Wharfedale Glendale XP2, Lasers, Realistic Optimus X-30

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Wharfedale Glendale XP2, 3-way bookshelf speaker, 10 inch light coned air suspension woofer, sealed box.  Heavy to post, prices on eBay climbing.  Not pairs as only 'mirror image' are real speaker pairs, tweeter and mid range are not on opposite sides of the baffle as in a pair of shoes, tweeters are best on outer sides.  In room corners it's possible to reflect Glendale XP2 sound off side walls, tweeters inner, one speaker turned upside down! Dome tweeter XP2 give wider dispersion than earlier mesh cover cone tweeter XP3 and 2XP versions.  Obsolete side by side tweeter and squawker like the Wharfedale W45 developed from 1960s 'double tweeters' spreading sound more like a horn (the London Ribbon horn shown in the DECCA AL1500 below).  
<<Left the AR25 was a longer baffle version of the AR18s using the DECCA London AL1500 know how.  AR moved on to the mesh cover tweeter AR18B, the mesh improves its dispersion as Wharfedale had the W45 change to mesh covered 2 and 3XP cone tweeters, these with more pleasant sound than the wider dispersion XP2 hard dome.  Glendale XP2 has real deep punchy bass of grander scale than smaller woofer, Linton and Shelton models, the Linton still real popular.  Glendale XP2 make great Country 'n' Western speakers with the REALISTIC STA-2000 receiver and you'll even be amazed at your old Country tapes, hearing new echo, music coming alive as if you're listening in a Club.  You'll need a good cassette machine like a Technics M260, set for head/track alignment.  Glendale XP2 suit Sansui DC Servo amplifiers at 4-16 ohm, Sansui AU-D7 are 8-16 ohm, Hitachi HA-330 a good 2XP amplifier!  Next in line above the AR25 came the less known AR28 advertised in "Rolling Stone" magazine.  While the AR25 is a great best bang for the buck amplifier speaker, the mesh cover tweeter in the AR28B shown below, needs loads more power, it's interesting for a cone tweeter, a totally different grade, notice the large mid woofer voice coil former  above.  It's built that way to conduct away heat and  AR28 need real rugged amplifier output stages as suited to extreme Rock like Heavy Metal, the AR28 and speakers higher up the range like the 38 or 48 place real demands on amplifiers to deliver serious current.  There were claims the thickness of the voice coil wire wrecks lesser amplifiers but the cone tweeter suggests the AR28B is meant for some powerful tube amplifier.  When replacing suspension foams on Teledyne AR, be sure and get the right thickness.  Foam rot lets somebody get a bargain but when they're selling their new home-bodged foam edge after little use, it's never an encouraging sign.  Many folks prefer vintage speakers with no suspension rot.  If the right new foam edge is fitted don't expect instant results, has to be run-in and be your main speakers for months and years.  Metal wire in the voice coils of all speaker drivers, electrical conductivity of amplifier and connecting wire, all have to be run-in over years with the speakers as your only set, to get old, out of use components, back into good working order.  Smoothing cans in your amplifier have to be high quality Audio Grade type but if left switched off, they'll lose their best sound.
REALISTIC Optimus X-30 beside the 1970s DECCA London AL1500
The Optimus X-30 bass unit has an  aluminum 'presence dome' like 1970s DECCA AL1500, a feature of high power disco speakers of the time, Amstrad 'TS' Systems were quick to catch the market with chrome polypropylene 'presence dome' speakers that Amstrad likely made a 'cheap look' feature.  Like SONY, Amstrad below in the UK, were prized on their value, followed by bitter disappointment in early failure, unreliability and poor after sales service.  <<These systems like the T3 30 left, had set the pace for many folks, that came into audio buying best bang for the buck and back in the day, every schmuck wanted an Amstrad.   