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Surrounds for Cornwall IVs

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by theaveragecoffee, Jan 13, 2022.

  1. theaveragecoffee

    theaveragecoffee Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York
    I've looked online about my question and not had a ton of luck so thought I'd put it to the brilliant folks on this forum.

    My collection includes a lot of SACDs in 5.1. Recently, I moved and was able to purchase the Cornwall IVs, my dream speakers, which are everything people say they are. They are my two speakers right now. But if possible I'd like to get to these great surround discs again sometime soon...

    The problem is that size-wise my living room does not really afford the possibility of using additional Klipsch Heritage speakers. So I need some other, more compact surround options. I'm very happy with my listening environment, mind you, but it's not truly "audiophile." I mainly listen in my living room, on our couch, often with my wife.

    I might be okay forgoing a center channel because everyone seems to say that tonally it is nearly impossible to match the Cornwalls with a center channel that isn't in the Heritage line. So a phantom center is possible. But I've never tried this with SACD discs and am not even sure they will decode properly with my Denon receiver/Blu Ray player without a center. If someone has a recommendation, I'm all ears.

    But mainly I'm interested in what you think would work well for the surrounds? I need something with a smaller footprint, ideally something that can be mounted to the side or back walls and is not floor standing. Anything on the floor like a Heresy I'm concerned will be mainly pointing at my couch. So something higher up.

    Would love to know your thoughts! Thanks.
     
  2. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    My thoughts are that you really have to have a center channel speaker for HT.

    No, not really, but if you are going to have a TV screen larger than 42", then having a center channel is definitely a very good idea.

    Klipsch Heritage speakers do not have a center channel, because they are heritage stereo speakers that came from a time without HT.

    Phantom center channels are not the best idea. With a real center channel, the dialog mostly comes out of the center and the music and other movie sounds come from the front mains.

    When you redirect the center channel information to the front mains, you are combining all of this in one jumbled up mix.

    The beauty of having a center channel is having the dialog separated from all of this other information. This way, it will be clear, distinct and easy to understand without your brain straining to discern the dialog from the rest of the mix.

    Now obviously, most center channel speakers are not horn speakers like the Cornwall's. Even then the crossover frequency from the woofer to the squeaker horn occurs at 700-Hz. As middle "A" is defined as 440-Hz., almost all dialog takes place below 700-Hz. and is handled by the paper woofer.

    You an buy a Klipsch R25C entry level 5 1/4" 2-way horn center channel on Amazon for $139. I want to point out that the crossover frequency from the woofer to the horn is 1,700-Hz.

    This is where Klipsch center channel speakers start price wise and they go up from there, way up.

    The physical ability of a horn to reproduce low frequencies is directly related to its size. Small horns, like in center channel speakers do not reproduce low frequencies found in the vocal range.

    This means, that you only need a paper cone center channel speaker to reproduce dialog. As it happens, I posted some information about a Polk center channel speaker that own that is now discontinued but is available on close out. Here is some information.

    I have movie nights. One guest told me that at home watching a movie, she has to have the captioning on to help her understand the dialog. Another guest told me that he can not understand half of the dialog in the theater, but he can hear everything clearly here.

    I have become more aware that many do not use a center channel speaker with their HT and others do not have one that is really that good as far as voices are concerned.

    The reasoning I am mentioning this is that the RTi speaker series has been discontinued and is no longer available from Polk Audio.

    Apparently, there are still some brand new in-box CSiA6 center channel speakers available from other online sources. And they are available for the stupid low price of $129 from Crutchfield at this link.

    This is an amazingly excellent center channel and at this price, I doubt that you will find any other new center channel speaker that comes anywhere near the quality of this speaker for anywhere near this price. (Shown without front grill)

    [​IMG]

    Where the Monitor line was an entry level type speaker, with vinyl covering, all of the speakers in the RTi line have real wood veneers. The above photo is the CSiA6 covered in real cherry wood.

    I think these were originally about $350. I posted information on this speaker in another thread, if you want more details.

    Not trying to thread crap but this is a definitive way to improve the SQ of a HT and for very little money.

    Here is a link to that thread page:

    How do fellow audiophiles set up your TV systems?

    This was my audio room early on with an entry level Polk center channel speaker.

    [​IMG]

    This is the pair of custom Klipsch La Scala's. They are all original on the inside but have custom birch plywood cabinets added to the outside cabinets and custom cloth grills.

