The Wharfedale Diamond series love producing great entry-level bookshelf speakers that have exceptional sonic performance for the money, the legendary Diamond 9.1 is one such speaker. When it first appeared on the HiFi scene, the Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 was quick to become one of the best entry-level bookshelf speakers and was highly sought after by audiophiles. It may not be as popular when it once was, but it didn’t lose any one of its sonic prowess.
Are you a proud owner of this wonderful pair of bookshelf speakers, looking for an amplifier that can best match Wharfedale Diamond 9.1? If the answer is yes, that’s great, because we will be sharing with you the best amps that you can go for and pair them with the Diamond 9.1 speakers. Before we do, let’s find out more about the sound signature and merits of the Wharfedale Diamond 9.1, which are necessary to find the best matching amps.
Sound Characteristics and Merits of Wharfedale Diamond 9.1
After all these years, the Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 is still quite a looker, it may not look modern enough but with the speaker grills on, it will still blend in well with most home decorations and amplifiers. When you take off the grill, you will immediately notice two bass ports, located right below the bass drive unit. The first thing we thought about will be the ease of speaker placement, then start to wonder how powerful will Diamond 9.1 bass output be. We are genuinely surprised by their frequency response of 50Hz – 24kHz, which is very impressive for a bookshelf speaker of this size.
There is also a 25mm (1 inch) textile tweeter and a 130mm Kevlar bass/midrange cone. The recommended amplifier requirement starts from 20-100 Watts but with a nominal impedance of 6 Ohms and speaker sensitivity of 86 dB, which immediately shows how inefficient the Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 is. To play these bookshelf speakers at high volume will require high power amplifiers unless you are planning to add in an active subwoofer which allows the amplifier to focus all its power on the rest of the higher frequency reproduction. All these will further determine what type of amplifiers we should get.
At first, we thought we will be bombarded by exaggerated bass reproduction but were very delighted to find out that the Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 actually delivers a clean and balanced music presentation. There are plenty of details in its sound reproduction and the clarity is certainly unexpected from a speaker at this price point. The Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 are certainly easy on the ears, never once sounded harsh or hard, rather a warm and smooth music delivery. A little bit brighter sounding will be amazing though but still can be easily solved by adjusting the treble level setting.
The quality of the bass really astonishes us, it is deep and controlled, placing them nearer to the wall does help to improve the mid-bass response and slightly increase the weight. Still, the bass reproduction exceeded our expectations in terms of sheer quality, the bass ports are finely tuned and are not meant to deliver boomy bass. The neutral warm sonic characteristics and unfussy nature does help in finding a matching amplifier a lot easier. Mixing in a subwoofer should improve the overall transparency and increases the size of the soundstage. You might want to consider getting a powered sub.
The Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 would most definitely do well in a home theater setup as surround speakers, their smooth sounding quality will be great for reproducing ambient sounds. The size of these standmounters will be ideal for desktop use too but the aesthetic feel may lose out to more modern speakers. With the level of sonic performance and sound quality, you are getting a real bang for the buck. If you are just looking for an entry-level stereo setup, the Diamond 9.1 is an amazing speaker choice. Now we have all the necessary data, we can now list out the best amplifiers which you can match with the Wharfedale Diamond 9.1.
Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 Specifications
- Speaker Type: 2-way reflex (front-firing)
- Drive Units: 25mm (1 inch) textile tweeter and a 130mm woven Kevlar cone bass driver
- Frequency Response: 50Hz – 24kHz
- Recommended Power: 20-100 Watts
- Nominal Impedance: 6 Ohms
- Sensitivity (2.83V @ 1m): 86dB
- Dimensions (H x D x W): 296mm x 278mm x 194mm, 11.7″ x 10.9″ x 7.6″
- Weight: 5.5kg (12.1lbs)
Best Amps to pair with Wharfedale Diamond 9.1
Cambridge Audio CXA61 is definitely one of the best amps for Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 as not only it has sufficient power output to drive these bookshelf speakers, there is also a subwoofer output that you can connect to your active sub. There is also a high-quality DAC (ESS Sabre ES9010K2M). It is a very versatile integrated amplifier, not to mention the impeccable sound quality and the sonic nature is quite closely matched with your Wharfedale Diamond 9.1. The Cambridge Audio CXA61 is an integrated amplifier you should really check out and really deserve your consideration.
If you find the Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 sounds a bit too warm, and want a bit more liveliness then you should really check out Yamaha A-S301. It is an incredibly transparent integrated amplifier that is both revealing and lively, more importantly not sounding clinical especially when you pair it with your Diamond 9.1 bookshelf speakers. It has a subwoofer output which you can use to connect to a powered sub for a more powerful bass impact. The price range of the A-S301 is very close to Wharfedale Diamond 9.1, making this amp one of the best choices to go for.
The Rotel A12 integrated amplifier is another great match with the Wharfedale Diamond 9.1. The sound characteristics veer towards neutral but not too harsh. The important sonic aspect of Rotel A12 is the musicality and that sweet midrange. The bass response is impressive as well, more than capable to reach deep into the low frequency. The built-in DAC and Bluetooth connectivity make it a talented all-rounder amp, suitable for PC use, music streaming, and turntable/analog sources. With the pre-out, you can use it to connect to your powered subwoofer too.
Another amazing all-rounder integrated amplifier will be the Denon PMA-600NE but this one has a warmer sound quality, especially ideal for audiophiles who are used to the dark or warm sounding systems. The Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 bookshelf speakers are quite warm sounding as well, so it will be an ideal combination. We would suggest that you audition them first before deciding, as some may find music delivery not lively or dark. One thing for sure, the overall music presentation will be smooth and easy on the ears. You can enjoy relaxing music for hours on end without feeling listener fatigue. The Denon PMA-600NE also has a built-in DAC and supports Bluetooth which makes it very flexible to have for a home stereo system.
For AV receivers, if you want more musicality, the Marantz AVRs will be the best AV amps to go for. The Marantz house sound is what drives some of the audiophiles to stick to the brand. If you connect a subwoofer to the system and calibrate the HT system using Audyssey, the sound reproduction will sound slightly unique as each room acoustics differs unless it is been heavily treated. The Marantz AV Receiver SR7013 is worth your time to check them out. The musical delivery is excellent for an AV receiver. Denon AVRs will be slightly better for movie playback.
It is recommended to integrate a subwoofer especially if you are using Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 in a home theater setup or most of your favorite music is bass-heavy. There are two types of subwoofers to check out, for movies, you might want to go for ported subwoofers as they are very efficient in terms of bass output which works great for movie playbacks.
For music, you can go for sealed subwoofers, they may not be as efficient as a ported subwoofer but the speed of delivery and tightness of the bass is better. Making them more musical sounding and more suitable for music sources since their bass reproduction is more agile and precise.
The SVS subwoofers are some of the best in the world, and SVS subs are certainly affordable for the performance you are getting. Highly rated by critics and fans, you should hear them out. Another amazing subwoofer brand will be Rythmik Audio, the speed and agility of their subs are top-notch.
To Sum It Up
Whether you use the Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 bookshelf speakers in a stereo setup or in a home theater system. The best amps for Diamond 9.1 listed here got you covered. These bookshelf speakers will be fine on their own but we do recommend integrating an active subwoofer into the mix, still, this decision is entirely up to you. The amplifiers listed here are all worthy of your time and effort to at least hear them out. If you prefer other brands, you can also use this list as references so that you can get the best matching amp for your Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 speakers.