Klipsch Cornwall III - What Can I Expect?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Guy Gadbois, May 13, 2019.

  1. Guy Gadbois

    Guy Gadbois Chief Inspector Thread Starter

    Every year around this time I get upgradeitis. The flowers are blooming, its finally warm, and I need something new.

    My current setup is:

    Golden Ear Triton One speakers
    PrimaLuna Dialogue Premium HP amp
    Manley Chinook phono stage

    Years ago I had Hersey III and Forte II speakers and I absolutely hated them. Sold them as soon as they arrived. They sounded harsh, brittle and fatiguing.

    After they were gone I did some research and came to the conclusion that my amp was probably too powerful and it pushed the sensitive Klipsch into overdrive. My mistake

    Over the weekend I visited Wooster Vintage Audio in Akron OH (great shop) and heard Altec Voice of the Theater speakers powered by 30 watt McIntosh mono blocks. They are the best sounding speakers I've ever heard in my life and I've heard $100,000 speakers in person.

    The Altec's are horn speakers and they sparked my interest in horns.

    So what could I expect...vs what I've got...if I got Cornwall III speakers and paired them with a low watt SET amp, like a Line Magnetic 22 watt?

    Also I can't find reviews in big time publications (Analog Planet, Stereophile, etc) for Klipsch. Do major publications ignore them?
     
  2. dolsey01

    dolsey01 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Steve Guttenberg has a review of the Forte III coming soon and it sounds like he REALLY likes them. Also Andrew Robinson has a interesting review of the Heresy III on his YouTube Channel.
     
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  3. Guy Gadbois

    Guy Gadbois Chief Inspector Thread Starter

    From his reviews it sounds like he's really into Klipsch
     
  4. SKATTERBRANE

    SKATTERBRANE Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Due to the cabinet resonance of the Cornwall III, I much prefer the Forte. It is not the POWER of the SS amp that makes these sound harsh. Yes, they do sound much better with tubes and PrimaLuna seems to be a perfect marriage for Klispch. I prefer the Forte I or Forte II over the Forte III however, but that is just splitting hairs.

    Now some people actually prefer and love the mid bass hump the Cornwalls have, it is a matter of taste. I just find the Fortes to be smoother in the bass region. The mid and tweeter of the Cornwall is the same as the Forte I and the Heresy III. The Forte II has a cleaner midrange, but the Forte I has a slight dip in the upper midrange that compliments my ears perfectly.
     
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  5. Andy Saunders

    Andy Saunders Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    A rather large soundstage, great dynamics and an effortless sound- good luck.:righton:
     
  6. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    I would get the Cornwall III and the new Line Magnetic 845 SET AMP.

    I had the 518iA, which is an SET, has the 845 tubes and is rated at 22-Watts and it did amazing things with my Altec's.

    I am betting that it would be an amazing combination for the Cornwall III's.
     
  7. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    One of our members has a pair of the A7, Voice Of The Theater speaker's and a pair of the McIntosh M30 monoblocks that were passed along to him by his father, a really sweet pairing.

    I'm really glad that you got the hear those VOTT's!

    Most people just have not heard A7's properly set up and can not fathom how amazing they can sound.

    My main pair are very well restored, modified and upgraded from the original factory A7's.

    They were upgraded to a 3-way system by the addition of JBL 2404 "Baby Cheeks" super-tweeter's and custom crossovers that I have finely tuned. The pair are supplemented by a commercial horn loaded passive sub woofer that comes in at 40-Hz. and below.

    I have been running them from the beginning with all tube amplification and they are outstanding performing speaker's.

    But, once I moved into the SET territory with the 18-Watt LM 518iA, it took things to a whole new level.

    I actually have decided to operate them with a small 3.9-Watt Decware Mini Torii, which is a dual mono, single ended pentode design, with tube voltage regulation and 6V6GT power tubes.

