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Elac Uni-Fi 2.0 Review (bookshelf speaker)

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New member here although I have been lurking for about a year. I am midway between measurement based and listening based evaluations. I expect there are characteristics of sound reproduction and human hearing that we don't fully understand and cannot effectively measure yet, although there are plenty of both that can be and are useful for evaluating components.

Anyway I would be surprised if this specific loudspeaker unit did not have a manufacturing/assembly defect. Hard to believe ELAC would market a unit with such an inherent flaw as detected by Amir's work (thank you Amir).

One comment about the test track in case others seek to replicate on other systems. There are multiple masterings of this track. I found two on QOBUZ and the "remastered" version clearly has the breath sounds edited out (I am quite surprised and disappointed the engineers would do this). This confused the heck out of me when trying to replicate Amir's listening test! Then I noticed the track title said "remastered".

With a different version on QOBUZ of the same track (seems to be the originally released version) I can clearly hear the breath sound at 55 sec., listening with my Ref 3A DeCapo I speakers - and thankfully with no squealing.
 

escape2

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One comment about the test track in case others seek to replicate on other systems. There are multiple masterings of this track. I found two on QOBUZ and the "remastered" version clearly has the breath sounds edited out (I am quite surprised and disappointed the engineers would do this). This confused the heck out of me when trying to replicate Amir's listening test! Then I noticed the track title said "remastered".
FYI, Amir clarified that the track version he used comes from "Nightbird" (2015) album:
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-0-review-bookshelf-speaker.19216/post-631312
 

JohnBooty

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"Pending investigation" is already stated in the conclusion of the review by virtue of the following wording which includes "for now":
I'm afraid this take just doesn't square with reality.
  • There are 136 words in his "Conclusions."
  • 34 (25%) of them admit a slight possibility there was a manufacturing issue
  • The rest of them (75%) are dedicated to rather confidently stating "this is a show-stopper, broken design" and so on.
If your boss spent 75% of your annual review confidently trashing your performance, and then the final 25% saying there's a very slight possibility they were wrong... I think you'd consider that rather decisive.

But hopefully your next review goes better then that... or even better, hopefully you're at a point in life where you don't have to worry about such things!
 

Rock Rabbit

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I'm afraid this take just doesn't square with reality.
  • There are 136 words in his "Conclusions."
  • 34 (25%) of them admit a slight possibility there was a manufacturing issue
  • The rest of them (75%) are dedicated to rather confidently stating "this is a show-stopper, broken design" and so on.
If your boss spent 75% of your annual review confidently trashing your performance, and then the final 25% saying there's a very slight possibility they were wrong... I think you'd consider that rather decisive.

But hopefully your next review goes better then that... or even better, hopefully you're at a point in life where you don't have to worry about such things!
I really hope your "analysis" include the graphs and measurements that are the base of the review. Or maybe not, see the resonance on the THD graph or maybe you need to view the ELAC BS U5 to see same box resonance, it is at 500 Hz ...yes at the right side of the mountain of distortion at crossover 200 Hz point, same problem as you can see .. without wasting time counting words, the difference is that in this case is in the vocal range of the singer
 

Lorenzo74

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I have debated whether to comment. I certainly did not read 15 pages of comments. smile. warning: subjective experience follows mixed with mild objective measurement.

System: Uni-fi 2 speakers. SMSL M300 dac/preamp. Chinese Icepower 125. Amazon HD streaming from win10 PC; Set to HD only.

I bought the speakers just before xmas. I was surprised when out of the box I heard this weird sound. Like the music suddenly sounded like a tin can being struck. The first time I heard it was when some horns started playing. The second time I heard it was an Ella Fitzgerald recording. She starts singing low and as her voice climbs suddenly TIN CAN.

I thought it was my amp. Both the amp (very clean build with Nsomthing caps btw) and the speakers were new.

Objective note: To play the speakers I was setting the power level typically between 24 and 32 on the M300. Love that remote.
I have to say the sound was great. My girlfriend and I listen to mostly folk and sort of light rock and Jazz. Think Joni Mitchell.

And while, subjectively I heard a compressed sort of sound when lots of instruments were playing. Voices were forward and well articulated.

Objective: So "breaking in" the amp and speakers when we left the house I would turn the M300 to 34-35 or so and leave everything blaring.

After around 30-40 hours of music playing and maybe the third time I had left the speakers playing at high volume I subjectively notice
a) the sound was getting clearer
b) I didn't seem to hear the tin can sound as often
But mostly
c) I couldn't play the speakers at 32 anymore. They were far too loud. In fact our early average 24-32 has become 12 - 22.

I don't know if this helps explain the resonance. Could it be the speakers need an extensive break in?

All I can say is I still feel some frequencies (today a male vocalist sounded like he had a metal edged voice) still bug me. But the fact that I no longer play the speakers at 28 but usually more around 18. Up to 22-24 if its just a guitar and I really want that "I'm next to the guitar" feeling. It's weird but ...

