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1980 Cornwalls CWO!


Musicman
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Hi everyone. I'm new to this forum but I've been searching for info on my Cornwalls that I just purchased and was real happy when I found you guys. I'm the 2nd owner and they are beautiful. A few dings but otherwise pristine. Serial #'s 21T453 & 21T454. CWO and they are solid Walnut not veneered. Inspected by Randy ? (can't read last name) and tested by N.W.Bradford. I hooked them up this morning and they are awesome. They were bought in 1980 but don't know for sure when they were built. Any info you can share will be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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Boy, that didn't take long. I thank you for that. Is it possible that these are solid Walnut? No where have I seen any mention of solid wood cabinets, all veneered. I pulled the griils off and vacuumed the dust out. He said he had never taken them off because he was afraid to. If I want to pull the backs off, is there a seal? I'd like to have a peek inside. They've never been off either. I hope I can repay you guys for your help somehow. Thanks!

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I know my ears ain't what they used to be but I was just listening to some Dave Grusin at volume and I've never heard bass like that from any speaker. It gave me goose bumps. Thanks fellas for your input. I'd like to hear from HDBRbuilder. I'm sure he would like to hear how well these have been taken care of. I could kick myself for not buying these 30 years ago. Just think what I've missed.

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HDBR=Heresy, Decorator, Birch, Raw.

No seals on any of the "heritage" speakers except for pyramid woofer door seal on K-horn woofer section, and doghouse woofer door seals on Belles and LaScalas...Cornwalls and Heresys just have backs screwed on with wood screws to glue blocks(except for the later ones with drop-in components, which have backs glued and stapled on). The corners of the blocks on the heresys and cornwalls have the slight gaps filled with caulk and smoothed by a putty knife though, to eliminate "squeaks".

Klipsch speakers were never built of solid wood...it just isn't a good thing to do (splitting, checking, warping, etc.)...solid wood poses too many problems...birch plywood(in the decorator styles), and veneered poplar-lumber-core plywood (in non-decorator styles) is what was used until later on in the 80's or 90's when veneered MDF was started.

CWO=Cornwall, Walnut(veneer), (hand-rubbed)Oil(finish)

CDR=Cornwall decorator raw....previously on the old flush front cornwalls, they were called CDBR=Cornwall decorator birch raw

If the Cornwalls (of ANY style) were built from 1978-1983...95%+ probability that I built them.

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If you want to send a private message, or have already done so, be aware I have not as yet been able to retrieve them. Send e-maill instead, please...just note Klipsch forum in the heading so it doesn't get deleted.

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DJK...that is pure "bullshit"!...no way can the miter joints split on those older style cabinets just because of a lumber core problem....the glue must fail in the joint itself, AND the reinforcing glue blocks inside the cabinet in the corners(which use a DIFFERENT GLUE) must have BOTH the glue AND the staples fail....that just doesn't happen. The only reason for the move to MDF was in lower cost for the materials...PLAIN AND SIMPLE!!! Quality lumber-core plywood is very expensive!! MDF is very inexpensive!

As a matter of fact, the odds of MDF failing in a miter joint are always EXTREMELY higher than lumber core at any time, because the MDF has no lengthy fiber structure to tie into...it is just sawdust and binder...and ANYBODY who has ever worked with it AND lumbercore will tell you the same thing!!!

And another thing...the mitered edges of the lumber core are crosscut across the lumbercore...making the likelyhood of such a failure even less possible than if the lumbercore had been ripped at the miter!!...that is standard practice when using lumber core so that the end grain of the lumbercore soaks up plenty of glue making a tighter bond...a bond you WILL NOT GET with MDF!!!

Whoever told you that was the reason for the change was feeding you a bigtime line of bull!!! Ask any experienced woodworker!!...Besides, Klipsch would never do a complete changeover in materials for just one batch being bad...AND, it is never a batch when dealing with lumbercore, it would possibly just be an instance or two out of an entire batch!!...even then it is highly unlikely!!

