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Wharfedale Diamond 200 Series Loudspeakers Preview

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Wharfedales Diamond 200 Series

Wharfedale's Diamond 200 Series

Summary

  • Product Name: Diamond 210, 220, 230, 240, 250, 220C
  • Manufacturer: Wharfedale
  • Review Date: January 09, 2015 09:00
  • MSRP: $TBD
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • Buy Now

Diamond 210

  • General description: 2-way bookshelf speaker
  • Enclosure type: Bass Reflex
  • Bass driver: 100mm Woven Kevlar Cone
  • Treble driver: 25mm Soft Dome
  • Sensitivity(2.83V @ 1m): 86dB
  • Nominal impedance: 8Ω Compatible
  • Minimum impedance: 4.1Ω
  • Frequency response (+/-3dB): 68Hz - 20kHz
  • Height (on plinth & spikes): 232mm
  • Width: 143mm
  • Depth (with terminals): 170mm
  • Net weight: 2.6kg/pcs


Diamond 220

  • General description: 2-way bookshelf speaker
  • Enclosure type: Bass Reflex
  • Bass driver: 130mm Woven Kevlar Cone
  • Treble driver: 25mm Soft Dome
  • Sensitivity(2.83V @ 1m): 86dB
  • Nominal impedance: 8Ω Compatible
  • Minimum impedance: 4.1Ω
  • Frequency response (+/-3dB): 56Hz - 20kHz
  • Height (on plinth & spikes): 315mm
  • Width: 174mm
  • Depth (with terminals): 255mm
  • Net weight: 5.3kg/pcs


Diamond 230

  • General description: 2.5-way floorstanding speaker
  • Enclosure type: Bass Reflex
  • Bass driver: 165mm Woven Kevlar Cone
  • Midrange driver: 165mm Woven Kevlar Cone
  • Treble driver: 25mm Soft Dome
  • Sensitivity(2.83V @ 1m): 88dB
  • Nominal impedance: 8Ω Compatible
  • Minimum impedance: 3.7Ω
  • Frequency response (+/-3dB): 40Hz - 20kHz
  • Height (on plinth & spikes): 963mm
  • Width: 196mm
  • Depth (with terminals): 334mm
  • Net weight: 17.8kg/pcs


Diamond 240

  • General description: 3-way floorstanding speaker
  • Enclosure type: Bass Reflex
  • Bass driver: 165mm Woven Kevlar Cone x2
  • Midrange driver: 130mm Woven Kevlar Cone
  • Treble driver: 25mm Soft Dome
  • Sensitivity(2.83V @ 1m): 89dB
  • Nominal impedance: 4Ω Compatible
  • Minimum impedance: 3.0Ω
  • Frequency response (+/-3dB): 40Hz - 20kHz
  • Height (on plinth & spikes): 1,023mm
  • Width: 204mm
  • Depth (with terminals): 394mm
  • Net weight: 21.6kg/pcs


Diamond 250

  • General description: 3-way floorstanding speaker
  • Enclosure type: Bass Reflex
  • Bass driver: 200mm Woven Kevlar Cone x2
  • Midrange driver: 130mm Woven Kevlar Cone
  • Treble driver: 25mm Soft Dome
  • Sensitivity(2.83V @ 1m): 89dB
  • Nominal impedance: 6Ω Compatible
  • Minimum impedance: 3.1Ω
  • Frequency response (+/-3dB): 35Hz - 20kHz
  • Height (on plinth & spikes): 1,128mm
  • Width: 250mm
  • Depth (with terminals): 424mm
  • Net weight: 29.4kg/pcs


Diamond 220C

  • General description: 2-way centre speaker
  • Enclosure type: Bass Reflex
  • Bass driver: 130mm Woven Kevlar Cone x2
  • Treble driver: 25mm Soft Dome
  • Sensitivity(2.83V @ 1m): 89dB
  • Nominal impedance: 8Ω Compatible
  • Minimum impedance: 4.0Ω
  • Frequency response (+/-3dB): 60Hz - 20kHz
  • Height (on plinth & spikes): 190mm
  • Width: 470mm
  • Depth (with terminals): 264mm
  • Net weight: 8.5kg/pcs

If you’re not familiar with Wharfedale, perhaps the first thing to know about the company is that they’ve been around the block a time or two. Starting out from a small factory in Bradford, England in the 1930’s, they’re one of the oldest loudspeaker manufacturers still in operation today. These days, Wharfedale produces a wide variety of loudspeakers, from their budget Diamond 10 line all the way up to the legendary Airedale. The company’s latest creation is the Diamond 200 series, which is slated for its US debut at CES 2015.

