Wharfedale Denton 80th Anniversary, a non-professional review

Discussion in 'British Audio' started by BadassBob, Nov 3, 2014.

  1. superultra

    superultra Active Member

    Messages:
    128
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Thanks for sharing your experience beatcomber.

    I plan to keep using the Dentons for a least a month to see how the sound changes. I have a restored Kenwood KA-8100 headed my way soon, I'll give that a try too.

    The biggest difference between the Dentons and the KLHs right now is the openness and midrange. KLHs produce sounds I don't hear with the Dentons. I had a pair of restored Dynaco A-25's and they also lacked midrange compared to my KLHs. Could be I really prefer a 3-way speaker.
     
  2. chrisr2020

    chrisr2020 New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    Charlotte NC
    it's my experience too. My denton are 15 months old now and they still get better. If you can, why don't you keep them both superultra?
    Everytime I put my Totems or KEFs in my system, I itch to put the Denton back in. They sound so sweet, especially mid-field at moderate levels. At less than $500, why not having this pair nearby so you can swap?
     
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  3. JT-3

    JT-3 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,004
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Good to see this thread still going. Not an owner, but a good sign.
     
  4. superultra

    superultra Active Member

    Messages:
    128
    Location:
    San Francisco
    One of the limitations of studio living. I'm leaning towards selling my Fisher 800c and KLH 5's as a system to some lucky sob in the Bay Area...

    I'll keep the Dentons and see how they change over the next couple months.
     
    rxonmymind likes this.
  5. AmadeusMozart

    AmadeusMozart Active Member

    Messages:
    103
    Thanks to all that have contributed to this thread. I have put an order in for these, they should go well in the room with my computer and with my Audio Note push pull amplifier for background listening duty.

    edit: I will be adding a felt LS3/5A square around the tweeters to even out diffraction and treble response. (done this before and noticed the difference)

    https://www.falconacoustics.co.uk/c...7-felt-tweeter-squares-bbc-specification.html

    spendor-ls35a-bbc-15-ohm.jpg

    edit 2: Please make sure that when adding a felt square the original wool felt is used and not imitation synthetic material.

    http://www.speakerdesign.net/felt/felt_ring_vs_blocks.html

    AM
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
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  6. AmadeusMozart

    AmadeusMozart Active Member

    Messages:
    103
    Having now about 20 hours on these speakers I'll give my opinion for what it is worth. There was a noticeable difference from measurements taken at 12 hours and at 20 hours so it is certain that more changes will happen.

    To put things in prespective: I've had many different speakers during my life, from home built to expensive and well respected ones: sealed boxes, bass reflex, transmission line, Karlson, "metronomes", Voigt, open baffle, KEF constructor series CS1 and CS2, Focal 7" DIY bass reflex (slot loaded) kit, LS3/5A, LS5/12, Monitor Audio Studio 2, Monitor Audio Studio 12, Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 and now the Denton's.

    Wharfedale was not kidding when they mentioned that they tried to recreate the voicing of the earlier model. At that timeframe record players were the medium to play at home, occasionally a tape recorder and AM radio was the main one with later FM coming in. AM had a 5Khz audio bandwidth and FM had initially 12Khz and later 15Khz. Digital did not exist. HiFi was specified as -3db from 50 Hz to 15 Khz.

    The better amplifiers had rumble and noise filters. Rumble filters that had selectable cut-off frequencies of 80, 60 and 40 Hz. Noise filters had cutoff 5Khz, 7 Khz and 10 Khz. Both to help when a record was being played.

    As for the Denton: I use Foobar on the PC to play music and it has Mathaudio equalizer to adjust frequency response. Mathaudio (free) uses a microphone to adjust the frequency reponse to the room and also displays the speaker reponse in a graph. The treble in the Denton at 20 hours playing at a decent clip (too loud for near listening on a desk next to the computer) shows a drop off starting from about 7 Khz and around 4 - 5 dB down around 10 Khz. About 15dB down at 20Khz. Initially there was a gradual dip of approx 5dB centred around 2Khz but as time went on this became a lot less pronounced and shifted more upwards. I suspect it is the woofer / mid starting to loosen up.

