A question about vintage Wharfdale Speakers

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by transmaster, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. transmaster

    transmaster AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,936
    Location:
    Cheyenne, Wyoming
    Vintage Wharfdale W series speakers were built in both the UK, and some with the same model numbers in Hong Kong. Circa 1970 I believe the W25, W35, and W45’s were assembled State Side. There is a brief mention of US assembled Wharfdale’s in the Book “A Pair of Wharfdale’s” but no mention of which models nor are these 3 models mentioned in the Book. My W35’s have English made parts but there is no markings were the cabinets were made. My question concerns the Wharfdale’s made in Hong Kong. An Example is the W60, they were made both in the UK, and Hong Kong. The Hong Kong models were built by “The Radio People Ltd”. I understand Hong Kong models have locally made speakers. I was aware of the HK made Wharfdale’s sometime ago and the impression I had was they are not a good as the ones made in the UK. Is this true?
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  2. Drugolf

    Drugolf AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,164
    Location:
    Boise
    My understanding is that Wharfedale sent the drivers and other parts to other locations to be put in cabinets constructed elsewhere. Makes sense from a shipping and distribution standpoint. not sure if drivers were ever fabricated elsewhere. Didn't think they were. I have W70's from both UK and Hong kong. Drivers all seem the same (other than model differences). The ones I have from HK have very well made cabinets. Here is a photo of my W35's on top of my Radio People W70. pair.jpg
     
    transmaster likes this.
  3. transmaster

    transmaster AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,936
    Location:
    Cheyenne, Wyoming
    Thanks I have never been sure. Information is hard to come up with. There is supposed to have been a fire that destroyed the Wharfdale’s archives. Other than passing references to it I have learned nothing about it.
     
  4. Drugolf

    Drugolf AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,164
    Location:
    Boise
    The details of what models had and when is very sketchy at best with vintage Wharfedale. When I was focusing on them it seemed there really wasn't a way to say for certain what combination of drivers and crossover design went with each model of the W70. They were kinda all over the place.
     
  5. transmaster

    transmaster AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,936
    Location:
    Cheyenne, Wyoming
    There is a Pair of W45’s for sale on eBay for pickup only. If the person would only ship them I would instantly purchase them. He could just take them to Kinko’s and they would securely box them up. I believe the W45 has the tweeters and midrange of the W35 with a 10” Woofer. This would make them in the same class as the AR-2AX.
     
  6. Ryanj52

    Ryanj52 Active Member

    Messages:
    175
    I didn't know some were made in Hong Kong, I have a pair of W60E speakers and looked at them and didn't see anything with Hong Kong on them, where does it typically say Hong Kong?
     

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  7. Drugolf

    Drugolf AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,164
    Location:
    Boise
    0915152119_resized.jpg
     
    transmaster and Ryanj52 like this.
  8. Ryanj52

    Ryanj52 Active Member

    Messages:
    175
    Thanks, I would like to find some other Wharfedale speakers, some W90 speakers and now I know what to look for, I had no idea.
     
  9. transmaster

    transmaster AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,936
    Location:
    Cheyenne, Wyoming
    In 1964/65 The New York Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra declared the Wharfdale W90 as their official speaker. I am sure money changed hands to get that endorsement but they would not have gone along with if these were inferior speakers. Here is an ad’ that was in a Boston Symphony program guide in 1965.

    E4D41A90-ABF9-4115-8718-E2EFE8F3AC59.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018 at 3:45 PM
    Ds2000 and Ryanj52 like this.
  10. transmaster

    transmaster AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,936
    Location:
    Cheyenne, Wyoming
    Here is a photo of the one of the extra set of crossovers In have for the W35. This label is what you find English assembled Wharfdale’s, and the W25, 35, 45 which, I think, were assembled in the States.

    26A3ABCB-9807-4334-9F0E-82E2E21128C1.jpeg
     
  11. Nat

    Nat AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    12,543
    My experience of the Radio People of Hong Kong speakers is that the innards are completely standard Wharfedale, Lowther, or whatever company speaker they put together, and the cabinets are very well made and appear the same as the British ones, but that the plywood is different. I am not certain, but I believe, based on appearance, that it's luan or Philippine mahogony, which may be less dense than european on north american plywoods. I can't say if this has any effect on sound at all.
     

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  12. transmaster

    transmaster AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,936
    Location:
    Cheyenne, Wyoming
    Maybe that is what people talked about Cabinet resonation’s with the Hong Kong Wharfdale’s. That would be very easy to deal with. There is the automotive anti-resonance matting designed to do just that job.
     
  13. Ryanj52

    Ryanj52 Active Member

    Messages:
    175
    That is interesting, I have a lead on a pair I am going to go look at next week. Thanks
     
    Drugolf likes this.
  14. transmaster

    transmaster AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,936
    Location:
    Cheyenne, Wyoming
    There is a pair of W90 crossovers on eBay you might want to snag.

    2713C6A3-5BE1-47FB-AB62-AA664A73D6DB.jpeg
     
    Ryanj52 likes this.
  15. Ryanj52

    Ryanj52 Active Member

    Messages:
    175
  16. Nat

    Nat AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    12,543
    I'm not certain that a softer, less dense plywood would actually be more likely to have resonance issues than a harder, denser version - it might have better damping. I think some testing would be needed before any opinion would be worth paying attention to. And as I noted, I don't know for a fact that there was any difference in the materials - it seemed like it to me, but I didn't actually do a piece to piece comparison since I didn't have one of each type available.
     
    transmaster likes this.

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  17. transmaster

    transmaster AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,936
    Location:
    Cheyenne, Wyoming
    Reading this:

    https://www.loudspeakerbuilding.com/practical-guide/cabinet-materials/10101,en?sys_cookie_legal=1

    It would seem a simple test is to put your hands on the cabinets to see if you can feel vibrations while the speaker is playing ideally you should feel nothing. Did this with the Polk Monitor 10B’s, and the W35’s and there is no vibration at all. On the other hand the cheap, $29.88, but amazing, Dayton Audio B652’s feel alive in your hands. It would be interesting to line the insides with adhesive anti-resonance Mats to see what effect it would have on their sound.
    https://www.soundproofcow.com/produ..._vzM1T71oAYicjJbr-u6jvaq2dpp0UKBoCbOgQAvD_BwE
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2018 at 3:56 PM
  18. Nat

    Nat AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    12,543
    My experience is that, depending on where you place your hand, you can feel vibrations in most enclosures, even though I'm not sure that the hand is that sensitive to vibration - it's interesting to look at things like Stereophile's accelerometer test waterfall charts. Perhaps more important, it's pretty clear that not all resonance modes/frequencies are equal. Amplitude matters, as does how long resonances last, but what frequencies are involved matters also.
     
    transmaster likes this.

Share This Page