Wharfedale Glendale XP2, Lasers.

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Wharfedale was once the pride of Yorkshiremen in the early days, ending in the late 1960s when the 6 ohm impedance was adopted to suggest the new 'Class A' Richard Allan amplifier or pricey Sugden version.  In 1981 the Glendale still had the 6 ohm impedance for lower listening levels than the E series, although both need just as powerful amplifiers.  The 'W' on the grille is often thought to be a good statement of their later, Working Class following.  Although the Glendale XP2 needs run in after a time of standing idle, it turns into a fine sounding although working class, 2-dimensional speaker and comparing the EMI 319 would make voices sound like a different person.  The Glendale were in pairs of bipolar and solid x.o. as if to demonstrate that they sounded exactly the same run-in.   The bipolar one of the pair will need a good day or two to begin sounding okay.  Don't get the wrong impression by listening to out of use Glendale when the squawker and tweeter won't work properly and the bass will sound terribly blurred and boomy.  Right Wharfedale adopted the AR dome tweeter shape for the initial Laser soft dome tweeter, cone tweeters were retained in lower power models.  After a week of running-in, the Glendale XP2 will be making nice deep bass and fine detailed treble with good voice.  But it sounds like a lower class speaker if you know what an EMI 319 is like.  The 319 is quite simply incredible, on the same music program it has a wall of sound on each side of the room, there appear like silk strands of music reaching out between the speaker and the listener's ear.  The 319 has incredible stereo effects, weird, almost spiritual tone color and has a three dimensional quality most of the time with stereo FM broadcasts using a good antennae and tuner.  Although only 40 watts rating, low power isn't much use for the E series, XP2 or Lasers.  75 watts is recommended for the Glendale XP2, that has black dome and white dome tweeters differing in their magnet details.  The white dome Glendale is always somewhat highly rated by long time owners on eBay.  The black dome sounds okay but there are clear tonal differences, the purpose of which are a mystery.  The 1982 E series were really for very loud home disco effects with very powerful, expensive mass market amplifiers like Marantz but they were nothing like Disco speakers, just very loud.  They had as much in common with Disco speakers as a Rogers LS3/5A had with any studio speaker, it never was used by the BBC as a monitor, neither were Tannoy.  The LS3/5A were designed by the BBC as a snob's speaker.  Modern Home Theater Wharfedale speakers are a waste of space but they're seen in Europe.  Rank was a British company that just isn't very good, or no better than British car making firms of which there are none left.  There had been a need in the mid-1970s to waste Solid State amplifier power that was causing problems with loud music in urban areas.  The solution was initially in 1975, to fit bar inductors that would limit the time folks could bear to listen to music, played loud or quiet.  Later though, they kept speakers inefficient by retaining the old Yorkshire, Richard Allan A21's 6 ohm impedance.  The 8 ohm E-series have big holes seen at the base of the cabinet and this increases efficiency while limiting intrusive bass sound.  Although nice to look at, people want to sell them wherever they can, usually dead men's shoes.  The E series were really meant for the Leak 3900 amplifier that has as poor a Frequency Response of only about 30-16 , with 18 if you turn up those knobs on the front.  However the Realistic 1310(B has a plastic baffle) Super Tweeter down page left extends response to 40KHz for use with S.A.C.D. sources and has 96dB/w/m sensitivity.  The Glendale has better sound thanks to having no bar inductors as do the x-over of Leak 3030 speakers, quoted 4-8 ohm, making it difficult for cheap amplifiers to be turned up loud.  On You tube, videos featuring the Leak 3900 have a sub-woofer making the bass, only much more powerful amplifiers offer the bass with Wharfedale E.  Although the Hitachi HA-330 amplifier might seem a rotten, little, working class lackey's piece of trash, that it undoubtedly is, it does work well with Wharfedale Denton to give good beat driven, albeit two-dimensional and extremely loud home disco sound.  If somebody could get a more powerful version of the 330, then it might be worth trying with the higher 'Rank' Linton and Glendale that to be fair were aimed at better off buyers.  After most Japanese speakers were banned by the European Union there were 8 ohm speakers made by Rank for Japanese brands, these included Solavox - a COMET brand.  If speakers like the <<<Hitachi SW 1000 left look real like Wharfedale Laser bits and bobs mixed with some old 2XP components, well that's because they are.  But back in the day the working class had no idea who had made them, they were just things to play pop on for a short while. Although some folks who sell audio don't want you to know the difference between good Hi-Fi and bad, this guide does point out the difference.  The fact remains that in the 1970s, genuine Hitachi speakers were in the UK and had aluminum bass, middle and high frequency drive units, these are worth waiting for.  Always buy the genuine Japanese speakers over the British competition.  The Hitachi HA-330 will have its own 1970s speakers that are worlds better than 6 ohm Wharfedale Denton, they're the speakers to match up.  Only trouble is, loads of intelligent bidders already know that genuine Hitachi speakers were among the best of all time so as a rule, they don't go cheap on eBay.  The crazy prices are however worth every penny and there are other suitable, less known Japanese speakers, only problem being the particular type of speakers in the catalog match.  If your Japanese amplifier originally used horns instead of cones, we need to match up the closest available, looking at whether the horn uses a metal or plastic compression driver diaphragm - not merely the biggest most expensive model in the catalog, but the one that matches your Japanese amplifier.  Bigger models usually suit different types of transistor output from low down coyote models.  (Low down dirty dingo in Australia).
