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StevenM

Cornwall III upgrades?

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Having own these for a couple of years now, whenever I tell someone what speakers I use, invariably the discussion turns to modifications and up-grades people have done to their Type I & II's.

My question is: does this latest iteration of these classics have all the latest and greatest modifications? or are there better crossovers and specifically mid-range horn improvements available? One particularly knowable audio dealer I work with has modified his type I's with wooden horns and up-graded crossovers.

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Do you feel you have a problem you'd like to solve? Does the dealer's mod'd type I sound better to you, and in what way?

Thanks --

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I haven't heard my dealer's home system, I'm assuming he had motive and opportunity to modify his Cornwall I's (he gets a lot of equipment in trade), and he has not heard the newest iteration of the Cornwalls, (I didn't buy them from him) so he doesn't know how good mine sound. So it's tough to make that comparison.

If I have any disappointments with the new Cornwall III's I would have to say I expected more bass extension (lower frequency, and a little more punch).

For the moment, I going to place the fault with my 30-year-old tube amps (Luxman MB3045's) they were only 50 watts/ channel, when new, it's been almost five years since the last re-tube (although I do the bias/balance adjustment yearly). My new McIntosh MA6600 (200 watts / channel, solid state integrated amplifier) drives the bass like I want, but it seems to push (over-drive) the horns into distortion.

So I can't utilized my (expensive) new Integrated Amplifier like I want, I'm using it only as a pre-amp to the Luxman's, and the Luxman's are under-powered for how I like to listen to my music. The McIntosh forum suggests B & W 803's (and others) are better matched to the MAC MA6600 and MAC's tube offerings are better suited to the Klipsch Heritage series. Since I can't afford the MAC tube products, I'm kind of stuck.

So I guess it boils down to finding a high-quality, tube amplifier in the 100-200 watt range, either that, or trade the Luxman's & Cornwall's for a speaker better paired to the MA6600. Both alternatives sound like more $ than I'm prepared for, at this time.

I suppose I should re-tube the old Luxman before I do anything drastic. Got a good line on KT-88's?

Any suggestions?

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I hate to suggest the bleeding obvious, but do you have them in corners? That will help a bit with the bass. Corns drop pretty rapidly below 40 Hz, although they are wonderful to that point. I resisted using a subwoofer for years. After I built one (a Rythmik) and set the crossover to 60Hz; I liked the Corns better since they were not as stressed in my 4 Corn II HT set-up.

The Corn bass design is pretty much maxed out. The Corn III moved the woofer up a bit to reduce the 60-80Hz boominess that is very obvious on stock Corn IIs like mine. I pulled my front Corns about 18 inches out from the corners and the boominess went down. (the subwoofer addition helped that, too). If you have the IIIs you can probably snug them up in the corners and be happy.

The first upgrade I'd do is throw away the K701 midrange horns and find, or build, the largest mid horns I could put in the box. There was some gnashing of teeth on the forum a few years back when the Corn IIIs were introduced. We were all elated that the Corns have been revived. Then we found out about the K701s and our faces fell. The excuse offered was that the original K601 molds had been lost and so the K701 from the Heresy "had" to be used. Paul had a word for lameness like that...

Anywho, K601s can still be had, although I think that some of our mid horn mavens here can create something even better. Of course, if you replace the K701 in the Corn III, you are looking at some front panel surgery to make a new mid horn fit without impinging on the woofer or tweeter. And mod'ing the crossover to suit.

Looks like the optimum gain/pain ratio is retubing the Luxman or trying another SS amp.

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What (model) mid-driver is used on the K-horns? Is that format too large?

You know, with a better mid-horn, my break-up issue powering with the MA6600 have a good chance of going away...

I never determined which driver was the offending squawker, I'll now bet good money on the mid-driver.

I'll going to re-tube the Luxman either way, only because I know how good this unit is capable of sounding when everything is up to snuff.

I never tried conner placement only because in each conner at my disposal, there is a door: one is a seldom used outside door, the other one accesses an often used computer/media room. But you are quite correct about conner placement. 100+-year-old houses are such a pain when it comes to modern living.

