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Wharfedale Ultra Power Cube Subwoofers Preview

Wharfedale Ultra Power Cube Subs

Wharfedale Ultra Power Cube Subs


  • Product Name: Ultra Power Cube Subwoofers
  • Manufacturer: Wharfedale
  • Review Date: October 08, 2012 20:40
  • MSRP: $1599 (UPC-10); $1199 (UPC-8)
  • First Impression: Mildly Interesting


  • Dual 10" woofers
  • 500 watt amplifier


  • Dual 8" woofers
  • 350 watt amplifier

Some people don't care where their products are manufactured as long as they perform as expected and are at a reasonable price. Others are quite happy to pay extra for products that are manufactured locally (or, at least, not in China). It is a sort of patriotism that borders on racism at times. There is no reason to think that products manufactured overseas are inherently inferior, but suggest that at a party and you'll be unlikely to hear any dissenters. 

Wharfedale is a British company that prides themselves on building their speakers completely in-house. Other manufacturers will claim that they "design" everything locally, suggesting to consumers that it is also built locally. Not so. The same goes for those who "assemble" their products in house. Who knows where those components are sourced? Probably overseas, but we may never know. Wharfedale says: 

"Like every Wharfedale loudspeaker, UPC subwoofers are designed and built completely in-house, from their drivers and internal amplifiers to their elegantly finished cabinets. This vertical integration enables Wharfedale to have complete design control over every aspect of every loudspeaker, and ensure unit-to-unit consistency. In addition, the company can manufacture superior-performance loudspeakers at attractive price points and employ materials and techniques that are unavailable to other companies."

While there are three subwoofers on the picture above, Wharfedale is officially announcing two new models. The Ultra Power Cube range of subs are abbreviated into the Google-resistant UPC line. The UPC-10 sports dual 10" woofers while the UPC-8 has dual 8" woofers. Both have their drivers mounted on opposite walls in a push-pull configuration. This arrangement mechanically reinforces the movement of each driver. The woofers feature a high-excursion, long-throw design. The UPC-10 has a 500 watt amplifier while the UPC-8 has a 350 watt amp.

Both UPC subwoofers have a dimmable digital readout on the front. They have controls for volume, a variable low-pass crossover, crossover slope adjustment, phase adjustment, and have connections for stereo and mono line in, plus speaker-level inputs. Each control can be adjusted by the included remote. While a traditional room correction system is not included, the UPC subs have a "selection of sound-effect modes that enable listeners to tailor the sound of the subwoofers". The wording makes it sound an awful lot like the horrible "Rock Arena" modes on our receivers that we so loathe.

While specifics of the UPC subwoofers' performance is not given, Wharfedale promises the UPC-10 and UPC-8 will "deliver clear, precise, powerful low-frequency response to 30Hz." While we generally believe that clean bass down to 30Hz is better than bloated bass down to 20Hz, the price tags of the UPC subs have us a bit puzzled. At $1600 for the UPC-10 and $1200 for the UPC-8, we would typically expect a bit more extension. Perhaps Wharfedale went for more output, we'll have to wait and see. Currently, the UPC subs are listed as "available in the U.S. soon". We'll have to reserve judgement until either they are released or, hopefully, we get a test sample.


Wharfedale makes every component of the Ultra Power Cube subwoofers in-house. Sporting dual drivers in a push-pull configuration and a remote, specifics of the UPC subs are sparse. We do know the 10" UPC-10 has a 500 watt amp, the normal complement of controls, and an LED readout with a remote. The 8" UPC-8 has the same except a smaller 350 watt amp. With stated response down to 30Hz, the $1599 price tag for the UPC-10 may look a little steep, especially considering the $1199 UPC-8 has the same stated extension. We'll have to see more when these subs finally hit US shores.

For more information, please visit www.wharfedale.com.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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