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Wharfedale Evo Series 4.2 vs 4.3

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nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
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I'm aware the LS50 doesn't provide much in the way of lower bass but can you tell me if it has that punchy energy I am searching for? How does it sound with rolling kick drums for example? What amp do you have it paired with?
I find it hard to say, to be honest, but they are very neutral on speech - to me one of the ultimate tests, along with the grand piano. If yours sound at all chesty or thick on spoken voice at natural levels (try live news from a BBC studio, say BBC Radio 4), then they’ll probably be fine on music but aren’t strictly as accurate.

I’m not sure I know what rolling kick drums are, but if you can give me a musical example I can find it on Qobuz - as long it’s as not too obscure! I don’t own the KEFs any more, but only because I hadn’t the storage. Obviously my ATCs are better, but over four times the price. I could live with the KEFs though.

I used my integrated amp, a Primare I32, which is a 2x120 watt 8 ohm design, tested at 160wpc plus. (In this pic it’s in the middle, with the Rega phono stage on top)


View: https://i.imgur.com/r8ttUo2.jpg
 
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AJM1981

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2021
96
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70
Old time pre-war microphones had trouble recording drums. It would surprise me if there would be anything in the arsenal of actions on instruments that a modern speaker can't do well.
 

GoodVibes

Active member
Jan 31, 2021
17
2
25
I find it hard to say, to be honest, but they are very neutral on speech - to me one of the ultimate tests, along with the grand piano. If yours sound at all chesty or thick on spoken voice at natural levels (try live news from a BBC studio, say BBC Radio 4), then they’ll probably be fine on music but aren’t strictly as accurate.

I’m not sure I know what rolling kick drums are, but if you can give me a musical example I can find it on Qobuz - as long it’s as not too obscure! I don’t own the KEFs any more, but only because I hadn’t the storage. Obviously my ATCs are better, but over four times the price. I could live with the KEFs though.

I used my integrated amp, a Primare I32, which is a 2x120 watt 8 ohm design, tested at 160wpc plus. (In this pic it’s in the middle, with the Rega phono stage on top)


View: https://i.imgur.com/r8ttUo2.jpg
That is a nice setup you have. I am at the beginning of this new found hobby but the dream is to have a dedicated music room with similar set up. I'll pick out a few songs with examples of that pop/punch/kick/hit energy that I have noticed is lacking in the Evo's. Hopefully you won't be too disturbed by my tastes in music lol.
 
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andybebbs

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2020
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been looking at the wharfedale evo series 4.3 or 4.4 as an upgrade from my kef q550 so interested to see where this thread goes.


f
 

CheshirePete

Active member
Oct 12, 2020
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I notice you say you are getting plenty of punch out of the Evo's. I have a Cambridge Audio CXA 81 and I am not getting anything close to a punch. Kick drums come through with more of a tap. I have wondred if a more powerful amp may unlock that punch energy I crave. Can I ask what kind of music you listen to on them?
I do listen to a broad range of music including plenty of rock music as well. I hadn't noticed the lack of upper bass/lower mid frequency, perhaps I am just not that observant.

I will do some more A/B comparisons although I'm comparing against Spendor A5's, which are often categorised as laid back.

I suppose it is all relative.
 

GoodVibes

Active member
Jan 31, 2021
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I do listen to a broad range of music including plenty of rock music as well. I hadn't noticed the lack of upper bass/lower mid frequency, perhaps I am just not that observant.

I will do some more A/B comparisons although I'm comparing against Spendor A5's, which are often categorised as laid back.

I suppose it is all relative.
Your amp has a lot more muscle than mine (CXA 81) so it could be a key to what I'm missing. I don't have another amp to discover what difference it could make to the speakers but I'd like to be able to do some experimenting. I hope the A/B testing dosen't draw your attention to something you are unhappy with. For me, the A/B test confirmed something I had felt but not been able to articulate until I could feel the difference. A song with a kick drum that isn't accompanied with a bass note is where the missing energy became apparent. The sound is there but its faint, lacking impact and an energetic song becomes a little too laid back (On my set up).
 