Much more likely a few speakers were assembled after the fast-drying brown glue in the miter had already set up too far OR the glue had been mixed up way too thin...and the builder wanted to pass it off as a wood problem instead of his own worthlessness in assembling it up that way or his laziness to go mix up another batch of brown glue when the batch he was using was already far too set-up or way too thin...either way he was a sorry excuse for a builder. BUT a total miter failure would STILL require a failure in the glue blocks, the staples, and the white glue used on the glue blocks that reinforce the miter joint from the inside!!

Still, NOT a valid reason for the changeover...trust me...it was SOLELY due to cost of materials!!! Most likely the cost of lumbercore rose again and the decision was made to do like JBL and the rest of the speaker manufacturers had already been doing for twenty years....and change over to MDF at a much lower cost than the lumbercore!!...WITH an automatic increase in profit per unit built due to the savings in materials!!

Anybody who claims the changeover was due to a lumberbore failure is blowing smoke up somebody's arse...Nuff Said!

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If you want to send a private message, or have already done so, be aware I have not as yet been able to retrieve them. Send e-maill instead, please...just note Klipsch forum in the heading so it doesn't get deleted.

This message has been edited by HDBRbuilder on 05-15-2002 at 09:09 AM

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"Anybody who claims the changeover was due to a lumberbore failure is blowing smoke up somebody's arse...Nuff Said!" Considering that I was here, saw the defective cabinets pulling open in the corners, delivered the new speakers to the customers, and shipped the defective ones back to Klipsch, your OPINION doesn't mean much to me. All the glue and staples in the world won't keep an improperly cured piece of lumber from warping and popping glue joints. I accepted the Klipsch factory representative's explanation (Bob Baily) and re-called all the serial numbers on the list for examination and (if needed) replacement. I thought Klipsch did an excellent job in recognizing the problem, identifying the cause, and implementing the fix.

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DJK,

I did not base my response on OPINION, I based it upon EXPERIENCE.....Once again, if the miters came apart it was due to the glue there, not due to the lumbercore...the builder who was responsible either had the water-based hide-type glue in the miters mixed entirely too thin, OR he tried to get "just one more pair or so built up" before going to mix-up a new batch of the brown glue...when that brown glue gets to molasses consistency, it will not soak up into the end-grain of the poplar like it is supposed to, and the miter joint can separate...same for when the glue is mixed way too thin!! I think I covered this in my LAST response! Klipsch, like many other companies, has employee turnover...matter of fact most of the old hands left the cabinet shop while I was there...and there are always employees who just "show up" for work and don't take pride in what they do...I saw plenty of that while I was there...and, yes, I saw plenty of new builders mixing the glue improperly or trying to stretch it too far...and I saw the results of their worthlessness come back to the plant in separated miters in cabinets, too...but, all of us in the cabinet shop knew what had happened, whether the other folks in the company did or not!!!

The lumber for the lumbercore is kiln dried before it is planed, sawn, edge-glued, and has the birch skins laminated to it. Time between each of these steps is not a few seconds, but many days...even weeks or months. There are many steps in this process where "improperly cured" core materials will be identified...ever plane any "wet" wood?...ever saw any "wet" wood? I have...and you immediately know it!!By the time it gets to a point where veneer is laid on it, it will have already had the skins of birch start to separate if the lumbercore is not cured enough...add to that the time it takes for it to reach its destination to be made into something....if it REALLY had anything at all to do with the "improperly cured lumbercore" as you were told by the company rep, then the veneers would have separated from the lumbercore!!

As for warped panels, they are supposed to be culled during the fabrication process at the plant...and they pass through alot of hands BEFORE they get to the builder! I culled quite a few in my day!

As for batches...the panels for the speakers don't come in truckload-sized batches, but come in small batches...each separate pallet is a batch. Even for the big seller speakers. It is a simple thing to identify a bad batch, since only a few speakers will have been built from it.

