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Discussion Starter #1
TL/DR Summary:

While I wouldn't feel great about paying full price for the Wharfedale EVO2-8 - a clearance price of $320-400 new is a great value. The elegant black-on-black appearance fits nicely with the laid-back, well-balanced sound and makes for hours of enjoyable listening. In comparison, I found the the Energy RC-10, while nice, to be the slightest bit harsh and unbalanced. They have a touch of attitude both visually an sonically, and they let you know it.

Sound:

The RC-10's definitely play a little lower and sound a little brighter.

The EVO2-8 is more laid back and balanced.


I've had a hard time analyzing the two at first as I like both speakers. It became obvious a day before I began writing this review that I preferred the sound of the EVO2-8's - I simply wanted to listen to them more. Whenever I went to play a favorite track or album I would make sure I had the EVO2's selected first. This was not intentional, but it was the sign that made the choice obvious to me. I find the tweeter on the RC-10 to be somewhat harsh or amplified. While it does allow a lot of ambiance to come through on good recordings, it wears me out quickly. Is this what a touch of sibilance sounds like? The RC-10 also has a bit of a hollow feeling in my room - good on the top and bottom, but missing something in between. The port plugs helped by reducing boomyness, but not with the hollow feeling. While I'm not enough of a connoisseur to articulate all the details and reasons you the end of the line is I feel that the EVO2-8 just lets the music play. They feel warm and inviting.

Build Quality & Visuals

Both are built nicely and have appropriate weight for a speaker in their class. The two speakers are of similar size and nearly identical height, while the EVO2-8 is somewhat deeper. The black wood veneers on both are nice with no obvious flaws. At the price paid, both are a good value, but if I had paid full value for the EVO2-8's ($800USD) I would likely be a little disappointed in the binding posts.

by djhack1639 , on Flickr

by djhack1639 , on Flickr


RC-10 Build & Visual

The RC-10 cabinet is rectangular with hard, 90 degree edges throughout. The finish is shinier and more reflective than that of the EVO2. The metal surrounds on both the tweeter and mid are not really as bright and shiny as they appear in many pictures, and a black plastic guard protects the silver aluminum tweeter. The silvery-gray weave and reflective silver phase plug of the mid can have interesting effects in some lighting. The grills are well executed. The mounts are metal magnetic pegs that live on the face of the speaker and the grill has detents that mate up with these pegs. Application and removal of the grill is easy. The grill itself is sturdy and well braced throughout, and should hold up well. The grill fabric is of acceptable quality and feels durable. On the back, the rear port is large but does not really stand proud of the cabinet. Binding posts are an interesting beast. You rarely need to touch them, but they can make a big difference in how you interact with a speaker. The RC-10 has nice knurled metal with straight metal bars for jumpers to connect the two sets of posts. They are easy to use and feel like they will be very reliable.

EVO2-8 Build & Visual

The curved front baffle and sides result in a curved wedge appearance when viewed from above. The lines are graceful and easy to get used to. Matte finish permeates the EVO2 - the veneer, surrounds, tweeter and mid cone are all shades of matte black or very dark gray. The only shiny area is the cone shaped dust cap on the mid. The the metal surrounds are matte gray with a soft touch. It feels like someone spent more than a few minutes picking this metal and its finish. There is no guard over the soft, black silk-dome tweeter. As a front ported speaker, these naturally fit better into my desktop environment. I think the material forming the port and its surround is plastic, but the quality is very good. The color does not quite match that of the driver surrounds. One disappointment is in the grills. The grill frames are less substantial, and while they should be more sonically transparent than the robust frames of the Energy's, they feel like they could break easily. There are metal pegs on the back of the grill that seat into rubberized holes on the speaker front. Insertion and removal can be a bit trick, and one needs to be careful not to damage the speaker or the grill. The grill fabric is a bit nicer than the energy, but might be somewhat less durable in the long run - think kids and pets. On the back are the EVO2's unusual crossed-up binding posts. Unfortunately these are a second disappointment. The plastic covers on the screws don't feel like the best part of the speaker and I fear they may slip, crack, or otherwise fail. In fact, I did have some trouble with one not wanting to some all the way off, and another where the plastic seemed to slip a little around the nut it is holding. The connecting straps have an angle built in to them and a small area on the outside edge that is insulated with clear plastic or tape. When speaker wires were connected through the posts, the straps don't like to stay in place without a good bit of torque. I wasn't planning on it, but may end up using bananas on the speaker end to alleviate this problem.
by djhack1639 , on Flickr

