Initial thoughts..........Wharfedale Valdus 500's

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Michael Webb, Jan 15, 2003.

  1. Michael Webb

    Michael Webb Stunt Coordinator

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    Well I got my pair of Wharfedale Valdus 500's from UPS today. First things first, I bought them on UBID for $89/speaker on 1-10-03. Received them today 1-15-03, in Kansas, quite a distance from their warehouse, but quickly nonetheless. First, I've never used UBID before, but am 100% satisfied with the results. The boxes were unharmed, and they followed their word. Have heard some people have had problems in the past, but luckily I've had none. Now..on to the speakers.

    Unfortunately, I won't be able to vouch for the sound for a couple days, planning on picking up some speaker wire when I fly down to Wichita this evening, and besides, my 53" Panny shot craps 2 days ago, only 3 months old the SOB, so I'm waiting to get it serviced. Anyways, initial thoughts, they are VERY attractive speakers. The wood is nice, drivers are not bad, only thing is they aren't bi-wirable and the speaker cover is fairly cheap(reminds me of the Sony covers). They're about as tall as ND-310's(which I had planned on getting) and about as wide as N-38's(for all you Best Buy regulars). Why I picked Wharfedale....well money wasn't a major factor in me buying speakers, I'm out of college, not married(yet), and have a great job....I got these speakers because guaranteed no one else on the block has them. They are DIFFERENT, which is why I'm hoping I like them. Had planned on an entire JBL set-up, but everyone has JBL(probably because they're good). I have a Valdus Center coming shortly and plan on stopping at that for the Valdus line...UNLESS...I like them. I can cut my loss right now if I had to, but I'm hoping they sound pretty good. For the price that I paid for them...$270 total to the door...and another $63 for the center to the door, I think I might have a good bargain?! If nothing else, I'll never turn them on, but let them sit and look pretty till I pick up something else. Might be getting another pair for the rear, if I like them, but we'll see. Saw some Emerald 97's on UBID with 1C shipping today, they would be nice also for everyone wanting to take a chance. Will post more later.
     
  2. Michael Webb

    Michael Webb Stunt Coordinator

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    And a question for those reading, I'm doubting I'll need an amp, might pick up a parasound or something on UBID if I need to, but will a HK-320 have enough juice to power an all tower 5.1 set-up? I'm assuming it will, since I've yet to hear otherwise, and they're known for their power, but guess I better ask now!
     
  3. Geoff L

    Geoff L Screenwriter

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    Mike

    Did you get the Black or the Light Walnut?

    Is it "real wood" veneer or a nice vinal veneer?

    Not allot has been mentioned here about this line. Your testing & informational/take on their sound will not go on un-heard ears. Many are in the entry level catagory of PRICES when purchasing HT gear/speaks. The speakers you speak of are a regular at Ubid and can be had for very reasonable prices, so your review of them will be looked forward to.

    Good luck and what bummer on the PANNY!

    Geoff
     
  4. CaseyLS

    CaseyLS Second Unit

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    Where do you live in Kansas?
     
  5. Michael Webb

    Michael Webb Stunt Coordinator

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    Geoff,
    I nearly opted for the "Rosewood" 500's, what an extremely pleasant color, but then I realized the chances of me finding a matching CC when all I've been seeing are black, so I opted for the black. They are "real wood" veneer, and if attractability is your initial concern, take it from me, THIS IS THE LEAST of your worries. These babies are attractive, no doubt. Someone posted on audioreview that the drivers looked "like paper". This is very harsh, they don't have the "hub bub" that JBL's have, different colored rims, centers, fancy lettering all around, but they aren't paper and they look grand, and the "wharfedale" tag on the botton looks great. And yes, the grills suck, the are under the bed, and staying there, as we speak. I might pick up another pair, assuming I like them, for my rears, the tweeter is head level when sitting on a couch, assumingly great for treble, and who wants to spend $120 on speaker stands for bookshelf's anyways? Center channel will be here tomorrow, will evaluate & listen to them all tomorrow, minus the visual of my god forsaken TV(outstanding picture though).

    Casey, I live in Hays(it sucks), grew up in Wichita, college in Manhattan & Salina(go K-State). I'm a pilot, so my job causes me to travel quite a bit, but it pays the bills.

