HELP! To all Wharfedale Diamond 10.7 owners - are your mid-range drivers distorted?

VarHyid

Standard Member
This is somewhat urgent, a bit ridiculous and I'll start with the punchline - I've had 4 Wharfedale DIA 10.7 speakers and 2 of them had distorted mid-range (the third one almost does).

That's the short version, now the long one. Fairly recently, I bought a Pioneer VSX-1122-K receiver and a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 10.2 speakers which worked as fronts for a week or so and then went to the back with my new (brand new) Diamond 10.7 speakers which went to the front.

After a short evaluation, I've noticed that one speaker (in the left channel) has a weird buzz./distortion audible when listening to solo piano. I've made a thread about it: http://www.avforums.com/forums/spea...y-brand-new-speaker-wharfedale-dia10-7-a.html send them back to the dealer (they said I need to send in both as they only sell them in pairs) and got a new replacement pair. To clarify - I've got two brand new units, different serial numbers so these are certainly two new speakers. I listened to some music, calibrated them, watched 3 movies and guess what - there's the distortion again. Same type of distortion, same frequency range, this time it's the speaker on the right (pure coincidence). And yes... it's the speaker - swapping channels still shows the buzz in the same speaker (not channel), swapping wires didn't help, neither did getting rid of the metal jumper bar and running a short piece of wire between the high and low freq. connectors. Hooking up different speakers to these channels reveals that there is no distortion in the source.

Now, to make it clear - I do NOT listen to them at any volume level that could be considered as dangerous. The highest volume I've had was -25dB when watching a movie. It's -30dB to -28dB when listening to music and about -35dB with video games and a similar level in case of TV. I've seen videos of people listening to music at like... -13dB having the cones almost jump out of the baskets and I assume their speakers still survived this torture. I have NEVER turned them up so loud, I never "tested" how loud they can go (what's the point of that) and I just don't/won't/can't believe that I might have damaged them.

Of course to document the issue, I've made recordings of both cases. Here's the recording of the old case where you will hear 4 piano notes played first through the good speaker then through the bad one: http://varhyid.com/wharfedale_dia107_buzz.wav

As you hear - it's got this tinny/metallic buzz almost "damping" he expected clarify of the sound. But that's the past, this one's already gone. Now the second recording of the speakers I have right now. You will hear a 10 second long wave going from (I think) 300 Hz to about 1500Hz (could be 1800Hz, though, I'm not sure which file it was). Again - first 10 seconds through the good speaker followed by 10 seconds from the bad speaker: http://varhyid.com/wharf_newbuzz.wav

The crossover of the bass and midrange drivers is at 850Hz and as you can hear, the distortion starts at about 500...ish Hz which, as I assume, is the point where the midrange begins to sing. Again - you can hear a sound that sounds exactly as a regular guitar distortion pedal. If you analyze the spectogram, you'll see that the broken midrange driver seems to add some higher notes to the sound, almost like ... harmonics which follow the pitch of the main note a couple of notes higher.

So here's my question to you, dear fellow Wharfedale Diamond 10.7 owners - is this normal? Are these midrange drivers really that crappy? I'm asking because the truth is - it's nearly impossible to hear this distortion out when listening to anything else that doesn't seem to have the typical sine wave characteristics and if I haven't tested it through the solo piano and the wave - I wouldn't have known that it's even there. Maybe you don't know too...?

So my main question is - if you have the Diamond 10.7 or 10.5 speakers which both have the same midrange driver, could you please go to Online Sweep Sine / Chirp Tone Audio Waveform Generator choose 300Hz to 1800Hz and a 10 second duration to generate a WAV file with such wave and run it please through your speakers and tell me if you hear the same distortion?

I really don't know what to think anymore - what are the odds of getting 2 pairs of speakers and having one broken in each pair? It's a real hassle and great inconvenience for me to return them and I just don't want to take the 50% chance to get a faulty unit once again so I'm actually considering getting my money back and buying the Wharfedale Diamond 10.6 speakers which simply don't have the midrange driver, but then the question remains - if it's NOT the case that these drivers are faulty, how come they got broken so fast? Am I dong something wrong? Is my AVR not capable of treating these speakers right (based on the numbers, it shouldn't have any problems)?

