Wharfedale’s Diamond vary has been one of many main contenders at finances worth factors for extra years than we care to recollect. The success of this reasonably priced sequence has spanned nearly 4 many years and, understandably, tended to overshadow the corporate’s extra premium efforts. We don’t suppose that is honest, given the excellence of the present Award-winning Evo 4.4 floorstanders and now the massively formidable Elysian 4.
These towers are one half of Wharfedale’s new high-end Elysian vary – the opposite is the Elysian 2 standmounters – and had been developed in tandem with the Evo sequence. Whereas there are widespread engineering threads between these two ranges, it doesn’t take lengthy to grasp that the Elysians signify the total expression of these ideas.
Standing 119cm tall and 40cm vast, the Elysian Four are massive audio system – unusually broad by present requirements. They’re a three-way design with a 27 x 90mm AMT (Air Movement Transformer) tweeter, 15cm midrange unit and a pair of meaty 22cm bass models. All three of the bigger models use a cone product of a woven glass fibre matrix, a proprietary materials that’s claimed to mix low mass with excessive power. On this set up, it’s additionally lined with a high-plasticity coating for improved damping of inner resonances.
Wharfedale Elysian Four tech specs
Sort Three-way floorstander
Frequency response 30Hz-22kHz
Impedance 8ohm suitable
Dimension (hwd) 119 x 40 x 43cm
The bass models are tuned by a downward-firing port association of the sort we’ve seen on plenty of Wharfedale’s audio system in recent times. The port vents via a spot between the bottom of the primary speaker cupboard and the plinth. This association makes the transition from the excessive air stress contained in the enclosure to the low stress of the listening room smoother and is claimed to scale back bass distortion, enhance effectivity and unfold the bass vitality extra evenly across the room. In sensible phrases, this makes the Elysian Four much less fussy about room placement than they in any other case is perhaps.
The Wharfedale’s cupboard is greater than only a easy picket field. The entrance baffle and inner braces are product of high-density fibreboard (HDF), whereas the remainder of the enclosure makes use of layered MDF and particleboard panels in a bid to manage resonances. The cupboard quantity is break up internally in order that the bass models have their very own separate area to work in and don’t disturb the midrange’s operation.
The enclosure sits on extensively spaced flooring spikes, giving the Elysian Four a strong and secure stance on a stage floor, although oddly they will’t be adjusted and locked into place – one thing to notice in case you have uneven laborious flooring.
Wharfedale has completed these audio system fantastically. The towers can be found in three classy-looking color choices – walnut, black and white – and lined in a deep, hand-polished piano gloss. Whereas such a gloss end is hardly uncommon, this stage of high quality actually is. The gloss is splendidly deep and splendid, and in our expertise unmatched at this stage.
It comes as no shock to search out that such massive audio system want a decently massive area to shine. We handle to get a very good balanced sound in our comparatively humble listening room, however even then it’s clear that the Elysian Four would relish extra space to breathe.
We recommend beginning with them not less than a metre from the rear wall and as removed from the perimeters as attainable. It’s value enjoying round with the quantity of angling in the direction of the listening place, too. We find yourself pointing the tweeters in order that they cross slightly behind our heads, however due to the AMT’s comparatively even horizontal dispersion there’s sufficient leeway to experiment.
These are revealing audio system and any compromise with the partnering supply or amplification is instantly heard. That mentioned, a sensitivity of 92dB/W/m and a nominal impedance that’s quite vaguely described as ‘8ohm suitable’ means that lower-powered amplifiers shouldn’t be discounted. Certainly, we get nice outcomes with Leben’s CS600X built-in amplifier, with its valve-driven circuitry and modest 28W per channel output.
The majority of our testing is finished with our reference Burmester 088/911 Mk3 pre/energy mixture fed by Naim’s ND555/555 PS DR music streamer and the Technics SL-1000R report participant fitted with a Kiseki Purple Coronary heart MC cartridge. Whereas these elements would sometimes be partnered with pricier audio system than the Wharfedale, we by no means really feel their efficiency is unduly restricted by the Elysian 4.