I was not accusing you of blowing smoke up anybody's arse....but I sincerely believe you were told this bullshit by a rep at the company who had no clue as to what had happened, and therefore gave you this reason.

Factory dealer reps are there to pass on info...both directions...but most have never built a damned speaker...and those that have done so have only assisted in building a very few...just to see how they go together...that's it! I built well over 1/4 million of em while I was there! Show me a rep with that kind of experience!!

Once again....ask any long-time woodworker with any experience in this type of situation and I am sure you will get an answer similar to what I have given you...and you can ask any OLD HAND from Klipsch's cabinet shop and you will get the same response I have given you.

As for MDF being a logical material to changeover to, you can again ask any woodworker with any experience...you don't have to believe me...matter of fact I don't care if you do or not...I am just stating facts (NOT OPINIONS!!!)based on well over 30 years of fine woodworking experience...and 7 years of that experience was working AT Klipsch WITH lumbercore!! Believe what you will!

FACT: Veneered MDF is the LEAST expensive of veneered wood products, Veneered lumbercore is the MOST expensive of veneered wood products....ever wonder why? Think about it! Why is there still a demand for veneered lumbercore if veneered MDF is such a better alternative? Inquiring minds want to know! Not me, though, I ALREADY know!!!

I apologize to you for any inferance on my behalf that you intentionally would pass on any untruth...but what you were told is total "BULLSHIT"!

Another FACT: A decade before Klipsch changed over to MDF from lumbercore, the number-crunchers in the company wanted to change to MDF...one "power that be" fought against it...believing that part of the reason people bought HIS speakers was due to the quality of materials used....and HE didn't give a damn that all the other companies had changed over to a "cheaper alternative" years before. HE hasn't had any say in the company in many years...and, sadly, now HE never will again! Guess who?

One other thing...I can just about guarantee you that when those cabinets got back to the cabinet shop at Klipsch, and were torn down for inspection to identify the problem, not only was the glue mix found to be defective on the miters, but there were probably a few staple prongs in the miter too, instead of in the sides/bottom/top where they were supposed to be!! Again, a problem with the builder not ensuring his staple gun was angled properly to eliminate this in construction while putting in the inside corner blocks! All it takes for a miter separation like that is for a staple prong or two to be shot into the miter when the miter is insufficiently glued...eventually the stress of those prongs will pop the joint!! Not a wood problem at all, just a problem with a half-assed builder!!

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If you want to send a private message, or have already done so, be aware I have not as yet been able to retrieve them. Send e-maill instead, please...just note Klipsch forum in the heading so it doesn't get deleted.

This message has been edited by HDBRbuilder on 05-17-2002 at 07:25 PM

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HDBRbuilder,I for one would like to recognize your wealth of expertise in this matter. Most of us "Cornwall" owners had no idea of the quality that went into these cabinets. It's very unlikely that Klipsch could ever duplicate these speakers even if they wanted to, for several reasons. I understand where you're coming from and just keep in mind that many of us out here appreciate the input you've shared with us on the manufacturing of these high quality speakers. It's not often when someone with "the know"shares it so freely.Thanks!

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Musicman,

Thanks! Yanno...Whenever I was lead man on Cornwalls, and they sent me a helper who had no experience, the first thing I would tell him was: "I don't give a damn whether you can keep up with me in speed, BUT I DO GIVE A DAMN about what goes to the sanding room from this table. In other words, if it ain't right, we are gonna tear it apart before the glue sets up and build it again! So, when I tell you to do something, do it! If I notice you are doing it wrong I will tell you...and, trust me, I WILL NOTICE!! So, take your time, do it right, and we will get along fine. Don't worry about your speed at this...it is more important to build a few good speakers than it is to build a whole room full of junk!! Your speed will come in time!"

Sometimes that just never soaked in!!! And my new helper was back building parts!! LOL!

