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Review Elac Solano BS 283 bookshelf speaker

Pros

  • Easy placement
  • Coherent playback
  • Soundstage and imaging
  • Detail-rich and holographic
  • Beautiful finishing

Cons

  • Requires solid control
  • Exposes lesser elements in the set
  • The bookshelf is close in price to the Vela
  • Price: € 1599 per paar

    Build quality
    Controllability
    Sound
    Price

    Sound

    We had forgotten how nice a ribbon tweeter can be and this Jet 5 tweeter is a gem. The radiating behavior is excellent and the sweet spot is wide with a wide soundstage and quite some depth. Height we experience rather limited but this we do not expect in this price range. Imaging is however above average.

    Detail is top notch and we also see the term holographic on our notes. We regularly heard small surprises when we ran through our test list. Where the high end of the Vela sometimes still seemed a bit punchy, we didn’t notice this this time. That is strange. Perhaps this is because our system now plays better with more refinement.  And the jet tweeter exposes all the shortcomings in a set. So this means that the whole chain must be in order when you bring this speaker into your home.

    We know the bass port with the ‘downfiring’ principle well because we have the Elac Carina on long-term loan. With the Carina our Aperta’s make a significant difference but with the Solano the gain is more limited. That’s good news because you don’t necessarily have to decouple the Solano.

    The bass is tight and punchy but also with enough body. It is fast with sufficient definition and fits quasi seamlessly with the tweeter. The crossover is very well done here which gives a high coherence. As a result, most genres come through excellently. The midrange is not as open as with our Atc Scm19 V2 but voices come through clearly and intelligibly. We can speak of a neutral, relaxed reproduction that possesses a lot of quality. The better the control, the purer the reproduction. This speaker grows strongly as the system improves

    Listen

    We start with the CD “The language of Life” by Everything but the Girl. The very young Tracey Thorn presents her wonderful voice to the world here. This album contains a few classics that were later released in more electronic versions. One of those songs is “Driving” which remains a timeless song to this day. We’re not sure but we suspect that Thorn likes to keep her microphone close to her. Even on later albums and guest contributions for Massive Attack, among others, her voice can sometimes come through a bit punchy and sharp and even downright hurt the ears. Especially on a transparent system. This is not the case with the Solano. The Jet-tweeter is provided a clean control very refined and sounds ear-pleasing without loss of detail

    We put a second disc in our M50 and lose ourselves in the dubby sounds of Stefan Betke aka Pole. Recently this electronics pioneer and label owner of Scape released a new album but this time we listen to his second ‘red’ album. It is amazing how much info the Solano lets through. We briefly reread our notes from the Vela and find that our set at that time may not have been transparent enough to let the full range of the tweeter through. Detail, insight, and depth are impressive, and the delightful dispersion makes us lose ourselves completely in the music. Although we have owned this album for over twenty years the Solano casts a renewed eye on it. Punishment!

    Alfie Templeman is a genius who makes wonderful music. His latest album “Forever isn’t long enough” which we stream via Qobuz, swings like nothing else, and reminds us a bit of the Belgian Compact Disk Dummies. This is music with a high fun factor but excellently made and full of fine stories to get lost in. The combination of speed and punch works great with this kind of music. The entire album flies by and we thoroughly enjoy each song. Templeman’s voice sounds clean and through the abundance of information we can hear the excellent quality of the recording Some more jazz to finish with the excellent CD “The new Breez” by Jeff Parker.

    The Solano has no problem with this complex music that is full of busy passages. Each element and instrument has its place and comes out naturally. The timbre of the instruments is spot on and we don’t notice any unnatural sharpness in horns or brass instruments. The rhythm section and basses sound wonderfully full and tight. This is a very complete bookshelf.

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