GoodVibes

Active member
Jan 31, 2021
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I am pretty tolerant of styles that I might not necessarily chose myself! I might even enjoy them... :p
I could name a few songs for you now but I'm going to spend an evening with my Wife A/B testing songs from various genres that display the strengths and weakness of the Evo's so that I can write a decent review. Hopefully I'll get to do that this weekend and I'll send you a few songs to see how they come across on your setup.
 
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CheshirePete

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Oct 12, 2020
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Your amp has a lot more muscle than mine (CXA 81) so it could be a key to what I'm missing. I don't have another amp to discover what difference it could make to the speakers but I'd like to be able to do some experimenting. I hope the A/B testing dosen't draw your attention to something you are unhappy with. For me, the A/B test confirmed something I had felt but not been able to articulate until I could feel the difference. A song with a kick drum that isn't accompanied with a bass note is where the missing energy became apparent. The sound is there but its faint, lacking impact and an energetic song becomes a little too laid back (On my set up).
Being an audiophile often means we are never happy and always looking for that bit extra.

Because of a mix up at Amazon, I got these speakers for free (they offered me a refund and said not to return them) ........ so I have lost nothing.

The next thing for me is to have a dabble with a minidsp device.
 

Dmode101

Active member
Nov 9, 2020
11
3
25
I have had the 4.2's since Feb (paired with CXA 81) and have listened to them extensively. They look beautiful, are very well made and reproduce voices and instruments fantastically well. If you can give them the space they deserve and feed them the right music they can produce a truly magical listening experience. If your listening preferences are maily suited to down-mid tempo music ie Blues, Jazz, Acoustic etc, these could be the best option at this price point and beyond. Highly recommended.

However, if your favourite genres are more energetic such as Rock, Dance, D&B & Hip Hop etc my advice to anyone considering these speakers is that you should search for a pair that caters better for those genres. The 4.2's still sound great with those styles of music however I have come to realise that there is an ingredient missing that is vital to the enjoyment of uptempo music. After one month of listening of the 4.2's I started to notice something wasn't quite as I remember my old favourite songs to be. I hooked up my 15-20 year old Heybrook HB1's to do a comparison. They HB1's don't sound as detailed, smooth or full bodied, the soundstage isn't as wide and the overall presentation is not camparable at all BUT within seconds of pressing play I got a feeling that is almost absent in the 4.2's... The HB1's offer more in the way of responsiveness, punch and dynamics with a touch more brightness to them that seemed to lift a veil off the music. Those factors combined gave me that feeling that made me want to move and groove to the music. I hooked up the 4.2's and played the same songs and my heart broke a little as I realised these beautiful speakers I have fallen in love with don't have something which for me, is vital to my enjoyment of music. Kick drums play an imporant role in Rock, Dance, Hip Hop, D&B and sadly the 4.2's are very weak in that department. The sound is there but its more of a tap rather than a punch. In some songs the HB1's revealed a rhythmic grove that was actually non existant in the Evo's.

If the Evo's had a little more punch to them I would be in speaker heaven. I have wondered if a good subwoofer could fill in the missing gaps but it seem like overkill as they already produce wonderful lower bass and so I think my money would be best spent on a more suitable set of speakers.

When I get time I will do a bit more A/B testing so I can better describe my feelings on them and I'll post a review on here.

I think the pefect speakers for me would be somewhere inbetween the B&W 606 and the Evo 4.2's. Not quite as fatiguing as the 606 yet not as laid back as the Evo's. If anyone has any knowledge of such a speaker I would be thankful for the advice. Finding a pair of speakers that can compliment the CXA 81 is proving a little tricky.
GoodVibes.
I know i recommended you 4.2s and I'm sad to hear your having a bad time trying to get the right sound from a pair of speakers i fully understand lord knows I've had so many speakers its insane and i somewhat agree with you as fantastic as they are there's this ever so slight vail to the mid/bass region that just bugged me so I've had these little gems sitting in my cupboard never really gave them a chance before when i had my old amp. but thought nothing to lose set them up to cxa-81 and bloody hell this sound that came from them is truly remarkable and improving the more i listen to them, now these speakers are tiny. its aw dropping what these fighsty things throw at you.
even at extremely low volumes no higher than 8 on the volume dial everything's there. i really don't think you need to change the amp its just getting the right speakers that suits your taste and gel with the amp.

fingers crossed for you sir you'll get there.
 
