The German speaker brand Elac was established in the 1920s but has lately undergone a renaissance. Following a business reorganization in 2014, Elac established an American subsidiary charged with developing affordable, high-performance loudspeakers. That task was assigned to Andrew Jones, who in 2015 joined Elac as vice-president of engineering, following gigs at KEF, Infinity, TAD, and Pioneer.
Jones has created a continuous parade of hit products for Elac, at prices ranging from the low hundreds to the mid-thousands of dollars. Until last year, all of Jones’s designs for Elac had been passive speakers. But in 2018 Elac announced the Navis series of active speakers.
Unlike other active speakers, Elac’s Navis speakers are analog designs. KEF's LS50W and LSX and Dynaudio's Focus 20 XD implement the crossover using DSP; Elac’s Navis models have analog active crossovers. The advantage is that these can be upgraded by the user's choice of DAC.
Elac Navis ARF-51 Powered Floorstanding Speakers
ELAC’s new Navis Series answers every minimalist audiophile’s dream of a no-compromise powered speaker driven by best-in-class amplifiers that are truly deserving of the name “high end.” While most powered speakers rely on Class D digital designs, ELAC engineers build in 300 watts of pure analog amplification — for maximum power and exceptional sound.
"For four pennies under six grand, I think the ARF-51s are a screaming bargain, especially when you consider that each speaker has built-in amplifiers with 300W total output.
Per Joni Mitchell, will I know what I’ve had when it’s gone -- when the time comes to send the ARF-51s back to their rightful owners? I won’t let that happen. I’m buying the review samples. You’ve just met my new reference speakers"
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Speaker type: 3-Way Powered
Tweeter: 1″ Soft Dome Concentrically Mounted
Midrange: 4″ Aluminum
Woofer: 3 x 5-1/4″ Aluminum
Frequency Response: 43Hz – 28kHz
Crossover Frequency: 2.2kHz / 260Hz
Total Amplifier Power: 300 Watts Total
Bass Amplifier: 160 Watt Bash Amplifier
Midrange Amplifier: 100 Watt Bash Amplifier
Tweeter Amplifier: 40 Watt Class AB Amplifier
Inputs: RCA / XLR / AirX² Wireless
Cabinet finishes: Gloss Black, Gloss White, Gloss Ebony Emara
Net weight (each): 46.3lbs