The DECCA Deram is probably the first plastic baffle speaker enclosure and belongs to the elite, explaining why the Leak 3000 series and subsequent Mach 3 were appealing to prestige buyers.  Back in the day it was sufficient that these folks had approved of plastic baffles.  But another type of human being will think it a fault.  Right the Fidelity Radio plastic baffle speakers were in the days before eBay, just what working class folks in the UK thought Stereo sounded like.  They were 12 ohm and worked with a curious Integrated Circuit.  The speakers were 8 x 5 and the cone was formed as a single piece of paper.  They had a real similar sound to other plastic baffle speakers but many folks still value them as friends back in the days when better was so much more expensive.  When the lower classes of today hear DECCA Deram, they report that they sound terrible, 'all distortion and light bass'.  Folks who know nothing (the lower social classes) probably then go about making Deram sound better with modern amplifiers but the designers knew all about wadding.  Such are the amateurs that remove fiddly antique knobs and fit comfortable modern ones, they'd smash a Ming vase and when told of its age, would reply with relief, they're glad it wasn't a new one!  But these 1960s speakers don't need wadding with the correct amplifier and sources used.  In fact the sound from Silicon transistor amplifiers cannot make DECCA Deram sing, they need Germanium transistors.  The Ge transistor is an obsolete, extremely expensive transistor, made in exotic gold plated finishes or solid oblong aluminum shapes.  When connected to the correct sources, the Deram is incredible without any wadding in the enclosure.  Idiots on eBay (mattthebubble 360) add wadding and call the designers idiots for not adding it back in the day.  But vintage radio is such that wadding isn't always needed.  A British social class thing, limits bass power to folks living in suitably spaced-out housing.  The manufacturer manipulated the speaker impedance and polar responses.  Wharfedale Diamond left above were another power wasting exercise, tiny bass units needing American harman/kardon muscle because the British efforts couldn't make them sound any good without a sub-woofer.  With vinyl records on the AR revival turntable and Japanese harman/kardon PM650 amplifiers, they're wonderful.  The Leak 3000 series had plastic baffles like ghetto blasters as Rank group had wanted to win a design award.  The people that had to buy Rank speakers didn't matter, plastic baffles would do an even better job of just wasting their time and money.  Enter the Wharfedale Mach series with 94dBw/m and more plastic baffles, this time with the speakers even rear mounted as during the 1950s and 60s!  Notice the big, molded plastic hole in the cabinet right and how the rectangular plastic bits can be joined up to make whatever is needed.  The Mach 9 is a shocking example of British design at its worst.  These really aren't speaker baffles, they're just junk.  A speaker baffle has to be a certain length to make good low down notes and it has to be resistant to vibration, but by way of pleasing the European government, the stray low bass being a problem in neighboring homes, this bass baffle was made no bigger than a ghetto blaster.  The use of cone tweeters suggests Wharfedale were getting rid of all the old spare parts from the 1970s, taking up space in their factories.  They'd even got a load of cheap LED's and stuck them in like something made in Hong Kong.  This is what the folks at Wharfedale thought the lower social classes wanted - money for old rope.   The vinyl covered Cerwin Vega AT 40 left was a rare American brand, flagship product that import controls had slackened to allow through briefly, after Wharfedale ceased making competitive items.  All the Japanese and American speakers were banned from Europe in the early 1980s, except in certain exceptions.  For example if we were rich enough to buy a whole Technics rack system on one day and have it delivered, we were allowed the big American market honeycomb speakers to match right, because it was argued, the upper class could easily get these speakers brought in even if they weren't imported.  But on the whole the lower social classes could only get the imported amplifiers and electronics, not the matching sonic tailored speakers.  So the AT40 and AT20 were rare, genuine U.S. hooligan speakers of an ilk banned from import into the U.K.  The British have been disappointed with subsequent Cerwin Vega because they've been European market typed and like Wharefdale have had to meet with limiting laws.  It's why there's so many small speakers in the U.K. with no bass.  This is why folks there still buy old, Wharfedale Laser on eBay to run with powerful amplifiers made before all the new European superstate legislation.  