IPL S5TL Kevlar

In the “I didn’t expect that” category, I’ve been offered a pair of IPL S5TL speakers. Here, in New Zealand. Cabinets were professionally built 12 years ago, and the ribbon is a Fountek, not the more recent IPL own item.

I have fond memories of the IPL M3TLM speakers I had some years ago. Some folk may have seen/heard them at Scalford in the early days of the HFWw Show. This tells me there are significant gains to be had by spending time and money on the crossovers.

These are kind-of the big brother. Claimed response of 22Hz - 30kHz.

The best bit? The price. A basic S5TL kit (driver units, crossover kits, instructions) listed at over £600 in 2021 when the IPL doors closed. No cabinets, etc. The ones I’m offered work perfectly, are in very good condition, and can be mine for (NZ) $400. That’s about £200. :slight_smile:

I’ll need to look at the woofer cone. Doesn’t appear to affect sound, and I could just leave the covers on, but I’ll know it’s not right.


The highs are down low and the lows are up high :open_mouth:

Hopefully someone with far more knowledge of speaker design than I can shed some light on why this is so!

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Isn’t that a port at the bottom?

Yeah, that’s the end of the transmission line.

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They are absolutely humongous and the tweeter’s at ear level. :ear::+1::grin:


Yeah that’s an 18" woofer


They’re a 10" woofer & given their pictured placement end on to a Chesterfield sofa it’s easy to spot that the Fountek ribbon tweeters (ITL’s own on the later iterations) are more or less at knee level from a seated position.

https://iplacoustics.co.uk/S5tl Kevlar 2.htm

There’s a build & review thread on the Wam, which I can’t seem to link to which is very positive. Given this & Ivan, the designers known prowess in speaker builds/design I reckon they’ll be well worth giving a go!

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The highs are down low and the lows are up high :open_mouth:

To maximise the length of the line within a given cabinet height. The line is in three sections inside, so from the woofer goes down (at the back), up again (in the middle) and down again (at the front). You could take the mid and tweeter off and mount them in a separate box on top if you want. As they are now they will be a bit low for normal seating, so the speakers are often mounted on 4 inch stands - which is also claimed to reduce bass / floor interaction.
Putting mid and tweeter on top might get them a bit too high, but worth a try if you fancy playing with sheetwood. They should sound nice either way.
(If anyone in the UK wants a pair then I have some older ones (different drivers) cluttering the lounge…)




Yeah, maximising the length of TL was definitely something I thought could have been a carefully implemented design consideration.

I have enjoyed the upper echelons of the TDL and IMF ranges in the past. Nice ease of bass, always a good thing.

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Oh yeah remember those, lovely.

Putting the tweeter under the mid, low down, also might help with time alignment I guess too.

I run a pair of them I built back in about 2005. Mine are pre ribbon / Kevlar and sound great.
For £200 bite his arm off.

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I didn’t want t appear to keen, so his arm is intact.

But NZ $450 - currently £235 - I have a pair of S5TL speakers being delivered to me from over 400km (250 miles) away.

A thorough check, some use, and an over-build for the crossovers is the plan.


They’re here!
Not so much to look at. The metal grilles are just to protect the drivers in transit.


I managed to sneak them into the house! Actually quite easy… Mrs was away for a few days… :wink:

Bit of a rush job to set them up which involved using a SMSL SA98E amp, and an old NuForce Icon Mobile DAC connected to a laptop.

They’re really quite good. Bass? Definitely, but that was expected. What was more of a pleasant surprise is the mids, treble and overall precision. Bass is a bit woolly at the moment but setup is a very long way from ideal.
Nice to listen to at low volume with good, tight bass (it seems tighter at lower volume); that’s something that I have often found missing even from some very expensive systems.
No idea how loud they could go - much louder than I want, that’s for sure.

They really don’t look like much, but I’m sure Mrs will be happy to dress them up a bit.


Definitely good sounding speakers. Older build so checking components is a good idea.

Unsurprisingly Mrs is less than thrilled with the appearance. :rofl:
Ivan used to offer veneer kits for the speakers so I can look into that as a way of hiding the plain, unfinished MDF. Or they could be painted - if they were manufactured similarly to Ocellias, the paint used might be important. Can’t see it being as relevant with 22mm (I think) MDF

Grilles… They’re very lightweight, which is fine. But (apparently :roll_eyes: ) black cloth isn’t aesthetically pleasing. “Could we use lightweight canvas, and I’ll paint it?” was a question, and I’m reasonably confident that’s a “No.”
However, I’m hoping differently-coloured acoustically-transparent material might be available. Anyone know of anything suitable?


Could just wrap them in a coloured acoustic cloth, sort of Vandersteen/Monopulse look