• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Elac Debut Reference DBR-62 Speaker Review

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
28,179
Likes
72,556
Location
Seattle Area
#1
This is a review and detailed measurements of the Elac Debut Reference DBR-62 bookshelf speaker. It was kindly purchased new and drop shipped to me for testing. The DBR-62 costs US $600 a pair from multiple sources/dealers.

The DBR-62 comes in black and walnut finish or the distressed Oak and white which is what I received:

Elac Debut Reference DBR-62 Bookshelf Speaker Review.jpg

I really like the baffle, the slot port and woofer. The grill on the tweeter is a bit out of place in my mind but not overly so. Overall, it is a very modern take on speaker design which I like. It comes with a gray patterned grill which can hide the drivers if you like.

So far my reviews of other Andrew Jones speakers has not resulted in any star performers. Some have actually been disappointing. Will the DBR-62 be an exception? Let's find out.

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 anechoic chamber. In a nutshell, the measurements show the actual sound coming out of the speaker independent of the room.

All measurements are reference to tweeter axis with the grill removed. Frequency resolution is 2.7 Hz. Over 700 measurement points were used to assure high precision in higher frequencies, resulting in well under 1% error. I am also using averaging to lower noise in bass frequencies. I also doubled the drive voltage (for spinorama) to overcome low frequency noise in my setting.

All measurements are with no grill and on tweeter axis.

Spinorama Audio Measurements
Acoustic measurements can be grouped in a way that can be perceptually analyzed to determine how good a speaker can be used. This so called spinorama shows us just about everything we need to know about the speaker with respect to tonality and some flaws:

Elac Debut Reference DBR-62 Bookshelf Speaker CEA-2034 Spinorama Measurements.png


On-axis response is quite flat for a budget bookshelf speaker. Yes, there are a few peaks here and there including a resonance around 610 Hz which you can also see in the waterfall display:

Elac Debut Reference DBR-62 Bookshelf Speaker Waterfall Measurements.png


Predicted in-room response is quite good as well, indicating off-axis performance that is close to on-axis:

Elac Debut Reference DBR-62 Bookshelf Speaker CEA-2034 Spinorama Predicted In-Room Response Me...png


I note EQ but in later listening, I don't think that is necessary.

Here is the response for the most powerful and audible reflections in a typical room:

Elac Debut Reference DBR-62 Bookshelf Speaker CEA-2034 Spinorama Early Window Measurements.png


Minimum impedance is 5 ohm which is above most bookshelf speakers which drop below 4 ohm:

Elac Debut Reference DBR-62 Bookshelf Speaker Impedance and Phase Measurements.png


However, note the area I have circled. Impedance is high at about 8 ohms but the phase angle is quite acute at nearly 50 degrees. This means the speaker will ask for current when the output voltage is very low. So you better have a beefy amplifier to drive this speaker.

Edit: Distortion measurement

Elac Debut Reference DBR-62 Bookshelf Speaker Distortion Measurements.png

Eye-candy Speaker Measurements
Horizontal directivity shows that most of the response enjoys a very wide, nearly 80 degree angle:
Elac Debut Reference DBR-62 Bookshelf Speaker Horizontal Contour Measurements.png


This means toe-in angle is quite forgiving. And there is wide sweet (listening) spot.

Vertical angle is much worse and is typical of two-way speakers of this design:

Elac Debut Reference DBR-62 Bookshelf Speaker Vertical Contour Measurements.png


Which backs my recommendation to absorb those reflections if it doesn't make your room too dead.

I zoomed in the 3-D soundfield at the resonance frequency for fun:


Elac Debut Reference DBR-62 Bookshelf Speaker 700 Hz cabinet resonance 3D visualization soundf...png


On the right is our woofer/port. On the left is the back of the speaker. So it looks like the back is resonating and causing interference pattern with the front wave.

Speaker Listening Tests
Ah, what joy! Just put the ELAC DBR-62 on the stand and with no fiddling/adjusting, etc. it sounded superb! Absolutely superb. Balanced sound with tons of detail. Bass output was impressive. Despite use of a single speaker in my testing, it could fill my massive space with plenty of powerful low energy. Mind you, there was 1000 watts on tap to drive it but still, the speaker showed little sign of stress. At extremely high levels (ear bleeding) I could hear some resonances but back off a bit and you were invited to incredible performance.

I went through some 20 to 30 reference tracks and every one, without exception sounded amazing! With some speakers I have to hunt to find a good sounding track or two. Not with the Elac DBR-62.

Note that the only EQ I used was for the 200 bass mode in my room. There is enough bass out of this speaker to energize that mode so be sure to have some means of EQ for your bass frequencies. Above that, none is needed but you are welcome to try some to taste (broad, low-Q EQ).

Conclusions
The ELAC DBR-62 objectively and subjectively meets and exceeds my expectations. It is "Andrew Jones" as I expected but had been missing up to now. It is "high-end" sound on a budget with little to apologize for. I was sad to stop listening to it to type this review! It is that good.

Message to Andrew: please stop messing with coaxial drivers and such. Optimized 2-way system like this outperforms them all. They design won't sound sexy on paper but boy does it sound good in person. And no fussiness with placement in room either.

