Dave’s Faves – ELAC UF-5

Elac UF-5 Speakers, $1000 per pair
38h, 7 7/8w, 10.3/4d, 40lbs.

uf5_lg

Elac’s tower in the cut above Uni-Fi series is the UF-5. At a grand a pair, the price is nice. So is the imaging. So is the detail. So is the bass. The balance of the speaker is at the head of its $1k class.

In fact, I would challenge you to find a superior sounding speaker for $1k per pair made by anybody.

UF-5 uses Elac’s 4” Concentric, Aluminum Midrange and Silk Dome tweeter as the heart of the speaker. The bass is delivered by three 5 1/4” Aluminum cone woofers. A nice addition to the UF-5 is a set of outrigger feet for the towers. You don’t generally get nice accoutrements like this south of $3k per pair. To get them included for a grand is much appreciated.

It would be easy to say UF-5 sounds like a larger UB-5. That wouldn’t be entirely wrong. But it doesn’t give UF-5 proper credit for integrating deep bass into the equation. Hence there’s more to the music than the same sound with a bit more bass. The overall sound is clearer and more effortless. You can literally hear that UF-5 doesn’t work as hard.

The other advantage of UF-5 is, if you like to drive your music hard, with a big boy amp, UF-5 can step away from UB-5. When listening to singer songwriters, the difference will be more subtle. When kicking Nils Lofgren in the tail, UF-5 will show you the way.

Because UF-5 has so much to offer, it will also reward you for using a big league power amp. While any number of nice integrateds or receivers will drive UF-5 well, UF-5 will thank you for considering an Emotiva A-300 ($400, 150×2) or better yet, XPA-2G3 ($900, 300×2). If you’re running a surround receiver or affordable integrated, you’d do well to tag on one of these fine amps on to achieve UF-5’s potential.

You can step up from UF-5 if you like. To my ear we have to go up to $1400 per pair to do so, in
GoldenEar’s Triton 7 or the Magnepan MG .7. Or better yet, let’s listen to Bryston’s prodigious A2s at $3k per pair.

But at the ever popular price point of $1k per pair, UF-5 is king of the hill.