General questions

  • Where can I find very old ELAC instruction manuals?

    Scans of old ELAC record players and other equipment can be found here:
    http://wegavision.pytalhost.com/elac.html
  • Are there still spare parts for ELAC devices produced before 1980?

    Since for the past 20 years ELAC has been developing and producing exclusively loudspeakers, no more electronics are produced. Thus spare parts
    are no more available.
  • Are there still ELAC pick-ups?

    ELAC stopped production of pick-ups in 1997. Compatible substitute styli are offered by:

    DOS Stereo Geräte GmbH
    Rudolf-Diesel-Str. 1
    53879 Euskirchen
    Tel.: +49(2251) 7 749 300
    Fax: +49(2251) 7 749 303
    E-Mail: info@dos-hifi.de
    Internet: www.dos-hifi.de
  • Which cables would you recommend?

    A multitude of cables is available. This is why we do not recommend a special brand or type. As a rule, our bookshelf speakers and floorstanders are suitable for cable sections up to 4 mm². For these speakers a minimum section of 2.5 mm² is recommended. With longer cables (>5...10 m) the largest possible section of 4 mm² may prove advantageous; for the satellite speakers of the CINEMA systems 0.75...1.5 mm² suffice.
  • Are there any special finishes?

    Only in particular cases special finishes can be offered. Please ask our sales people (Phone: +49(431) 647 740) for detailled information.
  • Is there still the ELAC adjustment former?

    Yes. You may obtain the pick-up adjustment former under the orignial name “ELAC - Justierschablone” at:

    DOS Stereo Geräte GmbH
    Rudolf-Diesel-Str. 1
    53879 Euskirchen
    Tel.: +49(2251) 7 749 300
    Fax: +49(2251) 7 749 303
    E-Mail: info@dos-hifi.de
    Internet: www.dos-hifi.de

Questions regarding loudspeakers

  • Are there special wall brackets for ELAC loudspeakers?

    For matching wall brackets, please see the respective product pages. Moreover, for many of our loudspeakers standard wall brackets can be used. Please, ask you retailer for advice.
  • Which ELAC loudspeakers are magnetically shielded and can be set up directly beside or on a TV set?

    All satellite speakers of the CINEMA systems as well as the special centre speakers are magnetically shielded and can be set up in direct vicinity of the CRT TV set without problems.
  • Are ELAC loudspeakers suitable for digital surround recordings?

    All ELAC loudspeakers are designed for frequencies of min 20 kHz. Due to the adjustment options of any AC3 amplifier / receiver all ELAC loudspeakers are suitable for AC3. Depending on the application and the size / frequency range of the loudspeakers, on the menu of the amplifier you may select either “small” or “large”.
  • How close to the TV set can the main speakers be placed?

    Due to the magnetic stray field of loudspeakers a distance of about 50 cm should be kept, depending on the CRT TV type.
  • May I also set up bookshelf speakers lying?

    Yes. Tip them slightly and align them with the listening position.
  • How do I set up the rear speakers?

    At about 1.5 m above the floor and slightly turned into the room, but not necessarily directly towards the listener.
  • How do I set up the loudspeakers?

    ELAC Technische Software GmbH has developed a computer program that helps you calculate the optimum set-up in your living room. This program, CARA 2.2 Plus PowerPack, costs 69.00€ (incl. VAT) + packaging and shipping.
  • Can I connect a 4 Ω speaker to a (surround) receiver prescribing 6...8 Ω speakers?

    When a “4 Ω speaker” is operated connected to an “8 Ω amplifier”, the latter has to handle more power.
    In most cases, however, this will not cause any problems, especially if the amplifier supplies 80 Watts output power or more per channel at 8 Ω. Damages through overload of the amp must be considered only if it is operated at a very high volume over a longer period of time, and the amp is not equipped with an overload protection. On this problem, please consult the manual for the amplifier, and provide unobstructed air cooling for the power stages.
  • Which is the best suited amplifier power for my loudspeakers?