These older Wharfedale are best run with powerful amplifiers to get over their 6 ohm or 4-8 ohm impedance designed to limit playing volumes to folks able to afford suitably powerful amplifiers.  Bar inductor x-over designs like 1975 year Dovedale 3 are able to have air gap inductors made but they'd be expensive off the shelf.  A tech may offer to make them, one on eBay does but his attitude seems like he does as much business as the British Austin car industry.  The amplifiers suited to Rank Wharfedale are different from those best with Cerwin Vega!  The few powerful Realistic receivers are suited to 1970s and early 80s Wharfedale because Rank were connected with NEC in the Australian market Rank ARENA, these powerful models had NEC output stages, being the bit that works the speakers.  Rank Leak 3900A and 3900T are similar to the Realistic STA-2000, both have the symmetrical NEC mirror O.C.L. output stage and tuners of superior quality to most in FM stereo.  The Cerwin Vega! AT40 and AT60 speakers suit the same amplifier as the A.R.28, an Audio Research D150.  The AT20 will run with a Rotel pre/power amplifier or the NAD 319.  Cerwin Vega speakers are for music like Ace of Spades by Motorhead.  Most such genuine American equipment is made to deliver the goods nobody else can and remains the best in the world.  One thing a load of folks don't know is that the most expensive audio, stereo Hi-Fi in the U.K. is only half way up the hi-End range of the global elites.  This has been the case since the 1950s but few find out.  Just where the
elite get those brands is known only to them, it seems, they don't appear on eBay much, maybe hidden in attics and basements, who knows?  When they die the house isn't usually sold, but passes to another family member.  In England we hear claims that 'the Wharfedale Diamond since its year of introduction, has always meant impeccable performance at a low price', but it had a high price so the opposite was also true of its claimed performance.  Wharfedale E90 were impressive with the PM94 but the 99db/w/m, 300 watt Marantz Home Disco speakers, the LS17A and smaller LS10A were banned from the UK and even the later, American lower sensitivity 90dB  HD 700 series.  The   European superstate was demanding the right to pattern their own speakers, even getting French designed JBL, that needed amplifier power so expensive, they had bass like British speakers and that was no bass at all.  It was all about purchasing power or having the credit to buy amplifiers with French JBL powering ability and the rooms to put them in.  If you were trailer trash and such, you bought an Amstrad or a Binatone.  The small Wharfedale Mach 3 right does sound just like an Amstrad, the company had shown that the British lower classes preferred that loud, lightweight tone.  Comparing an EMI 319 with a Wharfedale XP2 would straightaway have us aware of the differences.  The XP2 sounds like dull brass and the EMI sounds like gold.  But we must remember that the EMI was for the upper class and the XP2 was for the lower classes, although bought by the Scottish landed gentry, it has to be known that they differ somewhat from the Gloucestershire set.  The Scottish landed gentry are really very close to the farm communities and their consumer goods are just what is available nearby.  Wharfedale, being from the north are not preferred in posh London or the affluent south of England.  Wharfedale found favor in Scotland and northern England with folks that liked a sour pint.  The battleship looks of the Mach 3>>> do predict their sound, just like some, warship loudspeaker of enormous proportions, they certainly look interesting but the sound is very limited.  There's a loose, thin but effortless bass sound with overall effects not dissimilar to an all weather horn on a ship's deck.  The bass sounds like 150Hz or such and very loose, like there's a leak of the back wave to the front, via that molded plastic hole at the cabinet base.  They sound okay if you like the idea of a bright 4 ohm sound and old leftovers being united in a plastic baffle and sold off at a huge price.  It was a winning combination as the later Wharfedale Valdus plastic baffles proved left.  Obviously these are speakers aimed at a certain buyer, they'll brighten up the house and be fun.  EMI were aimed at different rooms.  Although Rank made their money with Pinewood studios, whilst EMI were the BBC, it might be realized that in the 1960s the BBC had a somewhat different social class of viewers.  There were never any Wharfedale LS3/5A speakers , Goodmans was the cheapest and most miserable of all.  The LS3/5A is a snobbish speaker if ever there was such a thing.  