No, these are not from Elipson, but they certainly share a familiar look...
In 1981, Marcel Rochet, a music teacher, passionate about music reproduction, filed a patent for an innovative way of getting rid of the radiation of a loudspeaker inside the cabinet, which is a major source of coloration (often more than the cabinet itself...) and also about a new type of load for the woofer, called double quarter wavelength transmission line.
The latest is certainly inspired by the resonator ideo of Joseph Leon, although the implementation is quite different.
You can see from the photo that the time alignment techniques of Elipson are also carried through to the Mulidine designs, including the fact that these two original models, the Clarine (right) and the Mandoline are made out of plaster.
Another interesting characteristic of these speakers is that their crossover is at 5KHz, my favourite...
It was a time when Bextrene membranes were the rage, as they were the new baby of KEF, and that's what is in the Mandoline, with I guess a dome tweeter from Audax.
Mulidine has survived to this day, and interestingly enough, was rescued from oblivion by a good friend of mine and ex-colleague from HP, Marc Fontaine. He is also a neighbour and good friend of Jullien from passion-elipson..
It is a labour of love, as Marc does everything from design to managing a few subcontractors (like the cabinetmaker in Alsace) to the final tuning and measurements (after all, this our trade, as we were selling test equipment at HP...). We are talking confidential levels of production, as it is like a limited edition of a work of art, numbered and signed by the artist! Prices are still kept at an affordable level for the customer.
These speakers have a great reputation for high efficiency, dynamics and timbre accuracy.
The current range consists of three models:Cadence, Allegretto (in its fourth revision) and Bagatelle (in its second iteration). There is also a professional monitor called Harmonie 2.
The only plaster left in the current model is the mechanical filter at the back of the midrange driver. It consists of a thick piece of plater with a multitude of conical tubes moulded in it, supposedly rejecting all frequencies coming back from the cabinet to the membrane lower than 20KHZ
To understand better the transmission line load, I think the best is to look at some photos and drawings of how the cabinet is built internally. It will also show you better how the mechanical filter is fitted at the back of the midrange. On these two examples, you can see the difference in the double TL implementation. One is more like a resonator a la Elipson, the other one more like a cross between a TL and a bass reflex.
The Allegretto and its ancestor, the Capricio (left) have a second chamber at the bottom acting as a resonator, the port is not quite visible, but is located behind the small panel just off the front baffle. You can see it at the front of the Cadence, in the center photo. On the right, a cut through the Cristal, which needs to be on a stand to clear the port at the bottom of the cabinet.
If you are in Paris at the beginning of November, (2nd and 3rd at the Marriot in the 14th) you might want to go and visit the other HiFi show organised by the magazine Haute Fidelite. This is more of a two-channel high end kind of show compared to the one I have covered for the last two years. I have not had a chance to visit this one yet, but the list of exhibitors is quite impressive: KEF, Kuzma, Nagra, BC Acoustique, Next Audio, Mulidine and Davis Acoustics to name a few...
Just a quick detour from Las Vegas and back in Paris, actually in "Cote Paris".
I just got the latest copy of "Cote Paris" - the January issue - obviously, we are on the other side of the Planet (lol...) and to my utter surprise, there is a full page on Elipson, their new Planets ( no, not the ones from Holst..., but certainly of Helmholtz fame!).
And these little beauties have been designed by our good friend Jullien Thaler who just posted a photo on his Facebook page of the very rare "Religieuses" used by the French Radio (ORTF) as monitors for a long time.
And in another twist of fate, I had a long conversation with my ex-HP colleague, Marc Fontaine, who bought Mulidine back in 2005 - more on these speakers in a later post - and happens to be a neighbour and friend of Jullien: The World is Flat (a must-read book by Thomas L. Friedman)
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.