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Wharfedale Diamonds Shine Even Brighter

Classic Diamond lineage of high-performance, high-value speakers reaches new heights with the all-new Diamond 100 Series

For more than 30 years, Wharfedale’s famous Diamond speakers have served as the classic entry point to true high-fidelity sound, their exceptional value for money earning dozens of awards around the globe. Now, with the introduction of the all-new Diamond 100 Series, Wharfedale has once again raised the bar for affordable, high-performance loudspeakers.

A place in history

Wharfedale’s Diamond series has a long history of achievement. The first Diamond was born in 1981 – a small, unassuming ‘bookshelf’ speaker with a 19mm tweeter and 120mm long-throw bass/mid driver that redefined the ‘budget’ speaker concept and took the industry by storm. A compact cabinet and stiff, yet light polypropylene cone delivered a fast, tight sound with superb stereo imaging, far in advance of what was normally expected at such an affordable price point. Never a company to rest on its laurels, Wharfedale quickly began to develop successive models and within a year, the Diamond II was launched.

The Diamond name has been a permanent fixture in the Wharfedale catalogue ever since, establishing itself as the classic entry point to high-fidelity sound and delighting millions of music fans in the process. Diamond is no longer just a bookshelf speaker but a complete range of standmount and floorstanding designs; the last iteration, the Diamond 10 Series, launched in 2009 and became another best-selling range, receiving numerous plaudits including the coveted Product of the Year Award from What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision for the standmount Diamond 10.1. Now, as 2012 draws to a close, it’s time for a new Diamond to take the stage: the Diamond 100 Series.

The Diamond standard redefined

The Diamond 10 Series was a huge critical and commercial success, so Wharfedale’s engineers were set an enormous challenge to improve upon its performance whilst maintaining the traditionally low retail prices that embody the Diamond ethos. First, the drive units were redesigned; Wharfedale’s woven Kevlar cone, already refined through successive generations, now sports a new profile based on research originally undertaken for the high-end Jade range, which launched in 2011.

The bass and midrange cones incorporate semi-elliptical ‘break-up’ areas, which smooth the response throughout the audible range, and each surround is treated to match the cone edge with a unique ‘Diamond pattern’ moulding. The dust cap is blended and treated to provide a smooth transition with the treble unit, which has also been entirely redesigned and now incorporates an advanced ferrite magnet system, together with a carefully constructed waveguide around the fabric dome for optimal dispersion.

The cabinet is king

Cabinet design and construction is critical to sound quality, yet this is an area where many affordable loudspeakers fall short. The latest version of Wharfedale’s advanced ‘Virtual Speaker’ software was used to hone the design of each Diamond 100 Series model until an ideal acoustic balance was achieved, with the aid of Delayed Cumulative Spectral Analysis, which ruthlessly reveals panel coloration in all its forms.

Using this technique, Wharfedale’s engineers have formulated an all-new cabinet panel construction consisting of multi-grain faceted boards (a mix of chipboard and MDF) bonded together to damp unwanted High-Q resonances and block internal sound leakage. As a result of these firmly braced panels, ‘noise’ from the cabinet walls is buried more than 35dB below the driver output. When you listen to Diamond 100 Series speakers, all you hear is the output from the drive units, without any attendant colouration from the cabinet.

Advanced bass loading

One of the key innovations in the Diamond 100 Series is the Slot-Loaded Distributed Port, developed from the Aperiodic bass loading system found in the Jade Series. Exiting at the base of the speaker cabinet, the reflex port is loaded by a slot that is created by a plinth. This equalises the air pressure to mimic that inside the cabinet, allowing smooth transition between the pressure variation in the cabinet and the low frequency sound developed in the room.

Incorporated in both the floorstanding and standmount models, the Slot-Loaded Distributed Port helps to ensure deep, articulate and well-integrated bass, without the ‘chuffing’ that is often associated with regular front- or rear-mounted ports. No other speaker range at such affordable price points implements an advanced bass loading system of this kind, combining with the speakers’ exceptionally high-quality drive units to deliver new standards of bass reproduction at budget price points.

In the end, it’s all about the ears

Developed in-house, Wharfedale’s new Virtual Speaker software has informed the design of each Diamond 100 Series speaker, right down to the simple yet highly effective crossover networks that deliver seamless transitions between the drive units. The final designs are extensively analysed before prototypes are built, with driver performance, cabinet construction and room placement all accurately simulated to ensure that both on-axis and off-axis performance is fully optimised over a wide listening area.

And yet, for all its technical prowess, the Virtual Speaker software is simply a development tool; the critical final stages come when prototypes are built and listening tests begin. All Diamond 100 Series speakers have been painstakingly evaluated and fine tuned by ear, using a wide variety of music in Wharfedale’s five listening rooms, each of which mimics the kind of domestic environments the speakers are likely to be used in. Only when these exhaustive tests are complete and the speakers’ voicing has been perfected are the designs signed off for production.

The result is a sound that is smooth yet detailed, focused yet spacious, effortlessly dynamic yet firmly in control, from the classic bookshelf-size Diamond 121 to the immensely powerful, floorstanding Diamond 159. Whatever the listener’s musical taste, from driving rock to soothing classical, the Diamond 100 Series ensures a sound that is always exciting yet never harsh, engaging the listener in the music from the first note to the last.

The Diamond 100 Series takes Wharfedale’s high-performance, low-cost concept to new heights, maintaining Diamond’s long-held position as the sparkling jewel in Wharfedale’s crown. All seven models are available from December in a choice of four finishes: Black, Cherry, Rosewood and walnut.

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Wharfedale Diamond 121 Loudspeakers

Finishes: Black, Cherry, Rosewood and walnut
Warranty: 24 months
Available from: Salisbury & Online
Delivery: Free Fast Mainland UK delivery on in-stock items (excludes Scottish Highlands)

Our Price: £229.00

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Wharfedale Diamond 121 Loudspeakers


Bass Driver(s)

Midrange Driver



Recommended Amp Power

Nominal Impedance

Frequency Response

Cabinet Volume

Dimensions (H x W x D)

Weight (each)

2-way standmount

130mm woven Kevlar


25mm soft dome



8 Ohms



315 x 174 x 225 mm