    According to the standard, amplifiers and loudspeakers are specified differently:

    With amplifiers, the output power is specified on the basis of an undistorted continuous sine signal; with loudspeakers, the (long-term) power handling is specified on the basis of a noise signal shaped in accordance with the standard frequency distribution of a music signal. The respective peak values are twice as high with sine signals, but at least four times as high with noise signals. Over a short period of time ELAC loudspeakers can handle levels distinctly above the norm power specification. Amplifiers, however, can supply only little more than the nominal power even over a fairly short period of time, after which clipping will set in. Amplifier power and loudspeaker power handling thus cannot be related exactly.

    To define a reasonable combination, all ELAC loudspeakers are specified with a “recommended amplifier power”. The lower value marks the minimum power for slightly more than moderate volume under typical listening conditions, for which only little power is needed. The upper value guarantees that even at the highest level that is suitable for the loudspeaker the amplifier signal will be clipped only rarely. However, due to the varying nature of audio signals, these hints can be taken only as a general outline.
  • How much guarantee is given for ELAC loudspeakers?

    Generally, the terms of warranty depend on the prevailing law of the respective countries and the rules of the ELAC foreign distributors. If you did not buy your loudspeakers in Germany or do not live in Germany, please ask your retailer for the respective terms, or apply directly to the distributor responsible for your country (see “Foreign Agencies”).

Questions regarding the active subwoofers

  • When I am watching television, the subwoofer turns itself off and on again with a “plop” sound. Is it defective?

    No. The subwoofer is most likely only connected via a cinch cable with the surround amplifier (LFE out or Sub out). In most surround receivers, this output does not receive any signal (depending on the settings in the menu of the surround amplifier) for purely spoken passages (e.g. during the news). This means that the subwoofer automatically shuts itself off after the release delay process (approx. 15 min.). The unit then starts an unloading process. If a bass signal passes through the cinch connection after a very short period of time, however, the subwoofer will turn itself immediately back on, despite the fact that the unloading process has not yet ended. A “plop” sound will be audible. This is completely normal, and will not harm the unit. The cause can, however, be prevented by installing a (additional) speaker cable from the centre output of the surround receiver to the centre speaker input of the subwoofer. This will ensure that the subwoofer does not turn itself off even during clear spoken passages, as the centre channel receives a virtually consistent signal. This signal effectively prevents the subwoofer from switching off.

    The other option is turning off automatic switch-on by setting the mode switch to “ON” rather than “AUTO”.
  • My subwoofer does not play at all, or only sometimes. In addition, it sometimes only hums. Is it defective?

    This is usually caused by a loose connection. This failure often occurs only after years of problem-free playing. In this case, it is likely that the connection of the RCA plug (the peripheral contact ring) is corroded. Clean this, using a brass wire brush or something similar and make sure that the plug is inserted into the socket with sufficient friction.
  • I hear absolutely no bass via the subwoofer in my surround system. The bass is only reproduced via the main speakers. Is the subwoofer set incorrectly?

    We assume that the surround receiver to which your subwoofer is connected offers an automatic calibration function which has been started just after having installed the complete surround system. This calibration process requires the mode switch at the back side of the subwoofer to be set to “ON” (and not to “AUTO”). This is because the subwoofer needs a certain period of time in order to turn itself on after the arrival of an audio signal when it is in the “AUTO” mode. This time period is possibly so long that the surround receiver "decides" that there is no subwoofer connected.
    If the surround receiver has no automatic calibration function and the subwoofer still does not reproduce any bass signal, then there may be a configuration error in the menu of the surround receiver (e.g. settings “SUBWOOFER = NO” or similar). If this is the case, please reconfigure the surround receiver menu and ensure that the subwoofer is activated there.
    Certain brands require that the “2.1” configuration be set in order to activate the subwoofer when connecting a satellite / subwoofer unit to a surround receiver.
  • Is it possible that I damage my power amplifer if I connect the subwoofer in parallel to my speakers?

    No. Connecting the subwoofer in parallel to the main speakers does not additionally load the amplifier,as the input circuit of the subwoofer only uses the voltage information of the signal and does not consume electrical power of the amplifier.

Questions regarding compact, fully active systems

  • Can I run my 2.1 MicroMagic Set on my flat-screen television as well?

