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Sunnysideup

Need advice to wring the bass out of Cornwall III

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2 hours ago, wuzzzer said:

 

He wants more bass.  Getting them off the floor will do the exact opposite. 

acknowledged

just for the sake of "all things being equal" and sometimes a counter-intuitive move will lead to a solution.

I have had occasions where the object of my affection did not read the theory manual.

 

Are these speakers new or used?

If used, why were they sold? If it was the same problem, you might look at the internals of them.

Is the bass present but being overwhelmed?

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15 hours ago, Sunnysideup said:

I have a set of Cornwall III which is supposed to have amazing bass. On jazz tracks, there is sufficient body to the low notes, but I can’t feel the kick of the woofer when I play rock. I have tried using an equalizer (4 band) to raise the lower freq, but it sound bloated. They are currently powered by a 9W 300B SET amp

Thank you in advance! :)

there is no substitute for high power , a Cornwall has to be fed  power to kick , but again the best speakers for heavy Bass is the Chorus II, 

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Which tap are you using for the CW IIIs?  I think you should be using 4 ohms to match the  woofer.

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I tried using a separate SS amp for the woofer, but playing the full freq through the woofer muddied my mids and highs, more so when I crank it up. May need a filter for the low end only. 

 

I see the consensus here on a more powerful amp to work the woofer. I will share the ‘unfortunate’ news with my wife.
 

2 hours ago, JohnA said:

Which tap are you using for the CW IIIs?  I think you should be using 4 ohms to match the  woofer.

This is interesting. I’m on the 8/16 ohm. Will try the 4-6 ohm option instead. Thank you. 

Edited by Sunnysideup
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4 hours ago, Sunnysideup said:

I tried using a separate SS amp for the woofer, but playing the full freq through the woofer muddied my mids and highs, more so when I crank it up. May need a filter for the low end only. 

 

I see the consensus here on a more powerful amp to work the woofer. I will share the ‘unfortunate’ news with my wife.
 

This is interesting. I’m on the 8/16 ohm. Will try the 4-6 ohm option instead. Thank you. 

It doesn't play full power through the woofer.  The problem is that you have not balanced the gain between the two amps to be able to have the woofer output equal the mid/treble output.

You still have the crossover in place so there is no "full frequency" through the woofer.

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Something's amiss which more / different amplification isn't going to fix.  If you want to spend more on that anyway it's a separate issue.  With your speakers where they are in the photo, pulling them away from the wall and / or raising them will only lessen the bass output - in direct proportion to the distances involved, with the most being produced with their backs flat against the wall, on the floor.  But even as they are shown, there should be no way in hell those little speakers on the left are producing more bass.  More, perhaps, in relation to the highs being produced by each set, but that, too, is a separate issue.  In terms of bass driver size alone it would take 3 or 4 of those little guys to equal just one of the Cornwalls.  That's just physics as we know it.

 

As I alluded to earlier, I suspect one of the woofers is wired incorrectly and the two speakers are cancelling each other's bass.  At least it's a (perhaps the) simple(st) test to perform: merely invert the polarity to one of the speakers.  Even easier yet, play a mono signal and rotate the balance control back and forth.  Does the bass increase or decrease with the knob in the middle?

 

5 hours ago, Sunnysideup said:

I tried using a separate SS amp for the woofer, but playing the full freq through the woofer muddied my mids and highs, more so when I crank it up. May need a filter for the low end only.

 

I'm confused, didn't you say they were Cornwall IIIs?  Don't they have separate inputs (normally tied together) for the lows and highs?  If so, then you don't need to do anything when "bi-amping" beyond matching the gains of the amps so as to maintain tonal balance.  The internal filters are all used in all cases so long as you're connecting only from the factory inputs in whichever configuration.

 

First things first is to ensure both woofers are wired in phase.  The absolute best test of that is to place the speakers right up against each other front-to-front and try both combinations of connections with the same signal driving both speakers together.  It'll be obvious which connection scheme is correct.  But that'll be a chore with those...

