Wharfedale Airedale

1 9 6 7 1967

From when Gilbert A. Briggs still was at the helm of Wharfedale, less than ten years after the 1958 sale of the latter to the ubiquitous RANK organization.

Rank however waited for Briggs to retire in 1965 to change the name of its subsidiary : from
Wharfedale Wireless Works Ltd. to
RANK Wharfedale Wireless Works Ltd..
Such politesse and good manners aren't seen too often nowadays !

The Airedale, as its name suggests, is an attempt at omni-directionality : the mid and high drivers inside the enclosure radiate toward the top to let sound go "everywhere".
Unlike the contemporary Teesdale, the two drivers really only spread sound there : since no conical deflectors were used, the large enclosure side cutouts radiate internal reflexions only.

This high region is separated from the W15RS 38cm bass driver by an empty cavity - an "acoustic resistance in the form of a distributed port" ; that cavity is damped by ceramic tiles.
For further damping, the front panel is sand-filled, this explaining the total 42kg of the airy dale and the presence of hidden castors for easy movement.

The 20cm bass driver has a "roll surround" suspension (not Flexiprene) made with a more traditional (and safer) impregnated cloth.
The polepiece is 5cm in size, magnet is Ceramic, frame is cast and resonance low at 23...28 cycles/second.

The medium is the Super 8/RS/DD, the resonant frequency of which is largely above what it does in the Airedale : 400Hz crossover vs. 55Hz resonance. Impregnated cloth surround makes the Super 8/RS/DD more resistant to time then Flexiprene, a variant of Neoprene.

The tweeter is the efficient Wharfedale Super 3.

AlNiCo magnets everywhere and an enclosure designed with the co-operation of Consultant Designer Robert Gutmann F.S.I.A..

The Airedale also saw later versions (Airedale SP, completely different) and a very modern (and completely different again) 2002 Airedale - why change a good name ?

A (lucid) thread about the Airedale here, the modern Airedale at Wharfedale's and a detailed history of Wharfedale at... Wharfedale's too.

Wharfedale Airedale, image 1 Wharfedale Airedale, image 2
Wharfedale Airedale specifications
Title Value
Type : acoustic resistance
Drivers : 1x 38cm bass
1x 20 mid
1x 7cm high
Crossover : 400Hz
Nominal impedance : suitable for 15 Ohm output
Frequency response : 20Hz...20Khz
Power handling : 20W RMS
Dimensions : 100 x 68,5 x 35,5cm
Weight : 42kg.
Finishes : Zebrano
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page online since : august 2010
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