Wharfedale has revived yet another classic speaker with modern technologies as part of its Heritage range, this time with the Dovedale stereo speaker.
We were first teased about the Dovedale at High End 2022 in Munich, but nothing was known about the speakerbar. the company’s 90th anniversary.
The original Dovedale was first made in 1965, but this updated version is inspired by the later Dovedale 3 model originally launched in 1971. sister brand, the Wharfedale Dovedale aims to impress just as much with the largest Heritage Series speaker to date.
The new Dovedales are slightly taller, slightly wider and a lot deeper than the dimensions of the original Dovedale 3 models (and are also larger than the Wharfedale Lintons) with new drivers and technology that take full advantage of that extra space.
The 25mm fabric dome tweeter has its own rear chamber, which is damped to absorb unwanted output from the back of the unit and reduce resonances that affect high frequency performance. The 13cm midrange drivers and 25cm bass drivers are now made from Kevlar, and the midrange unit has been moved further into the enclosure to ensure mid-range frequencies are unaffected by vibrations from the larger bass driver.
Both units are further dampened with acoustic foam and long-pile fibres, and the bass is said to reach a depth of 25Hz. The crossover components are also carefully chosen for “their revealing and transparent nature,” says Wharfedale, they’re placed on dual circuit boards and spaced so as to “avoid electromagnetic interference.”
Wharfedale says it has spent countless hours listening to a wide variety of music to fine-tune the speakers’ crossover slopes and power response, and the culmination of it all is delivering a sound that has “a vibrant and transparent level of reproduction.” reveals that suits everyone”. styles of music at whatever power level you choose”.
With a sensitivity of 89 dB/w, the speakers should also have no problem being paired with a wide range of amplifiers.
Of course, the vintage design has been a big part of the Heritage range’s appeal and the Dovedales are no different. The cabinet is built with a mix of wood and a two-layer sandwich of MDF and high-density chipboard to further disperse panel resonances.
The speakers themselves are wrapped in real wood walnut veneer, hand polished and lacquered to a satin finish, which looks stunning in the photos alone.
There are also special stands made from carbon steel with glass inserts and hidden cable management, costing £800 a pair when bought individually. Quite unusual for a modern speaker, Wharfedale says the Dovedales stay true to their lineage and will do better with the grilles on; removing it “will result in a sound that is brighter but less smooth.”
The Wharfedale Dovedale speakers will be available from March and cost £5500 a pair including stands, or £5000 for the speakers alone. For the US and Australia, estimated prices are $7,000 and AU$10,500 – these prices both include the stands, as the Dovedales are not available without stands outside the UK.
Those who come to the Bristol Hi-Fi Show this weekend (24-26 February) will be able to see the Dovedale speakers in the flesh – we certainly wouldn’t want to miss them.
Read our Wharfedale Linton judgement
Read the review of the Awarded Mission 770
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