    Voice reproduction is better than many others that I've heard but not to the level of being "almost realistic" as with the LS3/5A or the LS5/12. The best I ever heard was the LS3/5A with a KEF contructor CS1 on top and slightly rotated. Stupidly I wanted "more bass" and sold that combination off and have been searching ever since.
    The Monitor Audio speakers were annoying to me with a treble that I found "metallic" and "harsh". (same as the Focal that I had prior, since then I have stayed away from metal tweeters). Around approx 130 Hz is a 4 - 6db peak (L and R) and there is a smaller peak of a couple db around 250 hz. The bass I find "typical" of bass reflex and not as tight as in a transmission line or a mass loaded Voigt ("metronome" - but those become quickly too tall and ugly). I do get some room resonances with the Denton's which do not happen with LS3/5A or metronomes. (but the metronomes cannot be put on my desk so they are not a permanent option).

    Imaging is not as good as with a single driver (Fostex FE167E, Fostex FE1278E, Fostex FF105Wk or Fostex FF125WK) but to me it is very acceptable. Problem is that with a single driver setup I need to have "my head in a vice" otherwise I loose the imaging. With the Denton I can move quite a bit around and still have good imaging, the Denton's are far better than the Fostex when working at a desk.

    As expected with a 5" woofer/mid the drywall cannot be dislodged from the walls. No surprise there but bass levels are very respectable for a 5" and I prefer the bass above the LS3/5A. (It does help that I use a tube amplifier) For me the ~ 12 watt is more than enough in my office to produce uncomfortable near field listening levels. It does not produce the "slap" to the chest that the 98dB BR gives me (two Fostex FE167E / side).

    (We once went to a show home that was for sale. It had a genuine home theatre with theater chairs and a powerfull sound system where the walls rumbled with explosions and tanks rolling in the movie. Fasteners in the drywall were clearly visible and corners had lost some of their fillings. We immediately lost interest in purchasing the place.)

    Although these speakers have the same numbering they do not have the same sensitivity matching between the left and right box I reckon there is about 1.5dB difference between them. (e.g. for the LS3/5A I believe the specification is for less than 0.5 dB)

    For my office/library these are ideal, I do not have to adjust the volume as often as with the Fostex (that have more dynamics). They are more "polite" in respect that they do not draw the attention to errors in recording, music that is unlistenable on a single driver is now not too bad and listenable. At this stage it looks unlikely they'll finish up in the lounge. Horses for causes.

    I want to add felt squares and the frames of the grills have timber in places where there should not be timber. The labels are not sitting nice and square on the fronts which I find visibly annoying. Under certain light (from which direction is the light falling on them) the frames of the grills become noticeable. So it is likely that I will remove the grill cloth, reshape the frame (so that the felt squares can be used) and then use black speaker cloth and attach the label at the bottom corner (not enough space left when the felt is at the top).

    I will give another update when I arrive at approx 80 - 100 hrs of "running in", the speakers have now been used for 35 hours and the voices are still improving so it will be interesting where that eventually finishes up.

    AM
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
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  7. DanBNash

    DanBNash AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    403
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Mine just arrived last night - paid $399 on Amazon. I have wanted these since they came out and thanks to all who have reviewed on here. Mine replaced some micro-bookshelf Klipsch speakers that I enjoyed but wanted to bump up without breaking the bank. I've been playing some classical and jazz and will continue to break them in over the upcoming weeks. Someone (I think in this thread) mentioned how good these speakers are with spoken word/talk radio/sports talk and I've noticed that with the talk in between songs on my FM NPR/classical station. That's a nice bonus for me. As everyone knows these are beautiful speakers (I went with Walnut) even better looking in person. I'm running mine from my Marantz 2240B with a Thorens table and a little Bose bluetooth receiver. I'm glad I finally made this purchase, happy listening everyone.
     
