PARAGON

Wharfedale Wars

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Hello all, I hope you are all coping well under the current circumstances. I have been toying with the idea of a new pair of speakers lately and looking around I came across Wharfedale and the Linton 85th anniversary as well as the Evo 4.4. I was wondering if any members have experience of, or any opinions on them?

The reviews I have read appear very favourably for both although perhaps there are others I should be considering?

For reference the room is 5M x 4M, firing along the length and my musical taste is very varied including prog, rock, pop and a little classical too sometimes. Source is FLAC and vinyl via a Rega Planar 3 and Marantz amplifier whose model number escapes me. Thank you all in advance!

62830fbb812fffef84a2b2b493500f80.jpg6785179c1e5811816610f0eaf5f51cee.jpg

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Super Wammer
Posted (edited)

What do you currently use and what have you heard that you like?

The new retro Linton has been reviewed well and pretty universally reported as tending towards the full and rounded sounding - that is, very different to most modern slimline speakers.  If you want analytical then they’re probably not for you. But if you hanker after a richer sound they might be perfect.  

The Evo range is interesting because of the ribbon type tweeter, and an audition is essential really.  There was some discussion here a few months back about the Linton...

I suggest completing your profile with all your kit, and checking that Marantz amplifier model, in case the power output becomes relevant.  (It won’t be with Lintons though).

I’d personally choose KEF R3 or ATC SCM11 in this price range, but that doesn’t mean anyone else will like them!

Edited by Nopiano
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What do you currently use and what have you heard that you like?
The new retro Linton has been reviewed well and pretty universally reported as tending towards the full and rounded sounding - that is, very different to most modern slimline speakers.  If you want analytical then they’re probably not for you. But if you hanker after a richer sound they might be perfect.  
The Evo range is interesting because of the ribbon type tweeter, and an audition is essential really.  There was some discussion here a few months back about the Linton...
I suggest completing your profile with all your kit, and checking that Marantz amplifier model, in case the power output becomes relevant.  
Hi, it is a Marantz HD Amp 1. The speakers are Polish, I bought them for 25 pounds off facebook! They are large stand mounts with a 6.5 inch woofer and possibly TL loaded, but maybe not. I do prefer a fuller sound hence my tending toward these speakers. If pushed, I might be persuaded to go for theintons on reputation alone, plus I love the retro 70's vibe...

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Posted (edited)
50 minutes ago, PARAGON said:

Hi, it is a Marantz HD Amp 1. The speakers are Polish, I bought them for 25 pounds off facebook! They are large stand mounts with a 6.5 inch woofer and possibly TL loaded, but maybe not. I do prefer a fuller sound hence my tending toward these speakers. If pushed, I might be persuaded to go for theintons on reputation alone, plus I love the retro 70's vibe...

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This is, I believe, more about system synergy than anything. When you say Marantz HD amp1 you mean a multi-channel amp? If so Marantz tend to veer towards the smooth side of neutral. According to the Linton and Denton reviews they seem to have a very similar tonal balance.

This is fine if you have a room that reflective, but if your room is well damped (soft furnishings, carpet, thick curtains etc etc) then matching those two could sound like a sonic soup.

Basic rule of thumb is to mix light with dark: For example, smooth with lively. With the Marantz I'd look at something like PMC or other modern presentations. As @Nopiano suggested KEF R3 could be the ideal compromise. They mix smoothness with attacking sound. Having heard the previous model (R300) they do prefer a more open amplification, but for your tastes that could be the right combo.

Edited by plasticpenguin
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I'd give the Linton's a listen/demo. Beautiful speakers that I found less warm than expected. But we all hear differently, well at least I do being half deaf 👂

I also think they would benefit from lots of space, which you have, and a powerful amp.

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This is, I believe, more about system synergy than anything. When you say Marantz HD amp1 you mean a multi-channel amp? If so Marantz tend to veer towards the smooth side of neutral. According to the Linton and Denton reviews they seem to have a very similar tonal balance.
This is fine if you have a room that reflective, but if your room is well damped (soft furnishings, carpet, thick curtains etc etc) then matching those two could sound like a sonic soup.
Basic rule of thumb is to mix light with dark: For example, smooth with lively. With the Marantz I'd look at something like PMC or other modern presentations. As @Nopiano suggested KEF R3 could be the ideal compromise. They mix smoothness with attacking sound. Having heard the previous model (R300) they do prefer a more open amplification, but for your tastes that could be the right combo.
The Marantz is a stereo amplifier only. We are about to have an oak (not laminate) floor put down too and other that the sofa, no other soft furnishings. Once all the pandemic pandemonium is over I will try to have a listen somewhere. Yes the R3, or even R5 would be an option.

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I prefer older Wharfedales from back in the day when they were a preeminent speaker manufacturer 

Have my refurbished Dovedales SP's (granted they have a lot of Leak Tech) but sounds awesome) on my main system and a pair of Wharfedale 508's (from they last garps before the become just Diamond makers of renown), on my second system.

3yzDIVsl.jpg

Dovedales SP's

Wharf508-2-1024x857-600x502.jpg

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Assuming a ballpark £1,000 budget I'd suggest Acoustic Energy 309s would be worth a listen if you get chance. I've not heard either of the models you've mentioned to comment on those.

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Super Wammer
2 hours ago, PARAGON said:

Hi, it is a Marantz HD Amp 1. The speakers are Polish, I bought them for 25 pounds off facebook! They are large stand mounts with a 6.5 inch woofer and possibly TL loaded, but maybe not. I do prefer a fuller sound hence my tending toward these speakers. If pushed, I might be persuaded to go for theintons on reputation alone, plus I love the retro 70's vibe...