 

When you've ensured the woofers are truly in phase, report back and we can take it from there.

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On 2/21/2020 at 4:58 AM, Sunnysideup said:

I have a set of Cornwall III which is supposed to have amazing bass. On jazz tracks, there is sufficient body to the low notes, but I can’t feel the kick of the woofer when I play rock. I have tried using an equalizer (4 band) to raise the lower freq, but it sound bloated. They are currently powered by a 9W 300B SET amp.


My speakers are back against a partition wall (not solid), left side is in a corner while the right is next to a bookshelf (does that qualify as a false corner?).

 

Need your kind advice on how I can get my speakers to kick like a mule. 

 

Do I...

1) Get an amp with more than 9W. Perhaps a Benchmark AHB2 or Parasound JC5?

 

2) Get a subwoofer.

 

3) Convert the Cornwall to 2 way active and Use a DEQX to bi-amp and EQ at the same time. 
 

Thank you in advance! :)

 

There is a lot of good info in the other replies here already. I too have CW3s. My observations are 9 watts will never get em "to kick like a mule". Just isn't gonna happen, not enough damping or amp reserves. As others have stated your individual room dynamics play a huge part in this equation too. I'd advise you to purchase a good sealed sub to get the kick you desire. I use a single SVS SB-3000 but for 98% of my music i do not employ the sub at all. For action movies yes, or an occasional bass heavy song......yes. Delicate acoustic music and/or vocals just doesn't benefit from the sub whatsoever, the corns are perfectly adequate for this. I drive my corns with a Yamaha avr or a McIntosh MC-150 amp.

 

You want some serious LF slam.....get a good sub or two. Even if you drive your CW hard with authoritative clean power to get some slam, the LF% distortion goes up in a big way too. I really like my CW3 but you have to respect their limits. Yes they have 15" LF transducers, but they are not pro drivers. Nor did PWK originally design them with hip hop or disco music in mind (did not exist) :) Every loudspeaker has limits, just depends on your expectations.

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2 hours ago, polizzio said:

 

There is a lot of good info in the other replies here already. I too have CW3s. My observations are 9 watts will never get em "to kick like a mule". Just isn't gonna happen, not enough damping or amp reserves. As others have stated your individual room dynamics play a huge part in this equation too. I'd advise you to purchase a good sealed sub to get the kick you desire. I use a single SVS SB-3000 but for 98% of my music i do not employ the sub at all. For action movies yes, or an occasional bass heavy song......yes. Delicate acoustic music and/or vocals just doesn't benefit from the sub whatsoever, the corns are perfectly adequate for this. I drive my corns with a Yamaha avr or a McIntosh MC-150 amp.

 

You want some serious LF slam.....get a good sub or two. Even if you drive your CW hard with authoritative clean power to get some slam, the LF% distortion goes up in a big way too. I really like my CW3 but you have to respect their limits. Yes they have 15" LF transducers, but they are not pro drivers. Nor did PWK originally design them with hip hop or disco music in mind (did not exist) :) Every loudspeaker has limits, just depends on your expectations.

I did audition them before i bought them, but the demo pair wasn't tucked in a corner, but i got them anyway thinking "that 15 inch woofer must kick butt". I was really considering a sub woofer to solve my bass issue, but the living room is already planned out and I cannot move things around without throwing furniture away. Even if I did switch to a smaller AV rack to accomodate the sub, it may not be optimally positioned and does not match the aesthetics of my speakers.

 

4 hours ago, glens said:

Something's amiss which more / different amplification isn't going to fix.  If you want to spend more on that anyway it's a separate issue.  With your speakers where they are in the photo, pulling them away from the wall and / or raising them will only lessen the bass output - in direct proportion to the distances involved, with the most being produced with their backs flat against the wall, on the floor.  But even as they are shown, there should be no way in hell those little speakers on the left are producing more bass.  More, perhaps, in relation to the highs being produced by each set, but that, too, is a separate issue.  In terms of bass driver size alone it would take 3 or 4 of those little guys to equal just one of the Cornwalls.  That's just physics as we know it.