But what they really wanted was the SONY HMK-77 and 77B below, a sound they heard with German made SONY SS-2030 speakers, a truly awesome and real colored  'Japanese sound' of the late 1970s - a sound that had every klutz squirming with jealousy, punchy bass yes but with a unique tone more like germanium transistors and real powerful at parties.  At the other extreme of UK culture, the hi-End DECCA Kelly MK.X, had its 8 inch woofer, in a larger baffle to improve bass quantity and quality, an idea from the olden days of wood cabinet audio.  X-30 has a ten inch bass unit to smaller baffle size than DECCA but is chosen to sound fine in its smaller space.   REALISTIC were supported by service for 7 years after sales, SONY and Amstrad trashed after only 1 year!  SONY V-FET amplifiers suffered a number of major quality defects, the heat conductive paste on output transistors failed after drying out so the speaker output transistors were destroyed, many of the power diodes failed quickly or one obsolete transistor in an audio stage would stop working - losing one stereo channel!  Remaining Sony V-FET offered on eBay are a lucky few not used for disco parties, rarely played due to bad after market speaker choices or simply a better component set surviving by chance!  Like Carver MXR-150, the SONY V-FET is attractive in good working order but seriously flawed in production quality rather than in actual design.  Like REALISTIC, SONY V-FET sound best with same vintage catalog match speakers.  Although many SONY sets offer great sound they're seriously unreliable and make for real risky eBay buys.
<<Left the Optimus X-20 described as 'a delight to the eye' with Altec-Lansing x-over knobs, lacks the f.s.d. pin power meter seen between the F.R. plots in the X-30, one of the world's rarest speakers, sold only one year before it was replaced by the Optimus X-100, a 10ins woofer like the 50Hz, lowest note, Glendale XP2 gives the X-30's remarkable 35Hz lowest note typical of usually superior US market design, (being a bigger market to please) and features the brass voice coil of Mach One, Catalog No. 40-4024A, both for the REALISTIC STA-2000 receiver below.  Speaker build materials affect sound and model of amplifier partnered as do x-over points and F.R.  Oiled walnut veneer teams up with cutting-edge technology to give near flat F.R. for the dome squawker and dome tweeter with x-over volume knobs and V.U. pin meter warning of overload.  Eagle, Goodmans and Pioneer feature on-board speaker power meters since many late1970s amplifiers had high power outputs, compared to older amplifiers.  But speaker power meters add unnecessary distortion, are a distraction and a worry.  Like Wharfedale XP2, the X-30 has smaller X-20 and X-10 versions, none over 40Hz lowest note.  8 ohm beats 6 ohm for lower distortion and saves power.  The 1960s Richard Allan A21, Class 'A' amplifier is based on a 6 ohm load and some still think it the best of all British Solid State amplifiers, but the X-30 was able to handle more power than an XP2, was competitive on price and had a 5-year guarantee to Wharfedale's 1-year warranty!  Only problem then was X-30 price at almost twice a REALISTIC Optimus 1B offering F.R. of 20Hz-20KHz!
Grilles on Wharfedale XP2 are not the most acoustically transparent and very hard to remove as hard dome and other speech domes got squashed by children at home or in-store.  The Optimus X-30 has brown grille cloth like the XP2 but the baffle is not recessed, the X-30 is relatively free from recessed baffle, diffraction distortion.  Grille transparency is a selling feature, squashed speech domes remove a resonating cavity - meant to improve speaker tone.  The 'rubber edge' on speakers have developed from 1960s EMI speaker research left the 13 x 8, first to use a P.V.C. edge called a 'memory suspension' on a Marconi-EMI 92390G speaker, damping out unwanted 'ringing' from a previous 'in-out' cone cycle.  In XP2 speakers the surround is a roll edge P.V.C. like EMI, rather than rubber.  In the late 1960s  'foam surround' speaker cones were commonplace lasting only 20 years.  Before eBay came to the rescue, many foam edge speakers were discarded.  Although the PVC edge doesn't rot, it's seen to distort with heat sources and so become as useless, 'grille off' eBay pix are useful.

