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How do I get bass out of Klipsch Cornwall IV?


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In an effort to stimulate the economy, I bought a pair of Klipsch Cornwall IVs. I was stoked to receive them, but upon hooking them up to my system, I was shocked by what seems like completely absent mid-lows / lows. I’ve been fiddling with all parts of my system, but without much success. Looking for advice on what else to try before I send these back.

 

Setup in order:

  1. RoPieee
  2. 2’ basic USB cable
  3. Denafrips Aries II
  4. 20” iFi RCA. I’ve got custom built RCA 20’ RCA replacement arriving next week.
  5. Prima Luna Dialogue Premium Integrated w/ “Tung-Sol” KT120s, well warmed-up. 40+ Watts / channel should be plenty on what are often referred to as “easy to drive” speakers.
  6. 10’ generic 16 gauge speaker wire w/ bare wire connections. I’ve got a pair of Canare 4s8 with spades for amp and bananas for speaker arriving next week.
  7. Cornwalls
  8. 15’ x 19’ furnished living room

 

What I’ve tried so far:

  1. AA battery test for speaker polarity. Speaker polarity is fine.
  2. 4 ohm and 8 ohm speaker connections on the amp. Bass absent with both.
  3. All the speaker placements. Listening position is 13’ from the wall by speakers, speakers are 10’ apart center-on-center:
    1. Against the wall flat.
    2. Against the wall toed in slightly.
    3. 10” off the wall flat.
    4. 10” off the wall slightly toed in.
    5. 3’ off the wall flat.
    6. 3’ off the wall, toed in with all the angles, including where their center lines cross 3’ in front of listening position.
  4. Reversing phase on one of the speakers. This results in some of the bass (still nowhere near what’s expected) appearing, but imaging is completely gone. I’m just hearing music from each speaker with a really crappy sound stage. Can’t place instruments or vocals.
  5. Reversing phase for one channel in Roon DSP. This was a great way to A/B test phase reversal by switching back and forth to make sure I know what I’m hearing re: sound stage and bass.
  6. Roon:
    1. Reversing phase on both speakers.
    2. Reversing phase on one speaker.
    3. Tidal MQA source material; both scaled up, and not scaled up.
    4. Tidal 44kHz/16bit FLAC; both scaled up, and not scaled up.
    5. Parametric EQ. I can make things sound different, but bass is still absent.
  7. Listening to them standing up, sitting down, walking around the room, and jumping up and down in frustration.

 

I have a flickering hope that the 13 gauge -equivalent Canare speaker cables will make a difference, but I have a hard time believing they would correct such a glaring lack of mid-lows and lows. I’m not about to play the lottery with swapping out the crossovers or reinforcing the internal bracing — I’m ok with tinkering, but oh man, I’m expecting prettier music from a $6k pair of speakers out of the factory.

 

I feel like I made a mistake buying these without hearing them in person. I live in SF, and for some strange reason Klipsch doesn’t have dealers who carry the heritage line anywhere within a 2 hour radius of this major market. I relied on Steve Gutenberg and other reviewers who explicitly said the bass is there, and plentiful.

 

The sales guy I ordered these from said they’d be a good match for my system, and to burn them in for 200 hours. 200 hours is ridiculous — how is anyone supposed to play 200 hours of music before the return period expires? Now, sure, maybe the sound will change over the initial 200 hours, but I don’t believe it will change that much.

 

Anyways, any advice would be appreciated.

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Your previous speakers performed fine with the same gear? After all you've tried, you might have to take a look inside the cabs.

I've heard these speakers. Definitely no lack of bass or imaging/soundstage.

Sent from my SM-G991U using Tapatalk

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Yes, I forgot to mention I’ve been switching between Cornwalls and my Dynaudio Excite x32 floor standers, which have no trouble with lows and mid lows. Those are rated 4 ohm, and they sound obviously better to my ears. Great bass, excellent imaging. The tracks I’ve been using to figure things out:

  • No Time for Caution from Interstellar soundtrack
  • These Days from Jackson Browne’s For Everyman
  • Drunk in LA from Beach House’s 7
  • Blinding Lights, Chromatics remix
  • Bad Guy by Billie Eilish
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4 minutes ago, Shakeydeal said:

Very perplexing. As strange as it sounds, you might have two totally DOA woofers. Or perhaps they weren't connected to the xover at the factory?