Too bad some of the builders that came along didn't take the same attitude! No tellin how many glue blocks I ripped out and replaced because a helper was learning, and I had to SHOW him the staples were NOT going in straight the way he held his gun, or his glue bead wasn't up to par, etc...but...as long as he paid attention, he had an opportunity to learn to do it the right way...some did, others didn't...but nothing ever left my tables headed for the sanding room unless it met MY standards, plain and simple!! I sure had to listen to alot of whinin from new helpers...and some of them heard alot of bitchin from me, too! LOL!

Sure is funny, though...in seven years there, I never had a single returned cabinet!!...FOR ANY REASON due to my building!! I did see alot of returned cabinets, though...and gave the builders hell for it...even those builders who had more years there than I had!! I would say: "Got another one back, huh?...want me to train ya how to do it right?" An older hand builder would say: "Nope, I know how, just wait til you get one back!" I would say: "Don't hold your breath, I would hate for somebody to collect your life insurance permaturely!" LOL!

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If you want to send a private message, or have already done so, be aware I have not as yet been able to retrieve them. Send e-maill instead, please...just note Klipsch forum in the heading so it doesn't get deleted.

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HDBRbuilder isn't it a shame that all of the standards America was based on have disappeared in the last 50 years? All of the skilled Artisans that served apprenticeships under some hard headed old goat who knew the ropes and it was going to be his way or the highway. That's how I was trained and I wouldn't have it any other way. Unfortunately we live in a throw away society and a population that doesn't recognize quality or even care about it. The real problem is it can't be reversed, the Artisans are gone leaving no one to show how it should be done. I saw this coming 30 years ago and just shook my head in disgust. Liberalism is the worst thing to ever infect America. You couldn't even talk to an employee like you used to in todays world. They would either sic the union on you or the A.C.L.U. I wonder what those people will do when the wheels fall off?

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Gotta agree with you about craftsmanship in today's world...it is pretty much history now...and nobody seems to care...pretty sad. But, for those who DO appreciate fine craftsmanship, it seems only the few with large bankrolls can afford it now! When the demand falls, the supply does too, thereby driving up the price for those who want it!

Just look at the prices of these high-end turntables now...the craftsmanship isn't in the circuitry, or method of drive, or any of the things that makes a good turntable a good one. The technology of turntables has not made appreciable increases since the late 1970's to justify the high costs of today, but rather it is the artistic expression and quality of a machinist's art that drives the price up! High dollar turntables are more an expression of a machinists skill in creating an aesthetically pleasant form than a compilation of advanced technologies to provide a listening experience that makes a 400 dollar turntable of the late 1970's seem archaic in performance! Go Figure! At least a good machinist is making a decent living from them tho!

Look at home construction. What is today's standard in home construction incorporates much of the mobile home technology used in the early 1970's that no self-respecting contractor of that time would ever have put into a new permanent dwelling.

The same can be said for furniture construction. The manufacturers of high dollar quality furniture of the early 1970's are now spitting out veneered particleboard monstrosities and passing them off as quality just because people will pay for the name!

But the few builders of quality furniture left are still making a good living, because a few people with fat enough wallets recognize quality when they see it!

People today don't care how much something costs, they only care if the monthly payment will fit their budget! And when they finally pay it off, they are ready to replace it because they are used to making that payment!

A very strange world, indeed!

ME?...well, let's just say that when I finally get to a place when I can afford some k-horns, I hope I can find some good ones from the mid-1970's or earlier going as cheaply as they are today!! The same for Belles and Cornwalls! Those who like particleboard can have it! LOL! Smile.gif

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If you want to send a private message, or have already done so, be aware I have not as yet been able to retrieve them. Send e-maill instead, please...just note Klipsch forum in the heading so it doesn't get deleted.

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Killer...

yeah, it was forced out of me ...I have this fear of poisoned nibs on a quill loaded with ink!! LOL! Smile.gif

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If you want to send a private message, or have already done so, be aware I have not as yet been able to retrieve them. Send e-maill instead, please...just note Klipsch forum in the heading so it doesn't get deleted.

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