Equipment
  • Mac Mini via minijack out to
  • Luxman R-113 35w, 2 channel receiver.
  • One set of speakers each on the A and B speaker terminals.
  • Equal lengths of inexpensive ~14ga wire were used to connect all 4 speakers.
  • The included bi-wiring jumpers were used. I later found that bi-wiring seemed to loosen/brighten up the EVO2-8's somewhat, but didn't appear do make a difference for the RC-10's.
  • Subwoofer: REL T3 crossed at about 70hz
  • EQ: Luxman G-100 via the sound processor loop on the R-113. The only adjustment was a -3db cut on the 64hz band to correct for a little boom in the room.
Break-in

The RC-10's were played nearly 24-7 for a week. A variety of music during the day and white or pink noise all night. The EVO2-8's were demo models, so I didn't worry as much but they did play all night with the generated noise and occasionally during the day.

Audio Tracks Auditioned

Many hours of streaming MOG.com (320kbps)


iTunes. Mostly ALAC, a few in HDTracks high def. Some 256vbr or 320 MP3/AAC.

Alison Krauss / Robert Plant Trampled Rose Raising Sand

Bajka & Radio City The Hop HVW8: Music Is My Art

Beats Antique Beauty Beats Collide

Beats Antique Dope Krunk Collide

Big Boi Feat. Sleepy Brown & Jazze Pha Bowtie Speakerboxxx

Boston Cool The Engines Greatest Hits

The Crystal Method London London

Daft Punk Touch It / Technologic Alive 2007

Diana Krall I Miss You So Love Scenes

Diana Krall Popsicle Toes When I Look In Your Eyes

DJ Shadow Organ Donor (Extended Overhaul) Preemptive Strike

Dr. Dre Kush (feat. Snoop Dogg & Akon) - Single

Eminence Symphony Orchestra Anar'alah Belore Echoes of War: The Music of Blizzard Entertainment

Eminence Symphony Orchestra The Visions of the Lich King Overture Echoes of War: The Music of Blizzard Entertainment

Girl Talk Oh No All Day

Girl Talk On and On All Day

HERBIE HANCOCK Stitched Up (feat. John Mayer) Possibilities

Jack Johnson Sexy Plexi Brushfire Fairytales

Janet Jackson Together Again Velvet Rope

Jerry Lee Lewis Great Balls Of Fire Jerry Lee's Greatest

John Corigliano The Monastery The Red Violin Soundtrack

John Mayer Slow Dancing In A Burning Room Hotel Cafe Hollywood Live

Keb' Mo' Am I Wrong Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues - Keb' Mo'

Led Zeppelin Heartbreaker Led Zeppelin II

Lenny White, Jamey Haddad, Mark Sherman War [SoundField] Explorations in Space and Time

Makeba Mooncycle Going Strong Nightmares On Wax Presents Wax On Records

Metallica Battery S&M [Disc 2]

Mumford & Sons Little Lion Man Sigh No More

Mumford & Sons After The Storm Sigh No More

Nancy Sinatra Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) Kill Bill, Vol. 1

The Rolling Stones Salt Of The Earth BEGGARS BANQUET

Santana Migra Supernatural

Santana Feat. Chad Kroeger Why Don't You & I Shaman

Silverchair Israel's Son Frogstomp

Sophie B. Hawkins Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover Tongues And Tails

Stewart Copeland Brazzaville The Rhythmatist

Warren Zevon Raspberry Beret Genius: Best Of

Warren Zevon Keep Me In Your Heart The Wind

Zoë Keating Escape Artist Into the Trees (Deluxe Edition)

Zoë Keating Optimist (live) Into the Trees (Deluxe Edition)

Zoe Keating Sun Will Set One Cello x 16: Natoma

2Cellos (Sulic & Hauser) Smooth Criminal 2Cellos


This is my first report / review so I'd appreciate whatever feedback people have. Thanks for reading.
 

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Thank you for taking the time to share what you found. Nice Lux man
 

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Nice write up!


Kinda makes me wish I would've spent some time directly comparing the RC-10 and Evo2-8 while I still had the Evo's in my possession.


In the short time I listened though - I do agree... the Evo2-8 is a very smooth sounding speaker...
 

