Wharfedale W90's (should they replace my Altecs???)

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by MadcapLaughs, Dec 30, 2017.

  1. MadcapLaughs

    MadcapLaughs Member

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    Hey I I have a chance to pick up a pair of ealry edition Wharfedale w90s for about $400 this weekend and I have to make a decision fast. I'm currently running Altec 890c Bolero horn speakers with a scott LK 72 tube amp (35wpc)...is this a worthy upgrade in anyone's opinion? I know that the Wharfedale w90s earlier models are more efficient and are recommended with tubes. The real question however is will 35wpc tubes control these speakers and play well at louder levels? I have liked what I heard in the wharefdale w70e's I previously owned but I like my altec setup currently. Does anyone have advice on whether it's worth it to fork over the cash for these big Wharfedale's? The seller is claiming these are in all around mint condition with fully operating tweeters and drivers.
     

     

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  2. Bucky Badger

    Bucky Badger All around good guy Subscriber

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    Well I know I love my W90's and around here 400 for a mint pair is a good deal. (not sure where you are though) I think that 35 tube watts will play them loud enough but they are NOT horns and will sound dif. Now horns love tubes but the W90's will/do as well. Why don't you pick the 90's up and spend some time with them. If you don't like them then you could always unload them and at least get your $$ back...... Just a thought. A worthy upgrade....... I guess you are the only one that can tell if it's an upgrade or not depending on your room and the types of music you like.:dunno: Your a winner either way.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
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  3. MadcapLaughs

    MadcapLaughs Member

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    I have a solid classic rock and jazz collection but I also listen to prog and heavier stuff, along with newer electronica and indie rock. I just was hoping that the wharfs were going to provide a large soundstage and effortless volume with what I'm running ( I also have a higher powered Yamaha a-1000 and sansui 4000 receiver, but I'm looks for tube synergy). What are you running with your 90s and what's your overall impression of them? I have experienced smaller Wharfedale models before and enjoyed them...
     
  4. Bucky Badger

    Bucky Badger All around good guy Subscriber

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    I am running my 90's with a small Knight kni 935 17wpc tube amp. and they get loud enough for me in my 25'x20' room. I have also pushed them with an ST 70 tube amp. and they sounded great. I like the W90's sound especially with jazz and female voices. They have a relaxed kind of sound (to this Badger anyway) and they do sound a bit dif. between the 2 amps. due to the dif. output tubes being used. I say get them both and decide for yourself. I have played Drum and Bass and house dub ect as I like that sort of music as well and they sound nice but not really 'fast enough' or 'Forward enough' for me playing that type of music. They are more of a Jazz speaker. Just my 2 centavos FWIW. (Put on some Diana Krall and you will see what they can do.)
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
  5. darkblue94

    darkblue94 It wasn't me. Subscriber

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    Bucky, don't most jazz groups include drums and bass?
     
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  6. Bucky Badger

    Bucky Badger All around good guy Subscriber

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    Why yes. Yes they do Mr 94.
    I should have said that I have played music from Amon Tobin and others of the genre.:music:
     
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  7. Bucky Badger

    Bucky Badger All around good guy Subscriber

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    Bluegrass sounds good as well. I might add.
     
  8. Crestwood23

    Crestwood23 keep on chooglin' Subscriber

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    Wharfedale w90’s to Altec horns is really an apples to oranges comparison. The W90’s will not be able to compete with the horns ultra efficiency and stop on a dime dynamics. They will be a totally different flavor, much smoother and more laid back in nature, less of an edge of your seat listening experience than the horns. I find the w90’s to be fantastic with jazz and classic rock and soul, with an addictive midrange - especially for electric guitars. I use mine with a Marantz 8b and 35 tube wpc is a perfect match. As others have said, you need both! :D
     
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  9. rogerfederer

    rogerfederer AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    look for old AK posts by gangtwanger who LOVED his W90s
     
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  10. Bucky Badger

    Bucky Badger All around good guy Subscriber

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    What Crestwood23 and rogerfederer said. :smoke:
     
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  11. tyeeslayer

    tyeeslayer Super Member

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    If you pick them up do not completely judge them until you have re-capped them with oil caps.
     