    [​IMG]

    They are actually a pair of black commercial models which have custom birch plywood on top of the original cabinets. All components are stock. Photo is from early in 2014.

    Afterward, I replaced them with the RTiA9's and the CSiA6 center channel.

    This is the larger RTiA9. When it arrived.

    [​IMG]

    Of course, it is still in the box, but you can see it is a very big box, next to the Altec A7's, which are fairly large speakers.

    Later, I upgraded to the Polk LSiM707 towers as the front mains. The shelf still has the CSiA6 has a center channel speaker from the Polk RTi line. I bought have the top of the line LSiM center channel speaker, but it is too large vertically, to fit in the audio rack.

    The beer is Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale. :)

    [​IMG]

    Used the Polk center channel with all of these different speakers and it sounded fine. More than fine, it sounded excellent.

    The CSiA6 kept up with both the RTiA9's and the LSiM707's. I run the front mains with a 250-Watt Emotiva power amp and I use a matching 250-Watt mono power amp on the center channel. I run the HT at any volume level from low to high and still maintain perfect dialog clarity.
     
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  3. CoryG85

    CoryG85 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    Oddly enough, the Cornwall was initially built as a center channel to go between two Khorns. That was the idea in 1958 or whenever it was.

    To the OP: obviously, as you already seem to know, your best bet is another Heritage line speaker. Many people remove the base from Heresys and put them on speaker stands to get them at ear level.

    At the VERY least, I would utilize an RC7III for your center channel. Then I'd put two Heresys on speaker stands for your rears.

    Congrats on your Cornwall IVs! They're amazing speakers and I own a pair as well!
     
  4. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Oddly enough, no.

    Cornwall = Corner + Wall

    Heresy's were so named because it was heresy to consider placing a mono speaker between two stereo speakers.

    K-Horns were recommended to be placed in the corners of the longest wall. This would often result in a hole in the middle of the stereo image. This hole was plugged with the introduction of a smaller mono channel speaker in the middle.
     
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  5. CoryG85

    CoryG85 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    Oddly enough...you wrong bro

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Let's take a closer look...

    History
    "The Klipsch Cornwall has a fascinating history, dating all the way back to 1959. The Cornwall’s predecessor was the Heresy, another Klipsch Heritage speaker still in production. Paul Klipsch designed the original Heresy to be a center channel for dual Klipschorns, which were – and still are – designed for corner placement. The Cornwall is the second attempt at such a design and may just have been the second commercially-produced center channel speaker in the world, at a time when home theater was not remotely a part of the popular imagination.

    Why the name Cornwall? When the speaker was introduced at the New York Audio Fair in 1959, a sign said it could be used in a corner or against a wall. Belle Klipsch, wife of founder Paul Klipsch, dubbed it the “Corn-wall,” based on its placement options. We hope you’re not as disappointed as we were when we learned the name had nothing to do with corn."

    There exists no prior evidence that the Cornwall was ever intended as a replacement for the Heresy.

    What the historical record does tell us is that, when it was introduced in 1959, it was introduced as a speaker that could be placed in a corner or against a wall.

    Actually, at the time the K-Horns were introduced, there really was no stereo, just mono, sometimes with two speakers, other times not.

    The Heresy was introduced when two K-Horns were placed in room corners that were far apart and there was a hole in the sound between them. The Heresy did not have to be large because it was only there to fill in the midrange and higher frequencies. The K-Horns had the bass covered. The signal was mono, so that there were no issues blending in.

    Those who go on a quest looking for matching pairs of pre-1960's vintage speakers, will more often than not find themselves disappointed. Before stereo, most mono systems had only a single speaker.
     
  7. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    I've recently added Cornwall IV's as my mains - they are a satisfying and fun speaker for sure.

    I share the Cornwalls with my HT system - I say go big or go home :) get the RC64iii for a center. You gave up perfect timbre matching when you decided the IV's were priority as mains, but at least sticking with Klipsch gets you close. Bonus is the RC series centers won't break the bank.

    I also run two RS-250s' for surround, two RP-500 atmos front height, and two Klipsch R-112SW subs for HT side of things (5.2.2). Sounds glorious. I'm using the Denon AVR-7200 to drive center, height, surrounds and my Accuphase P-4200 to drive the IV's and share for 2 channel music.

    Overall a modest system, but was able to get everything at great prices waiting for the inevitable Klipsch sales and discounts. (man, do I miss Fry's Electronics for this type of gear).
     
