Wharfedale Diamond 12.3 Speakers

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Priced from $1,545.00 (Normally Regular Price $1,699.00 )

Clean-Sheet Design Brings Impressive Depth And Transparency From This Slimline Model

With Solid Construction, This Is A Cracking Good Speaker At An Exceptional Price

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About Wharfedale Diamond 12.3 Speakers

The Wharfedale Diamond 12.3 is the smaller floorstanding speaker in the '12-Series' range that strikes the perfect balance between room filling sound and a practical cabinet size that is easy to locate in any environment. With the dramatic clean-sheet redesign of the Diamond 12 range, spearheaded by world-renowned speaker designer Karl-Heinz Fink, Wharfedale have once again raised the bar for what affordable audiophile quality speakers can achieve. At the very reasonable price, considering the performance on offer, these new Wharfedale Diamond 12.3 floorstanding speakers are truthfully great value for money.

Price is one thing, but performance and design should still be carefully assessed even though everyone agrees that the Diamond 12.3 looks on the surface to be a cracking good speaker at a very, very affordable price. Although it’s the smaller floorstander in the range is still packs plenty of punch with its 2.5 way, 3 speaker design. It will appeal to those who want generous sound but also want the speaker to fit in seamlessly with their décor. The Diamond 12.3 employs a clear sounding 25mm (1") textile dome tweeter and an advanced 130mm (5") mid/bass driver, together with a dedicated 130mm (5”) bass driver constructed of a new material called Klarity™ which combines traditional polypropylene with mica for added strength and a level of clarity and energy which is rather tasty.

Wharfedale Diamond 12.3 Speakers

Developed in Cambridgeshire, England since 1982, Wharfedale’s famous Diamond speakers have served as the classic entry point to true high-fidelity sound, their exceptional sonic value for money earning numerous ‘product of the year’ accolades in the UK and around the world. With the introduction of the all-new Diamond 12 Series, Wharfedale once again raises the bar for affordable, high-performance loudspeakers.

Meet The Designer: Early on, Wharfedale determined that the Diamond 12 Series should be an opportunity to start afresh. So they made the decision to collaborate with world-renowned speaker designer Karl-Heinz Fink, whose track record of delivering class-leading sound from modestly priced speakers, including designs for Tannoy, Mission, Naim, and Q-Acoustics is exceptional. A challenge was issued to Mr Fink: how much sonic performance can you wring from a range of speakers at classic Diamond price points? And so, he and Wharfedale’s team set to work, delivering clean-sheet designs without a single element carried over from the outgoing Diamond 11 Series.We also believe that with the entire Diamond 12 Series, he and Wharfedale’s team of acoustic engineers have achieved a new entry-level benchmark that will worry a lot of other brands.

New Klarity Driver – The Difference Is Clear: Since the Diamond 8 Series in 2001, Wharfedale has made the mid/bass cones for every Diamond generation from Kevlar. 19 years and many award-wining ranges later, Wharfedale has developed a new composite called Klarity. The chief ingredient of Klarity is polypropylene, a material that has been used to make speaker cones since the BBC researched its use for this purpose in the 1970s. Polypropylene cones are renowned for their characteristically low distortion and controlled ‘breakup’, as well as their resistance to moisture in the air. They also have a reputation in some quarters for sounding a little ‘unexciting’ – a perception that is largely the result of mediocre engineering. When designed and implemented optimally, polypropylene cones can sound enthralling.

The Secret Revealed: To make Klarity, Wharfedale adds mica to the formulation. This increases stiffness compared to polypropylene alone, reducing flexing and enabling a lightweight cone with high rigidity, low colouration and lightning-fast response – ideal characteristics to deliver both accuracy and excitement.

Mid/Bass Drivers – Attention To Detail: Polypropylene speaker cones are often combined with high-damping surrounds to achieve a smooth response curve. However, the hysteresis of these surrounds can restrict dynamics and make bass sound somewhat ‘soft’. For the Diamond 12 Series, the aim was to combine the Klarity cone with a low-damping surround, thereby achieving both low colouration and expressive dynamics. This was not a simple task but, by simulating many different cone shapes and adding ribs to provide further stiffening, a flat response curve was achieved without resorting to a high-damping surround, thereby striking the ideal balance.

The Klarity diaphragms are driven by a substantial, precision-made magnet system with an aluminium compensation ring to minimise the effect of variations in inductance as the voice coil travels. This contributes to an absence of distortion and intermodulation generated by the motor system. The voice coil is wound on a high-power epoxy/glass fibre bobbin – highly unusual in speakers at this price level. This has the advantage of not adding eddy currents and delivering greater power handling than an aluminium bobbin, whilst also being much stiffer than the Kapton type.

