Elac BS 203.2 and modern (cheap) surround receiver bad combo

Antracith

Member
Jul 28, 2021
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0
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Hi all!
I've running a Pioneer VSX-923 for quite a few years together with a Canton surround system (Le 109, le 105, le 102) and it has been lovely!

But,
Since we became parents, we have begun realizing that a downsizing would be a good idea.

I therefore bought a pair of used (but in mint condition) Elac BS 203.2 after having read good things about them and having listened to them at the sellers place.

Well at home, I hooked them up to my vsx-923 and I was supprised; I was quite dissapointed, it seems my receiver lacks the power to run these small bookshelf speakers.

An example; when i listen to summer of 69, a few seconds in, when the music "starts", the volume kind of goes down, there is no power, no punch. Very different from when i listened to them at the sellers place. That being said, his amp was att the $2000 and above level.

Can anyone explain why this happens to me? I thought the elacs were quite easily driven being 4 ohms and 88db. The vsx-923 has above 100w per channel, and my Canton le109 has never complained...
 
Last edited:

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
1,053
703
20,070
The sound of a speaker can be affected by many things, including:-
1. the room
2. how you’ve placed them, relative to walls, corners etc.
3. your amp and the rest of the system
4. the source
etc…

Are they connect correctly, observing phase - plus and minus connected the same? Your Pioneer looks ok on paper, as many AV amps do, but in practice they can sound a bit thin and bland on music. They’re ok for surround with lots of explosions though!

Have you reconnected the Cantons to check everything is ok? Can you get to a dealer to try something else, or maybe borrow an amplifier from somebody?
 

gasolin

Well-known member
Mar 17, 2013
1,049
206
19,570
I think it's because they are 4 ohm, no 8 ohm spekare are 8 ohm and higher, the same with 4 ohm speakers no speakers are 4 ohm or high

minimum is 3,2 Ohm at 250 Hz
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
1,182
633
12,070
Hi all!
I've running a Pioneer VSX-923 for quite a few years together with a Canton surround system (Le 109, le 105, le 102) and it has been lovely!

But,
Since we became parents, we have begun realizing that a downsizing would be a good idea.

I therefore bought a pair of used (but in mint condition) Elac BS 203.2 after having read good things about them and having listened to them at the sellers place.

Well at home, I hooked them up to my vsx-923 and I was supprised; I was quite dissapointed, it seems my receiver lacks the power to run these small bookshelf speakers.

An example; when i listen to summer of 69, a few seconds in, when the music "starts", the volume kind of goes down, there is no power, no punch. Very different from when i listened to them at the sellers place. That being said, his amp was att the $2000 and above level.

Can anyone explain why this happens to me? I thought the elacs were quite easily driven being 4 ohms and 88db. The vsx-923 has above 100w per channel, and my Canton le109 has never complained...
Hi and welcome!

Last time I've heard these in my listening room it was on the end of Leema Tucana II Anniversary Edition (RRP £5k). Superb little speakers. They are indeed 4 Ohms nominal, but where did you get the notion that's an easy load? I've not seen the measurements but they could dip to around 2 Ohms in bass (just a hunch) and that will be challenging for just about any amp. Also, small speakers are usually harder to drive than large ones by the virtue of being less efficient..

Adding to the fact their optimistic efficiency of 86dB (I'd be surprised if they really are this "efficient"). And the fact they're happy to take up to 150W... They do require a fair amount of current (read - quality Watts). By all means try different amps and make sure they are working properly but I'd hazard a guess your Pioneer just can't cope with them. And should you want to persevere with them an amp upgrade would be in order.
 

Antracith

Member
Jul 28, 2021
2
0
20
Thank you so much for your replies!
As you may notice, I am quite unexperienced in the hifi world, I so appreciate your help!

After having dug up an old stereo amplifier (Rotel RA-810A) it seems this one does a way better job than my surround receiver even though the Rotel, on paper, is much weaker (20wpc). The Rotel, however, seems to be specced to handle 4ohm speakers. I guess this is another example of when the power on paper of a somewhat older amp is hard to compare to that of newer ones.

I have yet to try the Rotel together with my ELACS more thoroughly, but I don't want to wake up my baby girl tonight...

Next up I have to decide to either replace the ELACS with something suitable for my current amp, or to replace my amp. If the Rotel turns out to feed the speakers sufficiently I need get a DAC.

I do lean towards keeping the speakers, there's something about them...
I need an amp (or an amp+dac) that can handle phono, optical in, and wireless audio (BT or airplay/spotify connect).
By now, I guess you may have already realized that my budget is on the lower side of things, so my best bet is to get used stuff.
If I were to get at another amp, and perhaps a seperate DAC, would you go for an older amp with plenty of power combined with a DAC or an all integrated more modern receiver?
 

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