New toys! Wharfedale Diamond 10.2 [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


View Full Version : New toys! Wharfedale Diamond 10.2

01-21-2011, 03:27 AM
Hi all!

2 years ago, I never thought I'd be buying another pair of speakers "any time soon" (read, for the next 10 years at least)

well, turns out I did. We're building an "attic Cinema room" at the moment, and I decided we needed decent sound up there too. (slightly in disagreement with my younger brother, who said that a Cambridge audio PC surround system would do just fine).

That said, I ordered a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 10.2 speakers.
Some of you might have noticed that I recommended these a few times already here on AR.

They arrived 2 days ago, I haven't had that much time to listen to them, neither can I place them in my main system at the moment. I installed them now for PC sound use, driving them with a Rotel RA-06 amplifier. speaker cables are Kimber 8PR's, both the rotel & the kimber's are "borrowed" from the living room system, which isn't really used that much atm...

Here they are right out of the box:

What I can say now already is that, for their price (€320), they have no right to look this good. The curved sides, while also improving the sound quality, make the diamonds look classier than alot of other rectangular bookshelf speakers, and floorstanders too.
Finish, is impeccable: while for the budget, they simply couldn't have used real veneer, the synthetic veneer finish now looks amazing. Nothing like you'd expect on speakers of this price. Very natural look. The front is made out of a high quality composite, I'm not always fond of the shiny black finish on the front, although it does kinda work here, but a matte black might have been better IMO, the high gloss finish makes them look slightly "plasticky", when the lighting is wrong, fingerprints are inevitable, but good cleaning helps to keep the plastic look away... other's might like the high gloss front though. I like that the grill can be attached "invisible", the grill pins go in small holes from the screws that attach the drivers, so no ugly holes in the front neither.

the cabinet feels sturdy too, a knock test confirmed this, and while playing music, the cabinet didn't really vibrate or resonate neither.

So far so good :)

I hooked them up, and let them play in a little, sound changed drastically in the first hour. At first the tweeters seemed a little shy, slightly shrill, harsh sounding, but this quickly went away and it all smoothed out. Bass was also a little wooly, this improved too.

First thing I noticed is that these speakers image very very good, even when sitting pretty near field. Dynamics also seemed nice. I did notice a small hump, around 100-125hz, while this could be the platform they're standing on now though (still have to build stands), it does sound slightly colored. Highs are natural, never too much, they're definitely not a bright sounding speaker, rather on the warmer side, we'll see how this evolves...

So far, after 2 days, my brother is "beginning to see my point about decent sound"...

Detailed review coming up in a couple of weeks :)
anyone else had experience with this Wharfedale range?

Keep them spinning,

01-21-2011, 09:38 AM
wow those look beautiful.

01-21-2011, 10:31 AM
I considered Wharfdale in the mid-70's and I was not impressed. But they are STILL with us so they must be doing something right. A lot of other loudspeaker manufacturers are not.

Those curved sides likely eliminate the need for internal crossbraces. This should be a net benefit. You can demonstrate this by suspending a (flat) 8.5" by 11" piece of printer paper vertically in your fingers by its short edge. Now turn your hand so as to move the paper into a horizontal position "like a tabletop" - the paper bends over. Now start over but this time put a mild bow into the paper with your fingers and as you turn your hand to make the paper become horizontal like a tabletop the paper should stick straight out.

Maybe they used a "synthetic veneer finish" because a real wood veneer had demonstrated a tendency to split or crack during application in manufacture. Synthetics are not necessarily cheaper.

01-21-2011, 09:10 PM

Wharfedale has been bought and sold at least twice since the 1970s so there is really nothing about the new line that owes anything to the old original Wharfedale. Wharfedale is now owned by the same group that owns Quad and I think you can see a similarity with the 10.2 and the Quad bookshelves - except price of course.

Wharfedale's Diamond line has always been good going back to the mid 80s. I liked the floorstander I heard at CES 2010 for under a grand as well.

01-21-2011, 11:27 PM

OK, so my original mid-70's impression may have been correct, if now obsolete. There have been a few times that I almost bought Quad... Their ESL in1985 and later their amp & preamp. And, yea, Quad is $$$. No doubt if Quad 'owns' Warfdale they have greatly influenced Warfdale products.

01-22-2011, 01:39 AM

OK, so my original mid-70's impression may have been correct, if now obsolete. There have been a few times that I almost bought Quad... Their ESL in1985 and later their amp & preamp. And, yea, Quad is $$$. No doubt if Quad 'owns' Warfdale they have greatly influenced Warfdale products.

Wharfedale had that very typical British sound of back then, wooly, warm, slightly muddy. You had to be a fan, otherwise you'd hate it.

over the time, lots has changed though, indeed as RGA pointed out, they have a new owner. They are not owned by quad, but it's a big company, that also owns quad, that now also owns Wharfedale.

the diamond series has been around for quite a while already, from before they were sold to another company.

These speakers are really starting to grow on me, they're not to be compared with my Thiels by a long shot, but for their money, they are REALLY decent speakers.

I can't wait to find out how they perform in their dedicated room (attic) :)

Keep them spinning,

01-22-2011, 08:54 AM
Great looking pair, Bert!
I bet they'll sound even better after 100hrs of break in.