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 XP2 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. (The XP3 has bar inductors but there's more to winning sound than x-overs). 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 priced 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.
Right below how the Victorian elite might have viewed working class people - as lower mammals fashioned after the middle class farmer, in effect something closer to rodents wearing human clothes.
'Wee sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!'
In the 1970s, genuine Hitachi speakers were in the UK for the middle social class with aluminum bass and higher frequency drive units, these are worth waiting for.
Always buy the genuine Japanese speakers over the British lower social class competition. The Hitachi HA-330 will have its own 1970s speakers, worlds better than 6 ohm Wharfedale Denton, they're the speakers to match up. Only trouble is, loads of intelligent bidders already know genuine Hitachi speakers were among the best of all time so as a rule, they don't go cheaply on eBay. The crazy prices are worth every penny and there are better value, less known Japanese speakers, only problem being the particular type of drivers in a 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).
Left a 1970s QUAD 405 is converted to a 405-2 with a paper sticker fitted poorly over the trim. These early 405 had die-cast metal cheeks and the conversion allows them to perform better into 6 ohm loads like Wharfedale and Celestion. But they're not amplifiers for Cerwin Vega and other 4-8 ohm type speakers like the 'amplifier busting' Teledyne A.R.28s. The A.R.28 was built to survive Heavy Metal rock music fans and had used a thick gauge voice coil wire that wrecks puny amplifiers, A.R.28 are not recommended for idiots with cheap amplifiers as you'll lose. Owners of QUAD 405-2 are generally working class where the 405 was
middle class. The 405 had differed somewhat from the following of the 303 or II but the early versions of 405, once converted to 405-2 are certainly better quality than the 405-2 itself, aimed at the more affluent 1980s British working class.
Right is the amplifier used for the A.R. 28 and Bose 301, the Technics SU 8099, they weren't the later '
New Class A' but were the older DC amplifiers and had followed this style of being divided into upper and lower areas. These Technics amplifiers perform best and come from years when the brand was at its most respected. Just what amplifiers were used in the USA with the higher models like the A.R.38 and above is really question for followers of Heavy Metal music. Nobody bought even A.R.28s who weren't middle class. Most of these 1970s A.R. speakers are scarce on eBay today, their +/- 1dB tolerance makes them a real satisfying choice by U.S. standards.
It's important to differentiate between American rock amplifiers and something like the British QUAD 405-2 because time has moved on and may well have let the British amplifier off too lightly. On the
left we have two examples of American tastes in fun transport, we know that both of these aren't too suited to England's narrow twisty roads and that they guzzle a load of fuel. The QUAD 405-2 is however not by any means, ideal for any but a few dedicated followers. It was okay in its original, 405 version but had switched between low power 'Class A' output to a high power output by means of relay. Dealers used to set the similar looking 405-2 running at a volume
where it would constantly switch noisily, between Class A and AB operation, so that there wouldn't be any returns from dissatisfied customers. The 405-2 really shouldn't have had any 'Class A' operation at all, it was a poor, downmarket version that was really something like a Sinclair C5
right compared with the American 'fun' transport
above. Although patriotic working class followers of the QUAD 405-2 continue to exist, they don't have real high expectations.
The DECCA Deram is probably the first plastic baffle speaker enclosure and belongs to the elite, explaining
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.
below 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. Seen just to the right of Lord Brittan
above he'd probably thought they sounded like DECCA Deram,
that the lower classes listening today think terrible,
'all distortion and light bass'. Folks lacking connections in industry (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.
