Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 vs 220 (?)

AJM1981

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I am looking around for a good budget speaker for a second setup. It doesn't have the highest priority because it has a good set already but since I have the Evo 4.2s and read that the whole modern line of Wharfedale is kind of solid I started to wonder.

What is the difference between the Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 and the 220?
 

AJM1981

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Thanks, that is helpful.

I was also searching for a review for the 12.0 model, but there are almost literally none.
 

AJM1981

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Did some practical measurements and went for the Wharfedale Diamond 12.0's.

I was in doubt because the 12.0s were 220 euros and the 12.1 just 60 euros more. So in terms of a "deal" that is a no brainer in favor for the 12.1s for probably everyone else.

The 12.1s seem to be clearly standmounts in dimensions and weight to my surprise (thought they would be a bit more light weight) . I prefer an illusion of space in the room and will put them on "real" shelves hanging on the wall at the right height on both corners of the bedroom (there is door in between which makes the choice in stereo between too narrow and slightly wide a preference in the latter for me) . For the place and purpose they serve the 12.1s were a bit overkill in size and weight.

If the 12.0s were scoring worse in tests I would have maybe chosen the 12.1s and figure something out but there was an online test in which they preferred the 12.0s in sound in the series was what made me cut the rope. :)

Delivery will be tomorrow..
 
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gasolin

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Did some practical measurements and went for the Wharfedale Diamond 12.0's.

I was in doubt because the 12.0s were 220 euros and the 12.1 just 60 euros more. So in terms of a "deal" that is a no brainer in favor for the 12.1s for probably everyone else.

The 12.1s seem to be clearly standmounts in dimensions and weight to my surprise (thought they would be a bit more light weight) . I prefer an illusion of space in the room and will put them on "real" shelves hanging on the wall at the right height on both corners of the bedroom (there is door in between which makes the choice in stereo between too narrow and slightly wide a preference in the latter for me) . For the place and purpose they serve the 12.1s were slightly overkill in size and weight.

If the 12.0s were scoring worse in tests I would have maybe chosen the 12.1s and figure something out but there was an online test in which they preferred the 12.0s in sound in the series was what made me cut the rope. :)

Delivery will be tomorrow..
Diamond 12.0 has almost no bass it only has a 4" woofer
 
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Diamond 12.0 has almost no bass it only has a 4" woofer
I think that's the case as no speakers of this size is going to have much bass output.
the OP intends to use them on a shelf so the bass issue will be pretty irrelevant in this position.
PS. Posted this before I saw his reference to a subwoofer that he hasn't mentioned before, this makes his initial question a tad odd.....
 
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AJM1981

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Doesn't matter if you don't have a high pass filter since it then will play bass only the subwoofer should play and are more likely to distort at high levels
Keep in mind that it is a second setup that is in use for around 20% of my listening time max.

For my main setup with the Evo 4.2s in the living room, the accoustic conditions and kind of speakers are just right and I don't see that many obstacles because my volumes levels for listening range from average to low are not eardrum blasting. They are going to be absolutely fine for the purpose they serve.
 

AJM1981

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I have the Diamond 12.0s up and running for a little week now and I am really satisfied.

- The sound they produce is much bigger than their size.
- They are quite neutral, as in not bright and not warm. The smaller Madison speakers they replace were brighter.
-All instruments sound lively as if someone would play them nearby. I know that this experience is probably more common in speakers of small footprint nowadays than decades ago.
- There is enough bass for my taste in the room it is installed in The bass instruments in Jazz and rock sound tight and rich in detail.
- If I take my 3-way Wharfedale evo 4. 2s as a reference then I would say that the Diamond slightly sound like a scaled down version of them with the Evo's providing a bit more air in the mid frequencies which is especially noticable in for example upright basses that also make quite an amount go on in the mids with some interaction of the fingers on the strings working to the treble section . Since the Evo's are larger and have a dome for the mids this might be an obvious difference. :)
 
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AJM1981

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Addition to this topic

The difference in design between the previous 11-and the current 12-series raises questions. I know the 12-series get excellent reviews like the current series, but the 11 series looks exactly like the current Evo series, but including a soft dome tweeter instead of an Amr one. They even seem to have a bass port at the bottom and a kevlar woofer like the Evo.

