Wharfedale Evo 4.1 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 27 Old 11-06-2019, 02:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Wharfedale Evo 4.1

So after lurking on these forums for some time, I have decided to post about my experiences looking for a new pair of speakers. After extensive auditioning, I ended up with the Wharfedale Evo 4.1. I initially considered the Evo 4.2, but rather bizarrely found the smaller speakers clearer and more coherent than its big brother, although of course it lacks the scale and bass extension of the 4.2. I am very happy with the 4.1 which I feel sets a new standard at the price. It has an extremely transparent and natural midrange and treble coupled with bass that is punchy when you need it. It also has wonderful 3D imaging.

Other speakers I auditioned included:
Bowers and Wilkins 606 - I was unimpressed with these speakers which seemed to have a rather mechanical treble, although the mids had the best detail of the speakers I listened to. Bass was decent but the imaging was flat
Dali Opticon 2 - I liked these speakers. They had a rich 3D quality. Overally, thought, they didn't have the transperent quality of the Wharfedales
Elac ub5 - Another good speaker, though the Evo 4.1 were again more transparent
Monitor Audio Silver 50 - Excellent clarity, but lacking in bass and rather flat imaging.
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post #2 of 27 Old 11-06-2019, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-dog69 View Post
So after lurking on these forums for some time, I have decided to post about my experiences looking for a new pair of speakers. After extensive auditioning, I ended up with the Wharfedale Evo 4.1. I initially considered the Evo 4.2, but rather bizarrely found the smaller speakers clearer and more coherent than its big brother, although of course it lacks the scale and bass extension of the 4.2. I am very happy with the 4.1 which I feel sets a new standard at the price. It has an extremely transparent and natural midrange and treble coupled with bass that is punchy when you need it. It also has wonderful 3D imaging.

Other speakers I auditioned included:
Bowers and Wilkins 606 - I was unimpressed with these speakers which seemed to have a rather mechanical treble, although the mids had the best detail of the speakers I listened to. Bass was decent but the imaging was flat
Dali Opticon 2 - I liked these speakers. They had a rich 3D quality. Overally, thought, they didn't have the transperent quality of the Wharfedales
Elac ub5 - Another good speaker, though the Evo 4.1 were again more transparent
Monitor Audio Silver 50 - Excellent clarity, but lacking in bass and rather flat imaging.
Thanks for posting! Very useful since I'm in the same boat and @Zorba922 recommended the Wharfies strongly and the others you turned down are ones on my list. Have been waiting to read more reviews of them. Interesting to me that the one you picked is the least expensive of the others you auditioned (I could be wrong). I love the 4.1, 4.2 look. The 4.2 may be less better, as @Russdawg1 said, becuase of the 3-way speaker instead of 2-way, maybe. Did you find the 4.1 harsh at all and did you try with any lower quality recordings?
Interestingly, @pase22 once mentioned he'd prefer the KEF Q150 over the Q350 for clarity ands coherency. You may have hit on a similar observation re the 4.2. The 4.1 will fit better in my HT room too. Would love tot hear more about your experiences with the 4.1. Did you get the matching center?
Enjoy your new speakers and I may join you soon!
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post #3 of 27 Old 11-06-2019, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by G-dog69 View Post
I ended up with the Wharfedale Evo 4.1. I initially considered the Evo 4.2, but rather bizarrely found the smaller speakers clearer and more coherent than its big brother, although of course it lacks the scale and bass extension of the 4.2
Interesting! Did you order both the 4.1 and 4.2 and sent back the latter, or you were able to find a store that carries both?

I would be curious how the 4.1 compares to the Emotiva B1 which has a smaller version of the AMT tweeter and costs just $229 shipped.
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post #4 of 27 Old 11-06-2019, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-dog69 View Post
So after lurking on these forums for some time, I have decided to post about my experiences looking for a new pair of speakers. After extensive auditioning, I ended up with the Wharfedale Evo 4.1. I initially considered the Evo 4.2, but rather bizarrely found the smaller speakers clearer and more coherent than its big brother, although of course it lacks the scale and bass extension of the 4.2. I am very happy with the 4.1 which I feel sets a new standard at the price. It has an extremely transparent and natural midrange and treble coupled with bass that is punchy when you need it. It also has wonderful 3D imaging.

