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Old 25th December 2010, 01:21 AM   #1
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Default Updated Wharfedale SFB

I have a set of somewhat rough Wharfedale SFB/3 speakers I'm playing with. The original drivers will need reconing, and someday I'll reinstall them and give them a listen. What I've settled on as far as the new/updated configuration is putting an Emi Alpha 12 in the bottom, a Tang Band 1808 in the 10" upper cutout, and a "lemon squeezer" piezo in the up-firing tweeter spot. I just finished loading the speakers in place (using very temporary methods) and gave them a listen with various configurations. I initially tried my 40 wpc tube amp to the upper drivers and solid state to the lower one with an active crossover, but I think I have some issues with the electronics as I couldn't get much from the bottom driver. I got it sounding MUCH better by taking out the active crossover and second amp and just running the upper and lower speakers in series. It still needs work. I definitely will be trying a Zobel or some other way to tame the high end from the Tang Band - its just too much. It will also sound better when I get them mounted properly. I'll try to sort out my active crossover/amp issues and give it another go soon. So far though, I think its going to sound really good when I finally get it all dialed in. I'll try to get some pics up eventually as well.
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Old 22nd February 2011, 02:46 AM   #2
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Quick update. I obviously work very slowly - the rest of my life (work, mostly) eats up most of my time.

I finally got one speaker mounted up with a fabricated wood "insert" to mount the 1808 into the 10" speaker hole. I got some of the electronic issues sorted out. After preliminary listening I decided the treble response was too strident, so I put on a Zobel network. Currently I'm using an active crossover between the 1808 and the 12" Eminence, and driving the 1808/piezo with a 40 watt tube amp and the Emi with a Mosfet amp (about 200 watts).

So far I'm quite pleased. This is a very articulate and realistic sounding speaker. Very low listening fatigue - it just draws you in. At this point I'm pretty sure the remaining artifacts that keep it from sounding completely "real" are in other components (primarily the CD front end - a Rega Planet). I still am trying to get my turntable fixed.

Now to put the other side together, solder the connections, tidy it all up, etc. I'll plan to post again when I'm further along.
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Old 16th March 2011, 08:34 PM   #3
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Got the second one cobbled together and gave 'em a listen last pm in "non-optimized" conditions. These are so good that I'm back to thinking my source (CD player) is more of a limiting factor than the speakers now. No low bass, of course, but you don't really miss it on most material. I plan to correct that soon in the final iteration - I have 2 pro-audio 18" subs to give me some lows - I'll run into the active crossover, then to 3 amps, with one to the Tang Bands/piezos, one to the Emi woofers and one to the subs. After some listening, the last step is to improve the cosmetics.
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Old 7th July 2011, 08:42 PM   #4
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Quick update. Its up in close to the final configuration - the subs are in there with the Wharfedales crossed over to them at around 100 Hz. I have 3 amps coming from the active crossover, one to the subs, one to the 12" Eminences, and the tube amp to the 1808s/piezos. It sounds AMAZING. I'll probably send the original Alnico 12s out to be reconed in the near future and try them in their original spots when I get them back. I'm glad I got my pair of 1808s before the prices went up.
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Old 25th February 2012, 09:38 PM   #5
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Default Re: Wharfedale sfb drivers

Please...please do not send them out to be reconed!!1 They will never sound the same or as good! If all they need is new surrounds, then please go no further than that. The 10" ers in particular are very similar in tone to my quad esls. The designers worked very hard and successfully so to achieve the tone and balance the had. If you need further advice on how to proceed, especially with the tweet, call or email me. Regards, Paul B Anderson.
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Old 25th February 2012, 11:07 PM   #6
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Default Wharfedale

Are those green felt flat surrounds? Be sure to do it right.
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Old 26th February 2012, 03:50 AM   #7
VaNarn is offline VaNarn  Australia
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Paul is giving good advice as the supply of the original Wharfedale cones for the W12/FS,10'' Bronze/FSB and the Super 3, ceased around 1964 and it is impossible to achieve the same results with generic cones.The green felt gaskets are a target for silverfish but in any case can be replaced with rubber material with no effect on the sound.If you are unable to cut out and fit new foam surrounds yourself you will need someone with experience to do it for you.
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Old 26th February 2012, 04:47 AM   #8
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In fact, the super 3 tweets have no centering device-spider-of any sort for the voice coil and depend on the thin flat foam cone rim ring at the outer periphery which in all likelihood is shot by now along with the foam surrounds on the 10 and 12 inch cones. The best replacement for the tweet foam suspension is decidedly non-stock and bizarre-looking albeit effective. Carefully clean all crumbly foam residue from the frame rim and cone. Stretch a length of sewing thread across the diameter of the frame rim from, say, 12 o'clock to six; that is, to bisect the circle with the thread. Next, while keeping the thread taut, apply a drop of Krazy glue to each end of the thread where it touches the recessed rim bed to which the foam was previously glued. Repeat for 9-to-three o'clock axes or however many wheel-spoke like spiderweb strands you fell up to stretching and gluing. These will act like trampoline-like filaments that will center and hold the tiny cone axially true during its miniscule excursions and add less moving mass than the original foam ring.Where the cone rim touches the axial/radial thread filaments, apply a tiny drop of Krazy glue to secure the cone rim to the thread spokes. The tweeter will then look like a highly disciplined spider wove a spare web across the face of the tweet. Works like a charm. To center the voice coil prior to gluing the foam ring, you can either let the cone self-center by playing some music VERY gently through the unit (no bass) just to get the cone vibrating slightly as you apply each drop to the cone rim/thread contact point. or shim the voice-coil wjth fine slivers of film You may choose to invert the driver face-down so gravity will drop the cone down onto the thread web before you glue the cone rim to the web. Go around from behind the cone through the frame slits. The Goodmans Axiom 80 is no less a performer due to its no surround suspension, and this tweet will certainly sound no worse than it did at its best. Again, under NO circumstances allow anyone to replace the whole cone.on the larger units. The ten-incher, as I have said before, sounds more like my quad 57 midrange than any cone speak I have compared it to ;and there were many. Briggs & Co voiced it to sound like a dynamic quad with solid bass, though without the degree if delicacy found in the Quad but, oh, well. The 12- inchers were very special as well and ought to be used with the 10.
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Old 20th March 2012, 01:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andersonpaulb View Post
and this tweet will certainly sound no worse than it did at its best. Again, under NO circumstances allow anyone to replace the whole cone.on the larger units. The ten-incher, as I have said before, sounds more like my quad 57 midrange than any cone speak I have compared it to ;and there were many. Briggs & Co voiced it to sound like a dynamic quad with solid bass, though without the degree if delicacy found in the Quad but, oh, well. The 12- inchers were very special as well and ought to be used with the 10.
As the happy owner of a pair of SFB/3s with original drivers not suffering from surround degradation I would echo these observations.

It remains a testament to both designs that over 50 years since their debut. either set in perfect operational nick hold their own quite nicely against the newest loudspeaker designs and so-called driver manufacturing advances.

I have heard a few sets of SFB/3s where the original Super 3s were replaced with newer W70/90 versions as well as various non SFB/3 versions of the 10" and 12" drivers, all with very disappointing results.

The drivers for the SFB/3s were unique to this model only, in terms of construction, design and application.

Hopefully, some enterprising individual will develop suitable surround replacements for those SFB/3 owners requiring same...
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