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Wharfedale 12.1 Bookshelf Speaker Review (by EAC)

sweetchaos

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This is the 5" woofer version that retails for US$450/pair.
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Erin's review:

Parting / Random Thoughts
As stated in the Foreword, this written review is purposely a cliff’s notes version. For details about the performance (objectively and subjectively) please watch the YouTube video. But a couple quick notes based on my listening and what I see in the data:

The on-axis response is quite linear up until a peak in response around 12kHz. The horizontal and vertical radiation both show a directivity mismatch in the 1-2kHz region which results in a “mellow” sound. The vertical directivity issue means you’ll want to be pretty dead on with the tweeter when listening. Above or below this by even as little as 5° can result in a steep drop in the 1-2kHz energy making the above concern more noticeable.

If you like a speaker that has a lot of pizazz/sparkle/edge then this speaker is not for you. The Wharfedale 12.1 is a much more “mellow” sounding speaker that - while close to neutral - tends to lean a bit more toward the less aggressive side thanks to the dip in the crosover region. This dip results in a sound that doesn’t quite have “attack” and is more “laid back”. If you find you generally prefer that kind of characteristic then this speaker is for you. I personally prefer something more in between but I’d take this sound signature over a “bright” speaker.

As for output capability, this speaker does OK but is not intended to get really loud/low. This is a 5.25-inch midwoofer. The compression data shows clear compression issues at the highest of output. And the multitone distortion data shows some harshness in the midrnage that I heard when listening at higher output. At more reasonable volume (80dB for a pair at 4 meters) I didn’t have an issue. But going into the 90dB region the distortion was evident. Just consider this and how loud you’ll need to listen. If you sit closer then you may not have a problem. A subwoofer will also help; I’d recommend crossing around at least 80Hz if not higher toward 100Hz. Just my two cents.

The build quality is a nice step up from speakers in this price category thanks to the gloss front and other aspects.
Update:
Video review
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Yes, this the same model that Amir reviewed:
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...wharfedale-diamond-12-1-review-speaker.26780/
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Discuss!
 
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Rick Sykora

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Yawn, seen this movie...

Understand there may be overlap at times, but plenty of other speakers out there for EAC to test. Seems waste of time to Klippel test the same speaker in my opinion.:confused:
 
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Rick Sykora

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Would be nice but who will coordinate efforts with him?

He could just look at what Amir has reviewed and go for something else. In this case, he went and spent donor funds to test the same speaker that Amir has already reviewed. :facepalm:
 

tw 2022

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He could just look at what Amir has reviewed and go for something else. In this case, he went and spent donor funds to test the same speaker that Amir has already reviewed. :facepalm:
Confirmation isn't a dirty word....we have seen variables in previous spins ( jbl 130).....
 

Rick Sykora

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Confirmation isn't a dirty word....we have seen variables in previous spins ( jbl 130).....
Sure, but as mentioned earlier, how to reconcile? Am good with close enough. Simply rather see another speaker TBH.
 
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sweetchaos

sweetchaos

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Erin literally answered this question in the first 60 seconds of this ELAC Debut 2.0 review:

He didn't want to go by everyone else's recommendations for this speaker and review this speaker himself.
So can first form an own opinion on whether this speaker is good or bad (and yes, he liked the ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2), and then be able to recommend it to others (in this price range).
 

tw 2022

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Erin literally answered this question in the first 30 seconds of this ELAC Debut 2.0 review:

He didn't want to go by everyone else's recommendations for this speaker and review this speaker himself.
So can first form an own opinion on whether this speaker is good or bad (and yes, he liked the ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2), and then be able to recommend it to others (in this price range).
Yes he did as a matter of fact...i like his tenacity with regard to being fully accountable....
 

posvibes

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I suppose it confirms Kippel is consistent in at least two locations by two users.
 

Rick Sykora

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So, am supposed to listen to the Elac video to find out about why he bought the Wharfedale? :rolleyes:

Sorry, but mainly just look at the measurements. Prefer how Amir does subjective reviews that I can readily peruse if I want. :)
 

Sancus

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Confirmation isn't a dirty word....we have seen variables in previous spins ( jbl 130).....
Confirmation makes sense with majorly unexpected results on a popular or high profile thing, sure. But this just seems like a random unremarkable speaker. Who cares? There's tons and tons of stuff in this price and size range.
 

tw 2022

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Confirmation makes sense with majorly unexpected results on a popular or high profile thing, sure. But this just seems like a random unremarkable speaker. Who cares? There's tons and tons of stuff in this price and size range.
Agreed...i see both sides, let's call it a coin flip on whether it's "a thing" either way...
 

tw 2022

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So, am supposed to listen to the Elac video to find out about why he bought the Wharfedale? :rolleyes:

Sorry, but mainly just look at the measurements. Prefer how Amir does subjective reviews that I can readily peruse if I want. :)
I'm good with that, I'm not implying Amir is any less accountable, or less entertaining.. I just admire Erin's consistently as it applies to him , without regard to anybody else...
 

Rick Sykora

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I'm good with that, I'm not implying Amir is any less accountable, or less entertaining. I just admire Erin's consistently as it applies to him, without regard to anybody else...

Not sure am a good judge of that, but as I said am more interested in the measurements...

For the subjective part, really prefer something simple (Panther) or something or things about a music listening experience. This is where the reviewer can add something that the measurements may not have brought out. Statements about hearing what was measured are borderline useless IMO. Am an objectivist, but we listen to performances, not test tones.
 
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thewas

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Not sure am a good judge of that, but as I said am more interested in the measurements...
And EAC provides nowadays actually more measurements which are useful, like multi tone distortion and compression.

For the subjective part, really prefer something simple (Panther) or some thing or things about a music listening experience.
I don't as such a binary decision is too generalising, for example there can be aspects that can work well for some type of listeners and for some not. Also he has usually also a short summary of his subjective findings at the end of his written reviews (I am also not a big fan of listening to long videos).
 
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abdo123

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He could just look at what Amir has reviewed and go for something else. In this case, he went and spent donor funds to test the same speaker that Amir has already reviewed. :facepalm:
Are there any popular budget brands that we don't know what they're offering at this point?

I want to see the new A series from Adam Audio but there is nothing else that i can think of.
 

Rick Sykora

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And EAC provides nowadays actually more measurements which are useful, like multi tone distortion and compression.
Agree, although would still learn more yet by having another speaker tested instead.
I don't as such a binary decision is too generalising, for example there can be aspects that can work well for some type of listeners and for some not. Also he has usually also a short summary of his subjective findings at the end of his written reviews (I am also not a big fan of listening to long videos).
Yes, I really prefer the music based subjective reviews but understand they take more time. It is the current subjective summary style that I find useless. This is mainly because it is not more than what I might garner from the measurements and the style reminds me too much of self-proclaimed golden ear reviewers.
 
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Rick Sykora

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Are there any popular budget brands that we don't know what they're offering at this point?

I want to see the new A series from Adam Audio but there is nothing else that i can think of.

Too many to mention and not much consideration given to what most people are buying these days - wireless speakers. Am not to proud to admit I listen to Amazon Echoes in some rooms. My sons both have JBL Charges. I would be helpful to know how good, bad or just different they are.
 

pjug

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Are there any popular budget brands that we don't know what they're offering at this point?

I want to see the new A series from Adam Audio but there is nothing else that i can think of.
I don't really mind if Erin measures some of the same speakers, but in reply to your question some of us have been hoping for measurements of some Axiom Audio products. I am sure there must be others.
 
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