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Wharfedale Denton 85th
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The fabulously recorded (2018) Big Band Spectacular LP from Chasing the Dragon, a live performance by the Syd Lawrence Orchestra direct to 30ips master tape, had Sing Sing Sing chiming out into our large 6500cu ft listening room at full scale. The fast drumming was delivered with pace and power – I sat back and enjoyed a large band in front of me, brass blaring and cymbals ringing. 

   With this LP and others of high quality the Dentons were exciting. Their old-skool nature shone through to punch out a strong sound – the revealing tweeter acceptable as long as it was fed a good source. A cartridge with sophisticated stylus profile – Shibata in this case – was just such a source, but dodgy-digital was not. 

   With Dire Straits Brothers In Arms LP (Mobile Fidelity, 180gm, 45rpm) repetitive cymbal strikes marking out the beat hadgood presence and Alison Goldfrap’s Ride a White Horse (12in 45rpm single) pounded out strongly, the synth bass beat having a resonant strength characteristic of an old-style loudspeaker – and all the better for it I felt. 

 

CONCLUSION

The new Denton 85th Anniversary has bass powerful in a lively resonant sense that makes modern small loudspeakers sound restrained. Getting big kettle drum strikes and cross panned drum kit rolls to sound realistic isn’t something small loudspeakers manage well, but the Denton 85s had no problem. Clear, full bodied, punchy and exciting beyond what you’d expect at either the price or the size. 

 

WHARFEDALE DENTON 85th Anniversary Edition

Outstanding, amongst the best

 

VERDICT

A small loudseaker with a big sound.

 

FOR

- powerful resonant bass

- need little power

- go very loud

 

AGAINST

- strong treble

 

Wharfedale

www.wharfedale.co.uk

 

 

MEASURED PERFORMANCE  

 Clio measurement system

Frequency response, measured using third-octave analysis of pink noise, shows basically level output from 60Hz to 20kHz within +/-3dB limits  the tweeter now giving more output than 80th Anniversary Edition. There is no dip at crossover between the drive units, making detail more apparent. As before phase matching between drivers was good and dispersion wide so they differ little on and off axis. Our response is 20 degrees off-axis, tweeter on inside. 

Bass output from the ‘speaker has been smoothed and extended downward slightly, port tuning moving from 52Hz down to 40Hz. There is now a small peak in port output at 30Hz too. With bass level now lower the new Denton will not sound warm or bass heavy and less ‘fulsome’ close to a rear wall. 

 



 

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