Other speakers I auditioned included:
Bowers and Wilkins 606 - I was unimpressed with these speakers which seemed to have a rather mechanical treble, although the mids had the best detail of the speakers I listened to. Bass was decent but the imaging was flat
Dali Opticon 2 - I liked these speakers. They had a rich 3D quality. Overally, thought, they didn't have the transperent quality of the Wharfedales
Elac ub5 - Another good speaker, though the Evo 4.1 were again more transparent
Monitor Audio Silver 50 - Excellent clarity, but lacking in bass and rather flat imaging.
Welcome t AVS!

Thanks for sharing your experience with the Evos. The information will be useful for future reference.
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post #5 of 27 Old 11-06-2019, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vikram Iyengar View Post
Thanks for posting! Very useful since I'm in the same boat and @Zorba922 recommended the Wharfies strongly and the others you turned down are ones on my list. Have been waiting to read more reviews of them. Interesting to me that the one you picked is the least expensive of the others you auditioned (I could be wrong). I love the 4.1, 4.2 look. The 4.2 may be less better, as @Russdawg1 said, becuase of the 3-way speaker instead of 2-way, maybe. Did you find the 4.1 harsh at all and did you try with any lower quality recordings?
Interestingly, @pase22 once mentioned he'd prefer the KEF Q150 over the Q350 for clarity ands coherency. You may have hit on a similar observation re the 4.2. The 4.1 will fit better in my HT room too. Would love tot hear more about your experiences with the 4.1. Did you get the matching center?
Enjoy your new speakers and I may join you soon!
Though it was a few years ago, I thought the Wharfedale Diamond 10.1's sound great. Easy to listen to, no fatigue at all, good bass and an overall well rounded speaker. The Evos's are a step up and have a ribbon tweeter so would sound more refined. I ultimately went with Kef because I felt it suited my genre of music better and liked the detail and great imaging of the then Q100's.
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post #6 of 27 Old 11-06-2019, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-dog69 View Post
So after lurking on these forums for some time, I have decided to post about my experiences looking for a new pair of speakers. After extensive auditioning, I ended up with the Wharfedale Evo 4.1. I initially considered the Evo 4.2, but rather bizarrely found the smaller speakers clearer and more coherent than its big brother, although of course it lacks the scale and bass extension of the 4.2. I am very happy with the 4.1 which I feel sets a new standard at the price. It has an extremely transparent and natural midrange and treble coupled with bass that is punchy when you need it. It also has wonderful 3D imaging.

Other speakers I auditioned included:
Bowers and Wilkins 606 - I was unimpressed with these speakers which seemed to have a rather mechanical treble, although the mids had the best detail of the speakers I listened to. Bass was decent but the imaging was flat
Dali Opticon 2 - I liked these speakers. They had a rich 3D quality. Overally, thought, they didn't have the transperent quality of the Wharfedales
Elac ub5 - Another good speaker, though the Evo 4.1 were again more transparent
Monitor Audio Silver 50 - Excellent clarity, but lacking in bass and rather flat imaging.
Thanks for the info.

I would have expected the Evo 4.2 to walk away from the smaller 4.1, even when paired with a sub, so thank you for your observations.

I wonder how the Evo 4.1 compares to the Martin Logan LX16s which have a slightly larger main driver but a significantly smaller AMT crossed over at 2.7khz vs the Evo's 2.9khz.

AMT in the Evo is 1.2x2.4" vs the Martin Logan's 1"x1.4".

On paper that tells me that the Evo should perform better with more headroom.

The LX16s are $220/pair cheaper though and I do enjoy mine in my secondary setup.

The Emotiva B1+ are almost half the price of the LX16 albeit with the smallest AMT of all at just 1"x1.25".
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post #7 of 27 Old 11-07-2019, 12:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes, I was expecting the Evo 4.2 to handily outperform the 4.1, especially with the dome midrange, but I auditioned both side by side and was surprised that the small speakers sounded better. Bass is not super extended, although it has a strong punch, but it wasn't an issue for me as I am planning to add a sub. Of course, your ears may be different, but be sure to hear both if you are planning to buy a pair.