Glendale XP2, 'Leak DEW' style 4" squawker, 'white dome' tweeter & Laser 100

One thing about the Glendale compared with Wharfedale E series of the same age, is power level and quality of amplifier needed to drive the Glendale at fairly low power meter readings, the Glendale real power hungry at 86dB SPL and 6 ohm impedance.  Glendale need an expensive amplifier around 75 watts per channel, 20Hz-20KHz, with a good level F.R.  40 watts RMS per channel amplifiers are not good enough to power Glendale, the Sansui DC Servo series are '8 -16 ohm only' amplifiers, powering Glendale at 6 ohms and 45 watts, although getting hotter than with an 8 ohm load.  The REALISTIC STA-2000 is a good Glendale receiver though the Optimus X-100 would probably be preferred.  In the absence of Optimus X-100 the Glendale could be a good, more compact choice.  White dome Glendale XP2 has a real powerful punchy bass and excellent treble bite, making it a great speaker for modern music.  Although quoted only 50Hz-20KHz and 40 watts RMS, the Glendale sounds much better than most speakers given these specifications only it has to be working good.  In an Australian post a Glendale XP2 is seen with smaller white squawker and replacement USA Cizek design, silk dome Peerless tweeters (needing a Cizek 'Q' x.o. network).  To fit such a tweeter shows the owner thought highly enough of the original sound!



Left the rare REALISTIC Optimus X-30 from so long ago.  See how level the F.R. graphs are shown.  The Wharfedale XP2 hard dome tweeter is not a 'soft dome' like the squashy rubber Celestion kind.  German studio speakers also have squawker and tweeter side by side, instead of nowadays, mostly in a plumb line for stronger straight line path or 'mirror' stereo images.  Goodmans later made offset drivers on opposite sides of enclosures sold as mirror opposites in stereo pairs.  KEF, a popular speaker in England for most of the 1970s had offset drivers not in mirror image pairs, offset are not best for stereo in the most critical of opinions.

Differences in Wharfedale dome tweeters show the black dome left as near wall tolerant and the white dome right above as not wall tolerant, unless reflecting off side walls as already suggested.  Details will be lost if the white dome Glendale is moved near a wall or room corner and not reflected toward the sweet spot.  The American AR 18 is a good near wall speaker, it's designed to back onto a wall, playing AR 18s out away from walls on stands will lack bass, it's 86db SPL like the Glendale XP2 but 8 ohm and at 48Hz -20KHz, given it's a lower bass note, the actual sound is best compared in side by side audition, each on ideal amplifiers, 8 ohm 86dB is louder than 6 ohm 86dB SPL @ 1w,1m!  AR 18 have bass edge foam rot and Glendale EMI style PVC surrounds don't foam rot, but instead, near a heat source, the Glendale PVC suspension will lose its shape and become flat, the glue failing first, gives the speakers a rasping sound.  If left for many years in a hot place without playing, the surround will be found to have uncurled and flattened straight out, then you need an eBay donor woofer, found only occasionally.  Don't make the mistake of fitting the wrong woofer, only the original model works with the old drivers, cabinet volume and x-over, the bass speaker is like a motor with a specified behavior.

Black Dome tweeter helps bass but White Dome offers much better efficiency
Pulling for spares: When you pull tweeters for spares don't cut the wires half way!  Keep the full length of wire by pulling off the ends at the x-over.  Take care in removing the paper gasket that it doesn't tear if sealed into the baffle.  Ease it off with a paint brush.  Retain the gaskets as spares in removing these heavy tweeters.
WHY A DOME TWEETER?  Wharfedale Blue have the purple 'fried egg' plastic of famous old style Wharfedale cone tweeters.  Dome tweeters are a lot less sensitive but dispersion is real wide, like a horn and a voice coil about twice the diameter of a cone tweeter has a higher power rating and lower distortion, the circular edge of the dome sitting on the voice coil former.  Wharfedale Laser range ferrofluid-cooled soft dome tweeters have much higher power rating and lower distortion for more relaxed listening and clearer audio details.  Many prefer dome tweeters but as they get squashed in, the soft dome is meant to recover its shape!  Early troublesome thin single strand wires each side of dome tweeters easily got broken or the glue blob came loose causing noisy tweeter sound.  Laser series tweeters eliminate old soft dome-side wires, but  their ferrofluid (like a light oil) is seen around the dome, leaking from the suspension if it's been squashed in, so rather defeating the purpose of Bill Hecht's original 'soft dome' able to recover its shape if squashed in!