    Glad to hear others will enjoy my post, I live for a bargain, and these seem to be a good one thus far, I pity the poor fools in Australia and Europe that have reviewed these and paid $500/speaker, cause $89/speaker takes the cake.
     
  6. Geoff L

    Geoff L Screenwriter

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    Michael
    You should have no problem driving the Valdus with the H/K. If you have them set to large this might strain the H/K if/when trying to produce big spl. But small should be absolutly no problem.
    And as far as the Valdus Center goes, it's my understanding they do NOT make the Center in Rosewood, which is dumb! I may be incorrect, but I am positive I remember reading this somewhere. A quick call to the America Wharf # in your paper work, (ask for Jeff) will confirm this if you really would like to know.
    Never anything wrong with seperates/more the better in my book.. A number of members have picked up the Parasound amps from Ubid. If Paul C. is reading this he surely will step in as he runs an H/K and Ubid purchased Parasound along with 4- Walnut Emerald 97 tower speaks of which came from their also. They are much more difficult to drive than the Valdus 500. He ran them straight from the H/K "to start with no real complaints/problems", till the Parasound arrived and then they sounded even better, to keep it short.
    Glad everything went well and definitly keep the board informened with your system progress and "reviews" of your latest Ubid goodies! [​IMG]
    Regards
    Geoff
     
  7. Michael Webb

    Michael Webb Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, the center channel came yesterday, and I picked up a roll of accoustic research speaker wire at Best Buy last night, so today is the first time I've got to try out my set-up, be it only a 3.0 set-up currently for home theater.
    First things first, first thoughts on the CC, same good looks as the Valdus 500's, the driver is more of a matte black than the 500's glossy black, but other than that, look exactly the same, very nice. While I'm talking about the CC, MAN IT SOUNDS GOOD, I understand why others have said it is the best purchase of the group. Don't forget I have no visual to go with my home theater experience(yet) but I must say listening to AOTC chapter 28, the "asteroid scene" sounds GREAT! Treble is great, and of course the bass is boomy. I think it's just easyest to say if you purchase the Valdus line, you won't be disappointed. Hey, these aren't Klipsch, nor did they cost the same, but honestly, they sound great for home theater. I CAN hear what many have said about the mid-range, but only when listening to music through the tuner, but as some have said, the bass does cover well for the mid-range. Can I just say quickly the tweeters on the Valdus line are great. Now, back to the mid-range, I notice nothing wrong with it during ht play, just during music, but honestly, I probably wouldn't have noticed if I hadn't read about it.
    I haven't been able to "tweak" the audio setting getting delivered much on my HK, since I have no on-screen display, but everything is still great. I think the word is soundstage, what others refer as the flawless flow of sound going from left to right, and back to front(eventually [​IMG] My Valdus set-up has great left to right and right to left soundstage, I can only imagine my future 5.1 set-up will be equally great. Have yet to decide if I'm buying 500's for the rears, chances are yes, as long as they're available when I get some more $$$.
    If anyone has any questions, just ask, I'm just rambling, but wanted to make sure I got the point across that I am VERY pleased with my purchase. What's funny is, right now, when listening to 2-channel music , the bass is AWESOME, but during ht playback, it's only good. I have no doubts that this is due to me not being able to set-up my HK using the on-screen menu, at least until my Panny gets fixed. So right now, I would say "YES" you do need a subwoofer for ht viewing, but if I can get the bass during ht viewing that I get during 2-channel music, I won't hesitate to say "NO", you won't be needing a sub, but I LOVE that room vibrating theater bass, sooooo, maybe someday. Haven't set-up the xover setting on the HK or anything yet, this might make some difference, I'm not in the least worried. Okay, I'm done.
     