Although Audiokarma tell us Mach 3 sound great (navigator July 29, 2009), the reviewer rates the KLH 9005 as highly, forgetting to add the amplifier and inputs used with each audition. However KLH 9005 is a modern satellite speaker with a narrow dispersion whizzer. The back mount Mach 3 will be narrow dispersion and a satellite speaker, well that seems about right except it won't sound 'great', in everybody's opinion! 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
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
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 show 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
in 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 steel bands, 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. Sellers In southern England knowing Wharfedale (pronounced
Woof-dahl) was from Yorkshire and thought to belong to lower social class people, had voiced their view that it
would be more than worthwhile for Rank to make a Celestion branded version of the ignominious Wharfedale brand and these Rank Celestion would fall somewhere between the ignoble Glendale XP2 and slightly more appealing Wharfedale E series. These appeared as the 332
left and 551
right. See how the 551 bass has a Wharfedale Glendale XP2 bass cone, dome and suspension, mounted in a Wharfedale E series style cast basket with a ported bass reflex. On the woofer trim
left below may be seen the sticky fake dome cover for the tweeter. The tweeter and squawker are probably RANK Arena
NEC made units and not the older Ditton works made drivers that they resemble visually. These speakers offer 90dB at 8 ohms by virtue of the port hole pipe, nearly twice as loud as Glendale XP2 at 86dB, 1w,1m and 6 ohms but with a ported sound bass that some people dislike. However the working class parts of London have many well spaced out houses where 90dB is reasonable but to limit availability of 90dB for 1 watt at 8 ohms, to bigger garden properties, these Celestion were priced considerably
above Wharfedale Glendale XP2, that itself wasn't at all affordable in the northern, working class places. What is interesting about this Rogers LS3/5A styled Celestion tweeter is that it was a bit of sticky cloth that had covered over a flat membrane, 'Coles type' diaphragm seen in the 551
right! Glendale XP2 were rarely seen and at this time Sony E70
right were a comparable offering with 86dB at 8 ohms and described by the Stereo magazine publications
as totally unsuitable for most amplifiers below around 110 watts RMS per channel. In those days that meant that the Sony E70 was seriously off limits for a majority of buyers and described as medium sensitivity. So at 6 ohms and 86dB the Glendale needs even more powerful amplifiers but is only 40 watts continuous rating. What the magazine was suggesting was that the headroom required of the amplifier for the Sony E70 was 110 watts RMS and the actual rating on a power meter would show only a few watts. So with Glendale XP2, we're using much more powerful amplifiers and their 40 watt rating isn't headroom but the actual operating power. They're not more powerful in RMS power but in the more difficult to understand ways that some eBay and Audiokarma readers can't understand. In effect they don't heat up so much under difficult impedance shifts and so are more powerful under the same operating loads. These are American amplifiers like Krell and may not be best with loads above 8 ohms, they're meant for loads below 8 ohms. What this says to the eBay bidder is that we don't buy speakers like the Glendale XP2 and that is what we see in bids. However the QUAD 405-2 is aimed at speakers below 8 ohm where the 405 is best for 15 ohm speakers. But the QUAD 405-2 has 100 watts RMS headroom, that's not its operating power and the 405-2 isn't much liked against other specialist designs. It's difficult to assess speakers like the SONY E70 against Wharfedale Glendale XP2 because don't forget, the Leak 3900 has only 80 watts RMS per channel. People say it's a real powerful amplifier like a Kenwood or a Pioneer, well folks these aren't really all that powerful,
unless we're using Kenwood or Pioneer speakers that deliver 101dB for 1 watt and 8 ohms. The SONY E70 was for sure, a real nice looking speaker with its butyl rubber edge but how about that plastic panel holding the small speakers? It all goes back to Leak 3000 speakers with their plastic baffles. It looked cool but maybe wasn't the best sound. The question is - say we didn't buy the matching SONY amplifier and had better quality, how good could we get with a SONY E70? Well ... the sound of E70 with their matching SONY amplifier wasn't great by modern standards. We'd need the E70 to be a whole world better to begin to sound as good as a Wharfedale Glendale with a modern set up. Back in the day folks just didn't have money to buy E70 and in those days as in many parts of the USA today, places just don't let us hear these sets. With its matching SONY amplifier, the SONY E70 had a good, strong punchy bass but that's just about all it had to say for itself. What we have to know is just what kind of sound we really want, two-dimensional or three-dimensional. Speakers like EMI back in those days were just for the elite. That Hi-Fi could make effects like EMI were just not known by a majority of folks. Music in a Working Class area of London doesn't need an EMI speaker, a 2-Dimensional sound will suffice:-
The Ditton 22
above left is a real Celestion speaker but although it gets rave reviews from eBay sellers who want
rid of it, it sounds something like the EMI 350 and was very expensive. It looks great, but the sound is two-dimensional and guzzles power like a Cadillac. The real question is just what amplifiers, such early 1970s Solid State speakers were meant for. After around 1972, Celestion lost interest in making Hi-Fi speakers and the brand was managed by others. Speakers like the SL6
are made by very different engineers from the old 22. Celestion were for southern England, although they were sold in other parts of the UK, what we have to understand about older Celestion is the very real class division that existed in the UK at that time. Old Celestion were shockingly expensive compared to working class Rank Wharfedale. (Gilbert Briggs Wharfedale was middle class). The 4-8 ohm impedance that the 1970s Celestion had adopted was probably aimed at Sugden amplifiers
right as were the Richard Allan Pavane
left. Now readers of this guide aren't going to know just what sort of buyers we're talking about so they would be millionaires. The Celestion 22 can't be recommended for anyone that hasn't had a Sugden at least briefly, just to know what the 22 is supposed to sound like - solid deep bass simulated tube Solid State. Looking at the 22, the most important driver to look at is the middle range. However the most fragile and hardest to get is the dome tweeter. If we use any digital recorded music source with the 22, that dome tweeter will soon burn out. It's not a digital music speaker but for large spool reel to reel tape recorders using the fast speed.
