Wharfedale Linton Heritage 85th Anniversary


These are fun speakers.  They are musical and smooth. An absolute pleasure to hear with tubes.

I cannot believe how well made they are at this price point.  I'd like to wheel in a pair of Harbeths or Spendors (classic type) to have a shootout.  The stands are well executed.  Everything feels substantial and high end.  Color me impressed.  


jbhiller
Hi jbhiller,
    How long have you had these? What gear are you driving these with,and how big is your room?
     Thanks in advance,
               Ray
I see they are listed at $1,498 at MusicDirect.  Does that price include stands?  I have the Denton 80th Anniversaries in a second system paired with a Cary SLI-80.  I do like the sound although these may pair even better with their 90dB sensitivity (compared to 86dB on the Dentons).  I see the minimal impedance is 3.5 ohms - a bit lower than optimal with a medium-level output tube amp.

Yes, I'd like to know what you're driving yours with as well.  Thanks for the heads up on these.  I was unaware of them.
Wharferdales usually benefit hugely from cap upgrades. Their tweeters are unusually excellent but cheap caps hold them back.

If you buy them, worth opening them up for a look. :)
Thank you jbhiller - you are the first linton 85 owner to tell your impressions.  You should get a prize for that.
About sensitivity, it is given as 90db at 2v at 1m vs denton 86db at 1w/1m....

Do you feel that they need robust amplification?
Great questions and points.  

I've had them for a few days only.  I plugged them into my 300B amp first, knowing that they would be underpowered; the 300B was already hooked up.  The 300B wasn't great at driving them.  Sounded fine, but I knew they needed more juice.  I popped in my Primaluna Dialogue HP integrated.  Plenty of power for the Lintons--even in triode mode in my sizable room (24' x 15' x 10 high).

My front end is either a Technics 1200 GAE fed by a Manley Chinook phono pre or its Tidal -> Bluesound Node -> Doge DAC.  

The stands are included for $1500.  I'd be shocked if someone wasn't impressed by the build quality.  Fit and finish is top notch.  

I thought they would be stretched out Dentons, but they are much bigger.  

I just had to try these and I'm glad I did.  
@erik_squires

Thank you for the suggestion. I may open these up and roll in some high quality caps. I hope they have values on them!

Oh, and you're right...Wharfedale soft dome tweeters are really excellent.  They are so smooth sounding without losing detail.  
Congrats!Never owned any but I liked them very much the few times I had the opportunity to listen to a pair of Wharfdales paired with tubes.
I'm sure they will have values. Based on reading others, I recommend Clarity CSA or Mundorf MKP's for the tweets.
If you find a big electrolytic, it will be the woofer, and it IS worth changing out for a Mundorf bipolar or Axon or CSA.
I heard them at axpona (told they were to be available May, and indeed they are!) and found at least for the two tracks played that they were very engaging and yes, fun. I found myself enjoying what I heard and one of those cases where you wonder if you ever need spend more than $1500 if what you have in front of you seems so perfectly adequate. I would need to hear them in my room etc., etc. as what I can ascertain from a show listening is pretty coarse and I feel is dictated more by the recording and my mood at the moment. Axponas price ranges on demo reminded me that great sound is available for surprisingly modest budgets.
I agree. I,too, heard them at Axpona. 

At the show they were fed by an all in one Quad lifestyle integrated, modestly priced. Wharfedale told me they wanted to show off what they could do with reasonably priced equipment. MoFi/Music Direct (the US Distributer that sponsored the room) could’ve given Wharfedale a Luxman, McInstosh or other more premium amp. 
@big_katydid, like you I wondered the same thing—all my current speakers cost more than double to triple the cost of the Lintons.  And now with the Lintons in the system they are sounding just as good. 

@jbhiller  I found the sound of the linton to be accessible for want of a better term, at least for those recordings, one thing I'd have to check for on any relisten was any fatigue, I didn't notice anything unpleasant at the time. They are a lot of box for the money, a touch bigger than the speaker they look like (at least with grill on) the Harbeth compact 7!

