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Dneu2011

Cornwall III Special Edition (need work) - To buy or not?

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Hello, I am a new member and this is my first post. 

 

I have the chance to get some Special Edition Cornwall III’s from a friend. He paid $2000 for them, but the veneer needs some work. The original owner had movers that did an awful job and some of the corners and edges are beat up. Other than that, the speakers look awesome and he has allowed me to bring them home to work on them and have a chance to listen. A few questions I have:

 

-at that price, are they worth it if I can fix them up to look close to original?

 

-what are good methods to fill in the veneer gashes and cracks?

 

I plan to use clamps to push the bowed veneer back in and then wood glue/saw dust to fill in the gaps or match with colored wood putty. I’ve also heard Shellac sticks are an option but can be expensive if I buy the kit to match. 

 

I have ave three amp options to work with - Marantz 2230, Elekit TU-8200 (upgraded), and a Bob Latino VTA-120. 

849874BA-A3A2-423A-9EC2-CAC2132ECA32.jpeg

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@Dneu2011,

 

Welcome to the forum.

 

7 hours ago, Dneu2011 said:

I have the chance to get some Special Edition Cornwall III’s from a friend. He paid $2000 for them, but the veneer needs some work.

You say what your friend paid for them, but how much is he selling them to you is more important.

 

The Cornwall II SEs are currently coming in at over $6000.00/pair so if your friend is willing to let them go to you at say half that amount, +/- $3000.00/pair, I say get them.  Seek much advice in the wood repair department.

 

Bill

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He told me he would take what he paid for them at $2000. I’ve had multiple people tell me that $2000 is way too much for Cornwall’s but I don’t think they realize only 70 of these special edition were made. 

 

If I go for them, I’ll end up selling my lovely Yamaha NS-1000ms, but they are speakers that are very picky with needing a lot of power and don’t sound as good with rock, which is 70% of the music I listen to. 

 

Below is a picture of the worst corner damage, which just needs the wood under the veneer pushed down and then filled in. 

03ED12C6-D11F-4875-AF1E-37759BB695C7.jpeg

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8 minutes ago, Dneu2011 said:

Below is a picture of the worst corner damage, which just needs the wood under the veneer pushed down and then filled in. 

Sorry but this is not wood. It is MDF. You buy these better make sure you are happy with them because the damage will never be fully repairable and you will work hard to find anyone who will pay top $$ for damaged speakers if you decide to sell. What you don't know with shocks like this is what other cabinet damage is there such as popped glue joints.

 All I can say is that this just made the other ones with no damage hold better value and the idea being presented that these are potential collectibles is for top condition ones ONLY. Run do not walk away from these.

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My first thought when looking at the photo is, a quick and "cool" looking repair would be to put metal corner protectors on over the damage.

If you could find them in antique brass, bronze, copper, or black, I'd think that would look attractive and not take a lot of time.

 

If you choose to perform more extensive repairs please post photos as I'd be curious to see the process and results.

 

Reading Dave A's response, which was being posted while I was writing mine, made me think of my Heresy's, which I bought used.

 

I just noticed a little over a year ago that a side panel was coming unglued from a top panel. I don't know whether it was due to age or mishandling, but I merely removed the drivers and flowed Gorilla Glue into the joints, holding it all together with a cheapo fabric band clamp from the hardware store. Worked like a champ.

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Cornwall III's are awesome speakers. New they are about $2000 each ... the special edition ones are much more; think $3000 each :(  They will sound terrific with your Marantz or tube amp :D 

If the"FRONT" corners are 100% I would get them - fix the back ... it will be hard to "see."  If they are bad all the way around it will cost you probably $500 for a new veneer job (if you do it yourself) :(  

You said your friend paid $2000 for them ... did the movers pay him anything for damaging them???

Good luck with your decision!

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These might not have as much value as special editions but I would consider them.  I like the idea of corner protectors otherwise I'd factor the cost of epoxy wood fill and a complete re-veneer job which I would NOT want to do.  

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7 minutes ago, Peter P. said:

My first thought when looking at the photo is, a quick and "cool" looking repair would be to put metal corner protectors on over the damage.

If you could find them in antique brass, bronze, copper, or black, I'd think that would look attractive and not take a lot of time.

 

If you choose to perform more extensive repairs please post photos as I'd be curious to see the process and results.

Limited editions mean only ones in pristine unaltered condition make the $$$ grade. ANY changes harm value and this is how the OP is being talked into these I believe. Believe me after selling dozens of sets of Heritage speakers I can tell you that buyers pick on any cabinet alteration or damage and hammer you to death over them.

 

  If you are buying these just for sound ones in top shape are selling for $2000 to $2300 according to a guy who tracks these things here and have no damage.

