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Fluance ES1 Surround and Center Channel Design Overview

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Sans a few rubber feet adhered to the bottom of the center channel, there is very little separating the center channel from the surrounds.  This creates a sense of continuity that just makes economical sense from a production standpoint.  The ES1 surrounds and center channel are fabricated out of a combination of medium density fiberboard and extruded aluminum just like the ES1 tower loudspeakers they compliment.  The extruded aluminum rear enclosure is dampened with medium density fiberboard panels that add a little more weight to the lightweight and potentially resonant extruded aluminum.  The design of the cabinet looks good if you are into a modern looking speaker.

ES1 Center Channel

ES1 Center Channel

The center channel is small enough to comfortably sit below a big screen television or can easily be mounted to a wall with the built in wall mounting mechanism.  Likewise, the surround channels feature the same wall mounting mechanism allowing vertical or horizontal mounting.  With the loudspeaker grilles in place, the ES1 surrounds and center channel are relatively unobtrusive.  For a more aggressive look the speaker coverings can be removed exposing the piano black baffle and yellow faced mid-woofers decorated with chrome mounting rings.  The speaker grille is attached to the baffle using small chromed studs that do a good job holding them and the speakers also look pretty good with the grilles off.  This is a nice touch at this price point where most grille attachment points use plastic cups. 

ES1 Surround/Center Wall Mount

ES1 Surround/Center Wall Mount

The ES1 surround and center channel have very high quality 5-way binding posts that are simple to use with banana connectors or bare wire.  The overall build quality, components, assembly, fit and finish are all top notch.  The top and bottom of the surrounds and left and right side of the center channel are also finished in a shiny black finish that looks good and seems pretty durable.

The speaker is an acoustic suspension design in a relatively small cabinet. Given this and the manufacturer’s rated response from 100Hz to 20kHz,the center channel and surround speakers will benefit from bass management and mating with a quality subwoofer to handle the lower registers. 

Fluance ES1 Drivers

ES1 Woofer and TweeterTwo 5-inch yellow woven fiberglass mid-bass drivers straddle a 1-inch ferro-fluid silk dome tweeter.  The drivers used here look like the same drivers used in the ES1 pillar floorstanding loudspeaker. The magnetically shielded mid-bass drivers are made from a stamped metal frame that is chromed to improve appearance. The mid-bass drivers have a pretty hefty magnet for their size.  However, their quality is on par with what is expected at the low price these speakers are offered for. 

The 1-inch ferro-fluid cooled silk dome tweeter is a very beefy tweeter for the low asking price of these loudspeakers.  Although the faceplate is made of plastic, the rest of the tweeter’s build looks on-par with higher dollar tweeters I have worked with in the past.  The sonic characteristics of silk dome tweeters are typically much different than that of hard dome tweeters. Personally, I tend to prefer the sound of silk dome tweeters to aluminum dome tweeters found in many loudspeakers.  Newer exotic hard dome tweeters made from materials such as beryllium, ceramic and even diamond can be exceptional but also carry a very high price tag.  Fluance made a very interesting design choice by crossing over the tweeter at 13kHz.  This tweeter sounds pretty good in the ES1 pillars crossed over at 3.5kHz so the choice to cross them over at 13kHz is interesting to say the least.

 

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Recent Forum Posts:

gene posts on September 19, 2013 22:18
Pruis, post: 989301
Thanks for posting this review of the ES1 center and surrounds. I'm considering the 5.0 ES1 setup for HT, so this review is of particular interest.

The posted SPL versus frequency plot appears to be identical to the ES1 towers, and I suspect this is incorrect. The center speaker sensitivity was noted to be 84.6dB between 300 and 3kHz, but the provided graph indicates the sensitivity stays above 85dB over nearly the entirety of the suggested frequency band.

Great catch on the Frequency Response graph. I just fixed it but give it about 20 min for the page to cache out. Thanks!
Pruis posts on September 19, 2013 20:36
Thanks for posting this review of the ES1 center and surrounds. I'm considering the 5.0 ES1 setup for HT, so this review is of particular interest.

The posted SPL versus frequency plot appears to be identical to the ES1 towers, and I suspect this is incorrect. The center speaker sensitivity was noted to be 84.6dB between 300 and 3kHz, but the provided graph indicates the sensitivity stays above 85dB over nearly the entirety of the suggested frequency band.
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