Dtel and I purchased a pair of Forte II's from a gentlemen in Florida about six months ago. When we arrived to pick the Forte's up we asked if he would audition the Forte II's for us, even though we already had a pair at home. Then we asked if he would audition his Cornwall II's for us. He agreed to our request.
In all fairness to this evaluation I must tell you that he had the Cornwall's on the floor under a built in "entertainment center". The Cornwalls were enclosed by cabinet doors, which were covered with cloth! He also played the Corwalls at a very low level. That being said, the highs, mids and lows all sounded "muffled", what a surprise! However, after getting on my knees and giving the speakers a good listen, the bass sounded "hollow" and the mids and highs seemed to "run together". Of course, the placement of the speakers did have a huge impact on the sound. This is just my opinion.
That being said, we were not impressed.
Jump forward to the Pilgramage in Hope. Dtel and I have been extremely satisfied with our Forte collection. However, we also had been "shopping" for a pair of Klipschorns, even though we had never heard a pair! (Before I go any further, we would still like to own a pair of Klipschorns). We had the priviledge of auditioning the new Heresy, a pair of Klipschorns, and a new pair of Cornwall III's, one right after the other.
We did not listen to the same recording on each pair of speakers, which IMO could have some influence on this review. The Heresy's were the biggest surprise. The sound from a "relatively" small pair of speakers was beautiful. The sound doesn't fill a room like the larger Heritage speakers, but the Heresy's are a "work of art" for your ears. We will purchase a pair of Heresy's for dtel's workshop in the future.
The Klipschorns were of course, clear and concise. I was not as impressed with the Khorns as I thought I would be. Again, I think the recording played a huge impact on this opinion. My anticipation of the "blessed" listening event could have influenced my opinions on the Khorns as well.
The Cornwall III's had a tight bass, and the highs and mids were undeniably clear and distinct. Dtel and I did not have a chance to discuss our observations prior to the Saturday night together at the farm house.
As you may have heard dtel won a pair of Cornwall III's on Saturday night. During our recovery from the shock of winning such a wonderful prize we have discussed our audition of the Cornwall III's and Khorns many times. The end result of that audition is always the same. Yes, we do want to own a pair of Klipschorns. However, in our opinion the Cornwall III's outperformed the Khorns in the audition.
Now, before any of you jump up and down and start thinking I am being a total idiot...We are not sure that we actually had a "fair" audition of the Khorns and we were genuinely impressed the clarity of the Khorns.
Conclusion, if we were in the market for a quality pair of new speakers for our overall listening enjoyment (jazz, rock, oldies, etc) we would have to purchase the Cornwall III's.
Something else I would like to mention, we also heard the new LaScalas and they were truly awesome. The one thing these speakers had in common was the ability to "disappear".
All of the above mentioned speakers are large by today's standards. However, they did not appear to intrude on the space we were occupying. All of the speakers were beautifully designed. They looked more like fine furniture than speakers.
The Khorns melted away into the corners, the LaScalas looked more like end tables than speakers and the Cornwalls at only 15 inches deep did not stand out in the room. The Heresy's actually looked like they had been designed for small rooms. I was impressed just as much by the "disappearing act" as I was by the way the clear sound filled the room.
I think your money was well spent and you will enjoy your Cornwall III's for years to come.
There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. Edith Wharton
avatar by Fini
Technically by law 1/2 of this:
Yamaha RX-V 730 , Pioneer 563A DVD, old Technics 5 disc CD, DIY sub Shiva in 5cf ported box AVA 250 amp tuned to 18.1, 65" Toshiba Widescreen HD, Two pair Forte lls, One pair of original Fortes for rears, Cornwall llls with (arfandbark) HK 930 for 2 CH. Heresies for dtel's shop.