Living with Cornwalls (and other big speakers)

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Lebowski, Dec 4, 2019 at 4:00 PM.

  1. Lebowski

    Lebowski Hey, careful man, there's a beverage here! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Eastern MA
    I've been on a very crazy search lately, exploring all kinds of upgrades to my integrated amp and/or speakers. I currently find myself considering the new Cornwall IV. I might also get a PrimaLuna EVO 100 to drive them, though that might be over the top in terms of dollars spent. A less expensive option I thought of is that it might be fun to try some of the relatively inexpensive Chinese-made tube amps available on Amazon, like from Yaqin, Nobsound, Muzishare, etc. Or a vintage tube amp.

    Anyhow, not considering sound quality, I have concerns about living with the Cornwalls long term. They're just so damn big. Do you ever get sick of having them take up so much floor space? Do they ever get in your way? I surprisingly have spousal approval, but I have a feeling she'll regret that someday. Anybody experience that happening? Any other experiences (either good or bad) related to just having big speakers in your home?

    And now, concerning sound quality, and this may be a dumb question but I'm new to horns. Does the horn sound ever get old? Do you find yourself longing for something more... I don't know... refined? (for lack of a better word)

    What amps have you liked the most through your Cornwalls? (or other high sensitivity and/or big speakers)
     
  2. rebellovw

    rebellovw Forum Resident

    Location:
    Prescott, AZ
    I’ve been very happy with mine. I’ve moved(CA to AZ) with them and that took some work. I don’t move them often as they are very heavy.

    No problem with fatigue.

    I power them with tube pre and very powerful yet highly adjustable tube monoblocks

    I wouldn’t recommend them if you are the type that likes to change speakers often (like many on this forum) as that is just not practical.

    Hopefully you can get out and listen to them.
     
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  3. OC Zed

    OC Zed Member

    Location:
    Costa Mesa, CA
    Not to derail the discussion on Cornwalls, but if you want to go with the PrimaLuna, then I'd suggest checking out the GoldenEar Triton line. It's about as safe of a pairing sound wise as you'll find... The two companies chose to demo their equipment together the last year or two. And I've seen more than a few folks here with the combination. I settled on the Evo 300 and Triton One.Rs for myself. I'm still in the break-in stage, but am really happy so far.

    But the Cornwalls are a different story altogether. Let _your_ (and your SO's!) ears be the ultimate judge... whatever floats your guys' boat.
     
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  4. motorstereo

    motorstereo Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ct.
    No CW's here but I have owned a pair of khorns now for a couple of years and I never get tired of the space they take up as I happen to like big speakers. I've tried several different amps on them and my favorite has been a vintage Mcintosh mc2125. Those horns do tend to get shouty and tiring when it's time for live levels but otherwise they're pleasant sounding with a great soundstage. As far as long term listening in my case I more than likely wouldn't like horns in that situation as I prefer smoother sounding domes for my all day listening. Perhaps you could audition the CW's for a week and then you'll know if they're for you long term.
     
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  5. Lebowski

    Lebowski Hey, careful man, there's a beverage here! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Eastern MA
    Thanks much.

    I've heard them twice at the dealer (once with my wife). We both liked them. I may borrow them for an in-home demo for a few days, but it's a daunting task. Sadly, one of their’s seems to have a loose driver or something that was causing a vibration at certain frequencies. Hopefully they'll have it fixed soon. But that also gives me pause...
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019 at 5:27 PM
  6. rebellovw

    rebellovw Forum Resident

    Location:
    Prescott, AZ
    Strange - the front with the drivers - called the motor board - should be thick plywood - and the drivers are simply screwed into it - so tightening should be no problem - it is not like they are particle board.
     
  7. rebellovw

    rebellovw Forum Resident

    Location:
    Prescott, AZ
    Definitely do the in home demo - that would be awesome. Also - it is great that your wife saw them and is still ok with them.

