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J Harris

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  1. Klipsch, it's been years now and you keep saying that you're bringing back the Heritage Series. But what's the delay? You can't source a simple compression driver? Dozens of other companies have no difficulty finding these. For a company with resources like Klipsch, I would have thought it would have been no difficulty at all. Why should we believe you're not killing off the line? J!
  2. "Most of the Radio Shack Cartridges were Shure models so it might not be too bad." Might not be too bad? Hardly a recommendation, right? Also, how old is the cart? Dried-out suspension, worn needle, or both... doesn't even bear thinking about! These days you can get a perfectly nice Grado for cheap, pair it with a used Thorens or a new Music Hall and do quite well... no need to buy ancient equipment from manufacturers not known for their quality in analog (pace a *possible* Shure cart in Realistic disguise, age unknown!) J!
  3. Umm, Scott was known for good amplification, not for turntables. And a Realistic cartridge?? I don't think so! Look for a good vintage belt-drive turntable from Thorens if you want to go the vintage route. The TD-145 and TD-160 are excellent examples, and turn up cheap all the time. Musician or not, I don't get the impression that the seller knows much about turntables. J!
  4. Okay, I tried it. I removed my fat hose-like Coincident speaker cables (total cost: $800) from my Cornwalls. I took four strands of Radio Shack 30-ga magnet wire, thin as thread, and almost invisible, stripped the ends, and screwed them into the terminals. Didn't even bother to braid them. I can't explain it, but I'm liking the sound. There's LESS bass, not more. There are MORE highs, not less. But the detail is smoother and sweeter than it was before. No longer do I feel I'm being attacked by the tweeter on occasion. It's not perfect, but dammmit, these cables cost $3.99 (and I have yards left over)! Someone's turned me on to a 20.5 ga single-crystal wire from Bottlehead that I'm going to try next. More expensive. It might bring back a little low end. As predicted, I got less volume. But what I get when I turn up the volume is cleaner and sweeter. High series resistance? High inductance? I'm sure that's true. But for whatever reason it sounds better than my old pricey, highly recommended cable. Maybe that cable was problematic and the magnet wire is just halfway to good zip cord. I don't know, I'll try that too. But I don't care what the theory says if the music sounds good. (For now anyway. We'll see how it works with extended listening.) Finally, please note that I'm using this with 3.5 watt single-ended triode tube amps. The original recommendation for this thin stuff was precisely for this configuration: tiny flea-powered SET amps and very efficient horn speakers. Doubtless the garden hose varieties of wire currently being marketed are more appropriate to big high-wattage solid state amps and inefficient direct-radiator speakers. Still exploring... J! P.S. Btw, I'm also using the ALK Cornwall crossover, which put the impedance of the speaker at a nice flat 4 ohms... This message has been edited by J Harris on 08-06-2001 at 09:05 PM
  5. Ray wrote: "One thing to keep in mind - this stuff is covered with a very, very stubborn enamelled on insulation (don't think it's really ceramic, would be too inflexible). How do you get it off?" Ray, you melt it with a very hot (800-degree) soldering iron. Hold the iron at the tip for a good 15-20 seconds till you see the clear varnish melting and sizzling down the wire to about half an inch. Then tin the tip with solder. Best, J!
  6. Al -- thanks for the headsup. The magnet wire only cost $3.99, so it's not a big deal, and I'll try it anyway when it arrives. At the worst, it'll be an education in the effects of resistance and inductance on the sound. Btw, I'm driving 98dB-efficient speakers with 3.5 watt SET tube amps. Does this make any difference? J!
  7. I'm going to try this. I saw the post over on Audio Asylum, and have already ordered the magnet wire. Can't hurt to try. Plus the ALK networks on my Cornwalls have lowered my speaker impedance to 4 ohms anyway. J!
  8. Getting better and better! I took out my first crossover and examined all the joints. Then I restripped and resoldered the squawker coil. Then reinstalled the board. Now both speakers sound equally loud. Absolutely feather-smooth midrange... no sense of three drivers, just music! Less bass... which really means less bass boom. I'd moved the Cornwalls pretty far away from the back wall to tighten up the bass. I may now experiment with new speaker positioning. But that's really not a big deal. They sound so good right now I'm not getting too involved with making further changes. Thanks again Al for a great design and a fun project! I recommend this to all of you Klipschead Cornwall owners out there. J!
  9. Installed them both and played music overnight to break them in. First impressions (I've only been able to listen for an hour or so): -- treble is much less tizzy, cymbals are clear but not shrieky -- the 9KHz "hump" is gone, and the mids are far less blare-y -- voices are lovely and sweet, real and in the room, classic Klipsch sound, but never honky -- bass is very similar, still somewhat boomy in the Cornwall tradition, perhaps slightly better defined There is an overall slight dullness to the sound that may have to do with the caps needing to break in. Also, I'm running the Cornwalls from the 8 ohm tap on my Paramour SET amps, on the advice of the Bottlehead board. I'm also going to experiment with the 4 ohm tap, since Al's crossovers lower the nominal impedance of the Cornwalls to 4 ohms. Finally, it seems to me the left-hand speaker is now louder than the right-hand one. I built the crossover for the right-hand speaker first, and I definitely learned from my mistakes when building the second one. So it's possible I need to go back and check some solder joints on the first crossover. I also managed to melt the exterior of a couple caps on the first crossover (on the cylinder, not the ends) -- just tiny soldering iron marks, but I'm told these can damage caps. We'll see if that's the problem. Overall? Very nice modification, and I had a great time building them. The sound is more balanced across the frequencies. Still forward in the Cornwall tradition, but forward in a balanced way. It makes listening to music more pleasurable. I'd recommend these to others. Al is a great help and keeps the advice coming to DIY newbies like me -- emails returned almost instaneously! I just hope I never have to strip the varnish off Solen coils ever again... :-) I'll post more impressions as I listen more and look into the potential problems with my current setup as described above. Definitely a big YES right now. J!
  10. Hey KG, Yup, I got a pair of Cornwalls. They have "T" in the serial numbers, so I think they're 1979. Birch, black grilles (want to get cane, though they look nice already), alnico squawker. They sound great. Waaaaay better than the Heresys. Clear, spacious and unfatiguing. Tremendously powerful and weighty. Bass is less tight than the Heresys, but there's more of it. I'm currently working on building a pair of Al K's CW crossovers, being an inveterate tweaker. But meanwhile I'm enjoying the music more than I have in years! Best, J!
  11. Hey Colin -- I'm sending you email. Best, J!
  12. I'd love to find a pair of cane grilles for my Cornwalls. Anyone have a pair they want to unload? Klipsch doesn't have 'em anymore as spare parts, but apparently they do sell the grillecloth. Does anyone know whether this is the same as the cane grille they used to use? And if so, how hard is it to get it made into grilles once you get it? Thanks, J!
  13. Hi Jim, Well, I've thought this over. I've got all the Al K Cornwall crossover parts en route already, so I'll sit tight and try to be patient rather than building the P-Trap first. Thanks! J!
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