Highlighted User Review

Wharfedale Evo 2-10 Bookshelf Speaker User Review


1 reviews
5 of 5
MSRP: $ 460.00

Description:

  • Bass Driver 1x 175mm 2 way
  • Soft Dome Tweeter 1x 25mm
  • Nominal Impedance 6 Ohms
  • Frequency Response +/- 3dB 57Hz-28kHz
  • SPL 1W @ 1m 88dB
  • Distortion – to 300Hz <7%
  • Max Peak SPL 109dB
  • System Fb 50Hz
  • Crossover Frequency 2.2kHz
  • Dimensions H x W x D (mm) 380 x 227 x 356
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    Reviewed by: dkord (Audio Enthusiast)

    Review Date June 16, 2009

    Overall Rating 5 of 5

    Value Rating 5 of 5

    Used product for 1 to 3 months

    The Design

    Wharfedale’s Evolution Series was introduced to build upon the successes of the tweeter-pod-on-top Pacific speakers of the 1990’s which looked similar to the B&W’s 800 series with real wood veneers and Kevlar drivers and while their replacement’s Kevlar cones were yellow in color, in the Evo ’2’ series they are lustrous jet black. The tweeter has been tucked into the enclosure in a die-cast mounting plate that is said to decouple it from the cabinet. Wharfedale essentially did a remake of the first Evo with all-new drivers, modifications to internal components and improvements in cabinet bracing. The shape of the sides remains curved to help eliminate cabinet resonances, according to the manufacturer. Connections at the rear are via bi-wirable sets of binding posts that are positioned so that they are angled out since there isn’t much room to place them otherwise (rear width is just over 3 inches.) If placed on stands as they were intended, they will either need contoured top-plates, those that are more deep than wide or no more than 6 inches square max. I have mine on 24 inch steel stands with top plates just under 6 inches and the backs of the plates don’t show. The 2-10’s are front-ported with charcoal-colored aluminum mounting plates that surround the ports and drivers, contributing to the cosmetics of the front baffle which combine to create a very décor-friendly speaker. HWD dimensions are 15 by 8.75 by 13 inches and weight tops off at 17 lbs per speaker. You have your choice of either rosewood, cherry, light maple or black real wood veneers. I have the maple and have to say that for their size they quite striking and blend in well with the rest of the room. Sensitivity is rated at 88dB/1watt and impedance is 6 ohms nominal, so they should pose no power problem for the average mass-market receiver.

    The Sound

    After a few weeks break-in time and experimenting with placement the Evo’s found their home about 1.5 feet from the short wall in my listening room and mounted so the tweeters are aimed at ear level. There is plenty of sound absorbing upholstered furniture and fairly thick carpeting in the living room and I find that the speakers work quite well there. With the 75 watts per channel Denon AVR’s crossover set at 40 Hz, I let the Wharfies run full range (left and right fronts set to ‘large’ and the Boston VR 500 sub set to cover only the deep bass since there isn’t much need to reinforce that of the Evo’s tuneful bass which fit right in with the mids and highs.This is in contrast to my Hsu-designed horn-loaded Acoustechs which were designed to roll off at around 80 Hz so that a sub can fill in the frequencies below that point.

    What struck me first was the abundance and quality of the midrange which gave piano, electric and acoustic guitar, drums and voices a definite edge over my floorstanding BIC’s Acoustech HT-75’s and while the presentation is just a tad warmer in this region with the Evo’s there is also a greater amount of detail, presence and body to the sound. Acoustic bass, whether bowed or plucked, sounds “for real” with a satisfying resonant quality all the way into the midband. In John Pizzarelli’s ‘After Hours’ CD (RCA) the vocals are warm and inviting without any chestiness or overhang from the upper bass while horns and other instruments are open and detailed while retaining their smoothness. Lack of harshness is something I mainly look for in a speaker since distortions of this kind can be really distracting despite other qualities it may have. In the cut ‘Sometimes I’m Happy’, brushed cymbals come through with subtlety and clarity. Other CD’s such as Clark Terry’s ‘Portraits’ (Chesky Jazz) and Dave Grusin’s ‘Discovered Again’ (Sheffield Labs) also showcase what these Wharfedales are capable of in the treble region and though cymbals on this disc sound very realistic and present, the highs never overpower or intrude into the rest of the music. Soundstaging, ambiance and image depth are all excellent as well.

    Conclusions

    Yes, of course the Evo’s are made in China or thereabouts as are many of the B&W’s but from my experience, the manufacturing in the Far East of the cabinetry and components are equivalent in quality to those of the West when they used to be made here so many years ago. Seems funny though. Wouldn’t it be cheaper for western speaker companies to at least reserve some of the assembly work for factories in the U.S.A or Europe? It would give jobs to many that are out of work so those of us who aren’t awash in cash can afford to buy more great gear! They do that with cars don’t they? So if you’re considering a great British-designed speaker you might want to try out a pair of these. Just buy from a dealer that offers a trial period that gives you the option to exchange them for something else they have in stock if they’re not for you. There isn’t an extensive network of dealers so you may end up buying them online at for example, STO Sound and Vision, Wild West Electronics or Soundscapes that presently carries several Wharfedale lines but another option is to go the auction route. I’ve bought several pairs of used Wharfedale’s on Ebay but if you can’t find the Evo’s there, try Audiogon, another well-regarded high-end auction site.

    The Evolution 2-10 is a speaker that I think most people who cherish their music will enjoy listening to. They’re articulate, very dynamic and detailed, with a touch of warmth that that also enhances the dialog and effects of movie soundtracks but if you want to go for a full system, there is also a matching Evo-2 center, rear channel and subwoofer, available. Combine it with the knockout good looks of real wood veneered cabinets, these stand-mounted speakers are winners in my book and I give them a big ‘thumbs-up’.


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    Where to buy Wharfedale Evo 2-10 Speakers:

    www.wharfedale.co.uk

    Read more details and find out prices here.

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