View Full Version : more about the "Radio People Ltd" speakers
10-06-2002, 04:48 PM
I did buy this pair of speakers. The connect in the back was a female type receptacle. The only plugs I had fit in not vary snug and the center conductor went in barely 1/8 inch. The wire I had was the skinniest wire. Even with a questionable connector and skinny wire I pugged them into my sansui 1000x rcvr. The sound was dissapointing. The music seemed muffled, highs not crisp and clean, bass sounded very padded and muddled.
I opened the back up and as one person replied, they are Wharfedales inside. Made in England. I could not find a date anywhere.
One 10 in. woofer with a round red magnet, one 8 in. mid with a square red magnet, and the tweeter was encased in its own wood box inside that I could not readily get to. There was also a 2 in. open port in front. (back not ported)
Doing some reading up on Wharfedale speakers, They are built very well, and are heavy, some due to sand inside baffles. Mine are heavy (~ 50 lbs) but there is no sand inside. The cabinet is 7/8in. red oak. The inside has about 2 in. of white cotton-like dampening material all around. The woofer and mid are not dried out and are flexible. The wiring between the mid, tweet and the connection is somewhat stiff and cracked in a few places. The electronics inside consist of two 2.0 uF caps(in parallel) and the 50 ohm pot connected to the speaker connect.
Later today I'll get a better connect for it and at least 16 guage speaker wire. I'll report here if there is ny difference.
10-06-2002, 10:55 PM
They do well with low powered SS and or Tubes. The tweeters ought to be 3"ers. Sounds like a small version of the Warfdale 70s that had a 12", 10" and 3". All in all pretty good sound.
10-07-2002, 12:00 AM
I put new connects on the speaker so I got the same connection and wire as I use on my yamaha speakers and the sound is still muffled and tinny, like it is playing behind a thick curtain. You are right about the sizes: 12, 10, and 3 inches. I was measuring from the foam, not the outside.
After taking a closer look, I noticed all the speakers had a small 10/63 hand written on the cone. Could this be a date code?
What else can make a speaker sound bad? Can age (maybe 40 yrs) be a factor? If I replace the 2 caps and 50 ohm pot and the inside wiring, what else can be the cause of the inferior sound? Because I like the cabinets, I'd be willing to get new woofs, mids, and tweeters to make it sound better. Would I need to get a x-over too?
Are the red alnico(sp) magnets worth keeping as far as re-building a new individual speaker for them?
10-07-2002, 01:37 PM
Sometimes it is a case of what the manufacturer expected the speakers to be driven with. In this case figure that the latest best selling amp on the market would have been a PP 6BQ5 amp that had an output of around 15 distortion free watts. Some speakers will sound good with tubes but with high powered SS you can't crank it enough for the( this is a guess )the caps to really build up the charge they need to crank out the bass. Thus the thin sound. It isn't necesarily the fault of the speakers just they were made with different amps in mind.
A beware here is that in the W-70s that 10" was completely unprotected and a lot of them have been blown because of over powered amps.
Another thing to think of besides the power used in 62/63 (years the W-70s were built) is what kind of music the average listener in England would be listening to. Most likely classical I would guess. There is a difference in style between the speakers built in the UK and even the East and West coasts of the US which was probably most pronounced at that time. So if you are used to heavy bass, high power handling speakers that have the West Coast sound you are removed by the East, UK and tubes from what these speaks were built for.
Rebuilding the crossovers is a good idea and putting a cap on the 10" to protect it from low transients is really a must do.
I would also try and get hold of WW who lives in Phoenix and see if you can arrange to get together and test those speaks with a tube amp before you give up on them. WW is Wild West who is one of the original crew here.
In the mean time untill you have a high pass on the 10"ers I would not hook them up to any thing that has more than 30 WPC or they could be ruined.
I had a pair of the W-70s.
10-07-2002, 03:28 PM
It almost sounds like not all the speakers aren't working. My Wharfedales from tha era (1966 40C's) don't sound like that. A tad dry and polite, but I wouldn't describe it as you do.
