Diamonds are forever

I’ve become pretty good at researching electronics. Especially good at researching audio electronics. This time around I wanted to upgrade my loudspeaker system. The one I have presently is great if not excellent, but I’ve had it for almost 10 years. My ears have grown with them, but they need more.

I remember getting my first store credit card at Best Buy with Kyle in Antioch (37013), because I simply did not have the $350 for them at the time. I think I also picked up that 1980-1990 U2 CD as well. Why I remember these things?! I remember paying it each month until it was paid off 6 months later. (Free 6 months financing cant be wrong!) Anyways… The time has come to move on. I have an incredibly nice amplifier and the Cerwin Vegas are doing nicely, but I know the amp can voice more articulately with seriously refined loudspeakers. The Cerwin Vegas were 3 way (of course) – but were always pretty bass heavy and a little tin foil sounding (bright) in the high end. I am looking for something more natural and even sounding. Not just booty bass. Over the years, I’ve discovered how less highs and lows play in the mix and where the mid range is really the serious made-it-or-break-it factor. I mean getting the mids in the correct placement are more troublesome and could almost be considered an art when done correctly. Whereas getting the highs and mids are pretty simple. Or perhaps it just me.

So this weekend I started looking at speakers. I had unofficially been looking for months. Funny how I started this. I talked with Emily about it to get her input and her only requirement was that it had to be a light wood. Like a beech or maple. I’ve honestly never done research this backwards before. Typically when buying something electronic one starts with basic specs. At first I definitely understood and completely agreed with this sentiment as it would compliment the rest of the decor in the room. Little did I know that you typically have to spend thousands of dollars on loudspeakers to get more than “ash” or “oak” veneers. So after a few days of research and a budget I came up with the Wharfedale Diamond 8.4 floor standing loudspeakers. In maple wood, of course. I also looked at B&W and Athena Technologies.

The specs:

  • Twin 6.5 inch Kevlar bass / midrange drive units
  • 1 inch silk fabric dome tweeter, ferrofluid cooled with neodymium magnet
  • Biamp/biwire capable (Yay!)
  • 100 watt power rating (continuous RMS)
  • Frequency response 34Hz – 20kHz
  • Nominal impedance: 6 ohm
  • Wired internally with premium Monster Cable XP

The wood keeps Emily happy. The innards (and reasonable price!) keep me happy. And the amp is happy (the speakers are also made in the UK – so they are neighbors too). And if only I owned a firearm, I could test out the Kevlar speakers. They are also a bit tighter in size than the Cerwin Vegas which is nice because they will nest next to the couch on each side pretty nicely. And the couch (to be refinished in the next week or two) will be moved under the two windows in the living room.

One sad factor was that I was unable to purchase from AudioAdvisor.com which is my favorite audio store. They didn’t have the maple wood. It was a shame. Maybe next time around.

UPDATE: Turns out the maple finish was also backordered from the place I purchased them from. So I canceled the order and ordered it from AudioAdvisor. I [heart] the AudioAdvisor.

UPDATE 2: Turns out when the couch came we decided the maple finish wouldn’t work. So we decided on the Athena Technologies F2.2 in black/gray finish. So yummy.

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