Wharfedale W70 open baffle conversion

Discussion in 'British Audio' started by Sam08861, Feb 1, 2018.

?

Should I

  1. Part and sell the W70 components

    33.3%
  2. Sell these early W70s either fixed or as is

    66.7%
  3. Experiment with trying to create good sounding open baffles out of these drivers

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Sam08861

    Sam08861 Active Member

    Messages:
    301
    Location:
    Northwestern NJ
    I've got a Wharfedale 60D Mark II pair that are acoustic suspension and I've been very happy with them. Good crisp response and enough bass and clean highs.

    I also have a pair of very early all alnico W70s that are ported. While these sound pretty good, with complex music having multiple bass lines, I feel like they get pretty muddy. I've replace the military 'Arrow' pio caps with russian KBGs and not much change.

    Having read up a bit on open baffle designs, I thought I'd give taking the W70 drivers and putting them into an open baffle design. Also, it looks like the mids in my boxes may be 10" items instead of 8"

    Tweeters are the alnico super 3's

    I'll have to measure the mids later, but to me they are almost as big as the 12.5" woofers. So perhaps I'm seeing things or this was how the early W70s came.

    Any thoughts or suggestions?

    The cabinets themselves are now structurally sound now that I've 'bondoed' the corners and replaced portions of veneer so they pass the 5' test, but really need full sheets on all faces to look perfect. (I've got an old thread showing the repairs) I do have a very large sheet of walnut veneer, but haven't had the time to 'install' it.

    Should I...

    1. Reveneer them and sell them to someone who will love them and use the money for better speakers?

    (Or perhaps I can sell them as is along with the veneer to someone who wants to DIY)

    2. Have some fun experimenting and go for creating the open baffle?

    This would be a diy ground up creation and I'd surely need advise from the experts on whether or not the drivers would be OK for open baffle design. Ive seen the SFBs but understand those drivers are totally different and purpose built, or at least the cones were modified to have softer throw for the open design and upward tweeter firing.

    3. Part out the speakers and use the money to buy better speakers?

    Not sure if these are far and few or which would net more cash in a sale, option 1 or 3.

    Any and all comments and opinions welcome!
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018

     

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  2. markkb

    markkb Active Member

    Messages:
    163
    Location:
    Mountain View, CA
    Wow, two votes, one to part out and my vote to keep as is. I'm a fan of the early ported W60's and W70's. The all Alnico versions are certainly more rare, so I would strongly say keep them together and sell as is, hopefully to someone who will keep them together. Is the tweeter Alnico too? If so i would say please keep them together. I know there will be a tipping point when intact speakers will be worth more since I see so many drivers being offered on ebay. I don't find the bass muddy, and I do have speakers that pop bass which i like as well, but I would say the early ported speakers have a real nice coherence with accurate bass. They do real well with classical and jazz, not so much with Led Zep Whole lotta love.
    Your right the mids are almost as big as the woofers, 9 3/4" across. Of note, they kept the alnico mids when they went to the ceramic super 3 tweeters and woofers.
    I have a second pair of beat-up-cabinet ported W70s that i was thinking of doing an open baffle ala an SFB-3 design as well. If you look at the SFB-3, they have a 10" mid. You could do that, and keep the cabinets around if the baffle doesn't work out to your satisfaction.
    good luck, I'm listening to my early alnico ported W60's now through my sony STR-7045 and they sound sweet.
     
  3. Sam08861

    Sam08861 Active Member

    Messages:
    301
    Location:
    Northwestern NJ
    Thanks for the info markkb! The tweeters are alnico super 3s as well.

    I moved them over to my voice of music 6v6gt based tube amp console and they seem to be a good match. Keeping them for now and will likely go ahead and re-veneer them to keep the wife happy and if I sell them, less work for the next guy.

    Sam
     
  4. markkb

    markkb Active Member

    Messages:
    163
    Location:
    Mountain View, CA
    Wow Alnico tweeters, those are early. I have have ceramic tweeters and Alnico mid and woofer. Mine are the radio people manufactured, so no Wharfedale serial numbers. What badge are on yours, the rectangular Wharfedale badge?

    I’d say veneer them, from my perspective they have unique value as an all Alnico driver set. I do think they developed the ceramic magnet drivers to give the same performance and sound, I swapped some Alnico woofers into my W60’s and didn’t notice a difference from the ceramics so perhaps it’s just vintage mystique but the Alnico Wharfedales are beautiful drivers. Driving with a tube amp would be the ticket. Uh huh. The Grateful Dead sounds real good on them.
    If you do veneer, return with a thread on that!
     
  5. Sam08861

    Sam08861 Active Member

    Messages:
    301
    Location:
    Northwestern NJ
    These have rectangular gold foil stickers with the BIC logo in the cutout for the speaker terminals and the serial numbers are 18691 and 18697.

    I've got to find some dead on vinyl!

    I've got the veneer roll already, along with some fresh contact cement, so I'll post those photos as soon as I get em 'installed'
     

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