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ELAC CL 330 - Hi-Fi Choice (UK) review

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ELAC CL 330 JET - HI-FI CHOICE review
 


ELAC CL 330 JET

 
ELAC CL 330 JET - HI-FI CHOICE Recommended
ELAC CL 330 JET - HI-FI CHOICE 5 stars

 

ELAC CL 330 JET - HI-FI CHOICE review

If Smirnoff made ten pin bowling cases, my guess is they'd look a lot like the CL 330 Jet, ELAC's extraordinary aluminium alloy take on Teutonic audio cool. You won't find a more potent-looking speaker in this group; nor one with such flawlessly formed details. The size and precision machining of the spikes on the top plate of the equally stunning dedicated stands are a good example. The rear one has a big locking nut which allows you to minutely adjust the ribbon tweeter's angle of attacks.

Attack seems an appropriate word in this context; the CL330 looks like weapons-grade hi-fi. The sheer depth (360mm) of the inverted key-hole alloy enclosure is something of a shocker, but then so is the appearance of the small (115mm) but curiously smooth and shiny mid-bass driver. But ELAC has maximised internal volume so that the long throw aluminium driver can deliver some serious action downstairs.

Sound quality

in a nutshell, the Elacs sound almost uncannily precise and clear with a bass performance that isn't at all 'obvious' but phenomenally well-controlled and hard-hitting. Bass guitar sounds astonishing on these speakers, not just the transient definition but the weight and note shaping too.

Treble is a bit special, too - extended and smooth and capable of recolving rich tonal colours and harmonics. Some might say the sound is never less than squeaky clean but it's also remarkably explicit and open, especially through the midrange, though some might prefer a slightly warmer tonal balance. Stero perspectives are beautifully handled; not too scrunched up or spaced out.\

The Elacs are faithful to the tempo of music and exhibit terrific drive and impetus - they definitely thrive on power. Whack up the volume and there's kick and slam aplenty. And boy can they boogie.

Conclusion

The Elacs are expensive, but, as with the movie 'Titanic', you can see (and hear) where the money's been spent. The almost frightening functionality of the design is matched by equally explicit and dynamic sound. People who like their hi-fi warm and cuddly might do well to look elsewhere. We were rather blown away. Recommended.

 

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