|Evett and Shaw Elan Loudspeakers|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Bookshelf/Monitor Loudspeakers|
|Written by Jerry Del Colliano|
|Wednesday, 01 March 2000|
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The Evett and Shaw Elan ($2,200) with the matching Flatte 50 amplifier ($2,000) is the first system on the market dedicate to high performance sound for your desktop environment. Most audio/video enthusiasts spend far more time at work then they do in the sweet spot of their high performance audio/video systems at home. With the tremendous success of MP3 audio and the proliferation of CD-ROM and DVD drives in personal computers, we are automatically outfitted with a front end for music to empower us in our personal workspaces.
The Evett and Shaw Elan
The Evett and Shaw Elan is the best-sounding, truly small, nearfield loudspeaker I have heard to date. When I say truly small, I mean these suckers are tiny at 10 inches tall by five inches wide and 11 inches deep. The Evett and Shaw Elans create sound through a 3.25-inch-wide, full- range speaker driver. A second driver that is slightly larger is installed in the bottom of the speaker and is crossed over differently, which creates the Elan’s low frequency response. The enclosures are not made of typical MDF plywood; instead, they are composed of 6.5-millimeter-thick aluminum and stuffed with North American black wool for deadening and a superior lack of cabinet resonance.
The Elans and Flatte 50 arrive at your doorstep packed in their own silver Zero Centurion Elite suitcases, custom outfitted with velvet lining to protect and pamper your new toys. What do you do with the case? Personally, I go to chic Hollywood bars and tell people I am John DeLorean. You may choose to take it on your next vacation or use it for storage. The case is a great added value. The minute you open the box you understand the level of perfection that goes into each Elan and Flatte 50.
The Evett and Shaw Elans come finished in some of the world’s most exotic woods and colors. I had my Elans finished in jade with clear acrylic tops, to match my new Apple Macintosh G3 400 MHz desktop machine. I have seen other finishes like Sauterne and Cherry; they look great, too.
My desktop system is run from my main design computer, which is located on the far side of my desk, out of my sight. My Elans are positioned on the other side of my desk, away from my monitors, with a view of Beverly Hills and the skyscrapers of Century City. I position my Elans this way because I want to use the size of my semi-circle birch desk to create a musical escape away from my phone and my computer monitors. Below that section of my desk, I position a Sunfire True Subwoofer Mark II to provide my desktop system low-frequency support to increase low-level detail for my predominantly quiet listening, as well as to add some thunder on those occasions when I get to blast my system.
On top of my desk, between the Elans, the matching Flatte 50 power amplifier, priced at $2000, is hooked in, radiating warm sound and a futuristic blue light from its three circular, internal heat syncs. The effect of the blue light is striking when the sun has set and the skyscrapers are haphazardly lit up in the distance.
I have had custom cables made for my system by Evett and Shaw. They really went overboard to make the cables look, connect and sound great. In my case, Evett and Shaw have employed Transparent Cable, custom terminated with WBT spades and sexy banana, as well as locking Neutrec Speakon connectors to hook in to the Flatte 50 amp. The cables are custom colored to match the jade side panels of the Elans.
Setting Up Your Elans
Hooking up the Elans is not hard. However, you may need some adapters to get a feed from your computer to your amp and speakers. You do not need to use the Flatte 50 amplifier -- you may choose to use an integrated amp or a simple power amplifier instead. I use the Apple CD Control panel as my preamp, with a standard sound card as my output. If you use a traditional power amplifier, you’ll likely need to use your computer to regulate the volume of your system. You could avoid using your computer as your front end entirely and use anything from a portable CD player to a changer like Adcom’s six CD unit with a variable output. Using your Elan system with a CD changer allows you to create moods for your day’s work while enjoying a more resolute sound than you’ll get from most sound cards built into computer CD-ROM drives.