Wharfedale Diamond 11.1 Review

The Diamond Series has grown in both stature and sophistication, but great sound still remains the goal. Read our Wharfedale Diamond 11.1 Review.

Wharfedale Diamond 11.1 Review

DETAILS

PRODUCT Wharfedale Diamond 11.1

ORIGIN UK/China

TYPE 2-way standmount loudspeaker

WEIGHT 6.8kg

DIMENSIONS (WxHxD) 194 x 310 x 285mm

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FEATURES

•  1x 25mm textile dome tweeter

•  1x 130 mm woven Kevlar mid/bass driver

•  Quoted sensitivity: 87dB/1W/1m (8ohm)

By far the heaviest, deepest and best finished of the speakers in the group, the Diamond 11.1 is the only one with curved side panels to deter internal standing waves.

It’s got classy drivers, too.

The 130mm Kevlar weave-coned mid-bass unit features a ribbed basket for extra rigidity and a large ceramic magnet assembly to improve sensitivity and bass control.

Meanwhile, the 25mm textile dome tweeter uses an oversized ceramic magnet system with copper cap for flux control and has a vented pole piece and rear chamber, damped with a fibre filling.

This, says Wharfedale, provides a low resonant frequency, with excellent linearity, allowing the textile dome to contribute to the midrange performance in addition to “precise high-frequency detailing”.

Responsible for developing the new range, parent company IAG’s director of acoustic design, Peter Comeau, says that the Diamond 11 series, while respecting its heritage, is essentially a fresh design that – like its famous forbear – aims to marry genuine hi-fi accuracy with musical brio, but to a much higher standard.

Sound quality

In the case of the Diamond 11.1, looks certainly don’t deceive.

This is the largest, heaviest speaker in the group.

Its main driver has a cone made from Kevlar weave, a material known for marrying clarity with energy. And it has fancy reflex port loading.

So the fact that it hits harder, goes louder and has more bass that digs deeper than the group norm shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise.

It’s the Wharfedale’s ability to conjure weight and authority that forms the bedrock of its sound.

Whatever the transient demands of the music – and on Combat Continuum’s go-for-it passages between Steve Bulm’s gravelly narration, they are considerable – the Diamond 11.1 seems to have it covered with something in reserve.

As well as its powerful bass – which to be fair needs to steer clear of too much boundary reinforcement – it does particularly well at the other frequency extreme, too. Its clean, extended treble is naturally textured and free from grain, detailed yet unforced.

It gifts Krall’s Desperado a lovely sense of ease and air.

Boz’s blues lament also sounds rhythmically lucid and sure footed, and if you lean on the volume in the middle section crescendo when the instrumental action cranks up, it’s the impetus and impact you notice rather than the ear-ringing loudness. At lower levels with Fagen and Mona, the speaker relaxes beautifully,

LAYER CAKE

For the Diamond 11 Series, the company’s engineers refined the multi-layer sandwich of woods of differing density to subdue the identifiable characteristics of the cabinet signature.

Bracing together with the curving of the cabinet walls to provide a non-boxy shape, is said to have reduced resonances by more than 25 dB below the driver outputs.

The cabinet walls are also lined with a special internal fibre, which has been chosen because of its outstanding absorbent qualities across a wide bandwidth.

The goal is that the listener hears the drive unit output unsullied by unwanted colorations caused by panel vibration or internal resonances, revealing more of the detail of the musical performance.

The elaborate distributed reflex port runs around the base sounding expansive, airy and tactile, the intricate, tautly knit arrangement floating on that weighty and amply tuneful bass.

The Diamond 11.1 isn’t the fastest or most exciting speaker in the group, but in many ways it sounds like the most grown up

Verdict

8 Total Score
Wharfedale Diamond 11.1 Review

The most sophisticated and mature-sounding design of the group.

SOUND QUALITY
9
VALUE FOR MONEY
8
BUILD QUALITY
10
EASE OF DRIVE
10
PROS
  • Headroom and musicality in abundance
CONS
  • A little safe compared with the liveliest here
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1 Comment
  1. 1st month bit tinny……….thereafter abfab!! amazing

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