I wish I hadn't read this review. smile. Now I sit there waiting for the tin can. Had a busy day today. Came home and enjoyed a half hour of Ella and various others. Sounded great. Do still find bass lines* a bit muted. That may be because my speakers are mounted on top of kitchen cabinets upside down. Until I can get the living room cleaned up.

* thinking a subwoofer will help
if what you wrote is true, your speaker had a clear flaw. how do you believe burn-in could double sensitivity?!
so... this is what usually happen when subjectiveness replace objectiveness.
my “Humble” suggestion: buy a calibrated Mic, go back in time, measure your speaker as new, then back now, measure them again and post results. This would help more.
my best
 

ROOSKIE

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I have debated whether to comment. I certainly did not read 15 pages of comments. smile. warning: subjective experience follows mixed with mild objective measurement.

System: Uni-fi 2 speakers. SMSL M300 dac/preamp. Chinese Icepower 125. Amazon HD streaming from win10 PC; Set to HD only.

I bought the speakers just before xmas. I was surprised when out of the box I heard this weird sound. Like the music suddenly sounded like a tin can being struck. The first time I heard it was when some horns started playing. The second time I heard it was an Ella Fitzgerald recording. She starts singing low and as her voice climbs suddenly TIN CAN.

I thought it was my amp. Both the amp (very clean build with Nsomthing caps btw) and the speakers were new.

Objective note: To play the speakers I was setting the power level typically between 24 and 32 on the M300. Love that remote.
I have to say the sound was great. My girlfriend and I listen to mostly folk and sort of light rock and Jazz. Think Joni Mitchell.

And while, subjectively I heard a compressed sort of sound when lots of instruments were playing. Voices were forward and well articulated.

Objective: So "breaking in" the amp and speakers when we left the house I would turn the M300 to 34-35 or so and leave everything blaring.

After around 30-40 hours of music playing and maybe the third time I had left the speakers playing at high volume I subjectively notice
a) the sound was getting clearer
b) I didn't seem to hear the tin can sound as often
But mostly
c) I couldn't play the speakers at 32 anymore. They were far too loud. In fact our early average 24-32 has become 12 - 22.

I don't know if this helps explain the resonance. Could it be the speakers need an extensive break in?

All I can say is I still feel some frequencies (today a male vocalist sounded like he had a metal edged voice) still bug me. But the fact that I no longer play the speakers at 28 but usually more around 18. Up to 22-24 if its just a guitar and I really want that "I'm next to the guitar" feeling. It's weird but ...

I wish I hadn't read this review. smile. Now I sit there waiting for the tin can. Had a busy day today. Came home and enjoyed a half hour of Ella and various others. Sounded great. Do still find bass lines* a bit muted. That may be because my speakers are mounted on top of kitchen cabinets upside down. Until I can get the living room cleaned up.

* thinking a subwoofer will help
Howdy driver burn in is usually very subtle if anything. I mean it, subtle.
Do you have other speakers around to compare your listening notes with? You may just be an incosistent listerner (very normal) and/or realizing that many recordings present very differently. Much of what you describe sounds like those points fit.
It is also normal to get excited for new speakers and listen loudly for awhile and eventually begin to realize you had it cranked. As mentioned get a quality mic and calibrated SPL meter, right now you are deff coming in from left field.
Also recordings can vary A LOT in terms of average SPL at a given volume, there is really no standard and I have albums that play the same volume at "65" that others do at "80".
 
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I'm afraid this take just doesn't square with reality.
  • There are 136 words in his "Conclusions."
  • 34 (25%) of them admit a slight possibility there was a manufacturing issue
  • The rest of them (75%) are dedicated to rather confidently stating "this is a show-stopper, broken design" and so on.
If your boss spent 75% of your annual review confidently trashing your performance, and then the final 25% saying there's a very slight possibility they were wrong... I think you'd consider that rather decisive.

But hopefully your next review goes better then that... or even better, hopefully you're at a point in life where you don't have to worry about such things!
Amir reviewed the unit given to him and posted results. He did not mince any words. This should not be difficult for any reasonable reader to understand. Why are you so emotional on this topic?
 
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So Amir tested a single mono overdriven speaker in some undisclosed dungeon? Science is awesome. But listen to the f'ers for f sake.
 

boselover61

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So Amir tested a single mono overdriven speaker in some undisclosed dungeon? Science is awesome. But listen to the f'ers for f sake.
What? He measures in his garage and He does listen to them in his room which is way more well treated than most of our rooms
 
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amirm

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What? He does listen to them in his garage which is way more well treated than most of our rooms
No, no. All listening is performed in my 2-channel listening room, not in the garage:



Test speakers sit next to the left speaker above on the same stand (not shown).

The garage is used for measurements. Speaker and the robotic measurement system don't care how pretty the room is. :)
 

boselover61

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No, no. All listening is performed in my 2-channel listening room, not in the garage:



Test speakers sit next to the left speaker above on the same stand (not shown).