  8. head_unit

    head_unit Senior Member

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA USA
    Pictures? PICTURES!!! Because yes it's really better for 5.1 titles to have that actual center.* For the surrounds, if you like your Klipsch up front I'd stick with that for the rears, something with Tractrix horns even if of course they won't be as big. Or the closest stuff to your Cornwalls might be from DIY Sound Group Denovo Home Theater Speakers except everything is pandemically out of stock. By the way your profile is empty, what other equipment are you running?

    *What center? Hmm. A friend had massive JBL K2s whose woofers he had designed IIRC, and had some more home-style center, cranking up AC/DC. Didn't work! You need the matching-ish horn thing. At lower levels, a more conventional center could probably be made to work.
     
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  9. CoryG85

    CoryG85 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Memphis, TN

    Brother....this is literally taken from the Klipsch website. I understand how it was named, even still, according to Klipsch themselves, it was intended as a Heresy replacement as a full range center channel between Klipschhorns.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. CoryG85

    CoryG85 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    Yeah, this is what I meant to say in my original post. RC64III. I said RC7III up there, which isn't a thing.
     
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  11. theaveragecoffee

    theaveragecoffee Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York
    Wow. Across the board these are all amazing responses. Can't think EACH of you enough for your great ideas.

    Apologies my gear isn't listed. I only recently joined the SH forum, and have been consumed with a move to our new place. Here's a picture of my setup (I am planning on pulling the CW4s out from the wall a bit more once everything is hooked up)

    My situation is that I'm relatively new to the audiophile level of things. My room isn't perfect (using the only excellent wall available, and the sounds in here are really good to my ears), but it's definitely a massive upgrade from what I used to have. I'm powering the Cornwall IVs with an MA352, which is an awesome machine. I have a Denon x3600h for my receiver for the surrounds, and a Sony Blu Ray player. As you can see from my photo, we have a TV and a new console in between. That means that sadly, I likely cannot run a "vertical" speaker in the center. The RC 64-III would be a good choice, the only issue is that the size of it will mean I'll have to relocate my turntable and amp (my other gear is going in the middle of the console). Do you think something like the more modestly sized RP-600C might do the trick? I'm willing to go to about 2k for the center if need be, but if anything on a budget could get close, I'd settle.

    I like the idea of the RS250s for the surrounds. Sadly mounted Heresys (a great idea) is probably a bit out of my budget (and it was enough of a project to convince my dear wife to let me get the massive Cornwalls!!). It sounds like staying within the Klipsch line is a smart move regardless.

    I'd show you our back wall but it's still covered in boxes! :) [​IMG]
     
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  12. CoryG85

    CoryG85 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    Brother don't let a new piece of relatively cheap furniture (two gear racks. in your case) stop you from having the best setup possible in your budget. I'd put a Heresy IV on a stand and then place a gear rack on each side of it. That will give you a killer front stage for now and then you can save up and get another pair of Heresy's down the road. A single Heresy IV is within your current budget for a center channel.

    The surround channels aren't even as important, you can use something from the RP line for those. But having a timbre matched front stage is of the utmost importance.

    You could damn near fit a Heresy IV as is laying on its side on top of your current entertainment center. There're guys who do that, I don't personally like it though. I'm a big aesthetics guy.
     
  13. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    I also have the RC-62 in my woodshop, it's not too shabby either if size presents a problem.... but the 64 is sure nice. I had the RP-450C for a couple of years, but it was not in the same league as the 64 for clarity, low end, better HT experience.

    But realize the 450C or 600 may be all you need.... :) they're still good.
     
  14. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    By the way, looking at the pic you have me wonder how you're going to share the Cornwalls between music / HT? Are you planning on installing an AVR? I see in your post you mention the Denon / Bluray.

    Realize that you need something that will take the preouts on your Denon for the mains, and then be able to switch between 2 channel / HT. I use my line stage (has an Ext Pre in connection), also helps if the the preamp / control has unity gain. Something to iron out / consider up front.
     
  15. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    Well, the RC7iii is definitely a thing, actually quite a large thing :) just not a center channel!
     
  16. CoryG85

    CoryG85 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    I've heard of the RF7III but not an RC7III...
     
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  17. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    That's right, RF, sorry about that.... I knew that, the 7iii is what threw me... so we're tied 1 to 1 on senior moments.
     
