Wharfedale launches Diamond 12 speaker series

Wharfedale has launched its new Diamond 12 range comprising three standmount loudspeakers, two floorstanding models and a centre cabinet specifically for home cinema configurations.

The company explains that since its Diamond 8 Series in 2001, it has constructed its mid/bass cones for every Diamond generation from Kevlar, but it has now developed a new composite called Klarity.

Its chief ingredient is polypropylene, a material that’s been used to make speaker cones since the BBC researched its use for this very purpose in the seventies. Polypropylene cones are renowned for their characteristically low distortion and controlled break-up, as well as their resistance to moisture in the air. To make Klarity, Wharfedale has added mica to the formulation. The company claims that this: “increases stiffness compared with polypropylene alone, reducing flexing and enabling a lightweight cone with high rigidity, low colouration and lightning-fast response.”

The Klarity diaphragms are driven by a precision-made magnet system with an aluminium compensation ring to minimise the effect of variations in inductance as the voice coil travels. This, Wharfedale says, contributes to an absence of distortion and intermodulation generated by the motor system. The voice coil is wound on a high-power epoxy/glass fibre bobbin, which has the advantage of not adding eddy currents and delivering greater power handling than aluminium, while also being much stiffer than the Kapton type.

The Diamond 12 Series sports a 25mm tweeter made from a woven polyester film with a high-gloss coating to deliver open and smoothly extended high frequencies. The magnet system and the front plate have been optimised for wide dispersion and uncompressed behaviour. The front plate is flat and exposes the dome as much as possible, with a short duct to balance the acoustic load and improve the SPL (sound pressure level) measurement.

The treble unit combines with the mid/bass driver via a crossover network using an acoustic LKR 24dB topology. This includes air core inductors of the type more commonly found in high-end speakers, selected because they produce the lowest distortion of all inductor types. As the resistance of the coil is higher than a standard laminated steel or ferrite core inductor, the magnetic structure has been modified to compensate, which Wharfedale says results in fast, clean bass with no distortion.

The rear-ported enclosure of each cabinet is precisely sized so that the internal volume works in harmony with the drive unit system. The walls are made from different sections of wood fibre board of varying thickness, constructed in such a way as to subdue the identifiable characteristics of the cabinet’s ‘sound’ and ensure the drivers’ output remains unsullied. Inside the cabinet, Intelligent Spot Bracing connects opposing walls with a specific form of wood brace to achieve optimal reduction of cabinet resonance.

The £200 Diamond 12.0 is the smallest of the standmounts and combines the 25mm tweeter with a 100mm Klarity driver for a claimed sensitivity of 87dB into 8ohm loads. The £250 12.1 has a larger cabinet, enabling it to accommodate a 130mm Klarity mid/bass driver to provide claimed sensitivity of 88dB (8ohm). The biggest of the standmounts, the two-way 12.2 ups the size of the bass driver to 150mm, with a claimed sensitivity of 88dB (8ohm) for £300.

The smaller of the floorstanders, the 2.5-way Diamond 12.3 will set you back £500. It combines the same 25mm tweeter used throughout the range with a 130mm mid and a 130mm bass driver for a claimed sensitivity of 89dB into 8ohm loads. Completing the range, the Diamond 12.4 ups the size of the Klarity mid and bass drivers to 150mm, resulting in 89dB sensitivity at £700 per pair.

All models are available to buy now in a choice of black, white, walnut or light oak finishes and you can find out more about the Diamond 12 Series here .