Wharfedale Elysian 2 Bookshelf Speakers - pair - Walnut
Wharfedale Elysian 2 Bookshelf Speakers - pair - Walnut
Top Level Performance & Build Quality
The Elysian series results from the most ambitious research and development project in Wharfedale’s storied 90-year history. The design team took on the goal of retaining all that audiophiles have admired about the “British sound,” such as warmth, intimacy, freedom from listening fatigue, and uncoloured response. Simultaneously, they sought to improve those qualities that audiophiles of today value, such as fine detail retrieval, spacious, three-dimensional imaging, and freedom from enclosure-induced colourations. On top of that, the design brief noted that they need to be beautiful and finely finished enough to be worthy of placement in the finest homes and galleries.
The Air Motion Transformer (AMT) tweeter utilised in the EVO4 range is a radically different method to move air than a conventional dome tweeter. A large, pleated lightweight diaphragm is driven across its surface by rows of strategically placed magnets. Not only is this an efficient way of moving air, but it is also very accurate as the extremely low-mass diaphragm is under close control of the motor system at all times. The result is a wide bandwidth transducer that achieves low distortion and delivers exceptional musical detail without being “bright,” harsh, and fatiguing.
Determined to match the sensitivity and accuracy of the AMT, the Wharfedale design team chose a unique woven glass fibre matrix cone with an ideal combination of low mass and strength. A high plasticity coat provides damping to suppress high-frequency resonance. A specially shaped central phase plug linearises the output across a wide bandwidth, even well off-axis for exceptionally natural sound throughout the room. With Elysian, you will hear astonishingly realistic reproduction of voices and instruments. Vocalists and musicians appear to be present in the room with you. Close your eyes and listen to the palpable presence of the performance in your listening room.
The woofer cones are the same low mass yet stiff woven glass fibre matrix as the midrange driver. The most advanced version of Wharfedale’s unique port system – the Slot Loaded Profiled Port (SLPP) – vents the woofers. As with all other bass port designs, the woofer’s rear radiation is not wasted but vented into the room. But that is where the similarities end.
The bass energy in the enclosure is under high pressure. In conventional port designs, air turbulence occurs when the bass waves abruptly exit into the low-pressure room. This turbulence wastes bass and often causes annoying “chuffing” or “popping” sounds, sometimes referred to as port noise.
In the SLPP system, both ends of the port tube are flared with a semi-parabolic flange to linearise airflow through the tube. The low-frequency energy is then vented to a slot at the speaker’s base, specially profiled to equalize the high internal pressure to the room’s low pressure. The result is an entirely natural recreation of bass instruments’ fundamental notes presented with authority and articulation, without port-induced distortion and noise.
The bass units and SLPP bass reflex system provide the massive foundation on which the rest of the musical performance sits, letting you feel as well as hear the full impact of thunderous low-frequency information.
Combining the drivers’ outputs 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. Of particular note is the phase consistency between the drivers, allowing the power response to be highly linear and consistent throughout your listening room. Elysian crossovers use the highest grade, acoustically transparent components throughout, 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, a full orchestra or a jazz trio, or a multi-instrument rock performance, ELYSIAN is more than capable of bringing the thrill and excitement of the performance into your listening room.
One can’t help but notice that Elysian is attractive. That beauty is more than skin deep. Underneath the hand polished piano lacquer finish lies a multi-layer enclosure composed of layers of different wood products sandwiched together. The dissimilar resonance characteristic of each material serves to cancel the other’s resonance for vibration and colouration-free performance. All of the drivers’ acoustic energy launches directly into the room instead of vibrating the enclosure panels. You will enjoy the kind of clarity, detail and three-dimensional imaging one expects from the costliest loudspeakers (but at a far more accessible price).
Elysian’s cabinet edges are contoured to minimise colouration-inducing diffraction. Available finishes include high gloss piano black and white. Six hand-polished layers of lacquer create their mirror-like finish worthy of concert-grade grand pianos. In the case of the available high gloss walnut, Elysian boasts book-matched real wood veneer. Book matching creates symmetry and yields maximum continuity of grain, a pattern that is most pleasing to the eye. Elysians are only sold in pairs to ensure that the veneer pattern is similar for both speakers. The fit and finish of Elysian cabinets are extraordinary, the equal or better of speakers selling for two to five times the price. Looks do matter.
The Elysian 2 bookshelf model may be mounted on shelves or other solid platforms. When those are not available, Wharfedale offers the Elysian 2 Stand, sized to raise the speaker to the ideal height for seated listeners. It, too, provides the four adjustable spikes for stability on any floor surface. As a bonus, it provides a space to store vinyl records.
With a sensitivity rating of over 92dB, Elysians may be driven by modestly powered amplifiers to reveal the music’s full dynamic range without strain or distortion. You will enjoy the wide dynamic range and visceral impact of a live performance.
Greater Than the Sum of its Parts
Elysian offers indulgence in design, technology, materials, aesthetics, and performance. A thorough and no-compromise approach has led the Wharfedale design team to create a benchmark in audiophile-grade, ultra-performance loudspeakers. Cutting edge design and class-leading technology are combined to deliver musical reproduction that will proudly challenge the world’s finest loudspeakers.
Elysian is genuinely an audio engineering work of art.
Treble: 3.5" (90mm) Air Motion Transformer
Midrange: 6.0" (150mm) coated fiberglass matrix cone
Bass: 8.5" (220mm) coated fiberglass matrix cone
Nominal Impedance: 4Ω (compatible 8Ω )
Crossover Frequency: 360Hz, 2.9kHz
Frequency Response: 35Hz ~ 22kHz (+/-3dB)
Sensitivity: 89dB (2.83V @1m)
Recommended Amplifier Power: 25 - 250W
Dimensions (HxWxD) 27.6" x 13.1" x 17.0"