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f0rge

1977 Cornwall Decorators with factory grilles?

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I recently picked up these Cornwalls, code CD-BR, from the original owner who purchased them in 1981 (I have the original bill of sale).  He claims he's never modded or opened the cabinets or even taken off the grilles and I believe him. 

 

The odd thing is that these Decorators have grills and a bevelled edge (quarter round) on the front of the speakers, was this common?  I must admit when I took off the grilles I was not expecting a finished motorboard and another badge underneath.  

 

Secondly, considering they've never even been opened, what service or updates would be recommended?  I wager I'll need to get some new crossovers at the very least, but what else?  

 

Any insight you could share would be great.

 

Here are some pics:  

pUSIf6n.jpg

 

uuHK9Ly.jpg

 

PMZJR4v.jpg

 

EM5Hzeb.jpg

 

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There is no special notation in the logbook.  If they have a clear finish, it is EXTREMELY likely that it was done after shipping.  That would also suggest that the quarter round was added at that time.  You'll note that the velcro placement avoided the logo.  This suggests that they were added later.  I don't want to call anyone a liar, but there is no evidence that they left the factory with grills.  

There have been a few decorators leave the factory with grills, but this one shows no sign of it.

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On 3/3/2020 at 8:59 AM, f0rge said:

I recently picked up these Cornwalls, code CD-BR, from the original owner who purchased them in 1981 (I have the original bill of sale). 

 

 

these are not  1981 , they are older , you can see it , by the Lazer badges and the woofers  , 1977 may be  quite  correct --------and yes , there are 2 sets of badges with is fantastic , these badges are not cheap , and your badges are in excellent shape

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grilles are in great shape ----------------good looking cabs - great shape overall -

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Shipped 5/2/1977 to Canada.

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I'm in Canada so that makes sense, 1977 also makes sense based on the date codes.  Bill of sale from National Sound in Etobicoke is from 1981, seems as if they sat for 5 years without being sold or maybe they were store demos.   

 

Hard to say if they were cleared, they feel smoother than raw birch should but not paint smooth.  

 

I'm going to have to crack them open and take a closer look this weekend.

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4 hours ago, f0rge said:

I'm in Canada so that makes sense, 1977 also makes sense based on the date codes.  Bill of sale from National Sound in Etobicoke is from 1981, seems as if they sat for 5 years without being sold or maybe they were store demos.   

 

Hard to say if they were cleared, they feel smoother than raw birch should but not paint smooth.  

 

I'm going to have to crack them open and take a closer look this weekend.

Decorators were cheaper , but they did not sell, very well , and sometimes , just to sell them , they had to add grilles and wood to make them look like regular Cornwalls , I think Decorators look great without grilles

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7 hours ago, Randyh said:

Decorators were cheaper , but they did not sell, very well , and sometimes , just to sell them , they had to add grilles and wood to make them look like regular Cornwalls , I think Decorators look great without grilles

 

I could see that, they're not for everyone - especially if you have kids.  Looking through some older posts on this forum I've seen a couple of other Cornwalls with the exact same trim and grills as mine.  Could it have been a kit?

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congrats on your speakers

another regret of mine, this one from 76 is  stunning next to a 73 vertical

i would say the previous owner of your set sanded them down because after all these years the wood turns yellow. yours look more white

 

 

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On 3/4/2020 at 10:24 AM, JRH said:

There is no special notation in the logbook.  If they have a clear finish, it is EXTREMELY likely that it was done after shipping.  That would also suggest that the quarter round was added at that time.  You'll note that the velcro placement avoided the logo.  This suggests that they were added later.  I don't want to call anyone a liar, but there is no evidence that they left the factory with grills.  

There have been a few decorators leave the factory with grills, but this one shows no sign of it.

Good call, Jim!

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On 3/3/2020 at 7:59 AM, f0rge said:

I recently picked up these Cornwalls, code CD-BR, from the original owner who purchased them in 1981 (I have the original bill of sale).  He claims he's never modded or opened the cabinets or even taken off the grilles and I believe him. 

 

The odd thing is that these Decorators have grills and a bevelled edge (quarter round) on the front of the speakers, was this common?  I must admit when I took off the grilles I was not expecting a finished motorboard and another badge underneath.  

 

Secondly, considering they've never even been opened, what service or updates would be recommended?  I wager I'll need to get some new crossovers at the very least, but what else?  