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i'm looking to get a 5.0 system this fall. the Evo2 is on my list of possibilities. i primarily listen to acoustic music (jazz and classical), with some old-school funk/blues/fusion thrown in. music is my priority, period, even though the system will serve as a HT in my den (1800 cu ft).


is it worth the upgrade to the Evo2-10 for the Front L/R? and how is the Evo2 center channel?


i'll be using my Energy S10.3 sub, and probably an onkyo 609 AVR (maybe a 709) or similar denon. although i liked my denon 2310 a lot, i'm leaning toward going back to onkyo due to wireless capability.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
A few thoughts for you:

IMO the EVO2 series might suit you very well. The only way to really know is to listen to them in your room.


Be mindful of the fact that EVO2's are on clearance right now and remaining stocks may go quickly. In the US, Music Direct only seems to have them in the light Maple finish, and I've seen a few new pairs of 8's on ebay, but the selection is not great.


I can't speak to the center other than the fact that you want to keep it as well matched to the L/R as possible. Buying from the same series allows you to do this easily.


8 vs. 10:

I have not yet directly compared the two - YET. I have a pair of 10's arriving late this afternoon. I'll take a side-by-side pic and post impressions this weekend. Unless something is very wrong (which I highly doubt) I plan on keeping the 10's for a while.


Upgrading to the 10 gets you an extra inch and a half in the midrange driver (8=5", 10=6.5"). They use exactly the same tweeter. The 10 has a commensurate increase in size adding about 2" to all dimensions of the 8. It is slightly under 15h x 9w x 14d (inches). If space is tight keep this in mind.


In my in-store auditions of other speakers I found that that extra inch does a lot for the presence of the speaker. The extra low end is nice, but for me it's more that the speaker just sounds like it fills up the room better and presents a more robust sound stage. My room is slightly smaller than yours (1400 cu ft), and I sit very close to the speakers, so there is some concern that they may overwhelm both me and the room.


Quote:
Originally Posted by drumsky /forum/post/20869698


i'm looking to get a 5.0 system this fall. the Evo2 is on my list of possibilities. i primarily listen to acoustic music (jazz and classical), with some old-school funk/blues/fusion thrown in. music is my priority, period, even though the system will serve as a HT in my den (1800 cu ft).


is it worth the upgrade to the Evo2-10 for the Front L/R? and how is the Evo2 center channel?


i'll be using my Energy S10.3 sub, and probably an onkyo 609 AVR (maybe a 709) or similar denon. although i liked my denon 2310 a lot, i'm leaning toward going back to onkyo due to wireless capability.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have not heard the Diamonds - any version.


I spoke to a rep at Music Direct who happened to have extensive experience with both the Diamond 10's and EVO2's. He recommended the EVO2's for me because he felt the Diamonds are brighter and could be a bit fatiguing for very long sessions, so I didn't even bother to audition them.

Edit: Also for about the same money you can get a $800 speaker on clearance vs. a new, no discount, less expensive model that likely has a little trickle-down technology from the discontinued higher-end model. It just makes sense tome to go for the higher-end product. Well built and voiced speakers from 10-15 years ago are still good products and good values today. Take Paradigm's for example - they retain a TON of value over the years. Wharfedale retains somewhat somewhat less value here in the US as they less well-known and parts are hard to come by.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have the EVO2-10's setup and playing now. In my excitement I forgot to take side-by side pics with the 8's and they're already back in the box.


With test tones there is audible output down to 30Hz, but like the specs say, they really good down to about 50Hz or a little above. Below that the decrease in output is noticeable. If I weren't a bit of a bass-head I could see using these without a sub at all.


Conclusion: The EVO2-10 is the same speaker as the EVO2-8 with a nearly identical sonic character. It plays a bit deeper and has a larger physical and sonic presence in the room.


In my case the 'upgrade' cost was under $60 from the 8 to the 10 and entirely worth it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by djhack1639 /forum/post/20871196


I have the EVO2-10's setup and playing now. In my excitement I forgot to take side-by side pics with the 8's and they're already back in the box.


With test tones there is audible output down to 30Hz, but like the specs say, they really good down to about 50Hz or a little above. Below that the decrease in output is noticeable. If I weren't a bit of a bass-head I could see using these without a sub at all.


Conclusion: The EVO2-10 is the same speaker as the EVO2-8 with a nearly identical sonic character. It plays a bit deeper and has a larger physical and sonic presence in the room.


In my case the 'upgrade' cost was under $60 from the 8 to the 10 and entirely worth it.

I ended up ordering a pair of the Evo2-10s, hopefully I'll enjoy them as much as you! Thanks for the input.
 
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