Wharfedale Diamond 8.1 Bookshelf Speakers

Diamond 8.1

User Reviews (32)

Showing 1-10 of 32  
Albert Tan   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 24, 2009]

I have diamond 8.1 bookshelf speaker for my 2nd system in my bed room with Marantz PM4001 and Marantz CD5001. I have been using it for more than 1 year and I found this small speaker has little warmth sounds, decent details.

Any integrated amplifier with rms power from 30wpc to 75wpc can easily drive this speaker. I did used my old Marantz PM7000 (95wpc) to drive this speaker, but it don't sounds good (Too heavy), I think the power 95wpc (Actual power is more than 95wpc) was over loaded.

For a price of SGD200.00/pair, it is cheap and value for money, not a high end stuff but I was fully statisfied with their basic performance.



OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
paul carlsen   AudioPhile [Aug 20, 2008]
Strength:

sound quality, features, quality of components. i've.no idea how they cover the parts cost at this price..

Weakness:

too cheap?

i have been using the 8.1's for critical listening during mixing and mastering, and i could not be happier..they are many orders of magnitude better than anything in their price-range.. i have repped many lines of pro monitors (no names here).. this product must scare the hell out of them..

Customer Service

Never needed any in 4 years

Similar Products Used: Mid Fioeld and Near field monitors by: KRK, Genelec, Tannoy, JBL, Blue Sky, Yamaha , Alesis, M Audio.. ..
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
AHF1156   AudioPhile [May 17, 2005]
Strength:

Soundstage Detail Nice highs, clear mids, and well timed, punch lows No Bass Boom

Weakness:

You guess it - The grills

If you want a great sounding speaker on a budget, buy these - I can't imagine a better sounding speaker for the money. I have tried pretty much every speaker under $500us over the past few years. I am somewhat obsessed about getting the best sound for the money. There are several value champs in the under $200 category like the Paradigm Atom and Titan, some of the Polk Models, NHT, PSB, etc but nothing can knock the 8.1 off its pedestal for sound quality. I will get to the sound but lets talk about the only weakness first. I specifically use the term best sound for the money and not best speaker because of one, negative, factor - The grills are terrible quality. What were the designers thinking? They are flimsy and attach poorly. I actually blew the grills off the speakers at medium volume. Good testimony to the speakers, bad for the grills. The grills however look ok and will stay on most of the time if not touched. In fact if you like the look of the yellow woofer, take them off all together as the rest of the construction is not a problem Now for the sound. Trust me the grill issue is worth overcoming/ignoring. These speakers sound amazing for their size and price. You get wide open soundstage, accuracy, and some good clean bass not normally seen in this price bracket. I also have the Wharfedale Diamond 9.1's and the bass response extension is the only advantage of the 9.1's (Plus the grills are better!) Comparing specifically to the Paradigm Atom, these speakers beat them on all fronts, especially the soundstage and clarity. Versus the Polks, no comparison to their lower line except to the RTi4 but the 8.1's have significant better presence and warmth. So trust me, if sound quality is your priority and you want $500 sound for $100, disregard the grill quality and go for these.

Similar Products Used: Polk r15, Rti4, Paradigm Wharfedale Diamond 9.1
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
shahrukhd   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 07, 2005]
Strength:

Excellent mid-range. Excellent soundstage, image. Biwiring Posts. Front ported. (Those with small rooms, rejoice!) Superb Value.

Weakness:

Cheap grilles (yes, Wharfedale should seriously think about this) they suck! Lacks bass extension (not such a weakness at this price). Sometimes I think the timing goes haywire but then, I'm no audiophile!

These babies are awesome. And I'm talking about the sound from a brand new pair that hadn't yet been broken in. Very easy to set up and sound pretty good even with a single run of cable. OK, there isn't as much bass extension as I would have liked but for the price I paid, they're absolutely fantastic. The highs are delicate, the imaging deep and the soundstage really wide. I'm no "AudioPhile" yet, but I swear I thought Julio Iglesias was performing right in front of me one night. Such is the magic of the Wharfies. I've powered the Diamonds with a Marantz receiver. SR4400. It sounds really sweet with the Diamonds. Maybe I'll add a subwoofer for those extra thumps pretty soon, but for now, they're doin great by themselves. A great buy for anyone on a tight budget and small listening area.