12 minutes ago, Peter P. said:

I just noticed a little over a year ago that a side panel was coming unglued from a top panel. I don't know whether it was due to age or mishandling, but I merely removed the drivers and flowed Gorilla Glue into the joints, holding it all together with a cheapo fabric band clamp from the hardware store. Worked like a champ.

Might not be a bad idea to lay these things down corner by corner and flow glue onto them just in case.

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7 minutes ago, Emile said:

You said your friend paid $2000 for them ... did the movers pay him anything for damaging them???

Makes me wonder why he is dumping them.

  • Haha 1

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1 minute ago, Dave A said:

Limited editions mean only ones in pristine unaltered condition make the $$$ grade. ANY changes harm value and this is how the OP is being talked into these I believe. Believe me after selling dozens of sets of Heritage speakers I can tell you that buyers pick on any cabinet alteration or damage and hammer you to death over them.

 

  If you are buying these just for sound ones in top shape are selling for $2000 to $2300 according to a guy who tracks these things here and have no damage.

Might not be a bad idea to lay these things down corner by corner and flow glue onto them just in case.

I'm pretty picky but I'd consider them.  Are the grills in good shape?  Looks like a bit of a mark on the left one. 

Buyers often try to talk you down as much as possible and will come up with any excuse possible.  Screw 'em!  They can go elsewhere unless you are desperate or just don't want to mess with them anymore.  

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Experience is a good teacher and I guess there is one way to find out who is right.

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Grills are in good shape. One just needs a cleaning. My friend owns an audio shop and he bought these speakers for $2k from someone selling also him some other gear. He had them stored in a corner for a few months and they were just taking up space. I’ve re-veneered two sets of speakers including Heresy’s, but these Cornwall’s are so big it would be expensive to use any exotic veneer. I think my best plan of action would be to add glue to the inside joints as a precaution and fix the outside damage with the wood glue/sawdust or wood filler. 

 

One speaker doesn't have any veneer damage with the exception of a scratch on one side. The other has all the damage. 

 

The below pic will require me to use clamps and wood glue to re-join the joint. 

DD7C2EB6-925B-4809-AD25-1691B138340D.jpeg

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That is a little worse than I imagined.   That makes me hesitate more but you might be able to close that up.  

 

20 minutes ago, Dave A said:

Experience is a good teacher and I guess there is one way to find out who is right.

I don't consider you wrong and I'm right... I'm just giving some things to think about and a person can decide for themselves what is right for them.  How often are used Cornwall III's available in his area?  I don't often care about resale because I just almost never let anything go.  By the time I do if I lose a couple hundred that is a pretty fair trade for 10 years of use.   I've bought dinged speakers and kept them that way and I've also repaired and installed new veneer which is a lot of fun for me.  I agree that most people would want Special Edition to be in excellent and original condition.  Your veneer job would have to nicer than the original which could be difficult.  I always have at least one flaw somewhere.  

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Maybe you can pinch bits of veneer from a riser to do the repairs.

Where one can carefully cut out the damaged veneer, build up the MDF damage with filler, then patch the damaged veneer with the bits from the riser.

It's a thought...

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I’m in Houston. Cornwall’s rarely show up and if they do, they range from $1200-$2200 for Is and IIs. 

 

I’ve yet to see any III’s pop up here. 

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1 hour ago, Dneu2011 said:

I’ve had multiple people tell me that $2000 is way too much for Cornwall’s

Yeah, Cornwall 1s but we are talking 3s here.

 

For $2000.00, I would not hesitate to get them.  So you put a couple of hundred back into them to make them look pristine.  You will have one fine pair of speakers that could last a lifetime with a little refreshing every 2 decades.  

 

Bill

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Just a quick update, I had some credit on Amazon and found a $30 Shellac Stick kit I was able to get for just $3 out of pocket. The reviews seemed good and they have a medium brown Walnut. I’m going to give the kit a try instead of the glue and sawdust. I think I can get a closer match with the Shellac sticks. 

 

Ill be trying it out this weekend. 

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Wondering if this was a pair of CW III that was offered by Adorama?  Hence the very low pricing.....

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On 5/27/2019 at 11:28 AM, Dave A said:

Makes me wonder why he is dumping them.

I would think they were dropped on the corner, I don't remember ever hearing of cabinets separating like that. Except for that model they had a long time ago maby the CF line?

 

Not the dent but where it looks like the boards separated made me think drop, but fixable if for the right price.

 

I saw a Forte 3 like that dropped during shipping, if insurance paid off someone may have bought the damaged one at a really good price? It's happened before.

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Go for it, particularly if you're able to hear them before buying to confirm nothing was knocked loose inside.  ..I would consider that to be highly unlikely.

 

$2000 for cosmetically damaged CW III's seems like a good deal.  ..And though you might not be able to make the damage invisible, I'm betting you'll be able to greatly improve it.

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