So the additional question is - what can cause such distortion to occur? You can probably hear it clearly from the recording, but to "transcribe" the experience - it's adding higher notes to the main to creating a guitar-like distortion and only in one driver (the frequencies that it operates on). Oh and... touching the mesh grill covering it, moving the speaker, tightening the screws - none helps. In fact, the distortion is proportional to the volume. It's not a static buzz which you can not notice if the speaker is louder, if you control the volume - you control the distortion... until the volume gets very very quiet (like... -50dB) in which case the distortion doesn't seem to occur or at least is not audible.

I would greatly appreciate any help as tomorrow I need to decide what next - trying to get a replacement midrange driver from Wharfedale (if they agree), trying to get one speaker replaced (I'm NOT agreeing on replacing both anymore) or getting my money back and buying Diamond 10.6s. I wouldn't mind just replacing the driver if this would guarantee that the issue won't occur in the new one as well, but if you have any other suspicions regarding this issue and maybe even that's how these speakers sound (?) - please do let me know as I'm just tired of this, of Wharfedale and this is the first time in my life that I've had to return something I bought and why the hell did it have to be a 20+ kg package?

-------------EDIT------------

Oh and... I forgot about the "the third one almost does" part in the first paragraph. Well, if I literally put my ear next to the "good" speaker, I can also hear this characteristic buzz, but VERY VERY quiet, so quiet that it's hardly audible even with the sine wave, it sounds as if it's very distant, so it's almost like these drivers would have the natural potential to be so distorted and it's just a matter of time when the other one gets it too.
 
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VarHyid

Standard Member
No ideas? :(

So let me ask it this way - is it in any way possible that the receiver may damage these speakers? Again - I'm not talking about ridiculous volume levels, but just power-wise?

According to the AVR manufacturer, the power ratings of the amp are:

Power Output Per Channel(20Hz-20kHz,.08%[email protected]) 90 Power Output Per Channel ([email protected]) 120 Power Output Per Channel ([email protected]) 165
The Wharfedale speakers have a recommended amp power of 30-200W and a sensitivity of 90dB (and an impedance of 6 Ohm, just as the AVR's minimum impedance).

Here's how the AVR has calibrated by speakers and that's how I've been listening to them:

Channel Level:
L -5.0dB
R -5.5dB
SR -1.0dB
SL -0.5db

Equalizer:
FRONT LEFT AND FRONT RIGHT:
63 Hz +2.0dB
125 Hz -1.5dB
250 Hz +1.0dB
500 Hz -0.5dB
1 kHz -3.0dB
2 kHz -2.0dB
4 kHz -2.5dB
8 kHz +5.5dB
16 kHz +0.5dB
TRIM +0.5dB

Now, I've read stuff about how only 3dB of difference may require double the power to drive (?) or something like this, but note - the AVR set both fronts to about -5dB to begin with. The midrange is also even turned down in the EQ so I don't see how this setting could "blow" the driver, but I'm no expert.

So here's the next issue I'm facing - if I would really get the DIA 10.6 instead, their recommended power is 20 - 150W which is less than the 10.7, but then I read - 165W at 6 Ohms and 1kHz may come out of the amp. Of course, I would never turned the volume so high that such energy would really have to come out of it, but basically wouldn't getting the 10.6 be even more risky considering these numbers?

I really don't know what to think at this point - is my amp damaging speakers, do the Wharfs come with a 50/50 change of being faulty (or at least their midrange drivers), does the store I bought them from have a faulty line of units... I don't know what to do know :( Get a pair of 10.6 to avoid the midrange driver? Can the amp handle the 10.7s? Can the 10.7s handle the amp?

Help:lease:
 

sergiup

Distinguished Member
This really sounds quite odd, sorry the replacement didn't sort it out! Have you tried physically swapping the speakers and using them like that for a while to see if the other one develops the same fault? That would definitely indicate something's wrong with your receiver, although I doubt it.

Do you by any chance have a spare amp around that you could try? Even something relatively weak will do perfectly fine for tests.

With regards to power ratings, although it's ideal to keep the amp and speakers vaguely matched there's no real need to do so. The only real dangers you can hit are blowing the speakers if you'd be playing loudly for a prolonged length of time, or possibly also damaging the speakers if you play loudly with an underpowered amp because of the potentially massively distorted signal that would be coming out of a badly designed, underpowered amp. Other than that, it's usually an idiot with a volume control fetish that blows speakers, nothing else.

I'm guessing it's either really bad luck or maybe something technical that no one's spotted yet.
 

VarHyid

Standard Member
Sergiup,

thank you very much for your response. I've already contacted the dealer as I've got no responses from Wharfedale or the local authorized Wharfedale service and I'm gonna get my money back this time.

