The Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary-Thread

Northernsound

Standard Member
Has anybody here listened to the Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary? I've read mixed experiences of them, the treble being one thing among others where it seems to be a difference of opinion among people, so it would be interesting to hear from you guys if you've had the chance to listen to them. I'm interested in buying them but a bit unsure if I'll get the ability to audition them before a purchase.
 

Yorkshire AV

Active Member
AVForums Sponsor
Had them in store for some months new. A beautifully finished speaker - somewhat of a more natural presentation than the larger Linton 85th Anniversary.

We've had them playing with a LEAK Stereo 130 with QED XT25 speaker cable - a nicely balanced system that looks great in the right setting.

Placement isn't overly fussy either - we've had them on sideboards and on stands - the latter being the better performer.

We have them along with the big boys out in racks - people always refer to their history and their parents' first system when seeing them. I like sharing the moment when they go back to a far away place :)
 

Northernsound

Standard Member
Had them in store for some months new. A beautifully finished speaker - somewhat of a more natural presentation than the larger Linton 85th Anniversary.

We've had them playing with a LEAK Stereo 130 with QED XT25 speaker cable - a nicely balanced system that looks great in the right setting.

Placement isn't overly fussy either - we've had them on sideboards and on stands - the latter being the better performer.

We have them along with the big boys out in racks - people always refer to their history and their parents' first system when seeing them. I like sharing the moment when they go back to a far away place :)
I have them at home now, still reviewing them. Generally I really like them, well built and spacious sound, great imaging, I find the base fast enough and with good enough texture (running them with a sub). This speaker is not for people who want the fastest and punchiest base though, but then again, I don't think you'd look at these speakers if you are looking for that. On the other hand, they sound like larger speaker than most other bookshelfs. The midrange is laid back, warm and cozy, but I find the treble a bit too pronounced and sometimes too harsh. I've read about a resistor tweak to attenuate the treble but I've never tweaked a speaker like that before and I'm uncertain I'll try it, I might just sell it instead.

This is the tweak I'm talking about:

"Emphasised treble has made the new 85th Anniversary Edition more critical and less forgiving than the 80th Anniversary Edition. With Dire Straits Brothers In Arms LP (Mobile Fidelity, 180gm, 45rpm) repetitive cymbal strikes marking out the beat had very obvious presence, more so than I am used to from our reference Martin Logan X-Stat electrostatic panels. Alison Goldfrap’s Ride a White Horse (12in 45rpm single) pounded out strongly, the synth bass beat having a resonant strength characteristic of an old-style loudspeaker – and all the better for it I felt. Unfortunately, emphasis of sharp vocal sibilants wasn’t so good.

Slightly frustrated by the mix of good and bad I got tweaking. A 2 Ohm resistor to the treble unit, replacing the bi-wire positive (+) link, gave a measured flat response but a warm-ish sound, whilst a I Ohm resistor was perfect – clear treble but not overwhelming. This gave me the Denton 85th I wanted to hear and is a very simple thing to do (such a tweak can be made to any bi- wirable loudspeaker). Hi-hats didn’t overwhelm, cymbals didn’t crash harshly and rim shots were clear but not destructive; ride cymbals fell back to accompany rather than dominate."

 

Northernsound

Standard Member
There are a few reviews out there. This is a great review if you haven't already seen it..

I've seen it, I have them at home now and I'm still auditioning them, you can see my impressions in the post above. I generally like Joe n Tells reviews but he's a bit of a basshead, he often ranks after the amount and extension of the base and that's not really my cup of tea. But I like his graphs and sound tests. I don't mean it in a negative way at all when i say basshead, he's himself said that he loves A LOT of bass. All reviewers have their taste and his is not mine, in the same way that Steve Guttenberg loves "dynamic" and very forward speakers like Klipsch different models, and I get fast listening-fatigue from their horn-tweeters and won't buy any pair from them.
 

dogfonos

Well-known Member
I've read about a resistor tweak to attenuate the treble but I've never tweaked a speaker like that before and I'm uncertain I'll try it
a I Ohm resistor was perfect

such a tweak can be made to any bi- wirable loudspeaker

The reviewer is absolutely correct - couldn't be easier (or cheaper) to add a resistor and well worth a try as I suspect you'll lose a fair bit if you sell the speakers on.

Simply get hold of a pair of high power resistors (maybe around 10W and of whatever resistance you decide), remove one of the existing supplied links between the bass/mid terminal and a tweeter terminal on each speaker (can be positive or negative terminal) and add a resistor instead. That way, the amp's feed to the tweeter will pass through the resistor (i.e. a resistor is positioned in series with the tweeter). Just make sure you don't accidentally cause a short circuit. System should be turned off when adding the resistor to each speaker.
An example of a suitable resistor:


There's probably some online video showing how to do this.
 

