Wharfedale Jade 3 aluminium tweeter problem

Just bought a pair of Wharfedale Jade 3 standmount speakers, it looks very big, excellent craftsmanship in piano black finish, have been running them for 1 week, overall comment on sound:

Bass: I can't comment much on this, still think in the progress of write in, though I feel that no sense of strain, but I have problems playing some aggressive bass movement tracks, it seem the woofer hit the plastic surround...

Mid: Just fine, no problem

High: Though I will not say it's harsh, but it has too much sparkling and unwanted details, it seem no filter has been done, it makes a lot of tracks not listenable, it just sound not so comfortable bringing out some background noise, or piercing instrument too much

So far, this is my most disappointment in purchase Hifi speakers, I starting to wonder is this amp problem? I don't think so, I got several other speakers play just fine, include Wharfedale Diamond 122, Wharfedale Denton 80th Anniversary, Wharfedale Diamond 9.1. If let say power is not enough, I don't think so I can play track like Tutti! - Igor Stravinsky - The Firebird - Finale, with enough powerful omph without distortions, and most state of the art recording without problems, what's wrong here? The Jade 3 just does not work so forgiving in playing music?
Assuming the speakers are fully broken in, this it the type of thing that happens when you don't take the time to match your components. When dealing with a speaker that is capable of revealing a lot of detail, especially when metal drivers are involved, its not good enough to just have enough power. You need to experiment and try different combinations of components to be sure that you know what you are getting into. Since you already have the speakers, I would see if you have some friends that can lend you some different equipment to try. Anything to see if you can move the sound in the right direction. I would definitely not buy anything new until you figure out what the problem is.

Also, you may want to list your system. Maybe you have an obvious bad match that someone may pick up on.
Hopefully they'll get better with more break in. I had a pair of Paradigm speakers years ago that sounded so bad I seriously wanted to return them to the dealer. My complaint was similar to yours, the high frequencies were rough and ragged. It took three or four weeks for them to break in and become listenable. Good luck with yours.
Zd and Tim both make Good points. As Zd says, matching is very important, but I also agree with Tim in thinking that they are probably far from broken in yet.
Others speak well of this speaker, so it's not likely that it is as bad as it's sounding to you now.
Zd542: I got this feel it sound a little bit thin on mid, the bass is still shy to me, but no resonance, just not so excited compare to my ported Denton, the biggest problem is high, a lot of crushing sound came out, I'm using JDS Labs ODAC and Class D Audio 400C power amp, is this a transparent setup like 3X transparent? DAC + amp + speakers? Neutral sound? so if I need a light taste of warm color, what preamp should I use then? Arghhh, those prices just too much for me...

Timrhu: I'm interested to know more, for example, I have some poor/not so perfect live recordings with excellent musical feel, the background noise just bringing out too forward to be listenable, was that your problem that happened too?
There may be more break in needed with an aluminum tweeter and overall most speakers continue to mature and evolve over the first year or so.
If your using class D power this kind of sound is not that unusual. An expensive approach albeit hard to swallow is to seriously think about a class A power. That isn't cheap but there are some amps that have a bias that produces mainly class A. An even more wild switch and I hope not annoying is to use tube power amps. You may find your audio nirvana that way -honestly it made me stop thinking about any other amps. (well I could be tempted to try some others but...)
Finally if you don't mind using cables as tone controls and I think it is perfectly fine to do so, get warm cables made of copper. I think Cardas has been the best, but the older "golden" this or that were the best at providing full rich sound, don't know the current stuff. I also like Jena labs cables but she's expensive, so I bought used.
Good luck but if you really hate them, just take them back and get the best deal you can for a better speaker for you.
Mechans, Roxy54: hmm thanks for the clarification, for the moment I'll assume it not fully broken in yet, as no way it the high sound like what I describe...as for the bass woofer I guess it's the same thing, hmm how come so hard to break in? But then what's the break in do?
but I have problems playing some aggressive bass movement tracks, it seem the woofer hit the plastic surround...
If this sound is a somewhat loud pop, then the woofer has reached the limit of its excursion, and you will need to turn down the volume to prevent this, as damage to the woofer will eventually be the result.
as for the bass woofer I guess it's the same thing, hmm how come so hard to break in?
And no, break in will not solve the pop from over excursion. The only solution is to turn down the volume.
Wharfedale Jade 3 aluminium tweeter problem
Breakin is a combination of several factors. The easiest notion to comprehend is loosening up the surround and the many important elements of the suspension. If wood is a major player the cabinet it contuse to dry or absorb or dissipate the atmospheric humidity . Paper cones I would think The crossover matures or burns in as any piece of good electronic piece of gear does. The magnetic elements loose some of their strength (not obviously until much older) our ears pick up all these perhaps small changes in aggregate and the burn now seems obvious and it continues throughout the life of the speakers,.
I know I have ny Father old JBLs approx. 57 years old which need to be refreshed.
Don't forget the changes you would get using a modern tube power amp. A tube anywhere in the path does not make the system tube in all that discussion..
by Mechans

