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Allan Songer

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Everything posted by Allan Songer

  1. Well, John, if you can't tell when your speakers are out of phase or if one channel is dead, then why do you bother hanging out here? And do you really believe that most of us can't hear these things, or are you using hyperbole just to make fun of someone who believes he CAN here a capacitor "breaking in?" Lighten up, man! There's no room for this kind of nastiness here--go hang out at the Audio Asylum if you wan't to make fun of people in order to make yourself feel superior.
  2. Actually the "mirror image" vertical horn Cornwalls that were available as "special order" models were refered to as "Cornwall II" in those few years they were available (maybe '68-'74 or so?). This is the third set I've heard of with the "Cornwall II" designation from that period with the vertical horns. Hope this helps.
  3. None of the early Cornwalls had a stand or riser. The ones you see in the picture I posted were made by me. They consist of a walnut frame with a steel plate screwed and glued to each side. The cavity is filled with sand--each "riser" weighs about 80 lbs. I support each riser with four cones. The bass is so much tighter with the Corwalls sitting on these risers and cones! Amazing home-made imporvement! I HIGHLY RECCOMEND THIS!!!
  4. From what I've been able to tell the original Cornwalls were all "vertical horn" models. Some time in the late 60's, the standard Cornwall became "horizontal," but the "vertical" model was available as a "special order." The latest vertical horn models I've come across were from about 1974 and had the later woofers (non-alnico). As far as price is concerned, I have no idea!
  5. And yes, each speaker is marked "L" and "R" with sequential serial numbers. Even the x-overs are marked "L" and "R" and are mirror images of each other.
  6. The "mirror image" Cornwalls were available through the early 70's I believe. Mine are 1964 models and are walnut and have the original grille cloths. I was lucky enough to buy mine from the original owner many, many years ago and they are still in pristine condition. A good pal of mine loved my Cornwalls so much that he purchased a set of mid-1980's Cornwall II and I have to tell you, we were both blown away by how much BETTER the earlier speakers sounded to us. We actually a/b compared them (a real PAIN in the neck!) and the imaging with the vertical-horn models was light-years better. THis is not to say the later Cornwalls aren't fantastic speakers--it's just that the early ones are just amazing. Here's a shot of mine: http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=757826&a=10308307&p=34745573&Sequence=0&res=high
  7. I've been living with the "original" ALK Cornwall networks for about 5 months now and I have to tell you they are really something. WOrth every penny. Just for kicks I put the original X-overs back in over the weekend and was blow away with how HARSH the midrange seemed to me. And the attack of a plucked bass string is just so clean and crisp with Al's networks. I love them--so anyone "on the fence" should jump right now, as these are a real bargain. They WILL make a difference!
  8. And here are my electronics: http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=757826&a=10308307&p=34745580&Sequence=0&res=high And the turntable: http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=757826&a=10308307&p=34745590&Sequence=0&res=high These are what makes my Cornwalls SINGGGG!
  9. Here are mine: http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=757826&a=10308307&p=34745573&Sequence=0&res=high
  10. I've seen McIntosh C39 preamps go for under $1500 in the used market in the past year, but generally they trade for about $1800 or so. As far as I can tell, this would be just about the perfect preamp for you. You can find C15s in the used market for $700-$800, bso that's even better (but it's nowhere near the piece of equipment the C39 is). Both of these units are built like tanks and will provide YEARS of service.
  11. Why do you even ASK your wife about YOUR decisions? I just buy what I want and wear ear plugs for a while. I figure if my wife wants to split over me spending money on "hi-fi junk" (her term), then she wasn't worth being with. As I tell her, we're NOT talking about whores, drugs, or whisky! She buys what ever she wants and I buy whatever I want and we're both fiscally responsible enough to know how much we should be spending. It's easy, really. I do sneak LPs in without telling her, however!
  12. I don't think ALL Scalas are ugly! Mine were PA speakers and as I said, looked like they were painted with a broom. They were beat to hell and really were eyesores. The design is very functional and quite handsome in my opinion. A nice pair of crisp unfinished birch La Scalas would look great in a mid-century modern environment--Eames, Nelson, Saarinen, and Klipsch!
  13. I am just as interested in the "why" and "how" as most of you--it's just that it drives me crazy when people pull out "specs" to defend or trash the merit of any kind of gear. I know people that hate my old MAC tube gear and bully for them, but don't trash it based on any kind of measured performance! There's all kinds of solid state crap from the 70's and 80's that measures close to "pefect" (remember Phase Linear and the early Bryston stuff?) and sounds HORRIBLE! And I was lucky enough to audition a pair of 2A3 SE monoblocks that retailed for 5 times the total amount I have invested in my rig that measure like crap but sound like magic. Like Yogi Berra said, "statistics remind me of the guy who drowned in a river with an average depth of 2 feet."
  14. What about the music? Are we in this to read charts or enjoy ourselves by getting lost in the beauty of a breathy blues solo from Lester Young or Ben Webster or WHATEVER? I've been into "hi-fi" for more than a couple of decades now and I gotta tell you, I've never heard a solid state amp that was "musical." Call it tube distortion if you like, but I'm in this for what's inside those grooves, not what some scope says.
