Elac Debut F5 Floor standing speakers

German loudspeaker maker of many years’ standing hires speaker design that is British wunderkind Andrew Jones. Once of latterly of TAD, and KEF, Jones is tasked to supply serious speakers to Elac in a component of the marketplace where the German company has weak.

Built in China and designed in Cypress, California, the Debut range was launched to wide critical acclaim, at the conclusion of 2015. It proved exceptionally musical and highly proficient at concealing its tracks - there was no sense that you were listening to something that cost less than lots of people spend on loudspeaker cable. It has a clean and crisp sound with a dynamic and expressive nature.

The F5 is the entry level floorstander in the Introduction lineup. It is attractive to take a look at, and a huge box for the money. The two lower drivers work as woofers, wired in parallel, where the upper driver that is big is the mid/bass unit, and of that is the tweeter on top. Being a three way confers real advantages over a two way. The drawback is that there to go wrong.

As with its sister standmounters, the F5 runs on the bass-reflex port to supply deeper low frequencies than you would otherwise get, given the cupboard volume. This tends to make the loudspeaker easier to drive, but this comparatively large carton offers a quite poor (quoted) sensitivity of 85.5dB. This suggests Andrew Jones has worked to make the speaker a straightforward load, rather than give it the ability to go loud with just a couple of watts - both ca be n’ted do by you. The 130mm woven Aramid fibre woofers crossover to the same-sized mid/bass at a 100Hz that is low, which hands over to the treble unit at 3kHz, Elac says. The 25mm cone tweeter has a metal front plate for protection. The designer recommends it's used with amps rated between 20W and 120W RMS per channel - I say the more the merrier.

Considering its cost, the F5 presents itself pretty well in its uncommon black brushed vinyl finish -but if we’re being critical, rivals like the Q Acoustics 3050 do better with their sumptuous piano lacquer black or white cabinets.

Another minus is having less awesome magnetic fixings for the grille. Within my listening room, I find they work best a great distance from your border wall - at least 50 cm, toed -in a couple of measures.

Sound quality

The sizeable Debut F5 seems like it appears - which is to say, impactful and substantial in scale. It stands out in the crowd, although animated and dynamic, you wouldn’t say it truly is the most subtle of speakers, and nor is it the most innovative. Truly, there are powerful family likenesses to the sound of the B6 last month that I reviewed. As is the F5, small but with a huge heart, it’s a hoot to listen to.

As you would anticipate, it adds breadth and depth for this basic template, on account of the additional cubic inches its cabinet sports, and the larger volume of air that those extra woofers can change. Unsurprisingly perhaps, its bass response is deeper and its low frequency performance sounds more articulate and less compressed. However, the designer has not gone for quantity over quality; it’s not boomy in any manner, which might limit showroom allure marginally but makes it lasting over the long term or overpowering. There’s little awareness of an upper bass summit, either - the speaker doesn’t unduly exaggerate things low down and remains fairly level.

This helps it to integrate nicely with the midband, and here we have a feel that is similar . It seems decently and clear comprehensive dynamic and punchy also. The F5 doesn’t try to be the forensic and most comprehensive sounding in its group, preferring to give a sound with broader appeal. Everything integrates nicely and there ’s of listening to greater than one loudspeaker at a time little awareness. It’s really great at throwing wide stereo pictures, pushing out inside which the various elements of the combination sit with a good deal of space between them a wide recorded acoustic guitar. Truly it gives a most grand rendition of Harold Budd and The Cocteau Twins’ The Moon And The Melodies, filling the room with ease. This can be a somewhat thick record, and a bit cold, yet Sea, Swallow Me proves suitably soaring and ethereal. As with the B6, the speaker is more concerned with the timing of the music, and the counterpoint between Robin Guthrie and Budd’s melancholic piano work ’s guitar that is processed that is distinguishing.

Feed it a quite different type of record, and it establishes no less uplifting. At capturing the leading edges of notes, sounding propulsive and enormously strong, well able to convey the majesty of the excellent song with the Waterboys’ Glastonbury Song, it truly is especially executed. Bass is usefully and tuneful the group comprehensive and is balanced and the treble gives a good sense of bite and the power of the crashing ride and hi-hat cymbals. The F5 proves definitely in its element with driving, lively programme substance such as this, once again throwing out a wide soundstage with decently placed instruments within.

Needless to say, no £599 loudspeaker is an universal panacea. It’s a largish box at a price that is low and consequently not immune to cabinet resonances. So it comes as no real surprise to hear an amount of coloration in the upper bass. It’s not an entirely disagreeable sensation, giving body and extra weight to the proceeding, and bringing a softly euphonic nature to a loudspeaker that’s likely to be used with less-than-perfect ancillaries. It’s really quite fine with some kinds of music, and certainly makes jazz a gratifying experience - Johnny Hartmann and John Coltrane ’s You’re Too Delightful comes over in an especially sumptuous manner that flatters to deceive. Hartmann’s voice has a quality that is wonderfully confessional, and is carried with arresting delicacy. This sultry jazz standard pulls me right into the zone.

When you feed the F5 with some superbly recorded classical music that it begins to show signs of mortality it. My well played copy of Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony on Deutsche Grammophon reveals some nasal coloration and a deficiency of low-level detail, together with a small decrease in stage depth and less awareness of atmosphere than I’d ideally like. All the same, the one thing this loudspeaker does would be to make the music pleasure - giving an incredibly jaunty performance of the first movement. The larger variety of greater cupboard volume weighed against the B6 and drivers makes for compaction that is substantially less, so it can go a great deal louder. For all its failings, it never seems less than confident and assured.


The apparent sales proposal of Elac’s Debut F5 is that it’s a lot of loudspeaker for comparatively little money - but it’s more than simply this. It's an incredibly well crafted budget floorstander in its own right, and nicely able to allow the listener appreciate a broad range of music in the spirit it was intended. This is very well rounded for a merchandise of its cost, and never less than enjoyable to listen to, whereas some speakers have an evident character that flatters some kinds of music and detracts from others. That’s a huge accomplishment for some of sub-£600 loudspeakers, so it comes highly recommended - this is one of the finest layouts on sale in a already highly packed budget floorstander market.

Elac Debut F5 Floor standing speakers photo