wharfedale speakers are they as bad as people say? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 40 Old 06-11-2013, 01:40 AM - Thread Starter
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I hear good and bad things about them. For those who heard them what were your impressions of them?
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post #2 of 40 Old 06-11-2013, 05:24 AM
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Wharfedale is Britans oldest Loudspeaker manufacturer that has been around sinece the 1930's. So they have made many, many speakers over the decades; some real gems and some dogs.
They also make many lines of speakers in any given model year ranging from bargain basement junk to world class top of the line.

So it all depends on which ones people, as you say, are referring to. The upper Wharfedale ranges like Jade, Opus, Evo and Diamond are outstanding audiophile class speakers. Then there is the real junk like the Zaldeks.

I once owned a full 5.0 set of Diamond 9's anchored by the flagship 9.6's up front. These were very well designed, built and sounding speakers for the money. They had a warm, lush sound and very musical. When I upgraded, a friend liked them so much he bought the LCR's from me. So now I get to enjoy them whenever I am over at his place listening to his rig. I kept the Diamond 9.2's by the way as currently use them as my surrounds. They blend in great with my Viennas. Finally another acquaintance has the TOTL Opus 2-2's and these sound incredible in his system being powered by a Mac amp.

Finally a distant relative knew I was into HIFI and heard I owned Wharfedale. He bought some cheap Zaldeks over Craigs List, called me up and said I don't get it. They sound like crap. So it all depends on which ones.
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post #3 of 40 Old 06-11-2013, 08:05 AM
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What kind of bad things have you heard?

I have the Diamond 10.2 bookshelves as my main L/R speakers in a 2.1 system (with a Klipsch sub). I run them with a 50wpc Marantz NR1602. I mostly use digital music sources (FLAC, MP3, WMA, Pandora, YouTube...etc). I listen to everything from folk to jazz to classical to rap to metal and back again.

I've been very satisfied with how this little system handles music. Even in "Direct" and "Pure Direct" mode where the subwoofer is by-passed - these little bookshelves seem to go down quite low for most needs. I think they would be hard to beat at their price point.

Aesthetically, they have a good wife-pleasing characteristic with their curved cabinets - they are quite a nice looking speaker as far as it goes. This was a factor in my choice, I must admit.

I've struggled with some CATV broadcasts that have seemed too bass-heavy, but I think that is a combination of the source material and room acoustics. I can change the channel, or play a Blu-Ray, and the sound comes right back to life. Yet, with that said, I am pursuing room treatment options and REW measurements before I complete my Wharfedale 5.1 setup (with the 10.CS and 10.SR's).

Some times the used market makes me groan as I see a pair of nice-but-used floor-standers that could potentially have been an upgrade for me at the same price as my 10.2's (plus stands). I've even seen the 10.5 speakers on sale at a competitive price. If I could do it all over again, I might have gone with the 10.5's as my fronts. But on the whole, I'm happy with what I got for the money I paid.
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post #4 of 40 Old 06-11-2013, 10:56 AM
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I heard the new Jade series, and to my years, they even put the Revel Performa3's to shame. They sounded wonderful with a huge and dimmensional sound stage. Tight well controlled bass with a very nice and lively top end.
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post #5 of 40 Old 06-11-2013, 01:16 PM
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I suggest that you go to the Stereophile website and access the review they did fairly recently on the Diamond 10.1.

They were very positive about them.

Most Wharfedale speakers are very good for their prices.

I Kind of have a warm spot for them because my first "good" speakers were a pair of W70 Wharfedales, more than 40 years ago. I had those for 10 years or so, before I bought my Polk RTA12 speakers in 1980, and then my Vandersteens, etc.
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post #6 of 40 Unread 02-08-2017, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keyboardcat View Post
I hear good and bad things about them. For those who heard them what were your impressions of them?
Can I jump in ? ? ? - Just hooked up a pair of Rosewood Jade 7's.... Replacing a legacy set of Rosewood Opus 2-3's..... Much smaller, less bass at first glance and listen. BUT, sounds really good. GOOGLE what high end Wharfedale speakers and representatives recommend for a break-in period. I HEAR 100 to 150 hours of break-in!! LOL, that will take me forever! Love the clarity at first listen tonight, but after last night, giving the OPUS's a final listen before I put them back in the closet, they sounded amazing. Came across a set for $2000 from Los Angeles, sitting in a warehouse. Grills needed some fixing, tending to, but over all these $6999 speakers sound awesome with 10 inch drivers. Can't wait to get the Jade 7's 8" drivers broken in and give a full run down, review.

