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Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 Review (Speaker)

Karl-Heinz Fink

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welcome. Nice to see speaker designer.
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general question out of curiosity. How about having a switch +/-3dB (Like some studio monitors) so user gets total control ? Does altering response by this way affect other areas of sound reproduction ?
thanks and regards.
It can be done, but better not with -+3dB. We do it on our Borg speaker, but only a little bit. If I have more time, I'll put together a little paper about the dip. It's a combination of all sorts of things coming together.
I always have this conflict within me.....my engineering brain wants to make it flat, but my ears and heart tends to leave a small valley for better sounding results. We are at the end of the "Food" chain and we have to make sure, the result is enjoyable. I have no idea if certain voices have been recorded in a way that gives me pain.....I can just try to find a compromise that makes the maximum available recordings as enjoyable as possible. I don't want to make speakers that only work on just one perfect track :cool:
 

MarkWinston

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Hi,
it's not Peter and now Karl-Heinz, it's Peter and KH. We both already worked together in MISSION and I did already some projects in the past. I did not read everything in this thread (but will do), but I can tell you that we did the dip on purpose. Would have been easy to make it flat, but my ear would bleed during the listening test. :D. (joke only)
But I like the way Armir does his reviews. Not that I always come to the same conclusion, but I bought the NFS after seeing his measurements the first time. Great way to get good results overnight...not that we could not make the measurements before, but never that easy.
Best regards

KHF
The Man himself! Thanks for making one of the best sounding speakers Ive owned, and thanks for embedding that dip there. The 12.2 is really a smooth and accurate sounding speaker, it just makes you want to listen to everything you have over and over again without the slightest hint of fatigue. And that low end, oh that low end, just incredible. You da man Karl!
 

Karl-Heinz Fink

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Thanks, indeed is great to have speaker designers offer some insights on their creation.

Kind of a trivial question, but would 12.2 measure similar to 12.1, I suppose the design philosophy would be the same?
Hi,
yes, the philosophy is the same, so there should be some family character in the measurements as well :) Best regards

KH
 

Karl-Heinz Fink

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The Man himself! Thanks for making one of the best sounding speakers Ive owned, and thanks for embedding that dip there. The 12.2 is really a smooth and accurate sounding speaker, it just makes you want to listen to everything you have over and over again without the slightest hint of fatigue. And that low end, oh that low end, just incredible. You da man Karl!
Thanks for the flowers. To be honest, I'm not posting a lot in forums, because in some forums people like to bash everybody who is working as a professional in this industry. Here it's sometimes extreme (only what I can measure it's true), but on the other hand, it's about measurements I can understand. I think we need both measurements and listening ------and more time to find out how to measure what we hear. For pure High-End Bla Bla, I'm getting too old :)

Best regards

KH
 

Ninjastar

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So great that this forum has acclaimed speaker designers like Karl-Heinz Fink, Jack Oclee-Brown, Andrew Jones, Dennis Murphy, etc. among its members.

Mr. Fink, for a small bedroom (about 3.7 x 3.7 meters), would you recommend the Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 or 12.2 for two-channel music listening?

I always have a problem deciding between 5" and 6" driver offerings for standmount speakers for my room. :)
 

Nicolaas

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Feb 2, 2020
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Several years ago 1 of my diy electrostatic panels had no output anymore. I decided to buy a set of Wharfedale budget speakers and use them until I had the time to repair my esl panel. Long story short: I'm a very satisfied long time user of these budget Wharfedale 10.1 speakers.
I also like the beautiful curved design and use them on sand filled speaker stands.
In the past I also had Philips speakers with AMT tweeters which I liked very much. Therefore I would love to see the Wharfedale 4.1 evo speakers reviewed some time!
 

Hiten

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If I have more time, I'll put together a little paper about the dip. It's a combination of all sorts of things coming together.
Please do.