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What (model) mid-driver is used on the K-horns? Is that format too large? You know, with a better mid-horn, my break-up issue powering with the MA6600 have a good chance of going away... I never determined which driver was the offending squawker, I'll now bet good money on the mid-driver. I'll going to re-tube the Luxman either way, only because I know how good this unit is capable of sounding when everything is up to snuff. I never tried conner placement only because in each conner at my disposal, there is a door: one is a seldom used outside door, the other one accesses an often used computer/media room. But you are quite correct about conner placement. 100+-year-old houses are such a pain when it comes to modern living.

The mid driver on the Khorns is the K55X now. The K55 series used to be used in all Heritage products, albeit with different horns. The Klipschorn & LaScala use the K401 (400 Hz); Belle is K501; Corn I/II used K601, and Heresy K701. The "1" suffix just means that the horn is now made of polymer versus metal. The number of course is the lower operating frequency in Hertz.

The controlling factor for the mid horn on the stock Corn is cabinet depth. It is just deep enough for a K601 horn. It is not nearly deep enough for a K501 or K401. Some here have built Cornscalas that are a hybrid of the two designs. Do a fourm search, there have been a lot of posts on that.

I am suspecting that the Corn III is not your problem...there may be an amp issue. Have you tried your MAC stuff with other speakers? At what level are you listening to the Corns? The acoustics of the room have a tremendous influence. As with any "problem" change one variable at a time and listen to the results.

Just as a data point, my four Corn IIs are in a 25 x16 room with a 12 foot peaked ceiling. The loudest I can stand in that room, averaged, is 102dB C weighted at the listening position , which equates to about 108 dB at the face of the speakers. This is the point at which the room is simply overwhelmed by the volume. If the room was "deader" the tolerable level might be higher. Even with music I like to play really loud, my levels probably no more than 95-98 dB average with 100-102 dB peaks.

dtel on this forum also has Corn IIIs.You might want to PM him and ask him his experiences.

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The number of course is the lower operating frequency in Hertz.

The controlling factor for the mid horn on the stock Corn is cabinet depth. It is just deep enough for a K601 horn. It is not nearly deep enough for a K501 or K401...

I am suspecting that the Corn III is not your problem...there may be an amp issue. Have you tried your MAC stuff with other speakers? At what level are you listening to the Corns? The acoustics of the room have a tremendous influence. As with any "problem" change one variable at a time and listen to the results.

Unfortunately, the K-701 is crossed over at 800 Hz, which IMO is too high for terrific midrange horn reproduction. I think there is an audible difference that favors the 600 Hz horn over an 800 Hz Xover point -- 600 Hz reaches almost a half octave lower in a very important area of mid-range music fundamental and overtone reproduction.

I heard that it would have cost Klipsch something like $30,000 to design a new 601, which I wish they had done. I suggested at the time that enhancing Klipsch's reputation for sound superiority would have been worth it, even if it takes years to make it up financially.

That said, the C/W III is an outstanding sound, and I'm still puzzled over exactly why you have such an acute problem. Follow good advice like Boom3's that you've been getting, and let's see what happens.

I wish Klipsch would cook up a K-601 and matching Xover upgrade.

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Thank you for the technical background. I have been searching the historical forum, and have gained tremendous insight into the evolution and design philosophy behind the CW's I, II & III, where they fit into the PWK product line, their intended use & placement. Also what people are listening to as well as what most people consider a good matching amplifier.

I believe I have the right amplifier, a modern-designed, 50 watt tube amp, driven by a McIntosh MA6600 (pre-amp section), & the right sources: Rotel CD & VPI Scout 'table.

What I believe is working against me is an overly bright room, (11W X 22L X 7H) and the desire to use the CW3 as a rock speaker, which (by forum community consensus) seems to lean more towards jazz speaker. In other words I'm driving it too hard & expecting earth-shaking bass down to 32 hz, I made the classic mistake of equating large size with low frequency extension when choosing the CW3.

The good news I've found is, there seem to be some room for improvement in the mid-range horn (not the driver, but the horn itself), one CW2 owner suggested: 1) Padding the outside of the horn (to attenuate the ringing of the plastic horn) with the same stick-on sound dampening material used on the inside of automobile doors. 2) A steeper crossover with higher quality capacitors. I'll make that call when I see what caps the factory used. I'm at loath to mess with anything until the warranty expires.

Finally, thanks for pointing me towards another CW3 owner. Unlike any other component, speakers are most notoriously fickle about their environment. I'm sure his insight will add to my audio enjoyment.

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