Fluance XL7F Loudspeakers Review 
Home Theater Loudspeakers Floorstanding Loudspeakers
Written by Andre Marc   
Friday, 24 April 2015

Fluance is a speaker manufacturer based in Ontario, Canada. They have been around since 1999, but, I admit, they were a new name to me when I received an email from their very diligent PR person asking if I was interested in reviewing one of their products. One look at the product line, and the amazingly modest pricing, led me to immediately reply in the affirmative.

Fluance designs and distributes a full suite of home theater and two channel speakers. They sell complete 5.1 systems, floorstanders, standmounts, surround speakers, and subwoofers. There are several lines to choose from, including the AV, SX, and XL Series, each with specific characteristics and cosmetics. I am reviewing a pair of the XL7F floorstanders, which sell for an amazing $499. Fluance sells direct from their website as well as through select retailers.

Fluance XL7FBefore we get into the XL7F's interesting design, let's take a quick look at what Fluance touts as its “premium” features:

  • Down-firing 8” long-throw subwoofer for longer excursion, better linearity and deep, undistorted bass
  • Tuned rear bass port reflex cabinet designed for improved efficiency and controlled low-frequency response
  • Butyl rubber surrounds suppress unwanted cone resonances, ensuring durability and performance reliability
  • The copper sound-isolation floor spikes eliminate vibration absorption to aid in eradicating distortion
  • Bi-amp/bi-wire 5-way gold-plated binding post terminals for optimum conductivity
  • Binding post designed for banana plug connectors and speaker wire compatibility
  • Premium crossovers feature Butterworth design for audio equalization
  • Low diffraction flush fit removable front grilles for spacious imaging

fluance_xl7f_loudspeakers_bottom.jpgThe speakers are outfitted with a 1-inch silk dome neodymium tweeter, two 6.5-inch midrange drivers in separate enclosures and, interestingly, a downward-firing 8-inch woofer. The speaker covers the 45 Hz to 20 Khz range, is stated to have a sensitivity of 89 db, with published impedance specs of “4-8 Ohms”. The most intriguing, and unusual, aspect of the design is the crossover point, which is 800/3500 Hz.  

The speakers are packed well, and impressively made, for this price point. They measure almost 46 inches high and are just over 45 Lbs each in weight. The Mahogany finish is very nice indeed. Dark Walnut is also available. Taking a close look at the drivers and binding posts, everything was cleanly assembled.


 

Set Up & Listening

I used the XL7Fs with three different amplifiers. First, and a bit perversely, with the $6000 McIntosh MA6600 integrated. Secondly, with the just reviewed $599 Denon PMA-50. And lastly, with a DAL Audio gain clone power amp and Belles Soloist 3 preamp combo. Sources were the Simaudio MiND 180D streamer and Musical Fidelity V90 DAC. Cabling was Transparent, DH Labs, and Stager.

fluance_xl7f_loudspeakers_logo.jpgThe XL7F is the least expensive speaker I have had in any of my systems, apart from desktop computer monitors. I was not sure what to expect when i fired up the McIntosh and started streaming tunes. I need not have worried. The presentation was coherent and spacious, and timing was spot on. Without question, any major shortcomings would have been easily exposed by an amp as good as the MA6600, or with very high quality source material.

I was especially impressed with two things. First, the way voices sounded, and, secondly, how good instrument imaging and spacing were. Tracks from Seal’s acoustic re-recordings of his classic hits from the bonus disc of Best: 1991-2004 had wonderful delicacy when called for, and very good controlled energy when things picked up. At this point, I was able to determine the XL7F's bass was deep, taught, articulate, and a bit on the warm side (enjoyably so).

At this point I moved on to the Denon PMA-50 and DAL gainclone amp because these are more in line with Fluance pricing and a more realistic pairing. The musical presentation with these amps paired to the XL7F was highly engaging. These amps may cost one tenth of the McIntosh but they are well designed, with short signal paths.

fluance_xl7f_loudspeakers_binding-posts.jpg

I listened to a load of Bernie Grundman mastered 24 bit, 192 Khz Blue Note albums, and was delighted with the nuances I heard on these classic recordings. Milt Jackson’s Sunflower sounded delicious, with his vibes having a really nice bell-like tone. I also thoroughly enjoyed Dexter Gordon’s One Flight Up. The horns and piano had nice tone, and timbres were accurate. The music had a realistic weight to it that made the recordings sound like real performances.

With the recent passing of guitar genius John Renbourn, I listened to a good part of his discography, which is uniformly well recorded. Renbourn’s music requires speakers that can replicate acoustic textures correctly, and the XL7F did not falter. I listened for days without being distracted by any additive or subtractive qualities.

 



So where does the XL7F fall short?

Really in only one area. It gives up the last bit of resolution and refinement to far costlier speakers. Its focus is more presenting a complete picture rather than spotlighting individual elements of a recording, which is right in tune with my preferences. Other than that, the XL7F is the best $500 speaker I have had in my system. By a long shot.

luance_xl7f_loudspeakers_side_rear.jpgI had the chance to speak to several of the key players at Fluance and was impressed with their business model and outlook. According to them, they constantly strive to improve the products, and while there are compromises that must be made at this price point, they carefully choose where they can shave costs without effecting sonics.

Fluance offers a 30-day return guarantee, generous by any standards. The folks at Fluance say get very few back, which does not surprise me. They also offer an unheard of lifetime warranty. How about free shipping too? No, I ain’t kidding.

Conclusion

We have here a pair of floorstanding speakers for $499, with a top-to-bottom coherent, musically satisfying presentation, and a lifetime warranty. Sheesh. Seems too good to be true, but Fluance has been in business for over 15 years providing this kind of deal.

The big bonus is the speakers look great, and would fit into just about any decor. I personally will look at building a 5.1 system with Fluance speakers in the not too distant future. I can’t recommend the XL7F highly enough taking into consideration all I have talked about above.  Fluance is now on my radar in a big way.

 

 

 

Specifications


Fluance XL7F -- $499 per pair
www.fluance.com

Frequency Response 45Hz - 20KHz     
Sensitivity 89dB     
Impedance 4 ~ 8 Ohms     
Enclosure Tuned Rear Port Bass Reflex Tower Design     
Dimensions (H x W x D) 45.8 x 8.5 x 13.4 inch     
Weight 45.2 pounds/speaker

Review System 1


Server: SOtM Mini Server w/ battery power supply
DAC: Simaudio Neo 308D w/MiND streamer module, iFI Micro iDSD,
Tape Deck: Revox A77
Preamp: Coffman Labs G1-A, CIAudio PLC-1 MKII
Amplifier: Audio Research VS55, CLONES Audio 25p, Simaudio 760A
Speaker: Thiel CS2.4, Thiel TM3, Bryston Mini T
Cables: Stager Sound, Acoustic Zen, Element Cable Red Storm (Digital AC), DH Labs Mirage USB
Accessories: Symposium Rollerblocks and Svelte Shelves, Shakti Stone, Audience Adept Response aR6 power conditioner, Salamander rack

Review System 2


CD Player: Marantz PM5004
Music Server: Simaudio MiND 180
DAC: Marantz HD DAC1, Bryston BDA-1
Integrated Amplifier: McIntosh  MA6600, Denon PMA-50,
Amplifier: DAL Audio Gainclone
Preamplifier: Belles Soloist 3
Tape Deck: Sony TC-350
Speaker: Harbeth Compact 7ES3
Cables: Stager Sound, Transparent,  DH Labs AES/EBU & Toslink,
Accessories:Cable Pro Noisetrapper, Sound Anchors Stands, Wiremold






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