Tls49: You mean that the speakers reach the excursion limit? hmm did you mean every speakers got this limit?

Mechans: From your experience, do you think this metal dome tweeter break in will ever happen? I mean it's metal! The build on Jade 3 is so rock solid, it's like very stiff stuff, all 3 components high, mid, low is very stiff indeed. I got a pair of Denton, soft dome tweeter, it seem not much burn in needed, it play pretty good
No not really, I have aluminum inverted tweeters on my Focal Electras and the tweeter was mercilessly and revealed everything in the system. I got some tube power amps and Holy Moly these tweeters found the right amplification and I don't mean rolled syrupy slow sound you remember from your grand parent's RCA console. No they quick crystalline and create a huge soundstage. Imaging that you can easily call holographic.
When I had friends over to listem I wouldn't say much about these relatively inexpensive tube monoblocs. Every comment that my speakers sounded a lot better, what did I do to get them to sound better. You know the punchline.
As for your tweeters they do break in hard or not it is suspended and has electronic elements and magnet in them. You are right they don't get burned in as fast as the other elements. Only time and listening will let you know if all the drivers in your speakers are maturing into a cohesive unit where they mesh well. The tweeter is a part of it but not the only one.. That said if you keeping your equipment as it is today you may be ready for a nice silk or whateve fabric tweeter. Do you any audio buddies around, if you do you can ry your aluminum tweeter with various amplification.
If you just can't stand them return them and get a fabric or paper tweeters. The time and discomfort with metal may not be worth it to you and I don't blame you. In another life I hade two systems The one with the Focals and many amps and sources, but wasn't until I found the right amps with the help of Trelja on these forums after 6+ years of trial and error (mostly error) I found nirvana.
The 2nd living room system is and was easy to listen to. Von Scheickert VR 2s powered by a smallish el-34 integrated. I had a MMF-5 turntable there and a couple of tuners one an old Sherwood and a Sansui the first cd player was a Music Hall MM CD-25 player.
I wish you luck be forewarned this hobby is addictive in some people.
Mechans: Thanks for your detailed explanation. I'm a poor music lover, always looking for budget gears, indeed I already found my audio nirvana with JDS Labs ODAC > Class D Audio 400C power amp > Wharfedale Denton 80th Anniversary speakers, this combination is musical enough to bring tears and joys when I'm listening, just that I'm trying to seek some dynamic improvements, though I'm not used to giant size of floor stander speakers due to immobility of moving those. I got an refurbished NAD 3020i, though I was trying to use it as preamp, it does not sound clear enough to me, and I found that I dun like to put preamp + poweramp as 2 blocks of big gears, in the end still prefer without preamp, control volume from computer DAC volume, this sound best to me.
I think the Stereophile measurements reveal a titled-up treble with the Jade 3 that could be a problem for those sensitive to that range. You might take a look at the review to see if it's simply a characteristic of that speaker that will require different partnering gear (or a different speaker).

Good luck,
@Scott: yea, before purchase I did think about the high, as reviews also pointed out that. If that's the case, this is totally unacceptable to me, cannot defined as Hi-Fi sound in any sense at all. I discuss with the distributor to see what I can get further explanation or understanding...thanks for your opinion
I would not change your system to accommodate the speaker's inherent problems. If you go on a wild goose chase looking for different electronics, you could spend more money, and get few positive results.