 

Well, with 35 watts per channel the Linton’s sensitivity approaching 90dB will be a big advantage with your fair sized room. As long as you don’t need them too close to corners or walls they should work well.  The looks are definitely a bonus!

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1 hour ago, Headcoat said:

I'd give the Linton's a listen/demo. Beautiful speakers that I found less warm than expected. But we all hear differently, well at least I do being half deaf 👂

I also think they would benefit from lots of space, which you have, and a powerful amp.

This is the problem with hi-fi. One reason why I'm always reluctant to recommend any brand without the person having a home demo.

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36 minutes ago, EddieRUKidding said:

I prefer older Wharfedales from back in the day when they were a preeminent speaker manufacturer 

Have my refurbished Dovedales SP's (granted they have a lot of Leak Tech) but sounds awesome) on my main system and a pair of Wharfedale 508's (from they last garps before the become just Diamond makers of renown), on my second system.

3yzDIVsl.jpg

Dovedales SP's

Wharf508-2-1024x857-600x502.jpg

I had the Linton XP2s many moon ago, and they were good. IIRC the max wattage recommended was something like 25 watts per channel. From that end the E series offered a better compromise. They were 65 watts @ 97 dbs.

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Super Wammer
5 hours ago, Nopiano said:

Well, with 35 watts per channel the Linton’s sensitivity approaching 90dB will be a big advantage with your fair sized room. As long as you don’t need them too close to corners or walls they should work well.  The looks are definitely a bonus!

I’d love to hear the Lintons on their stands driven by the newly announced Leak Stereo 130 DAC/amp - what a lovely looking retro styled system that would be.

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5 hours ago, plasticpenguin said:

I had the Linton XP2s many moon ago, and they were good. IIRC the max wattage recommended was something like 25 watts per channel. From that end the E series offered a better compromise. They were 65 watts @ 97 dbs.

Nice, looking again at the Pic of the SP's I posted (not mine), mine have there original drivers but with new surrounds - the one in the pic has had replacement drivers fitted with the metal speaker frames removed. Youtube of similar SP's to mine below with original metal driver frames.

Note on my 508's (which I brought new), I have replaced the bass/mid driver (after only 3 years of use) with Vifa units (still have a spare set of Vifa's lol), as the Wharefdales units had aluminium voicecoils which had corrision problems and got scratchy - a known problem with the 508/708 Wharefdales...

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Posted (edited)

I auditioned the Linton and EVO 4.4s along with the EVO 4.2 standmounts and ended up buying the EVO 4.4s.

Lookswise the Linton are a very different proposition to the EVO range being boxy and 1970s in appearance which I personally like. I thought they looked great on the heavy matching stands. The flat finished walnut veneer really suits them.

The EVO range are much more modern looking and a bit blingy with the grilles off due to the plastic silver rings around the drive units. Not so bad on the black ash veneer models but a little cheap and plasticky against the walnut IMO. The walnut of the EVO is a more modern looking finish than the walnut of the Linton btw. There is also a see through limed/whitewashed finish available on the EVO too which looked awful to me but I could see it suiting a very contemporary setting.

Fit and finish is excellent on all models however the actual quality of the components is where their cheap price shows through compared to say Proac. For example the veneers look wafer thin but they are well applied. The cabinets are very heavy and solid though. The outriggers and spikes of the 4.4s are worth mentioning making for a very stable floorstander. The supplied boxes and packaging are top notch.

Sound wise my favourite aspect of the Linton was the soft dome tweeter, it was completely sweet and inoffensive. As a 3 way I found them well integrated between drive units and overall they had an easy going full but slightly lazy presentation and there was a boxy quality which showed it’s head every now and again which put me off them.

Moving onto the EVO 4.2s these were a lighter more engaging listen which I enjoyed. You are aware of the domed midrange unit as there is good projection of voices out into the room. The AMT treble unit is a different animal to even a soft dome tweeter and has that magic “not there” quality that these types of transducer can bring. It’s hard to believe this technology is available at such a low price. 

The EVO 4.4s bring a weight and scale which helps fill out the lighter balance of the 4.2s and for some reason allows that dome mid range to blend seamlessly, in fact all drive units just melt into each other giving a very even balance from top to bottom. Bass goes quite deep and remains fully fleshed at the same time and has great definition and texture. I’d guess in room I’m getting down to around 35hz. These are a listen all day speaker and seem to suit all types of music. They do need an amp with good bass control. I use an Audiolab 8300XP and it’s perfect being very dynamic, neutral and unbloated. IMO for the price these speakers are ridiculously good, a genuine bargain for a proper full range floorstander. They walk the line between engagement and refinement very well.

In your system I’d guess the EVO4.2s might be a good match for your amp both load wise and if it has the typical Marantz warmth but we’re all different in our tastes. Best get demoing!

Excuse the mess in the photo.
 

bJWjlrF.jpg

Edited by johncu
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I recently obtained a pair of Wharfedale Evo 4.2.  After a few weeks of head scratching about their sound I've come to the view that there is either something wrong with them or they are simply very bad speakers.  Despite this, I've not sent them back for a refund because I would really like to work out what is wrong with them - as a bit of a long term project to learn about speakers which may yet end up with me making my own cabinets for the drivers used in the Evos and tinkering with crossovers. Whenever they were playing music there was a significant amount of vibration very clearly felt from the cabinets - far more than with other speakers I've had here, even "lossy thin-wall" BBC types.  There were also terrible issues with the output of the reflex port which is right next to the back of the bass driver and which often swamped the sound.

I very much hope the Wharfedale Heritage models perform much better, but I will be steering clear of Wharfedales for the time being. 

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