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Wharfedale Diamond 9.1

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    11 Reviews
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      04.07.2013 20:27
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      Good budget options

      **Introduction**

      I have had my current setup for a few years now and that includes a Rotel RA-04 Amp, Sony CD Player and Mission 771 speakers which I have all written about on here in the past. I moved into my current flat a year and a half ago now and have wanted to also kit out my Bedroom with a fairly decent HiFi setup and this is why I bought these Wharfedale Diamond speakers. I had a Sony Home Cinema Amp that I had left at my Mothers house for a while and only recently had the need and the space for it so I needed a pair of relatively cheap speakers to pair with the amp and for a little while the Rotel Amp before upgrading my Mission speakers. A friend of mine bought the Diamond 9.0s and I was impressed with their sound considering their small stature but I opted for the more expensive 9.1s which are available for under £100.

      **The Info**

      These speakers are an excellent budget option, They work extremely well with smaller HiFi all in ones from the likes of Denon but they also prove to be a decent option for budget kit. When released in 2004 they were described by "What Hifi" as some of the best budget speakers ever and were available for £180 new. Nine years on they still hold their own against the better options for budget speakers and if your budget is tight then these could be a great option. They are 100W speakers and are bi-wireable for the best possible sound. They are available in Black or Walnut, I have the Black finish. You can still buy these online in various places and they are widely available under £100 too.

      **The Sound**

      These speakers offer an excellent punchy sound, The excellent bass performance belies their smaller cabinets and the midrange is also well judged and crisp. As someone who loves a huge range of Music I required speakers that sounded excellent whatever kind of Music they were playing and these speakers produce a strong sound with just about anything. As I mentioned before these speakers are not for my main setup but they could be for you if you want something solid and on a budget. The sound is excellent and considering that you can get a pair of these for under £100 then it's well worth getting a pair especially if you want a decent second system or don't have much space.

      **Overall**

      Here we have an excellent pair of speakers that sound the part and also look pretty good too. Wharfedale have been amongst the leaders in Budget speakers for some time now and it's not hard to understand when you give these a listen. Their stereo imaging is impressive, as is their excellent bass performance and these are well worth checking out if you are looking for a pair of speakers for a second setup. Look around online and then read some of the expert reviews if you are unsure. These are so Ideal for a bedroom or office setup.

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      26.05.2011 17:27
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      Great speakers for a great price

      2 years ago I was accepted into my university of choice to complete a 'Music Technology and Popular Music' degree. With this in mind I needed a decent pair of studio speakers that would allow me to listen back to many of my own compositions and mixes but more importantly would also contain enough sound quality for me to meticulously scrutinise every aspect of my mixes to allow me to receive as higher grade as possible.

      Though like many students across the country I was restricted by my budget. With a lot of research I came to the conclusion that these Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 speakers were the cheapest 5* speakers around. At £99 these speakers really are the best I've ever owned. Being on the degree course I am, the universities own facilities contain speakers ranging from about £500 upwards, yet I can only hear minimal differences between my Wharfedale Diamond 9.1's and the universities elite speakers.

      Not only do I use these speakers for my mixing but I play pretty much everything else out of them too, including my films and video games. The trebles are bright and the bass frequencies are punchy making them a perfect all round speaker.

      The speakers them selves have a very attractive design and come in a range of colours (I picked the black wood option) to cater for individual needs and preferences.

      I would recommend buying some speaker stands with them, as to begin with I just placed them on my desk but due to the fact the bass frequencies are so punchy and personal preference of liking my music loud, it caused them to resonate quite badly on top of the wooden surface.

      After over 2 years of use, these speakers come highly recommended whether you needed for professional mixing or just casual home use. And at such a great price you wont be disappointed.

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      05.08.2010 12:22
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      A great buy but I wonder if those with decent equipment should spend a lot more than £100?

      I bought these to replaced old Eltax speakers which fell of their stands when a large book shelf collapsed and crushed them.

      They are extremely well built with Kevlar drive units and very high quality tweeters for the higher end. These speakers have a relaxed and restrained sound which means if they are not positioned properly they will sound very dull and lifeless. With proper stands in the correct position the sound is transformed. They become alive with bass lines being extremely punchy and perfectly timed. The vocals are clear and open and the treble is detailed yet very refined - rare on budget speakers.

