British speaker question from across the pond...

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by xsound, Feb 16, 2005.

  1. xsound

    xsound
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    I am looking for some input/evaluations/personal experiences with wharfedale speakers particularly. Wharfedales do not have that strong of a presence in the US, at least not in the southeast. I have a chance to buy either diamond or pacific evos at a really good price, but there isn't a place nearby where I can audition them.

    I have a pioneer elite vsx-54-tx (UK equivalent maybe the ax4?) currently pushing a pair of monitor audio ma700 gold mkII's. I love the sound, and would love to get a full metal silver HT set-up, but $$$ and nearness of dealers prevent. There is a B&W dealer relatively nearby, and I could audition those.

    This will be my first HT system. I am interested in the evolution centre, dfs surrounds, and either the evo30 or 40 (or possibly the diamond 9's). Anyone have any experience with this set-up? Can you offer any input on the "wharfedale sound"? Are there any comparable sounding speakers? Any thoughts on the strengths/weaknesses of the evos? I did a search but didn't turn up much in the forums. Not finding many reviews either, really only 1 at soundandvision.com.

    Thanks for your help
    x
     
  2. Diamond

    Diamond
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    It seems your setup is really fine right now. Pacific evos I don't know, but they are more expensive than Diamond 9s. So rather prefer Evos. Diamonds sound pretty warm to me, pretty bassy and midrange and high freqs sound really nice. What's wrong with yours, aren't they nice? Wharfedale has Opus-series too, the flagship.

    http://www.iagamerica.com/wharfedale/
     
  3. xsound

    xsound
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    My MA's are 10+ years old, and unshielded. If I could find another pair for a good price, and an economical way to shield them I would use them as a centre and rear in a 6.1 set-up, and then look for a bipolar/di-polar with a similar voicing that could serve as surrounds. Unfortunately I have not been able to find an economical way to shield the speakers, and finding the 700 gold mkII's is a big challenge. I found some original 700's, but not the second generation which supposedly had a less harsh high end (Monitor Audio was still in the early stages of developing their metal dome tweeter technology).

    All that said, I felt the easiest thing to do would be to move the MA's to a bedroom system and get a complete voice matched system for my HT. I figured originally to spend about $2,000 usd for my 5 speakers over the next year (I will keep my sub). The MSRP on the evo system is right at $2,000. Now through a friend (of a friend of a friend -- No, it really is strictly legitimate, no shady deals) I have a chance to get either diamond 9's, or pacific evos for an excellent price, but I won't be able to hear them before hand. So I was just looking for some input from owners, people who have auditioned, opinionated anybodies who like to share, all that stuff.

    Any idea how the wharfedales compare to B&W? To Monitor Audio? other speaker lines?

    Thanks
    x
     
  4. NMyTree

    NMyTree
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    xsound,

    I sent you a PM regarding Wharfedale speakers and such.
     
  5. xsound

    xsound
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    NMyTree, I responded to your PM.
    thanks
    x
     
  6. Diamond

    Diamond
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    2000? My speakers cost me ~400€ (400$ there maybe), so you should go with the Evos I guess. :rolleyes: Or check the Opus-line if you can get that. (expensive I think) 9-series are all shielded, I think 8-series are not.

    Wharfedale I could buy blind now that I've listened to them. Emerald 97s are nice too, about 700€/pair. (big floorstanders, 2x 6,5") They all have a 'natural' sound to them, a bit warm. It surely depends on your room, mine is a bunker.

    But remember where ever you go, keep the 3 fronts identical, or at least "similar". No mixed up brands or anything, surrounds are not that critical. Center usually is the most important speaker, so same kind of drivers there. The "regular" centers are more expensive and sonically bad, they are made for complaining wives really. (2x Diamond 9.5s for fronts, then 9.2 for center)

    Btw, shielding is not difficult (haven't tried). Ask @HTF for help. You simply pull the driver out and put another magnet there that cancels the main one. Maybe if you put the old ones for surrounds, and Evos for fronts? They look really nice on the pictures! I like these kevlar drivers, the midrange comes natural and easy, as the brochure says. I say go for it. :thumbsup:

    (If you do, I want your comments and experiences afterwards)
     
  7. superpixel

    superpixel
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    personally, i think you are mad to consider the Wharfedales! but that's my taste...

    i sometimes dream of living in the US of A, just for your speakers and speaker prices!

    i think the wharfedales are poor speakers, with nothing to commend them over other models. talk of musicality and impressive bass are mystifying: these sure aren't like the original budget classic Wharfedale Diamonds.. i dont know why you are interested in them...if its from reviews in the British Hifi Press, id take them with a tonne of salt.

    i would never recommend anyone to buy equipment without a demo first. especially speakers which are the most variable and taste-specific.


    get some Klipschs or JBLs instead! :D
    if you want to waste money on a British name, B&W's DM600 range is the one to get. the wharfedales aren't half the speakers they are.
     