 

As I alluded to earlier, I suspect one of the woofers is wired incorrectly and the two speakers are cancelling each other's bass.  At least it's a (perhaps the) simple(st) test to perform: merely invert the polarity to one of the speakers.  Even easier yet, play a mono signal and rotate the balance control back and forth.  Does the bass increase or decrease with the knob in the middle?

 

 

I'm confused, didn't you say they were Cornwall IIIs?  Don't they have separate inputs (normally tied together) for the lows and highs?  If so, then you don't need to do anything when "bi-amping" beyond matching the gains of the amps so as to maintain tonal balance.  The internal filters are all used in all cases so long as you're connecting only from the factory inputs in whichever configuration.

 

First things first is to ensure both woofers are wired in phase.  The absolute best test of that is to place the speakers right up against each other front-to-front and try both combinations of connections with the same signal driving both speakers together.  It'll be obvious which connection scheme is correct.  But that'll be a chore with those...

 

When you've ensured the woofers are truly in phase, report back and we can take it from there.

@glens @pzannucci Apologies for the confusion as my testing method was incorrect. There was no significant gain in bass kick when i attempted balancing the volume of both amps. So i turned it up a little for the woofer to be slightly louder, yet it muffles my mids and high. I will try inverting the polarity one of these days to confirm the wiring of the speaker. No further comment on the JBL's bass. It just sounded more tight and satisfying to me. Maybe you are right about the proportion of bass to high/mid. I can't explain it and that is not the topic.

 

@JohnA I don't fully understand the sorcery behind the 4 ohm trick yet (I will read up more), but it seem to make the woofer kick better with existing equipment! Other observation would be the highs and mids came forward a little, but sound stage depth seemed reduced slightly. Decent trade off i would say.

 

I sincerely thank everyone's feedback to help me resolve the issue. Some threads in the technical modification sections got me excited to try opening up the boxes, but happy for now. Will still experiment to up the sound quality of my set. :) 

Edited by Sunnysideup

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The bass that's lacking at your listening position... Does it exist elsewhere in other areas of the room if you get up and walk around?

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@Sunnysideup I just want to mention my SB-3000 is pretty small (16x15x18" with the metal grill installed) and you can hide it behind a recliner. Where I have it now because the corns are huge compared to my former RP-280s (width). SVS has their own app, settings and adjust via ur phone, or the rear digital panel. Depends on ur room but mine is my open LR, approx 16x30', and that sub rocks big time with a concert blu ray or movie. A Star is Born concert scenes......you think you were there front row in my LR. After I have to re-adjust wall pictures and things. The corns, surround sound, and the SVS sub are a formitable blu ray team.

And I wanted to mention you can order from SVS and they give you 45 days to try "in home". You don't like or not satisfied, re-box it up and it costs you zero. SVS picks up the return shipping too. You just cannot beat that experiment. I returned a SB-2000......no problem/full refund. Oh and svs has a 5 year cover everything warranty.

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16 hours ago, polizzio said:

@Sunnysideup I just want to mention my SB-3000 is pretty small (16x15x18" with the metal grill installed) and you can hide it behind a recliner. Where I have it now because the corns are huge compared to my former RP-280s (width). SVS has their own app, settings and adjust via ur phone, or the rear digital panel. Depends on ur room but mine is my open LR, approx 16x30', and that sub rocks big time with a concert blu ray or movie. A Star is Born concert scenes......you think you were there front row in my LR. After I have to re-adjust wall pictures and things. The corns, surround sound, and the SVS sub are a formitable blu ray team.

And I wanted to mention you can order from SVS and they give you 45 days to try "in home". You don't like or not satisfied, re-box it up and it costs you zero. SVS picks up the return shipping too. You just cannot beat that experiment. I returned a SB-2000......no problem/full refund. Oh and svs has a 5 year cover everything warranty.

I should check with my local dealer if the 45 days trial is applicable as I’m not in America. Will keep the sub woofer option open. My living room space is really tight. Buying a sub woofer will also mean additional cost to downsize some furniture. 
 