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RoA

Well-known member
Feb 11, 2021
153
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170
It's all about matching. I would suggest trying a good class D amplifier, such as those with IEC or Hypex modules with the Evo. Those have the punch and control required to liven up slightly reticent speakers.

The Kef LS50's are fantastic speakers and have decent extension/punch. Very advanced drivers.

Another speaker I would suggest are those from Quad, Wharfedale's sister company and also part of IAG.
 

GoodVibes

Active member
Jan 31, 2021
17
2
25
GoodVibes.
I know i recommended you 4.2s and I'm sad to hear your having a bad time trying to get the right sound from a pair of speakers i fully understand lord knows I've had so many speakers its insane and i somewhat agree with you as fantastic as they are there's this ever so slight vail to the mid/bass region that just bugged me so I've had these little gems sitting in my cupboard never really gave them a chance before when i had my old amp. but thought nothing to lose set them up to cxa-81 and bloody hell this sound that came from them is truly remarkable and improving the more i listen to them, now these speakers are tiny. its aw dropping what these fighsty things throw at you.
even at extremely low volumes no higher than 8 on the volume dial everything's there. i really don't think you need to change the amp its just getting the right speakers that suits your taste and gel with the amp.

fingers crossed for you sir you'll get there.
When I spoke to you for your opinion I had already made my mind up that I was getting either the 4.1 & 4.2 and I'm glad you encouraged me to opt for the 4.2. Great speakers! I have had some magical listening experiences with them but like you that missing element is bugging me when listening to certain songs. I feel like they have spoilt me somewhat because the next set of speakers I get have got a lot to live up to. Don't think I can bring myself to sell them without knowing 100% that the speakers replacing them are worthy so I'm going to save for a new pair and give them an extensive A/B testing before I can let them go lol.

Are you refering to the Dynaudio Emit M10's? The M20's have been on my radar, I read that they have that punch energy I'm looking for but I have also read some comments that they can sound a bit harsh in the higher frequencies which is a little off putting. How would you characterize their sound?
 

GoodVibes

Active member
Jan 31, 2021
17
2
25
Being an audiophile often means we are never happy and always looking for that bit extra.

Because of a mix up at Amazon, I got these speakers for free (they offered me a refund and said not to return them) ........ so I have lost nothing.

The next thing for me is to have a dabble with a minidsp device.
What an incredible mix up! If I got them for free I think I'd keep them forever. Was listening to mine over the weekend and I'm going to have a hard time letting them go.

At this early stage of my Hifi journey I'm wondering if I'll ever find a set up that I'll be truly happy with. I feel like before I engaged with this hobby I was able to enjoy music without being critical towards the equipment it was coming from and now I've ate from the tree of knowledge I've been cursed with too much awareness! When you get that magical moment in the sweet spot its all worthwhile I suppose lol
 

Dmode101

Active member
Nov 9, 2020
11
3
25
When I spoke to you for your opinion I had already made my mind up that I was getting either the 4.1 & 4.2 and I'm glad you encouraged me to opt for the 4.2. Great speakers! I have had some magical listening experiences with them but like you that missing element is bugging me when listening to certain songs. I feel like they have spoilt me somewhat because the next set of speakers I get have got a lot to live up to. Don't think I can bring myself to sell them without knowing 100% that the speakers replacing them are worthy so I'm going to save for a new pair and give them an extensive A/B testing before I can let them go lol.