I will buy a pair of Wharfedale 10.6 as a replacement (from a different store to exclude the possibility that the store got some faulty shipment and frankly - to not **** them off anymore in case these will be faulty too).

Unfortunately, I don't have an option to try a different receiver, but I'm certain that the amp is not actually producing this distorted sound simply because swapping the front channels keeps the buzz in the same speaker (not channel) and hooking up either the DIA 10.2 as fronts or the old hi-fi ones as fronts reveals that no distortion is coming through.

When I bought the receiver over a month ago I first used it with a pair of my quite old (and quite crappy) small (well... 2-way: 5.25 inch woofer + a small tweeter made out of toilet paper, probably ;) ) speakers from an old mini hi-fi system for over a week and these things could merely handle 40 W from the hi-fi unit and nothing happened - no faults, no distortion, nothing got blown.

Next, I bought the Wharfedale 10.2 for the back, but used them as fronts for another 1-2 weeks and again - no problems, no distortion, nothing got broken. The problems started only with the 10.7 so I'm guessing if my receiver would have a tendency to kill speakers, it would have crushed the old ones ASAP and at least damage the 10.2s which both are much smaller and much less power hungry, but nothing happened and I've always been listening to them at a similar volume level. There's a certain level which I consider loud enough for me and it's not even close to what other people do to their speakers. I've also NEVER tried to see how loud they go or did anything that I would consider "abuse".

I always take care of all electronics (or basically any stuff - never had a single fingerprint on a CD as I do understand the point of the hole in the middle ;) ) and nothing ever broke on me except one very old CRT monitor after many years of long usage ... and now this... two pairs of speakers with a similar issue. :(

As for your suggestion regarding trying to swap the placement of the speakers - actually this has already been answered by coincidence. The first time, the speaker that was on the left side (and the left channel, obviously) had this issue and now it's the one on the right.

I suspect that there might indeed be something wrong with the mid-range drivers (the Chinese didn't made them well?). I mean - what are the odds that 2 out of 4 get broken and even in the same way, same characteristic distortion. I hope that the 10.6 will be finally OK due to the lack of the mid-range driver and that the bass driver will go up to 2.5 kHz. In the DIA 10.2 the same driver goes to 1.8 kHz without a problem.

One more thing - the weirdest part is that during usage, I never heard any distortion at any time. I mean - they were never so loud that they would naturally distort, there was no "event" that would manifest that something just might have got wrong and if my curiosity wouldn't make me check these frequencies, I might have not even noticed it and that's why I've asked other DIA 10.7 owners to check this out as it's really a frequency in which it's hard to notice the distortion when listening to music or movies unless you listen to a solo piano or a woman using a walkie-talkie so what if there are others who haven't even noticed that their mid-range drivers are broken? ;)

Anyway, I hope it'll soon be over and I'll be able to use the 10.6 for the "lifetime of sonic experience" as Wharfedale advertises them or at least these 10-20 years before maybe I'll be able to afford a good upgrade to something from a much better quality (and price) range. But I've gotta give Wharfedale credit for giving 5 years of warranty on them. 5 days would be more realistic ;)
 

VarHyid

Standard Member
FWIW, my former speakers are now on the way to the dealer. I broke the new record for packing them up and I'm getting good at securing large shipments on a pallet so there is something good coming out of it after all ;)

But seriously - based on the lack of response of any Wharfedale Diamond 10.5 or 10.7 owners (both units have this mid-range), it seems that it was just me - I've had the worst luck in the world and 2 out of 4 midrange drivers really were faulty...?

Just FYI - for anyone who considers buying Wharfedale speakers - this company does NOT talk to its customers at all. You will never receive an answer to an email sent to the person listed on their site as "for technical questions and support", neither if you send a short question through their contact form. So beware. During my research on this topic, I've even found tips from other manufacturers on their sites that in case something goes wrong they're willing to send you a driver etc. but Wharfedale remains silent - not even a "we're looking into it" or "thank you for contacting us you will receive a response within xx hours/days". Nothing. It's a shame as I'm a curious person by nature and it would be great to know if they have any idea what might cause it.