Many times I came home from the cinema, The opening/ending song just felt like bottom end was missing. The sub may be the answer to it. Using the 4 ohm tap tightened up the bass Of my CW3. I can live with it now but it would be really nice if I can squeeze a little more sub bass. 
 

While we are at this, SVS recommends SB16 Ultra for the CW3. How’s the synergy between CW3 and SB-3000?

 

18 hours ago, EdmundGTP said:

The bass that's lacking at your listening position... Does it exist elsewhere in other areas of the room if you get up and walk around?

My chair is positioned with tweeter at my ear level. The bass gets stronger the moment I stand up. Deep bass everywhere else in my house except at my listening position.

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One reason the JBL's may appear to outperform the Cornwalls in the bass is, the JBL's are positioned across the short dimension of the room-at least it appears that way.

 

The bass pressure wave will have retained more of its energy when it reaches the opposite wall, giving the bass more impact.

 

Reversing the wiring to the speaker, and checking the polarity of the woofer wiring, were both good suggestions.

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Those Corns should stomp all over those jbl's.  I bet polarity is wrong.....jumper tabs on inputs are loose….someone may have messed with internal wiring....hook a 70s HK 430,,,630 ...730 to them...….put furniture grippers on bottom of the Corns.....9 watts is low but should be better with more.....check all of the above first. 

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Those Corns should stomp all over those jbl's.  I bet polarity is wrong.....jumper tabs on inputs are loose….someone may have messed with internal wiring....hook a 70s HK 430,,,630 ...730 to them...….put furniture grippers on bottom of the Corns.....9 watts is low but should be better with more.....check all of the above first. 

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4 hours ago, Sunnysideup said:

While we are at this, SVS recommends SB16 Ultra for the CW3. How’s the synergy between CW3 and SB-3000?

 

 

Ok, you are located outside of the US, got it. I have no experience with the SB16 Ultra but that is their top of the line sub as far as shear output. It would depend on other factors like room size and your expectations but to me for a guy looking to augument his CW3 bass, I def don't think you need to start out there. That is their top of the line unit capable of massive output, just my opinion. The SB-3000 puts out quite a bit of accurate non-bloated bass output. With your system, non-AVR bass management, you prob would be best served running the sub with ur corns full range, and choose a low pass setting and sub volume level within the svs settings on the rear of the unit, or via their phone app. The app is the easiest way, via bluetooth. 

 

Or you can use the svs internal amp settings/app and rca in and out terminals to choose a crossover point for the corns to sub. Another words, not double bass, HP from your chosen crossover point to the corns, and low pass below to the sub. You current amp/pre amp or receiver would have to have pre outs and main in rca jacks for this operation. You could chose a crossover point from 30 to 200hz, and also choose a LP slope. 6, 12, 18, or 24 db slopes. I am consulting my owner's manual for this info, I don't know it by memory.

 

I hope I have made myself fairly clear here. If not you can access the SB-3000 owners manual (or any svs sub owners manual for that fact) from the svs website and read for yourself. Or I can post my owners manual pdf file here if need be (request). Running the sub (and choose a sub LP point) with ur corns full range would be my first trial, and see how that works out for you.

 

The SVS website has a lot of tools and articles on subs, implementation, and their general recommendations too. I'm guessing  you may have tapped into this already but wanted to mention it.

 

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5 hours ago, Sunnysideup said:

 

 

My chair is positioned with tweeter at my ear level. The bass gets stronger the moment I stand up. Deep bass everywhere else in my house except at my listening position.

 

You're sitting in a null. Most likely a vertical room mode, and perhaps even close to or within a Length mode and/or width mode.   The fact that the bass returns when you stand up is telling; you're getting vertical cancellations at ear height, along with possibly other horizontal cancellations at your listening spot. That's why your bass is sounding anemic with those Cornwalls. That may also be why the lack of bass is less noticeable with the JBL's.  When you're listening to those, the bass driver for them is at a different height, and the vertical room mode is probably less of a factor.  Contrary to popular notion, It's POSSIBLE, that raising up your cornwalls a couple feet MIGHT actually improve bass at your listening position. 