The garage is used for measurements. Speaker and the robotic measurement system don't care how pretty the room is. :)
Sorry i just edited my comment after realizing what i just types lol. That is a nice treated roomm. Do you still have the one monoblock that was disconnecting during testing the infinity r253 connected or is it under investigation?
 
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amirm

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Thread Starter #353
So Amir tested a single mono overdriven speaker in some undisclosed dungeon? Science is awesome. But listen to the f'ers for f sake.


It was the listening test that revealed the problem we have been discussing about this speaker for 18 pages. I don't release any review without proper and controlled listening tests including developing equalization (although this review was truncated in that regard).
 
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amirm

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Thread Starter #354
Sorry i just edited my comment after realizing what i just types lol. That is a nice treated roomm. Do you still have the one monoblock that was disconnecting during testing the infinity r253 connected or is it under investigation?
No worries. Yes, it is the left one in that picture. I have been running a longer cable from the right one for testing. If I leave the amp on for a while for its temps to stabilize then it is fine.
 
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You have a vivid and somewhat cynical imagination.

The points I intended to make are:
1. The speakers had no bass with amp A at 60Wpc in a smaller room
2. The speakers performed better with receiver B at 90Wpc in a larger room at a similar listening distance, but were still unsatisfactory
3. Bringing out the big gun and removing power from the equation provided the best result in that larger room
5. I questioned why a $500 /pr speaker should require more power than receiver B could provide
A. Did you try other listening points in the room? Acoustics may be an issue.
B. It is usually the case that at a given performance target the smaller the speaker the lower the sensitivity. Reviewers often say that a given speaker "scales up nicely". Ample reserves of current provide the "headroom" that utterly transforms some speakers: transients, peaks, dynamics, etc. (At low loudness levels or 'near field' listening this may be a non issue. Whether 60 wpc is enough depends on your listening habits.) But check the room acoustics before throwing watts at it.
 
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andreasmaaan

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Just curious how manufactur do some quality assurance for every single speaker after production. Do they use equipment like amir to measure everything (or maybe more advance?). Or just using "trained ear"

I have pioneer bs22 lr that I think sound differently one to another
I can only speculate about specific manufacturers of course, but in general there are semi-automated systems designed specifically for this kind of QC. An example of such a system can be found here.

Essentially, the operator places the speaker on a measurement rig and then the test system runs a series of acoustic signal tests and reports any deviations from a specified range of acceptable parameters (shown in red for example in the first two screenshots below):

1610615163783.png
 

JohnBooty

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without wasting time counting words
Thanks for your concern regarding my time. You'll be relieved to know that it takes less than a second to count the words in a selection if you have the right browser add-on. It's truly amazing what computers can accomplish nowadays.

I'm not sure you're following the discussion here. It's understandable, given the sprawling number of pages.

We're talking about an issue that occurred in a single unit of this particular model. However, another member has a unit that does not display this issue. This suggests it's either a QC issue or a unit that was damaged in shipping, and not a "broken design" as Amir claimed. If it was a broken design then we would expect all samples to exhibit the problem.

The designer himself chimed in and he suspects the unit may have been damaged during shipping, and stated his intention to try and acquire the unit in question for testing.

Maybe you can tell Andrew Jones he's wasting his time as well. I guess he could have just read the graphs, huh?
 
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Thanks for your concern regarding my time! I appreciate it. You'll be relieved to know that it takes less than a second to count the words in a selection if you have the right browser add-on. It's truly amazing what computers can accomplish nowadays.

I'm not sure you're following the discussion here. It's understandable, given the sprawling number of pages.

We're talking about an issue that occurred in a single unit of this particular model. However, another member has a unit that does not display this issue. This suggests it's either a QC issue or a unit that was damaged in shipping, and not a "broken design" as Amir claimed. If it was a broken design then we would expect all samples to exhibit the problem.

The designer himself chimed in and he suspects the unit may have been damaged during shipping, and stated his intention to try and acquire the unit in question for testing.

Maybe you can tell Andrew Jones he's wasting his time as well. I guess he could have just read the graphs, huh?
Don't need an NFS to see that you are a goon.
 
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amirm

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Thread Starter #359
The designer himself chimed in and he suspects the unit may have been damaged during shipping, and stated his intention to try and acquire the unit in question for testing.
This is happening. No one knows at this point what is going on, shipping damage or otherwise. First step is Andrew replicating the problem and then he can investigate what is causing it. He is in contact with the owner to acquire his pair for testing.
 

JohnBooty

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Don't need an NFS to see that you are a goon.
Seriously, man? ASR doesn't need this kind of post. I've reported this and your other insult as well. There are talented and experienced professionals respectfully disagreeing with each other here, so clearly there's room for multiple interpretations of the data.

I didn't agree with Amir's initial conclusion (or, at least his wording) but I offered that feedback respectfully and emphasized that he wasn't obligated to do extra work to track down the issue, etc.
 
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