Similar Products Used: Products auditioned: Mission m71i, m73i DALI Blue Series PSB Silver B&W DM303 JPW 201
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
tigmund2000   AudioPhile [Feb 24, 2005]
Strength:

Everything. Unbelievable performance at the price.

Weakness:

None, unless you include the the fact that they need to be fed by quality amplification and cd player.

I first became aware of these speakers through reading a glowing review by UK hi fi writer Ken Kessler. On the basis of what I had read I decided to buy them as a cheap solution to finding small speakers for my relatively small listeng room (12ft x 12ft). I have now owned these speakers for more than two years and my respect for what they can do continues to grow. Over the years I have owned and listened to a wide range of speakers over the years, including models by Spendor and Quad, so I think I have an appreciation of what a good speaker sounds like. I have used the wharfedales with a variety of amps and have learned that in order to get the very best from the wharfedales they really do require to be powered by decent amplification. At first I used an Arcam alpha 7se cd player and a marantz pm66 se with qed silver aniversary cable and qed interconnect. The sound was horrible: thin harsh and unmusical. I have also tried them with a nad 3020 which was better, but still not good. The addition of a little subwoofer from richer sounds helped to fill out the bottom end and smooth the sound a little. Next amp to be tried was a 1960's Rogers Hg 88 valve amp: a small improvement over the Nad. Next was a Rogers Cadet III valve amp: now things were begining to sound good. The final part in the evolution of my system has been a quad 44/405 combo. I have discarded the sub and also discarded the bridging plates on the speaker terminals of wharfedales and replaced them with short lengths of qed 79 strand cable. Now I have finally reached a point at which I feel stunned by what these speakers can do, they are truly amazing, wonderfully musical performers, with scale, unbelievable bass, and superb imaging. I do not think I can significantly improve on their performance without spending serious money.

Similar Products Used: Tannoy Mercury, Kef Coda, Spendor Prelude, Quad ESL 57
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
isomc   AudioPhile [May 11, 2004]
Strength:

Clear Sound. Good Look. Cevlar made. Unbelievable price.

Weakness:

Made in China (If you find it as a weakness). Not too durable (the maple finish model).

Very good surround speaker, great sound in a good look (specialy the maple finish). I beleive that for the price I paid (66 USD), this was the best choice I could do. Very recommended!

Similar Products Used: Morel Surround speakers.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Omega   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 13, 2004]
Strength:

Great apparent build quality, beautiful real wood veneer (maple is gorgeous), good imaging, fairly "musical" speaker especially for the size/cost, bi-wirable, great value for the $$$!

Weakness:

Bass is somewhat anemic (may improve with the break-in), specs indicate somewhat low efficiency so a weaker amp may have difficulty driving them

(Note: I'm reviewing the 8.1 "Anniversary Edition") Overall, very impressed with the quality of these speakers. They're obviously well made, with solid wood veneer and great fit/finish. Beautiful with the grills off. Though the previously mentioned trouble with the grille is not trivial--there is no obvious marking on the grille to show which is top/bottom...so when replacing the grill it is easy to attempt attaching it upside down...which makes the protruding connector line up with the middle of the tweeter, which could be disastrous if a careless person shoves the grille back in place. I'm still breaking the speakers in, so I won't comment much on subtleties. Imaging is very good, tonality is decent, bass lacks any kind of real punch. Matched with my home-brewed NHT1259-based sub, the bass issue is mitigated...they crossover and match just fine with the sub. My impression thus far: great value for the money...for those of you familar with the Paradigm line and with a listening taste similar to mine ;-), these speakers would beat the Paradigm Atoms/Titans/etc, but fall short of the punchy, dynamic, (sometimes a little harsh) Monitor series. At 1/3 the price I paid for my MiniMonitors, a bargain! Obviously, the speakers are British (design/influence...manuf. in China however) and the Brit design aligns well with my own preferences--they are mellow, transparent, musical. These speakers would make an excellent surround for a "big" HT system, or a good front combo for small rooms (if paired with a sub). They'll also serve my purpose of a nice, mellow, musical pair for a bedroom system...and they look great!