Refined Tweeter & Crossover: The Diamond 12 Series’ treble unit sports a 25mm dome made from a woven polyester film with a high-loss coating to deliver open and smoothly extended high frequencies. The magnet system and the front plate have been optimised for wide dispersion and uncompressed behaviour. The front plate is flat and exposes the dome as much as possible, with a short duct to balance the acoustic load and improve the SPL (sound pressure level) measurement.

The treble unit combines seamlessly with the mid/bass driver via a crossover network using an acoustic LKR 24dB topology. This includes air core inductors of the type more commonly found in high-end speakers, selected because they produce the lowest distortion of all inductor types. As the resistance of the coil is higher than a standard laminated steel or ferrite core inductor, the magnetic structure of the mid/bass driver has been modified to compensate, resulting in fast, clean bass with no distortion from the inductor.

Carefully Crafted Cabinet Construction: The cabinet is a critical part of any high-performance loudspeaker. At entry-level price points, corners are often cut to constrain cost, but this is a mistake; no matter how good the drive units, their performance will be wasted if the cabinet’s construction is suboptimal. For this reason, Diamond 12 Series speakers feature cabinets constructed with a level of sophistication usually reserved for much more expensive designs. And weighing in at just on 20kgs each, they are very solid considering their small footprint.

Rear Port: The rear-ported enclosure is precisely sized so that the internal volume works in harmony with the drive unit system to deliver the desired sonic result. The cabinet walls are made from sections of wood fibreboard of varying thickness, constructed in such a way as to subdue the identifiable characteristics of the cabinet’s ‘sound’ and ensure the drivers’ output remains unsullied. The resonant properties of each element – even the glue – were considered to determine the ideal combination of materials and placement. Inside the cabinet, Intelligent Spot Bracing connects opposing walls with a specific form of wood brace to achieve optimal reduction of cabinet resonance. These braces are precisely modelled by computer simulation to improve upon the commonplace ‘figure of eight’ brace, which can have the effect of transferring resonance from one wall to another.

Our Take On The Diamond 12.3

The Wharfedale Diamond 12.3’s are going to be popular, no doubt. Plenty of people want the extra body and bass that floorstanding speakers provide but don’t want to pay for it with visuals reminiscent of the hulk. Never fear, the Diamond 12.3’s are here to save the day. They’re slim, perfectly proportioned and thoroughly refined in that typically British way. Being a 2.5 way means that both main drivers get in on the act of delivering bass while the upper driver handles midrange duties as well. This gives the sense of a much bigger sound without the need for a much bigger cabinet. Naturally, they will match perfectly with a well-chosen, music orientated subwoofer such as a REL if you want the benefits of full range sound and extra bass. And there’s a lot of technology packed into these slim cabinets with a smooth sounding 25mm textile dome tweeter employed for the high frequencies, an advanced 130mm Klarity driver handling midrange and bass and another dedicated 5” Klarity driver whose only job is to provide seamless bass reinforcement down low. Beautifully styled in a range of on-point finishes, these slim, good looking floorstanding speakers sound great, while looking like they totally belong in your home.

Main Features & Specifications

  • Design: 2.5-way 3-driver floorstanding speaker
  • Enclosure Type: Bass reflex
  • Mid/Bass Driver: 1 x 130mm (5") advanced Polypropylene Cone
  • Bass Driver: 1 x 130mm (5") advanced Polypropylene Cone
  • Treble Driver: 1 x 25mm (1") Textile Dome
  • Sensitivity (2.83V @ 1m): 89dB
  • Recommended Amplifier Power: 30-150 Watts - must be 'clean' power
  • Peak SPL: 102dB
  • Nominal Impedance: 8 Ohms Compatible
  • Minimum Impedance: 5 Ohms
  • Frequency Response (+/-3dB): 45Hz ~ 20kHz
  • Bass Extension(-6dB): 40Hz
  • Crossover Frequency: 2.2kHz
  • Cabinet Volume (in litres): 26.6L
  • Floor Spikes: Included
  • Speaker Wire Terminals: Will accept bare wire and banana plugs
  • Bi-Wire Capability: Yes
  • Finish: Black, White, Light Oak, Walnut
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 180 x 975 x 320mm
  • Net Weight: 19.5kg each
  • Manufacturers Warranty: 5 Years. This protects the original purchaser against manufacturing defects but not abuse.

Note: Features & Specifications Subject To Change Without Notice. E&OE. Please note that all other products displayed are sold separately.

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