If you can, I would return the speakers to the dealer and get a refund, and start over again looking for a similar sounding speaker that has more dynamic capability.
I had a pair of Meadowlark Audio Osprey speakers that took a couple hundred hours to break in and start sounding good. I would give them a little time to break in. The Osprey's had no bottom end, and the rest just sounded less than average. You'll know when they come around. It was like a switch was thrown for me. One day crap, the next wonderfulness.
"09-24-15: Sunnyjim
I would not change your system to accommodate the speaker's inherent problems. If you go on a wild goose chase looking for different electronics, you could spend more money, and get few positive results. "

He's right. If it turns out that your speakers are the cause of the problem, don't throw good money after bad. Its much cheaper and easier to just fix the problem directly.
@Sunnyjim, Abucktwoeighty, @Zd542: thanks for the advice, I'm not in hasty to change anything yet, I've asked some people advice, they said need at least 300 to 500 hours break in o_O, wow damn long for me to suffer that. Well, I'll be patient for few months to see what's miracle can happen. Currently still feel that some tracks sound fatigue to me, some sound wonderful, overall I will say the sound is not fully open yet, but one thing for sure is the clarity and definition of these 3 ways is beyond what the Denton can do, thus I'm worry it can be a bit more analytical than you imagine, everything from background to instrumental details is voice out clearly. Also due to I'm listening too many types of music, except heavy metal rock music, if anything I think this speakers is perfect for heavy metal rock music, coz the presentation is very delicate and full of ohmp and dynamic, musical I'm not sure, let's see...
I don't think anyone was saying that you should get rid of the speakers right away. Definitely take some time and work with them. Its just that some of us have made the mistake of putting a lot of money into a system in hopes of trying to make a speaker sound good to you. Its very risky and almost never works.

What are you using to break in the speakers? If you aren't using white or pink noise, try it. It helps speed up the break in time.
@Zd542: I'm using taralabs and xlr burn in tracks. So far, the progress is slow to me, arghhhhh long process...
I have to report back again. After some more listening, even with some equalizer tweaks like Equalizer APO, I still can't take the harsh sound of Jade 3, still love the Denton sound. I'm waiting Wharfedale distributor solutions, he claims try to solve it via cables, well?
I think that it's time to cut your losses and part ways with these speakers. Others may love them, but that doesn't mean you have to. I know that it's happened to me several times. Save yourself further aggravation and get back to enjoying music.
I think that it's time to cut your losses and part ways with these speakers. Others may love them, but that doesn't mean you have to. I know that it's happened to me several times. Save yourself further aggravation and get back to enjoying music.

Agree with Roxy54. If an equalizer won't get you want you want, cables surely won't. If your dealer suggests putting tissue paper over the tweeters to tame them, you know you're in trouble.
@Roxy54, @Timrhu: Well, I try to be calm, as the dealer did give me some very good offer and advice. I don't mind to look further on Opus 2 M2 if it's sound forgiving as the Denton while give better dynamic than the Denton, I just need a musical speakers. The Opus 2 M2 may concern me a bit on the size and how to be put on stand, also most important the sound. Also if to sell the speakers, I don't think it's gonna be easy, between what's other speakers would you suggest if to listen music with less fatigue and minimal resolution sacrifice, Harbeth? But I worry how about the bass and dynamic on Harbeth though. While Dynaudio could be a bit more forwarding speakers, and not easy for gears matching.
"I'm waiting Wharfedale distributor solutions, he claims try to solve it via cables, well?"

Claims and proof are 2 different things. If he can prove it at no expense to you, great. Otherwise, its time to move on.
Cables cost something. potentially a great deal, unless he promised them for free.
My guess is that you might need to change more than cables to achieve the sound you want . I would hear him out with the cable cure, but then it is time to change the speakers.
@Zd542: Well, ya I remain cool, I also think that cables won't solve my problem, though I found that equalizer APO help a bit, a lot more tracks are listenable now, but still not as smooth as the Denton tweeter, hmm

