For a bookshelf speaker, the Wharfedale Evo 4.2 is certainly quite large and has a towering height which dwarfs some other bookshelf speakers in the same price range. It also gives us an impression that the Evo 4.2 is more than capable of delivering exceptional sonic performance and big sound. Still, no matter how remarkable a loudspeaker is, without a matching amplifier to partner with, it would be a waste of its talents.
There are so many potential amplifiers to choose from but to find the absolute best, we will need to learn more about the sonic characteristics of the Wharfedale Evo 4.2 bookshelf speakers. With the right information, we will be able to get the right amplifiers that are compatible and matching. So lets us start with finding out more about the Wharfedale Evo 4.2 and right after, we will also list out the best matching amplifiers which you can go for.
Sonic Characteristics and Strengths of Wharfedale Evo 4.2
These are beautifully designed bookshelf speakers with elegant curves and the sheer size alone already gave us assuring confidence that the Wharfedale Evo 4.2 is capable of producing powerful sound quality. If you remove the speaker grille, you will immediately know why the Evo4.2 has such a tall speaker cabinet. There are three speaker drivers in total, the iconic AMT tweeter is found right at the top, followed by a 2″ (50mm) soft dome midrange driver, and lastly a 6.5″ (165mm) black woven Kevlar cone bass driver. It uses a down-firing slot-loaded bass port which makes it easier to position the Wharfedale Evo 4.2 speakers in our listening room.
For a modestly priced bookshelf speaker, the Evo 4.2 sure looks expensive and would look nice in most house interiors. It might steal away some thunder when matched with a small-sized amplifier though. The frequency response is 54Hz to 22kHz which, to be honest, we expected the Wharfedale Evo 4.2 to dig a little deeper into the bass extension. The nominal impedance is 8 Ohms and the speaker sensitivity is 87dB. The recommended amplifier power required is from 25 Watts to 120 Watts. These specs do indicate that the Wharfedale Evo 4.2 speakers are quite easy to drive and may need an active subwoofer to supplement the deep bass performance.
We were really impressed by the wide and spacious soundstage produced by these magnificent stand-mounters. The depth of the soundstage is equally remarkable as well, filling the listening room with musical details. The scale of the sound was as expected, big and with full-bodied bass reproduction. The warmth of the low-ends and the taut delivery works hand-in-hand with the rest of the upper frequencies. These bass frequencies have a good weight, not to mention, it punches hard when it needs to. It also provides just the right amount of musical presence where you can feel it around you but doesn’t distract you from the music.
The scale and power of the sound reproduction are amazing, it is also very pleasing to hear. The music presentation is smooth, fluid, and pleasant, to a point is rather relaxing. The Wharfedale Evo 4.2 also produces plenty of insights and details but never sounded clinical, instead, it is quite laid-back and forgiving. The highs are sweet-sounding and are smoothly delivered as well. The instruments are highly defined, and along with the vocals, they sounded natural and warm. Listeners who use turntables would find the Wharfedale Evo 4.2 exemplary speakers to pair with.
You can play at loud volumes and the Wharfedale Evo 4.2 will never sound overly bright, allowing us to keep listening to these stand-mounters for countless hours without feeling listener fatigue. It is a very balanced speaker and lacks a bit of bite. They would be great for a relaxing evening of music listening. We have gathered enough information and crucial details that we need to start sharing with you the best matching amplifiers that you can choose to partner with your Wharfedale Evo 4.2 speakers. The price points of these chosen amplifiers will also be taken into account. Whether you want to add a subwoofer into the mix will depend on your preference and the genre of music you are listening to.
