Wharfedale Elysian Speakers Unveiled

Posted on 11th February, 2020

Wharfedale Elysian Speakers Unveiled

Wharfedale has announced its range-topping Elysian standmount and floorstanding speakers.

Wharfedale's Elysian 2 and Elysian 4 flagship speakers are the results of a unique, three-year R&D project, and were developed alongside the EVO4 Series launched at the end of last year.

Wharfedale Elysian

Previously seen at The Bristol Show and heard in Munich, the newcomers sit above the EVO4 but share some design elements with that range. The Elysian takes its name from the paradise afterworld reserved for the virtuous and heroic in Greek mythology - Wharfedale is obviously pretty happy with its new speakers, then.
 
The Elysian 2 (£4,500 per pair) is a sizeable standmount design, whereas Elysian 4 (£6,500 per pair), is a floorstander. The core speakers in both the Elysian and EVO4 ranges are three-way designs. However, the Elysian benefits from higher levels of engineering. The drivers, crossover, and cabinet, in fact, every aspect, has been developed without cost constraint, according to the manufacturer.

Elysian Drivers

Wharfedale Elysian

Taking care of the upper-frequencies (up to a quoted 22kHz) is an AMT (Air Motion Transformer) unit. This driver method is not only an efficient way of moving air, but it is also highly accurate as the diaphragm is under close control of the motor system at all times.
 
For a mid driver capable of matching the sensitivity and accuracy of the AMT treble unit Wharfedale uses a proprietary woven glass fibre matrix, formed into a 150mm cone. This provides a superb combination of low mass and high strength, with the addition of a high-plasticity coating to control its acoustic behaviour, according to the brand. With such a low-mass cone, only a low-damping, foamed, rubber-like material would match for the surround – again, coated for durability. Finally, a central phase plug is specially shaped to linearise the output across a wide bandwidth, even off-axis.  
 
The bass unit shares the mid's construction; however, it is terminated with a highly flexible rubber surround and driven by a special low-distortion motor system. Wharfedale states that the 220mm bass units – the Elysian 2 gets one while the Elysian 4 gets a couple – are capable of reaching down below 28Hz in-room (the Elysian 4 has a quoted bass extension of 24Hz).
 
The bass units are reinforced by an advanced version of Wharfedale's signature slot-loaded port. Dubbed SLPP (Slot-Loaded Profiled Port), none of the bass rear output is wasted, rather the energy from the lowest frequency range is vented to a slot at the base of the speaker. That slot is specially profiled to equalise the high internal pressure to the low pressure in the room. As well as increasing the efficiency of the port, the uniform dispersion makes the speakers less fussy about positioning.

Crossover and Cabinets

Wharfedale Elysian

Knitting everything together is “a sophisticated crossover network, fine-tuned over hundreds of hours of listening tests”. The phase consistency across the driver output is supposed to be of particular note.
 
All of this engineering is wrapped in cabinets that feature handcrafted veneers enhanced by genuine piano finish lacquers, hand-polished to six levels of depth to give a truly beautiful finish.
 
Under the veneer is a sandwich of different density woods. A familiar method of reducing panel resonance to below audible frequencies. Wharfedale terms this: PROS (Panel Resonance Optimisation System), and the multi-layer construction also apparently inhibits unwanted sound energy leaking from inside the cabinet. Finally, the attractively broad baffle design of the Elysian is finished with radiused edges to smooth the flow of sonic energy around the enclosure.
 
Wharfedale's Director of Acoustic Design, Peter Comeau, told StereoNET:

While we are justly proud of the value for money offered by the EVO4 Series, the two Elysian models represent the pinnacle of our achievements… The cabinet design, in combination with the drive units, allows the Elysian speakers to convey the full body of instruments like cello and bass guitar, without constraining the dynamics of the musical recital. Whether you're listening to solo piano, a full orchestra, a jazz trio or a rock band, these speakers bring the thrill and excitement of the performance to your listening room.

Price and availability

The Wharfedale Elysian 2 and Elysian 4 are available from February in the UK. The Elysian 2 has an RRP of £4,500 per pair (£4,900 with matching stands) and the Elysian 4, £6,500.

You get a choice of walnut, black or white finish options hand-finished in that high-gloss piano lacquer. 

For more information, head to Wharfedale.

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Jay Garrett's avatar

Jay Garrett

StereoNET UK’s Editor and Bass playing gadget junkie. He’s captained the good ship GadgetyNews for over a decade, making low jargon high tech a very handy thing. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.

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Posted in: Hi-Fi
Tags: wharfedale 

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