I also have a pair of cheaper, I think they are Vardus 100's.... THEN, I have a Rosewood pair of Jade 3's... THAT is why I purchased a set of the 7's. How do you get that much sound out of a 6.5" speaker, bookshelf?

Great stuff. Wish I could visit the UK and Wharfedale itself.


Cheers,


Motobman

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post #7 of 40 Unread 02-08-2017, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paraneer View Post
Wharfedale is Britans oldest Loudspeaker manufacturer that has been around sinece the 1930's. So they have made many, many speakers over the decades; some real gems and some dogs.
They also make many lines of speakers in any given model year ranging from bargain basement junk to world class top of the line.

So it all depends on which ones people, as you say, are referring to. The upper Wharfedale ranges like Jade, Opus, Evo and Diamond are outstanding audiophile class speakers. Then there is the real junk like the Zaldeks.

I once owned a full 5.0 set of Diamond 9's anchored by the flagship 9.6's up front. These were very well designed, built and sounding speakers for the money. They had a warm, lush sound and very musical. When I upgraded, a friend liked them so much he bought the LCR's from me. So now I get to enjoy them whenever I am over at his place listening to his rig. I kept the Diamond 9.2's by the way as currently use them as my surrounds. They blend in great with my Viennas. Finally another acquaintance has the TOTL Opus 2-2's and these sound incredible in his system being powered by a Mac amp.

Finally a distant relative knew I was into HIFI and heard I owned Wharfedale. He bought some cheap Zaldeks over Craigs List, called me up and said I don't get it. They sound like crap. So it all depends on which ones.


Good grief, those look like they should come with a Stone Cold Steve Austin t-shirt and a case of Natty Ice.

As far as the other Wharfedales go, I've been curious, especially the Diamond and the Jade series. The Jades are cool in that they offer a true three-way bookshelf, which not many companies seem to do, and the midrange driver looks a lot like the high-dollar Accuton that gets rave reviews (though I have no idea how close it comes in performance).
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post #8 of 40 Unread 02-11-2017, 05:16 PM
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I have many different speakers, and now have FOUR, yes four sets of Wharfedales..... A set of rosewood Opus 2-3's (Monsters) and a set of rosewood Jade 7 towers, rosewood Jade 3's, and some small black Valdus bookshelves. OCD, ADD, ADHD, you name it, I have some of each. I switch between two channel audio between the OPUS and my other speakers, Klipsch RF280F's, and now my new Jade 7's. Will come up with some sort of detailed review but I currently have an Emotiva XSP-1 preamp hooked up to an Emo XPA-2 amp. I've also turned on my new Marantz 7005 receiver to test it's output.

More to come,

Love live Wharfedale.
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post #9 of 40 Unread 02-11-2017, 08:22 PM
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The mainstay of Wharfedale is the Diamond series. These have been around for decades, and have consistently been highly reviewed in their price class and award winning speakers. So, yes, they are good speakers.

But - Are they good Speakers? - is not the question. Do you like them? - is the correct question.

They are what they are and they do what they do, but they are not what they are not, and they don't do what they don't do.

The speaker tend toward the mellow side, a bit laid back which is actually good for long listening sessions. I prefer my Diamond 9.6 for Music, but would like a slightly brighter speaker with a bit more Mid emphasis for Movies. Fortunately I have a second set of speakers that supplement the Diamond 9.6 nicely for movies, so I'm very satisfied with what I have.

Judge for yourself -



Within the limits of YouTube, but as Youtube goes, these videos sound good.