    Yes. This combination makes a great deal of sense. In order to improve the sound of even the latest flat-screen televisions, simply make use of one of ELAC's outstanding products.
    For optimum performance, connect your MicroMagic set to a controllable volume output line on your television or - if this is not available - to a controllable volume headphone output. All necessary adaptors are provided.
  • When I connect my fully active speakers with my AV system, I hear humming. Is there a remedy for this?

    Yes. The humming is the result of a so-called ground loop. This can be caused by a number of devices within a single system being connected to the earth lead. This error primarily appears in combination with PCs and notebook computers, but also in satellite, cable or terrestrial tuners, as well as receivers whose connections to the earth lead (e.g. via the antenna) are located far from the earth lead connections of the other devices in the system.

    Remedy:

    First, try to operate all grounded appliances from the same outlet. This often suffices.

    There are so-called “sheath current filters”, on the accessories market, which are looped into the antenna lines of the satellite, cable or terrestrial receivers, thus uncoupling them from the earth lead.

    Also available on the accessories market are “RCA ground loop noise isulator”, or “audio line isolation transformer”, which uncouple the ground lead capability between the source (e.g. television) and the playback linkage (e.g. MicroSUB 2010 BT with satellites).
  • Can I also run my 2.1 MicroMagic Set on the 12-volt electrical systems of my car, boat or caravan?

    Yes. DC/DC inverters, also called “universal notebook car adapters”, are available on the accessories market. This will increase the 12 volts of the local electrical system to the 16 volts required by the fully active system. At the time of purchase, simply ensure that a current of at least 4 A can be supplied with an output voltage of 16 volts, as well as that a power output of at least 60 W is offered.
  • Can compact ELAC fully active speakers also be used in sound systems for large rooms?

    Despite its compact cabinet, the ELAC fully active speakers are able to generate bass and even sub-bass ranges. In especially large areas, it is a good idea to locate the speaker close to a wall, which reinforces the bass.
  • Why are the compact ELAC active speakers housed in aluminium casings?

    Because one feature of the compact ELAC active speakers - in contrast to their output - is the minimal dimensions of the cabinet; at the same time, the cabinet must ensure high stability and limit resonances. Aluminium has therefore been selected.
    Because of the compact dimensions, a relative high internal pressure must be supported by the cabinet. An acoustically-equivalent cabinet made of MDF would be much larger. Aside from that, aluminium offers the additional positive feature of shielding against electromagnetic disturbances.

Questions regarding MicroSUB 2010.2

  • Sub-bass below 40 Hz from such a small cabinet. How is this possible?

    It is quite possible to reproduce bass from small cabinets (extreme example: headphones). Physics can be pushed to their limits by means of the very large excursion of the woofer membrane, a sufficiently large moving mass and a strong magnetic drive, as well as by means of adapted control through active electronics.
  • Can I also use the MicroSUB 2010.2 as a “normal” subwoofer?

    Yes. This is possible. In this case, the satellite outputs are simply not used. More power is thus available in the bass range for the integrated woofers.
    If the MicroSUB 2010.2 is run on a surround receiver's LFE- (or mono-) connection, it is recommended that a “Y-adaptor”, which supplies the left and right input with the bass signal, be used.
    Otherwise, the MicroSUB 2010.2 is perfectly suited to serve as a superb addition to small shelf speakers (e.g. also for ELAC 312).

Questions concerning Bluetooth®

  • What is Bluetooth®?

    Bluetooth® radio technology is a short-distance radio connection, which uses the microwave frequency spectrum in the 2.4 GHz to 2.4835 GHz range. Theoretically, the maximum coverage averages approx. 100 m, though this is heavily reliant on the environment and the output of the respective signal. The signal strength significantly drops in closed rooms because of the objects within the room, which may restrict or absorb these microwaves. The transmission range split up into three different classes:

    1. Class    Range 100 m
    2. Class    Range 20 m
    3. Class    Range 10 m

    (This data applies to a free line of sight between transmitter and receiver).

