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Elac Debut Reference DBR-62 Speaker Review

BYRTT

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.....Speaker Listening Tests.....Ah, what joy!...
Thanks another great acoustic review :cool: because that anechoic response of DBR-62 seems to perform so exelent to your ears in your room suggest because their anechoic performance is some related try on F35 into same position with one PEQ +3dB/Q0,5/@100Hz as seen below :)...
1.gif
 

ROOSKIE

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And as Andrew Jones has said before, he sometimes optimizes for slightly off axis. This is evident from the graphs: the speaker is significantly better at 20 degrees off axis, which I often find is the case with KEF speakers as well.

View attachment 55746

Weird that so many speakers seem to have a bump from 600-1000Hz ish

My understanding is that that is due to the baffle diffraction. Maybe I am wrong here though. (the bump)
 

thewas

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Also this loudspeaker can be EQed to even higher perfection, so equalizing the listening window smoothes also the predicted in-room response nicely although not fully as nice as a good coaxial like the KEF Q100 due to its directivity drop between 2 and 5 kHz:

ELAC DBR62.png


(upper curves are LW and PIR without and the graphically offsetted by -10 dB curves are LW and PIR with my 6 PEQ).

Please feel free to contact me if you need the filter coefficients.
 
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AudioSceptic

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So a real bookshelf speaker showed up. Nice review. The eq guys won't like it.
Just wondering, but when did "bookshelf" speakers ever get used in actual bookshelves?

I suspect that only happens with really cheap systems where the 2 speakers are stuffed wherever there's room, with no account whatsoever for SQ or stereo image.
 
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amirm

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Could someone explains how to read the phase graph?
I understand impedance but no idea how phase affects sound quality.
Thanks
SUre.

Power = Voltage * Current.

For the same power, if you reduce the voltage, you need more current.

Because of use of inductance and capacitance of a speaker and its crossover, it delays the time it acts on the incoming signal. The more that delay, the more it attempts to pull current when the load has already gone past that peak point. See this graph for a simple sine wave:

phase2.png


Look at the 90 degree one at the bottom left. The peak is 90 degree out of phase in the two sine waves. This means that the peak current requirement of the speaker corresponds with a voltage that is nearly zero. Plug that into the power equation above and you see that you need infinite current in this situation!

Conversely, if there is no phase delay, then the two peaks fall on top of each other and we have the best case situation for the amplifier.

In the case of speaker, we have about 50 degree of phase shift at the low frequencies when the demand for power is very high. That means the amplifier sees a load that is much hungrier for current than it would be otherwise.

In summary, phase shift is not a problem for the speaker, but for the amplifier. High current requirement means beefier amplifier, with more heatsink and cooling provisions. Such speakers are considered "difficult to drive."
 
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amirm

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Just wondering, but when did "bookshelf" speakers ever get used in actual bookshelves?

I suspect that only happens with really cheap systems where the 2 speakers are stuffed wherever there's room, with no account whatsoever for SQ or stereo image.
I have a pair of Revels in the bookshelves for TV sound. It is hugely better than what the TV internally has or a think sound bar.

One key thing by the way is to stuff books or whatever around them. Otherwise the cavity screws up their response.
 

AudioSceptic

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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:


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:

View attachment 55713

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:

View attachment 55714

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

View attachment 55715

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:

View attachment 55718

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

View attachment 55716

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

View attachment 55737
Eye-candy Speaker Measurements
Horizontal directivity shows that most of the response enjoys a very wide, nearly 80 degree angle:
View attachment 55719

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:

View attachment 55720

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:


View attachment 55721

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.

------------
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/
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No shot of the rear this time? You usually comment on the terminals, at least.

I also like to know where stuff is made, as it impacts on the apparent value. I think some (many?) of us are happy to pay a little, or quite a bit, more for something made close to home. ELAC is a German brand, but where is this speaker made?
 
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amirm

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No shot of the rear this time? You usually comment on the terminals, at least.
That's all that is usually there so I have stopped taking those pictures.

FYI I did mean to note that the terminals are too close to each other. Even though I have thin fingers, I still had a heck of a time unscrewing them.
 
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amirm

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I also like to know where stuff is made, as it impacts on the apparent value. I think some (many?) of us are happy to pay a little, or quite a bit, more for something made close to home. ELAC is a German brand, but where is this speaker made?
OK, that is a good reason to bring the back pictures back. This one says "assembled in China."
 

AudioSceptic

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OK, that is a good reason to bring the back pictures back. This one says "assembled in China."
Thanks. As for the terminals, I like to know that they are good quality and can take bananas, for example.

I wonder how much this would cost if made in Europe or the USA. It's not that much bigger than, say, an LS3/5a or various descendents/spinoffs but costs much less and would likely blow them away (or would it? ;) )
 

wwenze

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And as Andrew Jones has said before, he sometimes optimizes for slightly off axis. This is evident from the graphs: the speaker is significantly better at 20 degrees off axis, which I often find is the case with KEF speakers as well

That is a very tight listening window tho if the target sound is indeed 20 degrees off axis.
 

Mauro

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It seems to be the normal behavior of paper coated/aramid woofers of about 6 inches of diameter. Just look for example on the Seas website..the driver supplier
BTW this means that you have resonances as Amir already pointed out. This means congested midrange no matter how much EQ you use to make it flat. You need aluminium or more fancy materials/coatings to avoid this kind of things in a two way system. Spinorama is the main criteria, but absence of resonances is the second most important criteria..especially for clarity in my opinion of course
 

Bear123

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So a real bookshelf speaker showed up. Nice review. The eq guys won't like it.

Yeah, eq is only needed if you use the speaker in a room. Or if you want it to sound really good. ;)
 

hardisj

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I edited my earlier post in here but now that this review is nearly 4 pages in, I fear some of you may miss this so I'm sharing it twice here (please forgive me!).

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.
 

Bear123

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I have a pair of Revels in the bookshelves for TV sound. It is hugely better than what the TV internally has or a think sound bar.

One key thing by the way is to stuff books or whatever around them. Otherwise the cavity screws up their response.

I wonder, if there are books forming somewhat of a flush surface all around the speaker, if it would act similar enough to an infinite baffle or in wall installation and provide better sound quality compared to standing out in the room with the horrible effects of SBIR? Front ported would excel in this type of positioning.

Whats your opinion on distance from the rear wall? I see a lot of evidence showing that spaced out from the wall according to the common audiophile mantra is a poor location for sound quality due to bad SBIR(especially since many eschew subs and eq), whereas as close to the wall as possible pushes SBIR up higher in frequency where it is not as detrimental to the response. In other words, what's the lesser of two evils in your mind?
 

wwenze

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Not sure what you mean - it just shifts what the ideal amount of toe-in is

As in considering other speakers whose sweetspot is 0 degrees +- maybe 10

This one would be 20 degrees +- around 3
 
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