 

Any insight you could share would be great.

 

Here are some pics:  

pUSIf6n.jpg

 

uuHK9Ly.jpg

 

PMZJR4v.jpg

 

EM5Hzeb.jpg

 

Those CDBR speakers left the plant without grilles added, but somebody most likely ordered a kit to install the grilles after they were shipped. The ones which left the factory in 1977 DID NOTt get quarter-round moulding for the trim covering where the staples would have attached the grille cloth DIRECTLY to the speaker motor-boards.  Instead, that flat screen door moulding .was used.  Besides, those grilles are not directly stapled to the front of the motor-board, but are instead the standard grille panels used on the inset motor-board version of the Cornwall.  So they had to have been added after they were shipped by SOMEBODY....might have been the dealer or the original purchaser, but they didn't leave the factory with those grilles.   Also, I probably built those two speakers.  Early 1977 was the end of the era for the butt-jointed CDBR speakers...which were followed by the CBR version with the dropped-in motor-boards, painted black.

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On 3/6/2020 at 3:50 PM, HDBRbuilder said:

Those CDBR speakers left the plant without grilles added, but somebody most likely ordered a kit to install the grilles after they were shipped. The ones which left the factory in 1977 DID NOTt get quarter-round moulding for the trim covering where the staples would have attached the grille cloth DIRECTLY to the speaker motor-boards.  Instead, that flat screen door moulding .was used.  Besides, those grilles are not directly stapled to the front of the motor-board, but are instead the standard grille panels used on the inset motor-board version of the Cornwall.  So they had to have been added after they were shipped by SOMEBODY....might have been the dealer or the original purchaser, but they didn't leave the factory with those grilles.   Also, I probably built those two speakers.  Early 1977 was the end of the era for the butt-jointed CDBR speakers...which were followed by the CBR version with the dropped-in motor-boards, painted black.

 

Thanks this is great insight.  The grilles were nailed in the 4 corners with finishing nails - further enforcing your assessment.  

 

When I took the 1 grille off it was clear it had never been removed before, I really had to pry around the nails and it left some sawdust in the grille cloth.  I wager the dealer installed these. 

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I opened the back today, everything looked really minty (and clean) so I'm very pleased with that.  Here are some pics:  

 

zTZ7UvR.jpg

 

It has what appear to be the correct drivers:

o9rpNrb.jpg

 

J8uYyx3.jpg

 

4iIDQ40.jpg

 

aaE9Pi9.jpg

 

The crossovers were in really nice shape, I had no idea this is what capacitors used to look like!

 

WyfzOUr.jpg

 

64oDhiW.jpg

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On 3/6/2020 at 3:50 PM, HDBRbuilder said:

Also, I probably built those two speakers.  

 

That's amazing, I owe you a beer sir.

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Assuming everything is working to spec, please resist the urge to “upgrade” these. Original condition this nice deserves to be left alone. 

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On 3/6/2020 at 7:49 AM, f0rge said:

 

I could see that, they're not for everyone - especially if you have kids.  Looking through some older posts on this forum I've seen a couple of other Cornwalls with the exact same trim and grills as mine.  Could it have been a kit?

I 've seen this as well ,  but this was usually done by dealers , on their own ,  who added grilles , trim , and velcro - but hey , the speakers are beautiful , this is real wood , versus the  cheap MDF panels  -----------

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14 hours ago, Kevin S said:

Assuming everything is working to spec, please resist the urge to “upgrade” these. Original condition this nice deserves to be left alone. 

 

Curious what your thoughts on the crossovers are.  First of all, do they need work?  Can those caps still be any good 43 years later? 

 

I was thinking of buying a new set of Crites B2 crossovers and taking the original ones out completely and storing them.  

 

Then maybe a new gasket for the mids and seeing where that gets me.

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3 hours ago, f0rge said:

 

Curious what your thoughts on the crossovers are.  First of all, do they need work?  Can those caps still be any good 43 years later? 

 

I was thinking of buying a new set of Crites B2 crossovers and taking the original ones out completely and storing them.  

 

Then maybe a new gasket for the mids and seeing where that gets me.

Not having the skills myself, I would have the crossovers tested. If the components are still within specifications, I would leave them alone. My understanding is that it is entirely feasible that the crossovers could still be in spec. I am also aware that opinions on this vary widely. And discussing capacitors can be contentious at best. I would not just arbitrarily replace them. 

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