      The problem with these speakers is they need a decent HIFI system to make them sound good, most £100 speakers sound quite bright which means they sound good on almost anything these have a much more expensive tonal balance which means you need decent kit to be able to get the most out of them. The sound also takes a while to grow on you, they took about 20 hours to burn in and out of the box you may well be disappointed but just be patient the soundstage which emerges will quickly transform you from your listening room to being at the front of the stage or recording studio.

      They also sound a lot better when the volume is pumped up, they suddenly come into life and force you to dance.

      I only bought these as they were 'half price' in the sale but the money I don't think I could have got anything better. I mainly use my Grado headphones so the speakers tend to be only be used before I go out on a Saturday night or when friends are round.

      They don't sound as lively as my old Eltax speakers but they are much easier to listen to, the old speakers tended to force the detail out which robbed them of their musicality. The 9.1s just sing and they let you forget you are listening to the music from a record which is what true HIFI should be all about.

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      08.06.2010 16:50
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      A very nice pair of speakers.

      I've had a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 bookshelf speakers for several years now and generally use them at least once a day when at home. The speakers are part of my first 'real' hifi I have owned myself and are connected to a Marantz PM4001OSE amplifier. The speakers are connected to the amplifier using what looks to be about 2 metres of speaker cable at no less than 1mm2 of copper conductor. The speakers are stood on floor stands to raise the top of them to just below waist height. The stands are separated by about 1.5 metres. They have taken several gentle knocks from time to time and still seem to be working and the looking just like when I bought them. For this reason I can only assume they are a reliable and well built speaker. I'm not going to dwell on features or specifications of the speakers as if you're reading this you most likely know anyway.

      I'm by no means an audio expert, just somebody who mainly listens to rock and pop music at low to moderate volume on a regular basis. I bought the setup since I felt I could benefit from a setup slightly above the typical hifi in a box. I initially bought the speakers based on recommendation in shops that I'd been in. At the limited budget I was operating on these speakers are very pleasing wherever I'm listening in the room. The speakers provide a very clear sound but initially I was disappointed with the depth to the bass. I felt when listening to rock music (whether it was Rainbow or Paramore) that the kick drum and bass weren't quite as powerful as what I'd hoped for. Going back I'd have probably looked more closely at the possibility of floor standing speakers in the hope of getting a deeper bass response. When listening to lighter pop the sound is much more what I expected. Films really come to life when listening through the speakers but once again it feels I am missing out on some of the lower frequencies. One thing that was very obvious with films is how well defined the sounds are in the stereo image. You can hear the sounds move clearly across the stereo image.

      I've recently added the matching SW150 subwoofer to the system and this really fills in the system's low-end whilst adding a whole new dimension to films. It seamlessly extends the depth of the speakers and for me really completes the system.

      When rating the speakers I have rated them against how I expected them to perform. If they performed as well as or better than expected they score 5. The only lost point was for slightly weaker bass than expected.

      Overall I feel the sound is very sharp and focused and really adds to my enjoyment of listening to music. The longer I've had the system the more I seem to appreciate it and less the lack of bass has bothered me. I would definitely recommend the speakers to a friend although I would suggest that they carefully listen to the speakers to check they provide the desired depth to the bass.

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      24.05.2010 13:05

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      Hi everybody this is a quality product.Great sound.By the way look at my profil xx

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      25.02.2010 19:33

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      Makes more expensive speakers look completely over priced!!

      I agree with most of the other reviewers on here about the Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 speakers. Ive had mine for ages and there still going strong. They pack a punch and have a lovely depth of sound, handles deep bass with ease too. They look great in the bookshelf finish (walnut) which is the colour I have them in but you can also get them in Rosewood and black. Correct me if im wrong (and i know im not) but a good indicator to the quality of these speakers is that they won awards with what hi-fi sound and vision in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. Generally they compete in the sub £200 range so to be coming out on top against some bigger hitters goes along way to saying that these are top quality. Would recommend these to anyone who wants a great set of speakers without paying a great big price. Recommended!!

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      12.01.2010 17:10
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      Just average, not recommended. Look elsewhere

      I once used a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 75th anniv. Edition with Rotel RCD02 cd player & Exposure 2010S integrated amp. Now it has been replaced by Tannoy Mercury F1 Custom.