Are you refering to the Dynaudio Emit M10's? The M20's have been on my radar, I read that they have that punch energy I'm looking for but I have also read some comments that they can sound a bit harsh in the higher frequencies which is a little off putting. How would you characterize their sound?
Yes, the emit m10
Yeah I can understand your weary of them sounding a bit harsh in the top end but I haven't noticed any harshness at all they really good for such a tiny speaker they've really opened up in the last couple of days originally I had them about quite close to the wall boundary and sounded really good but it was just like everything was coming from behind the speakers especially the voices for me it sounded wrong so I pulled them forward about a foot and its astonishing that speaker placement can be quite critical. The sound is now truly amazing a full 3d sound absolutely no harshness I really think the amp is the dogs doodars, what hifi really did explain these speakers well you get a bit of everything even at the retail price, I didn't pay that of course got mine of the ebay for just under £300.but I'd would've been happy to pay the full price. The emit 20 I'm guessing they would have a fuller sound but I've heard they can be a bit bassy/boomy and I wasn't prepared for that and honestly the m10's produce more than enough even in my 16x11 room. But now I'm already saving for my ultimate speaker the special 40s.omg Im really exited to get them the reviews Ive read and the people I've spoken to about them have praised them so much. I really like the dynaudio sound now. I know I'll probably have to end up with a better amp for the special 40s but I'll see how the Cambridge copes 1st. But this isn't going to be for a while yet need to sell on my speakers to budget for them.
Yes the wharfedales are truly good but that slite vail just isn't going to budge its shame cause on a lot of music they're absolutely amazing but I like my electronic 80s music and the wharfs don't seem to like it. They more for mellow acoustics and folky music which I love as well.
 

GoodVibes

Active member
Jan 31, 2021
17
2
25
Yes, the emit m10
Yeah I can understand your weary of them sounding a bit harsh in the top end but I haven't noticed any harshness at all they really good for such a tiny speaker they've really opened up in the last couple of days originally I had them about quite close to the wall boundary and sounded really good but it was just like everything was coming from behind the speakers especially the voices for me it sounded wrong so I pulled them forward about a foot and its astonishing that speaker placement can be quite critical. The sound is now truly amazing a full 3d sound absolutely no harshness I really think the amp is the dogs doodars, what hifi really did explain these speakers well you get a bit of everything even at the retail price, I didn't pay that of course got mine of the ebay for just under £300.but I'd would've been happy to pay the full price. The emit 20 I'm guessing they would have a fuller sound but I've heard they can be a bit bassy/boomy and I wasn't prepared for that and honestly the m10's produce more than enough even in my 16x11 room. But now I'm already saving for my ultimate speaker the special 40s.omg Im really exited to get them the reviews Ive read and the people I've spoken to about them have praised them so much. I really like the dynaudio sound now. I know I'll probably have to end up with a better amp for the special 40s but I'll see how the Cambridge copes 1st. But this isn't going to be for a while yet need to sell on my speakers to budget for them.
Yes the wharfedales are truly good but that slite vail just isn't going to budge its shame cause on a lot of music they're absolutely amazing but I like my electronic 80s music and the wharfs don't seem to like it. They more for mellow acoustics and folky music which I love as well.
Great feedback, I am seriously considering them as my next choice. The one thing that puts me off is how they look without the grills but I could probably forgive that in exchange for enjoyable sound. I'll do some research and see if I can find someone who has had both the M10 & M20 for more advice on the potential bass issue. I have been able to experiment with the effects room size, furnishings and speaker placement have on sound and it really does have a massive affect. Get it wrong and you can make a great pair of speakers sound terrible.

Can you tell me if the M10's have that punch energy? I have also read that voices and other mid's sound a bit recessed? Was that corrected for you with speaker placement?

I have just looked up the special 40's! Seem like a great speaker. I look forward to reading your review when the time comes.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
723
447
19,270
Yes the wharfedales are truly good but that slite vail just isn't going to budge its shame cause on a lot of music they're absolutely amazing but I like my electronic 80s music and the wharfs don't seem to like it. They more for mellow acoustics and folky music which I love as well.
I just wanted to make an observation about the slight veil you mention.

