Wharfedale threw out the play book in series 11 of the Diamond line. From bass reflex ports to high frequency drivers – literally from the bottom up – every material selection, copper cap, pole plate or inductor was reexamined and improved. The pivotal differences: a reintroduction of curved cabinets walls fashioned from an all-new material sandwich construction, massive ceramic magnets with long-throw voice coils, and lightweight foam woofer surrounds. A tiny sample of the vast improvements present; however, key elements that saw multiple Diamond 11 models take home highly coveted HiFi editorial awards. And they’re the very design features that make Diamond 11 a highly sought after loudspeaker model still.
Diamond 11 reintroduces the curved cabinet design made popular by Diamond 9. Not only is it visually compelling; it cleverly improves sound quality too. Speaker drivers project sound waves both out from and inside the speaker cabinet. These internal waves bounce off cabinet walls and crash into one another to create standing waves. Standing waves are quite simply cabinet resonances that distort the purity of the audio signal. They affect cone movement, create frequency response anomalies, and can continue ringing after the input signal stops. Diamond 11’s curved design helps to mitigate these effects by breaking up the standing wave. And when combined with a specially developed internal fibre, chosen for its outstanding absorbent qualities across a wide bandwidth, Diamond 11 can subdue the identifiable characteristics of its cabinet sound.
But it doesn’t stop there. Diamond 11 was the first Diamond to introduce a multi-layer sandwich construction for its cabinet walls. Timbers of different densities are sandwiched together to increase rigidity and dampen cabinet vibration; thus, protecting the integrity of the music signal. Poor cabinet materials increase cabinet resonances that colour the listening experience. They do so by obscuring or interfering with the driver’s frequency response. Resonance itself involves the storing and releasing of energy over time. And that’s how cabinet resonance can generate distortions like ‘time smearing,’ where sharp thuds are reduced to dull booms. Signal reproduction is the sole responsibility of speaker drivers. So, ultimately, you only want to hear what they have to say. Diamond 11’s multi-layer sandwich construction, combined with internal fibre dampening and its curved design, subdue cabinet resonances and so let the drivers speak for themselves. And all of this helps to reveal more detail from the musical performance. So with all that cabinet noise put away, how do Diamond drivers deliver you the ultimate listening experience?
Diamond 11 drivers incorporate massive ceramic magnets powering long-throw voice coils. Ceramic magnets generate smoother tones than their neodymium counterparts, and the increased size improves its sensitivity. By increasing the size of the voice coil along with the magnets, Diamond 11 drivers offer greater power handling and better transient response. Improved power handling is a huge bonus for an entry-level speaker. It provides greater flexibility for future upgrades. Knowing that Diamond 11’s sound quality will only improve with the extra power, you can comfortably upgrade your electronics first. Not only that, the larger magnet’s sensitivity combined with the longer voice coil’s improved transient response makes the D11 driver highly detailed. Transient simply means for a short time. Multiple frequency bursts from complex musical compositions are highly transient. And Diamond 11 responds far better to this, ensuring you hear much more detail for much less money. But just how do D11 woofers put all that power and precision to good use?
Unique to Diamond 11 is a lightweight foam surround bonded to the Kevlar woven woofer. This is engineered to give Diamond 11 a super extended midrange. But why’s that important? Well, a prefect reproduction of the original signal produces a linear (straight line) frequency response with no peaks or dips. So, you’re not hearing things you shouldn’t (distortion) nor missing detail you should (roll off). Diamond 11’s super extension helps to prevent missing detail in the midrange frequency response. And there’s a ton of information here: trumpets, guitars, drums, pianos, violins, vocals, and many more besides. They all play in and around the midrange, and so there’s a lot to miss. Better extension here helps deliver higher detail, detail to vocals, strings, horns, and percussion –some of the more emotive elements of any recording. It means you hear more of what the artist intended you to, even from a highly affordable speaker.