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Cornwall IV ... Love 'em or Hate 'em

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6 hours ago, Shakeydeal said:


Well I have to say the spatials are sold and boxed and ready to ship on Friday. I don’t usually do it that way, but I guess my faith in the CW IV is pretty strong. We will see.

 

Shakey


Your faith will be rewarded! I would say don’t judge them critically for a few days. I think I’m on day 6. Leaving radio on for a few days really helped. Not sure if it was speakers or cables or both but they have gotten better. Yesterday was the first time I really “listened” to them. Source was McIntosh MB50 streamer in critical listening mode and Qobuz and MAC7200 solid state receiver. Both are rated at an awesome .005% for harmonic distortion. I like testing stuff with the Moana soundtrack (don’t knock it until you try it, Disney’s production level for sound in a theater is epic!). Was playing 24 Bit, 96,000 Hz files and grinning ear to ear. It was like I could reach out and touch the layers of sound. You’re going to love the IVs.

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On 6/14/2020 at 1:35 PM, SteveAudioFan said:

I own CWIv's and Heresy IV's and have had Forte III's here as well. I used to own the CWIII and HIII. The IV's are a huge step up from the III. I went through testing many amps with these speakers, ranging from a Naim Atom all in one to a $26,000 Vinnie Rossi L2i SE that uses 300B tubes for the pre amp. Luxman (Class A), Octave (all tube), a Line Magnetic 845 SET amp and others were tested here. I ended up with my Cornwall IV's in my 12X13 room powered by a Naim Atom. This gives me 3D imaging, a huge soundstage, ethereal sound with an amazing midrange, deep tight never boomy bass and expanded highs. Full, punchy and never flat or harsh. This is the best I have been able to get the CW's to sound and same with the Heresy IV's. This Atom blow me away at what it offers for the money, and it's a steal as is. Streamer, Dac, Amp, Display, and a true high end build and sound. Perfect synergy with current Klipsch Heritage models. As for the Heresy IV vs CW IV... the Heresy has a more open soundstage, a more forward midrange and better imaging/3D depth. They disappear easily. The CW IV's offer more with a fuller deeper sound, massive scale and while they do not disappear like the Heresy IV's they offer a more "complete" sound. In my small 12X13 room they are NEVER too much, and they sound open and transparent. So I settled on these Cornwall's for my main room with the Atom. Even hooked up my turntable and it sounds better than it does on my higher end pieces. I have been into HiFi for 30 years. I have reviewed many pieces and have had companies send me gear to review, Klipsch being one of them. This CW IV and Atom system is insanely satisfying, oddly addicting and is hassle free. No cables needed, no DAC needed, no streamer needed, no amp needed...it's all built in and took 15 minutes to set up and start listening.  The CWIV and Heresy IV, IMO, are the best versions without question of these legendary speakers. 

That's quite a statement about the Naim considering the amplifiers you auditioned with those speakers. Was seriously considering these speakers with a SET tube amp. Ive been reading a lot about the Line Magnetic, Decware etc. Seems just when my mind is made up........

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On 9/4/2020 at 2:51 AM, Rockrubber said:

That's quite a statement about the Naim considering the amplifiers you auditioned with those speakers. Was seriously considering these speakers with a SET tube amp. Ive been reading a lot about the Line Magnetic, Decware etc. Seems just when my mind is made up........

 

Same here, I am waiting for a pair of CWIV and still hesitating between the practicality of a Naim Uniti Atom or investing for long terms on a Streamer/DAC + Integrated tube amp. Quite curious what were your options Rockrubber, and if you tested and confirm the Atom sounds as great as described above with the CWIV.

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On 5/17/2020 at 3:32 PM, RaceCoach said:

As some background, I've been a fan of Klipsch speakers for many years (or at least their siblings). The 1st pair of speakers that I loved were a pair of Sound Dynamics 6S (made by API in Canada who also made Mirage and Athena). API was acquired up by Klipsch around 2005 or so). I've have Energy C-7 and C-5 speakers also (I believe part of the Klipsch family). The exception is a pair of Paradigm Legend V3.

 

My mid-life crisis is calling for an audio upgrade. The Covid-19 thing has prevented me from auditioning anything, so I've done a lot of reading in the internet (perhaps a dangerous thing). 

