I was at university when Scientelec was the go to brand for cashless students like me. They were primarily sold via people like Cibot Radio (Paris 12ème) and some of their amplifiers were available in kit form, which made them even more affordable. Some would say that the good look of the products were hiding a not so upmarket performance... But, in fact some of the products were really good for the time and they also made an interesting turntable, which by many aspects, seemed to have been inspired by ERA (designed by the famous JC Verdier...).
Way before the internet (which turned 25 this month btw...) .
Very little information is available online, and after trawling all my forums and various vintage hifi vendors, I have compiled here a few photos to give you a glimpse of what the product range was about. Created in 1968, the company went bankrupt in 1980 and the founder ended up behind bars, a rare thing at the time for such a small business...
Photos courtesy of Audio Vintage Forum, Hifi Antique and Hifi Vintage Audiophile.
Elipson 1801 Prelude
One of my readers in the USA has recently asked me to find more about this not so well known serie which include the 1801 Prelude, 1802, 1803, 1804, 1805 and 1815. see table below.
I am using documents sent to me by Violet of Passion Elipson and Patrick Pennetier from Hifi-Antique. So thanks to both for their help.
This little known family of speakers from Elipson seems to be an attempt to capitalise on the success of the 1303, the first product designed under the new ownership of Mr Bonnet de la Tour and a departure from the plaster cabinets to more conventional MDF, in an attempt to conquer the traditional hifi client (and the dealers...).
It was a successful strategy, specially because the 1303 was a very good product keeping all the same design principles as the original spheres, i-e time alignment, and resonators to provide exceptional transient response and excellent midrange.
The 1800 series seems to be an attempt to simplify manufacture and get rid of the resonator(s), at least in the entry level model, the 1801 Prelude.
From the review below, published by Stereoplay, a French magazine of some fame at the time, you can see that it is quite a good bookshelf speaker, equipped with a popular 17cm driver from Focal, the 7C02 and the famous TWM from Siare, which equipped the top of the range 4050. The filter is 12db/oct electrically, and very well made, but certainly not over the top - no impedance compensation for example.
It was sold for under 3500 francs at the time, a month salary of a electronic technician at the time.
The third harmonic distortion is less than 0.3% past 100Hz, a great achievement. It would certainly sound pretty good, and it is exactly what Yves Dupre says in his review.
ELIPSON 1800 SERIES
MODEL TYPE DRIVER POWER IMPEDANCE FREQ RESP ±4dB/Hz EFFICIENCY DIMENSIONS in CMS WEIGHT FINISH
1801/11 2 170/19 50W 8 Ohms 60/20000 86dB 41x20x20 8KG WALNUT
1802/12 3 170/110/19 75W 8 Ohms 50/20000 88dB 80x23x25 12KG WALNUT
1803/13 3 170/80/25 100W 8 Ohms 45/20000 87dB 89x23x29 17KG WALNUT
1804/14 3 210/170/25 100W 8 Ohms 40/20000 86dB 102x28x36 25KG WALNUT
1815 3 250/210/50x20 130W 8 Ohms 32/20000 88dB 116x33x40 35KG WALNUT
1805/06 4 2x250/250/130/50x20 150W 8 Ohms 30/20000 88dB 101x45x50 45KG WALNUT/OAK
ELIPSON 1801 PRELUDE REVIEW
Roquemaure is a picturesque village on the west bank of the Rhone river, drinking distance from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Lirac, Tavel and many more famous wineries - including my favourite Cotes-du-Rhone: Vidal-Fleury!
Christophe Bedel, the enthusiastic and knowledgeable owner of related website www.hifi-vintage-audiophile.fr has just been in contact with me asking if I could promote this event on my blog. I couldn't refuse!
In fact, I am trying to convince Greg Borrowman from AHM, who will be in France at that time visiting Focal and hopefully Waterfall Audio to stop by and report on the only fair of this type I know of in the South of France!
This is good timing too as a number of Festivals are happening in the region over the summer period, with usually a fantastic array of live concerts to choose from - Avignon being the most famous of them, but Uzes, Carpentras, Bagnols sur Ceze, La Roque d'Antheron ( a must!), Aix en Provence, Orange and Nimes all competing for your time (and good money..)
So, if you are one of 43 out of 100 Australians out of the country at any given time, or one of my readers in any of the 70 countries or so where I have an audience, and if you happen to be in Provence for the European Summer, just drop by and have a look at the fantastic collection of vintage Hifi that will be on display and for sale!
I will update this post with an exact address as soon as I get it, but if your French is good enough, then visit Christphe's website: www.hifi-vintage-audiophile.fr
When in Paris in October for the Paris Hifi Show, I took the time to go and visit two shops specialising in Vintage Hifi, with a great collection of French products from the 70s and 80s, but also some iconic products from Germany, Switzerland, UK, USA and Japan.
Read my review on our "Interviews and Reviews" page and then visit their websites for more photos and technical specs, and who knows, maybe buying the rare amp or speaker or turntable you have been dreaming of for some time...
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.