I am really satisfied with my 12.0s and there wasn't any choice as the 11 was not available anymore, but they are boxy whereas the 11.0 would have been more curved allowing even bigger models on a small footprint. A step back in design.
 
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Addition to this topic

The difference in design between the previews 11-and the current 12-series raises questions. I know the 12-series get excellent reviews like the current series, but the 11 series looks exactly like the current Evo series, but including a soft dome tweeter instead of an Amr one. They even seem to have a basspart at the bottom and a kevlar woofer like the Evo.

I am really satisfied with my 12.0s and there wasn't any choice as the 11 was not available anymore, but they are boxy whereas the 11.0 would have been more curved allowing even bigger models on a small footprint. A step back in design.
Debatable, it may be with updated drivers the added volume size obtained by not using curved sides may prove beneficial.
Agree that they don't look as good though..... :) and another reason to get them, and what would be crucial for me, is the position of the port in the 12's...... Not good.
 
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AJM1981

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There are also different dynamics in marketing choices between the two ranges. The models from 11.1 onwards are curved as seen on the image above. But the 11.0 is "just" a box, probably for the reason you mentioned. Which made the choice for the 11.1 more than obvious for doubting consumers and almost completely excludes the 11.0 as a serious option.

The 12.0 has been mentioned as a speaker that impresses a bit more for its footprint than the 12.1, but the 12.1 is probably more popular as it is more reviewed as the logical choice. Overall the 12- range is a bit more balanced in this context.

One last thing. According to a promotional message the Diamond series push the standards since its introduction. The 11.1 or 11.2 would definitely underline that vision as the Evo 4.1 is basically a hybrid between the cabinet and woofer of the 11.2 and the AMT tweeter of the Elysian.

I only don't know what the 12 series are pushing other than providing a logical entry level with the Evo's in the middle and the Elysians at the top end. The current diamond series are great in performance, but I don't see much potential in technology that will make it into any future higher range models.
 
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nopiano

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This is what makes budget speakers so interesting, because they are all about juggling compromises. The curved cabinets look way better but they’ve got to be more costly, and if rivals don’t do it, then Wharfedale have to save somewhere else.
I dug out my old Mission 760i speakers earlier this year. They’re almost 30 years old. And small enough to disappear behind a sheet of A4 paper. But aside from a bit of colouration on vocals sound surprisingly good, and great fun. So easy to enjoy. That’s what makes a great small speaker!
 
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AJM1981

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This is what makes budget speakers so interesting, because they are all about juggling compromises. The curved cabinets look way better but they’ve got to be more costly, and if rivals don’t do it, then Wharfedale have to save somewhere else.
I dug out my old Mission 760i speakers earlier this year. They’re almost 30 years old. And small enough to disappear behind a sheet of A4 paper. But aside from a bit of colouration on vocals sound surprisingly good, a great fun. So easy to enjoy. That’s what makes a great small speaker!
Definitely, budget and smaller speakers can be great performers and finding a pair that really pushes boundaries is fun. :)
 
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AJM1981

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Indeed, my brother swears by his 75th Anniversary Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 speakers, so much so he has just paid out for replacement woofers for each of them rather than looking for something else.
I am not surprised he wants to keep it. Whathifi here called it the best bookshelf they have ever reviewed in 2015 and that woofer probably is most of the reason that it is a timeless speaker.


It might have been around for a longer time but it went from the 9.

(skipped the 10 series, which had another woofer.)

to the 11s



skipped the 12s

and eventually the tweeter of its flagship and the woofer of its budget speaker became the higher ranged Evo series. The difference between the old 11.1 and the evo 4.1 should not be that big.


To this extend I kind of understand the hype around the Evo 4.2. because it didn't only add an AMT tweeter but a midrange dome as well for a really affordable price.



nonetheless the whole sequence in choices brought modern classics and I doubt the same woofer will return in future diamond speakers. :)
 
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May 12, 2022
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i'm in the same doubt of choosing these 2 products
the fact is that 12.2 is nearly double the price of 220diamond.. is worth?
 