Here is another review of the Wharfedale Diamond 225, and the guy doing the review has heard a LOT of speakers.


Again, the Wharfedale, while good, tend toward the mellow, you might prefer a brighter more forward speaker. I can't know that.

Make of that what you will.

Steve/bluewizard
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post #10 of 40 Unread 02-12-2017, 10:56 AM
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I've been on AVS for years; Wharfedale is one of the least criticized brands I can think of by AVS members.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #11 of 40 Unread 02-12-2017, 11:12 AM
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I have owned many Wharfedale speakers and I have to say they are probably the most consistent brand across their models as far as quality, don't get me wrong though most of the model lines have different sound signatures. Currently I own the Evolution 40's up front with the Evo center and Opus tri surrounds in the rear and the sound is so balanced and clear. I have owned the following models over the years:

Valdus-Big and massive, really good if you want loud speakers that aren't very detailed but can play at ludicrous decibel levels but without clipping.
Emerald-Probably the best kept secret for Wharfedale, very detailed and the cabinet quality was top notch.
Modus Six-Also very detailed with kind of a muddy midrange but got the job done, definitely better for music.
OPUS-Definitely the class of the wharfedale line, need good dedicated amp to get the most out of this line.
Evolution-What I currently use, very well balanced and sensitive, great for both movies and music, the center is the only weak point of the system.

I heard the Jade last year at RMAF and they sounded incredible but they also had it hooked up to incredibly high end preamp-amp combo.

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post #12 of 40 Unread 02-12-2017, 03:32 PM
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I just bought my 1st pair of Wharfedale speakers a few months ago, Diamond 220 bookshelf speakers and they sound amazing for their price. I preferred them slightly to my ARX A1 speakers that they replaced which are highly regarded on this forum as well. I've been listening to quite a few speakers recently in high end shops and have come to the conclusion that I would need to probably spend close to a grand or more to beat these speakers, actually the only ones that really wowed me were the monitor audio gold 50's which are 1800/pr, that is really saying something about the quality of Wharfedale.
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post #13 of 40 Unread 02-12-2017, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by aarons915 View Post
I just bought my 1st pair of Wharfedale speakers a few months ago, Diamond 220 bookshelf speakers and they sound amazing for their price. I preferred them slightly to my ARX A1 speakers that they replaced which are highly regarded on this forum as well.
Are you using them more for music or HT? I would expect the Ws to be warmer with a fuller midrange, and the Chanes to be more detailed and dynamic up top...was that your experience?

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #14 of 40 Unread 02-12-2017, 03:44 PM
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Are you using them more for music or HT? I would expect the Ws to be warmer with a fuller midrange, and the Chanes to be more detailed and dynamic up top...was that your experience?
They are warm with a full midrange, if you check out the sound and vision review they actually have a rise in the midrange up until about 1k Hz and then drop off a bit but they sound good to me. A lot of people talk about the Chanes like they're ultra detailed in the high frequencies but I honestly thought they were a little laid back just like the Wharfedales, which is why I enjoy them both. I don't have a problem with them for home theater at all and that is using 3 220's as LCR but I also have very sensitive hearing, I just took an audiogram recently and found out I still have as good of hearing as most kids.

It's also worth noting that I went from Polk monitor 60's to the ARX A1 so that could be also why I felt the ARX were laid back because the Polks are notoriously bright speakers.
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post #15 of 40 Unread 02-12-2017, 03:49 PM
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Just wondering did you notice this thread was started over 3 years ago?

I dunno maybe that's not relevant to anyone.
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post #16 of 40 Unread 02-12-2017, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by aarons915 View Post
It's also worth noting that I went from Polk monitor 60's to the ARX A1 so that could be also why I felt the ARX were laid back because the Polks are notoriously bright speakers.
Ah yes, the infamous Polk Monitor series, makes perfect sense now...I wonder if anyone's ever compared them directly to the bottom Klipsch models, lol.

Is it possible that by "laid back" what you actually mean is "neutral?" I've read some people saying that the 220/225 series is more neutral than the 10.1/10.2 series that preceded it.

