This review page is supported in part by the sponsors whose ad banners are displayed below

Not unmentioned should go that hookup wiring isn't cheap generic stuff but quality Van den Hul with matching biwire jumpers instead of terrible brass plates. That's how it's done! For 89dB sensitivity Elac recommend at least 60 watts per side. My Abacus Ampollo would be right in its element. With 105wpc into 8Ω, I admire its low-down shove and brilliant dynamics both coarse and fine.

Honest. The black lacquer made me do it. The first album was piano pure – Alfred Brendel with Beethoven's Sonata N°.8 in c-minor popularly known as “Pathétique“, not the pathetic one. First take? Da bomb! With thunder Brendel dispatched the first vehement c-minor chord, then dissolved it with soft cat's paws into G-major whilst manifesting the concert grand in my room. This utterly decorrelated from the speakers as sound sources but was believably dimensioned as a physical object. That four drivers each did this was perfectly secondary. Once the fifth bar suggested a B-seventh chord whilst kicking off the 32nd-note runs, each tone rolled into space like a perfectly round pearl. My later notes memorized this as "effortless".

With the FS 507 the hard-boiled hifi sleuth suspects from the start of his investigation that everything is proceeding just as it should. The bass is full but fleetfooted, the mids are clearly drawn, the highs are brilliant and clear and perfectly illuminated. Which quickly begs erasure. Such language implies identifiable separate creatures of bass, mids and high. Nein. Across the literally entire range of ivories I was thunderstruck by an utter seamlessness of a rarely encountered sort. Think free-flowing coherence encapsulating the big picture without absconding with the details which are there for the taking should one wish to focus on them. Those could be the tiniest physical noises of the piano's mechanics or the unfiltered quiet breathing of the artist. All that is offered up casually, not on a silver tablet by a pushy butler. To be plain, absolute concert atmosphere.

To counter this early program I reached for Thurston Moore's "Honest James" [Trees outside the academy], the solo outing of Sonic Youth's guitarist. Two hard-panned acoustic guitars left and right, one bass. All three are mixed slightly dark and clearly not overly brilliant. Here I felt indulged in ripe and powerful bass without any plodding. In general my space isn't ideal for such depth mining. I could stand higher damping to avoid boom at high SPL. But no trace of that with the FS 507. Bass reached low but remained bone dry. Later into the game Moore sings paralleled by a woman. Like a studio monitor the Elac revealed that the lady falters some on intonation whilst Moore hits 'em dead on the head. But this revelation didn't intrude. Rather it enhanced the authentic live feel.

The bass thing fascinated me. Had I really been saved from dreaded boom? To find out I cued up Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Otherside", a grotesque master where ProTools shows a solid black bar for precisely zero dynamics so the piece steams like a top-speed locomotive beginning to end. Even here the FS 507 didn't lose its lunch. With full control the bass exploded dark and earthy but wiry and nicely separated from the bass drums which join in eight bars later. Groovy delight!