These later Celestion with the beautiful wooden baffles are not like 1960s Celestion, they're prestige pieces, bought by tone deaf people, and lower class than the 1960s equivalents. Whilst some readers struggle with these references to class, the fact is that speakers like the Pavane simply didn't exist where there were working class buyers. Celestion mainly arrived from mail order firms in the south of England, they were available in large cities but few people had private cars or even house room for more than a television, at the time seriously more expensive than today, most were rented from D.E.R. and Radio Rentals! So understand about social class differences. In 1974 machines like the SONY TC854-4
right, recorded tapes from FM radio and record, in flats like this, high up, giving good FM stereo. The reels were so big for high frequency clarity, turning fast and got through quickly but at 15 i.p.s. gave 20Hz-30KHz, F.R. Look out of the window at the small, iron railings and compare the view from your own window. Back then cassette didn't have good high frequency, it's why the Leak 3900 had only 15KHz, the HF limit of the early 1970s Celestion Ditton 15. Big reel machines were used often and built to cope, on eBay today most are finished but folks fiddle about with them, meaning they may still work short term, it gets a better eBay price.
So back to the Glendale XP2 for a further guide on two versus three dimensional sound. The EMI 319 was
designed for folks with rooms like the
above but the Glendale XP2 gives a nice rendering of the Triple Concerto. What XP2 owners understand by a sound stage as a two-dimensional speaker is not similar to what EMI 319 owners know. The Glendale gives the occasional glimmer of sounds reaching back to the
left and right but is mostly all up front. 'Limp-by' receiver for Glendale 3XP is the 6 ohm nominal impedance Denon AVR-1802, a better match would be a 1970s Pioneer or similar still working as new. The 319 sounds like the 2 dimensional Wharfedale effects are throughout the room, a percussion image tapping away as if a foot from the listener's face. Although certain AlNiCo full range speakers with no whizzer have a stronger wrap around effect than the Glendale and so would be regarded as sensational, the 'old skool' ceramic magnet 319 has a far better wrap around effect. Both the Glendale and B&o 1500 are about the same on sound quality, the Glendale and B&o 1500 both good two-dimensional speakers. (The B&o 1500 is nearly as loud as a Disco speaker and the Glendale can't do that but the sound quality at lower volume is similar). So
left is seen the rave-reviewed and better thought of cone tweeter version of the Glendale XP2, the Glendale 3XP, it has two large ferrous bar inductors where the XP2 version has all air core, so the XP2 certainly has the better x-over. The tweeter cone is covered with a mesh of various kinds to make the sound spread out. The XP2 version has the teak painted brown around the front of the speaker. The 3XP has one of those stickers and the XP2 just has a gap there. The 3XP has a concave PVC surround whilst the XP2 one is convex. The best thing with eBay is simply to compare the
black hard dome and white dome XP2 with the 3XP on your particular amplifier, if you have one of the rave reviewed amplifier matches for the Glendale. There's no easy way to know just which one really is best other than by comparing well run in and perfectly wo
rking examples. The Glendale has a particularly good deep bass extension from the square form magnet, it's lively and superbly well integrated with the other drivers. The rubber grommets prevent any audible rasping. The stamped steel basket says that large numbers are to be made as the design is good. The Glendale however has shortcomings described up page. Obviously the middle class aren't going to be listening to a Glendale today, unless in Aus
tralia where there's little choice. The Rank Wharfedale Glendale are working class but were bought by the Scottish landed gentry. They're speakers very good indeed in a 2-dimensional context but not for listening levels endured from the Rogers Studio 1, Glendale are for very low level, comfortable listening to all styles of music. The Rogers Studio 1 is a bass reflex and it's really loud but for big upper class main rooms with private school educated listeners. The social class part of Hi-Fi may be rather sad but the room sizes intended for the Glendale and Studio 1 are very different.