If either of those were the case, the woofers would not have moved when I performed the inverted phase test with an AA battery.

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The first thing I would do is to contact the seller and explain your situation.  Hopefully, they’ll be able to help you out and solve this issue.  Cornwall’s are known for lots of impactful bass, so something is certainly not right.  Before opening the cabinets and possibly voiding your warranty, call the dealer.

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3 minutes ago, Islander said:

Cornwall’s are known for lots of impactful bass, so something is certainly not right.

 

Hmm.. searching this and other forums, other people new to Klipsch have had a similar problem with “missing” bass. Is it possible my having gotten used to the dynamic, musical lows & mid-lows on my Dynaudio x32s (which were half the price of the CWs when I bought them), I just have a different definition of “impactful bass” from folks who are longer term Klipsch fans?

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Pretty much every review I've read/watched said they were NOT speakers for bassheads. I literally just had a pair delivered yesterday, and I agree with those reviews. I'm not having any issues with imaging and staging though. And even on the bass, it's there when the track calls for it. 

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, CoryGillmore said:

issues with imaging and staging

 

To be clear, I don’t have an issue with imaging. It only disappears if I switch the speaker cables (invert phase) on one of the speakers in an attempt to fix my issue with bass.

Edited by Square Ian
Forgot to be specific enough.
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Maybe my contribution does not help so much. But let's assume that your CW4 have no errors...Here was a long thread about the topic of whether running in is relevant or not. I am one of those who think it is relevant. Your CW4s are just unpacked. I think 200 hours of running in does not have to be to be able to basically judge a speaker. But I would look at what happens within four days when relatively loud music is played in the meantime. It's not just the woofer and its cone surround. It is also the capacitors of the midrange and tweeter that allow more bass when they are played in. There was already a thread here where someone on a remote island had the feeling that his new CW4 had no bass. Later it was quite satisfactory. Wait perhaps three or four days before you make a final judgement.

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3 minutes ago, KT88 said:

Wait perhaps three or four days before you make a final judgement.

 

Excellent advice, thank you. I’m definitely planning on keeping them and playing more music at least until my replacement speaker cables arrive and I can test if that has the desired effect.

 

I don’t consider myself a “bass head.” My old Dynaudio x32s these are up against were the skinniest floor standing Dynaudios in the lineup. I guess it’s the mellow mid-lows smoothly pouring out of the x32s I’m missing here.

 

Could be my Prima Luna amp is just not a good match to the Cornwalls for whatever hard-to-grok reason.

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Lotta variables at play. Been there done that. Be patient, you've got some really nice speakers there.

Sent from my SM-G991U using Tapatalk

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23 minutes ago, SWL said:

some really nice speakers there

 

There could be really nice speakers somewhere in the Cornwalls, but... If my choice is between keeping the Dynaudios which sound better in my system at $0 and keeping the Cornwalls that currently sound worse at $6k, well, it’s not really a choice.

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I agree with the notion of break in time. It is very real. But even out of the box my speakers had good bass. They were a little tight and wouldn't "swing ". And the bass did get better, but was never MIA.

 

Play them a few days, not only to loosen things up but to also let them settle into your system, then report back.

 

 

Shakey

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Could be my Prima Luna amp is just not a good match to the Cornwalls for whatever hard-to-grok reason.


Very possible.


Sent from my SM-G991U using Tapatalk

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1 hour ago, Square Ian said:

 

There could be really nice speakers somewhere in the Cornwalls, but... If my choice is between keeping the Dynaudios which sound better in my system at $0 and keeping the Cornwalls that currently sound worse at $6k, well, it’s not really a choice.

 there is just no way  that a 15 inch woofer can't produce bass -----on 4 and 8ohms taps , could be your amp  is not suited , yes I will echo @SWL   ,

 

so borrow a   100-150-200wpc SS  integrated  Amp and redo the test , or , return these speakers-

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6 minutes ago, RandyH001 said:

borrow a   100-150-200wpc SS  integrated  Amp

 

I’m not about to start my system from scratch just to try to make it fit the newcomer component. I love the sound of my Prima Luna tube amp. Replacing things other than the Cornwalls would be terribly expensive, and with an unknown end result. If I can’t make these work, I’ll return them and make sure I replace them with something I can go listen at an audio dealer (which we have plenty of) less than a 2 hour drive from where I live.

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