  8. Michael Webb

    Michael Webb Stunt Coordinator

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    Since all I've been doing is "listening" to good tracks on movies all day, I've noticed something. The bass during home theater play is there, just not BOOOMMMYYY like I quoted before. I hesitate to say it's almost a quality "clean" bass?! I feel it, but in a different way then BOOMY, though I'd hate to compare ANYTHING, to my friends SVS subwoofer, they almost have the same, no, not the same....similar bass quality, be it the SVS is bigger-better. When you turn it up loud, and up the bass during 2-channel music listening, it sound BOOMY, but during ht play, it just sounds great, that's all I can say, just thought I'd throw that in. And noticing the volume difference just between 2 channel music and 3 channel movies, and think with 5 channel running, I'm going to need an amp. Is that normal? To typically be running -15 or so on movies with great volume, and to hit similar volume with music, to be at like -25? I know it has to do with the receiver's workload. Makes me wonder why the hell HK goes to like -80, I can't even hear a wisper past -64?
     
  9. Michael Webb

    Michael Webb Stunt Coordinator

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    Last thing, I'm letting them play DVD's all night to break them in while I'm out flying, I feel sorry for my neighbors!
     
  10. Douglas S.L

    Douglas S.L Auditioning

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    Michael- Keep the info comming........ I have considered the Valdus as a possiable replacement for my Polks (fronts). I listen to 2 channel more then HT and the polks are RT3's (bookshelf). Nothing wrong with that as i run 2-sealed subs. In a nut shell: Looking for alittle more punch without degrading my system.... My brother (Geoff L) who has posted here, is also helping me with my needs. As a side note: 4-Polk RT3's - Polk CC - 2-subs must be a 5.1+1 LOL.......
     
  11. AhsanR

    AhsanR Stunt Coordinator

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    Wharfedale's sound like an amazing deal for the HT/Music use on the lower end of the spectrum.

    I have read elsewhere, that Wharfedale's are good in HT, but lack because of their boomy bass in 2 channel audio. All the more to set the crossover higher.
     
  12. Geoff L

    Geoff L Screenwriter

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    Ahsan
    There is some truth to your read statement. But like many speakers, placement plays a big roll in how a speaker finally sounds, be it Wharfs or any brand. Some of the Wharf lines are EXTREMLY placment senstive.
    The Valdus line is known to be a heavy bass pushing speaker, and the bloating of the bottom end can be helped quite a bit with good placement. Many times we can't put speakers where we want them,, but keeping them out of corners for sure, and at an absolute ("MIN" of 3-ft) away from any boundrey (sp), is highly recomended. Especialy with the Valdus-500.
    The Wharf lines that are rear ported, or have BOTH front and rear firing ports are even "more finicky" about placement.
    Given the many many user and pro mag reviews along with also owning just a few Wharfs speakers (7-of them), if your looking for cheaply priced towers that do 2 channel pretty decent job (when properly placed) I would suggest looking into the Pacific-PI40, Emerald MKIV97, Sapphire-89, and the Diamond-8.4.... In that order of SQ.
    Of course the "electronics in front", can and will also have a bearing on the quaility of sound the speakers will produced also.
    Room acoustics and speaker placement can make even the "best of speakers" sound god awful. HT is much more forgiving than serious 2-channel, but they still apply to both.
    I highly suggest Wharf owners, (or any speaker as far as it goes) read up on room acoustics and speaker placement. This so as to try and get (all you can from your speakers) regardless of brand or price. Lots of information is here for the reading, along with links to other good reads. A search here at HTF (when working) will find you much to read on both subjects.
    As far as the Valdus-500, a good seaker if you like it loud and prefer a heavier enhanced bottom end. Speaker placement and a the bass tone control can go along ways to help out the nasty boom factor. Considering what these speakers can be had for (Valdus-500's) and what you get, really their still quite the steal for those looking to enter the world of HT. I thought they used a high "grade vinal veneer" but Mike says their Real Wood Veneer. Amazing considering their costs at Ubid, brand new at 89.00 apiece daily, and sometimes, even 1-cent shipping can be had.
    I thought I would also mention that one of the tuffest to place speakers Wharf builds/sells, is the Modus 1.6. A nice speaker, but even (extra extremly) placement sensitive. Midrange and midbass seems to be a problem area with this speaker.
    I've mentioned it a number of times and will again. Enjoy the excellent pricing and Ubid's dailey Wharfedale steals on some lines, as over time fewer and fewer speaker lines/models will find their way to the Internet Sellers.
    With-in aproxmently 2 years, Wharf will no longer be available on line, as they are looking and are in the process of moving back to the finer Wharf speaks of old.
    HIGH END Britt speakers that will Dealer Demo-ed and Sold Only. The first to be released is the Pacific Evolution line. In dealer show rooms already.
    This is "different speaker line" from the PI-Pacific line that is no longer built. The EVO's are Wharf authorized dealer only speaks.
    Mike
    Experiment with placement as much as possible with the 500's. You will find that unless you like bass hang time, bloated and fat, that getting better sound from them is certainly possible. It not only will help the bass but the midrange will improve also with better placment.
    This assuming you've got slow bass attack, major boom, hang time, etc. Some like this type of a more one note bloated bass sound and thats ok, but personaly I can't stand it.. Yuck
    Hope you are enjoying your new very big towers & Center, and continue to feel you got an excellent buy!
    U did...
    The Rosewood you thought of getting is drop dead beautiful, but unfortuantly they do not build the matching center in Rosewood,,,,why I do not know. Jeff, head of Wharf-USA says they will build one for a customer, but it is not offered unless special ordered.
    Now that is just dumb marketing IMO....![​IMG]
    Regards
    Geoff
     