Wharfedale E70 from the 'Efficiency' E series, had no REALISTIC 1310 tweeter know how!

  Look out for the Rank Wharfedale E series - E for Efficiency.  Some folks say these had a good bass, the E90 was even made for Disco use!  E70 cone moved a great deal with little audible effect using the same maker, twin powered Rank Leak 3900 also suited to the Rank Domus 350 speakers.  Even Wharfedale E30 <<left were a real stylish unit, sought after by most but not 'top of the range' as eBay sellers often claim, just different from the XP or Laser speaker.  The white 'Leak Sandwich style' squawker are a shared feature with some Leak speakers but not the hi-End Wharfedale Airedale SP, with driver trims like the Glendale.  The 3900 has two silver-top fully-shrouded transformers of tube-audio style, albeit Solid State.  3900A has a single powered black fully-shrouded transformer like REALISTIC STA-2000, the same double mono, NEC 'Class B', OCL output, 75 watts from 63 volts per channel in the full frequency STA-2000 is only 50 volts in what is a power saving, bandwidth limited 80 watts at 30Hz-15KHz, in the Leak 3900A.  Although some sources give the 3900 an 11Hz-50KHz frequency response, the pidgin English instruction book said nothing more than 30-15KHz with THD at 0.1%, not the most remarkable back in the day albeit more than half the THD of the single powered STA-2000, due mainly to the Leak 'ALPS' type volume pot.



Sellers get 3900/A mixed up, year of 1978, rated a real good tuner/amplifier combination.  Two stacked REALISTIC STA-2000 size units defeat the advantage of a receiver but the British Rank Leak 3900A doesn't need a REALISTIC 1310 tweeter as Wharfedale E series horns expire at 16KHz for power efficiency.  (18KHz +/-3dB, i.e. if you turn up the treble knob).  Compare XP2 or Laser speakers and you'll see Wharfedale E are not a 'top of the range' but aimed at high sensitivity speaker customers lacking the 'high current' ultrasound "know how" of REALISTIC 1310 aluminum horn tweeters also high sensitivity, plastic horn 1310B right, about the beneficial effects of inaudible sounds as well as being rid of aluminum horn ringing.   REALISTIC publish distortion at just 5 watts output for the STA-2000 and only 10 watts output for the STA-2100 and where Wharfedale E speakers come in, other amplifiers like Rotel (part of the British B&W speaker group) are quite happy being operated at near full power, just depending where the sweetest results are found.  In the 1960s Solid State was always better at higher powers, the aim then was to get better sound at lower power and REALISTIC did very well with the STA-2000 and Optimus X-100 - certainly better than the more wacky looking Leak.  But the Leak 3900 and Wharfedale E 70 would be real nice to own on looks alone, its x-over knobs match the Leak 3900.
Looking at the <<E50 left it's not 'fitting as many speakers as possible into the baffle' as some real popular clown eBay guides suggest!  The tweeter 'bullet horn' with its wide dispersion sits roughly between the squawker and woofer giving a more satisfying sound, one making it harder to tell where the individual driver sources are.  Its woofer below has a cast basket like the REALISTIC Optimus 9 but is a bass 'ported reflex' design for higher efficiency, like the REALISTIC Mach Two.  Some folks won't know the round silver trim at the base of the E50 baffle, is a hole throwing the bass along the floor, these holes are pipes of the bass reflex concept seen in the B&W P2H tower speaker.  These pipes make the speaker easier to drive but the cone and magnet below need to be heavier, it's not an easy process to get right, some folks prefer the I.B. or infinite baffle (sealed box) bass sound of the Glendale.  In I.B. speakers like the AR18, a light speaker cone is supported by a cushion of air pressure, giving a tighter deeper bass sound.  Some folks claim the bass reflex gives a 'lumpy' sound, but it needs less power.  Needing less amplifier power matters because the distortion of the amplifier increases with the volume knob position, this means you must look at the distortion of amplifiers, for the sweetest sound will be spoiled, if the amplifier match to the speaker is not ideal.  It's important to know what kind of speaker and amplifier work best together, because amplifiers like car engines, have an ideal power delivery volume position.  Some amplifiers are more flexible in this, just like engines but higher power amplifiers start to lose a certain sound quality, low power tube amplifiers like the Leak TL12 sound best but they're much more expensive than many high power tube amplifiers!
Below 1970 black painted KEF T-15 hard dome influences 1979 Wharfedale Shelton.  Many folks in the USA never heard of KEF, they make the drive units for BBC LS3/5A speakers and began to take the place of BBC EMI Studio Monitors in the late 1960s.  'Hard dome' tweeters like Wharfedale XP2 'Blue' are dated since Bill Hecht's 'soft dome' was patented in the late 1960s, Wharfedale slow to come up with its ferrofluid cooled Laser soft domes,  not as good at recovering their shape as the more domed Celestion Ditton 100, albeit that the top of the range 1980s SL6 had a hard dome.



