In the early 1980s, Wharfedale made their first-ever Diamond loudspeakers which were marketed as an entry point to high-fidelity sound. Almost four decades on, Wharfedale has released their new “low-cost, high-performance” speaker range, the D300 Series.

Starting at just £159 per pair, the range consists of four models: two compact standmount speakers, the D310 and slightly larger D320, and a floorstander called the D330. These are joined by a centre channel speaker for home cinema systems, the D300C.

The range will run concurrently with the existing Diamond 11 Series but at lower price points. While the D300 models do not sport the curved cabinet sides of the Diamond 11 speakers, their enclosures incorporate many similar technologies, re-designed and engineered specifically for this new range. For the bass/mid drivers, the latest generation of Wharfedale’s woven Kevlar cones are bonded to a super-lightweight surround made of hi-tech foamed polyether.  These cones are driven by a super-long-throw voice coil motor system and feature oversized ceramic magnets, a technology pioneered by Wharfedale in the 1960s. The driver assembly is mounted in a specially designed basket with a network of ribs to increase rigidity. A large open area behind the cone reduces early reflections and allows the internal cabinet absorbent to do its work.

Developed for the Diamond 11 Series and fine-tuned for the D300 range, Wharfedale’s WFR (Wide Frequency Response) tweeter incorporates its own ‘cabinet’, rear chamber damped with a fibre filling. An over-sized ceramic magnet is attached to a pole piece with a copper cap. The pole piece is vented through to the rear chamber and the dome is textile. The output of the drive units is combined by a crossover developed using Wharfedale’s Advanced Software and Listening Iteration system. Crossover components feature low-loss polypropylene capacitors and laminated core inductors. The cabinets feature 28mm-thick front baffles profiled at the cabinets are braced and the cabinet walls are lined with a specially developed internal fibre. The D300 Series’ P-EQ (Pressure Equalisation) port system has been developed from the Slot-Loaded Distributed Port found in the Diamond 11 Series.

Wharfedale called upon t specialists to develop the D300 Series. Industrial design was delivered by Kieron Dunk, a man whose CV includes designs for the likes of Q Acoustics, Denon and Marantz, as well as Wharfedale’s sister companies Mission and Quad. Acoustic performance was managed by Peter Comeau, Wharfedale’s Director of Acoustic Design. Speaking about the range, Peter Comeau commented: “Although the D300 Series is not a Wharfedale Diamond range [the Diamond 11 Series is the current Diamond line], the ‘D’ in the name clearly signifies the speakers’ heritage. Wharfedale has long been known for delivering excellent sound at affordable prices and we have worked exceedingly hard to deliver premium technological and engineering solutions whilst flying in the face of inflationary pressures to maintain classic ‘budget’ price points such as £159 and £199. In terms of ‘sound per pound’, the D300 Series is surely Wharfedale’s best ‘budget’ loudspeaker range yet.”

The Wharfedale D300 Series is available from late September. All speakers come in a choice of black, white, walnut and rosewood. Recommended retail prices are D310: £159 per pair, D320: £199 per pair, D330: £499 per pair and D300C: £179.

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