Any Wharfedale Owners Here?

John Parks

John Parks

Full Audioholic
Ratings
186 1 1
#1
So, my plan all along was to sell my KEF Q750s (sold, BTW) and travel up the KEF line by purchasing either the R300 or R500. Because of my current listening room, which is quite small, I was leaning towards the former, but can get a killer deal on the latter. Of course, some us silly audio types are never satisfied, even if the deal is nearly done and sitting in our proverbial laps. I was browsing the interwebs last night (mostly out of boredom before the KC vs LAC game got really good) and came across a killer deal on some brand new Wharfedale Jade 3 speakers:
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I remember reading a review on Stereophile that intrigued me several years ago and this offering piqued my interest. so to my question: Does anyone on this forum have experience with this particular line? I know Wharfedale has a good reputation for their affordable Diamond line and I have seen (but never heard) their Jade series for years.

Yes, I know my KEF loyalist friends on here and FB would tell me to hold true to the Kent ideal, but it's "new" and "different"! Unfortunately, the finish is the black oak pictured - if it were the piano black at the same price, it would have already been ordered!
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Ratings
4,145 32 17
#2
I heard some a few years ago and I quite enjoyed the Jade 3s. I didn't spend a lot of time listening to them, but I enjoyed them. Their measurements aren't the best, however. I think however that a far-field measurement would come up with something a bit different than what Stereophile did though and perhaps not as uneven.
 
John Parks

John Parks

Full Audioholic
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186 1 1
#3
I heard some a few years ago and I quite enjoyed the Jade 3s. I didn't spend a lot of time listening to them, but I enjoyed them. Their measurements aren't the best, however. I think however that a far-field measurement would come up with something a bit different than what Stereophile did though and perhaps not as uneven.
Thanks Shady! It is funny that Atkinson can point out that the bass is "underdamped" (which I find strange for a sealed enclosure) and the treble is "plateaued up almost 5dB" and then state at the end that "Wharfedale's Jade 3 offers excellent measured performance." Hmm. I am a gambling kind of guy and like to try new things - this would be one of those gambles. I am going to a sales event at my local KEF dealer tonight. I already know what the proprietor is offering for a demo R500. If I can get a similarly sweet deal on his demo R300 (in walnut) I'll take it. The Jade 3, though, really looks nice. Like I said, if the piano black version were available, we would not be having this conversation. :D
 
speakerman39

speakerman39

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
2,911 6 4
#4
I have owned both the Diamond 220's and the Denton 80th Anniversary speakers. Loved them both. But, the 220's gave me a bit more low end so I kept them and sold off the Dentons. Both were very laid-back, warm in the mids w/a buttery smooth top end. There was no listening fatigue whatsoever. However, the Dentons were warmer/richer in flavor while still adding more detail. The 220's were what I refer to as being on the warmer side of neutral. Hence, the Dentons did not extend as low as the 220's, but were more articulate and punchy sounding. Personally, I am a BIG Wharfedale fan.


Cheers,

Phil
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Ratings
4,145 32 17
#5
It is funny that Atkinson can point out that the bass is "underdamped" (which I find strange for a sealed enclosure) and the treble is "plateaued up almost 5dB" and then state at the end that "Wharfedale's Jade 3 offers excellent measured performance."
It looks to me that what John is commenting on is their behavior in the time domain more so than the frequency domain.
 
speakerman39

speakerman39

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
2,911 6 4
#6
@John Parks I have always wanted to hear the R300's. But, for what they go for you can get the BMR's instead. However, that would make for an interesting comparison. Not much out there on the Jade 3's. They interest me as well. It is going to be interesting as to which direction that you go. :)


Cheers,

Phil
 
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snakeeyes

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
833 1 1
#7
Now that the Q750s sold, what do you feel was missing from them? I am guessing the cabinets should be much nicer in the R500 for example.
 
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John Parks

John Parks

Full Audioholic
Ratings
186 1 1
#8
Now that the Q750s sold, what do you feel was missing from them? I am guessing the cabinets should be much nicer in the R500 for example.
Well, the most simplistic explanation is me knowing there is something better and within reach! :D I have listened extensively (not at home, mind you) to the KEF R series (both old and new versions) and really like the way they sound. To not blindly go all in, I compared the R series to the Q side-by-side at the dealer.

