This week we reviewed the new Elipson Prestige Facet 14F speakers. The French brand revamped its famous Prestige range, launched in 1975, with the Elipson Prestige Facet series, which comes with its fair share of improvements.
Elipson Prestige Facet 14F: what?s new
The Elipson Facet 14F are quite different from their predecessor, the Elipson Prestige 3i. While the manufacturer decided to use a pair of 6½? drivers and a 0.8? tweeter again, they are implemented in a much different way. First of all, the tweeter is no longer between the two drivers but at the top of the speaker, which is the promise of a fundamentally different sound placement. Moreover, the two 6½? drivers are not identical, which was the case with the Prestige 3i, and the crossover filters have been completely reworked.
Elipson Prestige Facet 14F: new drivers
The Elipson Facet 14F is a 2.5-way speaker. Unlike a 3-way speaker, where the medium driver is filtered (mechanically or electronically) to prevent it from producing low frequencies, the medium driver of a 2.5-way speaker is not filtered and reproduces low frequencies in a similar way as the bass driver (which is filtered and does not reproduce medium frequencies). The benefit of this design is that the surface of both 6½? drivers can be used to diffuse low frequencies by setting a significant amount of air in motion. The frequency response thus ranges from 38Hz to 25kHz (for a sensitivity rating of 92dB/W/m at 1kHz).
The main innovation brought by the Elipson Prestige Facet is the use of facets. Around each driver?s basket is a polygon rubber ring. These are the famous facets, whose role is to control the way the sound waves are diffused from their point of origin.
Elipson Prestige Facet 14F: bass-reflex enclosure
The French brand decided to stay faithful to their practice of using resonators, a technique which Elipson had a part in developing in the 50s and for which the brand holds many patents. A wide, front-firing, flared port suggest a noteworthy talent for delivering low frequencies, or at the very least, tight bass even at high volume. The tube?s large diameter lets you slide your arm inside the port and feel that several types of damping material line the speaker?s interior.
The Elipson Prestige Facet 14F speakers are fitted with terminals designed to facilitate bi-wiring and allow for bi-amplification (separated amplification of the bass/mid-bass driver and tweeter). These screw terminals are silver-plated for a better transmission of high frequencies.
Elipson Prestige Facet 14F: finish
The front panel was designed with a lot of care and is covered with a glossy finish which even covers the visible part of the bass-reflex port. The driver?s baskets are encircled with the same metal used for the mid-bass driver?s bullet-shaped phase plugs. The facets also constitute an attractive touch and we happily took off the acoustic fabric magnetic grille in order to fully enjoy the design of the Elipson Prestige Facet 14F.
Elipson Prestige Facet 14F : test conditions
We hooked up the Facet 14F to a Hegel H80 stereo amplifier and Elipson Alpha 100 turntable (read our test here) using Norstone W250 Classic cables. We listened to vinyl records as well as dematerialized music in FLAC and DSD using an Onkyo DP-X1 audiophile portable player.
Elipson Prestige Facet 14F: listening impressions
The Elipson Prestige Facet 14F?s sound signature is defined by a strong foundation in the low end of the spectrum, well-integrated highs and a consistently soft delivery. Elipson claims that listening to these new speakers is not at all tiring, and we have to acknowledge that this is completely true. Nevertheless, the listening experience is neither flattering nor consensual. It isn’t necessary to use an extremely powerful amplifier with the Elipson Prestige Facet 14F in order to deliver a convincing and balanced sound, even at low volume.
The low range has no difficulty making itself heard thanks to a meticulously studied load and wide front-firing port. Once connected to the Graham Slee AMP2 Communicator preamp, the Elipson Alpha 100 turntable?s round bass is faithfully restituted.
The energy is distributed in a way that puts the low-mids in the spotlight, which gives a lot of substance to vocals and adds more texture to percussion instruments. The tweeter handles its share of medium frequencies with great care, and there is no notable tone emphasis. The speaker is serene and provides a lot of depth.
The higher end of the spectrum is well integrated and neither dry nor excessively bright, bringing extra depth to the sound stage.
Elipson Prestige Facet 14F: conclusions
The Elipson Prestige Facet 14F is, without a doubt, a very agreeable speaker whose main quality is its very pleasant sound placement, making it a great match for both vinyls and digital music. Any stereo or home cinema amplifier delivering 30W or more can efficiently drive these speakers. A warm and peaceful listening experience.