Right a Goodmans Minister in the rare SL/ BO tweeter version with a much larger magnet. In the smaller magnet DT3 tweeter version the Minister is dreadful and a good example of working class Hi-Fi.
Right below, the working class at lunch. Such pictures had probably inspired Solavox speaker design teams. Although when used with EL 34 tube amplifiers, the DT3 treble is acceptable after bi-polar capacitor renewal, the real problem with these speakers is their lack of bass.
A you Tube video of the Havant by Dalvir Kiranji is a fake, you're hearing something else playing, he doesn't show the whole room. The DT3 silk dome is also found in a version of the Magister and that speaker probably does deliver with a claimed 15 inch woofer, but the Minister is useless today. The speaker isn't
able to use lower cost Solid State and with the QUAD 405-2, just cuts away all of the bass information. It compares well with small, budget, modern British speakers, the middle range and treble are very good if you have a sub-woofer to add the bass. However a well run in Glendale XP2 is just a world away from the 4 ohm Minister
by way of musical enjoyment and recorded reproduction.
Left Solavox was a junk brand using up surplus, old Wharfedale parts and somehow managing to make them sound far better or at least more Japanese. The name was initially Solar vox for 'voice of the sun', after the Japanese flag. The Glendale woofer of this HS 70 claimed 42Hz as a ported reflex, it's why the Glendale has a deeper bass than most quoted 50Hz designs, we still feel the 42Hz in the Glendale even though it isn't audible, the woofer itself reaches down to 28Hz, the early long baffle
right, strives to hear every note it's able to reproduce. This speaker has initially used the Leak sandwich 6.5 inch low mid range from the 3090 speaker, but its high mid range sandwich 3.5 inch, D.E.W. Dortmund, Rank Germany unit has been supplanted in the interests of its wider dispersion pattern. A metal plate has been cut to cover the larger aperture. The cutting of the metal plate at considerable difficulty by an engineer, reflects the standing of these Wharfedale models. However before eBay we had to value what we had left over from the 1970s because there was no way to easily find some other brand that performed better. The
Solavox HS 70 cloth edge cone tweeter
above left is the Denton one
and there's two surplus Airedale squawkers for wide middle range projection. Certainly if you like a 1970s Japanese sound, Solavox are recommended. However even as ported speakers they still need 12 watts to give 95dB/w/m. So what's wrong with that when today most amplifiers have more than 20 watts R.M.S. per channel? Well the problem is sustaining 12 watts per channel. You need one of the most powerful, quality amplifiers you can afford to use at 12 watts idling in an effortless way. It all depends on how loud you need to listen, that depends on traffic noise outside. If you stay in a quiet place, you'll escape with low levels, providing your amplifier is at least 75 watts coming from something like a double mono amplifier with a big beefy power supply of say 30,000 MFD.