  15. I was wondering if anyone in vintage Klipsch-land has found that upgrading the original binding posts is worth the money spent. The Cardas posts seem to be the standard these days and they run about $35 per speaker in copper and $50 in gold. One advantage to the upgrade would be that one could use better quality spades or heavy guage bare wire with these 5-way posts.
  16. I think you can get just about any driver in production at Filament Audio (www.filamentaudio.com, I think). I don't know the price, but I'll bet they're about $150-$175 each. I just don't have the heart to hack up my pristine old Corwalls--to me it would be akin to dropping a small block Chevy into my '55 Studebaker pickup. The idea of it just makes my skin crawl. For most others it would be the obvious thing to do. Plus, I LIKE the way my Cornwalls sound! But I've got these plans for bulding Klipschorns using state of the art drivers, etc. . . Someday.
  17. Sure, Al--coun't me in for 2 drivers and 1/4 of the cost if you need me. You can never have too many "spares."
  18. You have a pair of VERY EARLY Cornwalls with the vertical horns--IMO the best Cornwalls ever made. I think the last of these were made around 1969 or so. I'm sure someone else around here knows for sure. The Cornwall II has horizontal, plastic horns and a removeable grill cloth and is attached to a riser.
  19. Believe it or not, the best stuff to fill in chips in veneer is "bondo," the auto-body plastic filler. It hardens quickly and can be sanded ultra-smooth. Once sanded flush with the veneer, just use a fine artist's brush and fake the "grain" and color of the walnut and then finsih with some sealer and then a good coat of tung oil. I've done furniture and jukebox repairs in this manner and have had excellent results. I wouldn't try in on a 18th century Chippendale high-boy, but on a pair on 20-year-old Cornwalls your have nothing to lose!
  20. I once owned a pair of 1970's vintage "industrial" La Scalas for a couple of months in the late 80's. I had owned my Cornwalls for about 10 years at that point and bought the La Scalas because I came across them for a really cheap price ($300/pair). The first problem I had with them is that my wife's first comment was "if you think you're going to have those things in our house, you're wrong." Well, they were really, really UGLY and the black finish looked like it had been applied with a broom! Perhaps if I had come across some Belles esthetic concerns woulnd't have been such a problem . . . Anyway, I was able to hook up the Scalas and listen for a little while and while I enjoyed them, they just didn't have the "oomph" in the lower bass registers I was used to with the Cornwalls. They didnt't go as low and were not as "clean." The mids and highs were very similar to the Conrwall sound. Another problem other than being UGLY and not having great bass, was that these things are freaking HUGE. I just couldn't seem to set them up in my room to get any kind of imaging at all, and my room is 17' x 28'!! So I sold the Scalas for a couple of hundred bucks more than I paid for them and didn't miss them at all. I know my experience is limited, but I thought I'd share it anyway.
  21. I have been helping Al with my experienced "Corwnall" ears in the development of his new networks for these great speakers. I've owned the same pair of 1964 Cornwalls for over 20 years and they've been in and out (way more "in" than "out") of my main system a few times in that period. I'll never sell these speakers--they are the most up-front, in-your-face dynamic speakers I've ever owned and they are the BEST speakers I've ever heard for be-bop and female jazz vocals. Al's final design for the Cornwall network is just fabulous sounding, as it retains all the things I love about the Cornwall sound and then some! The decay from the pluck of a bass string or the snap of a snare drum is so much quicker with AL's networks it is just amazing--it really sends shivers down my spine. Right before I went to sleep last night I was listening to the Classic Records 45rpm pressing of "Mingus Ah Um" and the bass lines in Mingus' solos just went right through me. I always felt the strength of the Cornwall was in it's ability to make horns (sax, trumpet, trombone) come ALIVE and Al's networks don't mess with this quality at all--they are every bit as good as the original Klipsch networks, which I must say are very, very good. TO claim that AL's networks are even better is really saying something! Anyway, I'm still listening and evaluating, but I just wanted to pass along these impressions to anyone out these considering buying a set of these networks. I highly recommend that you do!
  22. I have a set of very early Cornwalls (1964) and because they sounded so great a good friend of mine prchased a pair of late 80's Cornwall II. My 37 year old speakers blow the doors off of the newer ones. I'm not sure if it's the X-overs, the drivers or the fact the the horns are mounted vertically and staggered, but the imaging in astounding when compared to the later models.
  23. The 901 is the most hated speaker in the history of hi-fi and the most misunderstood. Personally, I think the poor build quality and the incredible pain-in-the-*** set up makes them a really bad value. BUT! If you have a really killer solid state front end and take the trouble to set them up perfectly and you like shrill, 1970's rock and disco, the 901s are really, really amazing speakers when played PAINFULLY loud. One of the most amazing systems I ever heard was a 70's quadraphonic hi-fi with four 901's BLASTING out some really silly 70's rock (I think it was Paul McCartney/Wings). When we put on same REAL music the sound was thin and shrill with flubby bass. I wouldn't take a pair for free, but they aren't as horrible as most of we "horn" aficionados think they are.
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