 

Circumstances are that I'm in a townhouse, so volume will always be low to moderate. My original search was for a pair of speakers to be run in a stereo setup to fill an open concept townhouse main floor (family room, dining room, kitchen).  I rarely sit front and center for a pure listening session, but music is always on in my home. So, wide dispersion and a forgiving placement and listening location are important. My musical taste ranges from classic rock, especially from '70's, some new alternative (Alt-J comes to mind immediately), smooth/funk jazz (so plenty of sax and some vocals), and chill (lots of base beats).

 

On paper the new Cornwall IV seems to be a good fit. But some people out the on the internet call them an antiquated design that's harsh and with poor sound stage. Apparently they're better when played at concert level volumes. I would imagine this audience will be somewhat defensive to these accusations, but I'd like to hear what you have to say.

 

Others say that with an adequate tube amp setup, they can be quite spectacular. Again, your input would be appreciated.

 

When things open up (I'm in Toronto, Canada area) I plan on trying to find an audio store with them for audition.

 

Another interesting speaker that I'm considering is the Focal Aria 948. You're welcome to make comments or suggest other speakers that might suit my situation well (in the same price range).

 

Thank you!!  

My listening habits are similar. I had H3's for years and just got B stock H4's for $2200. Listen to them also. They may tick all the boxes for you too. I'm driving them with an Inspire 45/2A3 amp from Dennis Had, the retired founder of Cary Audio. His amps and preamps are excellent and affordable.

On 5/17/2020 at 3:32 PM, RaceCoach said:

 

 

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On 6/14/2020 at 1:35 PM, SteveAudioFan said:

I own CWIv's and Heresy IV's and have had Forte III's here as well. I used to own the CWIII and HIII. The IV's are a huge step up from the III. I went through testing many amps with these speakers, ranging from a Naim Atom all in one to a $26,000 Vinnie Rossi L2i SE that uses 300B tubes for the pre amp. Luxman (Class A), Octave (all tube), a Line Magnetic 845 SET amp and others were tested here. I ended up with my Cornwall IV's in my 12X13 room powered by a Naim Atom. This gives me 3D imaging, a huge soundstage, ethereal sound with an amazing midrange, deep tight never boomy bass and expanded highs. Full, punchy and never flat or harsh. This is the best I have been able to get the CW's to sound and same with the Heresy IV's. This Atom blow me away at what it offers for the money, and it's a steal as is. Streamer, Dac, Amp, Display, and a true high end build and sound. Perfect synergy with current Klipsch Heritage models. As for the Heresy IV vs CW IV... the Heresy has a more open soundstage, a more forward midrange and better imaging/3D depth. They disappear easily. The CW IV's offer more with a fuller deeper sound, massive scale and while they do not disappear like the Heresy IV's they offer a more "complete" sound. In my small 12X13 room they are NEVER too much, and they sound open and transparent. So I settled on these Cornwall's for my main room with the Atom. Even hooked up my turntable and it sounds better than it does on my higher end pieces. I have been into HiFi for 30 years. I have reviewed many pieces and have had companies send me gear to review, Klipsch being one of them. This CW IV and Atom system is insanely satisfying, oddly addicting and is hassle free. No cables needed, no DAC needed, no streamer needed, no amp needed...it's all built in and took 15 minutes to set up and start listening.  The CWIV and Heresy IV, IMO, are the best versions without question of these legendary speakers. 

So you prefer the Atom to the Rossi?

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Having recently purchased the CW IV, I have to say I am definitely in the camp that  this is a somewhat antiquated speaker. Especially in terms of its ability to image, create a soundstage, or “disappear”. My comparison is against my previous speakers were a ten year old set of Dynaudio focus 360’s. 
The Dinos with my equipment, Bryston 14b3, bp173 preamp, Denafrips Venus, would simply disappear at will, with the performers voice positioned somewhere one the plane of the speaker hovering above.... and the instruments spread around. This does not happen with the Klipsch CWs, not even close. As well, the klipsch are considerably slower on many drum passages, don’t have near the musicality, and the designers seemed to have been very cautious with the upper end, to the point that a lot of passages that sparkled before , don’t. They do not sound like a modern speaker. If the comparison is with other previous klipsch, possibly they may be the best, but there are far better imaging speakers then the CWs. Which given all the reviewers out there who have gushed over these speakers, I am surprised myself...and somewhat disappointed.