Rare Wharfedale W30 D Mk II had these purple 'fried' egg cone tweeters.
Wharfedale's famous 'fried egg' cone tweeter with KEF T-15 and XP2 Shelton dome
 
Pictures appear on the Internet with Laser 80, 3-way bass drive units in the Laser 60 box l eft below and <<left Laser 60 2-way bass drive units in the 3-way Laser 80 box - this dark grey, smooth cone bass unit is a Laser 60 driver.  The Laser 60 and Shelton both have similar 2-way 'blue cone' bass woofers seen in the Shelton picture right or dark grey but the cone is smooth and shiny, the Laser 80 has a different, light grey rough cone seen below fitted in the Laser 60 from eBay spares, it's a smaller version of the 3-way ten-inch cone, bass driver in the Wharfedale Glendale XP2 photo above, only it has an inside roll edge, not the Glendale's outside roll edge.  The light grey rough cone speaker is a woofer from a 3-way and the dark grey or blue smooth cone is a mid-woofer from a 2-way, they do a different job!  The Laser 60 and Shelton units are wildly punchy for 2-ways with their smooth cone woofers, the plumb-line driver layout Laser 60 has quite a sound.  But Laser 80 are so different, not as punchy but better at bass extension, their truly light cone, air suspension unit, is fragile and easily crumpled if powered outside the Laser 80 cabinet's back of cone air loading.  So be careful you know the units you buy are original or you know you're buying repaired speakers.  Laser 80 can sound quite good provided they haven't been opened and drivers are in good condition.  Unlike the XP2, later cost  cut Laser range driver plastic rim holders, can make a buzzing sound with strong bass, XP2 units have rubber washers right so they don't 'buzz'.  The Laser range have no reusable woofer gaskets as the REALISTIC Minimus-7, once you take that woofer out, the whole front of baffle gasket is spoiled!   But you can make gaskets from sticky back felt, available in most dress-making stores.