  13. Kenny WH

    Kenny WH Stunt Coordinator

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    Are the Valdus 500's shielded?
     
  14. Geoff L

    Geoff L Screenwriter

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    Hi Kenny

    Almost every speaker line Wharf builds is "NOT" shielded!
    The entire Valdus line is not shielded, ~{EXCEPT}~ for the Center I belive.

    Mike, please correct me if I am wrong on the 500's....!

    Kenny:
    Do you have a CRT or an RPTV?

    If RPTV, no problem....

    Regards
    Geoff
     
  15. Geoff L

    Geoff L Screenwriter

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    Mike

    Its been a week now sence your last post dealing with your new speaker toys...

    Questions galor:::
    ========>
    Have you gotten your Panny replaced or fixed?

    If so did you get your system up and calibrated properly with Avia or VE and a RS~SPL meter?

    If so, did you spend some time experimenting with your speaker placement, very important....?

    What is the ~{Exact Model#}~ of your 500's? (On the plate in the back)....
    Valdus~500LE or SE or something else?

    I am really suprised that you say these are REAL WOOD VENEER...

    Are you "positive" their not a nice Vinal Veneer?

    And lastly, the speaker wire hook ups (spring clips or "5-way binding posts")?

    Sorry for all the questions, but very curious about this speaker line and the 500's. Not for me, but other friends that are looking in the budget line of speaks. I have never seen or listened to the Valdus-500 in person and also have been unable to find a Pro review of them either..
    So, your comments to my questions I am very interested in hearing!!!

    Thanks much
    Geoff
     
  16. Michael Webb

    Michael Webb Stunt Coordinator

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    Geoff, sorry I haven't gotten back with you sooner, been upgrading all my computer software the past couple days, and adding some new stuff......viat Kazaa[​IMG] First, negative, Panny is still not fixed, they are on my shit list with the Superbowl just around the corner. As for speaker placement, I haven't much, plan to when I'm not pissed about my TV anymore. My Valdus' are just straight 500's, 200 watt power handling, 4-8 ohm. Only calibration is a quick one done through HK's EZ-Set remote. Got a chance to view some Pacific PI's this weekend at a store. I will be the first to say the Valdus line IS NOT made like the PI's, they are VERY nice, drivers, wood, the works, the Valdus' are just REALLY nice, get my drift? You might be right about the veneer, if it's just vinal it's pretty nice, textured veneer and all. The PI's I saw were smooth, pretty neat. As for connections, they are just standard binding posts, non-bi-wireable. They look almost exactly like the "speaker post replacement kit" you can buy at Radio Crap. I connected them using spades spread out to fit around the posts, and AR 16 awg speaker wire, and used teeny-tiny spades to put them in the center of my HK speaker connections, and then tightened the plug down over them, worked like a charm, I am a perfectionist though. Surely you've read all the reviews on them at audioreview? Or done excite searches? Ever see any Valdus 2-300's on UBID? Having second thought about spending another $89/speaker for surrounds when surround only play occassionally, and I'm worried my receiver won't sound as good with such a load on it. SINCE, all the Valdus line is are 200's stacked on top of eachother to make the bigger models. Keep the questions coming, I'm all fingers.
     

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