Famed British loudspeaker maker Wharfedale is making a comeback in South Africa. The brand, which celebrated is 75th anniversary last year, is now being imported and distributed by Balanced Audio, which is also responsible for the Yamaha AV brand locally.
The combination of the two brands should open new retail opportunities for Balanced Audio in both the home theatre and stereo arenas.
Wharfedale was founded by Gilbert Briggs in the Yorkshire town of Ilkley in 1932, and has been been part of the giant IAG Group since 1996. IAG is also responsible for Audiolab, Mission, Quad and Tannoy, among other famous brands.
For now, Balanced will be releasing two of the speaker ranges in Wharfedale’s extensive product line-up: the Diamond 11, and the D300.
Now in its 11th generation, the Wharfedale Diamond remains one of the company’s most popular and successful speaker ranges, thanks to its reputation for giant-killing performance at reasonable cost.
With a specific focus on fidelity and performance, the Diamond range employs advanced drive units featuring large magnet arrays, Kevlar cones, long-throw surrounds and progressive suspension systems.
The enclosures feature a curved shape and a multilayer sandwich of different-density woods, together with careful bracing, all to ensure an inert, resonance-resistant cabinet. The interior is damped with a specially develop fibre.
The bass reflex enclosures employ a slotted port to reduce turbulence-related noise. The port features a semi-parabolic exit and entry curve to further smooth out the airflow through the port.
The Diamond 11 range consists of three standmount and three floorstanding speakers, as well as a pair of centre channels.
The D300 has been created to deliver Wharfedale quality and performance at a particularly keen price point.
The four-speaker range consists of two standmount speakers, a floorstander, and a centre channel speaker. The drive units are based on the high-tech designs employed by the Diamond series, but have been specifically re-developed for their application here.
Key features include woven Kevlar cones with lightweight surrounds, a powerful motor system with large ceramic magnets, and a long-throw suspension. The tweeter is isolated from the rest of the cabin, and promises a wide frequency response.
The enclosures boast rounded corners, a thick front baffle, and extensive bracing and damping, while the innovative port is a development of the slotted port system in the Diamond series.
The Wharfedale Diamond 11 and D300 models go on sale in South Africa this month.