A genuine example of luxury audio, ELYSIAN offers indulgence in design, materials, aesthetics and performance. A thorough and no-compromise approach has led the Wharfedale engineers to create a benchmark in affordable, audiophile-grade luxury loudspeakers. Cutting-edge design and class-leading technology are combined to deliver musical reproduction that will proudly challenge the world’s finest loudspeakers.
From the Piano-Lacquer finished cabinet, created with details of true craftsmanship, through to the AMT (Air Motion Transformer) high-frequency transducers and European manufactured bass drivers, ELYSIAN represents a new standard in the world of home audio experiences.
The resultant sound, from the finely balanced driver selection and expert crossover design, matches the pristine design with a degree of natural transparency that will leave you breathless.
One for the connoisseur and one for the history books, ELYSIAN will leave you questioning, how is this possible in this price class?
ELYSIAN is truly an audio engineering work of art.
The AMT (Air Motion Transformer) is a radically different way of moving air. A large, pleated, lightweight diaphragm is driven across its surface by rows of strategically placed metallic strips immersed in a strong magnetic field. Under the influence of the musical drive the pleats in the diaphragm contract and expand, squeezing the air between them to form the desired waveform.
Not only is this an efficient way of moving air but it is also very accurate as the diaphragm is under close control of the motor system at all times. In addition, the AMT is a velocity, rather than pressure, transducer, capable of producing scintillatingly fast transients and dynamics. The result is a wide bandwidth device that achieves low distortion naturally and delivers wonderful musical detail.
In the spirit of Gilbert Briggs, who was well known for experimenting with new driver materials, Wharfedale investigated a range of options to match the sensitivity and accuracy of the AMT treble unit.
The designers settled on 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. With such a low-mass cone, only a low-damping, foamed, rubber-like material would match the surround – again, coated for durability.
Drive energy for the cone comes from a 25mm, 2-layer voice coil centred in a magnetic gap fitted with an aluminium ring to control eddy currents, linearise inductance and so increase bandwidth and reduce distortion. The whole assembly is fitted to a die-cast aluminium basket with large ventilation windows below the spider to improve transient response.
A central phase plug is specially shaped to linearise the output across a wide bandwidth, even off-axis, enhancing a natural response to the music which can be heard anywhere the listener wishes to sit.
This midrange driver enables the ELYSIAN speakers to deliver voices and instruments with astonishing realism. Vocalists seem to be present in the room with the listener – simply close your eyes and listen to the palpable presence of singers in the acoustic space.
The midrange unit is matched with a glass fibre matrix cone for the bass unit, in this case, terminated with a highly flexible rubber surround and driven by a specially developed low-distortion motor system. Mounted on a die-cast aluminium chassis, the magnet system features an aluminium ring for eddy current control, immersing the 17.5mm long, 38mm diameter voice coil in high flux over 12mm of linear excursion.
In order to plumb the depths of the lowest frequencies in recorded music, the 220mm bass units – one in the ELYSIAN 2, two in the ELYSIAN 4 are capable of reaching down below 28Hz in-room, revealing the full body and impact of percussion, stringed and wind instruments.
For ELYSIAN we wanted to create a cabinet that enhanced the acoustic output of the drivers as well as providing a piece of furniture of which the owner can be justly proud. Hand crafted, exotic veneers are mirrored by true piano finish lacquers, hand polished to six levels of depth to give a truly beautiful finish.
Underneath the veneer, working unseen, is a sandwich of different woods designed to reduce panel resonance to below audibility. This multi-layer construction, PROS (Panel Resonance Optimization System), has a further benefit – it inhibits the leakage of unwanted sound energy from inside the cabinet which would otherwise interfere with the forward output of the drive units.
The bass units are loaded by an advanced version of Wharfedale’s signature slot-loaded port. Christened SLPP (Slot-Loaded Profiled Port), it ensures that the rear output of the bass units is not wasted. Instead, the lowest frequency energy is vented to a slot at the base of the speaker, specially profiled to equalise the high internal pressure to the low pressure in the room.
This reduces the distortion that is typical of bass reflex system and increases the port’s efficiency. In addition, because the air is dispersed uniformly in the room, the speakers are less fussy about siting.
In combination, the bass units and SLPP bass reflex system provide the massive foundation upon which the rest of the musical performance sits, letting you feel as well as hear the full impact of thunderous low-frequency information. High overall system sensitivity, in the region of 92dB for 1 Watt of input, allows any amplifier to reveal the full dynamic range of the music fed to it, without strain or limitation.
Combining the outputs of the drivers is an advanced computer-modelled crossover that has been developed over hundreds of hours of listening tests, fine-tuned to make sure that the blend between the drive units is seamless. Crossover slopes have been modelled on each individual driver’s acoustic response, matched to Linkwitz-Riley characteristics, with the crossover frequencies chosen to maximise the optimum, linear performance of each drive unit. Of particular note is the phase consistency across the drive unit output, allowing a wide range of seating position and encouraging the power response to be highly linear throughout your listening room.
Crossover components have been chosen for their transparency, with silicon-iron cored coils for bass and midrange featuring low DCR that allows the amplifier excellent control of the drivers, plus air core coils in the treble and low ESR, Polypropylene capacitors throughout the signal path, ensuring that you hear all the musical detail with nothing held back.
You’ll hear the full body of instruments like cello and bass guitar, without straining to enjoy the complete dynamics of the musical recital. Whether you are listening to solo piano, full orchestra or a jazz trio or multi-instrument rock performance, ELYSIAN is more than capable of bringing the thrill and excitement of the performance into your listening room.