The new Wharfedale Elysian 3 is a premium, compact floorstander that bridges the gap between the Elysian 2 three-way standmounter and the top-of-the-range Elysian 4 large floorstanding model. It offers the same three-way, four-driver arrangement of the top Elysian 4, but in a much smaller footprint.
Measuring 105 x 26 x 28.5cm (hwd), the Elysian is claimed to be 11 per cent shorter and a third smaller in width and depth compared with the Elysian 4, whose dimensions are 119 x 40 x 43cm. Ideal, says Wharfedale, for smaller rooms that can't accommodate the larger floorstanding model but still want a similar scale of sound.
Elysian 3 has the very same 27 x 90mm AMT (Air Motion Transformer) treble unit that was developed especially for this range for greater efficiency and accuracy, and is featured in all the Elysian speaker models. The floorstander's woven glass fibre matrix 15cm midrange driver is identical to the one used in the Elysian 2, while the twin 18cm bass drivers with glass fibre matrix (smaller than the 22cm cones used in the bigger Elysian 4) complete the set.
An advanced version of Wharfedale's own slot-loaded ported (called Slot-Loaded Profile Port) is incorporated too, situated between the bottom of the cabinet and the integrated plinth. Wharfedale claims that with this design, air is "dispersed uniformly in the room", allowing the Elysian 3 to be less fussy about placement.
The crossover and cabinet designs are given equally forensic treatment, with Wharfedale engaging in "hours of listening tests to ensure a seamless blend between the drive units" and to ensure the new cabinet size works "in perfect harmony" with the driver arrangement. The cabinet itself is a multi-layer construction using woods of different densities, that are designed to minimise panel resonance and reduce any unwanted sound waves affecting the drive units' forward outputs. The high-gloss piano veneers are hand-finished and available in black, white or walnut options.
Peter Comeau, Director of Acoustics Design, says: "The Elysian 3 takes the highly acclaimed Elysian 4 – the pinnacle of Wharfedale’s range – and reduces its footprint to a size that some will find easier to accommodate, whilst maintaining the exceptional engineering that is inherent in every Elysian design."
The Wharfedale Elysian 3 is available from July and will cost £5,999 per pair. This is consistent with the Elysian range's pricing, with each model set £1,000 apart – the top Elysian 4 is a grand more at £6,999.
Will the Elysian 3 reach the lofty heights of its five-star bigger sibling? In our review, we praised the high-end Elysian 4's build and engineering, but were especially blown away by its huge scale of sound and muscularity. "They give the music a palpable presence in our listening room and deliver a sense of power that most rivals barely hint at" – high praise indeed, and we can only hope the new Elysian 3 floorstanders offer similar balance, transparency and engagement in its more compact guise.
Read our five-star Wharfedale Elysian 4 review
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