Wharfedale EVO 4.2 owners - how bad do they perform when you are at a vertical offset/non-sweetspot position?

qzavas

Member
I recently got gifted a pair of Wharfedale EVO 4.2 to start my first Hi(Mid)-Fi system. Obviously I want to make it right and dived head first into research, starting from the speakers themselves. I have no other components for the system yet and have no chance to audition them myself as I'm on the road for the next few months.

Now, I'm no audiophile and I wouldn't say that I'm very keen on the idea of sitting in a specific spot at a specific height each time to get a good (not necessarily perfect) performance out of my speakers. I want to be able to move around my living room + kitchen (same space) or lay down and not feel like suddenly my speakers sound completely different and much much worse just because I'm not sitting in the middle of the sofa with my back straight.

Unfortunately, in EVO 4.2's reviews I'm hearing that they are rather fussy position (especially vertical) wise and AMT tweeter is the main cause for it with high frequencies diminishing greatly when the ears are at a vertical offset from the optimal position.

My question is simple - how bad is it? I know that the question and therefore the answers are subjective, but I need to grab whatever opinions I can to decide if I need to start trying to sell them remotely and search for something else for my use case. Note - I don't need absolute perfection, my ear is not trained and I would be happy if I get at least ~70% of the speakers' performance when moving around the room.

Some side info:

  1. Room layout attached.
  2. Sound signature preference: warm, hate "audiophilic" ear-tearing highs, love tight bass.
  3. Use case: music/TV/movies. Music is BY FAR the biggest priority.
Distribution of music by genre is ~40% electronic genres with instrumental/vocal inclusions (e.g. house, liquid DnB), ~40% strictly electronic genres (e.g. techno, old school dubsteo), ~20% instrumental/vocal (e.g. classical rock, old school hip hop, RnB).
 

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ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Your speakers are like demi speakers or three quarter height. So maybe a pair of stands to elevate them a little to get them at the optimum height. Depending upon how much you want to spend we have some affordable stands or some a little more bespoke like the Custom Design FS104 Signature Stands

Back to everything else, What components are you hoping to listen to? CD, Vinyl, Radio, etc... You will obviously require an integrated stereo amplifier, interconnects including speaker cable. So what kind of budget to you have to play with as this will help everyone steer you in the right direction and whether you should also be looking at second hand market as those speakers probably deserve more than just the very basics

As for the speaker placement, you should be fine with were you have indicated, the only thing to be aware of is that that room is quite large, so it might need a little more power to create deep strong bass off axis
 

qzavas

Member
Thanks for your reply @ShanePJ yes, of course I understand that the stands are a necessity for these speakers and I do understand that I will need an integrated amp, but that's not really what I'm asking about here.

Firstly I want to find out how listen-able and how much quality these speakers lose in non-sweet spot positions (esp. vertical axis) as this is a concern. This will be the deciding factor in whether I will keep them or not given my use case. After all is decided speaker-wise, then I will move onto choosing the stands and the amp (I have some options already) and will definitely contact you!
 

ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
If you mean completely off axis where you are in the kitchen part of the room, then you cannot expect any speaker to deliver you a dynamic and focused stereo experience whereas if you are sat listening to music on the settee, then the stereo on any of those speakers pointing towards the speakers should sound very dynamic.

Even if you were able to sit in where you thought was the perfect place, you could be sat to close, the speakers could be to close to the wall zapping the life, you could also have an area in the room which creates an unwanted boom, you might even toe the speakers and find that you have created a narrow sound stage, so there are many things that can go wrong even when you think things are just right. Rooms can ruin a good sound.

So, if you are worried about how the speakers sound off axis, you should maybe also take as much effort in making sure they sound just right when your sat listing them them on the sofa and when you just want them to make some musical sound when you mulling elsewhere in the room, just class this as background music as you won't find any speaker that will deliver fantastic stereo performances when you are lets say in the kitchen part of the room
 

qzavas

Member
If you mean completely off axis where you are in the kitchen part of the room, then you cannot expect any speaker to deliver you a dynamic and focused stereo experience whereas if you are sat listening to music on the settee, then the stereo on any of those speakers pointing towards the speakers should sound very dynamic.

Even if you were able to sit in where you thought was the perfect place, you could be sat to close, the speakers could be to close to the wall zapping the life, you could also have an area in the room which creates an unwanted boom, you might even toe the speakers and find that you have created a narrow sound stage, so there are many things that can go wrong even when you think things are just right. Rooms can ruin a good sound.

So, if you are worried about how the speakers sound off axis, you should maybe also take as much effort in making sure they sound just right when your sat listing them them on the sofa and when you just want them to make some musical sound when you mulling elsewhere in the room, just class this as background music as you won't find any speaker that will deliver fantastic stereo performances when you are lets say in the kitchen part of the room
Okay, so to derive from your reply and paraphrase my question: if I would say that playing music in off axis positions is an important part of my use case then would you still say that Wharfedale EVO 4.2 are as good (or "as bad", however you want to put it) as other speakers of similar level (bookshelf or floorstanding), despite EVO's having an AMT tweeter which is notorious for having a very "flat" (vertical axis wise) area of performance?
 

ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
As sound and expectations can be difficult to measure, sometimes the only way to find out is to listen yourself to see if it is enough of a compromise. Yes, these speakers can be difficult, but that's not to say that they will not work within your expectations either (this is where an acceptable compromise is found)

If you have any doubt and are not able to experience them yourself, then the obvious answer is to leave them alone and maybe look at something by Kef's which have a wide axis for audio reproduction. But even these may not deliver what you are after

The big thing to remember is you are asking the speakers to perform in a way it haven't been designed to do and only your ears can tell you if this is acceptable in your room. The biggest thing I can say is "sound is suggestive, what one person feels is perfect is another persons worst fears". I for one and happy this happens although in instances like yours, it make answering questions of what certain individuals really want and expect is almost impossible

Regarding the vertical side, yes they will sound different as this is a compromised listening position if you are standing and moving around the room

Hope you understand :)
 

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