ODS123 Posted November 15, 2017 Share Posted November 15, 2017 (edited) I purchased these new on 10/30/17 and they are are fantastic! My last three speakers these past 15 yrs have been PSB Stratus Minis, Vandersteen 3A Sigs, and Paradigm S8 v2’s. Though I loved each, I enjoyed none of them as much as I do my Cornwall III’s. I feel kinda stupid for not giving horns a chance before now. I pretty much accepted, without hearing for myself, the claims that horns sound shouty and harsh. This couldn’t be further from the truth as far as the Cornwalls go; there is nothing bright or forward about them. To summarize some pros, cons: Pros Transparency & dynamics: They have Incredibly lifelike sound at ANY volume from a whisper to a hair raising holler. And though they sound clean and undistorted at ear-bleed volumes, it’s how they sound at quiet levels that most surprises me. More than any speaker I've owned, I feel like I'm "right there" w/ the performance. Build quality. The fit and finish is beautiful; the wood veneer is flawless and the grill cloth has a super cool feel - like something from a Marshall guitar amplifier. At first I thought the grills weren’t removable but they are - they’re held in place with 6 small, but powerful, earth magnets. Efficiency: I guess this is pretty well known. Anyway, I first powered the Cornwalls with a 50w Arcam integrated amp that I borrowed while my McIntosh MA6600 (200w/ch) was being repaired. At 50% volume the modest Arcam drove the speakers to shockingly loud levels without a hint of strain or distortion. The sound was perfectly smooth, clear, and effortless. To play this loud I assumed the little Arcam must have been pumping out nearly all of it’s 50 watts. Yet, to my surprise when I got my Mac MA6600 back - which features wattage meters - I found this wall-shaking volume was barely 10 watts!! Again, this is CRAZY loud - like loud enough to attract police and cause hearing damage. So you don’t need an exotic, pricey amp to drive these - any high quality NAD, Rotel or other quality moderately-powered amp will suffice. By the way, my usual listening volume, which most people would argue is still too loud, is barely 2 watts! Bass: Very tight and effortless bass. I thought the big 15” woofer would sound muddy compared to the (3) 6” woofers of the Paradigm’s, but not so. ..The bass is well-defined and deep at ANY volume. Cons: Size: There’s no getting around the fact that they are massive, hard to move around, and very boxy looking. Obviously, you’ll need a big room and a spouse/partner who is willing to put music ahead of aesthetics. Personally, I very much dig their retro look. Among family & friends it seems the millennials dig their bad-*** size and throw-back appearance, while the older crowd preferred the sleek, furniture-like appearance of the S8’s. Imaging: While the Cornwalls do a solid job of placing the instruments within the stereo soundstage, I would not say this is a relative strength. Maybe it’s the way the horns disperse sound, or maybe it’s just that I haven’t spent enough time experimenting with placement. Whatever the reason, I have had speakers that do this better. Personally, I feel imaging is a bit over-rated anyway. Yes, it’s cool hearing instruments floating in air, but it doesn’t really correlate with how much I “feel” and dig the music. I’ve heard speakers that image beautifully that I otherwise did not enjoy. Cabinet bracing (is this really a Con?): The first thing I do when I checking out speakers is knock on the cabinet to gauge how hollow the speaker sounds. I always thought this helps predict whether the cabinet will resonate while playing music. Well, the Cornwall III’s indeed sound a bit hollow when you rap on them, but they don’t resonate at ANY volume. No matter what kind of music or test tones I played, I could not detect any blurring or buzzing from the cabinets. So I guess this isn’t a con at all. Perhaps Klipsch feels these that since these already weigh 100lb ea. why needlessly increase their weight. Again, after years of owning many great loudspeakers, I have never enjoyed a pair as much as these. If you have the room for them, you will love them! Edited November 15, 2017 by ODS123 typos; 8 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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