Wharfedale 100-HCP review | What Hi-Fi?

We’re large lovers of the Wharfedale Diamond 121 standmounters. They’re brilliant performers with great element and enthusiasm, and we gave them a heartfelt five stars in our January 2013 factor.

Naturally we have been excited to check four of those speakers in combination, in a house cinema package (HCP) that also features a Wharfedale PowerCube SPC-10 subwoofer and a Diamond 101C centre speaker. It's known as the Wharfedale 100-HCP.

Design and construct

To begin, we read about the Diamond 121s that make up the entrance channels. Quality keep an eye on used to be the only factor we had on our first stumble upon. Our samples nonetheless really feel just a little reasonable, but they now glance good enough for us to not dwell on it.

The 121s have a 13cm woven Kevlar cone for midrange and bass, in addition to a 25mm soft-dome tweeter. There’s additionally a ‘slot-loaded distribution port’, a reflex port that fires down into a small hole between the bottom of the cabinet and the plinth underneath. This is helping to cut back chuffing noise and to make the speaker much less fussy about its proximity to walls.

We haven’t seen the Diamond 101C centre speaker earlier than. It appears to be like a lot like the 121s, although there are two mid/bass drivers. There’s no fancy slot for bass, either: just a undeniable downwards-firing reflex port.

Finally we get to the PowerCube SPC-10 subwoofer, which scored five stars in 2011. It has a 25cm downwards-facing driver and, in contrast to the remainder of the speakers right here, the end is beautiful. It’s solidly constructed, and very sturdy.

Sound quality

With the entirety in position, we relax to look at a Blu-ray of Star Trek: Into Darkness. It’s a fantastic disc with masses happening, and we preferred what we heard. What in an instant struck us was the dimensions of the sound.

The 100-HCP simply engulfed us with sound results, and helped to persuade us that we were in the course of a hyper-speed chase via house.

Take care when putting in the audio system. The design of the 121s may have been intended to lead them to less fussy about placement, but we find they carry out perfect when positioned as regards to partitions. After doing so, the stereo image becomes more forged and precise.

Elsewhere, the sound is detailed and punchy. There’s an outstanding stage of subtlety, conveying a sense of the texture of the entirety from phasers being fired to glass being shattered.

The subwoofer provides a good quantity of weight, despite the fact that it’s more all for agility and detail. The sub and the surrounds paintings well in combination to convey what’s taking place in the film, too – integration is a strong point right here.

But it isn’t all just right information. As capable as this package is, we can’t assist feeling that it’s a little restrained. The 100-HCP needs more power to be a in point of fact attractive concentrate. We put on a Blu-ray of Michael Jackson’s This Is It, and to find this package isn’t reasonably as thrilling as we’d like.

The purpose? The centre speaker. It isn’t as transparent or as dynamic as the others, and so makes the sound appear a little bit managed. As an experiment, we disconnected the speaker and diverted the centre channel to the front Diamond 121s.

Everything in an instant felt a little bit extra energetic. Then we went one step further and swapped the centre speaker with every other Diamond 121, and were given what we were in search of: panache.

Verdict

It’s a disgrace the centre speaker isn’t in particular completed. We’re shocked the 101C doesn’t sound better, as it has the similar drivers as the 121s.

As it's, it waters down the package deal and holds it again from greatness.

MORE: Awards 2013: Best speaker packages

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