This post delves into the captivating world of high-fidelity audio with the ELAC Debut Reference DBR62 Bookshelf Speakers. As an experienced audio reviewer, I was eager to explore these German-engineered speakers known for their scientific approach and emphasis on practicality.
The DBR62 is part of ELAC’s esteemed Debut Reference series, boasting upgrades from the original Debut series, including enhanced design aesthetics and improved materials.
In this review, we’ll uncover the performance of the ELAC DBR62 Bookshelf Speakers, examine their design elements, and, most importantly, delve into their sound quality. Are they truly a reference-grade addition to your audio setup? Let’s find out. Stay tuned for an in-depth exploration of these bookshelf speakers, backed by my years of experience as an audio connoisseur and reviewer.
German audio brands have consistently excelled in science and technology, prioritizing functionality and practicality to maximize the value of their products. It is worth mentioning that Germany boasts a high level of industrial expertise, fully demonstrated in German audio, with ELAC being a prime example of comprehensive industrial value.
ELAC is a world-leading speaker manufacturer that pioneered the MM moving-magnet phonograph cartridge. Their timeless design, advanced technological innovations, excellent materials, and processing techniques are the extra value that sets ELAC products apart from other brands.
ELAC’s acoustic research and product development foundation can be traced back to Dr. Phil Hecht’s aquatic technology research in Kiel, Germany. Soon after, he joined forces with other scientists to become the founder of ELAC.
ELAC’s original DB (Debut) series featured models like the DB52 and DB62. The DBR series is a new addition based on the Debut 2.0 line, known as Debut Reference, which signifies a reference-level standard.
Compared to the simple appearance of the DB series, the DBR62 has a more sophisticated and visually enhanced design, showcasing visible improvements in craftsmanship and materials. While maintaining a traditional appearance, the DBR62 integrates a high-strength molded plastic baffle with an integrated inverted phase port, lending it a more modern touch than the previous solid MDF boards.
The tweeter employs a 1-inch silk dome unit with a frequency response 35kHz, providing better music detail and harmonic performance. Notably, ELAC has introduced a new waveguide tweeter design resembling a “horn” shape, which effectively enhances directionality and eliminates diffraction effects caused by traditional speaker baffles.
The silver-colored metal grille offers protection for the driver and breaks the monotony of the speaker’s appearance. Additionally, the grille features the label “Reference Series” highlighting its reference-grade sound performance, although the ultimate judgment lies with the ears of the listener.
The DBR62 features a 6.5-inch aramid fiber cone woofer, offering greater rigidity and damping for smoother and extended low-frequency performance. The woofer employs a new die-cast frame that improves the unit’s heat dissipation and vibration control. Furthermore, the high-strength plastic baffle helps to reduce vibrations to a certain extent.
Regarding the front baffle of the DBR62 mentioned earlier, this angle provides a clearer view of how it effectively reduces vibrations from the woofer compared to traditional speaker designs. The cabinet utilizes a wood grain veneer process, showcasing fine craftsmanship without any noticeable rough spots.
In contrast to the circular port design of the DB62, the DBR62 employs a long slot-type port, which reduces airflow noise and enhances low-frequency performance. This design also gives the cabinet a more harmonious appearance, as it doesn’t need to be as narrow as the DB62.
The front long slot port delivers lower airflow noise, resulting in stronger low-end performance. Compared to the previous DB52 model, the DBR62, with its 6.5-inch woofer, is highly anticipated for its low-frequency extension, reaching 44Hz.
The label on the back of the ELAC DBR62 indicates that the speaker was designed in Germany and assembled in China. The Chinese assembly should not be a concern, and having the “Made in Germany” label ensures the amplifier can be driven with greater power.
The DBR62 has a 6-ohm impedance, with a maximum input power of 120W, and features a pair of well-designed gold-plated connectors. This post is from HiFiReport.com.
The DBR62’s specifications include a 6-ohm impedance, 86dB sensitivity, and a power handling capability of 120W, making it compatible with amplifiers ranging from 4 to 8 ohms.
The speaker’s dust cover employs a magnetic design, which is very appealing as it eliminates the need for mounting holes, giving the front baffle a more seamless appearance. I prefer the speaker’s look with the dust cover, as the grey-white woven fabric complements the slightly retro wood-grain enclosure design.