Set your receiver volume to verrrrry low. Tune the FM to interstation hiss to simulate pink noise.
Put your ear to the center of each speaker. They should be outputting something!
If not, the next step would be to clean/lube the potentiometer. Use WD-40 (I know, I know, but it works great and is safe) in it.
Check the wires. Are they firmly connected to the speaker lugs? A touch of solder can't hoit.
Those two 2 uf caps in parallel are taking the place of a 4.0 uf cap. You might try replacong these with a similarly rated NON POLARIZED electrolytic cap. I'm pretty sure that RatShack can supply one that will work, even if it'sa 4.7 uf (a common value). That's generally good for about an 1800hz xover.
If after all that, they still suck, well, then I'm outta ideas.
10-07-2002, 06:12 PM
Well...my Wharfedales are sounding better now. I did take a vacuum to the front grill, although they did not look overly dusty to me. Also what I did was just let them play for a while. After a couple hours of playing them with various kinds of music, the speakers were losing thier tinniness. I was keeping the volume between the 8 & 9 oclock position and listening to them from across the room (about 14ft away - tile floor) I was listening to America, some blues, Pink Floyd, U2, and the Endless Summer 2 soundtrack. No Heavy metal. I do have a bit of vibration on one of the speakers during some heavy bass.
I kept comparing the same tracks on both sets of speakers and was finding the sound of the Wharfedales to keep improving. It's possible that these speakers could have had years of idle time between being played. There were 2 moving company stickers also on the back of each speakers. Also...the label from "The Radio People Ltd" has the serial numbers 3044 and 3046.
I will put new caps in and a cap across the 10 inch.
Thanks guys for all your help. I will try and get in touch with WW.
10-07-2002, 08:35 PM
What size/type cap should I put across the 10 in.?
Also, do the 12 and 3 in. need protection as well?
I looked up WW and per the member info, he lives in Tuscon, not phoenix. I will make sure these wharfedales don't get over-driven.
The sansui 1000x is rated at ~30 watts per channel.
Any suggestions for a good ss low watt rcvr to run these?
Another note..is that they sound better far away 12 to 16 ft, than close (4 - 8 ft.)
Thanks again for your responses. I'll post a pix when I figure out how to do it without a digital camera.
10-07-2002, 10:43 PM
Sorry about WW being in Tuscon.
About the cap on the 10" you need to decide how low you want to cut it off.
If you go to the DIY forum you will find a link where you van type in the ohms and Hz and it will give you the values of the caps and chokes.
The W-70s are 8 ohm and the chokes are I believe .8 mH, so you find out what the Hz is for .8 mH and then drop the HZ by 100 or so and find the cap you need for the mid. Round it off to what you can buy as long as it will be below the Hz of the woofer. If I remember right there is basically a choke, Lpad and the cap for the tweeter. All 6 db or shallow slope roll offs. You can set the high pass for the mid at just under the point where the choke rolls off the woofer if you need to but a bit lower is better.
Confusing but once you get into the calculator it will be easy.
10-08-2002, 06:45 PM
Here is a pix I found that are just like mine, except mine have 6 inch legs (round - screw to metal plate) like table legs. Mine do not have the Wharfedale logo on the front, just the "Radio People Ltd" logo on the back. Another note. The original connection on the back looked like a plug that a car antenna would get plugged into, not any typical speaker type connection.
Just curios if anyone knows what these went for new in the 60's.
The longer I have them, the more they grow on me.
10-08-2002, 06:48 PM
W-70s made 62/63 retailed for $350/pr. English style Danish Modern! Enjoy!
10-08-2002, 07:45 PM
This has been a most interesting discussion on The Radio People Ltd speakers.
Even though I have been to Hong Kong and even been in the Radio People retail shop I was never aware of their past history as Asian Wharfedale importers.
To most people I guess the Radio People are best known for their Rogers LS 3/5a knock-offs.
Thanks for the enlightenment.