Wharfedale introduces newly engineered Dovedale speaker

Wharfedale has re-engineered its Dovedale loudspeaker, part of its Heritage Series originally created in the Sixties and Seventies. Named after a valley in the Peak District, the first Dovedale launched in 1965 as an updated version of Wharfedale’s W2. It was originally a two-way design but was later adapted to a three-way with separate bass, midrange and treble drivers. Several versions followed, the most fondly remembered probably being the Dovedale 3, which arrived in 1971.

This is the model that the re-engineered Dovedale takes inspiration from with its corresponding Unit 5 build-at-home kit.

The new speaker’s cabinet is a touch taller, a little wider and considerably deeper than the standard production Dovedale 3, but similar in size to the largest home constructors’ version.

The 250mm bass and 130mm midrange drivers incorporate cones made from woven Kevlar – the synthetic fibre discovered in the same year as the original Dovedale’s release and not used for loudspeaker diaphragms until a decade later. The midrange unit is housed in its own internal enclosure to limit vibrations from the bass driver. The use of woven Kevlar for both units helps to ensure a seamless handover, aided by a crossover design that marries the output of each driver.

The midrange and bass cabinet enclosures are both damped using a combination of acoustic foam and long-hair fibre. This allows the midrange unit to achieve a smooth response down to the upper bass region, enabling an accurate slope to be calculated for the crossover to the bass driver. The latter is itself able, in its damped and ported enclosure, to reach a claimed depth of 25Hz.

The 25mm fabric-dome tweeter with a ceramic magnet, featured throughout Wharfedale’s Heritage Series, has been improved by incorporating a rear chamber, damped to absorb the output from the back of the dome. This also has the advantage of reducing its resonant frequency to well below the crossover region, allowing full treble detail and harmonics to be revealed without affecting the smoothness of the high-frequency performance.

The Dovedale’s crossover components have been laid out on twin PCBs with spacing to avoid electromagnetic interference. In addition, Wharfedale says the impedance characteristic is kind to amplifiers, being a smooth and relatively non-reactive 6ohm load with a quoted sensitivity of 89dB.

The cabinet has an inner layer of high-density particle board bonded to an outer layer of MDF by an inter-layer of high-damping glue. Specially chosen figured-grain, real-wood veneers are applied to all surfaces, hand-polished and lacquered to a satin finish.

Wharfedale has designed a pair of open-frame carbon steel matching stands with furniture-grade glass inserts at the top and bottom. All bar one of the uprights are filled with damping material – the other allows for cable management – with four large stainless-steel spikes at the base. The package is completed by a set of stainless-steel spike seats and handling gloves.

The Dovedale is 370 x 660 x 417mm (WxHxD) and priced at £5,500 per pair including the matching floor stands. They are also available separately, at £5,000 for the speakers and £800 for the stands.

Available to buy now, you can find out more about the Wharfedale Dovedale here .