It would be great if somebody can compare the Linton to Denton 80th, which sound classic across wide spectrum and music genre, just worry the Linton sound too shrill or too lush?
I have heard the Denton 80th. I bought a pair for my father.  

The Linton is not harsh or shrill--at least with my gear, in my room.  It sounds better than the Denton as it covers a broader frequency range.  I haven't tried the Linton with solid state yet, but I did run the Dentons on a Creek Evolution 100 and they sounded really nice.  

I think the Denton Heritage sound signature is smooth, musical and listenable.  There's a touch of romanticism coming from the dome tweeter and midrange. The Heritage stuff is arguably not the most accurate. But I find it musical and keeps me listening longer.   I chose the Dentons for my dad after auditioning them for months with KEF LS50s.  The KEFs were really something in how they could disect the music.  But I think the Wharfedales cast a better picture. 
@jbhiller. 'not the most accurate'. I'm at the point where I'm eliminating the idea of 'improving' my audio and simply thinking I'd rather have 3, maybe 4 boxes to swap out, each about 2K but each doing something different, each with a strength but each one I like: one accurate, one forgiving and warm  one punchy and dynamic, one open, that type of thing. I'm convinced that many audiophiles, myself included are basically collectors and are forever needing the next scratch, I feel swapping for different flavor boxes might mitigate that, I wonder where the linton could fit in?? 
@big_katydid , that's a very interesting point and it's where I am at too in some real ways.  There were a couple of loudspeakers I heard at AXPONA that were amazing but for the most part I have 3-4 sets of speakers that compete really well with much of what I heard.  And, the Linton's fit into the mix and they are my cheapest speakers but in no way the worst--just different.   Music Direct's return policy is solid.  The fact that you get custom made stands for this price is amazing.  
MoFi/Music Direct (the US Distributer that sponsored the room) could’ve given Wharfedale a Luxman, McInstosh or other more premium amp.
MoFi is getting aggressive. They also flew a couple of YouTube reviewers to Axpona to push their product lines, including this one.

Anyway, it will be interesting to see how close these speakers get to Harbeth for a fraction if the price. Competition is good. 
That's right, MoFi is getting aggressive.  They also paired this setup with a MoFi turntable and a nice cartridge that wasn't Lyra expensive.  I think it made a statement.   I was very impressed with the turntable too.  

Competition is really great right now.  There's so much in the $1-$2.5k range of all categories that can provide compelling and beautiful sound. 

I should, however, note that I am driving the Lintons with a pretty nice amp.  I only wish my 300B could drive them to louder volume because it is my best amp.  


How is the bass extension/quality compared to your other speakers?
@sumaato , I'm still breaking them in.  I like the bass alot.  I think it's more prominent than more Klipsch Forte IIIs, which is interesting.  The Forte IIIs use a passive radiator on the rear. The Wharfedale uses rear bass reflex ports.  I haven't gotten enough time with them to give a review of how the Linton's truly perform.  I will say, the 8" woofer gives a good sense of visceral presence to the mid lows and low end.  Unlike the Dentons, these are not small bookshelf speakers.  I'd feel more comfortable give you more opinions if I heard them in different size rooms too.  They certainly aren't bass shy to me. Let me see if I can put some miles on them and get back to you. 
Thank you  for the useful comments.
I think you may be the very first owner to be talking about these speakers, in the audio forum world or elsewhere.
You have the mic.....we are all listening!
That’s cool!  I’m honored but want to be careful not to understate or overstate anything. 

Im going to listen tonight.  I’m going to give them a few hundred hours of listening to see what opinions and thoughts develop. Initially I think they are a fantastic deal.  
Anyone in or near Chicagoland and want to test drive them?  Happy to meet fellow music lovers. 
@jbhiller
Are you saying the Lintons have more bass than the Klipsch Forte III?