The speakers are very smooth and transparent. They sound very natural but with less of the warmth of the Diamonds. I can't detect any harshness and the speakers are getting even clearer as they run in. I didn't hear the Martin Logans but did get to hear the Emotiva B1. I thought these were remarkably detailed, but the midrange was rather crude sounding.
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post #8 of 27 Old 11-07-2019, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by G-dog69 View Post
Yes, I was expecting the Evo 4.2 to handily outperform the 4.1, especially with the dome midrange, but I auditioned both side by side and was surprised that the small speakers sounded better. Bass is not super extended, although it has a strong punch, but it wasn't an issue for me as I am planning to add a sub. Of course, your ears may be different, but be sure to hear both if you are planning to buy a pair.

The speakers are very smooth and transparent. They sound very natural but with less of the warmth of the Diamonds. I can't detect any harshness and the speakers are getting even clearer as they run in. I didn't hear the Martin Logans but did get to hear the Emotiva B1. I thought these were remarkably detailed, but the midrange was rather crude sounding.
Interestingly, this is everything that @Zorba922 predicted.
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post #9 of 27 Old 11-07-2019, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Vikram Iyengar View Post
Interestingly, this is everything that @Zorba922 predicted.
Except for the crude mids of the B1's compared to the Evos!
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Except for the crude mids of the B1's compared to the Evos!
Haha
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post #11 of 27 Old 11-07-2019, 01:03 PM
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Except for the crude mids of the B1's compared to the Evos!
Ahem, "somewhat recessed" mids!

Wharfedales are generally known for lovely full/forward mids anyhow, so it's bound to be a lopsided comparison there.
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Everyone's ears are different.

I neglected to mention two other speakers I auditioned.

Focal Chora 806- I was looking forward to hearing these as they had just come out. The sound was clear and balanced, but nothing really stood out. They lacked the resolution of the best speakers that I had heard.

Dynaudio Emit 20 - A smooth, balanced sound with good bass, but lacked the insight of the best.

While I was at the store I saw a pair of new Dynaudio Confidence 30 hooked up and asked if I could have a quick listen. Amazing, perfect sound with fabulous clarity and dynamics as you would expect for the price. If you win the lottery, that is the speaker I would recommend.
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post #13 of 27 Old 11-08-2019, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
Ahem, "somewhat recessed" mids!

Wharfedales are generally known for lovely full/forward mids anyhow, so it's bound to be a lopsided comparison there.
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post #14 of 27 Old 11-08-2019, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by G-dog69 View Post
Everyone's ears are different.

I neglected to mention two other speakers I auditioned.

Focal Chora 806- I was looking forward to hearing these as they had just come out. The sound was clear and balanced, but nothing really stood out. They lacked the resolution of the best speakers that I had heard.

Dynaudio Emit 20 - A smooth, balanced sound with good bass, but lacked the insight of the best.

While I was at the store I saw a pair of new Dynaudio Confidence 30 hooked up and asked if I could have a quick listen. Amazing, perfect sound with fabulous clarity and dynamics as you would expect for the price. If you win the lottery, that is the speaker I would recommend.
Wow, those are two other very well regarded speakers for sure.

Thanks for the update; the Evos just might be the real deal.
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post #15 of 27 Old 11-08-2019, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
Wow, those are two other very well regarded speakers for sure.

Thanks for the update; the Evos just might be the real deal.
I wonder if it is like in the other thread (KEF R3 vs Sierra 2EX) where someone said a flat measurement may not be actually preferred by a listener and a listener may prefer downward slope. Zorba has said Wharfies have a bump in the midrange and rolled off highs which may just suit music to a listener more than flat measurement from all these other great, expensive speakers?