Super 8/RS/DD 'Black Dome' late version replacement for early blue dome
Single Driver speakers like the Rank Wharfedale Super 8/RS/DD right, have no network for tube amplifiers which suffered complex Output Transformer behavior mostly unsuited to x-over networks.  Cast basket is only 6 watts RMS but at 10-15 ohms difficult for some 75 watt 8 ohm amplifiers.  Value is affected by whizzer crumpling, the foam whizzer collar often turns to dust or cones are sun faded.  Blue metal center dome early version has more metal in the magnet assembly, hiding the basket, its label is thin plastic, black dome final has thinner ferrite ring magnet and less metal in the assembly showing more basket,its main label looks like a metalized paper, check for speech dome dents affecting ideal tone.  Frequency Response to 20KHz, cloth roll surround, dust free assembly, 14,500 lines.  Check for loose terminal board with intermittent connection.  Difficult rebuild in front of baffle mount position is best for bass dispersion, add home made sticky back felt gasket, speaker back of baffle screw bolts are held by improvised threads, fitted during assembly.  Original back mount routed out plywood baffle cutout, above, is best for bass quantity as more rigid. to improve front mount bass, thicken plywood baffle to 3/4 ins, whizzer dispersion is best without a grille.  While not the official cabinet for the Super 8 RS/DD, the one seen above has an advantage of giving a 'long baffle', still with its 'partly open back' cabinet H24.75xW12x D9.5 ins.  Below the driver compartment, newspapers or paper boards reduce the cabinet volume.  Around the outer edges and upper rear panel of the enclosure is a gray type of wadding found in mid-1960s enclosures.  Below the AR-7 square form magnet>>.  The back panel is 3/4 ins. plywood with 5 x 1 cm (approx) horizontal slats, equally spaced down the bottom half, each about 9 ins. wide, sides are 3/4 ins. flakeboard, baffle is plywood, probably 1/2 ins.  Gray wadding and slats on the rear panel can be seen in the picture, so slats are not behind the full range driver as in the official Super 8 RS/DD design, one for master craftsmen only, this enclosure likely a useful reference for pre-Thiele/ Small science drivers.  Super 8 RS/DD has good, punchy bass, treble as good, real 'tube-like'.  Cloth edge Super 8 RS/DD is a partial 'open back' enclosure, back panel routed out pattern, critically affects performance.  Seller thought speaker sounded good across the range, 'perfect to improve your tv, Hi-Fi etc'.  -Japanese website shows a pair each side of a Pioneer widescreen television set with tube amplifiers.



The later "black dome" Super 8 RS/DD cabinet has a long baffle but empty box with a thick woven fabric grille held to its rear mount chipboard baffle by 8, dome head wood screws, one top and bottom center, with three equally spaced at each side.  The back panel is routed out with 13 slats in half inch chipboard, bolted into metal tacked threads through hardwood inch square dowels behind which is the ubiquitous early 1970s, inch of yellow plastic foam, fitting neatly over all the sides.  The 1970s combined binding post banana plug speaker terminals are fitted on a hardboard rectangle.  Speaker is fitted as above, near the top of the baffle.  No box dimensions, eBay Bulk Trader retrorecords064(752) didn't reply on that question.  :(
Wharfedale Super 8 RS.DD are beyond expectations for size, they've been compared to a 'value' version of the Lowther PM6 dual cone.  Critics on Google claim they 'ring like a bell' due to their vertical edge cone structure. With the Peter Tosh 'Bush Doctor' album, you'll get real powerful bass and sweet treble with super dispersion of highs despite what's said about whizzers.