The Diamond 200 series consists of two bookshelf models, three floorstanding speakers, and a center channel. In addition to a clean look, all of the speakers in the new lineup boast layered cabinet construction to minimize the effects of resonance, as well as woven Kevlar cones on the midrange drivers and woofers. Are you ready to look at some speakers?

Diamond 210 & 220

Starting with the bookshelf models, you have the Diamond 210 and 220 speakers. Both are two-way ported designs; the Diamond 210 utilizes a 25mm soft dome tweeter and a 100mm mid/woofer, while the 220 bumps up to a 130mm mid/woofer. The 220 also appears to load the tweeter into a waveguide, which helps control dispersion, while the 210’s tweeter is flush mounted on the baffle. In terms of technical specifications, both the 210 and 220 are listed as 8 ohm nominal with a minimum impedance of 4.1 ohms. Sensitivity for both models is listed at 86dB with 2.83V at 1m, and taken together with the impedance rating suggests that these speakers would be best fed by a reasonably stout amplifier. Looking to frequency response, the Diamond 210 is rated from 68Hz-20kHz +/-3dB, while the Diamond 220 extends a bit lower, down to 56Hz. Given the low frequency rating of both speakers, we recommend that they be used with a subwoofer for full range audio reproduction.

Diamond 210 and 220

The Wharfedale Diamond 210 (left) and 220 (right).

Diamond 230, 240, & 250

Moving on to the towers, we meet the Diamond 230, 240, and 250. The Diamond 230 is a 2.5- way vented design, while the 240 and 250 are both three-way models. To complement its 25mm tweeter, the Diamond 230 boasts a pair of 165mm mid/woofers. The Diamond 240 and 250 on the other hand both utilize a 130mm midrange driver, with the 240 sporting a pair of 165mm woofers and the 250 getting dual 200mm woofers.

On the technical side, the Diamond 230 is listed as an 8 ohm speaker (3.7 ohm minimum), while the 240 is stated to be 4 ohms nominal (3.0 ohm minimum) and the 250 is 6 ohms nominal (3.1 ohms minimum). Sensitivity is for the Diamond 230 is rated at 88dB with 2.83V at 1m, while the 240 and 250 are both rated at 89dB. Again, given the relatively low minimum impedances combined with a middling sensitivity, we would recommend solid amplification for these speakers. Turning to frequency response, the Diamond 230 and 240 are both rated from 40H-20kHz +/-3dB, while the 250 extends the low end down to 35Hz. Depending on your tastes, the low end extension here could be adequate for musical purposes (particularly in the case of the big Diamond 250), though for home theater, a subwoofer is still a must.

Diamond 230 240 and 250

From left to right, the Wharfedale Diamond 230, 240, and 250.

Diamond 220C

Last but not least, we have the Diamond 220C center channel. A two-way ported horizontal MTM design, the 220C boasts a 25mm tweeter mated to a pair of 130mm mid/woofers. Typically, we’re not too enamored with this arrangement, as operating a pair of woofers side by side up to 2.3kHz in this case will generate acoustical interference, which can cause problems for listeners far off-axis. However, in most listening situations, properly designed horizontal MTM's do work fine.  

Please see: Horizontal vs Vertical Center Channels Alternative Perspective

Moving on to technical specs, the Diamond 220C is rated at 8 ohms nominal (4 ohms minimum), with a sensitivity of 89dB with 2.83V at 1m. Frequency response is rated from 60Hz-20kHz +/-3dB; given that the likely use is home theater, crossing over to a subwoofer is again highly recommended.

Diamond 220C

The Wharfedale Diamond 220C.

Conclusion

Generally we don’t do a lot of coverage of Wharfedale, largely because the US market isn’t their bread and butter. Taking a glance at their Diamond 200 series, that’s a shame because these speakers look quite nice and for the most part appear to be well designed. Of course there’s one looming question: price. Unfortunately, US pricing is still to be determined; however, Wharfedale is promising to “continue the Diamond Series’ 32-year tradition of delivering impeccable performance at affordable prices.” Needless to say, we’re interested to see more come CES time in January.

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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Steve Munz is a “different” addition to Audioholics’ stable of contributors in that he is neither an engineer like Gene, nor has he worked in the industry like Cliff. In fact, Steve’s day job is network administration and accounting.

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