I may need to put Wharf back on my audition list.
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post #16 of 27 Old 11-08-2019, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Vikram Iyengar View Post
I wonder if it is like in the other thread (KEF R3 vs Sierra 2EX) where someone said a flat measurement may not be actually preferred by a listener and a listener may prefer downward slope. Zorba has said Wharfies have a bump in the midrange and rolled off highs which may just suit music to a listener more than flat measurement from all these other great, expensive speakers?

I may need to put Wharf back on my audition list.
He also has BMRs.
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post #17 of 27 Old 11-08-2019, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vikram Iyengar View Post
I wonder if it is like in the other thread (KEF R3 vs Sierra 2EX) where someone said a flat measurement may not be actually preferred by a listener and a listener may prefer downward slope. Zorba has said Wharfies have a bump in the midrange and rolled off highs which may just suit music to a listener more than flat measurement from all these other great, expensive speakers?

I may need to put Wharf back on my audition list.
I also had the wharfedale 10.1s and can attest to their mids. For their price range, those were some of the best mids I heard. From memory, people on this forum have described them as silky, buttery, and smooth. Their rolled of highs was the biggest downfall for me, but they were certainly fun to listen to and not fatiguing whatsoever. Great bass for their size too!
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post #18 of 27 Old 11-08-2019, 03:15 PM
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And the Wharfies can be biwired. @G-dog69 , did you biwire-biamp when testing speakers?

Did you try PSB Imagine B? On my list.
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
He also has BMRs.
True, and while the BMRs have superior treble extension/detail/dynamics, a much bigger more immersive soundstage and at least 15Hz more mid-bass extension, there are times when I just want to drown in that magical midrange lushness of the Wharfedales.
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Originally Posted by Vikram Iyengar View Post
And the Wharfies can be biwired.
When they were my mains, I had them wired at first, then bi-wired and bi-amped...barely any difference, really. Same experience with other speakers I've had that had 4 terminals. Speaker makers just put 4 terminals on their speakers because it's a cheap way to APPEAR to be "audiophile" but actually bi-wiring and (passive) bi-amping makes diddly difference.
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Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
True, and while the BMRs have superior treble extension/detail/dynamics, a much bigger more immersive soundstage and at least 15Hz more mid-bass extension, there are times when I just want to drown in that magical midrange lushness of the Wharfedales.
You make the Wharfies sound like a favorite mixed drink!
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post #22 of 27 Old 11-08-2019, 04:56 PM
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You make the Wharfies sound like a favorite mixed drink!
That's a good description of them!
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I haven't tried bi-wiring the Evos. I think it depends on the speaker. I had a pair of Mission 751s that benefited greatly from bi-wiring. With regard to the rolled off highs, I think the Evos have the characteristic smooth Wharfedale sound but the treble is not rolled off in any way. Haven't heard the PSB.
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
Wow, those are two other very well regarded speakers for sure.

Thanks for the update; the Evos just might be the real deal.
Emit M20 had gotten five stars from WhatHiFi three years ago, at the 600 pound price point ($999 to us). British speakers sold in the US appear to be more expensive than in the UK when you factor in the exchange, but the EVO series seems to be worth it.

I will be researching the how the unusual dome tweeter in the EVO 4.3 and 4.4 stacks up against the competition.
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Originally Posted by G-dog69 View Post
Yes, I was expecting the Evo 4.2 to handily outperform the 4.1, especially with the dome midrange, but I auditioned both side by side and was surprised that the small speakers sounded better. Bass is not super extended, although it has a strong punch, but it wasn't an issue for me as I am planning to add a sub. Of course, your ears may be different, but be sure to hear both if you are planning to buy a pair.

The speakers are very smooth and transparent. They sound very natural but with less of the warmth of the Diamonds. I can't detect any harshness and the speakers are getting even clearer as they run in. I didn't hear the Martin Logans but did get to hear the Emotiva B1. I thought these were remarkably detailed, but the midrange was rather crude sounding.
The warmth of the Diamonds was probably distortion, in that case.
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The warmth of the Diamonds was probably distortion, in that case.
PLEASING ( ) distortion.

Sometimes called "harmonics."

The reason that some people pay big bucks for tube amps.

~ 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 #27 of 27 Old 11-09-2019, 03:19 PM
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