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  12. Bucky Badger

    Bucky Badger All around good guy Subscriber

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    You have a good point there tyeeslayer.
     
  13. MadcapLaughs

    MadcapLaughs Member

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    Alright well I'm supposed to meet for the pickup here in a few hours. My only hesitation is that I'm hearing these may not sound great with electronic music or hard rock, I really do listen to quite a bit of that music but I have plenty of jazz and folk stuff too, I was just hoping this was well rounded enough to handle faster music and loud volumes as well, I'm not sure it's worth shelling out the money if I'm limited to certain volumes and genres of music. I have experienced the W70es and I thought they could handle most of anything I threw at them. I don't need the ultra fast transient response of a yamaha NS 1000 or klipsch speaker, but I really just want to crank it very loud and expect a somewhat vintage sound. I realize these are all very subjective but I'm second guessing myself in buying if I'm limited to low level cocktail jazz with these.
     
  14. Bucky Badger

    Bucky Badger All around good guy Subscriber

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    These will get plenty loud and I don't think you are limited to just low level cocktail jazz. I do think that there are better speakers for loud rock and electronic music however. Be sure to take some test CD's or music that you normally play and give them a listen. It's free...... They might not be your cup-o-tea though. :dunno:
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
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  15. Crestwood23

    Crestwood23 keep on chooglin' Subscriber

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    The W90s are not just for low level cocktail jazz, they will get loud and rowdy when called on. They will sound incredible cranking some mono Yardbirds, Kinks or some Booker T and the MG’s, but if you’re looking to shake your foundation with AC/DC or Aphex Twin then they will disappoint. Maybe look for some big ADS? I’ve found those are good all rounders that can handle harder rock and electronica with ease.
     
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  16. MadcapLaughs

    MadcapLaughs Member

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    Thanks for the feedback everyone, I think I am going to pull the trigger on these today, I can't demo them but the seller is claiming everything is in fantastic functioning condition. I will be playing some sabbath and aphex twin on these loudly for the record, I'll report back on how that turns out. Of course I have a 1st pressing mono Kink Kontraversy lp that I know will mesh well. This is a gamble I know but I have a feeling this is the last time a pair will be up for sale in this area. These are the pair that were an estate sale find that have been up on eBay for the past few months in case anyone was wondering. I live close the seller.

    I will post pics!!!!
     
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  17. Crestwood23

    Crestwood23 keep on chooglin' Subscriber

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    I think it’s a good move to jump on them if they’re local, I’ve been through a ton of speakers from all eras and the W90s are one of the few on my “never sell” list. They really gel with 50’s-70’s recordings and have great mid range tone and soul. Like a previous poster said, don’t jude too harshly until you recap them with Russian oil capacitors (available cheaply on eBay - do a search for previous AK threads on the details), they really do wonders for the 90’s.
    What are the dimensions of your room?
     

     

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  18. Bodyblue

    Bodyblue AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    A big part of a different speaker is getting used to them. I have had quite a few that I did not care for at first then I came to really like.
     
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  19. onwardjames

    onwardjames Hoardimus Maximus Subscriber

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    This is a fine point.

    Also.....I miss ol' GT. I hope he is well.
     
  20. Lavane

    Lavane AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Take a hand truck with you! I have a pair and they are a bit over 100lbs ea. I still need to recap mine though. I play rock, jazz, blues and blue grass and they do it all pretty well. Smooth and layed back is a good description, and non fatiguing to listen to. Ive even hooked up a small 7wpc 300B SET tube amp up to them. While that amp doesn't drive them real loud, it did sound good. With the 35wpc ST-70 PP amp I have they sound great. I haven't tried any of my big SS power amps yet.
     
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