The Entry Level #34 Contacts

Sidebar: Contacts

AudioQuest, 2621 White Road, Irvine, CA 92614. Tel: (949) 585-0111. Web:

NAD Electronics International, 633 Granite Court, Pickering, Ontario L1W 3K1, Canada. Tel: (905) 831-6555. Web:

Wharfedale. US distributor: Sound Solutions, 1811 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue, Chicago, IL 60660. Tel: (312) 738-5025. Web:


Jimmy_G's picture

As an Entry Level hobbyist myself, I always enjoy reading your articles.  Last March I purchased the 10.1's for my system downstairs and enjoy them everyday.  Of course there are some speakers in this price range that do one or two things better, but the Wharfedales strike such a balance at this price point that they're impossible not to love. 

I'm glad you got a pair up and working again and look forward to hearing your continued adventures in affordable HiFi.  

Stephen Mejias's picture

Thanks very much, Jimmy. I'm glad the Wharfedales are working for you, too.

Bill B's picture

Since you heard more info via repeated listenings, how did you consider that what you heard was definitely the cables, and not (at least partly) the effect of repeated listening?  Just askin.

Stephen Mejias's picture

Since you heard more info via repeated listenings, how did you consider that what you heard was definitely the cables, and not (at least partly) the effect of repeated listening?

That's a great question. I wouldn't be surprised if many reviewers asked themselves the same thing. I do.

When you read a review, it often seems (and, as in this particular column, it's actually made to seem) as though all the listening takes place over one session. In fact, however, the listening takes place over many sessions, often spread out over weeks or months. The thoughts expressed in the review, then, reflect all of my listening -- not just the results of one casual session.

I'm very careful to be sure that I'm really hearing what I think I'm hearing -- I don't want to be wrong and I don't want to mislead anyone -- so I repeat the tests over and over again until I'm very comfortable with the results. What the column does not describe is that I listened at my place, then at Pete's place, then at my place again and again and again -- over several sessions, both casually and seriously focused. 

In the end, I also trust myself and remain true to myself. "To thine own ears be true," John Atkinson has taught me, and I think that's very important.  

SergioLangstrom's picture

Seems to me that some one that thinks the Croft Acoustic Amp sounds great needs their  hearing checked out or at the very least take a course in how to listen and what to listen for.

Bill B's picture


destroysall76's picture

I've seen the Epos Epic 1 on sale recently, and seeing how the Epos Epic 2 is of the same, do you recommend it more than the Wharfedales?

Stephen Mejias's picture

I haven't heard the Epos speakers at home, nor have I compared them with the Wharfedales, under any circumstances, so I can't say. The Epos and Wharfedale speakers strike me as being very different, however. I would expect the Epic 2 to sound bigger with deeper bass, but that's just a guess. Robert Reina has reviewed both the Epic 2 and the Wharfedale Diamond 10.1; reading his reviews might help.

Andrew R's picture

Great artical as always Stephen. I wanted to know if you still planned a more detailed comparison between the Pioneers and the Wharfedales? I bought Pioneers this past summer with some influence from Stereophile, and they are fantastic. 

Stephen Mejias's picture

Thank you, Andrew. I'm glad you enjoyed the column and glad to hear that the Pioneers are working out for you.

Regarding the Wharfedales vs the Pioneers: Besides what I've covered here, I'm not sure I have anything really significant to add. They're both terrific speakers. I purchased the Wharfedales and I've still got the SP-BS22-LRs; I plan on using both in future reviews. If something strikes me as noteworthy, I'll definitely mention it, but, for now at least, I think I've covered the main differences between the Pioneer and the Wharfedale. 

AlphaMale2.0's picture

Nice review Stephen.

Do you perhaps know how they compare to the 9 series? From the outside they do not look that much different.

Sold my lovely black 9.5s, 9.2s and about a year ago (eagerly yearning for a much better stereo stage) and replaced them with 2 Heco Statements. Never had any regrets (the Heco's are just superb!), but I do miss the Diamonds sometimes, somehow...

Perhaps, one day... I get me another set, next to the Statements.

street_stephen's picture


I enjoy your column very much.  We seem to have much the same taste, and I've found many of your recommendations to be terrific.

I have the Wharfedale 10.2s (sold for the price of the 10.1s which were unavailable at the time-- no doubt due to favorable reviews here).

I have a very small listening room -- 11x12x10 with the speakers blu-tacked to sand-filled stands near the front wall, slightly toed in towards a single club chair that sits agains the opposite wall.

I'm using SONOS --> Schiit Bifrost --> NAD 326BEE --> BiWired Anticables --> Wharfedale 10.2s

My question is this:  with a room that small, should I be considering adding a sub, and if so should I go with a Wharfedale to match the 10.2s or go with a pricier brand like a REL or a Velodyne?

Any thoughts you (or anyone else) may have on the subject would be very welcome.


Stephen Mejias's picture

My question is this:  with a room that small, should I be considering adding a sub, and if so should I go with a Wharfedale to match the 10.2s or go with a pricier brand like a REL or a Velodyne?

Hi Steve. It just depends on whether you think you're missing bass. In a room of your size, with your system, and the music I enjoy listening to, I don't think I'd need a subwoofer. But you might feel differently. If you do think you're missing low frequencies, you could certainly opt to partner your Wharfedale speakers with a Wharfedale sub -- that's probably what I would do, but not so much because of the sound, but simply because I prefer that kind of coherence or synergy among my components. Wharfedale isn't particularly well-known for their subs and I haven't listened to their subs, so I can't make any statements regarding their quality. I have heard and enjoy REL subs, however, and they are highly regarded.

street_stephen's picture


Thanks for the reply.