Wharfedale Evo 4.2 Specifications
- Speaker Type: 3-Way (Down-Firing Bass Slot)
- Drive Units: AMT tweeter, 2″ (50mm) soft dome midrange driver, 6.5″ (165mm) black woven Kevlar cone bass driver
- Frequency Response (+/-3dB): 54Hz-22kHz
- Recommended Amplifier Power: 25-120 Watts
- Nominal Impedance: 8 Ohms (min. 4 Ohms)
- Sensitivity (2.83v/1m): 87dB
- Dimensions (H x W x D): 455mm x 250mm x 350mm | 17.9″ x 9.8″ x 13.8″
- Weight: 13.4kg (29.5lbs)
Best Amplifiers to match with Wharfedale Evo 4.2
The Cambridge Audio CXA81 is one of the best amplifiers to match with the Wharfedale Evo 4.2 loudspeakers. Firstly, with the power output of 80/120 Watts per channel into 8/4 Ohms, the CXA81 can easily drive the Evo 4.2 bookshelf speakers. The Cambridge Audio integrated amplifier also adds more dynamics and energy into the overall sound reproduction which gives you a livelier music presentation. The articulate and agile bass performance of the Cambridge Audio CXA81 will play well with the Wharfedale Evo 4.2 too. There are also loads of features that come with the amplifier such as a built-in ESS Sabre ES9016K2M DAC.
If you want a more detailed and transparent music presentation of your favorite tunes, the Yamaha A-S701 will be an ideal amplifier choice to go for. The rated power output of 100 Watts per channel into 8 Ohms is more than sufficient to drive your Wharfedale Evo 4.2 bookshelf speakers. The insights and accuracy of the A-S701 will introduce plenty of subtle details and intricacies into the overall sound reproduction. The faithful music presentation delivered by the Yamaha A-S701 sounded natural and clean. The Evo 4.2 speakers also help to smoothen the hard edges a little and make it a bit more pleasant-sounding.
The Rega Elex-R is another energetic performer which can deliver a more lively music presentation when paired with the warm-sounding Wharfedale Evo 4.2. The agile pacing and snappy attacks of the Elex-R provide an engaging musical performance. This integrated amplifier also introduces impeccable timing and dynamics into the mix, making the Rega Elex-R an ideal amp for listeners who want a more exciting overall sonic performance. The Wharfedale Evo 4.2 full-bodied sound reproduction complements the Rega amplifier really well as it may sound a bit lean at times. It is definitely worth your while to hear them out.
For a more neutral-sounding amplifier with a hint of warmth, you might want to check out the Denon PMA-800NE. It is an integrated amplifier that is packed with features such as a built-in DAC that supports up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution, a built-in phono preamp that supports both MM and MC cartridges, and more. The PMA-800NE has enough muscles to power the Wharfedale Evo 4.2 stand-mounters as well. The sonic characteristics of this Denon amplifier make it an unfussy and suitable match with the Evo 4.2 speakers especially for listeners who want to maintain the laid-back and full-bodied music presentation.
For listeners who have a tight budget, the Onkyo A-9010 will be an excellent amplifier partner to pair with your Wharfedale Evo 4.2 bookshelf speakers. It is an energetic performer with ample enthusiasm to deliver an entertaining music delivery that you will enjoy listening to. The clean and clear overall sound reproduction of the A-9010 amplifier is well-matched with the warm full-bodied sonic performance of the Wharfedale Evo 4.2 speakers. The Onkyo A-9010 also adds snappier timings and rhythmic drive into the mix, giving you a fun and exciting music listening experience.
Whether to add a subwoofer into your sound system will entirely depend on you. For music playbacks, you can choose to add a Wharfedale subwoofer to match with the Evo4.2 bookshelf speakers as they should share similar sound signatures and will provide a more cohesive and seamless sonic performance. For home theater use, we will suggest going with SVS ported subwoofers, and the PB-2000 Pro will be enough for a small or medium-sized listening room. You can also go with SVS SB-2000 Pro which is a powerful sealed subwoofer more adapted to music performance, as it is more agile and can render bass frequencies more accurately.
The Wharfedale Evo 4.2 are musical-sounding speakers that would still perform well in a home theater environment. At this price point, it is quite hard to find fault with these exemplary stand-mounters. The recommended amplifiers here are some of the best to match with the Evo 4.2 and you should pick a few for an audition. If possible, you might want to hold the auditions in your own listening room and include the subwoofer you are currently using or will be getting during the sound quality test, so that you can get a more accurate result.