Audio Visual Revolution Product Launch
Being among the first to view and audition some of the latest products from these globally renowned brands, along with the opportunity to meet and discuss all things audio with Peter Comeau is an exciting opportunity.
The International Audio Group (IAG) is the parent company of manufacturers including Wharfedale, Quad, Audiolab and more, distributed in Australia by Audio Visual Revolution (AVR). IAG is owned and run by twin Taiwanese brothers Bernard and Michael Chang, while Peter Comeau is Director of Acoustic Design for IAG, working across the brands.
At a special event at the Novatel Sydney, this event was put on to introduce the latest products from Wharfedale, QUAD, EKCO and Audiolab specifically, and with a room full of impressive looking gear there was certainly a lot to take in.
The Denton is a retro styled compact bookshelf speaker, a limited edition in celebration of the 80th anniversary of Wharfedale. Going back to early memories when he first sold Wharfedale, Peter wanted to recreate a product that reflected a culmination of classic looks and improvements in technology available today. With its vintage looking grill and beautifully finished enclosure the Denton at first glance would be hard to date, but then when you look under the grill, the drive units suggest there has been some major changes.
Moving away from the 8” mid-bass it is replaced with a 6 1/2” kevlar drive unit with improved characteristics said to be able to create improved sound pressure levels and bass authority. The tweeter remains a soft dome and voiced to sound how Peter remembers the Denton's of old with an easygoing warmth. Consideration has also been given to the idea that media being played on speakers these days is being supplied from more sources than the turntables that took pride of place in a Hi-Fi setup. A bi-wire / bi-amplification capable crossover with rather convenient layout enables easy access for hard wiring. The Denton is available in mahogany and walnut real timber veneers and are likely to be referenced as yet another triumph in Wharfedale's prestigious history of loudspeaker design.
Wharfedale's Diamond 200 series and the 220 was next on show, the larger of the two bookshelf / standmount speakers in the range, the Diamond 200 series has benefited significantly from advances in technology and engineering practices. One of the key factors in speaker development outside of drive unit and crossover component selection is how these elements work within the cabinet and how the cabinet is ventilated. With a compact speaker, porting is a challenge to do well to give smooth transition from the high pressures developed within a cabinet to the outside environment. With a sound understanding of the importance of this aspect of a speakers performance, Peter developed a new port system with the port firing downward into a narrow space between the cabinet and plinth. This more gradual expansion has enabled him to get an increase of 1.5 to 2 dB of bass extension with the added benefit of lowering distortion.