Wharfedale recently announced its latest loudspeaker range, the Jade Series, in Europe and now the new range is coming to North America. Positioned above the company’s Diamond 10 Series, every model in the Jade Series couples superb build and finish quality to a genuinely high-end standard of performance. The range comprises four stereo speakers: the Jade-1 and Jade-3 are both stand-mount models, while the Jade-5 and Jade-7 are floor-standers. There are also two centre channel models, the Jade-C1 and Jade-C2, and a wall-mountable speaker for surround sound use, the Jade-SR. Customers wishing to add an active subwoofer may choose a model from the forthcoming Wharfedale PowerCube range, due to launch later this summer.
The Jade Series features proprietary techniques and technologies throughout, some of which have trickled down from the work undertaken in developing Wharfedale?s awesome, forthcoming flagship speaker – the Airedale Heritage Classic. The result is a range of loudspeakers capable of exceptional sonic detail and expression across a wide range of music – free from coloration, ambivalent to its surroundings and faithful to the original recording.
Unique Cabinet Construction
Elegantly curved cabinets feature throughout the Jade Series, fashioned from a new, proprietary substance called Crystalam. This laminated material is formed from a series of critically specified natural wood elements and composites, formulated to reduce panel vibration and acoustic leakage to below the threshold of audibility.
Each Crystalam layer is bonded to allow microscopic sliding of one layer upon another, providing a natural damping effect that quells the panel resonance experienced by conventional speaker cabinets. As well as reducing the peak level of panel resonance, the composite layers also spread the resonances over a wide frequency band, thereby avoiding the acoustic signature heard from standard MDF cabinets.
In addition, the multi-layer composite construction provides an acoustic barrier to prevent sound from inside the cabinet escaping through the cabinet walls. The overall effect is to reduce the sonic character of the cabinet to the point where it has no audible influence on the performance of the drive units.
Advanced Drive Unit Design
The Jade Series incorporates a proprietary cone material called Acufiber, newly engineered by Wharfedale. This advanced material marries the responsiveness of glass and carbon fibre with a self-damping woven matrix, the aim of which is to produce a neutral radiator that is responsive enough to transfer musical transients without dulling, with naturally damped cone flexure to reduce coloration.
The Acufiber cones also feature a moulded pattern that breaks up standing waves in the cone to further
reduce coloration and distortion, enabling the cone to behave more like an ideal acoustic ?piston? without the resonances experienced by formed metal cones.
Each Acufiber cone is coupled to one of the most linear drive motor systems yet devised for a speaker. The voice coil is immersed in a magnetic field focused to produce balanced forces for push-pull linearity. In addition, the voice coil features shorting rings to reduce the usual effects of inductance, resulting in cleaner and more extended midrange response.
Phase Linear Crossover Networks
A key feature throughout the Jade Series is the use of a 75mm Acufiber midrange cone, in addition to the bass and treble drive units. The Jade-1, Jade-3, Jade-5, Jade-C1 and Jade-SR are all three-way designs, with separate drivers delivering low, middle and high frequencies, while the Jade-7 and Jade-C2 sport four-way configurations.
The crossover networks developed for the Jade Series are critical to ensure these drive units integrate seamlessly. Advanced measurement techniques, computer modeling systems and extensive listening tests have led to a crossover that is perfectly phase linear, ensuring that the ear hears no discontinuity as each drive unit hands over sonic delivery to the next. The result is a cohesive, natural sound that acts as a window into the musical performance – the speakers audibly disappear, enabling the listener to concentrate on the music and only the music.
Aperiodic Cabinet Loading
Many speakers use reflex loading via a rear- or front-mounted port to augment bass response. The problem with this technique is that it encourages resonance, which can blur the clarity of low frequency output, making instruments sound unnatural and indistinct. Instead, Wharfedale has developed a new version of the Aperiodic loading system pioneered by the company’s founder, Gilbert Briggs, especially for the Jade Series.
The system consists of an opening in the base of the Jade-5 and Jade-7 floorstanders, tuned by a slot
formed by the space between the cabinet and the plinth. This slot is filled with resistive porous foam that controls the airflow from the port, delivering extended bass coupled to superb articulation and clarity.
Pricing and Availability
The Wharfedale Jade Series is available from August in a choice of three real-wood veneers: black oak,
vintage cherry and piano black. The piano black veneer is additionally smothered in a deep, lustrous, hand-polished lacquer. Optional extras include high-quality floor stands for the Jade-1 and Jade-3, and dedicated table stands for the Jade-C1 and Jade-C2.
Suggested retail prices:
Black Oak or Vintage Cherry Piano Black
Jade-1 £599.95 per pair £749.95 per pair
Jade-3 £849.95 per pair £999.95 per pair
Jade-5 £1649.95 per pair £1999.95 per pair
Jade-7 £2199.95 per pair £2699.95 per pair
Jade-SR £549.95 per pair £649.95 per pair
Jade-C1 £599.95 £699.95
Jade-C2 £799.95 £999.95