Wharfedale Diamond 11.4 Floorstanding Speakers
The Wharfedale Diamond 11.4 Floorstanding Speakers are the latest generation of Diamond speakers. They include design elements that have never previously been seen at such affordable price points. At the beginning of the design process, the engineers at Wharfedale went back to basics in order to create a loudspeaker system that would revolutionize this sector of the hi-fi market once again. The result brings high-end performance within reach of many music lovers.
With an advanced driver system, the Wharfedale Diamond 11.4 speakers incorporate elements that are usually only found in more expensive, high-end speakers. The bass and midrange drivers use a basket with a network of ribs to maintain the rigidity of the basket while leaving a large open area behind the cone. This rigidity will improve the transient impact while the large open area will reduce early reflections to the cone, thus allowing the generous internal cabinet absorbent to work properly.
With massive magnet designs used to raise sensitivity and ensure absolute control of cone movement over lower bass frequencies, the Wharfedale Diamond 11.4 speakers also use a specially shaped single-forged pole piece with copper cap to control the magnetic flux. This will ensure low distortion is achieved through the critical midrange area. Progressive suspension with a lightweight foamed surround provides the Diamond 11.4 with an extended midrange response. The super-long-throw voice coil motor system will achieve stunning linearity and accuracy that will be hard matched by any competitor. The woven Kevlar cone has been treated in order to provide a precise match to the new suspension elements.
The high-frequency performance has been enhanced with an evolved tweeter design. The oversized ceramic magnet system is once again used with a copper cap for flux control. The pole piece is vented through to a specially shaped rear chamber in order to provide a low resonant frequency and ensure excellent linearity throughout the operating system. The textile dome will contribute to a lucid midrange performance in addition to precise high-frequency detailing.
The crossover integration in the Wharfedale Diamond 11.4 speakers uses a highly evolved virtual crossover software system which works to help create a series of circuit options that will combine the bass/midrange and treble units seamlessly. Said circuit options are then evaluated using stringent listening tests over a period of months, involving a wide variety of different music. After the final circuit strategy has been chosen, the design team fine-tunes the crossover component values, the component types and the circuit board layout in order to yield an accurate, detailed and enjoyable performance with only listening test as an arbiter of quality. Special attention has been paid to the Wharfedale Diamond 11.4’s lifelike qualities in vocals and natural instruments. This attention to fine-tuning is what gives these speakers their enduring appeal in the affordable sector of the Hi-Fi market.
The cabinets of these speakers have been made using a refined multi-layer sandwich of woods of differing density in order to subdue the identifiable characteristics of the cabinet ‘sound’, thus letting the drive units speak for themselves. The cabinet’s critical bracing, together with the curving of the cabinet walls – designed as such to provide a shape that is not boxy – have reduced resonances more than 25dB below the driver outputs. These cabinet walls are also lined with a specially developed internal fibre, chosen due to its outstanding absorbent qualities across a wide bandwidth. The result lets the listener hear the drive unit output unsullied by any unwanted colourations caused by panel vibration or internal resonances, allowing for a more revealing performance when it comes to the detail of the music.
The slot-loaded distributed port is a recent Diamond innovation that was first introduced in 2012 in the Diamond 100 series. The internal port tube opens into a slot formed between the cabinet and the plinth, reducing turbulence and audible ‘chuffing’ that more conventionally ported systems would suffer from when a sudden outrush of high pressure air makes its way into the low pressure in the room. A further benefit is to increase the efficiency of energy transfer from the bass reflex tuning to the room. Both ends of the port have been have been profiled with a semi-parabolic entry and exit curve, linearising airflow through the port tube. This has allowed Wharfedale to increase the volume of air in the slot-loaded system, improving the performance of the low frequency output even further and resulting in an entirely natural and low-distortion recreation of the fundamental notes of bass instruments. This will match the realistic sound in the midrange and treble characteristics. The low ‘Q’ nature of the ported system will allow the listener to position these speakers close to a rear wall, allowing the speaker to become less obtrusive in a room setting.
- Advanced driver system
- Curved cabinet design
- Critical bracing in the cabinets
- Slot-loaded distributed port
- Evolved tweeter design