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Wharfedale Diamond 12 Series – A legend reinvented

Foto © Wharfedale

The Wharfedale Diamond 12 Series is the result of the continuous development of a loudspeaker series that has been cultivated for almost 40 years and is now available with a broad range of six models that are ideally equipped for stereo as well as home cinema.


Wharfedale is known to be one of the oldest loudspeaker manufacturers, after all, the company was founded in 1932 by Gilbert Briggs in the southern English town of Ilkley. Nevertheless, it is astonishing that some of the loudspeaker series of the renowned company have been on the market for almost 40 years, although of course not always in the same form. This is true for the Wharfedale Diamond Series, for example, which was first introduced to the market in 1982 and has been optimised and refined generation after generation over the years. The fact that the manufacturer speaks of a legend is therefore quite understandable and certainly justified.

From the very beginning, the Wharfedale Diamond Series was to feature the characteristic features of Wharfedale solutions, especially a warm, detailed sound, in the form of a product line that can be offered at extremely attractive prices and that is broadly positioned so that it is suitable for the most diverse requirements and tasks. Of course, all this also applies to the latest generation, which is now available in the form of the Wharfedale Diamond 12 Series. Moreover, not only Wharfedale’s own developers have been involved in this generation, but for the first time they cooperated with the German loudspeaker designer Karl-Heinz Fink.

The latest generation is therefore, according to the manufacturer, more than just an improvement in details, but rather a completely new concept. From the materials for the diaphragms and voice coils to the crossovers and the enclosures optimised for maximum freedom from resonance, no detail, no matter how small, was left to chance, the manufacturer states. The declared goal was to create another worthy generation of the Wharfedale Diamond Series, which once again sets standards far beyond its price range and thus once again fully lives up to its name.

As we have already indicated, the new generation of the Wharfedale Diamond 12 Series is also broadly positioned. Six models are available, so that the right loudspeaker system is available for every environment and every application. In addition to bookshelf and floor-standing loudspeaker systems, the new Wharfedale Diamond 12 Series also features a centre speaker, so that not only stereo but also home cinema solutions can be realised.

In the development of the new model series, the company relied not only on the decades of experience of its own developers and the profound knowledge of Karl-Heinz Fink, but also on the latest computer-aided simulation methods.

The Wharfedale Diamond 12 Series uses polypropylene for the woofers, which is nothing unusual. However, mineral mica is used for the first time, so that an improved stiffness is achieved at still extremely low weight. The company refers to these as Wharfedale Klarity diaphragms. The diaphragms are driven by a motor that, in addition to a powerful magnet, has an aluminium ring for an even spread of the magnetic field in order to achieve greater impulse fidelity. The voice coil former is of epoxy-fibreglass construction to avoid unwanted stress turbulence caused by magnetic induction.

The 25 mm tweeter domes of all Wharfedale Diamond 12 Series models also rely on a special material for the diaphragms, namely woven polyester film that has been given a high-gloss finish for open reproduction even in high frequency ranges. The straight surface of the driver enclosure is said to have only a minimal horn front, and this arrangement effectively optimises the acoustic sound power, while at the same time keeping the reproduction free of colouration over a very wide dispersion angle. This guarantees a brilliant sound with a wide stage right into the last corner of the room.

Special attention was also paid to the crossovers. Linkwitz-Riley filters with a slope of 24 dB per octave are used, which, according to the manufacturer, sound particularly musical. In addition, the circuits are realised with air coils, which are normally only found in much more expensive loudspeaker systems. Compared to models with steel or ferrite cores, they are said to be characterised by significantly lower distortions.

As already mentioned, mal also relied on modern computer simulations in the design of the new models, especially in the development of the cabinets. Here, special attention was paid to a resonance-free and thus solid construction, whereby this was achieved by a clever combination of different materials and, of course, appropriate bracing at the decisive points. Even details such as the glue of the multi-layered enclosures could be included in the optimisation. In addition, the volume of the bass reflex cabinets could be matched exactly to the acoustic properties of the drivers.

The Wharfedale Diamond 12 Series is opened by the compact model Wharfedale Diamond 12.0, using a 100 mm woofer in combination with a 25 mm tweeter. Slightly larger is the Wharfedale Diamond 12.1, where the 25 mm tweeter is combined with a 130 mm woofer. The trio of bookshelf speaker systems is completed by the Wharfedale Diamond 12.2, which uses a combination of 25 mm tweeter and 150 mm woofer.

For those who prefer floorstanding speaker systems, the Wharfedale Diamond 12.3 and Wharfedale Diamond 12.4 are the right solutions. The former combines a 25 mm tweeter with two 130 mm woofers, the flagship of the series is equipped with a 25 mm tweeter and two 150 mm woofers.

For home cinema applications, the Wharfedale Diamond 12.C is the right centre speaker, equipped with two 130 mm woofers and a 25 mm tweeter.

All models of the new Wharfedale Diamond 12 Series should already be available in specialist shops. As described, the Wharfedale Diamond 12.0 bookshelf loudspeaker system at a recommended retail price of € 249, followed by the Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 at a price of € 319, also designed as a bookshelf loudspeaker system. Even for the third shelf speaker system Wharfedale Diamond 12.2 one only has to estimate € 379,-. The floorstanding speaker systems of the Wharfedale Diamond 12 Series cost only € 649 for the Wharfedale Diamond 12.3 and € 899 for the Wharfedale Diamond 12.4. The Wharfedale Diamond 12.C centre speaker costs € 299. Except for the price of the centre speaker, all prices are for pairs.

Customers can choose between black, white, light oak and walnut finishes for the new Wharfedale Diamond 12 Series.

Getting to the point

From the very beginning, the Wharfedale Diamond Series was intended to feature the characteristic features of Wharfedale solutions, specifically a warm, detailed sound, in the form of a product line that can be offered at extremely attractive prices and that is broadly positioned so that it is suitable for the most diverse requirements and tasks. Of course, all this also applies to the latest generation, which is now available in the form of the Wharfedale Diamond 12 Series. In addition, not only the developers of Wharfedale themselves lent a hand with this generation, but they also cooperated with the German loudspeaker designer Karl-Heinz Fink for the first time.

Manufacturer:Wharfedale
Distributor:IAD GmbH
Price:Wharfedale Diamond 12.0 € 249,- per pair
Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 € 319,- per pair
Wharfedale Diamond 12.2 € 379,- per pair
Wharfedale Diamond 12.3 € 649,- per pair
Wharfedale Diamond 12.4 € 899,- per pair
Wharfedale Diamond 12.C € 299,- per piece

About Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and sempre-audio.com, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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