Pioneer SP-FS52 vs. Wharfedale Denton 85th

Pioneer SP-FS52 Tower Speakers Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary Bookshelf Speakers
$260 $1000
Dimensions (H × W × D)
35.19” × 8.88” × 10.63”
894mm × 226mm × 270mm
13.44” × 9.44” × 11.94”
341mm × 240mm × 303mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
40-20,000 Hz 45-20,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of affordable, high-fidelity sound, the Pioneer SP-FS52 floor-standing speakers offer a robust soundscape with an emphasis on dynamic bass and a smooth midrange, courtesy of designer Andrew Jones. Conversely, the Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary bookshelf speakers blend vintage aesthetics with modern acoustics, delivering a warm, detailed sound. The Pioneers, with their tower design, have a commanding presence and deeper bass extension, while the Wharfedales' compact form factor and rich timbral quality cater to the discerning listener with limited space. Choosing between them hinges on one's space, budget, and sonic preference.

Speaker Comparison

When discussing affordable audiophile speakers, two models that frequently come up are the Pioneer SP-FS52 Tower Speakers and the Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary Bookshelf Speakers. Although they hail from different speaker classes, with the former being floor-standing and the latter a bookshelf variety, both claim a healthy share of advocates within the audiophile community. These speakers serve as an entry point for many into the world of high-fidelity audio and offer a taste of what one might expect from higher-end speakers without the daunting price tag.

The Legacy of Andrew Jones

The Pioneer SP-FS52 speakers carry the legacy of renowned designer Andrew Jones. Known for his work with high-end speaker brands like KEF and ELAC, Jones brought his expertise to the budget-conscious market with these Pioneers. These towers are the continuation of his philosophy that audacious audio quality shouldn't be exclusive to the upper echelons of the market. With a three-way design, these speakers are engineered to deliver a full-range, dynamic soundstage that can fill a room more completely than their bookshelf counterparts.

Pioneer SP-FS52 Tower Speakers
Pioneer SP-FS52 arrow (at

Wharfedale's Classic Touch

In contrast, the Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary Bookshelf Speakers are a nod to tradition and classic design. Celebrating 85 years of the brand, these bookshelf speakers boast a retro aesthetic with a modern touch. They feature a two-way design with a woven Kevlar woofer and a soft dome tweeter that combine to produce a warm, yet detailed sound. The Dentons are designed for those who appreciate a speaker that exudes a sense of history while keeping up with contemporary audio standards.

Sound Comparison

Sound-wise, the Pioneer SP-FS52s are known for their well-balanced profile and deep bass, made possible by their larger cabinets and floor-standing design. They can operate without the need for a subwoofer, which is a boon for those seeking an uncomplicated setup. The highs are crisp, and the mids are clear, making them particularly good for movies and general TV watching, in addition to offering a pleasing musical experience.

Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary Bookshelf Speakers
Wharfedale Denton 85th arrow (at

The Wharfedale Denton 85ths, however, tend to lean toward a warmer and more relaxed presentation. Their strength lies in the midrange, where the lush vocals and rich instrumentals come to life, offering a more intimate listening experience. The bass is respectable for their size but won't match the depth that the Pioneers can reach. These bookshelf speakers excel with acoustic genres, jazz, and classical music, where subtlety and nuance are key.

Placement and Practicality

Considering placement, the Pioneer SP-FS52s, due to their tower design, are more demanding in terms of floor space. However, they're less fussy about positioning than many bookshelf speakers. The Wharfedale Dentons, being bookshelf speakers, require stands or a dedicated shelf, and their performance can greatly depend on their positioning in the room. The Dentons' compact size makes them more suitable for smaller spaces or setups where a subtler speaker presence is desired.

Ultimately, whether one chooses the Pioneer SP-FS52 Tower Speakers or the Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary Bookshelf Speakers comes down to a matter of personal preference, listening habits, and space considerations. Both sets of speakers are highly regarded in their respective categories and offer an excellent gateway into the world of high-fidelity sound. The Pioneers will impress those seeking a more full-bodied sound and a one-stop solution, while the Wharfedales will appeal to the audiophile who values nuanced sound and the aesthetics of a classic speaker design.

Check Current Prices:

Pioneer SP-FS52 Tower Speakers
Pioneer SP-FS52 Tower Speakers
Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary Bookshelf Speakers
Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary Bookshelf Speakers

Affiliate Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

Disclaimer: the speaker data listed on this website are correct to the best of our knowledge, but we do not guarantee the accuracy of the data. Please double-check any measurements with the manufacturer before making a final purchasing decision.