WHARFEDALE DENTON 85
Wharfedale is proud to present this 85th Anniversary Edition of one of the brand’s most famous and popular loudspeakers – the Denton.
Gilbert Briggs, who founded Wharfedale in 1932, turned the company into one of the most famous loudspeaker brands in the world by concentrating on quality and value for money.
The Wharfedale Denton exemplified these two edicts, balancing fine craftsmanship, natural sound quality and affordability inside a compact loudspeaker that was bought in its millions right across the globe.
The original Denton went on to further other models based on its highly popular formula, the Denton 3 being the last of the line…
Denton 85th Anniversary is a two-way speaker in the classic bookshelf tradition, beautifully hand veneered in Mahogany by Wharfedale cabinet makers with an inset front baffle and traditional Tungsten cloth grille.
Underneath the traditional exterior, however, the Denton 85th Anniversary is bang up to date and utilises a mixture of traditional and advanced technology. The bass unit features Wharfedale’s innovative woven Kevlar cone mounted on a rigid die-cast chassis, this combination delivering a rich, detailed bass/midrange output with superb dynamic performance. High frequencies are handled by a woven textile soft dome treble unit with high flux ferrite magnet, engineered for smooth, detailed HF extension.
These drive units are combined by a highly researched crossover that is near inaudible to the listener, resulting in a coherent, seamless musical output that is both thrilling and natural in its rendition of any source material.
The Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary Edition is a time machine of sorts, a speaker that recalls 1970s British audiophile sound, but it’s much better than that. The Denton is more transparent, with bigger and better-defined bass, and a more spacious soundstage than any affordable British monitor could muster back in the day. The Denton sells for $899 a pair in the US, and £549 in the UK.
It’s a two-way design with a 1-inch (25mm) soft dome tweeter, and a 6.5-inch (165mm) black woven Kevlar woofer; both drivers are designed and
Returning to 21st century music with Alt-J’s brilliant Relaxer album, the Dentons sounded a lot better. Each tune is grounded by a weighty bass foundation that belied the Denton’s reasonable size. Vocals likewise sounded so right, nothing hyped about them, making hours-long listening sessions fatigue-free.
Paul Simon’s landmark Graceland album was heavily remixed in 2018, and the low down beats gave the Denton woofers a workout. The speaker packs a wallop, the Dentons handle power pretty well, but when I turned the volume way up the sound turned hard. They wouldn’t be my first choice for party speakers.
The Denton’s look and feel are miles ahead of the white Bowers & Wilkins 606 stand-mount speakers I auditioned in 2018 at the CNET office. Both speakers hail from UK-based manufacturers, and they’re close to the same price, but the Denton looks a lot more expensive.
The 606s’ sound was more forward, detailed and livelier. They’re good, but these Dentons are richer and weightier in balance, which in turn makes them less-vivid performers. The 606s are higher contrast and brighter-sounding speakers, the Dentons throttle back the energy a bit. Both are recommendable, but they sound very different.
The Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary Edition speaker is a honey, I love the way it hearkens back to the classic UK sound, and still sounds great today.
– Steve Guttenberg, Cnet