      Comparison between Diamond 9.1 & F1 Custom:
      I found the Diamond to have more extended high freq. than the F1 Custom. However, the Diamond has more colouration, the sound is nice and warm, but not in a good sense, these "nice & warm" things seem to be fabricated, as opposed to an honest and realistic sound. In other words, to me this loudspeaker really has its own colour, which are nice & warm, thus accuracy is definitely not a strong point here.
      Is it because the designer aimed to create a loudspeaker that would appeal to everyone? Initially this diamond appealed to me, that's why I bought it in the first place. But after 2.5 months of quite intensive listening (6 days a week, 2 to 3 hours per day), I come to these opinion.
      The Diamond's imaging is also significantly less vivid compared to the F1 Custom.
      I also noticed some upper bass emphasize with the Diamond, where the upper bass sounds too thick. This improper thickness seems to have negative impact on detail and transparency, as bass and mid definition is another weak point here. The F1 Custom might seems to have weaker bass than the Diamond, but it actually can play low notes far better. This is obvious with piano repro in many recordings, where the F1 Custom still able to present some low notes with good definition and impact, but the Diamond fail by a considerable margin. For drums repro, the F1 Custom has good transient attack and realism, from the cymbal, snare to the kick drum, while the Diamond can't help to present bloomy, unnatural bass without solid image. But for even lower notes, both speakers do not have such extension, it's normal due to their small size.
      F1 Custom throws big and stable soundstage, the width may exceed physical boundaries with some recordings.

      So for a speaker under USD500 (or 300 pound), I find the F1 Custom is really good, with the following characteristics:
      1. Minimum colouration : honest sound, realistic reproduction from the sonic & music point of view
      2. Neutral tonal balance: not warm but also not cool, sounds like the frequency response from top to bottom is quite linear (maybe anybody has measurement data to correct or confirm my hearing on this?)
      3. Detail, transparent and focus, but not drawing attention to itself, the attention is on the music, enable me to deeply listen to the music.
      4. Quite revealing of recording material quality/character

      Before purchased the F1 Custom I auditioned several speakers: PSB Alpha B1, Paradigm Atom, Usher S512, B&W 686 & Epos ELS8. IMHO, I consider the F1 Custom to be better, overall, than the others, eventhough the comparison were not "apple to apple" as different electronics were used in each auditioned. Compared to the F1 Custom, I noticed that the PSB produces deeper soundstage, but less natural mid and high freq. The Paradigm sound is detail and has good clarity, but the midband timbre is not satisfactory to me. The Usher has more holographic imaging, but the mid sometimes has shouty character, and the high has forward character. The B&W has bigger bass, but presenting music with not enough life and soul (the problem is similar with ELS8). The Epos has more extended HF, but I'm not attracted to its rather thin midrange character. I suppose personal taste also had some contribution to my choosing the F1 Custom.
      As for the Diamond, I don't belief it has a strong position against the other speakers mentioned above. It's quite strange that the Diamond receives so many good to very good reviews anywhere, including What HiFi magazine, UK, who gave it 5star (F1 Custom also got 5star review. But in a group test of 5 or 6 speakers, among which are the Diamond and the F1 Custom, What HiFi chose F1 Custom as the winner). The Diamond is more like a 3star performer to me, I would not recommend it.
      Prices (US retail price): the F1 Custom is USD140, the PSB USD 280, and the others are above USD300 (the Usher is above USD400).
      I belief the F1 Custom is an underrated performer, partly due to its low price, where some recommendations I read is just to use it in a mini hi-fi system. Actually it strongly competes against USD 250 - 450 (150 - 300 pound) loudspeakers with a real chance of winning. For anybody who's looking for under USD500 loudspeaker and interested in the Diamond, I seriously advise you to re-consider your interest, give both the F1 Custom and the Diamond (along with the other speakers mentioned above) a thorough audition before make any decision.

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        25.11.2009 11:48
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        A excellent set of speakers with an affordable price tag.

        I bought these speakers nearly 2 years ago to replace some old Dynatron speakers I had for donkeys years. I wanted some bookshelf speakers with a good sound quality and that looked beautiful so I opted for the walnut veneer finish. I was not disappionted.

        The speakers offer a deep, rich sound that makes all the other speakers in my house sound second rate. I have played many different musical genres through them and they all sound great. I have an old Technics amplifier which I'm sure is a factor in providing the good sound quality, but saying that I run some remote speakers through the same amplifier which give out a much tinnier and hollow sound.

        The build quality of these speakers is excellent, not only are they functional but they look gorgous too. I particularly like the curved sides and the real wood finish.

        I am hoping that one day I will be able to replace my other speakers with something similar.

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          09.11.2009 11:00
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          An absolute bargain. Get while you can.