  8. Magnet & Steel

    Magnet & Steel
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    is wharfedale a british speaker manufacturer anymore? i read that they are owned by the same group that owns dixons etc, or did i read wrong? the article i remember reading was that wharefedale was now an asian owned brand, or at least all their products were produced and made in asia...am i wrong?

    maybe i imagined it. i hope so because my first real hifi speakers were wharfedale :) 22 years ago.
     
  9. xsound

    xsound
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    superpixel,
    thanks for the input and the cautions. I am curious what your experience with the wharfedales is, have you owned them in the past? Have you auditioned the pacific evolutions, or just the diamond 9's? If they are poor speakers with nothing to commend them over other models, which models would you recommend over the pacific evos (evos 30, centre, & dfs)? Which models would you recommend over the Diamond 9.5, centre, & dfs? We are talking speakers in the same class, and price range. What do you like better about the B&W DM600's?

    Think I'll pass on the klipsch and the JBL's. Thanks anyway.


    Magnet & Steel
    As I understand the production side of wharfedale, they, along with their sister companies quad, apogee, tag maclaren, and audiolab, are part of a multinational conglomerate known as International Audio Group. While they have headquarters in UK, Germany, and the US, it appears that the main headquarters is either in China or Hong Kong. I believe that all of the companies share the same manufacturing facility. Quad, apogee, and tag maclaren are some pretty good names in the history of Hi-Fi. I know that quad is still very highly regarded here in the states. I am just trying to find out if wharfedale shares any of the respect.

    Thanks
    x
     
  10. Diamond

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    I've heard that Quad 12L and 11L are also great speakers in their class.. You'll never know what fits you, if you don't compare. Buying blind is surely not easy, I hope you get a chance to return if you want?

    I've no idea why somebody would trash Wharfes, they're really goodsounding and good _looking_ speakers. :)
     
  11. superpixel

    superpixel
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    hi xsound

    i have never owned the new Wharfedales, and I must admit that my experience of them was very brief - but long enough to decide that I would never want them

    i listened to them in an excellent demo room of a hifi dealer - I was with a friend to help him choose some speakers. the wharfedales were bookshelf diamonds, and also floorstanding ones of another wharfedale range (about £400 I think). I'm sorry, I can't remember the model names/numbers.

    in my opinion, they sounded poor, looked cheap, and are poorly built to boot. I used to work in a small record shop, and the old Wharfedale diamonds we had used to sound great - a real generous and powerful sound. the new ones don't even come close, probably as they have been computerised, flattened and made boring as a result. 30 seconds into one song, and me and my friend looked at each other and laughed. "I guess they've changed the design since the old model" I offered. The same for the floorstanders: there's nothing they do well. They are neither transparent, dynamic, exciting, detailed or sweet. Whatever your leanings in the way you like your music presented, they won't be suitable in my opinion. They just put out a detached and wooly sound. I really think they're in the 'junk' category. (this is just my personal opinion, we all have different tastes in sound and looks)

    The B&W 600 series offers shedloads more detail, a much bigger soundstage, and a much more authoritative and powerful sound, especially in the lower midrange and bass. if you wanted something more delicate and transparent as a tradeoff, then I can think of much better buys than Wharfedales.

    I have to say though, if I were you, I'd keep your Monitor Audios which you love, and just add in a centre and rears with matching finish...

    PS I demo'ed Klipsch Reference series in France - for my taste, they blow away any Monitor Audio/B&W/Wharfedale speaker I've heard. But then again I hate the completely unrealistic 'British' minimonitor sound...
     
  12. NMyTree

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    I know the Wharfedale Opus series sounds absolutely wonderful and the Evolution series is real nice. Nothing like the horrible experience superpixel describes.

    I've never heard the Diamond 8 series or the Diamond 9. There's quite a few Wharfedale series speakers, which I have never heard.

    I have no idea what Wharfedale speakers superpixel is referring to, but then again, neither does he.



    It all comes down to personal preference and taste. Auditioning speakers/gear is always the best route. Let your own ears decide.

    I know it's difficult to audition equipment in some areas. There's simply no dealers around and driving 4-7 hours is the only option some people have.

    Personally, I would make a day of it. I would line up dealers...for auditions, and hit them all along the way. This way, you get the most out of your day.
     

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