Redefining Price-to-Performance Ratios: Wharfedale Diamond 12.2 Bookshelf Loudspeaker Features 6.5-Inch Klarity Driver, Plays Music with Emotion, Immediacy, and Depth
Wharfedale Diamond 12.2, the largest bookshelf loudspeaker in the company's striking Diamond 12 Series, makes its strength known both visually and technologically: A powerful 6.5-inch driver. More on it below, but for now, understand that it combines with an array of other savvy elements – all completely redesigned from the ground up – to anchor a model that plays everything from rock to classical and jazz with engaging emotion, poise, openness, texture, depth, and immediacy. In other words, Diamond 12.2 basically redefines the price-to-performance ratio in the sub-$500 loudspeaker field. 100% Music Direct Guaranteed.
Now, more about that midrange/bass driver. It arrives comprised of trademarked Klarity cone material – formulated from a blend of polypropylene and mica to add stiffness while remaining lightweight for low coloration and fast responsiveness. Fitted with a low-damping surround and shaped to achieve a flat response curve, it produces expressive dynamics even on complex material. It also touts a precision-crafted magnet system with an aluminum compensation ring to minimize the effect of variations in inductance as the voice coil travels, ultimately leading to an absence of distortion and intermodulation generated by the motor system. As for the aforementioned voice coil? It's wound on an epoxy/glass-fiber bobbin produces higher power handling than those assembled on aluminum machines – and claims a stiffness lacking on Kapton types normally found on speakers at this cost.
Diamond 12.2 also shines when reproducing high frequencies. Manufactured from woven polyester film with a high-loss coating for open, smoothly extended high frequencies, its one-inch soft-dome tweeter boasts an optimized magnet system and flat front plate to attain wide dispersion and uncompressed playback. Architecturally, a very short duct on the front plate balances the acoustic load and serves to improve SPL measurement. Just as important, Diamond 12.2 utilizes a crossover network with LKR 24dB topology and air-core inductors – the latter commonly found in much more expensive high-end designs due to their low-distortion properties.
True to Diamond Series tradition, Diamond 12.2 will catch the eye in any room in which it resides. Not only does this compact unit have elegant finishes and accents, it takes advantage of form-follows-function architecture in which Intelligent Spot Bracing connects opposite walls with a custom, computer-modeled wood brace to reduce resonance – and not transfer it from side to another. In addition, the rear-ported enclosure works in harmony with the drive unit to produce the focused sound you deserve to hear. Just like an audio diamond should.
Klarity Equals Focus
New Klarity cone material for the drivers, formulated from a blend of polypropylene and mica, adds stiffness to reduce flexing, enabling a lightweight cone with high rigidity, low coloration, and fast response. The Klarity cone is fitted with a low-damping surround, thereby achieving both low colouration and expressive dynamics. By simulating many different cone shapes and adding ribs to provide further stiffening, a flat response curve was achieved without resorting to a high-damping surround, thereby striking an ideal balance.
Precision-Crafted Magnet System Keeps Driver Moving as a Piston
A precision-made magnet system with an aluminum compensation ring is employed to minimize the effect of variations in inductance as the voice coil travels. This contributes to an absence of distortion and intermodulation generated by the motor system. In addition, the voice coil is wound on a high-power epoxy/glass-fiber bobbin – highly unusual in speakers at this price level. It has the advantage of not adding eddy currents and delivers greater power handling than an aluminum bobbin, whilst also being much stiffer than the Kapton type associated with Diamond 12 Series' price class.
The one-inch soft-dome tweeter is made from a woven polyester film with a high-loss coating to deliver open and smoothly extended high frequencies. The magnet system and the front plate have been optimized for wide dispersion and uncompressed behaviur. The front plate is flat and exposes the dome as much as possible; only a very short duct on the front plate balances the acoustic load and improves the SPL measurement.
Crossover in Style
The crossover network uses 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 of the mid/bass driver has been modified to compensate, resulting in fast, clean bass with no distortion from the inductor.
Firm and Fair
The rear-ported enclosure is precisely sized so that the internal volume works in harmony with the drive unit system to deliver the desired sonic result. A multi-layered sandwich design subdues the identifiable characteristics of the cabinet. Even the resonant properties of the glue between the layers was measured to determine the optimum combination.
Inside the cabinet, Intelligent Spot Bracing connects opposite walls with a specific form of wood brace to achieve optimal reduction of cabinet resonance. These braces are precisely modeled by computer simulation to improve upon the commonplace ‘figure of eight' brace, which may simply transfer resonance from one wall to another.