Loudspeaker Box Come Out of The ELAC Factory Today
Some of the most innovative things done with a loudspeaker box today come out of the ELAC factory. The company’s use of Heil Air Motion Transducer tweeters, ‘Crystal Membrane’ aluminum composite mid-bass units and now the VX-JET dial on the tweeter makes for a loudspeaker that is state of the art. Of course, this is the preserve of the company’s Line 500 big guns, and those big guns don’t come much bigger than the FS 509 VX-JET.
ELAC Applies Henry Ford’s Model T Maxim to Flagship Loudspeaker Color Schemes
This is a tall, thin and perfectly glossy loudspeaker, perfectly black glossy that is; it seems ELAC applies Henry Ford’s Model T maxim to flagship loudspeaker color schemes. A four-way design, with a down-firing bass port, the 509 features ELAC’s own drivers throughout. Given the drive units (apart from the AMT tweeter’s gold-like finish) are gloss black too. There is a splash of color from the speaker base spikes and the rest, and the rear panel features the VX-JET adjustment, as well as bi-wire terminals linked with short runs of van den Hul’s The Wind Mk II speaker cable.
The VX-JET System Connects The JET III AMT Ribbon Tweeter
The VX-JET system connects the JET III AMT ribbon tweeter to a small dial at the rear of the loudspeaker. Turn the dial clockwise or counterclockwise and you can change the time alignment of the loudspeaker slightly. This does allow a degree of fine tuning, adjusting the loudspeaker’s stage width and presence as you see fit. Perhaps more importantly, these can be used to help reduce inconsistencies in the room itself, adjusting each VX-JET control carefully to change the side wall reflection pattern. It works surprisingly well, but remember two key things. First, this must be done with a buddy. Getting up, adjusting, sitting down again will wreck your short term audible memory, while another person can adjust the dial while you sit and assess the performance. Second, it’s not meant as a way of correcting less than ideal installs; put the speakers clear of the sides and rear walls with a slight toe-in as you should (almost) always do and do well. Then and only then should you adjust the VX-JET system.
The Speaker Itself Uses All-ELAC Cones Through The Mid and Bass Too
The speaker itself uses all-ELAC cones through the mid and bass too. The JET III tweeter sits in the acoustic center of a special AS-XR ring radiator midrange. The drive units are totally disconnected from one another and this does make the treble and mid act as a form of point source. Below that is the second midrange, a 180mm ‘crystal’ aluminum sandwich design, which is backed up by a pair of 220mm units of the same construction. All of these drive units are housed in a basket of cast aluminum, chosen for maximum rigidity without maximum weight. The crossover points are key in any loudspeaker, but in a four-way, they become vital. Here, they are at 120Hz, 600Hz and 2.8kHz respectively, managing to keep crossover points outside the worst possible places.
There’s a Classic ELAC Sound
There’s a classic ELAC sound. These speakers are fast, free from any kind of overhang and incredibly detailed. In many ELACs, that comes with a suffix, “… and perhaps too much of a good thing”. Because many ELAC speakers go for so much detail the sound borders on brightness. There’s a great loudspeaker inside any ELAC design, but sometimes you have to struggle to find it.