    I can't beat this combination, period. I personally have never heard a home sound system sound this good, ever. The realism is next to nothing that I have ever heard.

    I am glad you got to experience a system similar to the one that I have put together!

    S&G
     
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  8. Guy Gadbois

    Guy Gadbois Chief Inspector Thread Starter

    Unfortunately I need an integrated for the CD and streaming players
     
  9. Ntotrar

    Ntotrar Nope

    Location:
    Tri-Cities, Tn.
    Cornwall II and LM211IA, works for me...
     
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  10. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Both the LM 211iA (class "A/B") and the LM518iA (class "A"), are integrated amplifier's.

    The 211iA.

    [​IMG]

    The LM 518iA

    [​IMG]

    Note the small preamp tube in each amp.

    Either integrated amp will do justice to the Cornwalls, the 518iA being an SET and tube rectified, is a better amp, but it costs twice as much as the 211iA class A/B integrated.
     
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  11. Guy Gadbois

    Guy Gadbois Chief Inspector Thread Starter

    The 518 is just gorgeous

    Was playing my rig tonight and it's just killer. Would be tough to beat. Plus I'd have to sell it to finance the new stuff and I don't know if I could move it fast enough
     
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  12. Manimal

    Manimal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southern US
    Something wonderful
     
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  13. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident

    Location:
    U.S.
    Lately I've been thinking that Klipsch speakers are best suited for low-volume listening. It's when I push my H-IIIs above 80/85db peaks that their tweeters become dominant and oppressive, regardless of amplification. 60 to 80db is their sweet spot. I'd be very surprised if that's not also the case with Cornwalls.

    I recommend you consider the Spatial Audio M3 Triode Masters. Though they don't look it, they are horn speakers - plenty efficient and dynamic.

    They produce a superior treble and midrange to any Klipsch speaker I've encountered. Spatial allows a 60 day in-home trial period, so the only risk is one-way shipping cost.
     
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  14. Manimal

    Manimal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southern US
    Yes!! it’s all about the low volume listening I agree. YES!
     
  15. Warren Jarrett

    Warren Jarrett Audio Note (UK) dealer in SoCal/LA-OC

    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    Yeah, what HE said. You are a lucky guy, to have Cornwalls. I suspect the SET amplifier will provide even more of these sonic characteristics. I know that an Audio Note SET amp makes pure magic with Cornwalls.
     
  16. russk

    russk Forum Resident

    Location:
    Syracuse NY
    This. I have had Forte 2s, Heresy, and am now running Some early 80s Cornwall ones (which are my favorites). Klipsch Heritage speakers sound great at low to moderate volumes. The come apart as you push them closer to 100 dB. Actually in my room they start to fall apart around 96 db. The polars on the midrange horn in Cornwall’s aren't great. If you have hard woods you definitely will want a good area rug with a thick pad in front of them to tame the floor bounce that horn produces. They are also ruthlessly revealing of any noise you have in your system.

    All that said I’ve not heard a speaker under a couple of grand that I’d take over them. They sound alive at moderate volumes and do things for low watt tube gear that no other speaker I’ve heard can do. Just tons of detail and dynamics and I really enjoy what they do for vocals when set up properly.
     
  17. Luxmancl38

    Luxmancl38 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Manchester NH
    My local dealer carries the Heritage line. In different rooms he has the Cornwall III's, Forte III's & Heresy III's in a third room the La Scala's. Sound great w/Primluna gear & also w/the Luxman CL 38U SE tube preamp and the matching Luxman MQ-88uSE tube amp.
     
  18. Guy Gadbois

    Guy Gadbois Chief Inspector Thread Starter

    Sounds like the consensus is that Klipsch sound great at low/moderate volume, but not high volume. That was my experience too
     
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  19. jmczaja

    jmczaja Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Approx. 85db is the sweet spot for my DIY Cornscalas (Cornwall/Lascala). My room acoustics are the limiting factor after 85db (Room modes, flutter, etc.)
     
