Mighty Impressive Sound from Elac

Both Andrew Jones, who designs Elac loudspeakers, and Peter Madnick, who is responsible for Elac's Alchemy series of components (the successors to the Audio Alchemy brand), were on hand to demonstrate a system that sounded equally wonderful on both of the "Red Book" files I heard there. I loved how beautifully this system captured the seductive midrange of David Roth's voice on "Before I Die" as it conveyed his music with captivating warmth and lovely layering. Timbres on Count Basie's 88 Basin Street were also natural and compelling.

Credit goes in part to Andrew's newest tweeter—a wider-bandwidth soft-dome model with a wide-diameter surround—which graced Elac's Adante floorstanding loudspeakers ($5000/pair). The Alchemy-series electronics also sounded significantly more open and colorful than I've heard on other occasions, thanks in part to the manufacturing and sourcing capabilities of 91-year old Elac, enabling Madnick to up the quality of his components while lowering the price.

Power was supplied by two Alchemy DPA-2 power amplifiers ($1499/each) in mono configuration. The amp's features include a pure analog input stage and a class-D output stage that in mono outputs 650W into 8 ohms, and in stereo produces 350Wpc. Equally important was the 32/384 MQA-capable Alchemy DDP-2 DAC/preamplifier/streamer ($2499) with configurable upsampling and "selectable resolution enhancement" that, in addition to PCM, handles DSD up to 4X and works with Discovery, Spotify Connect, Bluetooth, AirPlay, and Roon. Unheard due to time constraints was the Alchemy PPA-2 phono preamplifier ($1000), with switchable MM or MC gain for each channel and continuously adjustable MC cartridge loading, plus stereo or mono operation and a choice of inputs and outputs. Cabling and power treatment were not-for-sale components from Tim Marutani.

bilguana's picture

I fell in love with the Adantes last year at CES and they finally arrived last month. It was a long but worthwhile wait for beautiful sound. Andrew Jones got me hooked again on coherent sound (I had the original Ohm Fs in the 70's) when he was designing and displaying for TAD. Those I couldn't afford. I will further upgrade to Peter's new Alchemy Series from my AA gear.
Peter played some vinyl from his old collection of non-audiophile LPs and they were impressive.