I heard both extensively at AXPONA a few weeks ago and the Lintons has absolutely no bass or warmth, they were all midrange and sounded lo-fi and awful IMHO. The ForteIII sounded huge and full range and were one of my favorites. They could rock the house down.
No disrespect or offense but I simply cannot understand how you could come to such a conclusion.
@big_katydid 
yes they look exactly like my former Harbeth C7ES3,  But that is where the similarities end.  
avanti1960, No, I’m not saying that the Lintons have more bass than the Klipsch Forte III. What I said was the bass in the Linton was more "prominent". To be more precise, I’ll be very explicit. I think the Forte III is more even across the spectrum and the Linton has some mid bass boost--not a ton but it’s there in my room.

Now, here’s the deal. I’m not familiar with the Quad amp they ran the Lintons with at AXPONA. But what I can tell you is this--there is bass and warmth. It could be that my tube amps have more bass than my solid state amps. I know that sounds nuts to folks but it’s true. Bass is about bandwidth and large power supplies.

The other issue may be (other than differences in our ears) is differences in room and positioning.

I don’t take offense at all. Come on over. I have plenty of junk to play and kit to compare them to. Maybe they’ll break in further and they will sound different (more midrangey as you heard them).
One more thing--yes, the Forte IIIs rock the house. They are dynamic and I think they are better than many loudspeakers double and triple the cost. 
Klipsch Forte III seem like a violent speakers, not sure is the typical "America" speakers sound? Feel a lot of USA made sound way too aggressive for "British" audience, I love their amps made in USA though, more violent more good :P
Right up to murder their is more violent crime in UK than USA .And that's saying a lot !Both London and Glasgow have 10X more than Berlin .

@schubert  Human is different story to tell than speakers, I suppose. Dead speakers serve the ears, alive human serve nobody.
Timely thread for me. I just landed a pair of Forte III's and was also considering the Linton's (which BTW are now sold out on MD). I like the idea thrown out by @big_katydid. Buy a few different "flavors" and swap them out instead of constantly chasing. Like what I am hearing about the Linton's and may be a nice contrast to the Forte III's. Enjoy the journey!

@tjmpark I heard the forte III at axpona, wish I could have heard the heresy iii also (there too) but couldn’t really get a sense of what they can do due to unfamiliarity with the track played.

As for ’flavors’ and not to derail from the thread I do also have basic EQ in my systems, one just a bass/treble and other has a mixer with low/mid/high and I find it extremely useful that on poor recordings (lets say compressed and hot) if I nudge the mid and high down just a bit it can make the whole thing much more bearable. If a track is very thin I can nudge the bass up a touch. I think having just one unadjustable sound from kit is anathema to the ’collector’ and no wonder we always want to swap things out, trouble in this hobby is boxes are big, heavy and usually expensive (or very expensive).

The forte III plus linton could offer an nice contrast though right now the lintons qualities are still to be more revealed, though my impression of them (from what I heard at axpona) is that they were engaging but relaxed. I’m ways away from having a selection of 3-4 speakers but I can imagine having a ’pipe and slippers’/dynamic high sensitivity/midrange centric that type of thing depending on recording quality/mood/volume needed/music style/film style.

I suppose once you know your favored and most listened to presentation you could upgrade one of the speakers as you se fit, see it never ends.....


I own the Forte III and the Linton and they are now my two "flavors".  I'm having second thoughts on selling my PSB Imagine T2s, as they might be the perfect third flavor. 
Yes the stands are included.
I swapped out my favorite tube (7581A) for an octet of KT150s last night.  The Lintons do sound better with more power than EL34 variants can give.  
@big_katydid I'm also with you on the eq. I have a McIntosh MA9000 and use the EQ to either tame or energize recordings. Very useful. @jbhiller good tip on the KT150's. 
I would love to hear the Linton’s. I am in need of a $1500+ bookshelf speaker and these are what I am considering at this time:
Bryston Mini T-
Tyler Linbrook Signature-
Legacy Studio Monitor
Splendor Classic SP 100
Buchardt S 400
Gershmann Grand Studio-
Russell K 100
Kerr Acoustics K 300

Anyone personally heard any of the above speakers compared to the Wharfedale Linton Heritage speakers?