 

Unless you have an absolutely perfect room, and your main speakers are highly-capable, it's my opinion that you really can't rely on JUST 2 mains to get ideal/flat bass response.

What typically happens is exactly what you're describing.  The optimum placement for stereo imaging, results in poor placement for the bass drivers to interact with the room (and your listening position), and since all frequencies are coming out of those same 2 boxes, you can't move the bass producing drivers to the locations that work BEST with your room and listening spot.  

 

Enter the benefit of subwoofers. The ability to place them wherever they work best in nearly any listening arrangement (within WAF limits, of course).

 

One option is to try rearranging your stereo listening configuration (Listening position and speaker placement) to different areas of the room (if possible), or a different room all together. Try shifting your listening position a few feet forward or a few feet back (again, if possible). Try turning your entire listening arrangement 90 degrees in that end of the room.  You'd have to experiment, by ear, until you've managed to shift your listening spot out of the null.  Not particularly easy.

 

2 decently capable 10 or 12 inch subs, placed properly, aligned, and EQ'd would likely do absolute wonders for what kind of sounds you can experience. I say 2, because again,  the ability to place, align, and EQ 2 subs is guaranteed to get you better (flatter) response than just one larger one.  You can't fight room modes with size. You fight them with quantity and placement and/or the use of bass traps. This is especially relevant for non-ideal listening rooms. 

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On 2/21/2020 at 3:49 PM, Sunnysideup said:

Speakers are 11 inches from the wall and toed in, spaced 2.5m apart. Ceiling is about 2.8m. No rug. If it matters, there’s a sofa in between and nothing in front of them.
 

The JBL along the other wall, puts out more impressive bass response IMO despite a 5.25” woofer. That’s a solid concrete wall behind though, but it is too short for me to place the Cornwalls there. Baffles me how the K33E can’t outdo them. I must have done something wrong. 
 

@mustang_flht @pzannucci
I will try connecting the Akitika which is a 60W class A/B to the woofer tomorrow, but I read bi-amping with passive crossover doesn’t reap any sonic benefits. Or did I misinterpreted?

F93BA728-5BEE-4459-B432-82F739F07C52.jpeg

I wonder if that big sofa just between the speakers isn't "eating up" a portion of the bass/low mids???

 

Also a 8 watts SET amp is maybe not the most appropriate to "kick" hard with rock.

Try class D, minimum 30 watts.

Edited by Rolox

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In addition to the previous advice. You can do a simple test, you need 2 small wires and an AA or AAA battery just 1.5V, for me no need to take 9V because too powerful:

 

1- disconnect a CWIII speaker, remove the straps,

2 - put a small wire on the + of the Bass LF terminal block, then put a small wire on the - Bass LF terminal blocks,

3- connect the wire - to - of the battery, then put in contact for 1 or 2 seconds the wire + on the + of the battery = the K33E woofer must move forward.

 

 

Do the same test on the other CWIII: If the 2 K33E woofers move forward = your K33E are correctly connected internally, everything is fine and your bass problem is elsewhere.

 

If one of the two backs up or if it does not move: then there is probably a problem, you must dismantle the offending K33E and replace the terminals correctly.

 

 

 

See Videos

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Yes agree more watts but I would start to move them your from wall 12" at a time, try using golden ratio, you will ultimately find the sweet spot, less boom more kick! The room does play the biggest part in setting up any speaker, especially those big boys!

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On 2/23/2020 at 6:45 AM, ricktate said:

I bet polarity is wrong.....jumper tabs on inputs are loose….someone may have messed with internal wiring....hook a 70s HK 430,,,630 ...730 to them...….

Something is definitely wrong, I would guess phase or loose connection on the jumpers, or a null. Maybe WPC even ?

 

Cornwall 3 with HK930 here and NO shortage of bass at all, any more and I would say to much bass with the room they are in. 

 

.

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