So the above Sony SS-E71 version of the 70 has a layout like the Wharfedale Glendale XP2 and is heard here with an 80 watt Denon PMA 860, an amplifier with a single potted round transformer (for usually high power operation) and symmetry output stage. It sounds okay using probably a C.D. player and is a highly regarded amplifier. But these speakers would be better with a 110 watt version of the PMA 860 but that causes a lot of problems. T.H.D. is 0.07%, 20-20. Now when we use a 110 watt amplifier there's a loss of sound quality, so that we may still have the same F.R. and distortion but the sound becomes less clear and has more deep bass. This as rule upsets the overall effect we appreciate with the 80 watt version, we get around this by paying much more. A 6 ohm version of our SONY SS-E71, is our Wharfedale Glendale XP2. A Technics SU-V9 has 120 watts headroom into 4 ohm (0.007% T.H.D.) and 8 ohm (0.003% T.H.D.), not used at full power, it has has a potted laminated transformer for better lower power sound than the Denon PMA 860, configured for running nearer maximum power. The Kenwood KA-801 above has the 110 watt at 8 ohm, 1970s NEC output, more likely to suit the Wharfedale Glendale. Rank KEF of Germany produced a number of speakers in the 1970s and explains the 1990s plastic baffle KEF Coda 7 right. Left a Technics rack system owner has resorted to wall mounting the speakers. Wharfedale were often wall mounted on brackets to get a clear pathway to the listener. These often despised KEF stand mounting speakers were launched amidst a fanfare of cutting edge lies but in rare auditions had only upper bass, played with round transformer amplifiers operating at near maximum power using compact disc players. They still sound okay, loud, two-dimensional, a bit stressed at times with bass beat and despite a five star 'What Hi-Fi' rating on value and quality in England, are inferior - for a later generation than the best vintage Hi-Fi. If we're used to such speakers and matching equipment, don't hook up any 1960s, 70s or 80s vintage, they need to be used in all 1990s vintage systems, so similar to others that when you've heard one brand, you've virtually heard them all. They used British 'shoe box' amplifiers, too awful to mention and were fun if we didn't bother about the elite world. The QED A-230 can be found on Google Image, one of the amplifiers that 'UK Europeans' distinguished themselves with. A trash heap of real similar, 'shoe box' amplifiers had something like 'plebs' exchanging enthusiastic opinions. A 'cult following' buzzed like bluebottles around such 'would-be bargains', expensive, rip-off British junk. But the most awesome amplifier for these small 1990s speakers is the extremely rare A&R Cambridge A75 power amplifier and P75 preamplifier combination shown left. These are louder and more powerful with these small speakers than the Audiolab 8000A with its popular big speaker matches. The power amplifier has two round transformers and delivers 75 watts per channel of honest power into 8 ohms. However as readers will appreciate, claims to beating the 8000A may not be believed if it weren't that the A75 right is a product known as a 'brand flagship' or market catcher, considerably outperforming the remote control ARCAM version that followed it and just about anything else. Inside the power amplifier are a couple of squat blue labelled smoothing cans, not branded Cambridge Audio but SAMHWA; evidence if any were ever needed that the usual, throwaway Audiokarma comment that 'SAMWHA are nothing special' is merely pulled out of the air. Although these Cambridge transformers aren't potted, they're as good as. The circuit is fiber glass and is back from the days before banana plug speaker outputs became illegal in Europe. So the later remote control version has bare wire screw type speaker connections instead. There's an integrated version of the old manual control P75 preamplifier that isn't anything like the power amplifier in quality. Everybody seems to know the A/P75 are best but let's just look at what we mean by a 1990s small speaker suited, 'brand flagship' specification. S/N ratio: 100dB, F.R. 5Hz-50KHz, -1dB. 75 watts, 8 ohm, 20-20 at 0.06% T.H.D. Peak current capability of 40 amps. Match that if you may! The British upper working social class bought Cambridge Audio and a Rank version of the white Fidelity speakers up page. The British Rank A1007 left, here has the later Rank Wharfedale 7 x 4 inch that replaced the earlier Goodmans AlNiCo magnet version, made in the 1960s for germanium transistors. The quality of the later Wharfedale 7 x 4 was described in a listing as superb, its long throw PVC surround has melted from sitting in the sun. The earlier rubberized, pleated edge, Goodmans unit had been meant for working class priced radiograms, but continued to sell as a ceiling speaker into the 1990s as very loud, described as good for vocals. It had 20 watts RMS suitable for Loudness button enhancement and 45Hz-22KHz F.R. The foam around the speaker improved voice tone and acted as a gasket. The original 20-20 F.R. record player used in the late 1970s had an input for Hi-Fi so that a better F.R. input than the ceramic cartridge could be added. The stereo surround effects were very good when the listener was used to the sound, once they'd been run-in for a few weeks and placed against a rear wall. A surplus Rank radiogram amplifier sold off in the record player had given superb volume and quality, outperforming many 1980s rack system speakers. The original 7 x 4 Goodmans speakers were used by Hacker Radio in the Sovereign III and Super Sovereign RP 75-MB right bearing the coat of arms of the British royal household, a short wave radio version much sought after on eBay. The Rank speaker remake shown above is rare. Rank Domus speakers of the 1980s, left the 150, were confined to certain areas of England, featuring level portions of F.R. together making the plot appear in steps, earning their title 'Rank by name Rank by nature.' Also quite jagged in the F.R. plot, they'd nicely finished speaker baskets in fairly crude cabinets. The whizzer cone in the 150 and long throw rubber surround, is a replacement driver. Perhaps the box had suited the d.d. speaker for volume and the tweeter was no longer used. Sometimes a high x over point uses a whizzer coned replacement to ensure there's no missing sounds. In the foreground right is seen the part working the loudspeaker in the Hacker Sovereign. On the black piece of metal two copper heat-sink transistors use a 12 volt battery supply for adequate volume in mono, they often covered cricket outside, in the summer season and were too expensive for most people. These radios had sat upon a turntable enabling the whole set to be swiveled around to get the best A.M. reception. The blue and black speaker wires are twisted together to cancel the + and - flux poles.