The Richard Allan Minette speaker had carried the Yorkshire Snob's Banner but few have heard of it or know that its brand gave so many Wharfedale a 6 ohm impedance.  Oriental speakers like the Kenwood KL3030 right were banned from the UK because Wharfedale would never be able to compete on any terms.  These speakers are all so similar regardless of brands that some unknown Japanese company makes them.  They're like Japanese cars in terms of simplicity.  The bass units have a cloth edge, they're bass reflex, they're very loud and in this one there's a horn that is as loud so no knob to turn it down quieter.  These are the ideal match for all kinds of Japanese amplifier and recommended whenever available.  Left back in the days when Teledyne A.R. were around, Cerwin Vega had real wooden veneer and they were 'thin' cabinets front to back for that bass only acoustic suspension gave back then.  Like A.R. these speakers were still 4-8 ohm, demanding real powerful American amplifiers but in the late 1980s A.R. and Cerwin Vega! began using, what were called in Missouri:  ' paps' because they had these rear-firing ' paps', two holes seen at the rear of the cabinet, they were cardboard paps just like the one in the Kenwood KL3030 above right.   These 'paps' were to increase sensitivity by 3dB at 30Hz and so achieve the equivalent of double the amplifier power at the 'tuned' frequency.  These new AT, D and SE speakers could run with a minimum of 5 watts and take up to 300 watts, for the maximum 127dB/w/m.  Now what exactly does running at 5 watts mean in every day language?  Well it means first and foremost that our amplifier has to be able to reproduce 30Hz at 4-8 ohms and at a continuous 5 watts.  Now how many amplifiers are able to do that?  Well, not a whole lot.  Right a look inside a 'D9 series' speaker shows unequal length 'paps'.  Not only that, but our baffle is supported by two genuine timber struts to keep it rigid, not flake board.  On the lower and back panels we see some thin damping felt.  Another thing we notice is the thickness of the baffle.  Back in the early 1980s our sealed box Cerwin Vega 2000-10 model has a little bass unit in a bigger baffle width.  Although these sealed box models give many folks a more satisfying bass, they need much more powerful amplifiers.  To get over this Carver, Hitachi, NAD and harman/kardon came to adopt a system known by various names, it was 'Class G', or Hi Current Capability.  This in effect doubled the amplifier power for an instant so we could get by if we decided to use a sealed box in place of one with 'paps'.  If we called them cardboard tubes, folks in Missouri would think we meant vacuum tubes In amplifiers like the Audio research D150.  In England these 'paps' are usually referred to as a ported reflex.  We can see in the SE series left, squawkers and a horn.  The horn does have similar voice speed as the pleated edge woofer, they're slow and the squawkers are much faster.  Similarly with the 2000-10 sealed box above it, the squawkers and tweeter are slow and the woofer is fast!  Why are they time compensated like this?  Whatever they were up to the 380SE was 25Hz-20KHz and gave 102dB/w/m, competing with Trio-Kenwood home disco speakers, but taking between 5 and 405 watts.  So what does this 5 and 405 watts really mean at 4-8 ohms?  Well it means we're using American amplifiers , not Japanese and that for the best results with all recordings we need a 400 watt amplifier.  The silver edge seen at the front of bass speakers in AT, D and SE models are cast basket.  The magnet isn't real big, the connections aren't hot wired and the speaker inputs are by spring clip.  How about the E70 bass unit left, why do Americans buy these 8 ohm Wharfedale E series?   At 8 ohm, they're easier to drive with Japanese amplifiers.  Driver quality doesn't seem much better, the poles are real close together in the Wharfedale E driver.  How about our AT series tweeter?  Not a load of info on these out there but they're claimed to sound way inferior to the old Heppner dhorm phenolic dome that Cerwin Vega! had used many Moons ago, it's that brown dome tweeter left below and sometimes seen with an aluminum horn in the 12TR.  The AT series tweeter right looks like a polypropylene cone version of a Mylar dome with a dispersion lens.  The SE series has a rare bullet-style horn tweeter and the D series above left have a G5G horn tweeter but not the look-a-like one often seen in affordable speakers and offered as an aftermarket replacement.  Look at these Cerwin Vega! logos around the case and that red compression driver down inside!  The Wharfedale 'E series' have a horn that expires at 16KHz, the 4-8 ohm die-cast Leak 3000 series and steel tweeter baffle, Wharfedale XP2 are low powered hard dome tweeters.  