The Elac DBR62, originally paired with the NAD C538 and C328 met many entry-level audiophiles’ needs. However, I wanted to explore the DBR62’s potential fully, so I tried it with the Wadia 381 and Marantz PM-10, and I was pleasantly surprised. The overall sound quality showed significant improvement, deepening my understanding of the importance of the front end in audio systems.
Firstly, the Elac DBR62 has a graceful and refined sound signature. While it doesn’t emphasize resolution excessively, it performs quite well in detail retrieval. Benefiting from its 6.5-inch woofer, the low-frequency performance is controlled with a certain level of impact and power. The midrange might be slightly understated and take time to catch your attention.
Being a bookshelf speaker with a 6.5-inch woofer, I was particularly interested in its low-end performance. The DBR62’s low frequencies have a clean and precise character and perform well in reproducing music. The response is quick, with a dynamic bounce, even during rapid passages, demonstrating a well-organized sound.
While the low-end extension isn’t exceptionally deep, it is still satisfactory for a bookshelf speaker, and we should expect it to be different from the performance of floor-standing speakers. If there is any area for improvement, it might be that I feel the low-end is slightly tight and lacks a bit of natural ease, but this could be due to my experience with larger caliber speakers, making me somewhat demanding.
Using the DBR62 to listen to piano or violin is a delightful experience. For example, in “Horowitz plays Chopin,” the piece “Etude in C-Sharp Minor, Op.10-4” sounds crystalline and pure, with a wonderful presence of overtones, which is truly enjoyable. The high frequencies of the DBR62 are gentle, avoiding any harshness while still providing good resolution.
Due to the inherent seriousness of German culture, they manufacture audio equipment with a distinct national character – precise, orderly, and not as laid-back as British speakers or as rugged as American speakers. This is particularly evident in the midrange of the DBR62.
The midrange has a slightly understated character, not feeling too thick but also not lacking in substance. If you prefer a magnetic and captivating vocal performance, you might feel somewhat disappointed, but if you are accustomed to listening to speakers, you’ll find this model fully acceptable.
“Eine Straussfest” conducted by Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, is a well-known piece with some reference value. In this case, I recorded the first track, “Explosions Polka” .
The DBR62 handles this piece well. Although it cannot match the grandiosity of my usual JBL 4338, it still maintains decent control without any sense of chaos. The soundstage is relatively wide, conveying a certain sense of stage presence. However, its shallower low-frequency extension and slightly limited volume sense can only partially recreate the musical atmosphere as impressively as larger speakers.
Nevertheless, this limitation is inherent in most bookshelf speakers, as the cabinet volume restricts the low-frequency performance, so we can only expect a little in that regard.
The ELAC Debut, Reference DBR62 Bookshelf Speakers impress with their refined sound and thoughtful design. Their clear and elegant sonic character and controlled low frequencies deliver an enjoyable listening experience.
Although they may lack the scale of larger speakers, their remarkable performance, especially when paired with high-quality amplification, makes them a solid choice for audiophiles on a budget. If you value German engineering and seek a versatile and captivating pair of bookshelf speakers, the ELAC DBR62 is a recommended option with excellent value for money.
- 1-INCH SOFT DOME TWEETER: Featuring a soft-dome tweeter with a new waveguide, our pair of bookshelf speakers enhances upper high-frequency response for a smoother and detailed top-end sound
- CAST CHASSIS DUAL 6-1/2" WOOFERS: These bookshelf home speakers provide improved stiffness to strengthen the front baffle and minimize chassis resonances resulting in impressive bass clarity
- ENHANCED INTERNAL BRACING: Full perimeter bracing joins the top and side panels of these ELAC bookshelf speakers, significantly lessening cabinet vibration and reducing cabinet coloration
ELAC Debut Reference DBR62 Specifications
- Enclosure Type: 2-Way Bass Reflex
- Frequency Response: 44Hz – 35000Hz
- Nominal Impedance: 6 Ohms
- Sensitivity: 86dB @ 2.83v/1m
- Crossover Frequency: 2200Hz
- Max Power Input: 120 Watts
- Tweeter: 1″ Cloth Dome
- Woofer: 6.5 Inch Aramid Fiber
- Cabinet: CARB2 Rated MDF
- Port: Dual Flared
- Binding Posts: 5-Way Metal
- Cabinet Finishes: White Baffle, Oak Cabinet or Black Baffle, Walnut Cabinet
- Accessories Included: Magnetic fabric grill
- Weight: 18.07 lbs Each
- Dimensions (WxHxD): 8.18” x 14.13” x 10.82″