Wharfedale vintage 5 inch and Focal 5K013L

A Comparison

 

 

OK.  To anyone younger than 45, the preference would most likely be the Focals.  To anyone over 45, perhaps the Wharfies.  The eye has the most influence over then other senses.  If something doesn't look appealing, in all probability neither would its taste, odor or sound in the case of speakers.

I read a paper describing an experiment done way back around the 70's or 80's.  An audience was to describe the sound of several speaker systems, identified only by the color of their grilles.  Well, the sonic descriptions followed very well to how people perceived color.  The white sounded bright, black sounded dull, yellow and orange sounded brassy, etc, etc. and etc.  What they discovered much to their surprise when the grilles were removed, was that all systems were identical.  Many similar tests have been performed over the decades and all proved much the same thing, that we are easily influenced by what we see or by what someone has told us; power of suggestion.

I can't resist this one published in an audio magazine in the 60's or 70's.  A fella had purchased the latest and greatest of phono cartridges.  Not being confident

 in his ability to make the change in the tone arm, he called on a friend to do the job.  During the process, the purchaser raved about the sonic quality of this new cartridge without ever hearing it.  After the change was (supposedly) made, several pieces of music were played and the purchaser continued to rave about how much better this new cartridge sounded.  When the friend had enough of this obnoxious rambling, he opened his hand to his friend and showed him the new cartridge; he didn't make the change.  

The article went on to say that the friendship probably terminated in short order.

 

 

 

 

 

And here we have the usual suspects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There doesn't seem to be much spectral difference between the Wharfie and the Focal up to about 5000 hz with exception of the 800 hz spectrum.  The others exhibit some differences but without an aural test, how they compare sonically remains to be heard.

The point is that the amplitude of the fundamental is about 40 dB above the harmonics, a power factor of 10,000:1.  Admittedly, while this may be undetectable during a listening test while playing one tone, music may present an audible difference.

Again, an aural test will be performed in the passband between 400 hz and 5,000 hz.  The reason for stopping at    5,000 hz is due to the fact that in most 3 way applications, the upper crossover limit is usually set at 5000 hz.  The rest of the harmonics above 5000 hz will not be filtered out with a crossover because they are generated by the speaker after the filtering action of the crossover.

It may be possible to record the sonic tests for listening by interested persons.  The sonic colorations of the listeners' speakers will be common to both units so the difference between them should/may be noticeable, negating out of phase harmonics generated by the listeners' speakers.

 

Wharfedale 5 inch Focal 5K013L
 

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