AJM1981

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i'm in the same doubt of choosing these 2 products
the fact is that 12.2 is nearly double the price of 220diamond.. is worth?
When I started this topic I had yet to find out currently I have a better picture of it, also from first hand experience. My own references are the Evo 4.2, Diamond 11.2 and 12.0

When placing things in line What Hifi described the Diamond 9.1 as a milestone in positive change in the series and rated at 5 stars. They also mentioned later on that later models improved on the basics of the 9.1.

The 11.1 was the last model with a curved cabinet which slightly gives more depth to the midrange, transfered to the Evo series. Little minor notice of the Diamond 11.1 was the bass, often described as slightly wooly. But no dealbreaker. I picked up a new pair of 11.2 for a fair price and added a good sub to it. I like them for the space I use them in.

The 12 series designed by Fink put focus on cabinet damping and seem to have more clarity in the bass. It is almost uniformally noticed as an upgrade from the 11 series. The 12.0 which I own is the smallest in range but is really heavy for its size and provides really clear details.

The 220 is in terms of signature quite comparable with the 11 series but has slightly deeper bass extension.

The 220 should be an enjoyable speaker. It seems that if you slightly modify the height of the distance of the bottom bass port and the bottom plate, it improves the bass a little more.

If you have the budget for it I'd surely recommend the Diamond 12.1 over the 220. But given that you would have that budget I would take neither of them and go straight for the Evo 4.1. Which in technical sense is like combining the best of the Diamond 11 and elements of the Elysian 1. You would not regret that a single day. Those are speakers for a lifetime.
 
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May 12, 2022
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When I started this topic I had yet to find out currently I have a better picture of it, also from first hand experience. My own references are the Evo 4.2, Diamond 11.2 and 12.0

When placing things in line What Hifi described the Diamond 9.1 as a milestone in positive change in the series and rated at 5 stars. They also mentioned later on that later models improved on the basics of the 9.1.

The 11.1 was the last model with a curved cabinet which slightly gives more depth to the midrange, transfered to the Evo series. Little minor notice of the Diamond 11.1 was the bass, often described as slightly wooly. But no dealbreaker. I picked up a new pair of 11.2 for a fair price and added a good sub to it. I like them for the space I use them in.

The 12 series designed by Fink put focus on cabinet damping and seem to have more clarity in the bass. It is almost uniformally noticed as an upgrade from the 11 series. The 12.0 which I own is the smallest in range but is really heavy for its size and provides really clear details.

The 220 is in terms of signature quite comparable with the 11 series but has slightly deeper bass extension.

The 220 should be an enjoyable speaker. It seems that if you slightly modify the height of the distance of the bottom bass port and the bottom plate, it improves the bass a little more.

If you have the budget for it I'd surely recommend the Diamond 12.1 over the 220. But given that you would have that budget I would take neither of them and go straight for the Evo 4.1. Which in technical sense is like combining the best of the Diamond 11 and elements of the Elysian 1. You would not regret that a single day. Those are speakers for a lifetime.
ok for the 12.2 but i have few space in the rear.. only 8cm, they would sound worse?
 

AJM1981

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ok for the 12.2 but i have few space in the rear.. only 8cm, they would sound worse?
Unlike the front ported 9 and bottom ported 11 series, the 12.2 is rear ported so wall distance matters. But given that the 12 series are heavier and well stuffed they are more forgiving. Since there are slight limitations I would care a bit more about de-reverb'ing the room than about the backwall on a checklist. My 12. 0s were also quite close to a wall but I didnt notice many problems with the output. They have a surprising amount of controlled bass for their format.
 
May 12, 2022
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Unlike the front ported 9 and bottom ported 11 series, the 12.2 is rear ported so wall distance matters. But given that the 12 series are heavier and well stuffed they are more forgiving. Since there are slight limitations I would care a bit more about de-reverb'ing the room than about the backwall on a checklist. My 12. 0s were also quite close to a wall but I didnt notice many problems with the output. They have a surprising amount of controlled bass for their format.
the evo 4.1 are so much better than 12.2 in your opinion?
 

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