Whether folks ought to modify all wires accordingly, depends on results, the practice is regarded as fastidious. Folks are going to be wondering whether to buy the Celestion Ditton 44 or the A.R.48s. Well although Rola Celestion were an offshoot of the American Ohio based company Rola, A.R. hailed originally from Cambridge Massachusetts and everybody who is anybody knows exactly which side of the railroad tracks each lies on. The later issue A.R.48s has a stamped steel basket telling us it was designed for the American mass market and therefore to please everybody. The London Thames Ditton works were being run down by 1972 and that the first few Ditton 44 have superior cast baskets and magnets left, tells us only that they were a short production run, subject to subsequent batches of diminishing quality for which spare parts are even more scarce than for A.R. The main problem of the old A.R and Ditton works speakers are the tweeters and although sellers on eBay are full of rave reviews poised to get rid of them, just how many of these would be reviewers actually offer what amplifiers such 1970s speakers were originally partnered with? - Well these eBay reviews were written by sellers who don't know. Right let's have a look at what they'd have us believe is their formidable British Ditton 44. The speaker magnet is supported by a bit of, cheap expanded foam, not the wood of Rank Leak. The squawker has had its speech dome pressed in, and how about that 2000 tweeter, once thought to be the world's finest? Right is seen a genuine one with Celestion AlNiCo, the white ring is missing and prevents reflections - a bit of sticky back felt will probably replace it. How about those thin screws in the equally thin, flake board baffle? How about the Glendale style grille studs that they've drilled the baffle to take? Is this a great speaker? Maybe an earlier version was, a brand flagship that few heard and was rave reviewed in magazines. Left a Ditton 44 network, point to point soldered, not a printed circuit board, but what if it's steel bolts in these inductors?
Is the metal they're glued to as good as Rank Leak wooden base x-overs? Well what vibrates more, thick wood or thin metal? How does the A.R.48 x-over compare? It's point to point soldered too, only mounted on hardboard with three large steel screw inductors and electrolytic bipolar capacitors. Chances are A.R.48s and Celestion Ditton 44 are going to sound real similar. Hardboard vibrates about as much as metal but doesn't conduct electromagnetic effects, so in theory at least better avoids spurious noises. A.R.48 are more recent and may have benefited from genuine American know how. Maybe some eBay enthusiasts won't be happy until they've compared the two designs. Polk is another American speaker brand that entered the UK market in 1983 to replace the rapidly degenerating quality of Wharfedale at that time. Polk started off in Maryland since 1972, just when the Thames Ditton works of old style Rola Celestion was being run down for closure. The American state is affluent and the Monitor 10 right and 12 are among the best known. They look something like Celestion in their shiny cones and like Solavox in wide dispersion double squawkers, but are actually lower frequency band divided, stamped steel basket mid/bass units left, the combined back wave drives the passive radiator bass lower down. (Such American ingenuity doesn't appeal to everybody). Finish is vinyl like Cerwin Vega and surrounds are rot-free rubber. Polk has a certain following in the USA and Canada, they're medium sensitivity. The tweeter looks a bit like the one in a Glendale XP2 but is a Cizek designed Peerless K0 10DT used by SS Audio, M&K and everybody else. These are meant for all kinds of rock music amplifier, not fussy on whether Japanese or American made. The problem with Polk is dealer location, in the USA and to some extent in England, speakers are often sold regionally. Some hi-End woofers are seen in Southern states and if you see something you like, you better write the name down before you forget it. Polk have a band of devotees on the east coast of the USA, including the elite South Carolina, sellers don't have a lot to say in listings. Florida has a county called Polk, named after 11th President of the U.S., James Knox Polk. He's quoted: "No president who performs his duties faithfully and conscientiously can have any leisure". He probably wouldn't have been a great follower of stereo or music.