I'm Jenny. 40+ professional gal educated to postgrad level. For 21 yrs I was an engineer in broadcasting & IT but I now work in the theatre. I like Apple macs, they work! I enjoy writing novels, opera, am-dram, gardening walking & cycling.
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Ideal Bedroom Speakers
Compact inexpensive bi - wireable 2 way speaker 90W power handling
Needs careful placement to avoid boomy bass . Synthetic beechwood finish is rather ersatz
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I brought these Eltax speakers to brighten up one of many bedroom DAB mini hi-fi units that we have in our home. In the main these mini systems tend to come with woefully inadequate speakers and so can be immensely improved by the simple act of upgrading the speakers to something with a semblance of frequency response.
I didn't want to pay a lot for a set of speakers which would, in the main, only be heard by guests but I did want to get something halfway decent.
A bit of research revealed these units along with several other alternatives were available at around £50 from Richer Sounds.
I set off to listen to these Eltax units alongside the Kef Cresta 10, and the Gale 3010.
Being a closet anorak and ex BBC engineer - I know that KEF made the driver units for many of the famous BBC designed reference loudspeakers like the LS3/5A and the LS5/8 etc For this reason I have always had a soft spot for KEF and so I was confidently expecting them to emerge as clear winners. However fate had other ideas.
On my way to Richer I stopped off at a local secondhand hifi shop which is run by a friend of mine. To my amazement he had all three speakers in stock so I decided to abort my trip to Richer and instead with John's help set up a listening test in his emporium.
For a contrast we included a set of Gale 4040 floorstanders in the test.
All of the speakers sounded quite pleasent. As expected the floor standers revealed much greater depth and power in their bass performance than most of the bookshelf units.
However the thing about bedrooms is that a.) you haven't got a lot of room to play with and b.) tub thumping bass isn't generally what is wanted unless you are either a teenager or seriously into heavy metal!
The Eltax speakers were a real suprise. They have a rather unconventional design with a downward firing bass reflex port. They also come equiped with natty little silver legs to keep the speakers about an inch off whatever surface you place them on so that the port can do it's work.
They are also bi-wireable which isquite unusual in a speaker in this price range. They will handle up to 90w RMS which, in a bedroom, should be quite enough to annoy your neighbours (unless of course you, like us, live in a house with land all round it and neighbours that are several hundred yards away!)
I was expecting nice well defined mid range and top. What I wasn't expecting from so small a unit was a bass line which all but matched the floorstanders. The downward port certainly works - although you have to be extra careful about where you place these wee beasties becuase if you put them on anything too resonant then the result will be unfeasibly loud and boomy bass.
In the end I found by trial and error that standing them on top of the wardrobe but insulated from the cuboard by a thick layer of cardboard to dampen any transmission from the feet seemed to work OK, but I think you will probably have to experiment a bit to find out what works for you.
Overall I like these speakers a lot... Particularly when John sold them to me for just £25 which is a fairly typical secondhand price.
The grey cloth grills can be removed if you want but I quite like them on. I also like the nicely bevelled edges to the cabinets. The boxes seem pretty solid and are quite heavy which suggests a well built speaker. What I don't like is the awful artificial plastic wood veneer. I wish that speaker manufacturers would either give me real wood and put £10 on the price or else just paint the cabs in a range of colours.
Ultimately as I have stated in other reviews - you must hear them for yourself because you ears ans mine, your amp and mine and your music and mine will not be the same. However I would certainly reccommend you to include these in you listening tests because overall I think they are winners.
I really do enjoy reading your reviews! I'm looking for a set of speakers for my parents Sony Micro System. The ones provided give no bass response out at all, even with the bass set to max, and treble set at min. If these come in a light-beech colour, they'll be perfect and I shall go and check them out. Great review. I shall go and check out some of your other ones now :-) J
LegendaryMrDude 12.05.2006 09:38
I heard these in use in a clothes shop earlier this week - at least they were Eltax and had a down-firing bass port so I presume they are the same. They certainly did a good enough job there, bt were mounted on wall brackets with no obstructions underneath. As you suggest, positioning might otherwise be tricky. Great review. Sam.
Silverback 12.05.2006 09:02
Good to read such a concise and knowledgeable review - set me thinking about the quality of the speakers on my spare room hi-fi. Paul