Specifications for the Achromatic W series Wharfedales 1972

Discussion in 'British Audio' started by transmaster, Oct 29, 2018.

  1. transmaster

    transmaster AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Here are the specifications for the Achromatic line of Wharfedale Speakers as of 1972.

    Source: Audio magazine March 1972 , Vol. 56, No. 3

    The Achromatic line up were Wharfedales move into acoustic suspended speakers. I have never had the opportunity to listen to the ported Wharfedales from the 1960's but to my ears (wish I still had those ears) back in the early 1970's the Wharfedales were the equal if not better than the Acoustic Research Speakers of the time when similar models were compared. Note the maximum power levels. Keep in mind audio amps did not have the actual power levels of today's rigs. Going the vintage route solid state wise is a waste as so much of it was junk there are exceptions to the rule. My brother's Sansui AU-9500 is an example. The JVC Super Digifine integrated amp I once had was another example. The best bang for the buck today is a quality Class “D” audio amp. I have been reading about them in the Audiophile blogs and it interesting to note these amp have the characteristics of a class “A” amp but are far more efficient. I can tell you first hand the Dayton Audio DTA-120BT class “D” amp and my W35's and W45's is a fantastic match. It is so nice not having to worry about over powering these W's,
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
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  2. transmaster

    transmaster AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    W80A Variflex

    12” Wharfedale woofer, Resonance point 40Hz
    Acoustic Suspension.
    5” Cone midrange
    3” Dome midrange
    1” Dome Tweeter
    Frequency response:20 to 20,000++Hz
    Power input: 30min, Max 100 Watts
    Crossover points: 500 1,500, 6000 Hz
    Impedance: 8 Ohm
    Dimensions: 171/4” x 28” x 17”
    Cabinet: Oiled walnut veneer
    Grill: Cloth
    weight: 85 pounds
    Price (1972) $319.00

    The W80A was Wharfedales answer to the Bose 901. In it's description it said that it is was not sensitive to room acoustics and it has numerous ways to position the speakers, Today this is a very rare Wharfedale speaker, there is a demonstration of the Variflex speaker on YouTube and the person has it turned around and is playing it as a conventional speaker. It has an upward, or side firing 12” woofer depending on the speakers positioning. Upward firing woofers are not a good idea from an environmental perspective, imagine listening to beautiful music only to hear that something is bouncing around on the upward firing speaker cone.

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    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
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  3. transmaster

    transmaster AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    W70E

    15” Wharfedale Woofer, Resonance point 40Hz
    Acoustic. Suspension.
    5” Cone midrange
    1” Dome tweeter
    Frequency response: 25 – 20,000Hz
    Power input: 15 min, 75 max
    Crossover points: 600Hz 5,000Hz
    Impedance 8 Ohms
    Dimensions: 22 1/8” x 24” x 13 1/4”
    Cabinet: Oiled walnut veneer
    Grill: Brown Cloth with gold metal trim
    Weight: 56 pounds
    Price (1972) $223.00

    Continuously variable tweeter, and midrange level controls can be vertically or horizontally positioned.
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    .
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
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  4. transmaster

    transmaster AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    W60E

    12” Wharfedale Woofer; Resonance point 45
    Acoustic. Suspension.
    6” Cone midrange
    1” Dome tweeter
    Frequency response: 30 to 20,000 Hz
    Power input: 15 Watt min, 60 Watts Max
    Crossover points: 750Hz 5,000Hz
    Impedance: 8 Ohms
    Dimensions: 24” x 15” x 12”
    Cabinet: Oiled walnut veneer
    Grill: Brown Cloth with gold metal trim
    Weight: 55 pounds
    Price (1972) $153.00

    Continuously variable tweeter and midrange level controls.