    With the help of Bluetooth® wireless technology, files or other kind of information can be exchanged between various devices. Well known applications include, for example:

    Mobile phone    - PC (synchronisation, telephone book and appointments)
    PDA    - PC (synchronisation, appointments)
    Keyboard / mouse    - PC (wireless PC operation)
    Headset    - Mobile phone (telephone without a mobile phone held to the ear)

    The latest Bluetooth® version is the 2.1 Version EDR (Enhanced Data Rate).
  • How does the wireless transfer of music via mobile phones work?

    If you wish to use your mobile phone as an mp3 player you should first ensure that it supports the A2DP Profile mentioned below. This should usually be the case for all devices built after 2008. For details, please see your mobile phone's operating instructions. The fully active ELAC BT Speakers are constantly in the so-called AUTO-PAIR mode. Hereby, maximum flexibility is guaranteed when it comes to synchronisation with the Bluetooth® signal. There are thus no difficult key combinations to enter.

    You must simply allow your Bluetooth® transmitter to search for new Bluetooth® devices once (please read the operating instructions of your Bluetooth® transmitter for reference to follow these guidelines). In many cases an access code is requested on the screen of your Bluetooth® transmitter. Simply enter “0000” (four times zero). Immediately thereafter, the Bluetooth® receiver embedded in the ELAC BT Speaker should appear as “ELAC BT Speaker” in the Bluetooth® device list of your Bluetooth® transmitter and can then be activated.

    The Bluetooth® receiver is recognised as a stereo headphone (headset) by Bluetooth®-capable mobile phones, as well as a Bluetooth®-capable mp3 player. The music output is then rerouted directly to the Bluetooth® receiver. The sound then automatically is reproduced by the respective ELAC BT speaker and is no longer emitted from the transmitter's speakers (or headphone). From now on also mobile phone's audio signals (ringing tone) as well as incoming voice signals will be reproduced by the ELAC 3D Speaker.
  • Is a Bluetooth® transfer also possible from a computer?

    Yes, a Bluetooth® transfer is also possible here. In most cases, no Bluetooth® module is present in a desktop PC. However, Bluetooth® transmitter modules in the form of a USB stick are available at a reasonable price. Such a USB stick must simply be put in an USB port of the PC, and this immediately enables Bluetooth®. When it comes to laptops and notebook computers, there is a vast array of configuration variations (with and without Bluetooth® modules). Please check your user manual to see if your laptop or notebook already includes a module before purchasing a new one. Windows® XP and Windows® Vista™ include a driver for a Bluetooth® module, but these do not always operate flawlessly within both systems and operation is not simple. A Bluetooth® driver is delivered along with every Bluetooth® stick.

    Our experience with a diverse range of Bluetooth® drivers has shown that the Bluetooth® Stacks from TOSHIBA, BlueSoleil and BROADCOM® (Widcomm) operate with the least number of problems. The first two mentioned are the most-purchased sticks on the market today and have proven themselves.

    Notice: Bluetooth® Stacks are also available for free download, but can only be activated with the proper Bluetooth® stick; otherwise they operate only in the restricted demo versions.
  • What is A2DP?

    A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile) is a transfer profile within the Bluetooth® Standard that enables the transfer of stereo-audio signal in a high quality. For this, 1 transmitter (“Source”) and 1 receiver (“Sink”) are required.

    A2DP could first be realized since the data transfer rate was increased in accordance with the EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) standard. Earlier standards are based on a data transfer rate of 732.1 kBit/s. With the new EDR technology, transfer rates of up to 2.1 MBit/s are possible (for comparison: the sampling rate of a CD is 1.4 Mbit/s). Theoretically, with Bluetooth® wireless technology a 1.5 times CD data rate can be achieved. Supported file formats are:

    MPEG 1 / 2, MPEG 2 / 4, ACC, ATRAC.
  • Are there other audio transfer profiles?

    Yes. It is possible to also use other profiles in order to transfer audio data via Bluetooth®.