So, do I give up, no I will try a tube preamp before I do that, likely the Primaluna Evo 400. The reason I am not giving up is that the CWs do create some amazing sounds, the pluck of guitars strings, saxophones, trumpets, some very amazing sounds that if I can get happening with a proper soundstage would be great. 
Another attribute of the CWs is that they bring out the best in 60’s recording. The doors for instance where the music was made to bounce back and forth between speakers, the Cornwalls are outright fun. As well, I was blown away by sounds from Uriah Heep recording...Stealin’ being one of them...the CWs transform some of this music to very defined and distinctive tunes.

Net conclusion, they are not a modern speaker and they do not image like a pair of Dynaudio’s but they definitely have there attributes. Will report back if I ever get tubes in front of my SS amp.

I apologize to any Klipsch fans I may have cheesed off, but some of the reviews out there including some very big reviewers are a tad misleading. 

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On 11/15/2020 at 9:13 AM, Jacko2929 said:

 

Large baffle speakers like the CW are not going to disappear completely with every recording, but you really have to spend some time with placement to optimize.  I've been tweaking mine for a couple months now and finally got them to where they give me depth and good imaging...disappearing is very recording dependent.  I've seen a lot of people put these up against the front wall and that will not give you depth.  Speakers need room to breathe and minimize reflections.  Toe in makes a big impact as well.  In my opinion, the CWs excel at giving you that effortless sound with an incredible midrange.  Tradeoff is they can't disappear like small speakers.  What are you currently using to power the CWs?

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@Jacko2929 

 

It sounds as though you "get" a lot of what the Cornwall is about. But I think there is more hiding in there that you can bring out.

 

Can you describe  your speaker placement, or better yet, post a pic of your system? If you are placing the CW like you would conventional speakers such as the Dynaudios, then you might be missing the mark. I have found that horns like a bit of real estate between them. Too close together and you get that "wall of sound" with little image focus or depth. Spread them apart with extreme toe in, crossing just in front of your listening position, and they tend to image more like a "modern" design. 

 

When it exists on the recording, I get excellent imaging and the speakers can disappear. Not to the extent of monitors on stands placed well into the room, but they do a respectable job of not calling attention to themselves as a source of the sound. While they don't excel at soundstage depth, when placed thusly they are very 3 dimensional.

 

Provide more information  and I'm pretty sure someone here can help you get more out of the speakers.

 

Shakey

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Contrary to the name, I think they need to be pulled away from the front wall by at least a couple of feet.  The soundstage improved significantly in my case.  I do have them very close to the side walls and pretty far apart giving me a huge soundstage.  The side walls are treated for reflections and they are only slightly toed in.  I really didn't care for them crossing in front of me.

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On 7/15/2020 at 9:56 PM, salbake said:

Cornwall IVs are here. 😃

44CFCBF1-F37D-4C35-9F72-9F7891C84652.jpeg

935D6DF0-8EAC-403E-8AD2-28E1E31AF6CA.jpeg

24DA31BA-A693-4CF0-985B-38E994B6ED2B.jpeg

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Hi @salbake

 

 

I see this very late and I do not know if you have already been informed, but you have to remove the straps with your Cardas dual wiring.

 

Your installation and your CW1 and CW 4 are 😍

 

44.jpeg.7d9244db76c421129853fdde82213d0a.jpeg

 

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On 11/24/2020 at 4:23 AM, mustang_flht said:

Hi @salbake

 

 

I see this very late and I do not know if you have already been informed, but you have to remove the straps with your Cardas dual wiring.

 

Your installation and your CW1 and CW 4 are 😍

 

44.jpeg.7d9244db76c421129853fdde82213d0a.jpeg

 

Thanks for looking out!  They were removed about 5 mins after photo. Saw some complaints on YouTube about binding posts being loose and this was the check immediately after unboxing in the middle of the room. If they were loose I thought this would prevent me from stabbing through as the fit on the bananas was really tight. Definitely can’t get behind them now to take a picture like this. Just wanted one pic of new speakers and new cables together. Damn, that was a GREAT day!!

Edited by salbake

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