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #17 of 40 Unread 02-12-2017, 06:11 PM
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Ah yes, the infamous Polk Monitor series, makes perfect sense now...I wonder if anyone's ever compared them directly to the bottom Klipsch models, lol.

Is it possible that by "laid back" what you actually mean is "neutral?" I've read some people saying that the 220/225 series is more neutral than the 10.1/10.2 series that preceded it.
Yeah the Chanes are definitely more neutral, I don't know if I'd call the 220's neutral since it has a pretty well defined bump in the midrange followed by a drop after 1k Hz but they're definitely non fatiguing for people who are sensitive to high frequencies.
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post #18 of 40 Unread 02-12-2017, 06:14 PM
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Just wondering did you notice this thread was started over 3 years ago?

I dunno maybe that's not relevant to anyone.
No wonder the OP hasn't come back to respond to any of the comments.
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post #19 of 40 Unread 02-13-2017, 12:32 PM
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The Warfedale Company has existed in some form since 1933. Wharfedale first introduced the Diamond Series in 1981. The Diamond quickly became one of the best-selling audiophile speakers of all time.

I asked a similar question in the UK (AVForums.com) version of this forum. Having know of Wharfedale for many years, I wondered why they did not get recommended more often.

The answer I got was that Wharfedale made one critical marketing mistake. They decided to expand their market by branching out into low end consumer equipment, and rather than expanding their market among general consumers, it devalued their Brand Name for Music Enthusiast and Audiophile. When a new generation grew into the market, they already associated Wharfedale with low end Walmart/Curry's class equipment, and intuitively felt the wanted something better.

But for those not clouded by that association and by that prejudice, Wharfedale has been and remains a strong contender in the Speaker market with the Diamond consistently being their most popular product.

Wharfedale has also tried to enter other markets. For example, you can buy Wharfedale brand PA equipment. For a while they tried to enter the DJ market with the Valdus and Xarus speaker lines. These were high-powered high-output speakers, that were a bit less refined, but very attractively priced. Perfect for Amateur or small venue DJs.

http://www.retrotronics.co.nz/detail&id=570

http://www.kingsound.co.kr/file/link/goods8128.asp

Both the above speaker had THREE 8" Bass drivers. When the DJ lines were discontinue and went on close-out, they represented excellent value for people looking for party speakers.

The current Issue of Stereophile Magazine (though it may not be on-line yet) has a review of the Wharfedale Diamond 225 that is generally positive, and ends with the speakers being "Highly Recommended". They have also previously reviewed the Diamond 10.1, which got a rave review, and the Diamond 10.7 which also got a very good review. I believe Stereophile also review the Wharfedale JADE 7, and gave it a very positive review.

But as I said, some people believe that Wharfedale devalued its brand by making a line of low end discount store equipment, and tacking their name to it. For countless people, the Wharfedale brand was forever tied to that low end equipment.

Just a few thoughts.

Steve/bluewizard

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post #20 of 40 Unread 02-13-2017, 01:04 PM
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It is also worth noting that they are closing out the JADE line. If you want some fantastic speaker at Big Discounts, now is the time -

https://www.musicdirect.com/speakers...pr-awfjade7blk

https://www.musicdirect.com/speakers...pr-awfjade3blk

The JADE 7 are discounted by about 41%.

Both these speakers have been Reviewed by Stereophile Magazine, very positive reviews for the clarity and presence of the speakers. But upon testing the Jade 3, the frequency response indicated they were a bit soft in the upper midrange. But then Wharfedale tend to be mellow easy to listen to speakers, so this is not really that much of a surprise. But on clarity, both the Jade 7 and the Jade 3 were very highly ranked.

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post #21 of 40 Unread 02-13-2017, 03:44 PM
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They are warm with a full midrange,
I read that and thought of Nigella Lawson.
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post #22 of 40 Unread 02-15-2017, 06:28 PM
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I love my wharfedales. I run opus tri-center, and opus tri-surrounds, opus evo2 - 30s, and evo2-20s. I've gone through quite a few speakers before settling on this setup. I have some diamond 10.4s on the way to put in the den. I didn't pay much for these (as I picked them up over the years on ebay and craigslist), but they sound wonderful.