    These profiles are called HFP (Hands-free profile) and HSP (Headset profile). Both were originally developed for hands-free telephoning. Because the frequency range of speech is important, and high audio quality is not necessary in telephoning, both profiles are not designed for the transfer of music. Many older mobile phones which only support these two profiles can also be connected with the ELAC Bluetooth® Speakers and send audio information over these profiles, however, the reproduced sound quality is rather poor.
  • Why does the playback stop when a WAV file is transferred?

    When you transfer a WAV file via A2DP, dropouts occur during the transfer process because the data density of a WAV file does not allow correction or conversion measures during transfer. In order to ensure a quick and smooth transfer, the Bluetooth® hardware converts the audio files into a compressed audio format prior to sending. As a quick conversion is not possible with the WAV format the result is a many times interrupted audio signal. You should therefore convert all audio data into the "Bluetooth®-friendly" mp3 format, so that you can enjoy your music without interruption.
  • How can I convert WAV to mp3?

    In order to achieve a high quality music transfer between the Bluetooth® source and the ELAC Bluetooth® Speakers, the music that you wish to play should be converted into the mp3 format. This conversion is done by special software packages Well-adapted software for this purpose is "Nero Suite" which, however, is not free of charge. You can either save music from a CD in WAV format or immediately convert this into mp3 format and then save it.

    These functions can, however, also be carried out using good freeware programmes.

    • AudaCity (freeware, additionally requires the - also free - mp3 encoder “LAME”)
    • CDex (freeware)
    • Free Audio Converter (freeware)
    • ABC Amber Audio Converter (freeware)
    All of the programmes listed here can be easily found via any search engine.
  • Which data rate should I use during the conversion?

    In order to ensure a minimum audio quality for compressed audio material (mp3) the bit rate - adjustable in nearly every encoder - selected should not be too small. A data rate of 192 kBit/s is preferable to a data rate of 128 kBit/s. If you are completely certain that there are no further Bluetooth® transmitters or receivers that would allow for an increased transport in the 2.4 GHz band in your direct vicinity, then you can select a 256 kBit/s data rate.
    But as soon as more Bluetooth® devices are put into use, a data rate of 256 kBit/s may engage too much of the radio network's capacity to be made available; a sometimes interrupted audio signal results.
    A data rate of 192 kBit/s is a good compromise between high quality audio reproduction and a smooth radio transfer and should, for this reason, be preferred.
  • What am I doing wrong when the Bluetooth® transfer creates noise?

    If the audio signal transferred via Bluetooth® creates noise, there are two possible causes:

    • The audio signals are not being transferred over A2DP, but instead via a false profile (e.g. HFP or HSP, also see other audio transfer profiles)
    or
    • The quality of the mp3 file to be transferred is too small (≤ 128 kBit/s).
  • Is a Bluetooth® transfer also possible from an Apple™ iPhone or a Blackberry Smartphone?

    Yes. If you are using an iPhone 3G (or iPhone 3GS) you only need to update your iPhone OS to version 3.0. Normally, this is done automatically when you synchronize your iPhone via iTunes without any costs. OS 3.0 supports the high quality audio profile A2DP.
    For older iPhone models, the company Brando produces the external adaptor “Infinxx AP23”, which enables the iPhone to transfer music via the Bluetooth® A2DP Profile. The adaptor is simply plugged into the extension slot of the iPhone and you're all set.
    For the Blackberry smartphone you should have the device software V. 4.5 or later which can be downloaded from the Blackberry website without any costs. This device software supports the high quality audio profile A2DP.
  • Is it possible to supply several Bluetooth®-capable loudspeakers with music from a single transmitter?

    No. Unfortunately, the Bluetooth® protocol does not allow for multipoint transfers; only ONE transmitter can communicate with ONE receiver and create a stereo transmission link.
  • Is it possible to transfer the music signal from my stereo system to the fully active speakers via Bluetooth®?

    Yes. There are Bluetooth® transmitters available as accessories in specialist shops and these allow you to connect via RCA or phone jack to the stereo system and then send the music signal to the Bluetooth® receiver (ELAC BT Speaker).
    Such a transmitter can also be found in the internet. Simply enter “Bluetooth Audio Transmitter” as a query into any search engine. Make certain that the transmitter supports the A2DP profile.
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