It's been reported that buchardt are cheaply built, with low-end off-the-shelf drivers, and cabinet quality that do not reflect the price.  In other words over-hyped...
@buddy1234what kind of sound are you after ?  
I have heard a number of those speakers and of those i like the Bryston.  however i personally would save or look for harbeth p3esr.  
Burchardt uses SB Acoustics in at least some of their models, nothing wrong with them at all. From the pricing I've seen, it's quite fair.


The crossover I've seen however seem overly engineered. A thorough analysis would be interesting.  I've not seen a pair in person so I cannot comment on the cabinets.


Best,
E
P.S. - In house speaker making is no guarantee of anything, and often is used to lower parts cost.  Using off the shelf drivers from a good manufacturer is a fine thing for speaker makers to do.
Nothing wrong using off the shelf drivers - i agree ! As long as they are really good, example vandersteen, totem, and so many more.  The ones used in buchardt are not seas or scanspeak, and the buchardt are priced as if they were.
The ones used in buchardt are not seas or scanspeak, and the buchardt are priced as if they were.

Have you ever made speakers yourself?  Have you measured SB Acoustics drivers or listened to them?


And no, they aren't priced as if they were. They are below the traditional 10x markup, more or less, so a fair bargain. 

Compare to Gamut.
It's rude to compare buchardt to Gamut, or other established high-end brands, or the ones I have built years ago without measuring equipment!
Buchardts are sb acoustics kits developed and assembled in countries where the cost of living is far less than in europe, canada and usa.
All the two european speaker kings had to do was pay youtube reviewers to create the buzz, and shoot a video of the speakers with pot and alcohol right in the middle, tres chic lifestyle, like this:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkpE0sXJRyE
Gamut show how they build them, they show the effort they put into it.
But anyway, this is a Wharfedale Linton thread.  This buchardt discussion belongs somewhere else.
Where’s the pot in the video? I met be too tired to find it. 
jbhiller if you have more observations to share regarding the Lintons, we are all ears. How do they perform with rock vs classical symphony, for example?
Sumaato, 

I've now had these running for about a month.  Here's what I can say (no final conclusions yet)

-My 300b amp cannot drive them.  
-My Primaluna can and they sound great with them. 
-Oddly, My Creek EVO 100 sounds better with them than the Primaluna.  
-They sound so good that while I've certainly thought about rotating my Klipsch Forte IIIs back in, I haven't done it.  
--I thought the Lintons sounded a bit harsher with tubes than solid state.  But keep in mind I have only compared 3 amps with them thusfar.  

Maybe there's some serious synergy between the British Creek and the British Lintons?  

I have no lack of bass.  I have a big room and they have low end drive.  I'm not sure what the dude (above) heard, but I respect we all hear differently and different rooms and kit make a difference.  

I'm going to hold off on a very specific review because I think I need to live with stuff for months to truly know it.  I'll say this though; the Lintons are a killer bargain.   They reveal differences in front end equipment better than I expected.   I would recommend an audition for people looking for great musical value.  Pick your saying, phrase or idiom--they punch about their price.  

One thing I’m confident about: the Lintons need to be placed and spaced precisely to lock in imaging.  They are not fickle in placement from the front wall in my room but they do require precision in spacing and tie in to lock the sound picture together seamlessly. 
Thanks for the update......great reports, just what we need to hear. 

"-They sound so good that while I've certainly thought about rotating my Klipsch Forte IIIs back in, I haven't done it. " 

That's a telling user review statement.....