Stratton Acoustics Elypsis 1512

With this blog post I can reveal a project I’ve been contributing to for the last four years or so: Stratton Acoustics. Stratton Acoustics is a new UK based high-end consumer audio company, and the Elypsis 1512 is our first product. The Elypsis 1512 is the result of electro-acoustic design by myself, with industrial design, design for manufacture and project management by a team comprising David Fowler, and Amy and Ben Richards. There’s also a whole supporting-cast of wonderfully skilled artisanal manufacturers and incredibly helpful component suppliers, without whom Stratton Acoustics would have remained just a crazy idea. 

If you happen to be familiar with the history of high performance speaker design you’ll perhaps see in the Elypsis 1512 the influence of a particular style of 1970s studio monitor. That’s no accident. Part of the inspiration for the Elypsis 1512 is products such as the JBL 4350, the Tannoy Buckingham and the Urei 815a. These are speakers that above all else play loud, with absolutely minimal distortion and compression, and do so with an intense sense of musical involvement and communication – something that some audio folk talk of as being somehow “lost” in the rarefied contemporary world of high-end speakers. The Elypsis 1512 partly constitutes an effort to push back against that feeling. But along with glancing reverently back at vintage speakers and their qualities, the Elypsis 1512 is also a fully contemporary design that employs the best of modern driver technology and electro-acoustics, and the most up to date design and manufacturing techniques.

To concentrate a little on the electro-acoustics; the Elypsis 1512 demonstrates just what can be achieved when, in parallel with a philosophy of maximising musical impact and communication, design restrictions of cost, size and weight are almost completely disregarded. The result is electro-acoustic performance unlike almost any other contemporary hi-fi speaker: half-power (-6dB) bandwidth from 28Hz to over 20kHz, sensitivity of 96dB for 2.83V at 1m, and impedance that doesn’t drop below 8Ω between 100Hz and 10kHz. The Elypsis 1512 also displays group delay of less than 12mS down to 40Hz and, at normal listening volume, has distortion levels closer to amplifier values than those typical of speakers. It is also pretty much immune to thermal compression and, thanks to its hugely rigid and inert braced birch ply cabinet, displays effectively no panel resonance. And its combination of high sensitivity (more than 8dB above a typical hi-fi speaker) and easy load means it can be driven by almost any amplifier – from a 5 Watt valve amp to a 1kW public address monster. In the latter case you might want to stand back.

Despite its large diameter and traditional paper diaphragm bass and midrange drivers, the Elypsis 1512 has a remarkably flat axial amplitude frequency response. The response curve above was measured using a ground plane technique at 1.5m on an axis midway between the midrange and tweeter drivers.

The level of electro-acoustic performance available from the Elypsis 1512 however isn’t inexpensive – especially if you take advantage of the almost limitless custom finish options available. The Elypsis 1512 falls into the, “if you have to ask the price, you probably can’t afford it category”. Think Ferrari not Ford. In the rarefied world of ultra-high-end audio however the Elypsis 1512 is very far from an outlier, and the intention is that it will over the coming year be joined by one or two somewhat less ambitious and extravagant (slightly) siblings. Don’t look away.

The Elypsis 1512 doing its thing in the atmospheric environment of Brighton Electric‘s Studio 1 live room.

2 thoughts on “Stratton Acoustics Elypsis 1512

  1. Phil,
    Just wanted to say congrats on the new (longstanding!) endeavour. This thing outrageous! Well done and very cool.

    Also wanted to communicate thanks for your writing here and at SoS. I’m not in the recording field and or technically inclined, and still really enjoy your stuff. Your writing is great, with the technical understanding and passion to teach always coming through. It’s a great time to watch the speaker industry change and improve, and it’s nice to have a thoughtful guide through it. Great work!


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