  20. Done A Ton

    Done A Ton Birdbrain

    Location:
    Rural Kansas
    I don't want to be that guy who chimes in on every speaker thread to recommend the speakers he bought, but, since Helom brought them up, I'll chime in about the speakers I bought, Spatial Audio M3 Triode Masters.

    I've never heard any version of Cornwalls. It's entirely possible you'd prefer them to the Spatials. Heck, it's possible I would, though I have my doubts. The only Klipsch Heritage speakers I have experience with are Forte II, driven by a McIntosh MC240. These belonged to a friend, and I had many hours listening to them. To my ears, the Forte II don't hold a candle to the Spatials. Cranked up, the Forte II sounded as described by the OP, harsh, brittle and fatiguing. My friend listened mainly to music that should be cranked, and that's how he played it. Besides the harsh sound, it was easy to hear music as coming out of woofer, midrange and tweeter speakers, rather than a unified whole.

    Maybe the Cornwall III has fixed what were for me the problems of the Forte II. The Triode Masters surely have. I realize not everyone can position their speakers well away from the wall, a must for the Spatials. If you can, they are worth a listen, imo. They sound light years ahead of the Forte II. Again, just to my ears. Your mileage may vary. If the OP hated the sound of Heresy III and Forte II, I'm not sure why he's going back to the same well.

    Steven Stone is one of the few audio reviewers I trust. Here's the final paragraph of his review of the Spatial M3 Turbo S, the less refined, less expensive version of the Triode Masters:
    "For $2,600 you can find loudspeakers that will play loudly, or loudspeakers that will image well, or loudspeakers with low amounts of midrange coloration, or loudspeakers with good bass extension--but it is rare to find a loudspeaker at this price that does all these things exceptionally well. The Spatial M3 Turbo S achieves exactly that. This "nearly" unique design offers all the advantages of a horn-based design without the problems of placement or excessive sonic personality. In many rooms, especially those with bass issues, the Spatial M3 Turbo Ss can perform at a level that is impossible to achieve from a more conventional design without DSP or room treatments. In conclusion, if you're in the market for new loudspeakers, you owe it to yourself to consider the Spatial M3 Turbo S. It can do it all."

    Okay, back to Klipsch.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
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  21. unclefred

    unclefred Coastie with the Moastie

    Location:
    Oregon Coast
    You need to be seated about eight to ten feet from a Forte or Cornwall to have the drivers blend properly. When they do, it is a very nice soundstage. They also sound good off axis. A lot of people that buy these try to put them in a too small space. The Spatials have the requirement of being a minimum of three feet off the wall to sound right. That can be problematic as well for some.
     
  22. Done A Ton

    Done A Ton Birdbrain

    Location:
    Rural Kansas
    Agree on not buying speakers that are unsuitable for your listening space. I mentioned above that the Spatials needed to be out from the wall, a deal killer for some.
     
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  23. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    While my Altec's have been heavily modified, my original La Scala's have only been modified visually and are completely original as far as the electronics go.

    If you turn them up loud, they can be brutal! Use a SS amp and they become even more brutal!

    They will need some extensive modifications.
     
  24. unclefred

    unclefred Coastie with the Moastie

    Location:
    Oregon Coast
    For me it is, otherwise I'd like to try them. I prefer high sensitivity speakers and the compression drivers that Spatial features are really nice. I have a pair of Pinnacle speakers that are 95db and sound great with my tube amp. No horns, but Vifa domes and Scan Speak woofers. They sound very good but a little different then the Quartets, deeper bass, 29db and a touch less 'live' sounding in the mids. But that is the strength of the Klipsch.
     
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  25. SKATTERBRANE

    SKATTERBRANE Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    I can't imagine ever listening to any speaker at 100dB. I would say I would find it uncomfortable above 90, and I probably usually listen in the 75-80db realm.
     

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