Similar Products Used: Doing a side-by-side with Paradigm MiniMonitors (v1) as I write this! (also familar with bookshelf speakers from B&W, Energy, KEF, Canton, Paradigm and the like)
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
hifidrummer   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 18, 2003]
Strength:

Great mids, excellent soundstage,in-your-face vocals, Kevlar Cone looks great!

Weakness:

Funny but when you accidentally put back that flimsy grill upside-down, the plastic stud aims right to the center of the dome tweeter, so be careful! Never leave your speaker uncovered as your mother may try to put back the grill upside-down and puncture or ruin the tweeter. Not a lot of thought went into this grill.

Got the Diamond 8.3's and 8.1's with intention for Front and Rear setup respectively. After using to them for 2 years now, the 8.1's never made it to the rear wall. Theye're so good for front listening that placing them on the rear won't give them justice. I Like them more than the 8.3's with better mids and cohesion. I'm a jazz drummer and knows good bass when I want them. I turn on the 8.3's when I want them bad. But for casual listening at low to medium level, the 8.1's serve my ears pretty well. Until I figure out a way to hang the big 8.3's on the rear wall, both speaker will stay in front.

Similar Products Used: Speakers: Bose, JBL, Mordaunt Short Amp: Yamaha, Rotel
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
David Goetz   Casual Listener [Jun 26, 2003]
Strength:

Clarity of sound (mids, highs) Plenty of bass (when placed in a cabinet) Low price Attractive styling

Weakness:

Grills cause sound distortion Bass only OK if placed on shelf or freestanding

Replaced Bose 201s in a Living Room "Home Theater" setup. The Wharfedales are the main speakers, placed near the floor in a built-in shelf/cabinet. These speakers have awesome clarity and massive bass in this application ! (the built-in cabinet acts like a speaker enclosure - to reflect the rear ported bass from the speaker). Bought another pair (uBid sometimes sells these for $40 a pair + $35 S/H, believe it or not) for the master bedroom, where they sit on a high shelf. I had to place a shim under the rear of the speakers to angle them down to the listener. In this application, they sound great, except the bass response is only OK. Also, removed the grills in both setups - much cleaner sound. I recently purchased another pair of these, for the garage ! (the price was right !) Best wishes to all.

Similar Products Used: Bose 201, JBL, Sony
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Whssy   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 24, 2003]
Strength:

Clarity Price Bi-wiring

Weakness:

Veneer. (But for this price you can´t complain)

As a relative newcomer to the world of Hi-fi and on a small budget, it was impossible not to notice these speakers. The reviews here and elsewhere were too good to ignore. When a local dealer advertised them at a marked down price, together with the Bose monitors I was also considering, I had to go and get a demo. These blew the Boses away from first listen. The sound was astoundingly good. I also listened to the 8.2s which had the edge over the 8.1s, adding a more substantial bass sound. But I decided to buy the 8.1s for use as rear speakers in my surround system. My views changed somewhat after I had got these speakers home. Using them as stereo speakers when you are close to them, they have a remarkable sound stage which was not apparent in the shop. The music was remarkably clear and dyniamic and I began to wonder whether I should not have bought 4 of these instead of the 2 8.2s I bought. A longer period of getting used to them made me decide that my initial purchase was the right one though. There is just not quite enough bass here for them to be right for use as stereo speakers for bassy music at higher volume levels. But for everythig else they are remarkable.

Similar Products Used: My dad´s old Wharfedales from the 60s Otherwise nothing of any quality.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 32  

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