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Wharfedale Denton 80th Anniversary Edition
Sound Quality
Conclusion
Measured Performance
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MEASURED PERFORMANCE

The Wharfedale Denton 80th Anniversary Edition measured flat on-axis, grill on or off. Slightly off-axis (i.e. pointing straight down a room and not at the listener), with grill on, it gave the result published. Taking the grill off made little difference, even above 10kHz where wavelengths are short, and off-axis balance differed little from on-axis so dispersion is good.  Phase matching was also very good, response varying little with height. Although looking retro, the Denton was in fact better than most modern loudspeakers in these important areas. The drive units are very high quality. 

Absence of a midband crossover dip will result in plentiful detail and a sense of definition, whilst the slow roll off in upper treble will ensure the sort of smooth sound older loudspeakers were known for. This is a loudspeaker that will not screech, yet it is tonally very accurate, more so than most. 

The bass unit reaches down to 70Hz and there is some peaking around 100Hz. The two small ports are broadly tuned (red trace) and effectively damp the bass unit so the Denton 80th has good bass control and will not boom or sound sloppy. Although port output reaches down low, small ports do not produce much acoustic power; their SPL was just +2dB up on forward output at 80Hz.

Our 200mS decay spectrum (not shown here) was clean, even at low frequencies; the cabinet is not ‘hot’ and will not overhang or boom. The drive units are relatively uncoloured too.

At 86dB sensitivity was high as small loudspeakers go, largely because a 4 Ohm bass unit has been used and, below 500Hz, this is a 4 Ohm loudspeaker our impedance curve shows (5.7 Ohms overall). This curve also confirms excellent bass unit damping by absence of residual peaks either side of the anti-resonant port system. The load is largely resistive, another plus point, as energy is not returned to the amplifier.

The Denton will have strong upper bass and a full bodied presentation, with smooth treble and plenty of mid-range detail. Bass looks controlled and should be of good quality. This is a very modern, well executed design. Only the cabinet is trad. NK

 

FREQUENCY RESPONSE (what it means)

Wharfedale Denton 80th Anniversary edition frequency response

Green - drive unit; Red - port

 

IMPEDANCE  (what it means)

Wharfedale Denton 80th Anniversary edition impedance

 

DECAY SPECTRUM 200mS (what it means)

Wharfedale Denton 80th Anniversary decay graph

 

DECAY MAP 200mS (what it means)

Wharfedale Denton 80th Anniversary edition decay map



 
Comments (4)
wharfedale denton 80th anniversary speakers
4Friday, 20 March 2015 16:32
robert baldry
I think it's a wonderful pair of speakers. The Denton's have a beautiful detailed and rich sound. The sound is full and full of depth. They sound much better than any others of similar price in my opinion. The retro look won't appeal to many but the sound is amazing and so revealing. A shame its a limited addition. Well worth searching for.
Thanks for the recommendation
3Saturday, 07 June 2014 08:39
Matt
Having spent some time looking for speakers that were to my taste came across your review.For the first time I actually bought a pair ''on faith'' for £300 , new, sold on EBAY as ''slight cosmetic seconds'' released by the manufacturers. I can only wholeheartedly agree with your comments.
A truly great set of speakers that combine the best of old and new. (and i really cannot find a cosmetic fault on them, wharfedales standards are obvously very high for this model)
Limited Edition ?
2Friday, 28 December 2012 05:45
Kenji
I was told the new 80th Anniversary Denton speakers are limited edition; and they only make 2000 pairs. Is this true?

Hi Kenji. At this moment I do not know: everyone is enjoying Christmas and / or recovering from the New Year celebrations so I cannot ask. But I am meeting designer Peter Comeau on 4th January 2013 and will ask him for you. I will post his reply here.
He did tell me traditional Wharfedales are popular in China and Far East markets, so it seems likely some form of Denton will continue. Noel Keywood

UPDATE 8/1/13
I met designer Peter Comeau last Friday and put your question to him. The 80th Anniversary Edition is not limited specifically by number produced, but it is by being current only over the anniversary year, so one year's production of this loudspeaker is all that will leave the factory. It seems to me this would amount to around 2500 pairs though, so your figure is probably not far off. Noel Keywood
Wharfedale
1Saturday, 17 November 2012 00:34
Marco
Finally – a good looking speaker not resembling a condom!

Er - yes, O.K. Marco. I don't know what loudspeakers you have been looking at. Were they in a brothel?

The Wharfedale's 'classic styling' appeals a lot to the Chinese market, as well as others not wanting unpleasant objects in their lounge (shall we say!).

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