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    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
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  5. transmaster

    transmaster AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    W45

    10” Wharfedale Woofer; Resonance point 56 Hz
    Acoustic. Suspension.
    3 ¼ cone midrange
    2 ½ cone tweeter
    Frequency: 30Hz to 18,500Hz
    Power Input: 10 Watt min, 45 Watts Max
    Crossover Points: 1,000Hz, 4,000Hz
    Impedance: 8 Ohms
    Dimensions: 12” x 22” x 10”
    Cabinet: Oiled walnut veneer
    Grill: brown cloth with gold metal trim
    Weight: 35 pounds
    Price (1972) $117.00

    Continuously variable level controls for the tweeter and midrange. Can be orientated vertically or horizontally. The W45 was considered to be a book shelf speaker. My examples are horizontally positioned and they work very well that way with the woofer inside and the tweeter and midrange on the outside to increase separation. The W45 is a rare speaker these days and it is a real sweetie. The W45 is wonderful with classical, Baroque, small room jazz, lounge music, chamber music, etc. The W45 is not a tiring speaker to listen too.

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    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
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  6. transmaster

    transmaster AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    W35

    8” BIC Woofer; Resonance point: 60Hz
    Acoustic. Suspension
    3 ¼ cone midrange
    2 ½ cone tweeter
    Frequency response: 35hz to 18,500Hz
    Power Input: 10 Watts min, 40 Watts max
    Crossover points: 1,200Hz, 5,000Hz
    Impedance: 8 Ohms
    Dimensions: 15' x 15' x 8”
    Cabinet: Oiled walnut veneer
    Grill: Brown cloth with gold metal trim
    weight: 19 pounds
    Price (1972) $82.00

    Continuously variable level controls for the tweeter and midrange. The W35 was Wharfedale's Quadraphonic speaker. Quadraphonic media was just coming out in 1970. The squarish shape of this speaker with it's beveled rear corners were were designed to be mounted on the walls in the corners of rooms using optional mounting brackets. This is a excellent speaker wonderful clear interior articulated sound, the British sound, it differs from the W45 with just slightly less bass extension. with music like chamber music, string quartets there is very little difference.
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    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
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  7. transmaster

    transmaster AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    W25

    8” BIC Woofer; Resonance point 65 Hz
    Acoustic. Suspension.
    2 ½” cone tweeter
    Frequency response: 35Hz to 18,500Hz
    Power Input: 10 Watts min, 35 Watts Max
    Crossover point: 1,500hz
    Impedance: 8 Ohms
    Dimensions: 15 ½ x 10” x 8'
    Cabinet: Oiled walnut veneer
    Grill: Brown Cloth with gold metal trim
    weight: 15 pounds
    Price (1972) $58.75

    Continuously variable level control for the tweeter. I once had this speaker and the W25 was the AR killer for me. In 1973 I had a pair of AR-7's the W25's blew them out of the water. Not only did they sound better but they looked better. While the AR's sounded good I have always thought they were ugly to look at. Wharfedales of that time had beautiful cabinetry.
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    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
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  8. infullview

    infullview AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Transmaster, where on earth did you find specs for these? I looked everywhere and found nothing except some magazine adverts with general specifications. Do you know when the E series came out and how long they were made? I tested my W70Es and found the resonant point was 36Hz (very pronounced). Resonance free air resonance of the 15 inch driver is 24Hz.
     
  9. transmaster

    transmaster AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    The Achromatic Wharfedale line was introduced in the fall of 1970, I am unsure when it was superseded. My W35’s I personally purchased new in 1972. The problem now is Wharfedale did not spend much money on national advertising. The Wharfedale was essentially an East Coast brand, centering on New England. The way it worked back then was if you did not fork over for ad’s you were not featured in articles. I have only found lab tests in Stereo Review for the W25, and the W60E. The vaunted Julian Lab test for the W25 was a condescending turd. They compared it to the AR-7 and found it, of course, to be wanting. BS I had both speakers the W25 is far better than the AR-7. AR purchased numerous full-page spreads in Stereo Review the editors were not going to slay the fatted calf.

    The source for the spec’s which I had been looking for for years just like you I found in the March 1972 Audio Magazine which was their annual speaker issue. Audio Magazine was one of the few periodicals Wharfedale advertised in.
    Here is the treasure vault I found it in.
    https://www.americanradiohistory.com/
     
  10. infullview

    infullview AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Wharfedale is Brutish not New England.
     
  11. transmaster

    transmaster AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Of course they are English. Wharfedale Wireless was founded in Bradford, West Yorkshire. in 1932 by Gilbert Briggs. What I was referring was the Wharfedale speaker was not really at national brand at the time and were mainly marketed in the New England states. Mr. Briggs flew to New York, City in 1953 to establish Warfedale in the USA. Their US office was located in Westbury EL. New York.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018

     

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  12. transmaster

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    The wireless moniker came from Gilbert Briggs development of the permanent magnet speaker motor. He was also an early pioneer of multi-driver speakers. His early crossover needed 2 people to move.
     