Considering that I'm planning to get the DIA 10.6 now (to avoid selling the 10.2, the stands etc. if I was to completely change the boat and go with Dali, for example), I'm still concerned if this issue was the driver or the crossover. I'm not an expert and I have no experience in knowing how certain types of issues sound so here's a question to you, guys (hoping you're not as "talkative" as Wharfedale): How does a distortion caused by some broken electronics sound like? What if it was the crossover? Would it produce such distortion only in the midrange that the driver operates on? My biggest concern is that if I get the 10.6 without the crappy midrange and it turns out that the main problem was the crossover, then I could have as well get another pair of 10.7 in the Wharfedale "Spot one working pair of speakers" Lottery ;)

So how does a broken crossover sound - anyone got an example? Or does it just break as in - it stops making any sound?
 

andyvvc

Active Member
I have the same issue, same make of speakers! Have you tried swapping the left front channel for the right ON THE AMP ONLY? [EDIT - you tried this, sorry!] I did this and the 'buzz' follows the amp channel NOT the speaker (ie the front right has some mid tweet buzz, swap cables at the amp over, and it moves to front left speaker)

It's bugged me for ages - i even got the amp replaced! New amp, new serial, same problem. Can only assume in my case its not the speaker but the amp output being in someway borked on the Yammy rxv-765 that i use?

The most annoying thing for me is that the distorion (i created a post about it years ago) isn't that audible - my gf claims she can't hear it at all. Added to this is the fact that it follows the front-right channel output from the amp....and i can really only surmise that the amp is my culprit (but with no alternate to test with or equivalent spec, i can't say for certain)

As for the Wharfs, i think the 10.7s are epic speakers. Genuinely impressive soundstage and so much more oomph across all the range than my previous 10.3s. Im very happy with them, I just wish i could iron out this right-channel quirk!
 
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VarHyid

Standard Member
I have the same issue, same make of speakers! Have you tried swapping the left front channel for the right ON THE AMP ONLY? [EDIT - you tried this, sorry!] I did this and the 'buzz' follows the amp channel NOT the speaker (ie the front right has some mid tweet buzz, swap cables at the amp over, and it moves to front left speaker)

It's bugged me for ages - i even got the amp replaced! New amp, new serial, same problem. Can only assume in my case its not the speaker but the amp output being in someway borked on the Yammy rxv-765 that i use?

The most annoying thing for me is that the distorion (i created a post about it years ago) isn't that audible - my gf claims she can't hear it at all. Added to this is the fact that it follows the front-right channel output from the amp....and i can really only surmise that the amp is my culprit (but with no alternate to test with or equivalent spec, i can't say for certain)

As for the Wharfs, i think the 10.7s are epic speakers. Genuinely impressive soundstage and so much more oomph across all the range than my previous 10.3s. Im very happy with them, I just wish i could iron out this right-channel quirk!

Oh, I already forgot about this thread, but got an email about your reply ;)

So, FWIW, in my case it was certainly, without a shadow of a doubt, caused by the speakers. Changed channels multiple times and the issue clearly followed the speaker.

After I have sent my 10.7s back, I've got a new pair and the exact same issue occurred. Also in one of the speaker, followed the speaker. Aside from that, there were always some stains or smudges on the speakers, the finish was partially "beaten up" in places. I've contacted Wharfedale about this. They said they will investigate this and check if it's a faulty shipment. Finally, I've sent the second pair back too and this time requested my money back. I was lucky that the store had indeed a wonderful customer service and I've got every penny back, incl. all shipping costs even the initial shipping costs.

After that, I bought a pair of 10.6s from another store. Not only was the built quality simply perfect, but the issue also did not occur at all and I'm using them every day since December 2012.

Basically, they're pretty much the same as 10.7 but they only lack the mid-range driver so one of the woofers has a higher cut-off frequency and the tweeter a slightly lower. Although I never had the 10.7s and 10.6s side-by side for a direct comparison, as the whole process went relatively fast, I believe I remember the sound of both and I can say that I barely notice any difference. The woofer is very capable to go a bit up to the mid frequency and the characteristics of the sound are, at least for me, the same (no wonder - the drivers in both are actually the exact same units, they just miss the mid-range) so I'm happy with my 10.6 :)
 

Yannick123

Novice Member
Same problem here! I'm trying to give it back to the dealer. Very upset about the situation... Tried different speakers on same receiver and cables--> problem's gone... Definitely the speaker! Did anybody got this problem solved? Otherwise "Goodbye Wharfedale" thx for nothing -.-
 

VarHyid

Standard Member
Yes, I've got it "resolved" - the solution was to get a pair of 10.6 which don't have a separate mid-range driver (or rather - the upper "woofer" does the lower mids and the tweeter the upper mids). And surprise, surprise, the problem never occurred in the 10.6s.
 

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