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Goodmans and Wharfedale

Discussion in 'classic' started by lexi, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. lexi

    lexi pfm Member

    There's a whole bundle of guys that these companies spawned or who passed through.
    I think Mordaunt Short were Wharfedale guys. Richard Allen? Stan Curtis, forget the others.
    Ted Jordan with Goodmans of course.
  2. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles Trade: MGM Audio

    Goodmans were very good manufacturers of loudspeakers. One of the few companies who did basic research into acoustics and manufacturing of drive units. Who does that now in the UK, apart from Spendor and Harbeth? The BBC used their drivers, and Arthur Radford knew his stuff. He chose the best drivers of the time when he designed his loudspeakers.

    I have some of their early printed material from the 1960s. Just read it and you'll change your mind...
  3. ian r

    ian r 401's Nakman

    Martyn I objected to this myself thats why i quoted it ;-)

  4. Jo 90

    Jo 90 pfm Member

    Agree... Top link from PD. Some of those speakers were definitely interesting reading. It seemed a lot simpler then ! Regarding the Wharfedales, then the only ones (probably crap) I ever wanted with a passion were the E90's... Monster, high efficiency jobbies.

    My older brother had the Linton XP2's with the "holographic" mid range unit (stolen from Leak?) and whilst they sounded fun in his bedroom, were murdered by my Mission 710's

    Nice topic.
  5. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles Trade: MGM Audio

    DOH. Who is not reading posts correctly ? Apologies. Martyn .
  6. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles Trade: MGM Audio

    Interestingly, I am looking at buying an old pair of Radford Bookshelf loudspeakers as a bit of audio history.
    They have a Kef bass/mid. driver and a Celestion tweeter.
  7. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles Trade: MGM Audio

    Were the M100s the Achromat 100s ?
  8. smithy

    smithy pfm Member

    This thread was started a long long time ago ,I wouldn't call something like an SFB3 uncollectable ,I wouldn't mind another single one to make a pair.
  9. Beobloke

    Beobloke pfm Member

    No, the M100s were completely different and more similar to the Maxim 2s. Their bass driver was similar but they used a nicer soft dome tweeter. They were the smallest model in the 'M' range that went M100 - M300 - M500.

    There is a pair for sale on eBay here if you fancy trying them (no affiliation with seller etc.)
  10. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Arkless

    Indeed. "Total Sound Recall" series IIRC. The TSR108 was bloody good!
  11. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles Trade: MGM Audio

    Thanks, but no thanks...
    I have enough small speakers at the present time!
  12. David.D

    David.D pfm Member

    For the last 12 months my main listening experience has been with a pair of TSR 110. The crossovers will need bringing up to date at some point but for 40 year old speakers the sound quality is more than good enough to make me a happy person.
  13. Richard C.

    Richard C. pfm Member

    I know nothing of Goodmans cabinets but they did make good drivers in the 1950s and I enjoyed an Axiom in a Klipsch-inspired cabinet for several years.

    However, I do have some knowledge of the BAC TSR2 which, most emphatically, was not a "failure". Yes, excess weight became an increasingly difficult factor during its development but this largely was due to the armed services failing to agree a defined specification, always squabbling amongst themselves and continually loading the aircraft with more equipment. Escalating costs also were a factor contributing to the programme being cancelled but cost overruns were (and still are) common to nearly all projects of this type. The aircraft was entirely successful relative to its initial design brief and was a long way in advance of similar European or American offerings. Had some faith been had in continued development of this sophisticated concept, it would have proved itself substantially superior to the Phantom and the Buccaneer which replaced it - at least the latter was a home-grown product.

    The TSR2 was cancelled by a faithless Harold Wilson in much the same fashion as the vile Ted Heath had cancelled Blue Streak. The "failure", as it so often does, rested with the politicians. Dave's disgusting haste in scrapping the Nimrods and giving away the Harriers is but a continuation of the same problem.

    Plus ca change and all that!
  14. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles Trade: MGM Audio

    I have just bought a pair of the later Goodmans Ministers for £5.00 (!)
    Considering their age the condition is good.
    Looking forward to 'firing them up.'
    M Miles
  15. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles Trade: MGM Audio

    One of the tweeters didn't work.
    A speaker designer friend and I sourced two modern, soft dome, tweeters.
    After fitting ( the apertures and screw holes matched ) and checking, the Ministers sounded pretty good for an old design.
    I later sold them for about £40.

    I'd noticed on eBay a Goodmans tweeter, like the original one I still had, for 'Buy Now' £80!
    I decided to put mine up on eBay and got about £60 for it.
    The buyer was very happy, as he'd got his pair of old Goodmans speakers working again.

