Wharfedale Heritage Dovedale

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Brand new Dovedale from Wharfedale. 10″ inch loudspeaker Pricetag: 5500£.

The 10in (25cm) bass and 5in (13cm) midrange drivers incorporate cones made from woven Kevlar –

an exceptionally strong and stiff synthetic fibre discovered in the same year as the original

Dovedale’s release and not used for loudspeaker diaphragms until a decade later. The midrange

unit is housed in its own internal enclosure, ensuring its performance is unsullied by vibrations from

the bass driver, and the use of woven Kevlar for both units ensures a seamless handover, aided by a

crossover design that marries the output of each driver perfectly.

The 25mm fabric-dome treble unit with a ceramic magnet, featured throughout Wharfedale’s

Heritage Series, has been further improved by incorporating a rear chamber, damped to absorb the

output from the back of the dome. This also has the advantage of reducing the resonant frequency

of the treble unit to well below the crossover region, allowing full treble detail and harmonics to be

revealed without affecting the smoothness of the high-frequency performance.

The midrange and bass cabinet enclosures are both critically damped using a carefully calculated

combination of acoustic foam and long hair fibre. This allows the midrange unit to achieve a smooth

response down to the upper bass region, enabling an accurate slope to be calculated for the

crossover to the bass unit. The latter is itself able, in the damped and ported enclosure, to reach an

impressive depth of 25Hz, with clean articulation of bass instruments throughout the whole bass


The crossover

The electrical crossover between the drive units is of vital importance in a loudspeaker as it not only

divides up the frequencies between bass, midrange and treble but also blends the outputs of the

drivers into a seamless musical presentation. The crossover components have been chosen for their

revealing and transparent character and have been laid out on twin PCBs with careful spacing to

avoid electromagnetic interference.

The crossover slopes and the shape of the power response of the new Dovedale has been refined

by extensive listening tests using a wide variety of music to make sure that the speaker is simply a

conduit between the performers and the listener. As a result, the speaker reveals a lively and

transparent level of reproduction that suits all styles of music at whatever power level you choose.

In addition, the impedance characteristic is kind to amplifiers, being a smooth and relatively

non-reactive 6 Ohm load with a minimum of 3.6 Ohms. Together with a high sensitivity of 89dB for 1

Watt input, an excellent sonic performance at room-filling volume levels is assured with a wide

range of amplifiers.

The cabinet

All Wharfedale’s Heritage Series cabinets use a combination of woods to scatter panel resonances

rather than having a single, audibly obvious resonant frequency. The same is true of the Dovedale,

but Wharfedale has taken its cabinet construction to another level. An inner layer of high-density

particle board is bonded to an outer layer of MDF by an inter-layer of high-damping glue; specially

chosen figured-grain, real-wood veneers are applied to all surfaces, hand-polished and lacquered

to a satin finish. Every pair of Dovedale speakers is matched with extreme care, the standard of finish

and attention to detail ensuring their furniture-quality status.

Critical analysis of the performance of each cabinet surface has resulted in the application of
precision shaped and positioned internal bracing. This ensures that cabinet resonances are
controlled to well below the level of the music signal, allowing you to hear through to the recording
without coloration intruding on your listening enjoyment.
Both the midrange unit and treble unit are offset on the front baffle to scatter reflections from the
cabinet edges and provide superior focus of the stereo image, and the speakers are provided in
handed pairs so that sonic images in the stereo sound field are always accurately placed. The
speakers have been fine-tuned acoustically through hundreds of hours of listening tests with all
manner of music to ensure the cabinet, crossover and drive units work together coherently and
Speakers of the original Dovedale’s vintage were intended to be listened to with the grilles on. This
is not always the case with contemporary speakers, but the new Dovedale stays faithful to its classic
heritage and has been designed to perform optimally with its protective grilles attached. Removing
the grilles will result in a sound that is brighter but less smooth.
The floor stands
Wharfedale has designed a pair of floor stands to match the new Dovedale, with an open frame
made of carbon steel and furniture-grade glass inserts at the top and bottom. All bar one of the
uprights are filled with damping material – the other allows for cable management – with four large
stainless-steel spikes at the base. The stand ensures each speaker is positioned at the correct
height, as well as reducing bass/floor interactions and providing stable and torsionally rigid support.
The package is completed by a set of stainless-steel spike seats and a pair of handling gloves.

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