ConclusionThe Elac Solano BS 283 is a speaker with many qualities. Allow us to list them again. First of all, it is a compact bookshelf that easily integrates into the room and is easy to place. In addition, the reproduction is very complete and especially very coherent. The lowest low is missing but for the rest there is little to be said against what this Solano produces. The refinement and insight of the Jet 5 tweeter is impressive and combines wonderfully with the tight, punchy low that is not or hardly affected by the room. The spacious soundstage and above-average imaging complete the picture. You can't expect much more from a compact speaker.
Our reference in this price range is the Vienna Acoustics Haydn Jubilee. This speaker, a limited edition, especially has a very natural tonality that the Solano just barely achieves. But on almost every other level, the Solano is the better speaker. It lets more information through without sounding intrusive and imaging and soundstage are just better.
Perhaps more interesting is the comparison with the cheaper Elac Carina. It is less fast and less transparent than the Solano and also does not have that punch and definition in the bass. What does speak in favor of the Carina is the fact that this speaker is not so demanding in terms of control. With an affordable, integrated amplifier you come a long way and lesser recordings are not inexorably punished by the Carina. The Carina is a somewhat more amiable speaker, so that it also comes into its own in ordinary rooms. With the Solano and the Vela, more effort has to be made in various areas
The Bowers 606 is an incredible speaker and offers a lot for the price. It is a very different speaker than the Solano but could in some ways excellently compete with this much more expensive competitor. The Bowers is fast and fun and the decoupled dome tweeter is certainly not bad. It also offers tremendous insight but we find the refinement higher with the Solano and the sweetspot is wider. Imaging is surprisingly close but there is more depth in the soundstage with the Solano.
The Elac Solano is a speaker that can easily find a place anywhere and that is a great asset. It is a compact speaker that doesn’t stand out too much and doesn’t take up much space. It also possesses the infamous Jet 5 tweeter that you could never before get into your home so economically. The refinement and insight this tweeter brings you will not find anywhere else in this price range. If imaging and soundstage are important to you, the Solano is the place to be.