Left Castle Loudspeakers of England made a Castle Super 8 RS.DD version as their first speaker since they sold so well!  In 1974 they launched this advert suggesting folks had missed Bill Escott and John Collinson as they'd been in their backrooms making the Castle Richmond that demonstrated " beyond question that a joint 47 years' experience makes all the difference".  Without their help it's hard to make a routed out rear panel cabinet for Wharfedale Super 8 RS.DD. and so often better to pay carriage on ready made enclosures than trying make your own!  Super 8 RS.DD cabinet on the internet has to look the way it does, can't be a modern Thiele/Small box or on a large open baffle!  Some folks think it can but Wharfedale owner Gilbert Briggs made the best enclosures for these drivers.  Foam around the dual-cone, often missing may be reapplied with hobby shop self-sculpting foam.
The kits Wharefedale offered in the late 1970s, featured the electro-plated speaker chassis right above in a presentation box, but the production drivers were plated too.  TwinAxiom-8 drivers were just awesome value for money but where were they to be found for sale?  The TwinAxiom-8 was not in quite the same category as 1940-60s Axiom models, but it was best bang for the buck.  Be real careful if you find a home built pair of speakers, that they're not hiding some of these awesome Goodmans Axiom drivers, real careful to avoid crumpling or squashing speech domes or whizzer cones - they're not car audio units, far better.  E.M.I. 13 x 8 were a little different, 319, 14 x 9 and 901 were studio speakers and E.M.I.'s studio desk mixing equipment, amplifiers etc, were finished in the green later used for these oval speakers.  Studio is different from Domestic Audio, although the Wharfedale Glendale were used in some studios, studio speakers have wider frequency response, higher sensitivity, the <<AR8s left were about the most useful close wall small speaker for Rock.  Domestic audio speakers usually have poorer bass frequency response that improves with close wall placement and lower sensitivity needing more audio power, giving a better sound in domestic rooms where carpets and curtains affect the tone.  Drivers of the Wharfedale Laser series are cheaper, the soft dome tweeter not very good, often leaking Ferrofluid as a result of being squashed on display in the store.  The Laser 80 was highly respected in its day, on looks alone, the squawker of the Laser 80 (and 100) above is obviously the poor man's version of the XP2 Leak / Rank DEW, Habnetfabrik Dortmund 4".  Rank is a corporation that bought Leak and Wharfedale, mixing up all the know how to boost sales and with little success, it had to launch a whole new approach for the 1980s.  The best result was the Diamond Mk.1, a better smaller speaker for Rock.   Mach 9 right>> used plastics in modules and the smaller Mach 3 was about all many folks ever knew of this series.  New computer laser design improved profit made on the 'E series', the Wharfedale Laser research were about increasing profit and the Mach 9 offered 94dB for 1 watt suited to amplifiers between 20 and 200 watts, more about finding sales than perfecting any market niche as the Diamond had - biggest possible Rock sound from a tiny box.  F.R. was not more impressive than the E series, the bass driver, a ten inch like the Optimus X-30, on a plastic baffle, using new computer analysis of plastic rigidity.  Back in the day, Wharfedale Mach were real well thought of by all the schmucks and klutzes who read Asimov books - attracted by the Realistic brand 'Mach' name, Wharfedale seeking out the most profitable new manufacturing methods to keep the old brand afloat - and today while REALISTIC has long since bitten the dust, Wharfedale is still a sales winning brand, not necessarily the best product but the most profitable.  Surprising thing about the Mach 9 were the deep set, rear mount drivers - a throwback to the 1960s and these speakers would suffer narrow dispersion but it was all about survival with maximum sales profit not failure with maximum sound quality.

Below XP2 all air core beside Laser range network.
The XP2 x-over has a 1/4 watt resistor, value depending on the model, not a very nice part of the speaker as quite noisy.  It would mean that replacement with PHILIPS high stability type will improve sound, but the Glendale XP2 already sounds too good for most to be bothered with such an operation.  This resistor is meant to make the tweeter noisy if the speaker gets a power peak, it will crackle and the owner is meant to think 'Ouch I better turn the volume down.'  When burnt out  it means the speakers have been thrashed in places where the owner would not hear the crackle, in shops and other public places used as background music speakers.  The x-overs in the older XP2 series are better quality but not printed circuit board foam-damped from the cabinet like the Laser x-overs, this being a worthwhile upgrade option.  i.e.  We put some foam sheet under the XP2 (etc) x-over boards to reduce cabinet vibrations to the x-over.  The black polypropylene squawker developed by Laser technology in the first Laser series, has such a seamless x-over design it's real hard to hear working, even with your ear right up against it!  Original Wharfedale Diamond, a best bang for the buck take on  BBC LS3/5A  are a real special tiny speaker many years in development, more like the BBC LS3/5A in terms of the research put in and quickly discontinued, but this first Diamond partnered with a harman/kardon PM650 may be highly recommended for vinyl music lovers, using the three point suspension  AR Belt Drive Turntable above left and Shure M75EJ.II cartridge.  Diamond Mk.1 are not common on eBay, but better than  REALISTIC Minimus-7 and worth comparing, only downside is their needing loads of power.  Other good but power hungry small UK speakers like Royd are suited to smaller room apartments.  Royd based on BBC LS3/5A aren't much seen in Canada or the USA, refer to the eBay UK website for export.
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