So save up if you have to but don't settle for anything less than this. I am happy to give my strongest recommendation for ELAC DBR-62.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Two things make me happy: audio products that are well engineered and money. Today I got my dose of the former so no donation is necessary. But if you feel like it, you can do so using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 
Last edited:

LTig

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
2,138
Likes
3,136
Location
Europe
#5
I wonder about the rave during listening test of a Neumann KH310 ...
 

Xulonn

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
Messages
1,295
Likes
3,424
Location
Boquete, Chiriqui, Panama
#6
Out of a random string of loudspeakers that were measured, a gem pops up...

Fascinating.jpg
 

hardisj

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jul 18, 2019
Messages
987
Likes
3,310
#8
Thanks for testing these for me, @amirm.

Like I mentioned in a previous post, AJ speakers have received mostly favorable reviews (up until the recent one here). I needed a budget friendly speaker that I could use as my baseline when doing my own future reviews and I chose these. Based on the fact the tweeter was recessed in to the woofer it was apparent they cared about keeping the dispersion pattern symmetrical at the crossover point and the size of the tweeter led me to believe they chose something that could also cross low enough to mate well with the woofer... all said, I had a “feeling” this one would be worth it. I was a bit scared, however, once I saw the previous ELAC. But I’m happy to see this has held up to my notions. While not flat, it seems the troublesome areas could be EQ’d without impacting the directivity curves.

I look forward to getting these back and listening to them myself and I plan to supplement your review with some individual driver data soon. I even like the fact white baffle and they match my living room’s bookcase if I ever decide to use them downstairs. :)

Thanks again for taking time to test these for me. :)

- Erin


EDIT:
FWIW, if anyone is wondering I ordered the pair from Amazon and they came from Audio Advice Online (here's the affiliate link I'll be using when I review the drivers for my site: https://amzn.to/2WLkNfB).

But right now they're only showing 1 pair left. Looks like I got them while the time was right because I think I read they're having some shipping delays. I contacted Elac directly to ask for a review sample early this month and was told:
Elac Customer Service said:
We do not have any Debut Reference speakers available at this time.
All our stock has been sent to our Dealers.
We also are having delays in getting new shipments in due to the troubles in China.
 
Last edited:

mhardy6647

Major Contributor
Joined
Dec 12, 2019
Messages
1,327
Likes
1,891
#11
Nice!
They are adorable little loudspeakers, as well.

I think I recall that the 'bug shield' in front of the tweeter is supposed to improve dispersion or... something. I.e., it's - ostensibly - not (merely) cosmetic(?).
 

sejarzo

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 27, 2018
Messages
353
Likes
295
#12
Interesting video followed the one I linked above in which the Elac is subjectively reviewed versus a couple others and the reviewer concludes the ELAC is the most "high end" but "is so well-balanced that some people are going to think it lacks color and excitement."


:facepalm:
 

Colonel7

Active Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2020
Messages
116
Likes
123
Location
Maryland, USA
#14
Excellent results and on a budget! Been waiting for this. Amir, question on grills on vs grills off for measurements. Do grills off improve performance? I know of at least one instance that there was a measurable difference of grills off having a flatter response than on when JA did measurements of another speaker at stereophile.
 
Joined
Nov 23, 2019
Messages
30
Likes
38
#15
...
Message to Andrew: please stop messing with coaxial drivers and such. Optimized 2-way system like this outperforms them all. They design won't sound sexy on paper but boy does it sound good in person. And no fussiness with placement in room either.
Coaxial drivers have their own merits.
In fact, two way systems even with proper room treatment still have a big issue: they force you to be with tweeter at ear level to enjoy that pretty nice frequency response we see in measurements..pros and cons
 

Colonel7

Active Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2020
Messages
116
Likes
123
Location
Maryland, USA
#18
Coaxial drivers have their own merits.
In fact, two way systems even with proper room treatment still have a big issue: they force you to be with tweeter at ear level to enjoy that pretty nice frequency response we see in measurements..pros and cons
Id agree with Amir on this. Makes me think the Elac 2.0 debut b6.2 would score better than the Andante too. Not as good as this though.
 

Haint

Active Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
131
Likes
133
#19
AJ living up to the reputation, will be very interesting to see the B6.2 and UB5 measured. I don't know that I'd call $600/pr budget or affordable, there are a lot of options in that price range when you account for sales and discounting, but these will be a steal when/if Elac runs their semi-annual sale like they've done with their other mainstream big box models.
 

ROOSKIE

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2020
Messages
376
Likes
497
#20
AJ living up to the reputation, will be very interesting to see the B6.2 and UB5 measured. I don't know that I'd call $600/pr budget or affordable, there are a lot of options in that price range when you account for sales and discounting, but these will be a steal when/if Elac runs their semi-annual sale like they've done with their other mainstream big box models.
The ELAC UB5 appears very similar to the Pioneer that scored very poorly. (although professional reviews of that 3 way pioneer were pretty solid)
I am interested though in whether or not UB5 measures well here. It may in fact not be the "same" as the pioneer and I am curious how a 3 way and 2 way at the same price from the same designer compare here.
 
Top Bottom