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Wharfedale diamond 220 in-depth look


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Hi everyone, 

 

So just recently I was given a pair of wharfedale diamond 220 bookshelf speakers which currently retails at jb hi fi for $549, after listening to them I thought the sound was OK, the mids and treble was what I liked most, now as for bass in general, well for a bookshelf it was decent, however and this was the annoying part, I was hearing a faint strange plastic like resonance from the woofer for certain music material. So I decided to do a little investigating.

 

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As can be seen this is the woofer mounting section of the cabinet, I liked the fact that a really thick baffle was used before being routed out for the woofer and flange ring. There's also a lot damping material in the cabinet as well as the small downfiring port. 

 

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This is the back and front of the tweeter, featuring a nice big magnet and a wave guide, I did measure the impedance of the tweeter and it read about 4 ohms, this is quite common in budget speakers, probably for sensitivity.

 

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Here's the mid/bass woofer, I have to say I'm a little disappointed and surprised at the same time, although in the pictures the woofer looks well built like the kevlar cone and the magnet, the basket is actually plastic instead of usual stamped or cast metal baskets that I see, this might explain the strange resonance I was experiencing with my listening tests earlier. (Just as a side note I had the diamond 9.3 and that had a cast metal basket). Measuring the woofer impedance, just like the tweeter I got a reading of 4ohms. 

 

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The cabinet is braced nicely as can be seen. 

 

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Here we have the crossover, looks good for the budget, have no complaints here. (This speaker is bi-ampable.)

 

 

Overall I have to say speakers are built pretty nicely, but the biggest let down for me would be the woofer construction as it used plastic basket instead of stamped or cast metal basket which would have eliminated the strange plastic resonance I was experiencing with certain music material. Is it worth $549rrp, knowing what Ive seen? In my opinion probably not. 

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You might find that some strategically-placed lumps of blu-tac or similar will help on the resonance front.

 

There are some nice little nooks where the frame joins with the circular section that the spider attaches to. You could pack these full of blu-tack without interfering with the back-wave from the speaker cone.

 

This will add some mass to the plastic driver frame and hopefully damp vibrations and resonances. 

 

If it doesn't work, it's a cheap and easy experiment! 

Edited by pete_mac
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On 03/05/2020 at 3:17 PM, pete_mac said:

You might find that some strategically-placed lumps of blu-tac or similar will help on the resonance front.

 

There are some nice little nooks where the frame joins with the circular section that the spider attaches to. You could pack these full of blu-tack without interfering with the back-wave from the speaker cone.

 

This will add some mass to the plastic driver frame and hopefully damp vibrations and resonances. 

 

If it doesn't work, it's a cheap and easy experiment! 

I just tried your suggestion and I found out funny enough that the woofer was fine, and that it was the tweeter making the plastic noise due to it being loose from its wave guide, I stuck it back together properly and well now the speaker sounds better than ever, so I take back what I said about the woofer. Thanks for the suggestion pete_mac. 

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The plastic basket has a distinct advantage over metal basket in drivers because it has minimal resonance compared to metal,  this doesn’t introduce peaks on a response.  You’ll see more of this in drivers design as manufacturers pick up on this clear advantage.

 

 

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