They were slightly improved in power rating with the Ferrofluid cooling found in the Wharfedale Laser.  Whether low or high powered, these vintage tweeters get real scarce and the sound quality depends wholly on the original.  No point fitting something else because only the originals work properly in the circuit.  Doing a little searching these 1980s vintage Cerwin Vega! tweeters are real scarce on the internet today.  The Cerwin Vega! Metron and other amplifiers certainly are built on the home disco model, but the A4000 right is rare.  These speakers aren't for low down listening levels, they're for real loud, sounds.  The Wharfedale E90 with Marantz PM94 was painfully loud but we could easily hold a loud conversation over the top, at full volume.  Folks are real disappointed in the Wharfedale E series compared to Cerwin Vega! because anything like Disco is so loud that trying to talk is just impossible.  Now the web thread Audiokarma is where a whole load of folks mustn't mention eBay but these folks are never done writing about things that they've copied from the descriptions, as if they owned things themselves.  What we'll find about Audiokarma is that our entries are a bit like Wikipedia.  We're adding stuff to a volume that has to read in an interesting way.  So Audiokarma is full of folks who don't know much about stereo, audio or Hi-Fi.  The advice they're given from fellow members doesn't read like an ascent on Everest, it reads easy.  But getting good sound with various manufacturers of stereo or Hi-Fi is always a compromise because it all sounds so different, just try a different combination of a few pieces.  The best way to get good sound is to know your needs.  Although Technics made rack systems they didn't always sound so good.  In the UK we couldn't get the Japanese speakers unless we bought a whole set in an elite place.  In the USA sets like Cerwin Vega! aren't everywhere found in the most convenient packages for delivery.  Mail order was always an American thing and as we all know, when the goods arrive, they aren't necessarily what we had in mind.  Above left is a building made by what Dr Edward Spencer calls hominids (gods), not humans.  Now we don't know how they made these blocks but the stones above shows how humans followed their example.  With Audiokarma we're getting the advice of the upper building that follows the examples seen elsewhere.  But with systems like Cerwin Vega! all made to run together, we're getting know how without any gaps between the blocks.  Wherever possible we have to make a system that was designed to run best together.  Although folks in Europe gave Japanese speakers right a bad name, we want to connect these to a suitable Japanese tuner amplifier like the harman/kardon 330c.  The effects won't work with the upmarket A 402.  330c have steep cut tone controls.  How often do eBay descriptions tell us how dramatic our turning up the tone knob helps to liven things up?  In many cases all we really need is a good lower power 1970s Japanese amplifier and a matching pair of lightweight 1970s Japanese speakers.  But the A 402 won't sound good unless you have speakers that seriously deliver in the high and low frequencies.  The A 402 can sound terrible connected to British 1970s speakers.  It really needs around 90dB/w/m to deliver effects that are completely astonishing, almost reality but much louder.   Connect it to cheap equipment or cheap Japanese speakers and it's going to sound terrible.  So we got this wrong story that all Japanese speakers sound inferior and we should throw them in the trash and buy some good brand British speakers like Mission - it's nonsense.  Right the Rogers Studio 1 is what the Wharfedale Glendale XP2 might like to be, a similar shape and finish with the grille on.  But the Rogers belongs to the British elite and sounds nothing like anything but a French J.B.L. of similar vintage.  The French J.B.L. might have just slightly heavier bass extension and Americans may not like either but we have to use British amplifiers like the A&R Cambridge A60.  Bearing in mind the British elite and the sort of rooms these occupy, it could be hard to offer that they don't sound great.  They're very loud, about half the volume of Wharfedale E90 with the Marantz PM 94 but the sound is shrill and two-dimensional, perhaps best suited to xylophone.  All the tones sound like they're meant for xylophones, they have a super, ringing clarity.  Now we have to know the British elite and in that company they really have the sound and presence, even if we don't.  The Studio 1 are obviously meant to compete with large, Tannoy dual concentric speakers.  The treble has that real, shocking force.  The problem with the British elite is that we can't join them unless we belong.
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