@Mechans: well, the price is very friendly to me, but then I still doubt the cables will solve the sound issue, well I will witness that and report back whether it works, I'm afraid it's not easy to sell this not so popular speakers, also it's size is pretty big, not so easy to get rid of xD
If all else fails and you are stuck with the speakers here's my suggestion. Get a 2 ohm resistor and put it in line with the tweeter. This is what Magnepan recommends if a listener finds their speakers overly bright. They actually provide different values to try to tame the issue.
I tried it with Maggies and it really did the trick.
@Timrhu: Thx, that's great suggestion for tweaks, seriously now I realize that it's hard to listen to music without any sort of color or tone tweaks, be it speakers be it headphones, it's nonsense when they mention dead neutral, it will sound very thin flat and boring dull, and I guess the sense of natural is in that it seduce you in a light colourful but not overdone way, resulting more forgiving to listen to more and more music

After reading your description, I recalled that Sterophile had reviewed and measured your speakers a bit back and decided to look through its numbers. A couple of the measurements do seem to substantiate your impression. From about 3.5Khz-12Khz, the tweeter response is elevated by about 5db. Now this could often be used to balance a design that has wide dispersion differences between drivers, but the following dispersion graphs show a wide and well balanced dispersion. The other figure that is of note is a resonance in the tweeter at 20Khz, which will be audible to mostly younger ears.

That being said, no cable will be able to tame this treble response to your satisfaction. If the speaker has that first row presentation, the extra treble energy would be even more apparent. With that information, you might be able to use an EQ to balance out the treble, but the results may still be not to your liking. Some designers do add a little rise in the upper end of the treble to add a bit of air, but this design has its rise through most of the usable treble range. Good luck with it all, but I feel you don't have an ideal match for yourself.
@Mmeysarosh: Thx for the technical details and explanation. I just try to drive it using Marantz PM6005, it seem the high freq smooth a bit, sibilant are gone and not noticeable, but the overall balance still not there, and sound noisy to me, it seem the Jade 3 is a forward speakers, need very careful matching, while the Denton is kinda LS 3/5a sound, pairs with transparent amp, I will say it's not laid back sound, but very engaging to listen to, plus the Denton bass is very good. Hmm I wonder do we have a balanced LS 3/5a amp with just nice bass for forward speakers like Jade 3? Seem hard to match huh?
Its always an interesting take when going between a speaker that is forward and provides a certain 'immediacy' to the sound and one that is more laid back, but draws the listener in. My experiences has shown that a little laid back is more my speed. Much of it comes from how many recordings these days are themselves a bit edgy and a forward sound that isn't perfection can be tiring. They can sound wonderful with certain recordings, but the point is to enjoy the music and they somehow detract form that experience.

Marantz does have a reputation for a more musical approach to its balance so its good to hear that it has helped. You might want to consider a small sub to fill out the bottom octave. It might just add enough fullness and balance from the bottom to top.
I have to report again. Just few hours ago, I switch out the Denton, and connect back Jade 3, hmm this time I feel not much fatigueness, it's resonance become very very low, though the mid feeling is not color or as thick as the Denton, but the noisy effect suddenly not so obvious to me. Though I still can hear cymbal and sibilant, like piano or metal related sound, hmm perhaps I really should give more time for the speakers to break in, the bass still feel a little shy to me, but it's good resonance is lowest so far I've heard from any speakers. What do you guys think?
I lost track of this thread several days in my own frantic pursuit of a monitor speaker. However, let me ask (if others have not,) the following questions:

1) Did you audition the Jade 3 speakers in an audio shop, or hear them at a friend'ss house??

2) If you heard them in an audio store, what type of equipment what being used to drive the speakers, that is, separates, integrated amp or AV receiver?? If separates do you remember what brand??

3 How did the Jade 3's sound in the shop?? Were you 90% convinced they sounded very good, and enjoyable to listen to your music?? Did you encounter similar problems or almost similar problems as what you described above??

4) Ask the dealer if you can swap out the demo models for your own, even if it is for 24 hour. If the demoes sound better or much better in your system, then there is something wrong with the speaker.

