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I'm new here on the forum and live in the Netherlands.

I'm going to build a pair of Cornscala/Klonwall's and want to buy an tube-amplifier which should match good with them.

I was told that the Klipsch has an 'aggressive' sound that needs a 'warm' sounding amplifier.

Has anybody experience with one of my shortlist or any other suggestions? Budget about 2k.


Quad VA-one

Cayin A88T MK2 Selection with K88

Synthesis A50T(second hand)

Unison Research Simply Italy


I mostly listen to Tom Waits/ Pink Floyd/ Bowie a.s.o.


thx! Ron

Edited by Ronbeo
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As you say, Klipsch may have an aggressive sound but since you are building your speakers, you can voice them how you want and use whatever amplifier (usually helpful to have when you are voicing along with the room they will be placed in) to tighten up their sound to your liking.  Use the amp with the attributes you like the best and go from there.


I myself know that I will be using several smaller woofers which means that I will need a lot of current to drive them in a big room for satisfactory tight extended bass.  I assemble the system as such with something that can push the woofers the way I would like and provide liquid midrange.  


The nice part of building it yourself is that you voice the system, not just the speaker, in surroundings that will matter to you.


If I were to do tubes again, the Cayin always had my eye.  Don't discount solid state since you have the right to voice your speakers less aggressive.  They aren't Klipsch, they are yours.

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Depends on your priorities in sound and if you are building speakers.  If you are pushing the impedance low, particularly in the bass and like tight extended bass, Pink Floyd, I would do SS.  If you are going to keep the impedance up higher and very flat, tubes will likely do you in that price range.

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I once used a Jolida 102 integrated tube amp (20 watts x 2) for my Chorus II's, the room they were in was fairly small and it sounded excellent. That little Jolida sure surprised the heck out of me with its rock solid bass, sparkling highs and just good overall sound. It also went fairly loud, louder than most reasonable people should listen to music for any length of time anyway.


But then I moved and had a much larger room for my stereo and the house was older with wood panel walls. That same little Jolida that I had really come to enjoy just fell on its face. Everything in my stereo system was exactly the same, only the room had changed. The Jolida suddenly became sub-par-- had that been my only experience with that unit I'd have just wrote it off as a piece of junk crappy piece of audio equipment but its not and I'm glad I got to hear what its capable of in the right circumstances.


I guess my point would be that there is several factors that come into play when choosing audio equipment. Your room is one of them, not only shear size but the acoustic properties as well. A good tube product can sound just as good or better than a solid state device but there are plenty of excellent solid state devices out there too.


Generally I'd have to say if you're trying to fill large spaces with full, loud sound your money will go further with solid state. If you're trying to achieve good sound at close, near field listening positions at low to moderate volumes tubes may be the right choice for you. Tube preamps with solid state amps is a nice, middle of the road approach, especially for people who really want lots of power for either hard to drive speakers or reaching high levels of output while still having the "warmth" of tubes.


Really about the best way to find what works for you is to try different things and see which you prefer. Anyway, good luck to you and please post pictures of your build if you'd be so kind.

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How large is that room?


My speakers are in a 24' x 24' x 9' room with an opening wall to a gallery / kitchen living area.  Fairly good size room to move air in.  

Now a 60watt tube amp will do but again, depends how you like your sound and if you have the drive in particular areas, such as bass, that is satisfactory to you.

I know my Pioneer SC-1222 with 100+ watts doesn't have the drive of my Bel Canto REF 1000s when turned up.

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My Cornscala "D's" found a place in my home on Monday.  The First ones here in Sunny South Africa.

A long time in coming but well worth it.  These speakers were a bit aggressive on the tops at first but after running them for about 50 hours all traces of aggressiveness has disappeared. 

They sound absolutely great.  I also have Vandersteen 2CE Signatures, and the sound signature of the Cornscalas is in the same ball park as the Vandersteens ; open, not boxy image like hell, clear and musical.

The Cornscalas are faster more dynamic and have deeper bass than the Vandersteen's which according to spec go down to 32 Hz, with the same if not better mid range to die for. The tops are now sweet (after running in) the detail and extension is better than the Vandies, which are inclined to roll of on top.  These Cornscallas do not need a sub it will spoil it big time.  The bass is deep detailed and does not intrude past the mid bass into the upper mid's as a lot of speakers seem to do.

I did depart from spec in these respects ; used 1 inch Norwegian Birch ply instead of  3/4 inch. Changed the way the port was done it is now not cut out of the front baffle but done as a separate piece. We also shortened the port. Used a Fiatal Pro HF 400 15 inch driver instead of the Crites driver. Used the Crites crossovers, they needed no fiddling sounded just perfect on the first listen

They are super sensitive.


Amps:  Have tried them on a number of amps first being a home built 150w sold state. then a vintage  Kenwood KA-7100 integrated 60w pc  Sounded good.  But both lacked the clarity and open mid range of the valve amps. Plus the usual Solid state glare was evident, to which I am very sensitive to.

Next a Line Magnetic 211IA EL 34 integrated 32w ultra linear 12w triode in ultra linear the bass is a bit leaner -  in triode they rock, I would say perfect except for this ; I then hooked them up to my Audio Research SP 16 Pre with Opera Consonance Cyber 800 6 CA7 Mono Blocks 78 w each.  This is a match made in heaven they are sweet musical and oh so smooth. (if I had not heard them on this set up up I would have been perfectly happy.) 

I then tried a cheap Chinese Meng Mini 6P1 ( have had the boards cleaned, tidied up the soldering, put in some better resistors, some better coupling caps,  hard wired the volume pot, and adjusted the hum pots) ;  sounded great if you had not heard the Line Magnetic or the Operas you would still be happy.

Have played all sorts of music on them Classical, Opera, Rock, MP3's, 80's synth pop, Modern Loudness Mash they handle everything with ease they sound good even on bad recordings which is great.

They are parked in the corners or an 8 x 3 1/2 meter well dampened room.

Which is great, as the Vandersteen's like to be well out in the room.

They are not position fussy or dependent. 


They are not amp fussy and will give you more than you want on any half decent amp.

I personally prefer the sound of valve amps, any one of your amp choices will not disappoint you.


I cannot go past 9.15 on the volume setting on the Line Magnetic or the Meng with blowing the roof off. On the Operas 5 clicks on the volume button on the Pre is enough to have the Cops paying a visit.  So they do not need power, like it perhaps, the Operas being a case in point but this need not always apply. 78w is an overkill.


At the end of this month I am hoping to get a home demo on some Ming-Da SET amps, as the local distributor stays close and is a familiar acquaintance of mine.

Will report back on that experience. 


Some pictures on the link below.




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1 hour ago, oros said:

My Cornscala "D's" found a place in my home on Monday.  The First ones here in Sunny South Africa.

A long time in coming but well worth it.  These speakers were a bit aggressive on the tops at first but after running them for about 50 hours all traces of aggressiveness has disappeared.


(respectful Snip! just wanted to reference the post)


I think you might be our only member from South Africa.  Welcome.


Very nice write up.  Thanks for taking the time to share.



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Everybody thanks for your inputs!

I think I go for the Cayin A88T Mk2.

And the review of Boris of his Cornscala's has decide me to build the same Cornscala's with his specs.


Pictures will follow as soon as the speakers are ready.



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