Wharfedale launches latest generation of its best-selling Diamond speakers

Over 30 years since the first Wharfedale Diamond speakers were introduced, the company is launching the latest version of the design, in the form of the Diamond 100 Series.

Combining new Kevlar-cone drive units designed to smooth the mid/bass response, cabinets built from a combination of chipboard and MDF, bonded together for rigidity, and a Slot-Loaded Distributed Port for bass loading, the new speakers start from £229.95 for the two-way Daimond 121 bookshelf design, and go up to the £999.95/pr Diamond 159 floorstanding speaker.

Two centre speakers complete the seven-strong range.

The new models replace the existing Diamond 10 line-up, and use a reprofiled Kevlar cone for bass and midrange drivers, based on the research carried out in the development of the Jade speakers, and with semi-elliptical 'break-up' areas to smooth the frequency response.

The surrounds are moulded in a diamond pattern to match the cone edge, and the dust-caps are blended and treated to smooth integration with the tweeter, which uses a fabric dome and a waveguide for optimal dispersion.

The cabinets are made from those 'multigrain faceted boards' bonded together for stiffness and to block internal sound leakage, while the enclosures were modelled using the company's Virtual Speaker software.

The company claims this design moves any noise from the cabinets more than 35dB below the driver output, cutting out coloration.

Finally, the 'Slot-Loaded Distributed Port', used for bass-loading and developed from the Aperiodic loading used in the Jade series, equalises air pressure to reduce port 'chuffing'. It's based on a design developed by Wharfedale founder Gilbert Briggs.

The models in the range all have a 25mm soft-dome tweeter and '8ohm compatible' impedance – other specifications are:

Diamond 121 (£229.95/pr): two-way standmount/bookshelf speaker, 13cm woofer, 25-110W power handling, 86dB/W/m sensitivity

Diamond 122 (£279.95/pr): two-way standmount/bookshelf speaker, 16.5cm woofer, 25-120W power handling, 87dB/W/m sensitivity

Diamond 155 (£499.95/pr): 2.5-way floorstanding speaker, 16.5cm woofer and midrange, 25-150W power handling, 89dB/W/m sensitivity

Diamond 157 (£699.95/pr): three-way floorstanding speaker, 2x16.5cm woofers and 13cm midrange, 25-150W power handling, 90dB/W/m sensitivity

Diamond 159 (£999.95/pr): three-way floorstanding speaker, 2x20cm woofers and 13cm midrange, 25-200W power handling, 89dB/W/m sensitivity

Diamond 101C (£229.95): centre speaker, 2x13cm woofers, 25-150W power handling, 89dB/W/m sensitivity

Diamond 102C (£349.95): centre speaker, 2x16.5cm woofers, 25-200W power handling, 90dB/W/m sensitivity.

All the speakers are available from this month in a choice of four finishes – black, cherry, rosewood and walnut – and we'll be reviewing the Diamond 121 in our January issue, available in the shops and online from tomorrow, December 14th.

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Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.