'The speaker response could have been made flatter but were choosen not to with minor dip' speaks for itself. Your insight is very much appreciated.
Regards
 

witwald

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... but I can tell you that we did the dip on purpose. Would have been easy to make it flat, but my ear would bleed during the listening test.
Adding an intentional dip is all very well and good, but from a philosophical point of view it simply appears that you have added a dip in the response to suit the recordings that you like to listen to. :) The underlying assumption of that approach is that we also like to hear those recordings presented the same way. Why not include that type of dip in the amplifier as well? That would create quite a stir, but loudspeaker voicing can be done in such a way that anything appears to be able to be justified on the basis that it somehow sounds better.
If I have more time, I'll put together a little paper about the dip. It's a combination of all sorts of things coming together.
Please find the time if you can, as it would be a worthwhile and fascinating paper.
I always have this conflict within me.....my engineering brain wants to make it flat, but my ears and heart tends to leave a small valley for better sounding results.
"Better sounding results" is not going to be a particularly good way of approaching the problem if the result is wrong, with respect to accurate reproduction of what the recording artist intended. The baked-in dip is the antithesis of modern loudspeaker design, based on the available evidence it would seem. Of course, incorporating a dip can and does provide a sonic signature that delineates a product from others in the market. Again, why not do this to an amplifier to produce "better sounding results"?
We are at the end of the "Food" chain and we have to make sure, the result is enjoyable. I have no idea if certain voices have been recorded in a way that gives me pain.....I can just try to find a compromise that makes the maximum available recordings as enjoyable as possible. I don't want to make speakers that only work on just one perfect track
Sure, being at the end of the food chain means that the choice is affected by the listening room. However, a loudspeaker with a flat axial response characteristic can be enjoyable too, and probably on an even wider range of material than a loudspeaker that has been adjusted 'to taste'. :cool: Where does one draw the line at applying a graphic equaliser to the loudspeaker's transfer function? The inclusion of a dip seems to be quite unnecessary and counterproductive in an overall sense. And with any baked-in dip, we as consumers of the end product generally have no knowledge at all of what source material, amplification, and listening environment were used by the designer. That's a lot of unknown variables, whose effects on the chosen 'voicing' are therefore unknown.

Another loudspeaker designer's take on building-in equalisation to a loudspeaker's transfer function is somewhat at odds with the philosophy of introducing dips. For example, Shorter (1958), who was with the British Broadcasting Corporation at the time, suggests that broad dips/changes in the frequency response can be regarded as defects (i.e., distortion). For example:
  • "Even a shelving characteristic ... can give the effect of a 'disembodied' high-frequency output".
  • "Experience with loudspeakers of known characteristics, supplemented by experiments on raising or lowering the response in specific regions by means of band-pass or band-stop circuits, enables the subjective effect of an excess or deficiency to be predicted. If a progressive decline in response with increasing frequency is followed by an increase, the upper frequency range will be heard to stand out in unnatural relief, even though the response may nowhere rise above the mid-band level. It should be noted that this form of frequency characteristic modifies the spectrum of the reproduced sound in a way not experienced when listening to natural sounds." (emphasis added).
  • "The second observation concerns the critical nature of the frequency band in the region 2-4 kc/s, the level of which, relative to the remainder of the spectrum, has a pronounced effect upon the apparent auditory perspective. Deficiency in this band gives a distant impression; slight excess gives a forward quality, sometimes referred to as 'presence'. The tonal quality associated with extreme deficiency or excess in this region ranges from hollow, or distant, to hard or metallic.* This complete gamut of effects can often be passed through with a change in level of plus or minus a few decibels in the band concerned." (emphasis added)
* "Such expressions as these may seem out of place in a technical context. They are, however, typical of the terms in which the end product of a sound-reproduction system is described by the observer, and when employed by individuals known to be capable of consistent judgment must be treated with respect."

Shorter, D. E. L. (1958). A survey of performance criteria and design considerations for high-quality monitoring loudspeakers. The Institution of Electrical Engineers, Radio and Telecommunications Section, Paper No. 2604.
 
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Hiten

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I guess the BBC dip is very well studied research from scientists and expert listeners from BBC in old days, Isn't it ? I am no expert in speaker analysis but from the graph it looks like the dips in Wharfedale 12.1 are not excessive. (Only two dips of 3dB and rest even less). And remaining most of the response is linear. And considering there are expensive speakers with not so good measurements it is good effort from the company.
Regards
 

MarkWinston

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I cant stand any dips or peaks besides a well implemented BBC Dip. Amir raised that dip in his test and found it a bit too bright on certain tracks. Anyway there are quite a few flat speakers out there if anyone dont care for that dip. Or eq it out easily. I personally like that dip and for some reason I find flat measuring speakers with a bbc dip 'disappear' more easily, chances of the upper mids intruding a performance are slim to none. Just my subjective 2 cents.
 
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