Is the Wharfedale Evo 4.1 problematic?


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I am orientating for my second setup and looking for a solid enjoyable speaker to maybe replace the Diamond 11.2 for the upcoming decades. The Diamond 12.2 and Evo 4.1 are good candidates.

However, following some discussions online there seems to be kind of little struggle among a niche group of users that state the Evo 4.1 performs better than the Evo 4.2. It caught my attention because I've read a lot about the Evo 4.2 up to notes from the designers and there are measures and a design philosophy supporting the choices made for the Evo 4.2 3-way system with the midrange driver solving a complication between the woofer and the AMT tweeter. Resulting in a speaker with balanced measures that sounds well. It has picked up a few prizes along the way and apart from the fact of mild criticism that it doesn't deliver other sound signatures (no, it's not punchy or cool sounding in its output) than the one it produces, there is not much worth mentioning.

Same design formula that applies to the 4.2 is used beyond the 4.2 up to the largest floorstander in the series.

However, the smallest 4.1 is a bit of an "odd duckling" of the whole series and kind of throws all this struggle in choices and philosophy overboard and somehow the team worked around their issues with the crossover in direct placement of the AMT tweeter above the woofer.

Note worthy is that there is nowhere really a comparison between the 4.2 and 4.1, so I wonder where this niche group draws their conclusions from.

Second to that; the "pro" user reviews on various Youtube channels are unanimously positive about the 4.1. which I consider to be something to take into account, because the weightshift should be on how an average consumer perceives something rather than how it measures on its own.

But audiosciencereview completely disagrees on the fact that this is a quality speaker and comes with the following conclusion about the 4.1 .

Expectations are high when you go up from a few hundred dollars and are dealing with a small bookshelf speaker. I am afraid Wharfedale seems to have gone for marketing sound here rather than high fidelity. There is no excuse for that resonances in treble other than to please people in short-term listening and showroom setting. It is a shame as I think they could have corrected for it. There are some positives in the form of the passive radiator that keeps internal resonances inside the box. And decent directivity index allowing equalization.

implying that an improvised workaround on the crossover of the 4.1 has been applied to the problem the team fully tackled with the midrange dome of the Evo 4.2 and beyond, resulting in some flaws for the 4.1

I don't know if this is a dealbreaker but after reading this I kind of focused more on the Diamond 12.2. I wonder if the Evo 4.1 is still worth it :)

Anyone with experience or with a good estimated guess?
Based on experiences of other ranges of modestly priced speakers, there’s usually one that hits the sweet spot and one that’s a bit of a disappointment.

A clue can be the version most often reviewed at launch. Unsurprisingly, the manufacturers usually send out the one they think works best. Several decades ago when I worked part-time in a Hifi shop I occasionally got to hear a new range. The sales rep had brought them all in his car or van, typically five different pairs. My shop manager had pretty good ears and was fairly ruthless too. He’d want just one or two from the five. Naturally, the rep wanted him to take all five! The compromise was often one of each, for the display, and say a dozen of the ones that seemed most likely to sell.

No guessing why when a range ends, that not every model gets discounted. A couple never sold as well and end up in Richer Sounds or Sevenoaks at 40% off.

I’ve never heard the Evo, but I’m sure some are better than others, mostly by accident. Or the mass production doesn’t suit one model, even though the prototypes all sounded great. Just the reality of the mass market I’m afraid.
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Mar 2, 2023
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I originally purchased the 12.2 based on the hype and the reviews my good experience with the 9.1

To put is simple 12.2 for desktop use is a box of distortion, I've then got the evo 4.1 and it's just incredible. Clarity, base soundstage, they are simply audiophile territory. Maybe they need a good amp, I'm using Nad c275. I like them so much, I got a second pair for my home theater


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