Northernsound

Standard Member
The reviewer is absolutely correct - couldn't be easier (or cheaper) to add a resistor and well worth a try as I suspect you'll lose a fair bit if you sell the speakers on.

Simply get hold of a pair of high power resistors (maybe around 10W and of whatever resistance you decide), remove one of the existing supplied links between the bass/mid terminal and a tweeter terminal on each speaker (can be positive or negative terminal) and add a resistor instead. That way, the amp's feed to the tweeter will pass through the resistor (i.e. a resistor is positioned in series with the tweeter). Just make sure you don't accidentally cause a short circuit. System should be turned off when adding the resistor to each speaker.
An example of a suitable resistor:


There's probably some online video showing how to do this.
Thank you for your reply, it's very appreciated. :) I have started with ordering some dampening feet to see if the base changes a bit (I like it now but I wouldn't complain if it got even a bit more precise), but since I don't have stands to them now dampening feet usually helps a good bit in my experience), then I probably will try to add resistors to them to attenuate the tweeter, I read somewhere that I should buy at least 25W to ensure that it will be able to handle the heat and power from the receiver in a good way. I have yet to find an online video that shows it step-by-step, but I'm sure you're right.
 
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Northernsound

Standard Member
How about using the equaliser or treble tone control?
On avsforums and other places I've been told that tone control would not lead to the same results, but a high shelf filter could. Since I´m using a Yamaha RX-V-model in that room I don´t believe I can implement a high pass filter with that receiver, or do you mean buying some post-amp thing? I really don't know much about these things so I'm sure I'm misunderstanding some things.
 
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password1

Distinguished Member
I was thinking you could try the equaliser or treble control built into your amp.

A separate graphic equaliser may help but would add an additional item and extra cables in the chain.
 

dogfonos

Well-known Member
I read somewhere that I should buy at least 25W to ensure that it will be able to handle the heat and power from the receiver in a good way.
Whilst it may be overkill, there's no harm in using a higher power resistor. Thing is, music tends to have much less energy as the frequency rises and you're considering adding a resistor into the tweeter circuit only. Most tweeters can't handle much more than 10W anyway - some not even that. However, if you were thinking of adding a resistor to the bass/mid unit crossover circuit, even a 25W one wouldn't have sufficient power handling.

On avsforums and other places I've been told that tone control would not lead to the same results, but a high shelf filter could.

An amplifier's treble tone control generally works by boosting or reducing treble starting at a pre-set frequency. The pre-set frequency is determined by the amp manufacturer so there will be some variation between amps. Such tone controls add a peak (boost) or a trough (reduce) at set frequencies - the severity of the peak or trough is determined by the tone control "volume" setting. Adding a resistor in the way you plan reduces power fed to the tweeter so reduces output across the tweeters entire operating range and doesn't introduce significant peaks or troughs.

To be fair, both methods are crude (i.e. not versatile) ways to alter the frequency response of a speaker - but sometimes it can work well to give the user the desired sound. At other times, the user needs to employ a more sophisticated method to achieve audio nirvana. Frequency response correction in the digital domain (Digital Signal Processing) usually gives optimum results whereas a well-designed graphic equaliser sits somewhere between tone controls and quality DSP in terms of versatility.
 

Alex Cremers

Standard Member
This is the tweak I'm talking about:

"Emphasised treble has made the new 85th Anniversary Edition more critical and less forgiving than the 80th Anniversary Edition. With Dire Straits Brothers In Arms LP (Mobile Fidelity, 180gm, 45rpm) repetitive cymbal strikes marking out the beat had very obvious presence, more so than I am used to from our reference Martin Logan X-Stat electrostatic panels. Alison Goldfrap’s Ride a White Horse (12in 45rpm single) pounded out strongly, the synth bass beat having a resonant strength characteristic of an old-style loudspeaker – and all the better for it I felt. Unfortunately, emphasis of sharp vocal sibilants wasn’t so good.

Slightly frustrated by the mix of good and bad I got tweaking. A 2 Ohm resistor to the treble unit, replacing the bi-wire positive (+) link, gave a measured flat response but a warm-ish sound, whilst a I Ohm resistor was perfect – clear treble but not overwhelming. This gave me the Denton 85th I wanted to hear and is a very simple thing to do (such a tweak can be made to any bi- wirable loudspeaker). Hi-hats didn’t overwhelm, cymbals didn’t crash harshly and rim shots were clear but not destructive; ride cymbals fell back to accompany rather than dominate."


