWIW.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
Any chance of trying them on Solid State because IME they sound better?
I’ve run them on a Heybrook amp, and a Sony Ta-f808es integrated with good results. The Heybrook was a very good match. They’ve probably spent more time attached to it than any of my tube amps. In my small room here the tube amps work nicely, though.
 

ICTWoody

No longer a junior member
Any chance of trying them on Solid State because IME they sound better?

I’ve only used them on SS so far.

• Yamaha A-S301 Integrated
• Heed Elixir Integrated
• Parasound P5/A23 combo

For me the winner is clearly the Parasounds for overall tone and balance. But the tone and timbre of the Heed is better, and it images and sound stages like a mother! The Heed is just a touch too polite on the high end... it lacks that last bit of sparkle.

The Yamaha is very respectable for a $350 Integrated and I’m actually selling them off as a combo. It’s a killer system for someone that could be purchased new for under a grand with a source. Much less with a Google Chromecast Audio.

- Woody
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I'm still using them in the bedroom system, and still like them. They're on very heavy four-post Target stands now and sound very nice, though their budget nature has become a bit more apparent in my time with them. They -can- get a bit strident and/or bloated if you aren't careful with amplification and placement but generally I still think of them as a great bargain, especially as they can be found for less now I think.

I have plans to replace them with Dynaudio stand-mounts farther up the ladder at some point, now that all of my other audio needs are taken care of. But they work well for my second system. I wish, sometimes, that I'd kept my Kef LS-50s as I have an amp they'd like now, but these are perfectly good at what they're asked to do and better than most other speakers I've heard at their price point.
 

David

Moderator
I just can tell if I sold the LS50 I’d regret thst decision at some time. Apparently many buy them more than once.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I just can tell if I sold the LS50 I’d regret thst decision at some time. Apparently many buy them more than once.
I only miss them because I already had them. If I had it to do all over again, I'd not have bought either the LS-50s or Elacs, I'd have bought Dynaudios or maybe a pair of the smallest Ref 3As. I like the Kefs but I really want something that'll play with the Leben CS-300. The Elacs do, but sound better with more power. The Kefs sounded pretty bad with it.
 

prime minister

Site Owner
Staff member
@JohnVF what amp would work well with LS50?

I've never listened to them in my home, and I've never loved them enough in the store demos to work at getting a home demo. I keep wondering what I'm missing.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I'm thinking they'd work well with the Proton amp I have with the Elacs now. It's got a big, dynamic, but somewhat warm sound that would alleviate the Kefs most obvious failings. It might not be refined enough up top for them, though. Ok, on second thought, I really don't miss the Kefs.
 

David

Moderator
Maybe I need to try something around the Contour series but the Xcites? Series didn’t leave an impression on me at the time. I still enjoy LS50 because they offer something different on a very enjoyable level. I really appreciate the single point coherence too. Most other full range speakers I’ve tried either lack the modern sparkle or the carefully optimised balance.

Amplification wise i know I’m the weirdo but I really like the 300b driving them in my somewhat lively room at night. I’ll have to try pushing them to the limit to comfirm whether it’s too much for the 300b in this room. Large orchestral might be a stretch during daytime but I got the horns for that duty.

Hmm should try 440 wpc class D on these too.
 

DC

Active Member
I'm still using them in the bedroom system, and still like them. They're on very heavy four-post Target stands now and sound very nice, though their budget nature has become a bit more apparent in my time with them. They -can- get a bit strident and/or bloated if you aren't careful with amplification and placement but generally I still think of them as a great bargain, especially as they can be found for less now I think.

I have plans to replace them with Dynaudio stand-mounts farther up the ladder at some point, now that all of my other audio needs are taken care of. But they work well for my second system. I wish, sometimes, that I'd kept my Kef LS-50s as I have an amp they'd like now, but these are perfectly good at what they're asked to do and better than most other speakers I've heard at their price point.

I just read a favorable review by John Atkinson of the Dynaudio Special Forty speakers in Sept Stereophile (pp. 95-103). I can't find an on--line link to the article (yet?).
 
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