    If I ever see another pair of Ministers going cheap I'll buy them...
  16. Minstrel SE

    Minstrel SE These go to eleven

    Joe Ackroyd worked for both companies and got his grounding before becoming self employed :)

    There must be something good from those companies but once you have heard a Royd,you certainly dont need to go back the way for musical enjoyment
  17. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles Trade: MGM Audio

    I have never heard a Royd speaker.
    This is an experience to look forward to...
  18. rontoolsie

    rontoolsie pfm Member

    I started to pen a reply, but then an overwhelming sense of deja vu came over me. So I shuttled over to another forum and saw I had written about my experience with a (probably one-off Wharfedale flagship model some 30 years ago). So, here is what I wrote

    Back circa 1985 or so, Wharfedale came out with its flagship product...I can't be certain of the name, but I think it was called the Option 1 or something (a quick google search didn't result in any mentions)....they were very big, very expensive ($8000??) and active. I think there may have been only one pair ever built, but somehow my then dealer along the Floridian space coast manage to get that very pair, along with one CD that the distributor said you HAD to use with those speakers-the HFNRR demo disk with the dreaded garage door thumping track.

    I must say the garage door sounded very impressive on those Wharefdales, but for actual music, a pair of Accoustat Model 2+2 driven with the best amplification Audio Research ever had or will make-the SP10mk2/D250mk2 that was in an adjoining demo room was by far better and tonally more truthful. No, they were not the *worst* flag ship speaker I have heard-those would be Les Queltiques...

    The same dealer also had a very early pair of the original Diamonds that were clamped into space time ordinances by a scaffolding of experimental wrought iron with spikes on the top, bottom and both sides. Now THOSE were impressive, although how much had to do with the novel 'stands' I do not know. At the time he estimated the stands would cost $500 to embrace speakers worth maybe $80-the original Diamonds were VERY cheap.... He later went on to found a very successful stand company-Sound Anchor, that still does healthy business.

    Still you had to admire the chutzpah of Wharfedale to produce these very unexpected speakers that were against pretty much all of their then philosophies.

    A uni friend of mine had a pair of Lintons I think. Dull and boxy even when driven with my Michell Focus One/A60. My only other experience with Wharfedale was when they rolled out their E-series speakers at the Heathrow show (of was it the Olympia one?). Literally they made my head hurt, which it continued to do for at least an hour after I left. Still, I did get to meet and chat with JV later on that day, so all was not lost.
  19. rabidlistener

    rabidlistener pfm Member

    Ah Wharfedale Option 1's I thought I had dreamed these speakers actually existed! I remember them being demonstrated at one of the Heathrow shows in the Eighties. Wharfedale had them set up in the ballroom (?) of the hotel with the aisles between the rows of seats in line with the Option 1's. Walking along the aisles there was no stereo image at all but as soon as you sat down in the seats all was revealed. I thought they sounded superb for a hifi show demo. I used to have a very expensive brochure for them that was sadly lost when I lent it to a mate. There used to be a smaller version called Option 2's as well. I have the brochure for them but it is only a single sheet.

    The scaffolding speaker stands for the original Diamonds were made by the Cornflake Shop. Again, at a hifi show they demonstrated a system that consisted of the original Roksan Xerxes TT, cheap Mission arm/AT cartridge, Naim Nait 1 and the Diamonds mounted in these stands. Santana's Abraxas never sounded so good. It was one of the few times I have ever considered buying a show system. Had an in-shop demo but it never reached those heights so I gave it a miss. They also made the scaffolding frames to wall mount Linn Kans. A Flat-earther mate had 2 pairs mounted on top of each other which he reckoned sounded superior to Bricks. I was never that enthralled by Kans and found original Pro-ac Tablettes to be much more musical.

  20. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    In fairness when discussing Wharfdale it is only really worth dealing with the work of Gilbert Briggs IMO. He was Wharfdale, what it became after he sold it was just a nameplate for Rank or whoever even if some half-interesting designs emerged (E Series, Diamonds etc). The unfortunate thing is so little seems to have survived as he was a great advocate for DIY builds, often elaborate ones such as huge brick or concrete corner horns etc. Since this thread started I picked up a copy of his Loudspeakers book from the late '50s reprinted several times in the '60s and it is full of great writing and much common sense. Some wonderful designs and so much logic in there, it has to be a core text on the subject even now. Briggs was unquestionably a pioneer who should be mentioned along with Peter Walker, Alistair Robertson-Aikman, Paul Klipsch, Edgar Villchur etc.


    Here is my favourite design from the Loudspeakers book - note how it is just a front baffle and top, as a true Yorkshireman Briggs uses the brick walls and floor of the house for the other surfaces. Just wonderful logic; why make a wood rear cabinet structure when there is a better solid brick one already available?

    PS One of my big regrets of recent years is I didn't go back and bid on a pair of rather grubby Wharfdale W3s that were lurking in the local auction house. I bet I'd have walked away with them for a tenner or so and it would at least have let me hear some of Gilbert Briggs' work. I was busy that week, didn't want to carry them home, and I have a house full of hi-fi as-is, but I should still have done it! SFBs are the ones I really want to hear.

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