It's almost as if Peter Comeau sabotaged his own design. He always claims he doesn't want the bass, the mid-range or the tweeter to call for attention. However, when I just got my Dentons, the first thing I played was Kamakiriad by Donald Fagen, and I couldn't believe how boosted the treble was.
So, a few days ago, I did the above described tweak and the result is simply beautiful. I now love the Dentons 85. This is how they should sound from the start. And while the unpleasant treble sharpness is gone, the clarity is still there. Here's a pic:

WP-20220328-09-41-49-Pro-LI.jpg
 
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kit1cat

Active Member
Thinking of trying this tweak on my 11.3's, I always found the treble a bit harsh. For a couple of quid, it's worth a shot.
 

Marijn2

Novice Member
Hi guys,

I just registered because I found this interesting topic via google. I am thinking of buying the Dentons 85 too.
It has a very embracing sound to it but indeed the tweeter by times is too pronounced.
Now, not being a technician at all I think I can do a fix like seen on the picture myself.
My question though: After doing this resitor fix, does the speaker actually needs to be bi-wired in order to obtain the desired result?
 

RugbyAl

Well-known Member
Hi guys,

I just registered because I found this interesting topic via google. I am thinking of buying the Dentons 85 too.
It has a very embracing sound to it but indeed the tweeter by times is too pronounced.
Now, not being a technician at all I think I can do a fix like seen on the picture myself.
My question though: After doing this resitor fix, does the speaker actually needs to be bi-wired in order to obtain the desired result?

Welcome to the forums!

No, don't bi-wire as this will not only remove the advantage of using the resistor, it will also short your amplifier speaker terminals to a 1 ohm load and could damage it.

Just a single run of cable to the speaker bass terminals is all that is needed.
 

Alex Cremers

Standard Member
Welcome to the forums!

No, don't bi-wire as this will not only remove the advantage of using the resistor, it will also short your amplifier speaker terminals to a 1 ohm load and could damage it.

Just a single run of cable to the speaker bass terminals is all that is needed.

I tried a single wire cross connection (LF and HF). The sound was actually not so bad but there was definitely less weight or body, so not only treble but also bass was reduced.
 

password1

Distinguished Member
Welcome to the forums!

No, don't bi-wire as this will not only remove the advantage of using the resistor, it will also short your amplifier speaker terminals to a 1 ohm load and could damage it.

Just a single run of cable to the speaker bass terminals is all that is needed.
I don't understand what you mean by short the speaker terminals. It shouldn't if the links are removed (assuming the speakers are bi ampable).
 

RugbyAl

Well-known Member
I don't understand what you mean by short the speaker terminals. It shouldn't if the links are removed (assuming the speakers are bi ampable).

Yes, the links are removed - but the 1 ohm resistor will be fitted in its place. 1 ohms is a very small resistance value and will increase the current draw from the amp markedly (I appreciate the crossover network's effective resistance will be in parallel with this 1 ohm resistor).
 

Marijn2

Novice Member
Thank you all for helping me out! So basically I can connect things just as seen in the picture.
Resistor connected to HF + and LF + for both speakers and then a link as seen on the picture for HF - and LF -
And finaly use Banana plugs for single wire connection to amp via LF+ and LF- ?
Just to be sure, this conection is completely safe for the crossover electronics within the cabinet?
 

Jomitch

Novice Member
Thank you all for helping me out! So basically I can connect things just as seen in the picture.
Resistor connected to HF + and LF + for both speakers and then a link as seen on the picture for HF - and LF -
And finaly use Banana plugs for single wire connection to amp via LF+ and LF- ?
Just to be sure, this conection is completely safe for the crossover electronics within the cabinet?
H I Guys. I have also registered on this site, as I read with interest the above posts concerning ways to tame the top end on the 85s. I had been thinking of buying either the 80's of 85's to replace my lovely Harbeth PE3's, which I have transferred from the lounge to my man cave, for reasons that I needn't mention here. I have always thought that good jumper cables improved. the quality over the manufacturers brass plates. Indeed some 20 years ago I replaced the Harbeth plates with Kimber cables, which cost an arm and a leg but gave a considerable improvement in the sound quality. I would not spend so much now on these for the Dentons but surely any jumpers should show an improvement over resistor links? For this reason, plus the many good user reviews, I went for the 80's for use with my Quad 44 pre amp. I am surprised how good they are out of the box although the top does roll off a bit sharply. I can correct this to some extent with the Quad slope controls and hopefully they will improve when broken in. I should therefore appreciate any comments on the issue I have raised, namely: resistors vs jumper cables. Thanks.
 

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