          I needed speakers to fit on a shelf above a fireplace and they were to be connected to a NAD 524 CD and NAD c340 amp. I didn't want to spend more than about £200 but would have spent up to £500 if I couldn't find any I liked for less. I listen to every genre of music from classical to rock. I bought the Wharfedale 9.1 speakers in Rosewood colour 2 weeks ago and for their price and size they are probably impossible to beat. Before choosing these I auditioned various other bookshelf speakers from Mission, Mordaunt Short, Tannoy, Dali, Gale, JPW, Arcam and Cambridge Audio. The Wharfedale have a clear treble and huge bass, considering their diminutive size. They are front ported so positioning is very easy. They can be played extremely loud considering their sensitivity is rated at 86dB. I guess this is due to them being rated at 6ohm. They especially excel with classical music and the clarity and detail is never lost whether a loud or very quiet piece is being played.
          The cabinets are very sturdy and are a very aesthetically pleasing piece of furniture.
          I struggled to find anything negative to say. If I had to say something negative it would be that the front grills are quite flimsy and held on by cheap plastic clips. The second thing is that they are quite deep so may not be suitable for a small shelf. These minor things are absolutely negligible and of no consequence considering the price and sound of these speakers. What can I say? If you are looking for bookshelf speakers buy them before they aren't available anymore.
          Note that this the system in our second room. Our main system is a Musical Fidelity system with Focal JmLab Beryllium speakers, so you know music is very important to me.

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            14.10.2009 20:16
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            Wharfedale 9.1's are still a bargain to be bad

            The Wharfedale 9.1 has now been eclipsed by the new series 10.1. However this is by no means a reason to overlook this speaker and instead it offers the potential of picking this up at a bargain price. Which is indeed what dealers are now looking to do in their bid to offload the speaker.

            These in my opinion are good looking speakers with an interesting design front. Although you will definitely need to site them on speaker stands to ensure that the bass is tight and punchy. Sonically this speaker offers a very pleasing performance. Thankfully if space is limited and despite the fact that these are rear ported, these can be situated near a backwall while avoiding the kind of boom which can go hand in hand with such positioning.

            The speakers present a clear open sound which makes them the ideal companion for genres such as classical. They are very involving speakers and will draw you into the music, so you appreciate the subtle nuances of the notes. The highs are handled well, keeping control of the music even when those highs reach the top end of the range. Meanwhile the bass extension while not packing the kind of punch which you can find further up the market, offers a tight controlled punchy sound.

            While some speakers offer a huge amount of grunt, these speakers don't but instead offer perhaps a more detailed sound, while still providing you with sufficient oomph for you to appreciate some of the more wild transients.

            Therefore while excelling with easy listening, classical, slow ballads etc, these are equally adept at bringing to life other heavier demanding genres of music. There really is very little to fault in these given their new price point. I would advise anyone interested to snap them up while there are still some remaining in the shops.

            Excellent speaker

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            29.07.2009 14:10
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            I've heard better speakers, but had to go 6x their price to do that. That says a lot!

            I bought these speakers in cherry color almost three years ago in a 50% off sale so they were almost given to me. I was a bit skeptical when I first took them home without listening to them based on the all the fuss on the internet around these little boxes. And they ARE little boxes, at less than 30 cm high, 20 wide and 27 deep. They were connected to my Marantz PM4001 but now to the PM6002 so I'll base this review on the later one. Speaker cable is noting out of the ordinary, just 2.5 mm copper/silver-plated copper wire that I got cheap off ebay. First impression is: how can they play so loud without loosing posture??? They can give out an impressive amount of sound and, despite the fairly low sensitivity of 86 dB, they can play VERY loud using the 45 watt from the Marantz. Not only loud but very very good. Just listen to some Norah Jones, Diana Krall or Regina Spektor and you will appreciate the cleanness of the vocals. The soft dome tweeter integrates almost perfectly with the bass unit and just listen to some Aerosmith, Dire Straits or The Police and you will hear the cymbals' metal scraping so realistically that you will not believe your ears or the price you paid! plus, you get bi-wire/bi-amp capabilities and nice, heavy duty speaker connectors. The sturdy, braced and curved cabinets are meant to help reduce unwanted vibrations but they also look very good. As pointed out in many places, they do play better without the grilles. A decent pair of stands also helps to get a leaner bass. If you can, get the Anniversary edition, I would because you get the same killer sound but ever nicer looks.

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