Flying back from Toronto, Canada several weeks ago, I was thumbing through Land Rover Owner International in search of parts for my D90 and Series IIa. The magazine had that swollen look that well-read pages get. To preserve the copy I pulled the latest issue of DVD ETC. from my briefcase, searching for ideas and inspiration as I sometimes do.
On page 19 an ad caught my eye with a stunning and classy speaker--behold the Wharfedale Pacific Evolution. I had no experience with Wharfedale loudspeakers during my career as an editor, so I decided to exercise what I feel to be one of the coolest aspects of my job. And somewhere between the terminal and my Defender 90 the details were exchanged to receive a Pacific Evolution ensemble.
If the Wharfedale name strikes a tone in your file cabinet, it's because it was founded in 1932 as the Wharfedale Wireless Works. And just to even think that a company was titled as "Wireless" back in 1932 is also pretty damn cool.
Now for those of you who are not aware, 2-channel audio in the United Kingdom is serious business, and any company that can last more than a year with such discerning listeners as the British is alright by me. Although that does not guarantee success here in the States where home theater is the game and distribution avenues are difficult to break into. I mention this to note that successful market penetration isn't as easy as building a speaker and buying an ad--it's an ongoing uphill battle--especially when you're crossing an ocean to get here...
Unique Features - KEVLAR cones are not unique, but they are rare in a $2,100 ensemble. They are actually woven KEVLAR cones and not cheap yellow fabric made to look like KEVLAR. Wharfedale can afford to include these pricey drivers in their Pacific Evolution ensemble because they are actually building the drivers in-house, just as they build every component of their loudspeakers. With the exception of the actual components in the "audiophile-grade" crossovers (more on that later) and the Monster Cable speaker wire used internally on the Pacific Evolution series--now that is unique!
The Wharfedale EVO-30 Towers employ a pair of 6.5-inch woven KEVLAR cone drivers (one acting as the bass and the other a mid-bass) with an inverted butyl rubber surround and a single 1-inch fabric neodymium tweeter encased in an aluminum alloy pod that serves as a wave-guide and helps to isolate the tweeter from lateral cabinet vibrations. There is also a large port in the mid section of the front baffle. There is an extended footprint-style base-plate that must be attached to the towers. They include spikes that are some serious hardware. Although they are just spikes or "feet" the last ensemble I recall with something even remotely as close in quality was well over twenty grand for the pair--that's U.S. dollars mates.Read more about the Pacific Evolution on Page 2.