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Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 Review (Speaker)

DSJR

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'BBC Dip indeed!!!'

It's my memory that the Spendor BC1 which started all this 'BBC' nonsense in the early 60's, as basically flat in the lower khz region and a 4.5kHz narrow-band 'dip' was actually a measurement axis thing, the correct axis for this response ideal seemingly the Coles 'super-tweeter' (so 5 degrees above the main HF1300). The BC1's issues were elsewhere really, but back then, these were less of an issue unless a bad tuyrntable system as used as a source and with 'side open' RIAA phono stage with no lf filtering. The infamous LS3/5A had a 'quack' at 1.5khz rather than a dip above and the 5kHz resonance of the B110 driver which could show through, may have given an impression of a lower kHz dip, although I think it's a result of two flaws rather than deliberate - owners love 'em though for the 'deeeetail' they present.

As for later 'BBC designed' models with an upper mid dip in the response, I'd politely sugest (well not so polite) that the response errors were based on requests from sound editors and so on who listened up-close for hours on end - that's what I was told anyway and the poly cones they were using by then also had issues at these frequencies (the LS5/9 has a very 'soft' cone easily deformed apparently).

In the case of these Diamonds, they're not very costly, so driver characteristics surely have to be taken into account in the final 'voicing' of the product to sell to a mass market. I know Peter Comeau of old since his 1970's Heybrook days (but not Mr Fink) and deeply respect his skills and experience with speaker design. I'd echo the comment in an earlier post that these babies could be 'Harbeths for the cash strapped' as they do 'communicate' the music fairly similarly I think :)
 

Inner Space

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As for later 'BBC designed' models with an upper mid dip in the response, I'd politely sugest (well not so polite) that the response errors were based on requests from sound editors and so on who listened up-close for hours on end - that's what I was told anyway and the poly cones they were using by then also had issues at these frequencies (the LS5/9 has a very 'soft' cone easily deformed apparently).
This is correct. By an accident of birth I was entitled to a UK passport, and because I therefore didn't need a work permit I often worked in Britain in my early days, starting from just after the LS3/5a came into use (f**k, I'm old) and I knew a lot of BBC guys from that time. From an earlier post I made on the subject:

" ... BBC speaker development was a long time ago, in an entirely mono world, for entirely private and specific professional purposes - mostly live location mixing of classical music and talk, in outside broadcast vans. Those purposes had nothing at all to do with audiophiles' preferences more than 50 years later.

Outside broadcast vans in the 1960s and 70s were nothing like the huge luxurious semi-trailers you see now. They were very small and very narrow box vans. You sat with your forehead almost touching the grille cloth. The "dip" was requested by the users, partly to quieten an evident Bextrene "quack", but mostly to push the sound backward to a comfortable perspective. As such, the (lone, mono) speaker did its job very well."
 

witwald

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It's my memory that the Spendor BC1 which started all this 'BBC' nonsense in the early 60's, as basically flat in the lower khz region and a 4.5kHz narrow-band 'dip' was actually a measurement axis thing, the correct axis for this response ideal seemingly the Coles 'super-tweeter' (so 5 degrees above the main HF1300).
Here's a measurement of the Spendor BC1. It would seem to indicate that the speaker is ±2 dB 40Hz to 16kHz or so. There's not much sign of a "BBC dip" amongst the typical peaks and dips.
1642107384824.png

(Source: Shuttleworth, John (1970), "Spendor BC1 Monitor Loudspeaker", Studio Sound, September, pages 410–412)

The BC1 was an early example of the implementation of a high-order two-way crossover network.

1642109031373.png
 
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MarkWinston

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I am now seriously looking at the 12.4. Does anyone have any meaaurements to the 12.4s? Is it in anyway as flat as these 12.1s?
 

Chaconne

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Would have been easy to make it flat, but my ear would bleed during the listening test. :D. (joke only)
As a classical-music listener, one of my pet peeves is the too-often strident, sharp, bright rendering of violins, especially orchestral. Does the "dip" we're seeing in this speaker fall into the frequency range that would tend to tame that brightness? Or is the brightness to be found in a different range of the audio spectrum? Thanks to anyone who has an answer. And a belated thanks to Karl-Heinz for weighing in on this topic.
 

Chaconne

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As a classical-music listener, one of my pet peeves is the too-often strident, sharp, bright rendering of violins, especially orchestral. Does the "dip" we're seeing in this speaker fall into the frequency range that would tend to tame that brightness? Or is the brightness to be found in a different range of the audio spectrum? Thanks to anyone who has an answer. And a belated thanks to Karl-Heinz for weighing in on this topic.
Just thought I'd bump this up in case anyone has any thoughts on my question. Thanks.
 

MoStyles

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I currently auditioned the 12.0, 12.1 and now have the 12.2s. Amazingly smooth speakers And they are all have slight variations. I thought I would listen to low volumes but it’s an open large room… it’s easy to creep the volume. I’m used to more detailed brighter speakers and misss a little of the high detail and articulation presence. I’m thinking of swapping out for the EVO 4.2. I don’t have a place to listen to them and worry about the AMT off axis when I’m sitting in the perfect triangle. Can anyone comment on 12.2 vs EVO 4.2?
 

Benedium

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I currently auditioned the 12.0, 12.1 and now have the 12.2s. Amazingly smooth speakers And they are all have slight variations. I thought I would listen to low volumes but it’s an open large room… it’s easy to creep the volume. I’m used to more detailed brighter speakers and misss a little of the high detail and articulation presence. I’m thinking of swapping out for the EVO 4.2. I don’t have a place to listen to them and worry about the AMT off axis when I’m sitting in the perfect triangle. Can anyone comment on 12.2 vs EVO 4.2?
 

lc155

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Didn't realise that the 12.0 was a 4" speaker, would be nice to get a review of that one or some impressions to be honest. Seems like a fantastic budget desktop option if you want to avoid active hiss.
 

MoStyles

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I listened to all three in my home and the 12.0 is incredibly impressive. Would have loved to keep it as a nearfield in my office. Rivals my studio monitors. Very relaxing, detailed speaker while not fatiguing at all. I only keep going large because I changed my 2 channel setup to a large great room. I highly recommend the 12.0 for desktop speakers.
 
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lc155

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I listened to all three in my home and the 12.0 is incredibly impressive. Would have loved to keep it as a nearfield in my office. Rivals my studio monitors. Very relaxing, detailed speaker while not fatiguing at all. I only keep going large because I changed my 2 channel setup to a large great room. I highly recommend the 12.0 for desktop speakers.

Sounds great. Would love to see how they measure, although I figure Amir would hate them since they'd have zero output below 70Hz due to their woofer size probably.
 

MoStyles

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Sounds great. Would love to see how they measure, although I figure Amir would hate them since they'd have zero output below 70Hz due to their woofer size probably.
Technically, manufactures measure speakers at 1w/1meter to get 87db. with frequency range at +/- 3db. If your only listening at 60db (conversation volume) They can go quite lower with less then 1 watt. (first watt is the most important) They spec 65hz at -6db and probably roll off around 50hz in -12db range. Lowest fundamental note on a bass guitar E string is 41hz and there are tons of overtones to hear the bass notes clearly. You honestly won't miss much bass unless your trying to crank them. Don't get me wrong, these little 12.0 can punch some mid-bass/bass pretty hard for it's size. You just won't have the super sonic lows. Those tones usually muddle up a room if you don't spend hundreds in acoustic treatment anyway. You won't have any regrets with the 12.0 and you can always at a sub later.
 
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