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  18. CoryG85

    CoryG85 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    Haha no problem brother
     
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  19. ca1ore

    ca1ore Forum Resident

    Location:
    Stamford, CT, USA
    Funny, this rather reminds me of the debates in the early days of HT: a system for movie soundtracks couldn’t possibly suffice for music reproduction …. or variations thereof. I decided early on that for optimal 5.1 sound the front speakers should be the same. Surrounds should be ‘in the family’ but identicality not essential. Perhaps saving up for a third Cornwall as a center? Upscale sells them individually. Only about 3’ tall if I recall. Interestingly, although my main system does have a large flatscreen in the front, I almost never use it for movies. I ended up having to build a custom center. If I could ever find a third of my mains, I’d scrap the TV.
     
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  20. jeffmackwood

    jeffmackwood Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ottawa
    I've not got a specific recommendation regarding speakers, however getting back to your first post...

    A primary purpose will be for playing 5.1 SACDs. I applaud that - being a big fan of them myself!

    Because of that I believe you should do all that you can to deploy a full 5.1 set of speakers, where the "5" are as tonally-matched as possible, and where the ".1" actually includes a competent sub.

    For 5.1 SACD a phantom centre would be a non-starter for me.

    For 5.1 SACD you can't ignore the surrounds - at least not with a good number of discs.

    For 5.1 SACD not running a sub would be a borderline travesty.

    I'm a big fan of Cornwalls (one of the first speakers I ever heard in a showroom that made my jaw drop!) however they don't have the low extension to deliver all that SACD 5.1 has to offer, so running "no sub" should not be an option.

    You can make this work. It will sound great. Good luck!

    Jeff

    ps. With reference to the link in my autosig to my main HT, I can assure you that the closer you get to the ideal five matched speakers (and capable sub) the better!
     
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  21. CoryG85

    CoryG85 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    Keyword being capable. My experience with my Cornwall IV pair is they really don’t need a sub for music. At least not in my room in my configuration.

    I do have two subs, but they’re cheap Klipsch (R-12SW) subs. And having them hooked up for music does my speakers no favors. Makes the bass slow and less detailed. Even crossing them over at 40hz, so they’re basically just picking up where the Cornwalls are lacking, and they still have an adverse effect on the sound.

    I do use these subs for movies though. Cornwalls need a sub for movies, IMO. If you hope to utilize a sub for music, it needs to be a fast and powerful sub. I’ve been considering a pair of REL T9x, personally.

    But I’m honestly more than content with the bass from the CWIV in regards to music. And I’m a bass head. I did have to put the speakers close to the wall to get the bass I wanted though.
     
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  22. Harris11235

    Harris11235 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    My CWIV’s shipped today… you guys are making me antsy!
     
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  23. jeffmackwood

    jeffmackwood Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ottawa
    Does that include 5.1 SACD - which was the focus of my post in response to the OP?

    Jeff
     
  24. CoryG85

    CoryG85 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    Man I haven't listened to a SACD in probably 18 years.

    Does that .1 channel contain bass information that isn't otherwise reproduced in the L/R mains if a sub isn't present? If so, is there no way to redirect that bass to the front L/R channels?
    That really sucks if not. Subs are a PITA to integrate correctly in a system and most people don't have them integrated correctly.

    Do most SACDs have a discreet .1 channel?

    I would never want just one sub in my system, especially a music system. Stereo bass is a must for me and is easily attained with true full-range speakers. Especially when your full-range speakers contain one 15-inch woofer each...Like Cornwalls.
     
  25. theaveragecoffee

    theaveragecoffee Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York
    Thanks for these thoughts. My Denon 3600h is an AVR with 9.1 capability (though 5.1 is really my limit so far). What I've been planning on doing is having the Denon preouts go to the McIntosh integrated which goes to the Cornwalls. And then use the Denon itself to power the center/surrounds. If I had a way bigger budget I'd get more amps for the surrounds/center, but for now the Denon will do. (Just a note: it's not in the picture because I haven't set it up yet)

    I've used Audyssey in the past on my much more humble surround setup with my $120 JBL305 speakers (which, I should note, sounded damn good in my much smaller office), so I figured I'd give that a shot again here as a way to tie the sound together. All ears if there's a better idea though...

    I'm pretty sure the Denon can switch very easily between stereo and multi-channel, if that's what you're referring to with the "switch." In fact I think it's automatic in most cases. But on the remote you can pretty easily go from one to the other.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2022
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