These floorstanders ship a mix of scale, authority and dynamic punch that almost all (invariably smaller) worth rivals can’t match. That is obvious once we play Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture; the Wharfedale’s excessive quantity functionality and spectacular muscularity come to the fore. They offer the music a palpable presence in our listening room and ship a way of energy that almost all rivals barely trace at.
Massive-scale crescendos are dispatched with confidence, the Elysians punching out sound with actual venom. They will play at excessive quantity ranges with out stress too, but in addition have the much less widespread attribute of nonetheless sounding fascinating at whisper ranges. That is one thing to pay attention to in case you pay attention late at evening and don’t wish to disturb the neighbours.
These two 22cm bass drivers do exactly what we might anticipate and generate the form of spectacular low-end heft their look suggests, giving the presentation a splendidly strong basis to work from. If all this discuss of muscle and physicality suggests a scarcity of finesse or subtlety, you’re mistaken. If something it’s the Elysian 4’s impressively civil nature that appeals to us most.
They’ve the perception and delicacy to carry Ólafur Arnalds’ Discovered Songs album – a beloved go-to in our assortment – to life. The Wharfedale’s sound is filled with element, which is organised in a pure and intuitive manner. We like the way in which these monster floorstanders specific the album’s dynamic nuances and the talent with which they convey instrumental textures. It’s an unforced presentation that’s snug and easy-going with out sounding bland. There’s quite a lot of evaluation on provide, however the musical expertise all the time comes first.
These towers seize the album’s varied moods brilliantly, making us really feel unhappy, hopeful or peaceable relying on the monitor we’re enjoying. Solely the perfect merchandise handle to speak the feelings in music this properly.
Tonally, these Wharfedales are clean and admirably refined. Feed them a shiny and aggressive recording resembling Bruce Springsteen’s Terry’s Track and so they gained’t disguise the tough edges. However neither do they exit of their approach to emphasise the shortcomings. That AMT tweeter is an efficient one: it combines decision with smoothness, delivering the highs sweetly with out missing chunk. And that’s a troublesome steadiness to strike.
Stereo imaging is spectacular, too. Like most massive audio system these towers don’t fairly handle to vanish inside the soundstage, however they nonetheless render a properly targeted and layered picture. It’s not essentially the most intimate of shows, however that’s not a giant concern given the Wharfedale’s formidable array of strengths.
Switching between Nina Simone’s Unusual Fruit, Kanye West’s Yeezus set and Debussy’s Clare De Lune, we’re struck by the Elysian’s transparency. They clearly differentiate between the varied recordings, their presentation shifting accordingly. It’s all overlayed with an overriding smoothness and barely laid-back nature, however that’s straightforward to listen to via.
As we pay attention, we’re taken by Simone’s passionate supply, the way in which every vocal phrase cuts with harm. The horror and drama within the track comes via with out dilution, the Elysian’s readability via the midrange making all of it attainable. Kanye West’s album proves these floorstanders can dance in the event that they wish to, even when it feels as if they’re slightly reserved at occasions. Clare De Lune highlights the Elysian 4’s pretty treble efficiency and the way in which these towers monitor dynamic shifts so diligently. We’re hooked and haven’t any alternative however to pay attention proper to the top, hanging on each final notice as we achieve this.
In our view, good worth doesn’t come right down to how low cost one thing is; for us it’s about how a lot you get for the cash. In these phrases, these massive Wharfedales signify glorious worth. In terms of construct, engineering content material and efficiency, they’ve little to concern from any rival.
Offered you will have a room massive sufficient to accommodate them, and a suitably proficient system, we extremely suggest you will have a pay attention. It’s clear that Wharfedale now has one other jewel in its crown.
- Sound 5
- Compatibility 4
- Construct 5
Learn our information to the best floorstanding speakers
Learn our Wharefdale Evo 4.4 review