    Below are mine when I first bought them (my video) - my wife wasn't too crazy about them as they were not as pretty as they are now (the before and after - I'm pretty proud of):

     
  8. Ntotrar

    Ntotrar Nope

    Location:
    Tri-Cities, Tn.
    I have Cornwall II and if you have the space give those Cornwalls a try. I'm using a Line Magnetic LM211IA in the 30 watt mode. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019 at 5:42 PM
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  9. Ken Clark

    Ken Clark Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago Suburbs
    I had Cornwalls for several years in an office space in my home. Loved them and could easily live with them very long term. Against the wall they don't take up as much room as you think. They look big though, and when it came time to convert the office back to a spare bedroom, my wife said no way to installing these in the living room. I have really nice speakers now in their place, but those Cornwalls with a nice tube amp were special.
     
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  10. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Good things do sometimes come in BIG packages.

    Horns give you a super refined sound. They sound more lifelike than any other speaker technology that I know of. Once you have Cornwall's, you will never willingly part with them, ever.

    A good class A/B amp in the 30-Watt range that can either use KT88's or EL34's. If you are using EL34's, then buy some NOS RFT's and you will be surprised how realistic and beautiful midrange can actually be.

    Or find yourself a nice class "A" SET like a Line Magnetic based on a 845 22-Watt power tube integrated or a nice 300B amp.
     
  11. Ken Clark

    Ken Clark Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago Suburbs
    Although I never had the chance to try it, I always thought Cornwalls with a Manley Stingray would be heaven, or any other high quality EL84 amp. The Stingray with 20 WPC in triode just seems like a great fit, and it's so cool looking.
     
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  12. JackG

    JackG Forum Resident

    Location:
    NJ
    If I had the space for them, I'd be happy to have it taken up by a pair of Cornwall IV.
     
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  13. mkane

    mkane Musics a Passion

    Location:
    Cloverdale,CA
    Had Klipsch speakers over 30 years. Got used to the sound I guess. OB now and won't go back to box speakers. You might try a $700 used pair before buying new.
     
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  14. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore

    I'm not generally a horns fan, but I once heard a pair of older Cornwalls powered by a Fisher 400, and the impression they made has stuck with me. Despite the fact that neither the Fisher or Cornies had been restored, and the place I heard them was a cramped hallway, they sounded BIG and LIFELIKE and FLESHED-OUT. I particularly remember how vividly the Cornies rendered an electric bass, you could hear fingers on strings, and the full tonal spectrum was reproduced.

    Marc, knowing the size of your renovated living room, I think that Cornwalls will fill the air wonderfully.
     
  15. cporcp

    cporcp Forum Resident

    Location:
    Kentucky
    I used a Prima Luna Dialog - I think - it's been awhile - with mine, and they sounded great. Upscale offered a nice trade-up service or I'd still have it.

    I went from high wattage / high current solid state with Magnepan 1.6's, to low tube watts and Cornwall III's. Works for me.

    To answer your question re size: mine are in a smaller room than is probably advisable - nearfield listening is my thing though, & I keep the volume down. I don't find the horns to be fatiguing at all, with my setup.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019 at 8:33 AM
  16. motorstereo

    motorstereo Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ct.
    I can't help but wonder if that "cramped hallway" was at a Frankenfest a few years ago?
     
  17. Lebowski

    Lebowski Hey, careful man, there's a beverage here! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Eastern MA
    If I buy them do you promise to bring over your Fisher???
     
  18. Lebowski

    Lebowski Hey, careful man, there's a beverage here! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Eastern MA
    Looks like a very nice place to spend some time!
     
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  19. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore

    Hah! It was at Todd MacDonald's house. (His AudioKarma handle is Todd MacDona.)

    Oh, HELL YEAH!

    I don't think you've heard the '59 X-100 I'm using now. It's a pretty wonderful little amp. I put '58 black plate RCA 12AX7's in the preamp, a Mullard rectifier, and recently replaced the EL84's with a matched quad of JJ's, which are quite nice.
     
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