  8. CKDC

    CKDC AK Subscriber Subscriber

    ^^^ Good choice on the walnut!

    The walnut speakers got a 5 star review on Amazon but the Red Mahogany only got 4.5.








    :biggrin:
     
  9. S-K

    S-K New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Any advantage getting the Dentons from Music Direct vice Amazon? Is it easier to deal with one vs the other if you get a defective product or do not like the sound?
     
  10. AmadeusMozart

    AmadeusMozart Active Member

    Messages:
    103
    Oops... The felt squares for the LS3/5A are a tad too large. At the moment that is just fine since they just gets squeezed enough between the pins that hold the grill and I can easy listen with and without them.

    It will be difficult to fit these in exactly as they are but as I like the sound with them I will be trying some alternative solutions. YMMV.

    DSC00978.JPG
     
  11. AmadeusMozart

    AmadeusMozart Active Member

    Messages:
    103
    DSC00979.JPG


    DSC00992.JPG

    OK - all done. Had to do surgery on the frame and reshape the LS3/5A felt (not as nice as I would have liked).

    I did not expect these ever to go into the living. However they will go there and be used with the television (only two channel, no home theatre here). The Denton's are happy in that role. It also helps that there is enough bass (for me) present.

    edit: I have been running these in my office 12 - 14hours / day so the hours soon add up. The speakers must have at a rough guess 70+ hours now on them and I did measure the response curve with Mathaudio. The new measurements were quite interesting.
    The "knee" where bass would drop off has shifted down from about 100Hz to approx 60Hz, the dip in the crossover region has disappeared and the "knee" for the treble has moved from about 7Khz to nearly 10Khz. It is amazing to notice how much they have changed. Everything sounds noticeably better. For having been bought at half of the RRP these are amazing.

    On a sidenote: Knowledgeable persons most likely are aware of this but it does not hurt to mention it again: do not trust the quality of the internal soundcard in a PC, they can be quite bad. I had to resort on one desktop model to an USB digital to analog converter and the difference was day and night. (could not upgrade the internal one) Even a relative cheap one like the Behringer UCA222 makes a large difference.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
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  12. Seamaster

    Seamaster AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    271
    Location:
    Seattle Area
    If you ask nicely, MD will give you 10% more discount on top of the sale price of $399, you just can’t beat that!
     
  13. Seamaster

    Seamaster AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    271
    Location:
    Seattle Area
    Has anyone tried to upgrade the corssover, wires, or speaker terminals on these?I see there is no screws on the bass drives, i mean, how they are attached to the cabinets?
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  14. Seamaster

    Seamaster AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    271
    Location:
    Seattle Area
    Can anyone help? Thanks
     
  15. mpribble

    mpribble Member

    Messages:
    98
    There is a rubber ring around woofer that can be pulled off and screws are behind there.
     
  16. Seamaster

    Seamaster AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    271
    Location:
    Seattle Area

    You mean this rubber seal/ring right?

    BCBF1FD5-0F96-4A68-BAB0-7F57C404C347.jpeg

    how is the rubber seal/ring attached to the box, glue, tape, or just pressed on? Sorry to ask because I don’t have the speakers yet.

    Thanks
     
  17. Seamaster

    Seamaster AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    271
    Location:
    Seattle Area
    OK, got my Denton today. The fit and finish are impressive, no less than my Tannoy Turnberry. I looked at all corners from the top to bottom, and I could not find any imperfection, so much for made in China, LOL......
     
  18. Seamaster

    Seamaster AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    271
    Location:
    Seattle Area
    What is the suggested stand height for Dentons? Sitting is sofa, and I am a short guy at 5’6” or 170cm, thanks
     

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