I don't hear any low-end missing in James Blake, Purity Ring, Trentemoeller, or Radiohead and my beloved Mahler sounds as thunderous and heartbreaking as ever.

I have found as I drift down the audiophile rabbit hole that I don't know what I'm missing until I've added some new piece to the mix.  For example, adding the Bifrost to the mix made a huge change in the depth and breadth of the soundstage that I didn't know was possible as I'm still such a noob.

You've seen and heard a lot, and I'm grateful for your insight.

I really enjoy your column, and I appreciate you taking the time to reply.

Utopianemo's picture


How far from the front wall are your wharfedales?  I am planning on getting the 10.2's, but due to room limitations, I've got 18" max distance from back of speaker to back wall.  Based on your experience with the 10.1, do you think that's enough breathing room?

Stephen Mejias's picture

Hi there.

I have about 27" between the rear of my speakers and my front wall. But I don't see why having less space would be a bad thing.

jbucko's picture

Great article Stephen, as a budding 20-something audiophile (mostly thanks to my audiophile dad) I really enjoy your writing.

I decided to edit down my previous post...

Basically, I want to get entry-level AQ interconnects for my entry-level set up (Debut III, older Oppo player, Cambridge Topaz AM10) and I'm wondering if I would notice any difference between using mini-to-mini, mini-to-RCA, or iPod-to-RCA to hook up my iPod classic full of mostly AACs/MP3s and some Apple Lossless. If Stephen or anyone else has any thoughts it would be much appreciated, thanks!

Stephen Mejias's picture

Thanks very much. I'm glad to hear you enjoy the column!

Sounds like you've put together a great system. I'm not sure if you'd hear a meaningful difference between those different terminations. You might. I haven't tried such comparisons, but, typically, I tend to prefer the iPod-to-RCA connection, simply because it feels most secure. The mini-to-mini might be easiest and most convenient, however, since you can go directly into the Cambridge's front-panel MP3 input.

cmuto's picture

Stephen, I just purchased a pair of the Diamond 10.1's. They are beautiful and the fit and finish suggests a much more expensive speaker. Stereophile made me aware of them and your approval was weighty in my decision to audition a pair. And they sounded great when I auditioned them and subsequently I purchased a pair.

My dealer told me they need 50-70 hours of moderate volume to break in. Did you observe a break in period, in which after the fact, the sound quality improved?

Stephen Mejias's picture

My dealer told me they need 50-70 hours of moderate volume to break in. Did you observe a break in period, in which after the fact, the sound quality improved?

Sounds like you've got a good dealer, in so far as he properly communicates the vision and needs of the company he represents. Wharfedale has told me the same thing about break-in -- noting, specifically, that the speakers' initial hardness will vanish over time. However, in my experience, with both well-worn samples and out-of-box-cold samples, the Diamond 10.1 never exhibited hardness. If anything, they sounded wonderful and involving right out of the box and, while I have grown to love them more over time, it's only because they're so nice to look at.

By the way, another thing Wharfedale has told me is that the Diamond 10.1 prefers to be wired at its topmost terminals, if not bi-wired. I've taken their word on that, but haven't actually performed listening tests to confirm it.

leberumen's picture

Hi Stephen,

I've been following your reviews for a little while as I am doing research on speakers and amps for my first decent audio system. I am seriously considering the Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 paired with the NAD 3020 or Pioneer A-20. However, being incredibly naive about some aspects of audio equipment, I have a question. Is it a good idea to use active studio monitors (Behringers, see link) instead of dedicated speakers and amp? Are there any fundamental differences in the way they're made or the sound they will deliver? I understand you might not have listened to these monitors in particular, but I would like to get your general insight. Please advise and keep up the great work.

donunus's picture

I wonder if Audioquest makes the RCA to minijack cables with the opposite directionality. I need it to go from my DAC with RCA outputs to a portable headphone amplifier with a 3.5mm input jack.

marktherob2011's picture

How would you compare the old AQ mini cables to the towers evergreens or goldengates.

I have a ONKYO TX-NR616 AVR basically entry level.

Majico Garcia's picture

Its curious you would hear an improvement in sound going from the entry level Tower to the Evergreen, considering they are absolutely identical in construction but for the Evergreens nicer jacket.

ed0980's picture

Would Audioquest evergreen and warfadale 10.1 be a good match. In other words are those interconnects enough to make my wharfadales sound their full capacity, I don't want to spend too much money on cables.

John Atkinson's picture
ed0980 wrote:
Would Audioquest evergreen and wharfedale 10.1 be a good match. In other words are those interconnects enough to make my wharfedales sound their full capacity?

In a word, yes.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

ed0980's picture

Ok. Thanks here what I have so far. Amp: nada c 326bee, sp: Wharfedale 10.1 cables: audio quest x2, and intercnt evergreen, CD player onkyo c7030 what you guys think. My Christmas present. On the way rightnow.

syj's picture

Evergreen is as good as it gets, but Golden Gate is closer to the Hi-Fi quality.
However, it is the Big Sur that yields the real Hi-Fi sound quality. I haven't tried the higher model.

I read or heard that Audioquest president always uses Big Sur with his car audio and Andrew Jones always has Big Sur as his favorite interconnect.
But I am not really so sure that these are correct.

Audioquest is my favorite brand of interconnect ands speaker-wires.