From the owner's manual: appears to be a down firing woofer.Yes, it looks like a 2-way, but it's a 3-way, not sure how the heck that happens....I had noticed it say crossover at 100Hz on the Elac website so that confused me when I thought it was a 2-way from looking at the pics. Where is that 3rd speaker?
But with regards to the wide dispersion that I mentioned - maybe that's what caught Amir's ear to aid in his positive review.....otherwise I don't see it as such a great speaker from the other measurements. I voted this speaker as "Fine", I was intrigued by the wide dispersion and Amir's positive listening impression, which is the only reason I voted this "fine" rather than "not terrible" (given it's fairly high price).
This is a review and detailed measurements of the Elac Carina BS243.4 stand-mount speaker. It is on kind loan from a member and sells for US $999.
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Even though this is a speaker designed by Andrew Jones, it is a continuation of the line traditionally designed in Germany with much higher sales price and it shows. The cabinet and hardware is way above budget class. It feels extremely solid and well put together. This is the first time Andrew has designed a speaker with folded tweeter (AMT).
Back panel sports some of the fanciest, nicest, largest binding posts I have seen on such a small speaker (hard to see in the picture):
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As you can see, there is a cut out to allow the port to exhaust. This a compromise that allows the speaker to be placed close to the wall yet not have the disturbance that front port can create due to internal resonances. The built-in stand is cast aluminum (?) and seems quite sturdy. I thought it would be plastic but it is not.
Overall, the mechanical and industrial design nicely matches the price point.
Measurements that you are about to see were performed using the Klippel Near-field Scanner (NFS). This is a robotic measurement system that analyzes the speaker all around and is able (using advanced mathematics and dual scan) to subtract room reflections (so where I measure it doesn't matter). It also measures the speaker at close distance ("near-field") which sharply reduces the impact of room noise. Both of these factors enable testing in ordinary rooms yet results that can be more accurate than an anechoic chamber. In a nutshell, the measurements show the actual sound coming out of the speaker independent of the room.
Measurements are compliant with latest speaker research into what can predict the speaker preference and is standardized in CEA/CTA-2034 ANSI specifications. Likewise listening tests are performed per research that shows mono listening is much more revealing of differences between speakers than stereo or multichannel.
Reference axis was the tweeter center. Measurement temperature was about 62 degrees F (17 degrees C).
Elac Carina BS243.4 Measurements
As usual we start with our "spin" graph:
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The on-axis response looks pretty good until we land in that ditch at 2.8 kHz. In a video I watched, Andrew talked about the challenge of the AMT tweeter not being able to reach as low as dome tweeter. I thought he had solved that problem but seeing this hole, it seems that was not. Sensitivity was about 4 dB lower than average (roughly 83 dB). So you need good bit of amplification to go with these speakers.
I can't quite tell where the hole is from near-field measurements due to in ability to precisely match the driver responses:
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Due to good overall directivity, off-axis response is similar to on-axis:
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Predicted in-room response has the error we already know about:
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Beamwidth is larger than typical speaker which should result in a more spacious image:
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It beams (narrows) above 10 kHz but that is not a very critical region.
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Vertically it has the typical problems of 2-way speakers (non-coaxial):
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So be sure to point the tweeter at your ears and don't sit above them.
I noticed a pronounced distortion caused by a narrowband event (like a resonance):
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I was however stomped in finding the source of it in other measurements. It shows a bit in waterfall graph though:
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Impedance is kept above 4.5 ohm which is good for the class:
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Finally, here is the step response:
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Elac Carina BS243.4 Listening Tests
Overall first impression was very positive. The wide directivity produces a large halo around the speaker which I really appreciate. There was excellent clarity to the sound as well. I could stop here and say I can't find anything wrong but best to correct the response and compare:
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With the correction in place the space around the female vocals opened up nicely and was definitely my preference. Overall signature was a tad bright but that brought brilliance that I liked in this case. The wide dispersion from my reflective walls probably accentuates this. Turning off the EQ caused the sound to flatten some so my preference was definitely with the two filters in place.
Lack of sensitivity was obvious with the speaker happily eating up all the power I threw at it. It attempted to produce sub-bass but what came out was clearly distorted. Above that region however, there was reasonable amount of bass response.
I moved side to side and could not detect any tonal shifts even after I got close to the speaker, verifying the horizontal wide beam width. It is a nice and liberating effect. If you can accommodate it, the Carina would make a nice center speaker for this reason.
As a sign of a good speaker, after a few tracks, I just got lost in the music and started to just listen and enjoy the sound.
The Carina BS243.4 comes close to a well executed speaker. But for whatever reason, decision was made to leave a response hole in rather critical region. Is this an attempt at "BBC dip" to please people believing in that? Or an oversight? The degradation is not large but it is a miss regardless. Fortunately it is easily corrected. Once there you are presented with a wide dispersion speaker with very nice sound and spatial qualities which I enjoyed.
I am going to recommend Elac Carina BS243.4 speaker.
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.
Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
Elac Carina BS243.4 APO EQ LW 96000Hz May302022-115156 Preamp: -3 dB Filter 1: ON HPQ Fc 55.92, 0.00, 1.40 Filter 2: ON PK Fc 100.95, -2.88, 0.89 Filter 3: ON PK Fc 370.80, 1.17, 2.70 Filter 4: ON PK Fc 1422.38, 0.84, 1.63 Filter 5: ON PK Fc 2043.64, -1.71, 4.46 Filter 6: ON PK Fc 2823.57, 3.54, 1.92 Filter 7: ON PK Fc 3592.12, -3.33, 4.47 Filter 8: ON PK Fc 10695.84, 2.46, 1.71 Elac Carina BS243.4 APO EQ Score 96000Hz May302022-114626 Preamp: -3 dB Filter 1: ON HPQ Fc 55.92, 0.00, 1.40 Filter 2: ON PK Fc 102.45, -2.90, 0.89 Filter 3: ON PK Fc 377.80, 1.17, 3.43 Filter 4: ON PK Fc 1181.11, 0.87, 4.64 Filter 5: ON PK Fc 2110.76, -1.43, 3.28 Filter 6: ON PK Fc 2781.53, 4.20, 2.53 Filter 7: ON PK Fc 3570.41, -3.33, 4.47 Filter 8: ON PK Fc 5496.79, -0.62, 0.57 Filter 9: ON PK Fc 10694.84, 1.66, 2.50
If you listen to them I'm pretty sure you will not find any lack of bass, at least this was my impression in two different setup. Obviously they lack deep bass due to their small size but their big sisters (Carina FS 247.4) use the very same speakers and have no problems at all in reproducing lower frequencies.My take on the product/review (not read other comments - saying this in case someone thinks I'm replying to someone above).......my take is that I'm surprised to see quite a bit of lack of bass given it's a 5" woofer, I would have expected more, like from the JBL 305p Mkii as just one example, although I'll temper that by saying that the Elac has a very smooth/slower roll off in the bass that might work well with room bass reinforcement....but I'm still surprised by the lower amount of bass. I think the large dip at 1800Hz is quite a large compromise to make, I wouldn't like to see that in my speaker. What is interesting though is the wide 70 degree dispersion in the horizontal directivity! I was expecting this speaker to get a fair panning (negative review) when I saw the spinorama, but I would wager the wide directivity saved this speaker when it came to Amir's listening impressions. I mean, how many speakers have we seen with a wide 70 degree horizontal dispersion? Normally we have around 60 degree horizontal dispersion as pretty much best case right? So maybe the extra 10 degrees of horizontal dispersion is really what is making this speaker a pleasure to listen to???
Yeah, there's one of those, but our member "thewas" already debunked the specs here:From the owner's manual: appears to be a down firing woofer.
"Downward Firing Port For a more flexible speaker placement the bass ref ex port on the Carina series is directed to the floor, exiting the bottom of the speaker cabinet in a down-firing configuration."
Maybe the fairly slow roll off in the bass helps with this perception & when combined with room bass reinforcement.If you listen to them I'm pretty sure you will not find any lack of bass, at least this was my impression in two different setup. Obviously they lack deep bass due to their small size but their big sisters (Carina FS 247.4) use the very same speakers and have no problems at all in reproducing lower frequencies.
Ah. Did Amir look to see if it had a downfiring woofer? Hard to believe they would have incorrect specs for their speaker all over their owners manual and website.Yeah, there's one of those, but our member "thewas" already debunked the specs here:
The company got their web page wrong, it really is a 2-way speaker!I own them. Paid $999 pair at Crutchfield AND they came with free matching stands which MSRP for $500. First off the stands are 23” which is a bit low for these small speakers. Like Amir says they sound best sitting at or below tweeter height. Also, $500 for these stands is a complete ripoff...www.audiosciencereview.com
Just the US website is wrong, all other sites as well as even the spec sheet and owners manual from the US website correctly write that its a 2-way speaker:Ah. Did Amir look to see if it had a downfiring woofer? Hard to believe they would have incorrect specs for their speaker all over their owners manual and website.
i have them sitting in my living room. They are 2 way speakers with a down firing port. i believe the ELAC Navis has a similar design in their bs speakers.Just the US website is wrong, all other sites as well as even the spec sheet and owners manual from the US website correctly write that its a 2-way speaker:
I've had the bookshelf Carinas for a couple of years and my local MediaMarkt is currently selling an ex demo pair of the floorstanders well below half price, so I may be about to find out if I prefer them subjectively (although I have neither the equipment or the experience to do frequency response measurements).Would the Clarina floorstander with 2.5-way and perhaps a different midrange/woofer driver fix this dip at 2.8 kHz?
So, I am now the proud owner of a pair of the 247.4 floorstanders (780€ ex demo from Media Markt), the idea being to replace my two year old 243.4's. But a pernicious thought starts to creep in: I've never had the slightest interest in a 5.1 setup, but now I find myself in possession of matched front & rear pairs ...I've had the bookshelf Carinas for a couple of years and my local MediaMarkt is currently selling an ex demo pair of the floorstanders well below half price, so I may be about to find out if I prefer them subjectively (although I have neither the equipment or the experience to do frequency response measurements).
that may call for "tough choices ".. maybe another set up?So, I am now the proud owner of a pair of the 247.4 floorstanders (780€ ex demo from Media Markt), the idea being to replace my two year old 243.4's. But a pernicious thought starts to creep in: I've never had the slightest interest in a 5.1 setup, but now I find myself in possession of matched front & rear pairs ...