That being said, I really, really like the new Q series and feel they are much closer to the old R series than dealers were willing to admit (before the new R series came out). What bothered me about the Q750 were a few things: The cabinets were not all that well damped, were almost lively and I could "hear" them. I know it is an issue of cost savings (or purposeful - some speaker designers like a lively cabinet and "tune" it) but if I stacked, say, 20 pounds of books on top of the speakers, they tightened up a bit. That is really neat, but I am really not a fan of such DIY solutions. The other thing is the "midrange" driver that houses the tweeter runs full range and the midrange is not as clean as it could be. The R series has dedicated midrange drivers in a 3-way configuration, not "2 1/2" way, as the Q series is described. Listening to a Q and R series speaker side-by-side make this rather obvious. Lastly, as stated by someone else, the finish on the R series is SO much nicer. The p-lam on the Q is fine (and I like that it is not pretending to be wood) but it certainly is not real wood veneer or gloss.
 
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snakeeyes

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
833 1 1
#9
Well, the most simplistic explanation is me knowing there is something better and within reach! :D I have listened extensively (not at home, mind you) to the KEF R series (both old and new versions) and really like the way they sound. To not blindly go all in, I compared the R series to the Q side-by-side at the dealer.

That being said, I really, really like the new Q series and feel they are much closer to the old R series than dealers were willing to admit (before the new R series came out). What bothered me about the Q750 were a few things: The cabinets were not all that well damped, were almost lively and I could "hear" them. I know it is an issue of cost savings (or purposeful - some speaker designers like a lively cabinet and "tune" it) but if I stacked, say, 20 pounds of books on top of the speakers, they tightened up a bit. That is really neat, but I am really not a fan of such DIY solutions. The other thing is the "midrange" driver that houses the tweeter runs full range and the midrange is not as clean as it could be. The R series has dedicated midrange drivers in a 3-way configuration, not "2 1/2" way, as the Q series is described. Listening to a Q and R series speaker side-by-side make this rather obvious. Lastly, as stated by someone else, the finish on the R series is SO much nicer. The p-lam on the Q is fine (and I like that it is not pretending to be wood) but it certainly is not real wood veneer or gloss.
Makes sense.

What songs did you use to demo on the R series?
 
John Parks

John Parks

Full Audioholic
Ratings
186 1 1
#10
Makes sense.

What songs did you use to demo on the R series?
Ooh - music! Now we are talking! Here are some I like to use every time:

Dead Can Dance - "Song of the Nile" from Spiritchaser
GoGo Penguin - "Raven" from A Humdrum Star
Thomas Newman - "Dead Already" from American Beauty (Soundtrack)
Nine Inch Nails - "The Mark has been Made" from The Fragile
 
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snakeeyes

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
833 1 1
#11
Ooh - music! Now we are talking! Here are some I like to use every time:

Dead Can Dance - "Song of the Nile" from Spiritchaser
GoGo Penguin - "Raven" from A Humdrum Star
Thomas Newman - "Dead Already" from American Beauty (Soundtrack)
Nine Inch Nails - "The Mark has been Made" from The Fragile
Nice!

Personally, I’d rather play Head like a Hole than The Mark has been Made, though! :)
 
Kvn_Walker

Kvn_Walker

Full Audioholic
Ratings
163
#12
Ooh another Dead Can Dance fan! I had never heard of them until I read mention in a loudspeaker review. As a lover of good world/folk music, I was hooked from the start! Spiritchaser, yes I sometimes listen to just because the bass sounds so dang good on all the songs. But I digress... ;)

If you can recommend other artists in that vein, do let me know!
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
Ratings
7,372 17 25
#13
Thanks Shady! It is funny that Atkinson can point out that the bass is "underdamped" (which I find strange for a sealed enclosure) and the treble is "plateaued up almost 5dB" and then state at the end that "Wharfedale's Jade 3 offers excellent measured performance." Hmm. I am a gambling kind of guy and like to try new things - this would be one of those gambles. I am going to a sales event at my local KEF dealer tonight. I already know what the proprietor is offering for a demo R500. If I can get a similarly sweet deal on his demo R300 (in walnut) I'll take it. The Jade 3, though, really looks nice. Like I said, if the piano black version were available, we would not be having this conversation. :D
Sealed speakers often are under damped and have ripple before roll off. Problem is that when you keep the Q low you get a higher roll off.
Just because a design is sealed does not mean it will not be a boomer. In many ways a sealed design is tougher than a ported one.

At one time, and this was before Thiel/Small, Gilbert Briggs founder of Wharfedale had a Q/A column. A builder asked GAB, as he was known, what to do about a speaker he had built that sounded better with the back taken off. GAB replied that "There was not much point in nailing down the coffin!"
 
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snakeeyes

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
833 1 1
#14
Ooh another Dead Can Dance fan! I had never heard of them until I read mention in a loudspeaker review. As a lover of good world/folk music, I was hooked from the start! Spiritchaser, yes I sometimes listen to just because the bass sounds so dang good on all the songs. But I digress... ;)

If you can recommend other artists in that vein, do let me know!
I love their album Toward the Within, but haven’t really got into the newer stuff.
 

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