I’ve heard other ribbon-type tweeters though not Wharfedale’s. What they seem to have in common is not so much a veil, as a distinct lack of ‘fizz’ and ‘tizz’ which we often get from typical dome designs. Obviously, we all have different perceptions, but my take is they are actually a lot more natural and ‘clean’, and it’s easy to mistake that for a lack of something.

If you’ve ever heard Quad Electrostatics they are much the same, though they do actually contain a thin cloth to keep the dust out. Elac and Quadral also adopt a similar tweeter, but these models are less common in the UK. ProAc and Monitor Audio again have AMT-type tweeters in their better designs but they’re not known for treble shyness.

I’d be interested to learn what others have heard!
 

Dmode101

Active member
Nov 9, 2020
11
3
25
Great feedback, I am seriously considering them as my next choice. The one thing that puts me off is how they look without the grills but I could probably forgive that in exchange for enjoyable sound. I'll do some research and see if I can find someone who has had both the M10 & M20 for more advice on the potential bass issue. I have been able to experiment with the effects room size, furnishings and speaker placement have on sound and it really does have a massive affect. Get it wrong and you can make a great pair of speakers sound terrible.

Can you tell me if the M10's have that punch energy? I have also read that voices and other mid's sound a bit recessed? Was that corrected for you with speaker placement?

I have just looked up the special 40's! Seem like a great speaker. I look forward to reading your review when the time comes.
This is what shocked me the most about these tiny speakers is that there is plenty of punch and energy no matter what type of music you play through them they'll grab your attention and make you listen and enjoy your music rather than listening for something if you know what I mean. Yes placement is as you know important but I also think that the speakers were still bedding in hence the slightly resessed voices but they've really opened up beautifully. I did notice how hard it was to purchase the m20s there's none on ebay and all online retailers seem to be out of stock. Either they're very popular and nobody is selling them on secondhand or dynaudio are about to introduce a newer version. Just a guess of course.
 
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Dmode101

Active member
Nov 9, 2020
11
3
25
I just wanted to make an observation about the slight veil you mention.

I’ve heard other ribbon-type tweeters though not Wharfedale’s. What they seem to have in common is not so much a veil, as a distinct lack of ‘fizz’ and ‘tizz’ which we often get from typical dome designs. Obviously, we all have different perceptions, but my take is they are actually a lot more natural and ‘clean’, and it’s easy to mistake that for a lack of something.

If you’ve ever heard Quad Electrostatics they are much the same, though they do actually contain a thin cloth to keep the dust out. Elac and Quadral also adopt a similar tweeter, but these models are less common in the UK. ProAc and Monitor Audio again have AMT-type tweeters in their better designs but they’re not known for treble shyness.

I’d be interested to learn what others have heard!
Oh I agree with you I call it a slight veil to the sound but it's more likely to be that I'm looking for is that sparkle which I find the dynaudio has without the tizz and fizz I think the older I'm getting the hearing is less than perfect and as much as I love the warfy's that slightly veiled sound just isn't working for me. (maybe veiled is the wrong saying to describe them)
 

GoodVibes

Active member
Jan 31, 2021
17
2
25
It's all about matching. I would suggest trying a good class D amplifier, such as those with IEC or Hypex modules with the Evo. Those have the punch and control required to liven up slightly reticent speakers.

The Kef LS50's are fantastic speakers and have decent extension/punch. Very advanced drivers.

Another speaker I would suggest are those from Quad, Wharfedale's sister company and also part of IAG.
Thanks for the suggestions. The Quad S2's are on my shortlist but reports of how sensitive they are to placment has put them towards the bottom of the list. Very intersted to hear the Kefs, thanks for sharing that they have the punch factor. What music do you listen to on them? Of all speakers on my shortlist the Kef's are most popular and I'll probably stand more chance of being able to audition them in store than the likes of the Quads & Dynaudios.
 

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