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Elac Carina BS243.4 Review (Bookshelf Speaker)

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 11 4.6%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 67 28.2%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 145 60.9%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 15 6.3%

  • Total voters
    238

DualTriode

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Some small speakers simply filter out sub-bass. Others faintly reproduce it. Then there is the more rare situation of this speaker where it puts out the sound at reasonable volume but it is distorted.

Seems like different words to address Frequency Response and distortion.

Something like, deeper frequency response than expected for a small woofer with increasingly high distortion. I am thinking tuned ports and resonance. I am beginning to prefer sealed enclosures for small woofers

Filter is not the first thing I think of when I see a woofer rolling off at lower frequencies, specifically I suppose that is correct.

This is the 6 ½ inch Peerless woofer that I use on my desk. Note no port resonance or noise. See attached.

Thanks DT
Level and Distortion -_ Smooth 2.jpg
 

Chromatischism

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The ELAC UBR62 used to be a $999 pair, or so I thought. They are now $1199, so more expensive than the Carinas. That seems like a problem for ELAC?
 

Chromatischism

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This is my speaker and I'm appreciative @amirm took the time to review it. I only sent him one because that's all he needs for testing and I saved on shipping costs.

These speakers definitely have a personality and sound signature which is smooth. They handle all genres well but really excel with jazz. As Amir mentioned, they also look and feel fantastic. My only disappointment is the visible screws. I think that's a huge miss at this price point.

I've A/Bed these with numerous other speakers and my ears preferred their sound the most. The 70 degrees of directivity is incredibly immersive and an absolute joy. I use them nearfield and they excel there. I haven't compared them to the Revel M16 but I'd love to.

From a buyers perspective, once you get north of say 600USD, you're buying looks and/or a sound signature. Think these, SonusFaber or Bower & Wilkins.

For the 600USD price point, the Wharfedale 12.1, Polk R100, or ELAC Debut Reference are all better buys and way higher value. Those are all amazing speakers for the money.
I think improvements continue past the $2k range but you definitely start hitting diminishing returns.

The Carinas look great and "look like" they sound good as well. I'm still of the belief that dome tweeters are generally better but I wouldn't hesitate to try these.
 

Chromatischism

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I doubt the crossover dip is going to jump out at you. There are plenty of other speakers measured here which had imperfections and still sounded good:

index.php
 

tw 2022

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The ELAC UBR62 used to be a $999 pair, or so I thought. They are now $1199, so more expensive than the Carinas. That seems like a problem for ELAC?
could be.. then again that line(a.j. dbr/ unifi) is far more popular so maybe not...
 

Xyrium

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Nice looking box. They'd probably integrate nicely with a pair of subs.
 

fotoalan

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The ELAC UBR62 used to be a $999 pair, or so I thought. They are now $1199, so more expensive than the Carinas. That seems like a problem for ELAC?

I wonder if Elac might have, or have had, supply difficulties due to the DBR62 being an unexpected hit? I had a pair on order for weeks in 2020, with the expected shipping date slipped several times, until I saw a good deal on the 243.4's and cancelled the original order.

Maybe audiosciencereview has more influence on the market than we think. Elac is a fairly small company after all.
 

Kisetsu

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Hey Amir, great Review!

Ive been silently reading on this forum for years and just wanted to thank you for all your effort you put in this project.

Im really wondering about the dip, it seems very unreasonable but initially i didnt noticed it somehow. Also i had difficulties to notice the sound changes in vertical listening angle. But after a few additional (and thanks to this thread) educated trial and error tests, i think i kind of notice it now too. I really wonder how others bookshelf speakers in this price segment sound, you even mention the debut reference series in this thread. Seems much more reasonable for me, to be honest. I had to buy the Elacs as my first "real" speakers without much time for comparison and researching and im happy so far, they really fit to every genre.
 

DMill

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Hey Amir, great Review!

Ive been silently reading on this forum for years and just wanted to thank you for all your effort you put in this project.

Im really wondering about the dip, it seems very unreasonable but initially i didnt noticed it somehow. Also i had difficulties to notice the sound changes in vertical listening angle. But after a few additional (and thanks to this thread) educated trial and error tests, i think i kind of notice it now too. I really wonder how others bookshelf speakers in this price segment sound, you even mention the debut reference series in this thread. Seems much more reasonable for me, to be honest. I had to buy the Elacs as my first "real" speakers without much time for comparison and researching and im happy so far, they really fit to every genre.
I have the speakers and do not hear any audible dip. However there clearly is one in the measurements. As to how audible it is can be debated. I do however definitely hear a difference when my ear as above tweeter height. It is not subtle and is very easy to test. My speakers are only on 23 inch stands so all I have to do is simply stand up to be above tweeter height. I would recommend anyone purchasing chose 28 inch stands or higher.
 

Kisetsu

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I definetly hear the axial influence of the listening position now, its comes especially clear if you listen to a 2,8 khz sine wave (obviously at low volume). This effect is very strong and im definetly going to get a few monitor stands now. However im still suprised that i didn't noticed it at all before i read about it. I use the speakers as nearfield speakers on my desk and the tweeter is maybe 20 degrees below my ears. I guess its like clouding on a monitor screen, if you dont notice it, you're fine forever. But you can't live on if you know its there and you will always focus on it, once you've had seen it ...

I also kind of prefer the stock signature and dip of the speakers, at least, both posted EQ-Settings here don't add anything to the sound signature from my subjective point of view.
 

Agdp

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If you able to implement these EQs you must add EQ at LF for room integration, that is usually not optional… see hints there: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...helf-speaker-review.11144/page-26#post-800725

I’m inexperienced with EQ so this might be a dumb question, but is what you said only relevant if you’re also integrating a subwoofer into the system, or is one supposed to EQ low frequencies regardless, even with speakers that don’t really output much low bass, such as these?
 

DMill

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I’m inexperienced with EQ so this might be a dumb question, but is what you said only relevant if you’re also integrating a subwoofer into the system, or is one supposed to EQ low frequencies regardless, even with speakers that don’t really output much low bass, such as these?
Old post. The EQ was meant to even out the dip at the crossover. The lower end is what it is and surprisingly good. Like almost any bookshelf a sub is needed to get them to not to struggle deep in space.
 

nast

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How would the sound signature be described? What kind of Amp sound would pair well with it?

M3si or CXA81 any good?
 

DMill

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How would the sound signature be described? What kind of Amp sound would pair well with it?

M3si or CXA81 any good?
The speakers like a bit of power. Both of those amps would probably be fine. I personally wouldn't want much less than 80w. As far as how they sound... pretty darn good to me. The spins show them to be pretty flat, so I'd say they sound neutral, but everyone's room is different. I do prefer them with a sub, but they deliver a surprising amount of bass considering their small size.
 
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