直到最近，在eBay上看见一个美国人卖一个意力十几年前出的一个10寸低音单元，忍不住买来玩玩（连运费12美金），顺便把我的疑问告诉了他。结果此人看来是个老烧友，很热情的給我回了email，讲述了一翻意力和另外一个德国牌子在20年前就退出了美国市场的情况，而且还跟我小讲了一下他的发烧经，据说也是一个日本烧友传給他的，关于“your sound”，也就是不要盲目发烧，而应该确定你自己喜欢的声音再决定要买什么系统的问题。虽然道理都懂，不过大家萍水相逢，人家一番好意，我还是挺感激。他还建议我买一个性价比很高的胆机前置，其音色接近Marantz 7C （美国烧友中胆机属于高贵级别，看看ebay上胆机的竞价就知道，大部分都比石极贵许多。看起来中国烧友还是挺幸福的，至少咱自己的胆机便宜且音质不错，即使高端也不算贵）。
Elac abandoned the US market because they couldn't compete on price. They were most successful in the US with turntables in the 1960's and 70's, but Japanese direct drive units became popular (Elac were rim-drive) and took the market.
As far as speakers, Elac and Braun, both German, left the market around 1980, at that time the High End of the market was dominated by American and British speakers (Tannoy, Spendor,Quad, Rogers for the British, Infinity, AR, Advent and others for the US. For "raw" speakers, that is speakers not in enclosures brands such as JBL, Altec and later imports like Focal, Cabbase, ATC gained in popularity.
I'm curious as to what you will do with this 1 Elac woofer? If you are a "beginning" audiophile, are you assembling your own speaker system? If you are that strapped for funds, there are many good used speaker systems available at affordable prices.
Years ago, a Japanese audiophile gave me a good piece of advice: Decide what "your sound" is.
By "your sound" he meant what do you look for in tone-vivid and detailed? Warm, smooth "big" sound? 3 dimensional "high end" sound?
Before you embark on putting together a system, think about what your sound is, then research what components compliment that profile- i.e., if you vivid and detailed, solid state electronics with modern speakers like B&W or Genesis, Warm smooth big sound-Tube equipment with larger speakers like older AR, Tannoy or Altec.
You don't neccessesarily have to spend large sum's of money to do this. What you have to do is know yourself (your sound) and know what different equipment does/sounds like. One thing I have found, is the stuff that costs most is not the best.
One example is tube equipment, that can be very expensive. A Marantz 7C preamplifier sells for around $3000 on ebay- it is very good, beautiful and is collected by experts in the US, Japan, China and Europe.
The Dynaco PAS2 preamp generally sells at $150 on ebay. Its sound is practically the same tonally as the Marantz 7C. Where it falls short is it is slightly less informational as far as inner detail and dimensionality.
I know, because I have both.
I guess the point is think before you commit to buying.