Wharfedale D330 Floor standing speakers

Today it is the newest and most affordable full-fledged floor model, produced under the brand Wharfedale. The cost of such pair is only a bit higher than the shelf Diamond 11.2 - loudspeakers, which were also created for music lovers with low incomes. D330 also belongs to the "diamond" series, therefore, despite the most affordable price, it inherited a lot of brand solutions.

However, looking at its appearance it cannot be said immediately. Wharfedale D330 has completely different bodies. They are lighter and simpler, have a simple finish - the body made of fiberboard is decorated with vinyl film, and the front panel is covered with black paint without some glamour gloss, which is absolutely normal for entry-level systems. However, we do not have the heart to call this product primitive. The round edges and front panels give D330 a modern look, and the presence of a rigid steel platform with adjustable spikes indicates the desire of developers to endow even inexpensive speakers with the attributes of advanced Hi-Fi components. By the way, between the case and the base there is a firm slotted bass-reflex - regard this as the first borrowing, transferred to the new models from the Diamond series of the modern 11th generation.

The drivers that are hidden under the fabric grills look very similar to those used in the "diamond" series. The diffusers made of a very thin, but durable Kevlar composite are endowed with an impressive suspension made from a special porous elastomer and a mobile phase-equalizing bullet. The textile dome tweeter is definitely the same. This is a newly developed WFR driver with a reverse closed chamber and a composite combination flange, the shape of which contributes to the expansion of the dispersion.

I advise the future owner of D330 to arm himself with patience. Acoustics requires quite a long warm-up in order the flexibility of synthetic suspensions can reach the desired condition. But that is not all. We will have to spend some effort during installation - in particular, to find the optimal gap between the rear wall of the loudspeaker and the wall of the room.

Very much depends from this. The fact is that the bass qualities of the new Wharfedale models when placed in the free field are very artificial. It will seem to you that they barely reproduce the lowest register, and the band of 50 - 80 Hz is not filled enough. Wharfedale engineers understood that nobody would asound large and even medium-sized rooms with acoustics of this class, so they are destined to stand in small rooms near walls or even in corners that serve as natural "amplifiers" of bass. Therefore, start with a gap of 10-12 centimeters and methodically, pushing the loudspeakers towards you with five millimeters steps, start searching for those points where dense and textured bass will suddenly appear. It will undoubtedly happen. Fortunately, Wharfedale D330 does not have something that can cause problems in tuning, namely, expressed accent at 100 - 200 Hz. The slotted design responds more adequately to changes in placement.

Low-cost acoustics are often made so that there are basses up to ears, leaving the owner with no chance to somehow control them. And many interpret this even as advantage. Wharfedale D330, as you can see, is another story. These systems are very good just because of their controllability - they are like clay, from which you can easily set up a simple and moderately strong bass of any nature under your personal musical preferences.

The second key advantage is the transparent middle and top. Tweeters are beyond any claims at all. They sound linear, very detailed, without unpleasant overtones or some kind of aggression. As for subtle nuances and lightness of reproduction, they, of course, do not reach the high-class drivers, but when working in high-quality audio section, they will not betray their belonging to a budget class. Especially if you remove fabric grills from them.

The main voice and higher discant register is surprisingly neat and open. Hardly noticeable bright colors (typical for almost all Kevlar diffusers) are almost completely reduced if we leave meshes on the mid-bass heads. And although the middle is in general a bit highlighted relative to the bass, a very lively picture is obtained along with the neutral tops. The speed and dynamics are not crushed, the timbres are natural, there is no synthetic color - the richness and nature of sound will depend only on the class of source and an amplifier.

Wharfedale D330 Floor standing speakers photo