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post #23 of 40 Unread 02-16-2017, 05:56 AM
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I just bought a pair of Diamond 220s. I'm still breaking them in. My previous speakers were Music Hall's Marimbas (same woofer and tweeter size). One of the reasons I bought the 220s is because I have limited placement and can't get very far from the wall. The Marimbas are rear ported and unfortunately with my placement limits, the bass is a bit boomy (though still excellent). I also found the highs on the Marimbas to not be as smooth and savory as I'd prefer, though the tweeter is indeed very well balanced with the woofer and not over dominant. As a result, the mid-range on the Marimbas is really quite fantastic.


I'll report on the 220s after I've broken them in, but they appear to be very well built. Not cheap in the slightest bit. What matters most though isn't the build quality or appearance, but the sound.
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post #24 of 40 Unread 02-16-2017, 10:44 AM
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I have only rarely heard a bad comment on Wharfdales!
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Set up #1: EMP e5ti, e5Ci, and EMP e5Bi surrounds, Outlaw LFM1 Plus sub, EMP 10i10i sub
Set up #2: Def Tech SM450, CLR2002, SLS Qline surrounds and Klipsch 12wD sub
Set up #3: Philharmonics- BMR in a 2.0 system, music only
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post #25 of 40 Unread 02-16-2017, 11:14 AM
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I have a set of Diamond 9 system with Denon receiver. It sounds very good.
I don't know where you heard they make bad speakers.
But with that being said, it depends on what you want. The Wharferdales mainstream speakers like the Diamond series make very safe sound. When I say safe, they make good mid range with decent bass and enough high. They won't have the resolution of a Klipsch horn or deep bass of a Def Tech build-in sub. They are great music speakers but for movies, I prefer Klipsch.
The dome mid-range driver is pretty cool. Kinda like the yellow B&W drivers.

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post #26 of 40 Unread 02-16-2017, 11:38 AM
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I also bought a 220 pair about a week ago. Out of the box sound was terrible, with heavy bass drowning out the mids and highs. Although I figured they just need a proper break in, never expected such poor sound from out of the box. Took out an old amplifier and hooked them up and put them in a closet with a blanket thrown over them for about 72 hours (3 days).

Sound dramatically improved afterwards, but still not satisfied with it. On certain material sounded fantastic (esp strings, percussion) but still felt some of the upper octaves not coming through was well as I'd like. If it continues to improve, may keep them. But if not, will get rid of them. Still have a pair JBL S38 (larger bookshelves) from 16 years ago that put them to shame.
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post #27 of 40 Unread 02-16-2017, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by bluer View Post
I also bought a 220 pair about a week ago. Out of the box sound was terrible, with heavy bass drowning out the mids and highs. Although I figured they just need a proper break in, never expected such poor sound from out of the box. Took out an old amplifier and hooked them up and put them in a closet with a blanket thrown over them for about 72 hours (3 days).

Sound dramatically improved afterwards, but still not satisfied with it. On certain material sounded fantastic (esp strings, percussion) but still felt some of the upper octaves not coming through was well as I'd like. If it continues to improve, may keep them. But if not, will get rid of them. Still have a pair JBL S38 (larger bookshelves) from 16 years ago that put them to shame.
If you are a fan of JBL, then you were totally barking up the wrong tree with the Wharfedale Diamond line...they are almost opposite sound signatures. The Wharfedale has a rolled-off top end so you will never get the kind of treble detail and dynamics that JBL can offer. You're better off with either a Klipsch RP or JBL Studio 230, or something neutral like the Philharmonic Audio AA bookshelf, Ascend 170, etc.