5) Regrettably, you have done much of heavy lifting for me. I was ready to buy a pair J-3's from Music Direct, after enquiring about the Denton speakers, which have received so many positive testimonials I based my choice on the reviews because there are no Wharfdale dealers in SoCal where I live

For me, the Jade 3 's are now out!!. I cannot wait a 1000 hours plus for them to sound as phenomenal as Bob Reina of Stereophile or Steve Guttenberg (of CNET) claimed. At 69 years old, a 1000 hours plus is previous time, the mortality gate can swing in either direction in the blink of an eye. Best Wishes, Sunnyjim

Let us know about the above questions I posed, unless they have already been answered. Remember, you are not wedded to either the dealer or product; there are too many good speakers out there now both used and new in your price range.
@Sunnyjim: I'm not able to audition the speakers, as the dealer not provide such, as he only give very good offer. My conclusion is aluminium tweeter always sound brighter than soft dome tweeter. I will try to trade in to get Wharfedale Opus 2 M2, the drivers on this speakers are very very interesting, and highly regarded from fellow from my country, but the price is like double, and the finish is very limited. The Denton generally is very well regard for music listening pleasure, the dynamic limitation should not been a bother to you. Try the Opus series, but you'll need more cash
A friend of mine bought a pair of these and was very disappointed. As was I. Break in is not going to help you.

@Shakeydeal: Thx for your report. Did your friend try to use something like NAD preamp?
No, why would he do that? The preamp he has is far better than a NAD anyway?

@Shakeydeal: I see, what preamp he use?
He has a custom built tvc (transformer volume control).

@Shakeydeal: That's the thing, so he's using a passive preamp? which is the same case for me, I'm not using any preamp, directly from DAC to poweramp, if use an active preamp could have been different story...I will try NAD C 165BEE
What you are doing is not the same as using a proper passive device. Good luck.....

"10-19-15: Wim1983
@Shakeydeal: That's the thing, so he's using a passive preamp? which is the same case for me, I'm not using any preamp, directly from DAC to poweramp, if use an active preamp could have been different story...I will try NAD C 165BEE"

That may not be true. It depends on how the volume control in the DAC is set up. If its an analog volume control, its basically the same as a line stage like the NAD preamp you're thinking of buying. If its digital then the only thing you can say is that the preamp is not the problem. And that brings you right back to the real problem - the speakers.

Sunnyjim gave you solid advice in his first post. I've been in the same position myself (more than once). The only thing I know for sure is that you're going to get rid of the speakers at some point. Everyone here is just trying to save you from spending any more money than you have to.
@Zd542: Thanks for your suggestions. Actually, even without the Jade 3 problem, I plan to buy a proper preamp for my setup, as I dun like the way I control DAC volume digitally, though it works just fine on Wharfedale Denton. Also NAD has come a long way in HiFi history, the gear mostly will work with British speakers, if it does not I still get a decent volume control and rich features of input. Between, any other preamp comes with DAC worth a try?
To Wim1983

Have you looked at the Focal Aria 906 monitor. It has received very solid reviews, and is the same price as the Wharfdale Jade 3. that is, $1500 at retail. My only caveat is be aware that French loudspeakers starting from the old vintage Martin line of speakers from 30 years ago, Triangle and some models of JM Reynaud speakers can sound bright.

Therefore, if you change speakers, check out this brand and model. Focal brings a shitload of engineering technology to their speakers. HOWEVER, Don't let THAT LEAD YOU TO BELIEVE THEY EITHER SOUND GOOD, OR ARE FOR YOU.
@Sunnyjim: Thanks for your detailed opinions. I came to realize there are a lot of different speakers from different brands, can sound bright, can sound warm, and very few sound balanced and musical. I did hear about Focal Aria 906, not sure still able to get this model, how would describe it? Forgiving? I'm considering a Dynaudio DM 2/7 or second hand Dynaudio Focus 110 too, are they forgiving speakers? From what I heard, it's not forgiving to some less than perfect recordings?
I've just listen to the Jade 3 and Opus floorstander with tubes at Wharfedale dealer showroom, hmm I'm not impressed, it sound a bit harsh to me, does not feel "quiet" when listen to, wonder it's a correct setup, or need proper matching...
mind sharing the contact info for the wharfedale dealer?
@mayven: I'm from Malaysia, you can try to email him c.b.tan@hotmail.com or doublegtresources@yahoo.com