  13. transmaster

    transmaster AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    There is off hand references to ”the American Wharfedales”. I have never been able to pin this down for sure. But I have come to believe the W25, 35, and 45 were assembled stateside. I have never found a reference to these 3 speakers outside of the US. The cabinets were made here. With the speakers and crossovers coming from the UK.

    There was a speaker cabinet manufacturing industry in Missouri. These cabinetry companies made speaker cases, and console stereo furniture to order for numerous audio marques.

    The problem with Wharfedale is I have run across references to a fire sometime in the 1980’s ??? that destroyed the Wharfedale archives. I have not been able to document this either.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
  14. infullview

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    Ya, I ran into the same brick wall too when I was looking for any kind of documentation. How does a company loose *all* of it design information and history in one fire!? Not very good business planning that's for sure.
     
  15. Drugolf

    Drugolf AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Record keeping then is not what we think of it today.

    Good compilation transmaster. I have a couple different W70 versions and the W35 in my collection, plus various parts scattered around here. With a glance over to the bookcase adjacent to my desk I can see two of the purple tweeters that actually work.

    The W35 is a surprisingly good sounding speaker. I paired them up with a Janis subwoofer and it was a great sound.

    The W70's are okay at best, but I still need to recap them. PIO caps are sitting on my bench in anticipation of doing so.

    I have found through the years that Wharfedale was very inconsistent with their model numbers and compliment of drivers, design and specification within each model. Nothing is a given. The US Made Achromatic line is likely a little bit more consistent as are the few assembled in Hong Kong under the Radio People badge. Seems like in England they just threw together whatever parts they had over time to some extent, although still very similar. The technology of driver design was changing fairly quickly through those years with Briggs right in there being part of all that.
     
  16. infullview

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    To follow on to your assertion that they were constantly tinkering. I had to replace one of the drivers on my W70E's. I found a 15 inch replacement on ebay from an earlier model that was rear mounted. I installed it and am happy to have a completed working pair, but I think the older speaker is more compliant than the newer one as it tends to overdrive (bottom out) more easily. I think this speaker probably came from a ported box and was made to drive with less power. I still have the original speaker that came out of this set, and my plan is to fix the damaged bobbin. Whoever owned these before me, drove the speaker for a prolonged amount of time with too much power and deformed the VC. I unbolted the magnet to assess the damage and found that the coil got hot enough to melt the epoxy and slide down a bit in one location. My plan is to order a 2 inch cylindar of aluminum ($12 on ebay), polish it and use a heat gun while pushing the polished aluminum round into the VC. Will also try to push the VC wires back in place. If I can get the wire back in place, I'll coat the VC with high temperature epoxy to ensure it doesn't move again. If this fails, does anyone know of any resource that would be able to repair/rewind the VC?
     

     

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  17. transmaster

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    I don’t know if this will help:
    https://thelordofbass.com/product-category/loud-speaker-parts/voice-coil/2-voice-coils/ This outfit might be able to do a custom, it would be worth asking.

    My W45 is a good example. There is another thread on this forum back a few years about this speaker. The W45 had a crossover with 2 NPE’s there is a hand sketch of it’s schematic posted there. My example has a 3 NPE crossover just like the W35. Why??? well, the answer came up a little later. The are 2 Wharfedale 10” woofers. The first and my example has a cylindrical magnet, the second and later version had a square magnet. The 10” woofer with the square magnet is tagged with a sticker stating ”6 Ohms DC”. I just landed a full set of drivers from a pair of parted out W45’s this set has square magnets sadly he didn’t have the crossovers. The tweeter and midrange are OK but the Woofer is going to need the 2 NPE crossover. It would be fairly easy to assemble one with modern parts the crossover is the same except for the value of the inductor in the woofer part of it. As I reported in another thread I recapped both the W35, and W45 with Mundorf E-Cap Plain NPE’s and I am very pleased with the results.

    The record keeping part is frustrating. The UK has never had the requirements for keeping business records like the US.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018

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