It cracks me up how on the Amazon reviews of Wharfedale speakers, pretty much all of the negative reviews are written by people who've made the exact same mistake.
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post #28 of 40 Unread 02-16-2017, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by bluer View Post
I also bought a 220 pair about a week ago. Out of the box sound was terrible, with heavy bass drowning out the mids and highs. ...
Try removing the Tweeter Grill. Also where do you have them placed. What you are experiencing is not what I experienced with my Diamond, quite the opposite. Mine were clear in the Mid/High but a bit soft in the bass. Keep in mind it took about 300 hours to fully break in my Diamond 9.6.

In your case it really sounds like a positioning issue, though it would have to be extreme. If you can move the speaker out away from any boundary. Say 2ft to 3ft from any nearby wall or surface, and see how they sound. Of course, this is just a test, I realize you can place them like that on a day to day basis. But if this clears up the Mid/High, you know you have a placement issue.

Also, check these to absolute must stand-bys for trouble shooting -

1.) Make ABSOLUTELY SURE THAT the speakers are wired properly, that in very case, the Amp(+) goes to the Speaker(+). Nothing will suck the life out of speaker like one of them being wired wrong.

2.) Make sure that the Speaker Terminal Jumper Bars are in place AND MAKING CONTACT. It could be if you do not have contact on the Jumper Bars, you have lost your tweeters.

I found Jumper Bars to be unreliable, so I change to short wires with Ring Terminals. Even if the wire terminal nut comes loose, ring termnals can't fall off or break contact.





3.) Lastly, the placement test I suggested. Get the speaker out away from everything, if they sound better, then you have a placement issue.

I recently had the same problem with the Q Acoustic 3050 Floorstanding, great bass with recessed Mid/High. Eventually I pulled them forward a substantial distance and they cleared right up. So, I started working with placement and discovered I could get good results with the speaker a mere 3 inches farther forward.

Just a few thoughts.

In my opinion, you either have one speaker wired wrong, or you don't have your Jumper Bars secured. Both have happened to me despite over 40 years in the game.

Steve/bluewizard
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post #29 of 40 Unread 02-16-2017, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
If you are a fan of JBL, then you were totally barking up the wrong tree with the Wharfedale Diamond line...they are almost opposite sound signatures. The Wharfedale has a rolled-off top end so you will never get the kind of treble detail and dynamics that JBL can offer. You're better off with either a Klipsch RP or JBL Studio 230, or something neutral like the Philharmonic Audio AA bookshelf, Ascend 170, etc.

It cracks me up how on the Amazon reviews of Wharfedale speakers, pretty much all of the negative reviews are written by people who've made the exact same mistake.
I don't 100% agree with your statement (~99%), but I do agree with your conclusion. The Wharfedale tend to be smooth laid back speakers, which for many creates a very low fatigue experience. But for those who like a crisper, brighter, more forward presentation, the Wharfedale are not the right speaker. They are good, and I like them, but they are laid back.

Though I haven't heard them personally, from Reviews, the new Klipsch RP Series have finally gotten the Horn Mid/High right. Apparently now very balanced and controlled but still with the presence you would associate with Horns. I wouldn't mind having a pair of the 2x8" Floorstanding versions.

Equally, the new JBL have gotten high praise.

But before the Original Poster chucks the speakers. I suggest he consider the three trouble shooting steps I posted -

1.) Correct Wiring
2.) Jumper Bars in Place
3.) Speaker Placement

Steve/bluewizard

Last edited by bluewizard; 02-17-2017 at 01:00 PM.
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post #30 of 40 Unread 02-17-2017, 05:58 PM
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I WILL TALK Wharfedales with anyone, anytime! I love all four sets I have and have put my two sets of Klipsh's away, and now are trying to break in my beautiful pair of Jade 7's. Love everyone's input and it's great to see so many people have the yerning for perfect, or near perfect sound out of his or her setup. At the moment, I have a Yamaha CD player, hooked up with Emotiva XPS-1 preamp, to an Emotiva 300w 2 channel XPA-2 Gen 2 amp. The XPR-2 I have is 600 watts and is probably too much for anything I have.
Lovin the sound so far and as you all have said above, need to play with placement and where they are in conjuction to furniture, etc.

Enjoy and have a great weekend everyone!

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