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Vintage Audio (record players, hi-fi etc) Amplifiers, speakers, gramophones and other audio equipment.

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Old 16th Oct 2019, 2:47 pm   #1
eager beaver
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Default Wharfedale Dovedale SP2

Hi, i'm French and i'm new on this forum. Two months ago, i bought a house and i found in the converted attic 4 wharfedale Dovedale SP2 and other vintage equipment in a good condition. Also a very old Marantz turntable 1960s with a radial arm. I'm an amateur guitarist but I didn't know these speakers. What was my surprise : o, these speakers sing very well !! They are equipped with the isodynamic tweeters and white woofers. But the wood is a little damaged with a few claws but not very important. I will restore them. On internet, unfortunately these is not much information for these speakers. I think it's pretty rare but i'm not sure. Have you any idea of the value ? Thanks for your answers.
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Old 16th Oct 2019, 3:30 pm   #2
paulsherwin
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Default Re: Wharfedale Dovedale SP2

They are good mid-market 1970s speakers, producing a sound which is very typical of the period. They are not as accurate or involving as later hifi speakers but are pleasant and forgiving to listen to. They are ideally suited to a 1970s 'silver front' amplifier from somebody like Sony, Trio or Yamaha.

All the Wharfedale models were popular in the UK and sold in large quantities, but the Linton models were the most common. The Dovedales are named after Dovedale in Derbyshire.

Value? They're not worth a large amount, maybe €50 for a pair if in good condition. Why not keep them and use them yourself?
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Old 16th Oct 2019, 3:53 pm   #3
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Default Re: Wharfedale Dovedale SP2

Hi Paul, thanks for your answer. I was curious for these speakers because not much information on internet. I don't sell them but i keep them. It's a very nice pair and also very heavy. The sound is great. I didn't know that Dovedale was a valley and a place of interest in England. Now, i know.... Thanks so much
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Old 16th Oct 2019, 6:34 pm   #4
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Default Re: Wharfedale Dovedale SP2

Wharfedale is also a place: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wharfedale
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Old 16th Oct 2019, 6:39 pm   #5
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Default Re: Wharfedale Dovedale SP2

Hi, I have a pair of Teesdale SP2 speakers which are similar except they are slightly smaller & have just one, slightly larger, bass unit.

Both the white midrange unit & the isodynamic tweeter were patented at the time. The white midrange unit with spiral holes was developed using laser holography & was known for having very low 'electrostatic levels' of colouration & distortion within its intended frequency range.

These units were used in a number of Rank Wharfedale/Leak speakers over the years until Rank closed down in ~1980 & sold the Wharfedale brand name.

I also have a pair of massive Leak 3090 speakers (from 1979), these use the ISO tweeter plus a version of the white midrange unit with a larger magnet + lower mid + 380mm bass in a separate box !

These were the last in a long line of Rank Wharfedale/Leak speakers ending in the late '70s early '80s. & I believe that they were & still are underrated. Both the Dovedale SP2 & the Teesdale SP2 are extremely heavy due to their large magnet assemblies + substantially built cabinets.

The downside is that after 40 years the bass driver foam surrounds will probably have perished. (My Teesdales have been repaired, it is much better to get an expert to do this than to replace with an alternative, unpredictable unit).

Also the crossover capacitors will have degraded; as I mentioned, these speakers are capable of very low levels of distortion & colouration - if you can hear any high frequency distortion, it is likely that the capacitors have increased in value & are allowing 'out of range' lower frequencies through to both the tweeter & midrange drivers. At worst this could blow the now very rare ISO tweeters.

I replaced the capacitors in my Leak 3090 spkrs with some fairly expensive polypropylene ones, the change was revelatory. They now sound great with a high end hi fi system with much improved clarity & low distortion, both at very low as well as high sound levels. This means that they are capable of reproducing the wide dynamic range from hi res sources to great effect...

Replacing the caps is easy if you can use a soldering iron, replacing the bass driver foam is best left to a specialist.

Properly restored these models can sound very good in a modern high quality sound system as they are capable of very low levels of distortion/colouration. I have found that all these models benefit from being driven from amplifiers with big power supplies (not necessarily high power) & high damping factors.

Whilst the resale value of the speakers overall is not great, people will nevertheless pay high prices for the rare ISO tweeters...provided they are working....

Enjoy.

Andy
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Old 16th Oct 2019, 7:07 pm   #6
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Default Re: Wharfedale Dovedale SP2

Hi Andy, what you say, for me it's really very very interesting. My Wharfedale work but i noticed that the suspension around the woofers were fragile. But in the future, i want to restore them because i like these speakers and i will keep them a long time. Andy i have a question: For the crossover, what brand of condensator you used ?
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Old 16th Oct 2019, 11:30 pm   #7
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Default Re: Wharfedale Dovedale SP2

For me, the Dovedale 3 speakers are still a favourite for me! The 1970's warm sound these produce with even a low powered amp is so pleasing to listen to! I have the huge Wharfedale Xarus 5000's now & as much as I like the big sound they produce, the Dovedale 3's are still the sound I prefer! I've had many many pairs of speakers during my hifi mad life, but the Dovedale 3's will always be my favourite all rounder by a long way! I'm unsure of the difference between the 2's and 3's but I'm guessing there will be just subtle differences and a pair of nice 3's are a worthwhile addition to anyone wanting to experience these beautiful loudspeakers!
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Old 17th Oct 2019, 10:55 am   #8
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Default Re: Wharfedale Dovedale SP2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dougallh View Post
Properly restored these models can sound very good in a modern high quality sound system as they are capable of very low levels of distortion/colouration. I have found that all these models benefit from being driven from amplifiers with big power supplies (not necessarily high power) & high damping factors.
Yes, the Dovedale SP2 have 88db of sensibility, it's a little low. For the moment, they work with a Scott amplifier 255S and the sound is great but i think with a big power supply, these speakers may operate even better. I will try with a Vincent d150 dual mono amplifier from my friend.
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Old 17th Oct 2019, 7:00 pm   #9
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Default Re: Wharfedale Dovedale SP2

I used Ansar Supersound polypropylene capacitors in my Leak 3090s; they are larger than the originals but fitted OK.

I have not yet changed my Teesdale SP2 caps yet; I will probably use Ansar or equivalent for the ISO tweeter & mid but cheaper elsewhere.

Access to the crossover board is through the woofer holes, not that easy but the boards have push on connectors making removal easy. Make sure you make a note of which wire goes where ! You should be able to read the capacitor values easily.

Make sure you use bipolar capacitors NOT polarised electrolytic ones.

I hope this helps

Andy
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Old 17th Oct 2019, 7:50 pm   #10
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Default Re: Wharfedale Dovedale SP2

Andy, Thanks so much for the informations, yes all right, i'm certain, that help me.

In France very few audiophile people having the Leak 3090. Maybe on the fingers of one hand. In France, these speakers are very rare. Also on the French audiophile web forums, the feedbacks are very glowing. These are collectors pieces that many Frenchmen would like to have.


Best regards.
Marc.
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