ELAC BS 244 Black Edition - i-fidelity (Germany) review

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ELAC BS 244 Black Edition - i-fidelity (Germany) review

2 / 2012 - Author: Michael Jansen


ELAC BS 244 Black Edition

A good shelf loudspeaker can do everything that one needs for music listening - ELAC BS 244 offers even more, up to low-bass orgies actually.

ELAC BS 244 Black Edition - i-fidelity speaker pair
Fotos: i-fidelity

What was formerly sold as shelf boxes, can hardly be compared with today's speakers of this size. Especially not when they move in the price range between 1,500 and 2,000 euros. Papierkonusse and sat at ease in thin-walled textile dome homes, so today you get a massive housing and high-tech chassis offered. This must not be better, but the potential for better sound is given to each case.

BS 244 Black Edition - i-fidelity JET III tweeter detail

Elac is the best example of the brave new world of sound. The Kiel-based company is one of the few speaker manufacturers worldwide who manufacture their own chassis and therefore have everything in hand. The slogan "Vorsprung durch Technik" meets Elac so well as to hardly any other German speaker company. Just think of the 4-Pi technology - a brilliant all round ribbon tweeter, or the specially developed exciter for the so-called NXT flat panel technology. The North Germans rely on technology growth in house. These include not only highly specialized production technology and fundamental acoustic research but also the creation of their own computer programs for loudspeaker design.

Erfolg gibt recht

Good speakers are not in fact a conglomeration of purchased components, but they are based on finely tuned ingredients. The best example of ELAC product portfolio is the 240 line, which is one of the most successful series of the Kiel loudspeaker developer. Not least because Elac has released a special edition. Under the symbol "BE" - like Black Edition, only superficially concealed a black robe, but in detail, a fine tuning of the sound-precious jewels.

BS 244 Black Edition - i-fidelity grille detail

The real star of the BS 244BE is the Jet chassis. This is the name for a genius ELAC Jet tweeter which is unparalleled. Based on the principle of the legendary "Air Motion Transformer" by Dr. Oskar Heil Elac has further perfected the design. The laminate foil membrane is driven by an extremely strong magnet system of neodymium rods. Opposite to the piston-like moving membranes, which simply presses the air, the folded diaphragm, like an accordion, presses air out of the lamellas.

The membrane surface of the jet tweeter is about ten times larger than that of a conventional 25 mm diameter dome tweeter . The trick: While the thin folded film has a fairly large membrane area, the actual emission surface is small, which means in consequence a high efficiency with outstanding dynamics, but at the same time with low directivity (that is wide dispersion angle). Thus the JET tweeter can cope with high dynamic peaks without complaint. In its third revision the JET III the transmission bandwidth was once again increased significantly upwards. Today, all the top models of the Elac series are endowed with this fast tweeters.

No less innovative ...

... Are the technical details of the midrange driver. The black anodized aluminum cone with a concave-shaped crystal-like surface makes for the extreme stability in the low-mid range and for less pronounced partial resonances, thanks to the sandwich technique and surround. So there is no break in the passband, but rather a smooth transition. Sense and purpose of this difficult construction is the resonance-free transmission - especially in the midrange. The precision and the lack of coloration are the result of the sandwich-driver.

ELAC BS 244 Black Edition - i-fidelity back view


If you prefer a near-wall installation, you may use the two-piece vent plugs to adjust the low-frequency signal of the bass reflex speakers. Also, the tweeter allows easy adaptation to modern, reverberant living rooms using an open-cell foam ring that absorbs some energy. Behind "BE" is hidden not only an elegant appearance, but also the in-detail refined crossovers. Low distortion and low loss air coils with large cross-section wire provide some more direct contact with the amplifier.

For the serious aesthetes

Whoever expects a sound that gives superficially lively and rich bass foundation, with an impressive first impression will be disappointed. The BS 244 BE are more confident on the second hearing impression, that is, after long listening sessions. And the mark of a good transducer. Assuming the black pearls are aimed at ear level - here, the optional ELAC LS 70 speaker stands, with adjustment options, can help - the sound transducer subtle highs, clear mids and frequencies in the well differentiated in the deep.

Bass attacks are clear, but never pointedly shown, a base drum sounds crisp and an acoustic bass well contoured. Yes, even timpani come with reasonable force, not what you'd expect from a speaker of this size. Guitars resonate nicely woody, without the body being represented too large. In general, in terms of image, the engineers have done a great job: On the one hand, the focus is very precise, on the other hand, the spatial, extensive imaging is very authentic. Carol Kidd's "I Fall In Love To Easily" I have seldom heard so rich played. From bass to the piano, up to painting the strike of the broom on the skin - the ELAC transducer bring out even the most subtle nuances of the day. When Mrs. Kidd breathes the ballad into the microphone, then you can literally follow every movement of the lips.


Lab report


ELAC BS 244 Black Edition - i-fidelity - frequency response horizontal
ELAC BS 244 Black Edition - i-fidelity - frequency response vertical
ELAC BS 244 Black Edition - i-fidelity - frequency response
ELAC BS 244 Black Edition - i-fidelity - impedance
ELAC BS 244 Black Edition - i-fidelity - waterfall


Test result

Who does not look for bar commodity, but exclusive transducer beads, finds in the ELAC BS 244 the absolutely right partner for the game. They impress with their superior play, without artifacts and flawlessly control the whole music spectrum. Also, its dynamic potential is above average, so that they keep their composure at higher listening levels and still play well differentiated. If you are looking for honest speaker, then you should have heard these class transducers.

ELAC BS 244 Black Edition - i-fidelity test result
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