Cambridgeshire, England | 2019 – Heavenly high-end sound at refreshingly down-to-earth prices is the promise fulfilled by the new EVO4 Series from Wharfedale, Britain’s best-known loudspeaker brand.
With prices starting at £449 per pair, the EVO4 Series sits between the existing Diamond 11 Series and Wharfedale’s forthcoming, flagship Elysian speakers. The initial range comprises six models: two standmount speakers (EVO4.1 and 4.2), two floorstanders (EVO4.3 and 4.4), a large home cinema centre speaker (EVO4.C) and a surround speaker designed for on-wall siting (EVO4.S). A more compact centre speaker (EVO4.CS) will be added to the range towards the end of the year.
The EVO4 Series was developed concurrently with the Elysian project and benefits from the same extensive R&D processes. Much engineering and technology is shared between these speakers and the family resemblance is obvious, from the substantial cabinets with their curved sides to the sophisticated driver array, the like of which you would not expect to see in speakers so affordably priced. There is no attempt to cheat the laws of physics with diminutive cabinets and modest driver arrays; these are serious speakers that play music with authentic power and poise.
Feel the high
Developed from the Air Motion Transformer (AMT) high-frequency unit created for Elysian, EVO4’s AMT unit utilises a radically different way of moving air compared to conventional dome tweeters. A large, pleated, lightweight diaphragm is driven across its surface by rows of strategically placed magnets. The pleats in the diaphragm contract and expand under the influence of the musical drive, squeezing the air between them to form the desired waveform.
Picture: Fast drivers All the three-way EVO4 Series models combine an AMT treble unit, fabric dome midrange unit and bass drivers with Kevlar cones.
Not only is this an efficient way of moving air, it is also highly accurate as the diaphragm is under close control of the motor system at all times. The result is a wide bandwidth transducer that achieves extremely low distortion and wonderful musical detail, with scintillating speed and dynamic ability.
Dome is where the heart is
To match to the AMT treble unit, Wharfedale has developed a fast and responsive dome midrange driver with wide bandwidth, assisted by the incorporation of a damped rear chamber. This unit is used by all the three-way EVO4 speakers – every model bar the two-way EVO4.1.
The soft fabric dome, damped with a plasticiser coating, is vented aperiodically into a specially shaped rear chamber that is profiled to scatter and absorb rear energy from the dome. This results in a linear response from 800Hz to 5kHz – a remarkable bandwidth from such a midrange unit.
Thanks to its high-flux magnet, the EVO4 midrange dome also has a high efficiency, ideally matched to that of the AMT treble unit, enabling it to respond rapidly to the dynamics of the music. The wide dispersion of this dome and AMT combination ensures that listeners hear all the musical detail, no matter where they are seated, putting them right at the heart of the music.
The EVO4 Series’ bass drivers utilise the advanced, low-distortion motor system developed for the Elysian bass units, married to a woven Kevlar cone fitted with a low-loss rubber surround. This gives a wide bandwidth drive unit that is equally adept at producing powerful bass and a natural-sounding lower midrange.
Wharfedale’s engineers have been working with Kevlar – an exceptionally strong yet lightweight aramid fibre, ideally suited to speaker diaphragms – for two decades. The experience gained over multiple product generations has enabled Wharfedale to continually refine its use of the material, producing natural-sounding drive units that reveal impressive instrumental texture.
Picture: White magic The EVO4.1 standmount speaker is the only two-way model in the EVO4 Series, shown here in white wood veneer.
Bass performance is augmented by the most advanced version of Wharfedale’s signature slot-loaded port yet devised. Christened SLPP (Slot Loaded Profiled Port), it ensures that the rear output of the bass units is not wasted. Instead, the lowest frequency energy is vented to a slot at the base of the speaker, specially profiled to equalise the high internal pressure to the low pressure in the room.
This reduces the distortion that is typical of ported bass reflex systems and also increases the port’s efficiency, further contributing to the speakers’ deep, articulate and well-integrated bass. In addition, because the air is dispersed uniformly in the room, the speakers are less fussy about positioning.
The drivers’ output is combined via a sophisticated computer-modelled crossover network that has been developed over hundreds of hours of listening tests, fine-tuned to ensure that the blend between the drive units is seamless and phase consistency is outstanding.
Crossover components have been carefully chosen for their audio transparency and feature high-grade polypropylene capacitors and laminated silicon-iron and air core inductors, laid out to avoid electro- magnetic interference on a specially designed circuit board.
Picture: Cinema sound The EVO4.4 floorstanders and EVO4.C centre speaker form a powerful and articulate front three in a high-class home cinema system.
Exceptional sound at affordable prices
Harnessing materials, techniques and technologies that you would only expect to find in speakers costing many times their price, the Wharfedale EVO4 Series is the epitome of affordable high-end audio. Whatever your choice of music, EVO4 speakers will reproduce it with outstanding accuracy, detailing and realism – a wonderfully expressive sound that articulates the true character of instruments and voices, conveying the passion and excitement of each and every performance.
Speaking about the development of the EVO4 Series, Peter Comeau – Wharfedale’s Director of Acoustic Design – said: “Other than some inventive names for ‘fancy’ cone materials, it might seem that little has changed in moving coil loudspeakers over the past 50 years. That’s why it’s refreshing to work with the advanced motor systems we’ve incorporated into the EVO4 Series, along with our version of a dome midrange and an AMT treble unit that has grown out of our research for the Elysian project. This Wharfedale speaker range is distinctly different, yet it continues to do what Wharfedale does best: deliver superb material and sonic value-for-money.”
The Wharfedale EVO4 Series is available from October in a choice of black, white or walnut wood veneers. RRPs are as follows:
EVO4.1: £449 per pair EVO4.3: £999 per pair EVO4.S: £999 per pair
EVO4.2: £599 per pair EVO4.4: £1199 per pair EVO4.C: £499 each